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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0129

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-08-01

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Supposing your Excellency ignorant of what is true, I take the Liberty of sending you what may be false, but it comes from England, that Land of Insidiousness.
Preliminaries of a Peace, said to be formed by the Rockingham Party, but if formed by any one I think Ld Shelburne is the Man.2
1st That the british Troops shall be withdrawn from the 13 Provinces of N America and a Truce made between G B and the said Provinces for — years (suppose 10 or 20).
2dly That a Negociation for Peace shall bona fide be opened between G B and the allies of America.
3dly. if the proposed Negociations between G B and the allies of America should not succeed so as to produce a Peace, but that War should Continue between the said Parties that America should Act and be treated as a neutral Nation.
4thy. That whenever Peace shall take place between G B and the allies of America the Truce between G B and America shall be converted into a perpetual Peace the Independance of America shall be admitted and Guarranteed by G B and a Commercial Treaty settled between Them.
5thly. That these propositions shall be made to the Court of France for Communication to the American Commissrs and for an Answer to the Court of G B.
I will take the first opportunity of sending your Excellency Mr Days Admirable Pamphlet in the mean while give me leave to send you the Character of Ld. Shelburne, as drawn therein:
“A Minister selfish and interested like his Predecessors may feel more Attachment to Pomp and Power than to the Essential Interests of his Country: with boundless Ambition, but a contracted Heart He may take Advantage of popular Delusions to violate his own Professions, or yielding to that mighty Influence against which He has so long declaimed, may Steer the public Vessel towards the very shoals, He has so repeatedly pointed out and instead of making the port, seek for refuge amidst the Storm.”3
Yesterday Mr Fitzherbert the English minister at this Court set out from Hence (As He said himself) for Paris.

[salute] I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellency's Most Obedient Humble Servt.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
{ 214 }
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed (at [25–28 Sept.], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 358).
1. This date is derived from Jenings' reference in the final sentence of this letter to Alleyne Fitzherbert's departure for Paris on the previous day. Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer of 10 Aug. reported that Fitzherbert left Brussels on 31 July. Also, JA refers to this letter and to Jenings' letter of 24 July, above, in his of 3 Aug., below.
2. Jenings wrote to Henry Laurens on 1 Aug., not found, and apparently enclosed the following proposals. For Laurens' comments on them and their origin in his reply of 5 Aug., not found, see Jenings' letter of 11 Aug., below.
3. Jenings quotes from Thomas Day's Reflexions upon the Present State of England, and the Independence of America, London, 1782, p. 110.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0130

Author: Loveney, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-08-01

From John Loveney

[salute] Sr

I am to Acquaint you that Captn Allcock is Likely to go to Prison the Bill that was present'd to you1 it is the Astonishment to every Body it was not Discharg'd by you as he made not the Least Doubt but it wd. be paid on which Account he has plung'd himself into the Greatest Difficulties as I am a Principle Concern'd you'll Please to Communicate what Can be Done so as to prevent his Going Prison as he is in a Strange Place end without friends he has been at my house Ever since he Came to Amsterdam and I have Supportd him in Eating and Drinking and Money Lent permit therefore to Request Your Speedy Answer will be of the Utmost Consequence: there are many more Creditors for Considerable Sums. Yr. Humble. Servant
[signed] John Loveney
Please to Direct at the Crown in the Warmoes Streed2
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed (at [1782? ], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 358).
1. See Allcock to JA , 9 July, above.
2. JA replied the following day, “I can pay no Debts of Mr Allcock, nor advance him any more money. It is astonishing that any Body could ever have entertained so ground less an Apprehension as that I could pay the Bill you mention or any other like it” ( LbC , Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0131

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-08-02

From John Jay

[salute] Sir

Your friendly Letter of the 8th. Ult. should not have remained so long unanswered, had I not been obliged by Sickness which lasted several Weeks to postpone writing to any of my Correspondents. Mrs. Jay has also been much indisposed—Indeed neither of us have been blessed with much Health since we left America.
{ 215 }
Your Negociations in Holland have been honorable to yourself as well as useful to your Country—I rejoice in both, and regret that your Health has been so severely taxed by the Business of your Employment. I have also had my Share of Perplexities, and some that I ought not to have met with. I congratulate You on the Prospect of your Loan's succeeding, and hope your Expectations on that Subject may be realized. I commend your Prudence however in not relying on appearances—they deceive us sometimes in all Countries.
My Negociations have not been discontinued by my leaving madrid. The Count d'Aranda is authorized to treat with me, and the Disposition of that Court to an Alliance with us seems daily to grow warmer.1 I wish we could have a few Hours Conversation on this Subject, and others connected with it—as we have no Cypher, I must be reserved. I had flattered myself with the Expectation of seeing you here, and still hope that when your Business at the Hague will admit of a few Weeks absence, you may prevail upon yourself to pay us a Visit. I really think that a free Conference between us might be useful as well as agreable—especially as we should thereby have an opportunity of making many Communications to each other that must not be committed to paper.2
Mr Oswald is here, and I hear that Mr Fitzherbert is to succeed Mr Grenville.3 Ld. Shelburne continues to profess a Desire of Peace—but his Professions unless supported by Facts can have little Credit with us. He says that our Independence shall be acknowledged—but it is not done, and therefore his Sincerity remains questionable. War must make peace for us—and we shall always find well appointed armies to be our ablest Negociators.
The Entrigues you allude to, I think may be also traced at Madrid, but I believe have very little Influence anywhere except perhaps at London. Petersburgh and Copenhagen in my opinion wish well to England, but are less desirous to share in the War, than in the Proffits of it—perhaps indeed further accessions of power to the House of Bourbon may excite Jealousy, especially as America as well as Holland is supposed to be very much under the Direction of France.
Did you receive my Letters of 18 March and 15 Ap.?4 Think a little of coming this Way.

[salute] I am Dear Sir with great Esteem & Regard Your most obt. & very h'ble Servt

[signed] John Jay
P.S. Mr Carmichael is at Madrid.
{ 216 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jay Aug. 2. recd & ansd 10 1782.” Dft (NNC); notation: “Mr. J. Adams 2d Aug 1782 in ansr to 8 July.”
1. Jay's negotiations with the Conde de Aranda, the Spanish ambassador to France, began in early August, centered on the western boundary of the United States, and came to nothing. This was partly due to Jay's lack of fluency in either French or Spanish. But the lack of agreement was also the product of Spain's continued refusal, despite Jay's hopes, to recognize the United States and of its desire, supported by France, to keep the western border as far to the east of the Mississippi River as possible (Morris, Peacemakers , p. 306–307).
2. At this point in Jay's draft is the following paragraph that he did not copy into the letter sent to JA : “As to Negotiations for peace—they have been retarded by the late Changes in the british ministry. I have very little confidence in that Court and shall always expect more from this.>” The canceled passage is supplied from Richard B. Morris, ed., John Jay, Unpublished Papers, 17451784, 2 vols., N.Y., 1975, 1980, 2:267–268.
3. Appointed by Lord Shelburne in July to replace Thomas Grenville as British peace commissioner, Alleyne Fitzherbert, the British minister resident at Brussels, arrived at Paris on 2 Aug. (Morris, Peacemakers , p. 291, 305; Repertorium , 3:167). Although bearing a commission authorizing him to enter into peace negotiations with all the belligerent states, Fitzherbert was primarily responsible for negotiations with France, Spain, and the Netherlands, while Richard Oswald acted as the principal negotiator with the American peace commissioners.
4. Vol. 12:334–335, 410.