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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 14


Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0124

Author: Morris, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-19

From Robert Morris

[salute] Sir

Altho’ I have not yet been honored with any Letters from your Excellency I cannot omit the Occasion of Writing which offers itself by Mr. Jefferson.1 Having already congratulated you on the Acknowlegement of our Independence by the States General, and on the rapid Successes of your Labors equally splendid and useful. I hope when this Letter shall have reached your Hands I may have the additional Cause of Congratulation that the Loan you have opened in Holland shall have been compleated, this is a Circumstance of great Importance to our Country and most particularly so to the Department which I have the Honor to fill— Whatever may be the Success of it whether general or partial I pray your Excellency to favor me by every Conveyance with every minute Detail which can tend to form my Judgment or enlighten my Mind. For the more perfect Security of our Correspondence, I do myself the Honor to enclose the Counterpart of a Cypher to the Use of which you will soon become familiarized and I hope you will be convinced that any Confidence with which you may honor me shall be safely reposed and usefully employed for the public Benefit—
I have the Honor to be / with perfect Respect / Sir / your Excellency's / most Obedient / & / humble Servant
[signed] Robt Morris
Mr. Jefferson will charge himself with the Delivery of the Cypher mentd—.2
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr. / Minister Plenipotentiary / of the United States / of America”; endorsed: “Mr Morris / 19. Jan. 1783 / recd & / ansd 21 May 1783.” Dupl (Adams Papers).
1. In anticipation of his departure for Europe, Morris delivered this and other letters to Thomas Jefferson on 24 January. On 7 April, following his decision not to go, Jefferson returned the letters to Morris, who in turn gave them to John Vaughan, brother of Benjamin. John Vaughan presumably forwarded this letter from London when he { 200 } arrived there in early May (Morris, Papers, 7:360, 673, 697–698).
2. The cipher that Morris intended for JA has not been found, and JA does not mention it in his reply of 21 May, below. Jefferson likely returned it with the letter on 7 April, and Morris may have decided not to entrust it to John Vaughan.
Mentioned neither by Morris in this letter nor by JA in his reply are copies of two congressional resolutions that are with this letter in the Adams Papers and may have been enclosed with it. The first, adopted on 27 Dec. 1782, approved JA's purchase of the legation at The Hague. The second, voted on 31 Dec., instructed the joint peace commissioners “to obtain for the citizens and inhabitants of the United States a direct commerce to all parts of the British dominions and possessions” in any commercial agreement with Great Britain (JCC, 23:832, 838).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-20

This is a summary of a document and does not contain a transcription. If it is available elsewhere in this digital edition, a page number link will be provided below in the paragraph beginning "Printed."

Declarations of the Suspension of Arms and the Cessation of Hostilities between the United States and Great Britain

Versailles, 20 January 1783. MS of declarations in French; English translation by John Pintard (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 323–330). FC's of declarations and Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary peace treaty in French (Adams Papers). LbC's of declarations in French and Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary peace treaty in French (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109. LbC-Tr's of declarations in French and English and Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary peace treaty in French (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103. PRINTED (French and English): Miller, Treaties, 2:108–110. On 18 January the Comte de Vergennes wrote to Benjamin Franklin to request that he and John Adams come to Versailles on the morning of 20 January to attend the signing of the preliminary peace treaties concluded by Great Britain with France and Spain. Two purposes were served by the presence of the Americans and by declarations that they and Alleyne Fitzherbert signed at the ceremony. First, the documents signified that the preliminary Anglo-American peace treaty was in effect pursuant to the statement in its preamble that it would not be considered as concluded until peace was established between France and Great Britain. Second, because the Anglo-American preliminary treaty did not establish the conditions governing a cessation of hostilities, the declarations made it clear that it would be implemented according to the treaties signed with France and Spain, with the specific examples being Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French treaty. For the formal implementation of the armistice by Great Britain and the United States, see the proclamations by George III and the American Peace Commissioners of 14 and 20 Feb., respectively, both below. For a detailed examination of the documents, see Miller, Treaties, 2:111–112. For John Adams' account of the signing of the declarations, his dispatch of them to America, and Congress' resulting action, see his 22 January letter to Robert R. Livingston, and notes, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0126

