[ca. 7 February 1781
I have the honor of your letter of the 6th and will respond to it at my leisure another
day. I will only say to you that I am angry that you do not have the powers you spoke
about, and that it seems necessary to ask Congress for these powers immediately. It
is not a question of making a treaty with only this republic, nor with it the first
one, but rather signing one with Russia, and after that with the other allies. This
is greatly connected to the powers that you showed to me in Amsterdam and it is because
of these that it could come about. Let us not waste time therefore. Write to Congress
so that it issues you new powers, beyond those that you already have and proper to
produce the quadruple alliance.
I will explain myself in greater detail in two or three days.
I am, sir, with much respect, your very humble and very obedient servant
Enclosed are the letters for Mr. Laurens. I do not believe that he will have his liberty
soon. Besides, his plenipotentiary powers are at the bottom of the sea, and they only
address this republic.
I write in much haste.