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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


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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.
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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.
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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.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-08-03

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Your Favour with the Anecdote and that with the Preliminaries, I have recd.1 Be So good as to Send me every Thing of this Sort, which I will not fail to make a good Use of.
The Imprudence of Ld shelburne in keeping open the question of American Independence, appears, every day more glaring to me and I find it is Seen in the Same light generally in Europe. The Kings Mulish Stubbornness, may cost him very dear. What a dreadfull Curse to have a Mule for a King or a Statholder! What a fine Excuse they furnish to Spain and France? who need no other Justification than british Indiscretion is sure to afford them.
The Court Gazettes in this Country are growing more patriotick, one of them told me lately, “Monsieur, Vous Serez plus content de notre Gazette a l'avenir”2 and he has kept his Word. Indeed Frisland and Zealand and even Holland are taking Steps, which are alarming to these Gentry. Calling for Orders and Letters, means more than an attack upon the Duke, and has had an Effect accordingly.3
I long to See Mr Days Pamphlet. Pray what and who is this Mr Day?
Can you tell me the Names of the monthly and critical Reviewers in London? Franklin and Bancroft have Connections ancient and { 217 } modern with those Writers, and indeed with most of the Printers and Booksellers in London, which enable them to get a million of Wickednesses and Follies, published, to answer their Views, and to prevent Somethings which would serve a better Purpose, from being published.4
Will you be so good as to get Something like this inserted in some of the Papers, absolutely without its being known to any body but yr friend to whom you may send it, that it comes from you.5
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams augst 3d 1782.”
1. 24 July and [ca. 1 Aug.] , both above.
2. Sir, you will be very satisfied with our journal in the future. The newspaper referred to has not been identified but may have been the Gazette de la Haye. JA had met with a M. Du Cange who wrote for the paper and reportedly was to meet with its editor (from Du Cange, 23 July, above).
3. JA is presumably referring to the calls for the Dutch Navy to take a more aggressive role against the British, including combined operations with the French Navy. JA likely had seen the proposals from the provinces as printed in the newspapers. See, for example, the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 26, 30 July and 2 August. JA saw such efforts as more productive than efforts to dismiss the Duke of Brunswick as William V's chief advisor. For the controversy over Brunswick, see the indexes to vols. 11 and 12; for earlier comments on the effort as a diversion from more important national issues, see Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's letter of 6 Jan. and JA 's reply of 14 Jan. 1782 (vol. 12:172–175, 184–186).
4. Jenings never responded directly to JA 's request, but see his comments on the “puffs” that he had seen in the London newspapers in his letter of 22 Aug., below.
5. JA probably refers here to his longstanding desire to have his response to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts, later known as the “Letters from a Distinguished American,” published in London. At least that is apparently what Jenings took him to mean in his reply of 11 Aug., below.