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1783-01-22

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir,

Upon a sudden notification from the Comte de Vergennes, Mr. Franklin and myself, in the Absence of Mr. Jay and Mr. Laurens, went to Versailles, and arrived at the Comte's Office at 10. oClock on Monday, the twentieth of this Month1 At eleven arrived the Comte d’Aranda & Mr. Fitzherbert. The Ministers of the three Crowns signed & sealed the Preliminaries of Peace, and an Armistice, in presence of Mr. Franklin and myself, who also signed and sealed a Declaration of an Armistice, between the Crown of Great Britain and the United States of America, and recieved a Counter-Declaration from Mr. Fitzherbert—2 Copies of these Declarations are inclosed.—3 The King of Great Britain has made a Declaration concerning the Terms that he will allow to the Dutch, but they are not such as will give Satisfaction to that unfortunate Nation, for whom, on Account of their Friendship for Us, and the important Benefits We have recieved from it, I feel very sensibly and sincerely.—4 Yesterday we went to Versailles again to make our Court to the King and Royal Family, and recieved the Compliments of the foreign Ministers.
The Comte d’Aranda invited me to dine with him on Sunday next, and said he hoped, that the Affair of Spain and the United States would be soon adjusted à l’amiable— I answered, that I wished it with all my Heart.— The two Floridas and Minorca are more than a quantum meruit5 for what this Power has done, and the Dutch unfortunately are to suffer for it.
It is not in my power to say, when the definitive Treaty will be signed.— I hope not before the Dutch are ready.— In six Weeks or two Months at farthest, I suppose.
It is no longer necessary for Congress to appoint another Person in my Place in the Commission for Peace, because it will be executed before this reaches America— But I beg Leave to renew my Resignation of the Credence to the States General and the Commission for borrowing Money in Holland, and to request that no Time may be lost in transmitting the Acceptance of this Resignation, and another Person to take that Station, that I may be able to go home in the Spring Ships.6
I have the honor to be, with great / Respect, / Sir, / your most obedient & / most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams.—7
{ 202 }
RC and enclosure in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 321–322, 327–328); internal address: “Honble. Robert R. Livingston Esqr / Secretary of State for the Department / of foreign Affairs.—”; endorsed: “Mr. Adams— / 22d Jany 1783.” For the enclosure, see note 3. LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Vergennes wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 18 January. Franklin replied on the same day that he, JA, and William Temple Franklin would be at Versailles at the specified time but that Henry Laurens and John Jay were at Bath, England, and Normandy, respectively (Franklin, Papers, 38:595–596).
2. To this point, JA includes a close rendering of the first paragraph of his Diary entry for 20 January. There, after noting that the American, British, French, and Spanish ministers had all displayed their commissions to each other, JA wrote that “thus was this mighty System terminated with as little Ceremony, and in as short a Time as a Marriage Settlement” (JA, D&A, 3:106). JA was more expansive in his letter to AA of this date, writing that “thus drops the Curtain upon this mighty Trajedy. It has unravelled itself happily for Us. And Heaven be praised. Some of our dearest Interests have been saved, thro many dangers” (AFC, 5:74).
3. JA enclosed the French text of the declarations that he and Franklin had exchanged with Alleyne Fitzherbert on 20 Jan., calendared above. Franklin wrote to Livingston on 21 Jan. and enclosed the declarations, as well as Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary treaty setting down the conditions governing the armistice (for the letter, see Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:225; for the letter and enclosures, see PCC, No. 82, II, f. 341–360). Both letters reached Congress on 10 April (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 61), but it was upon Franklin's letter and its enclosures that Congress acted on the 11th. This was likely because he included the articles from the Anglo-French treaty, the terms of which were incorporated into Congress' proclamation of the 11th “Declaring the cessation of arms, as well by sea as by land, agreed upon between the United States of America and his Britannic Majesty; and enjoining the observance thereof” (JCC, 24:238–240).
