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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

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Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0263

Author: Lee, Arthur
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Pringle, John Julius
Date: 1779-02-12

Arthur Lee and John Adams to John Julius Pringle

[salute] Sir

We have received your Letter of Feb. 9. offering your Services to the public by going to England to negotiate an Exchange of Prisoners. We have considered this Subject and judging it necessary to send some Person upon this Business, We have determined to accept of your Proposition, and We desire you to prepare yourself for the Journey, with all convenient Dispatch. Your Instructions shall be prepared immediately.1
We are Sir your humble Servants
[signed] Arthur Lee
signed only
John Adams
LbC in William Temple Franklin's hand (Adams Papers). This letter was enclosed in the preceding letter from JA to Lee and appears before that letter in JA's Letterbook.
1. This letter may be considered the last official act by Arthur Lee and JA as members of the joint commission to the French court. Benjamin Franklin's official notification of his appointment as minister plenipotentiary arrived on 12 Feb., presumably after this letter had been drafted and sent (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:353). Franklin did not go forward with Pringle's appointment, reverting instead to his plan to name Edward Bancroft as agent. But Bancroft apparently did not go to England either. According to David Hartley, to whom Franklin had written concerning a safe conduct for Bancroft, the British ministry saw no need for an American agent in England to expedite the exchange, In any event, the first shipload of American prisoners reached France on 1 April (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., { 406 } 2:35; Catherine Prelinger, “Benjamin Franklin and the American Prisoners of War in England during the American Revolution,” WMQ, 3d ser., 32:275–276 [April 1975]).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.