I have not had opportunity, Since my Arrival at Paris, to pay my Respects to you, and to inform you, that We all happily arrived, on the 9th. of this Month. We have now a little Leisure to look back upon the Scenes we have passed thro Since our Arrival in Europe, and I assure you, that I reflect upon none with more Pleasure than those at Bilbao.
I find that Vessels arrive oftener, there and at Cadiz than in France, from our Part of America, and I believe I must now and then trouble you with a Letter to send Congress,1 from your Port, and request my Friends in America to write me, by the Same Channel,2 as Intelligence between the two Countries is So much wanted, and is So often interrupted.
Mr. Dana informs me that you sent a few Things to my Family by Captain Babson.3 But these will go but a little Way in the support of a large Family, even if they arrive Safe, which is very uncertain. I have therefore to request your House to Send Duplicates of the Same Things, by the next Vessell that goes to Mr. Isaac Smith of Boston, or Mr. Jackson or Tracy, or indeed any other good Man in the Massachusetts Bay, directed in the Same manner, provided you think that the Season of the Year, the Sailing of the Vessell and the Character of the Master is such as to give a fair Chance of Arriving safe. I would not Send any Thing in a wrong Season, by a dull Sailor or an absurd Captain. If you will send such Duplicates, and then Triplicates, by the next opportunity which you may think equally good, and draw upon me, for the Money, in Paris your Bills shall be punctually paid.4
Pray inform me the News of Mr. Jay, and his Reception at Madrid. I am &c.
See JA's letter to the president of the congress of this date, descriptive note (below).
See JA to John Jay, 22 Feb., note 1 (above).
JA had not yet received the letter 364from Gardoqui & Sons of 19 Feb. (above), informing him of the goods sent in Capt. Babson's vessel. When that letter was received on 1 March, JA immediately wrote to the firm with additional instructions (LbC, Adams Papers).
JA originally intended to end his letter at this point, for immediately following this sentence is his usual stylized closing, which has been canceled.
I have this Moment your Letter from Brussells of the 19th of this Month, and I thank You for your kind Congratulations on my safe Arrival. Whether I come in the amiable and blessed Character, as You say You have heard, with the Olive Branch in my Hand, and surrounded with Doves, Lambs and Angels or not, You will learn, in due Time. At present, the common Enemy shews a Picture, of a very different Kind.
I was much disappointed on my Arrival in Paris to find that You had left it, because I had promised myself much pleasure in your Conversation, after two tedious Voyages by Sea, and a Journey by Land, in the dead of Winter, through Spain and France, infinitely more disagreeable than either, and a painful Application at Home for three Months to a difficult Subject, the Formation of a Civil Constitution in the Convention of the Massachusetts.
I left the general and particular Governments in America in great Vigour, and the Spirits of the People very high, and their Temper extreamly firm. The Paper Money gives Trouble and does Injustice to Individuals, but it has little Effect1 upon the public Mind respecting the general Cause. Indeed I percieved no more Symptoms of Doubt of the final Independence of America, than if it had been acknowledged and guaranteed by all the World. The Seizure of the Dutch Ships is a desperate Step indeed, and must touch all the Powers, as well as the Dutch, very sensibly. I should be much obliged to You for a Copy of what You wrote to the Pensioner of Amsterdam upon the Subject.2
One sees the Powers at War in different Lights, when one views them from different Cities, as I have often had Opportunity to experience, and you will have Opportunities of gaining Intelligence from Brussells, that I cannot at Paris, from England especially. You will oblige me therefore very much, and render an useful Service perhaps to our Country, by informing me of all You may learn, concerning the Designs of the English Court, their intended Expeditions, and their 365Force by Sea and Land. As to Thoughts of Peace, they will never have any, while they have any little Successes, as they conduct themselves on a Maxim, diametrically opposite to that of the Romans.3
I am well persuaded, Sir, of your Fidelity and Affection to your Country, as well as of your Abilities to serve it, and have taken the Liberty to mention as much and more too to some Gentlemen in Congress, to whom I transmitted the twelve Letters on the Spirit and Resources of Great Britain.4 I also transmitted your Letter to General Gates, and had a Letter from him, acknowledging the Receipt of it, before he had the pleasure of marching into Newport, and cutting off the British Army from great Quantities of Wood, Forrage, Canon and Merchandizes, which they intended to have carried away with them, not expecting that he would have the Hardiness to take possession of the Town before, they were gone from the Harbour.5
In the Letterbook copy, JA first wrote “no Effect,” and then canceled it in favor of “little Effect.”
See JA to the president of the congress, 20 Feb. (above).