4. If JA was surprised by the signing of the Anglo-French and Anglo-Spanish preliminary treaties on 20 Jan., the Dutch were even more so, as is evident from Dumas' letter of 24 Jan., below. Owing to assurances from the Duc de La Vauguyon at The Hague, Dutch peace negotiators Gerard Brantsen and Mattheus Lestevenon van Berkenrode had been instructed to allow the Comte de Vergennes to negotiate with the British on behalf of the Netherlands, with the expectation that Vergennes would safeguard and promote Dutch interests (vol. 13:246). The Dutch apparently had received no intimation from the French foreign ministry that any progress had been made in negotiations on their behalf with Britain, much less that negotiations were almost complete between Britain, France, and Spain.
The Dutch consternation was even more pronounced because the signings came on the heels of Fitzherbert's memorial to the Dutch negotiators of 31 Dec. 1782, which, together with the Dutch response of 5 Jan., was widely printed in Dutch and British newspapers. See for example, the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 21 Jan., the London Chronicle of 23–25 Jan., and part 1 of John Almon's Remembrancer for 1783, p. 168–170. Fitzherbert was responding to a Dutch memorial of 6 Dec. in which Brantsen and Berkenrode presented the Dutch peace ultimata as contained in their instructions, notably that Britain formally recognize Dutch neutral rights as defined by Catherine II's 1780 Declaration of Armed Neutrality, restore all conquered territories, and indemnify the Dutch for their losses (vol. 13:246–248). Fitzherbert's discouraging counter-proposal categorically rejected the Dutch ultimata. This was particularly true of Dutch rights to free navigation as a neutral in time of war. Britain proposed to treat the Netherlands as it did any nation with which it had no treaties; that is, in accordance with the general principles of the law of nations, which did not recognize the principles of the Armed Neutrality as settled law. The Dutch memorial supported the demand for British recognition of the right of Dutch ships to navigate freely by referring to Charles James Fox's offer of just such recognition in March 1782. Fitzherbert rejected that precedent, stating that Fox's purpose had been to procure a separate Anglo-Dutch peace, a rationale that was no longer valid in Dec. 1782. With regard to the other points, the British proposed to return captured Dutch possessions with the { 203 } exception of Trincomalee on Ceylon and rejected absolutely any indemnification of Dutch losses.
On 5 Jan. the Dutch diplomats responded to Fitzherbert's statement by declaring that it offered virtually no basis for negotiation. In their reply, Brantsen and Berkenrode were true to their instructions, but their steadfastness proved of little consequence. Fitzherbert told JA that Britain's harsh treatment of the Dutch was owing to Spain's hard-line stance on Minorca and the Floridas (JA, D&A, 3:107). In reality, however, economic losses and the Dutch Navy's inability to successfully challenge the Royal Navy left the Netherlands with virtually no bargaining power in its negotiations with England. For an abortive proposal to finesse the obstacle posed by the British refusal to recognize Dutch maritime rights in an Anglo-Dutch peace treaty involving JA and his colleagues as well as the Dutch view of the law of nations and the Armed Neutrality, see Dumas' letter of 24 Jan., and note 2, below.
JA was concerned about the Dutch situation for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the Dutch decision to allow Vergennes to negotiate with the British on their behalf. In his Diary JA indicates that he spoke with Vergennes prior to the 20 Jan. signing of the French and Spanish preliminaries: “I asked the C. de Vergennes what was to become of Holland. He smiled and said, that We had nothing to do with that. I answered, with a Smile too, it was very true We had nothing to do with it, but that I interested myself very much, in the Welfare and Safety of that People. He then assumed an affected Air of Seriousness and said he interested himself in it too a good deal” (JA, D&A, 3:106–107). From this Diary entry it appears that JA believed, as the Dutch ultimately did themselves, that Vergennes was subordinating Dutch interests to those of France. JA had no argument with Vergennes' devotion to French interests, but the Diary entry and his comments in later letters, such as that to Livingston of 23 Jan., below, indicate that JA saw the Dutch predicament as an object lesson in what would have happened to the United States if the American Peace Commissioners had followed their instructions to be guided by France in negotiations with Great Britain.
5. More than it deserves.
6. In his letter to AA, JA used nearly the same language regarding his resignation and return home, but at the end he wrote, “if I were to stay in Europe another Year I would insist upon your coming with your daughter but this is not to be and I will come home to you” (AFC, 5:74, 76).
7. In JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0127

