Front Page Titles (by Subject) EXTRACT FROM JAY'S DIARY. 1 - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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EXTRACT FROM JAY’S DIARY. 1 - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 3 (1782-1793).
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EXTRACT FROM JAY’S DIARY.1
22d December, 1782.—Between 7 and 8 o’clock this morning I visited Mr. Oswald. After some general conversation he took occasion to say that Lord Mount Stuart, the son of Lord Bute, had dined with him to-day, and that he had also seen his brother Col. Stuart, who had served the whole war in America. He spoke of the Colonel’s aversion to the American war, and the account he gave of the want of discipline and the disorder which prevailed in the British army there. He passed several encomiums on the Colonel’s character; sometimes of the father and then of the son’s, observing how unlike they were to what the father was supposed to be; though for his part he believed that more sins were laid on his back than he had ever committed. He said that Lord Mount Stuart execrated the American war, and had shown him to-day several letters written by him at Turin (where he was Ambassador) to Lord Hillsborough on that subject. Mr. Oswald asked me if I remembered what he had told me of Mr. Pultney’s information about the propositions of Count Vergennes, to divide America with Britain. I told him I did. “Well,” says he, “the same kind of proposition was made to Lord Mount Stuart. His lordship brought with him here to dinner his letter-book, which he did not choose to leave with his charge d’affaires, and in which he showed me his letters written with his own hand, (for he would not confide it to his secretary) to Lord Hillsborough; and the first letter was dated in the month of September, 1780; from which it appears that a Mr. Malley, who had formerly travelled with Lord Mount Stuart, and is an honorary professor at Geneva, and is employed to write the history of Hesse, etc., for which he receives annuities; a man, in short, well known among men of letters, was employed by Mr. Neckar to make overtures to Lord Mount Stuart, about putting an end to the war, by dividing America between Britain and France, the latter to have the eastern part.
Mr. Oswald also says that Lord Mount Stuart went to Geneva on the occasion, where he conversed with Mr. Malley, and that his lordship read to him out of his letter-book French letters from this Mr. Malley to his lordship on the subject, after his return to Turin; that this correspondence contains a very curious and particular account of French intrigues, particularly that Neckar wished for peace, because his system could only raise money enough to provide for old arrears and for current expenses; and were he obliged to sustain the expenses of the war, he must break in upon it, and perhaps be disgraced; it also mentioned the intrigues to get De Sartine out of the marine department; and Mr. Oswald says that the overtures about America were conducted with a variety of precautions for secrecy, and with a stipulation or condition that both parties, in case they did not agree, should be at liberty to deny all that passed. He told me that my lord wrote strongly to Lord Hillsborough against the American war, and that the latter in answer told him it was a subject out of his line, and with which it was not proper for him to interfere. Lord Mount Stuart was offended with the minister for this, and he brought his letter-book with him to Mr. Oswald to show him the full state of the matter. Mr. Oswald said, that as he had told me the affair of Mr. Pultney, he could not forbear mentioning this also, for it was a little strange that so extraordinary a matter should come so circumstantial and correspondent from such different and unconnected quarters. He desired me to consider this communication as very confidential, adding that he could say more, but that it would not be proper for him at present to enter into a detail of further particulars.
[1 ]See Extracts under date June 23 and October 21, 1782.