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To George Washington from Rufus King, 6 February 1797

Sir London feb. 6. 1797

I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 22d of december. Count Rumford being in Bavaria. I have requested the minister of that Country at this court, to forward your Letter to the count with his next dispatch—I have delivered to Mr Fulton the letter for him, and as soon as Sir John Sinclair returns to Town I will also deliver the Letter addressed to him—I have before sent two copies of the Gazette containing the Publication of the Chancery order that you enclosed to me for that purpose, by this opportunity I transmit a third—our affairs here relative to the Execution of the Treaty are in a good train; some delays and Difficulties have existed, but they exist no longer, and the Commissioners are going on in a satisfactory manner—In the conferences that I have had with this Government upon these and other Topics, I have found them candid and impartial in as great a degree as I had expected—Several important points not settled by the Treaty still remain open; and both time and patience are requisite even now to form a safe Opinion how far we shall in the End be able to agree—I think I am not deceived in supposing that a sincere and general desire exists in this Country to live in harmony and friendship with us; this disposition is however filtered and enfeebled by Prejudices and Opinions connected with the national commerce and marine, which make the government slow and cautious in every Step which has a reference to these important concerns.

Some uneasiness has been manifest here for some few weeks past concerning the situation of the British Territories in the E. Indies—It is not very easy to obtain good information upon this Subject, but there is reason to believe that much disaffection exists among the native troops in the Companys Service—the Establishment is understood to be 20000 Europeans, and 60000 native or Black Troops; whatever the origin of these discontents may have been, and they are supposed to be of several years standing, they have lately risen to such a pitch that the local Government of India has been compelled first to temporise, and then, as is commonly the consequence, to submit to measures they were unable to prevent—Lord Cornwallis is suddenly to be sent to Bengal, and with such extensive powers as it is hoped will enable him to restore tranquillity—what may be his Success my want of accurate information forbids me to conjecture.

From the continent as a Balance to the Glory acquired by the arch Duke, we have just received the accounts of the astonishing victories lately gained by Buonaparte in Lombardy—the immediate consequences must be the fall of Mantua and the easy subjugation of the South of Italy.

Whether these victories or any recent information from america have had any influence with the Directory rispecting the Situation of General Pinckney remains to be ascertained, but I have this morning been informed by Letters from Paris that on the 28th ulto the General was ordered by the Directory to leave Paris, and that he intended to depart on the 31st for Amsterdam—with perfect Respect I have the Honor to be Sir yr ob. & faithful Ser.

Rufus King


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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