. This letter was published serially in the Boston Patriot
on 24 Oct. and 7, 14, and 17 Nov. 1810. In the issue of 17 Nov., immediately following
wrote “I shall make a comment or two, Messrs. Printers, upon this letter, without
which it may not be so well understood.
“1st. It was written to justify myself for presenting my credentials to the states
general and for printing my memorial, in answer to a letter from Mr. Secretary Livingston
in which, in plain English, he had reprimanded me, strange as it may seem, very severely,
for my conduct in these instances.
“2. An allusion is made to a copy of a letter, or rather an extract of a letter, which
was transmitted to me, through a friend, from London, said to have been written by
one of the first personages in France, (meaning the comte de Vergennes) to one of
the first personages in Great Britain, (meaning the Earl of Shelbourne) in these words,
as nearly as I recollect them. ‘Nous n’avons pas une confiance, bien aveugle, en Monsieur
Adams. On le croit honnêtte; on le scait ardent, inflexible mêrne dans sa cause: mais
il abonde trop en son sens, et ne scait pas se donner aux convenances. Nous aimons
mieux, paler confiance en Monsieur Franklin.’
“3. I believed that the reproof in Mr. Livingston’s letter had been insinuated into
him by the Chevalier de la Luzerne, or Mr. Marbois, or some other gentleman of the
French legation, and that in consequence of previous instructions from the comte de
Vergennes, or Mr. Rayneval. Such, whether corruptly or not, was my belief.
“4. There is not an effect of that memorial, suggested in this letter as possibly
or probably flowing from it, that I do not now in 1810, after near thirty years of
examination and reflection, believe to have been produced by it. Holland then held
a much higher consideration in Europe than it has since.”