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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0029

Author: Searle, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-14

Code Used in Correspondence between John Adams, Francis Dana, and James Searle

Mr. Dana and J. Searle Cyphers2
AZ. Congress
Francisco—Deane
Macedon—Alexander3
RR—Bancroft
X—Williams
D.D—Franklin
D.D.J—Franklin Junr.
SS—Foulke
Missa—Jay
Merry—Carmichael
Snapo—Chamont
Adventure—Beaumarchis
Renardo—Gerard
Angelica—Vergenes
De Novo—De Castres
Grex—States General
Grego—Stadholder
Steady—Mr. Adams
Funn—J. Searle
Dortje—Regency of Ams.
<N> Knobb—Van Berkle
Swivel Eye J. D. Neufville
V—Arthur Lee
Brux—Mr. Izard
Indiana—Gillon
{ 48 } | view { 49 }
Discardo—Sartin
Fornicatio—Sr. Jos. Yorke
Additions.
Nestor—Dumas
MS in James Searle's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed in an unidentified hand: “Cyphers. Dana & JS”; filmed with Ciphers and Cipher Keys, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 602.
1. This date derives from Dana's letter of 1 Jan. and JA 's endorsement on that letter (descriptive note, and note 4, above). The letter of 1 Jan. was the first in which Dana used the code. He stated that James Searle, who was then at Amsterdam, would supply JA with a key. JA indicated in his endorsement that he replied to Dana's letter on 14 Jan. (not found), making it likely that he received it either on 14 Jan. or on the previous evening when he returned from a tour of the principal cities of the province of Holland (to the president of Congress, 14 Jan.; to C. W. F. Dumas, 14 Jan., both above). Since the manuscript is in Searle's hand, and he arrived in Brussels on 15 Jan., on his way back to Paris (from William Lee, 17 Jan., below), it seems likely that Searle wrote out the key for JA on or about 14 Jan. before he left Amsterdam.
2. Although attributed to Dana and Searle, the code probably originated with C. W. F. Dumas who used the code word for Congress as early as Oct. 1779 (Weber, Codes and Ciphers , p. 63–64).
3. Possibly William Alexander Jr., an intimate of Franklin who lived in the village of Auteuil, next to Passy. Alexander's daughter, Mariamne, was married to Jonathan Williams (vol. 8:170).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0030

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-01-15

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 15 January 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 225–227. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:233.
In this letter, read in Congress on 19 Nov., John Adams provided a much condensed translation, probably from a French text such as that in the Gazette de Leyde of 9 Jan., of an exchange between William V and the States General on 26 Dec. 1780. The Stadholder declared that the threat to the Republic's borders demanded that its army be increased equally with its navy. In its reply, the States General recommended that the Provincial States consider and implement the Stadholder's proposal since the nation no longer had a choice between war and peace and faced attack by both land and sea. The question of whether to augment the army or the navy or both had long been a divisive issue in the Netherlands. See C. W. F. Dumas to the Commissioners, 23 April 1778, note 5 and references there (vol. 6:48–51).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 225–227). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:233.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0031

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-01-15

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 15 January 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 29–32. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:234.
Read in Congress on 19 Nov., this letter consisted of a translation, probably from a French text such as that in the Gazette de Leyde of 9 Jan., of an undated declaration by the States General regarding its accession to the armed neutrality. The States General indicated its determination to adhere to the principles of neutrality that Catherine II set down on 10 March 1780 in her { 50 } declaration of armed neutrality, for which see John Adams' letter to the president of Congress, 10 April 1780, and notes (vol. 9:121–126). The Dutch declaration restated the five principles of the armed neutrality virtually unchanged, except that in the third article it specified the treaties between itself and the belligerent powers that would serve to define contraband.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 29–32). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:234.