[dateline] Brussels Augst 29th 1782
I Am honoured with the Receipt of your Excellencys Letter of the last Post.1
The Letter of which I gave your Excellency an Extract about a fortnight Ago2
made me very Uneasy, as it shewed me there was a misunderstanding somewhere—I could wish your Excellency would clear it up by a Letter to our Friend at Nantes. I fancy He imagines that His name is joined with yours in the Different Commissions, your Excellencys assurances that it is not, will clear up his Doubts, and account for your Conduct towards Him whilst in Holland.
I Heartily wish that my Correspondent in London had ushered into the world the Letters in a better dress. I herein inclose the first that has appeared.3
I have written at several Times various matter for insertion in the public Papers, but I Know not whether it has come to hand—Mr Lee4
tells me that all Letters by the Way of ostend are opened and that Passengers are Examined strictly—I will endeavour however to convey the State Papers over and have some notice taken of the Suggestions which your Excellency has thrown out. I agree with your Excellency that the more such Questions are agitated, the better will it be.
For the Cause of Truth, Justice and Humanity, a Familiarity with Strange names strange Ideas and Strange Facts will soon naturalize them. I think if I was in England now I could work to a good purpose. I am told that Ld Shelburne pays great Court to the Bedford party, He has taken a good method to get into the good graces of the Dutchess. He gives Her a good Rent for Her House at Streatham.5
However no one thinks that He will be able to stand unless He meets with Uncommon Sussecss. I fear for the Combined fleet. The Winds have been to High. The Peace is at Gibraltar.
[salute] I have the Honour to be Your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt
[signed] Edm: Jenings
2. This is Henry Laurens' letter to Jenings of 5 Aug., portions of which Jenings included in his to JA of 11 Aug.
3. Presumably the first
of JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American,” which appeared in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer
of 23 Aug. (vol. 9:541–545).
5. Because of the distance to his residence at Bowood in Wiltshire, Shelburne leased Streatham Park, a Georgian mansion built by a brewer, Ralph Thrale, in 1730 on land purchased from the 4th Duke of Bedford. The house passed to Ralph's son Henry, who died in April 1782. It was presumably from Henry's wife, Hester, rather than the Duchess of Bedford, that Shelburne leased the residence. Streatham is located in the London borough of Lambeth, south of Brixton (www.Thrale.com, 12 April 2005).