. The first formal meeting of the American Commissioners to negotiate treaties of amity
and commerce took place at Passy on 30 Aug., David Humphreys, secretary to the mission,
being present and beginning that day a record of its proceedings. This record, preserved
in a volume sometimes called “Minutes of the Commissioners” (PCC
, No. 116), contains, besides actual minutes of their meetings, copies of the Commissioners'
commissions and instructions, of their correspondence with the diplomatic agents of
the powers to which they were accredited (with the accompanying treaty projets
, &c.), and of their joint “Reports” or dispatches to the President of Congress and
Secretary Jay, numbered “First” through “Ninth” (11 Nov. 1784 to 2–11 Oct. 1785),
thus extending beyond the time when Franklin left for home and JA
and Jefferson were appointed ministers plenipotentiary at London and Paris respectively,
while retaining their joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties (see note
on entry of 3 May, below). The original letters received by the Commissioners (with
enclosures), together with drafts and originals of most of their reports to Congress,
are filed in PCC
, No. 86. All this documentation for JA
's last joint commission in Europe is printed in a single sequence in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789
, 1:499–600, but much more reliable texts and indispensable annotation are provided
in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd
, vols. 7–8, where these letters and papers are distributed under their dates. The
best way to follow the Commissioners' work, which was arduous but only very partially
successful, is to read their reports. Those that are germane to the present gap in
's Diary are the First, Second, and Third, dated 11 Nov., 15 Dec. 1784, and  Feb.
, 7:493–500, 573–574, 646–647).