Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/32

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DRAMATIC MOMENTS

From this document dates the dawn of American diplomacy and the tide of events leading to support, alliance, independence, and greatness. The next exhibit proves that the King and his counsel took the advice to heart—not forgetting the precautions of secrecy. On May 2, 1776, the Minister for Foreign Affairs sent this illuminating letter to His Majesty:

Sire:

I have the honour of submitting to your majesty the writing authorizing me to furnish a million of lives for the service of the English Colonies, if you should deign to ratify it with your signature. I add to this, Sire, the draft of the reply which I mean to make to M. de Beaumarchais. If your majesty should approve of it, I beg that it may be returned to me without delay. It shall not go forth in my handwriting, nor in that of any of my clerks or secretaries; I will employ that of my son, which cannot be known; and although he is only in his fifteenth year, I can answer posi-