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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0029

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-31

Oct. 31. Thursday.

Dined with Mr. Oswald. Dr. F., Mr. Jay, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Stretchy,1 Mr. Roberts2 and Mr. Whitford.3
1. Henry Strachey (whose name JA always had difficulty in spelling) was a British under-secretary of state who had been sent to Paris to stiffen what was thought to be a too pliant attitude on the part of Oswald; his instructions concerning the British right to Sagadahock (eastern Maine), western lands (“as a means of providing for the Refugees”), restraints on American fishing rights, and a provision for the payment of American debts to British merchants, are embodied in a Cabinet Minute of 17 Oct. (Correspondence of King George the Third . . ., ed. Sir John Fortescue, London, 1927–1928, 6:143–144). There is a sketch of Strachey in DNB .
2. W. Roberts, according to JA 's recollections, was “the oldest clerk in the board of trade and plantations, and a very respectable character. He was sent over by the British cabinet with huge volumes of ... original records ... in order to support their incontestible claim to the Province of Maine” (letter published in the Boston Patriot, 23 Oct. 1811). It was Roberts whom JA astonished by producing still more impressive records of Massachusetts' claim to Maine; see entry of 10 Nov., below, and note 1 there.
3. Caleb Whitefoord, Oswald's secretary; he signed the Preliminary Articles of 30 Nov. as a witness ( DNB ). Some scanty correspondence and papers of Whitefoord relating to the peace negotiations are in W. A. S. Hewins, ed., The Whitefoord Papers . . ., Oxford, 1898.