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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Guy Carleton, Baron Dorchester to George Washington
Dorchester, Guy Carleton, Baron, 1724-1808
June 10, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 875-876

[From Executive Letter Book.]

New York, 10th June, 1783.


I have received your Excellency’s Letter of the 2nd Instant together with the Resolution of Congress of 26th of May, enclosed therein.

I cannot, Sir, but be well satisfied that Congress transmitted the case concerning certain negroes for whose protection the public faith had been pledged (but which is considered by Congress as contrary to the true intent and meaning of the provisional articles of Peace) to its Plenipotentiaries in Europe as these Gentlemen and the King’s Ministers between whom these articles were negotiated may be considered as most competent and able to ascertain their true intent and meaning; and swayed by these considerations, I have already, for my own part, referred to the King’s Servants those points wherein I judged that on your side, the true intent and meaning of this treaty has not been preserved, and in particular the consideration of those impediments which have been found in the execution of the 5th and 6th Articles, even in cases where the stipulations contained therein are absolute, both in the meaning and expression, but whose effect has been opposed, both by Laws now subsisting in the different States, and by the resolves of different bodies

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of men, who seem to act without control, and to have the means of execution in their own hands; and with respect, Sir, to the stipulations in the same articles, which have been thrown into a recommendatory form, I have been discouraged from renewing my applications therein by a letter from Mr. Livingston the Minister for foreign affairs, of so early a date as the 12th of April which seems to refer me for their execution to some future time. I entertain, however, the fullest confidence that Congress will take the best and surest as well as most speedy means of giving to this Treaty all that efficacy, which shall not only be perfectly consistent with justice and equity, but with that Spirit of conciliation which I hope and trust will universally prevail.

I am, Sir, &c., &c.,