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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


This foot note contained in document ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0008-0001
2. JA 's letter to the President of Congress, 5 Feb. 1783, was a protest over the unexplained revocation in July 1781 of JA 's commission to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, together with a strong plea for the appointment { 143 } of an American minister to London in order to perform this and other tasks ( LbC , Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 6:242–247). On 1 May a committee of Congress of which Alexander Hamilton was chairman brought in a report on JA 's letter which led to the foregoing vote ( JCC , 24:320–321). For James Madison's sarcastic observations on JA 's letter see his letter to Jefferson, 6 May (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:265). Secretary Livingston resigned early in June before carrying out Congress' order of 1 May; new instructions were not agreed upon until 29 Oct., and then in terms that omitted Great Britain ( JCC , 25:753–757). No commissions were issued under this order, and the new arrangement of the United States foreign service was not settled until the following May; see note 1 on JA 's Diary entry of 22 June 1784, below.