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1783-01-23

To Robert R. Livingston

Duplicate

[salute] Sir,

The letters you did me the honor to write me on the 6th. & 18th. of November, are come to hands—
You do me honor, Sir, in applauding the Judgement I have formed, from time to time, of the Court of Britain, and future Ages will give me Credit for the Judgement I have formed of some other Courts. The true designs of a Minister of State are not difficult to be penetrated, by an honest man of common Sense, who is in a situation to know any thing of the Secret of Affairs, and to observe constantly the Chain of public Events; for, whatever ostensible appearances may be put on, whatever Obliquities may be imagined, however the Web may be woven, or the Thread doubled and twisted, enough will be seen to unravel the whole.—
{ 204 }
My opinions, as you observe, sometimes run Counter to those generally received; but the reason of this has generally been, that I have had Evidence earlier than the generality. and I have the satisfaction to find, that others have formed the same judgement, when they have had the same Intelligence. I do not affect Singularity, nor love to be in a minority, tho’ Truth and Justice have sometimes obliged me to be so—1
You say that nothing can be more comformable to your wishes than the Instructions I transmitted. I am not surprized at this. It is very natural— Had I never been on this side the Atlantic, I believe I should have been of your mind in this particular. At present I cannot be— and I believe, by this time, the Dutch regret having given them. You will hear enough of the reason of it— I have lived long enough and had experience enough, of the Conduct of Governments, and People, Nations & Courts, to be convinced, that Gratitude, Friendship unsuspecting Confidence, and all the most amiable passions in human-nature, are the most dangerous Guides in Policies— I assure you, Sir, if we had not been more cautious than the Dutch, we should have been worse off than they, and our Country would have suffured much more—
Mr: Laurens has been here, and has behaved with great Caution, Firmness & Wisdom. He arrived so late, as only to attend the two last days of the Conferences, the 29th & 30: Novemr:— But, for the short time he was with us, he was of great service to the Cause— He has done great Service to America, in England where his Conversation has been such, as the purest & firmest American would wish it, and has made many Converts. He is gone again to Bath, and his Journey will do as much good to his Country, as to his health.— He will return to the Signature of the Definitive Treaty.—
The Ratifications of my Contracts have been received—
The release of Captain Asgyll was so exquisite a Relief to my feelings, that I have not much cared what Interposition it was owing to— It would have been an horrid damp to the joys of Peace, if we had heard a disagreable account of him.
The differences between Denmark & Holland is of no serious nature. The Clue to the whole is, the Queen Dowager is Sister to the Duke of Brunswic— But there is nothing to fear from Denmark.—2
As to the Northern Powers, we have nothing to fear from any of them. All of them & all the Neutral Powers would have acnowledged our Independence before now, by receiving Mr: Dana to sign the Principles of the Armed Neutrality, if he had not been restrained { 205 } from acting. The unlimited Confidence of Congress has been grossly abused, and we should have been irreparably injured, if we had not been upon our Guard— As our Liberties and most important Interests are now secured, as far as they can be against Great Britain, it would be my wish to say as little as possible of the Policy of any Minister of our first Ally—(which has not been as we could desire—) and to retain forever a grateful remembrance of the friendly assistance we have received.— But we have evidence enough to warn us against unlimited Confidence in any European Minister of State.—
I have never drawn on Dr: Franklin for any Money, since the end of my two & an half year's Salary, and he tells me he has made no use of the bills— I had recd. money for my Subsistance of Messrs: Willinks, &, as it will be but a few months more, at farthest, that I shall have to subsist in Europe. I beg leave to proceed to the end in the same way— I shall receive only the amo: of my Salary, & settle the Acco’t: with Congress on my return— I hope to be safely landed on my native shore in the month of June, &, to this end, I beg that an appointment may be made to the Dutch Mission, & the acceptance of my Resignation be transmitted to me by the first Ships.—
With great respect & esteem, I have the honour to / be, Sir, / Your humble servant,
[signed] John Adams.3
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 331–332, 337–338); internal address: “Mr Secretary Livingstone.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. See JA's 22 Jan. letter to Livingston, and note 4, above.
2. That is, Maria Juliana, widow of Frederick V, King of Denmark. Maria Juliana was the sister of Louis Ernst, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, William V's longtime advisor and confidant who was forced to leave the Netherlands in 1784. For JA's comments on the controversy between the States General and the stadholder over Brunswick's continued role, see his 26 June 1781 letter to the president of Congress, and note 3 (vol. 11:394–396). For additional comment by JA on the controversy involving the dowager queen and Brunswick, see vol. 13:422, 424.
3. In JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0128

