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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


This foot note contained in document ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0009
4. On 14 Sept. 1778 Congress dissolved the American Commission in France by electing Franklin sole minister plenipotentiary, but it did not get around to drawing up his instructions until 26 Oct., and these were not sent until Lafayette sailed for France in the Alliance in January ( JCC , 12:908; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 2:807–809). Before JA had been in Paris six weeks he had warmly recommended that a single minister be placed in charge of American affairs in France (to Samuel Adams, 21 May 1778, NN:Bancroft Coll.; copied into JA 's Autobiography under its date). On 12 Feb., within a few hours of sending off his agitated letter to Vergennes (entry { 354 } of 10–11 Feb., above), he learned of “the new Arrangement,” and in writing Vergennes again, 16 Feb. (as well as in private letters), he expressed satisfaction with what he called Congress' “masterly Measure,” which obviated any need for him to pursue with Vergennes the question of Deane's conduct and its consequences ( LbC , Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 3:50–51). However, JA 's notification by the Committee of Foreign Affairs did not recall him and gave him no instructions beyond a vague promise that something might follow, and “In the mean Time we hope you will exercise your whole extensive Abilities on the Subject of our Finances” (R. H. Lee and James Lovell to JA , 28 Oct. 1778, Adams Papers; same, 2:814–815).