A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0034

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-05-23

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of yours of the 28th. of April1 yesterday, in which you acknowledge the receipt of mine of the 28th. of March, as well as of the paper I had enclosed you in blank, and of my three letters to Mr: Livingston.2 I hope you will be kind enõ to transmit copies of those papers to Congress, as I do not think it prudent to hazard duplicates of them. I desired the three to Mr: Livingston to be forwarded by the same opportunity, because one of them was a duplicate, and the other two made up only one letter which, for greater safety, I had seperated and sent on to you thro different hands. I wrote to Mr: T. on the 5/16 March by a private hand to whose care I had committed four Court Almanacks and a Russian Grammer to be disposed of as mentioned in the letter. Of these I have yet heard nothing. Mr: T. makes no mention of them in his letter of the 26th. of April. Pray tell him I shall notice that letter shortly.3 Since mine of the 28th. of March I have wrote you twice viz. on the 12/23 of April, and on the 29th. of April O.S.4 The great importance of the point you have gained in Holland, will be every where felt and acknowledged, except by those to whom you allude when you speak of the “dastardly meanesses of jealousy and envy.” Your character will receive no lasting stain from their vile artifices. They may occasion some mortification for a while, but publick and private virtue will soon triumph over such Enemies. After the business you mention may be happily finished, you must remember there is another not less important still remaining, which, nothing but an absolute necessity, must induce you to think of quitting.5 I feel your situation or condition, for my own is not altogether unlike it. The difference however is against me. If I had succeeded in the main point, I shou'd not hesitate a moment to put in execution the plan you talk of for yourself. This I shou'd infallibly have done had I obtained that end: And how long my patience will hold out is uncer• { 74 } tain; but it is my present determination not to pass another Winter here. Tho I have not taken the official measure heretofore mentioned, yet I have lately taken another which may possibly be productive of the same end, and in a way unattended with any hazard. I cant now explain myself further than to say, I have undertaken the task spoken of in my letter of the 12/23 of April. I have found the way open for this.
I am happy to learn that my Son6 has arrived in safety. I have been equally anxious with you about Master John. I must really say I think it wou'd be adviseable that he shou'd return in the way you mention to Leyden, or America; perhaps it might be best if you shou'd continue in Holland for him to go to Leyden. You will feel for my cruel situation if he shou'd leave me. When I reflect upon it myself, I almost determine this shall not be; and that at all events I will press on my business to a speedy conclusion, and quit this Country with him. You will write me more decidedly upon this subject by the return post.7
I am dear Sir, with much respect and esteem your much obliged Friend, & humble Servt.
[signed] FRA DANA
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Dana 12/23 April 1782.”
1. Vol. 12:467–468.
2. Dana's letter was of [8 April N.S.] (vol. 12:395–398). For the three dispatches to the secretary for foreign affairs, see note 2 to that letter. For the “paper” that Dana had sent JA , see his letter of [21 Feb. N.S.] , and note 1 (vol. 12:259–261).
3. The letterbook copy of Dana's letter to John Thaxter of 5/16 March indicates that Dana asked Thaxter to send three of the court almanacs to Livingston and to retain one for JA 's use, but it contains no mention of a Russian grammar (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook). Thaxter's letter of 26 April had communicated the States General's 19 April resolution recognizing the United States and JA as its minister. Thaxter wrote to Dana on 25 June but did not mention either the almanacs or the grammar. Not until 22 July did Thaxter specifically reply to Dana's letter of 5/16 March, and he wrote there that he had sent three of the almanacs to America but again made no mention of the Russian grammar (all MHi: Dana Family Papers). Dana's next letter to Thaxter was dated 8 July O.S. or 19 July N.S. (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook).
4. That is, [10 May N.S.] , above.
5. JA indicated in his 28 April letter that he was considering leaving Europe once the Dutch-American Treaty was completed. The work “still remaining” presumably refers to negotiation of an Anglo-American peace treaty (vol. 12:467–468).
6. That is, CA .
7. JA did not reply to this letter until 7 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0035

Author: Stephens, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-05-23

From Joseph Stephens

[salute] Most Hond. Sir

Your excellency gave me liberty to write to you and being persuaded of your goodness and generosity gives me reason to think that I may use the freedom alredy given; when I left your excellency { 75 } monday last 13 May your excellency was kind enough to wish me success in what ever business I under took and said you would recommend gentlemen to me when it lay in your power. I can but kindly thank you for your good wishes and for what your excellency was kind enough to make me a present of and I beg of your ecellency would be kind enough to recommend me first to gentlemen. For I have no other expectations at present but to work at days when fortune favours me with any thing to do tis not possible for a poor man and a Stranger to begin any sort of Business without money without a friend or recommendations or help or assistance from any one personne in the world—which gives me reason to think I was born to be unfortunate for the more I try exert my self with honesty fidelity and every other good which has lay and does lay in my power to server every one and to advance my self with honesty but to no purpose am less respected then those of a quite differant Caracter; to the best of my knowledge I never wronged your excellency nor any one personne living in the world of one duyte1 nor do I wish to do it if riches ware to be gained by it.
I have now workd very hard for seven years past and run all manner of resks and dangers by sea and land and every hard ship possible for humane nature to endure but nither to proffit nor advantage to me which I am very sorry to be obliged to say; and those that know I am honest and faithfull seem to be fearfull to intrust me with any thing for fear I should now begin to be dishonest; five hunderd gelders would of been enough to of helpd me to made a good Begining to get an honest living which would not of been more to them that I applyd to then one duyte would of been to me. I hope your excellency will yet be kind enough to recommend me to some gentle[men] [ . . . ] Who has a respect to others as well as them[selves] they ought to have respect enough for your excellency as to comply with so small a request as what I have mentiond; they are all quite willing your excellency Should recommend them to a great share in the american trade; I hope humanity and generosite will yet cover my head through your goodness and I now repeat my humble application to your excellency hopeing you will grant me your kind aid and assistance; and I am ever to obey your excellencys commands.2
[signed] J. Stephens
I am very sorry to here that your Mr. Thaxter is so bad I wish it was in my power to give him assistance he would be soon better for the worthy deserve good attendance when sick.
{ 76 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur Adams Ministre plenipotentairer des etat unis de l'amerique au pres des etàt generaux A la Haye”; endorsed: “Jos. Stevens May 23. 1782.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. Probably a misspelling of the Dutch word duit, meaning penny.
2. No reply by JA to this letter has been found, nor are there any more letters from Stephens in the Adams Papers, but on 13 June, in letters to Ingraham & Bromfield ( LbC , Adams Papers) and Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, below, JA solicited whatever assistance those firms might be able to provide Stephens.