The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: April 24

WILLIAMSBURG, April 24, 1779.
It is said to come from undoubted authority, that the court of London, through the medium of the Spanish Ambassadour, has offered to Congress to acknowledge the independence of America; though we cannot learn that these offers contain any thing agreeable, respecting Canada, Nova Scotia, or the fishery. The last of which is known to be the staple of the eastern states. We have authentick accounts, that Holland stands ready to enter into a treaty of commerce with the states of America, upon terms that will not infringe her engagements with Britain: That the King of the two Sicillies opens his ports to the American trade: That Britain can get no troops from Russia; and is puzzled to form an alliance in Europe, that will make her respectable. It is conjectured that the court of London has, for particular reasons, chosen to send proposals of accommodation through the Spanish Ambassadour immediately to Congress, rather than through the channel of the court of France, and the American Ministers there.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon Nicolson) April 24, 1779

About this entry:

Don Juan Miralles y Trajan was Spain's unofficial liaison to Congress in Philadelphia. Spain was attempting diplomatically to bring a peace between England and the colonies and gave Britain an ultimatum to grant American independence or expect to fight Spain too. The rumor that Britain would accept was circulating in Philadelphia, as in Williamsburg. However, Britain refused, and Spain entered the war officially on June 21, 1779.

Sources: Chavez, p 71, 132-3

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