British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

III
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS

A. THE OLD COLONIAL SYSTEM AND THE PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY: NORTH AMERICA AND THE WEST INDIES

1
LORD SHELBURNE TO RICHARD OSWALD 27 July 17821

. . . You very well know I have never made a secret of the deep concern I feel in the separation of countries united by blood, by principles, habits, and every tie short of territorial proximity.--But you very well know that I have long since given it up decidedly though reluctantly: and the same motives which made me perhaps the last to give up all hope of re-union, make me most anxious if it is given up, that it shall be done decidedly, so as to avoid all future risk of enmity, and by the foundation of a new connection better adapted to the present temper and interests of both countries. In this view, I go further with Dr. Franklin perhaps than he is aware of, and farther perhaps than the professed advocates of independence are prepared to admit. My private opinion would lead me to go a great way for federal union;--but is either country ripe for it? If not, means must be left to advance it.2. . .


2
JOHN POWNALL TO LORD SHELBURNE 30 January 17833

[In obedience to Shelburne's commands Pownall submits the following considerations.]

The Preamble or introduction to the Articles of the Provisional Agreement of the 30th of November 1782 is so expressed as to convey

____________________
1
B.M. Add. MSS. 42,363, f. 255. Richard Oswald, a merchant with considerable estates in America and the West Indies, had been frequently consulted by the Government during the American War as an expert authority. He was formally commissioned by Lord Shelburne to make peace with the American colonies in July 1782. By the time the treaty was drawn up, however, Shelburne was out of office and Oswald had been replaced. (See Vincent Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire, vol. i, ch. vi.)
2
For a further exposition of Shelburne's idea of Anglo-American interdependence, see Parl. Hist. xxiii, 408-11.
3

B.M. Add. MSS. 42,394. John Pownall, younger brother of Thomas Pownall,

-246-

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