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-23

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Je remis hier à Mr. Ph. Massey, allant à Paris, un petit paquet, contenant la seconde Médaille de Mr. Holtzhey.1
Vous recevrez aussi, par cet Ordinaire, toute une Cargaison de Lettres arrivées ici pour V. E. d’Amérique, je suppose. J’espere qu’elles vous donneront de bonnes nouvelles de Votre chere famille.
{ 206 }
Mr. De Gr. aoui dire que le fameux Ecrit Aan't Volk, a été traduit en françois.2 Si cela est, & si l’on peut l’avoir à Paris, il voudroit bien, & V. S. aussi, en avoir un exemplaire par occasion, ou quand vous reviendrez.
J’espere de le voir dans une heure d’ici. En attendant, voici ce qui S’est passé ici depuis quelques jours. Nous verrons com̃ent nos Messieurs prendront le radotage.
L’Envoi du Bn. de H. paroît calculé pour rendre, s’il est possible, adieux certain Ministre, qui a trop bien servi son Maître au gré de certaines gens. Ce Mine. me paroît n’avoir rien à craindre d’un Négociateur de cette trempe.3 Je suis avec grand respect, Monsieur, De V. Exce. / le très-humble & très ob. serviteur
[signed] D

Translation

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I gave Mr. Philip Mazzei, who was leaving for Paris, a small parcel containing Mr. Holtzhey's second medal.1
You will also receive, via this mail, a batch of letters that came for your excellency from, I suppose, America. I hope they contain good news of your dear family.
Mr. Gyselaar has heard that the famous Aan't Volk has been translated into French.2 If that is true, and it is available in Paris, he and I, your servant, would like to have a copy now, or whenever you return.
I hope to see him in an hour's time. Meanwhile, this is what has taken place here during the past few days. We shall see how our gentlemen react to this drivel.
The dispatch of the Baron de H. appears calculated, if it is possible, to be rid of a certain minister, who has served his master rather too well for some men's liking. This minister seems to me to have nothing to fear from a negotiator of this stripe.3 I am with great respect, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] D
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams M. P.”
1. Although Dumas spells the name “Massey,” he clearly means “Mazzei.” He had used the same spelling in a letter of 21 Jan. (Adams Papers), which also indicates that Mazzei was to carry the medal, but see Mazzei's letter of 2 Feb., below; and, for the medal, Holtzhey's letter of 23 Dec., above.
2. For Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's 1781 anonymously and incendiary pamphlet, Aan het Volk van Nederland, see vol. 12:6–7. The French translation referred to by Dumas has not been found.
3. “Bn. du H.” may be the person identified in the 7 March Gazette d’Amsterdam as the “Count Heyden de Reynestein,” William V's chamberlain, who had been dispatched on an undisclosed mission to Paris, for which see also Dumas' letter of 15 Feb., and note 3, below. Considering Dumas' previous letters concerning Dutch displeasure with France, the “certain Ministre” may be the Duc de La Vauguyon.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0129

