Adams Family Correspondence, volume 5

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams


JA's extant correspondence for this period reveals no hint from anyone that Congress intended to renew his commission for negotiating a treaty of commerce, so this possibility appears to be his own idea. On 5 Feb. JA wrote R. R. Livingston (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 6:242–247) suggesting the accrediting of a minister to the Court of St. James's who could negotiate a commercial treaty, and he set forth qualities such a man would need in terms that could describe himself. Thus although he proposed John Jay for the post, he may have been inviting his own nomination. See his letter to AA of 4 Feb., below.

JA was first renominated by a congressional committee to negotiate a commercial treaty with Great Britain, in conjunction with Benjamin Franklin and Jay, on 1 May 1783 ( JCC , 24:321). On 7 May 1784, Congress finally created a new three-man commission, consisting of JA, Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with twenty-three European and African nations.