. It is unknown when Temple met with
. In an undated note
agreed to meet with Temple at six o'clock. Immediately below
's signature, Temple wrote “Mr. Adams Invited Mr. Temple to pass a second day with
him, without the Company of any other person, but Mr. T happened to be engaged, but
sent him word that he would come at 6, and chat with him till 11 oClock, which he
: Winthrop Papers).
John Temple was a Boston native, James Bowdoin's son-in-law, and a former customs
official. In 1773 he moved to England, but in 1778 and 1779 visited the U.S. in pursuit
of a peace settlement based on reconciliation. His actions then, coupled with the
Crown offices he had held previously, raised questions as to whether he truly supported
the U.S. cause. He was, however, equally at odds with the ministerial forces in England
and had been vilified in the London press for his support of the U.S. (vol. 10:418
). The tone of
's letter indicates that he, like Cotton Tufts in 1782, thought that any “Toryism”
Temple displayed was nothing more serious than “Don Quixotism” (
Adams Family Correspondance
Temple was at the center of controversy immediately upon his arrival at Boston in
late October. The Mass. Council closely examined him and in 1782 he engaged in a “paper
war” with James Sullivan that probably owed as much to the rivalry between John Hancock
and James Bowdoin as to issues concerning Temple's loyalty. Congress resolved on 27
Feb. 1782 that
's letter should not influence the Mass. Council's determination as to whether Temple
constituted a threat to the U.S. In late 1783, Temple and his family returned to England.
In 1785 he took up residence at New York as the British consul general (same, 4:240
, 22:101–102). For Samuel Adams' comments on Temple's arrival, particularly as it
effected the relations between Hancock and Bowdoin, see his second letter to
of 18 Dec.
, Writings of Samuel Adams
, ed. Harry Alonzo Cushing, 4 vols., N.Y., 1904–1908, 4:267–268.