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-23

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I take the Liberty to inform your Excellency that I arrivd here Safe last Friday after having had a tolerable good Journey.
I have seen a Gentleman in this Town twice since my Arrival— He has said nothing in particular to me, but his Reception has been somewhat Cool.—1 if He Continues his Silence, I propose to go, where your Excellency recommended to me.2 but I do it with some Anxiety, being fearful, after what has happened, to bring on myself fresh troubles if you Excellency has therefore any Commands to give me, I beg to have them as soon as possible
Permit me to intreat your Excellency to let me have the Original Letter, which has done so much Mischief— I have examind some that I have by me, and I think I have thereby a clue to discover the Author. if I am right in my present Idea, of Him, Your Excellency has not been mistaken.3
I am with the greatest Respect / Sir / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient / Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. Jenings had returned from Paris where he had been since early Dec. 1782 (JA, D&A, 3:91). His likely purpose for going, at least in part, was to make an effort to resolve his conflict with Henry Laurens. Laurens believed Jenings to be the author of a series of anonymous letters that were intended to divide American diplomats in Europe (vol. 13:63–65). For Jenings' correspondence and meetings with Laurens while at Paris, see Laurens, Papers, 16:294–295, 303–324. The “Gentleman” whom Jenings had seen since his return to Brussels was almost certainly William Lee, whom, according to Edward Bridgen, Jenings had accused of being the author. Laurens wrote to Lee on 21 Dec. 1782 to inform him of the accusation, but he did not name Jenings as the source. In his replies of 24 and 25 Dec., Lee emphatically denied authorship and demanded the name of his accuser. Laurens did not comply with Lee's request in his reply of 8 Jan. 1783, but Lee likely deduced from Laurens' letters that it was Jenings (same, p. 92–93, 125–126, 299).
2. Presumably to London, where Jenings arrived toward the end of February (from Jenings, 14 March, below).
3. That is, the anonymous letter of 3 May 1782, which Jenings had enclosed with his of 6 June 1782. JA believed it to be the work of someone associated with an Amsterdam banking house disappointed at being denied participation in JA's 1782 Dutch loan (vol. 13:98–101).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0130

Author: Rouge, Addenet de Maison
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-24

From Addenet de Maison Rouge

[salute] Monsieur

je me propose d’aller à Versailles dans Le Cours de la semaine prochaine. je Chercherai de nouveau la traduction des Prior Documents que je n’ai point trouvée chés Mr Pissot.1 je m’émpresserai de { 208 } vous La remettre aussitôt que je me la serai procurée. je vous Prie d’être persuadé du desir que j’aurai toujours de Concourir à vos vues; et je m’éstimerai heureux de pouvoir par là meriter votre Confiance.
Je Suis avec un Profond respect / Monsieur / Votre très humble et / très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Addenet D M R

Translation

[salute] Sir

I propose going to Versailles at some point next week. I shall make another search for the translation of “Prior Documents,” which I did not find at Mr. Pissot's.1 I shall hasten to send it to you as soon as I have obtained a copy. I pray that you will be persuaded of the desire that I have always to concur with your views and shall consider myself happy if I can thus deserve your trust.
I am with profound respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Addenet D M R
1. Addenet, who had served JA as a translator, was apparently looking for a French translation of John Almon's A Collection of Interesting, Authentic Papers, Relative to the Dispute between Great Britain and America; Shewing the Causes and Progress of that Misunderstanding, from 1764 to 1775, London, 1777. Usually referred to as “Prior Documents,” it was a supplement to Almon's The Remembrancer, but no translation has been found (vol. 9:412; Catalogue of JA's Library). Pissot was a Paris bookseller from whom JA had bought books in the past (JA, D&A, 2:437).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0131

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-24

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

La maniere subite & imprévue dont on a reçu ici la nouvelle de la signature des Préliminaires par toutes les autres Puissances belligérentes, sans que celui qui tient le plus à coeur ici ait été fixé, a d’abord consterné nos Amis;1 mais après être revenus de leur premiere Surprise, Mr. Van Berkel, à la requisition & Sur les instances de Mr. le Grand-Pensionaire, dans une conférence secrete, a proposé un moyen, Sans doute le plus noble & le plus solide, pour parvenir au but desiré & desirable à tous. Mr. le Gd. Pre. l’a Saisi avec empressement; & l’on est convenu, que Mr. Van Berkel me prieroit de leur part, de consulter Votre Excellence en toute diligence sur ce moyen, que voici:
“Pour accélérer la Négociation de la paix générale, & pour prévenir les discussions ultérieures entre L. H. P. & la Grande Bretagne { 209 } sur le point de la Navigation libre & illimitée, on demande à Mr. Adams, s’il se trouve assez autorisé de la part du Congrès, pour accéder au Traité de la Neutralité armée déjà conclu entre quelques Puissances belligérentes de l’Europe, ou pour entrer dans une pareille Négociation avec l’Espagne, la France, & les Pays-Bas Unis?
“Dans l’un & l’autre cas, L. H. Puissances pourroient faire la même proposition à la France & à l’Espagne, afin de prévenir les discussions sur le point de la Liberté des mers, qui pourroient arrêter la paix générale; & pour mettre la République en état de faire sa paix avec la Grande-Bretagne, qui pourroit être retardée par des difficultés que pourroient rencontrer des stipulations particulieres, ou des arrangemens à faire avec l’Angleterre sur ce point.”
“Le Traité définitif entre l’Angleterre & la République pourroit alors se faire sous la Réserve du Droit primitif de toutes les Nations, qui se trouvent dans l’exercice de ce Droit, à moins qu’ils ne s’en soient départis par des Traités particuliers au sujet de Contrebandes reconnues pour telles par les Contractants respectifs.”2
“Mr. Adams est prié instam̃ent, de communiquer ses idées sur ce point le plutôt possible, & d’y ajouter ses réflexions sur les moyens d’avancer une telle Négociation & d’acheminer la paix générale.3 Car il paroît, qu’en attendant, la république pourroit accéder à l’Armistice, qui devra résulter de la signature des préliminaires de paix entre les autres Puissances belligerentes, & traiter avec l’Angleterre sur tous les autres points en question.”
Vous êtes le Maître, Monsieur, Si vous le jugez à propos, de conférer aussi là-dessus ministériellement avec Mr. Brantzen.
Il ne me reste plus, que de vous présenter les complimens & tout ce qui se peut penser de plus cordial de la part de Mr. Van Berkel qui vient de me quitter, pour me laisser écrire tout ce que dessus. Je Suis avec un très grand respect, Monsieur, De Votre Excellence / le très humble & très obeissant / serviteur
[signed] C W. f. Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

The sudden and unexpected news that the preliminaries had been signed by all the other belligerent powers, but without the point deemed here most essential having been settled, initially alarmed our friends.1 But after they had recovered from their surprise, Mr. Van Berckel, at the request and urging of the grand pensionary and in a secret meeting, proposed a means, doubtless the noblest and most solid, by which to attain an end desired by and desirable to all. The grand pensionary embraced it { 210 } eagerly, and it was agreed that Mr. Van Berckel would ask me to consult your excellency with all possible speed on their behalf. Here is the text of the proposal:
“To hasten the negotiation of a general peace, and to avoid further discussions between their High Mightinesses and Great Britain on the matter of free and unlimited navigation, we ask Mr. Adams if he is authorized by Congress to accede to the Treaty of Armed Neutrality already concluded between some European belligerent powers, or to enter into a parallel negotiation with Spain, France, and the Netherlands?
“In either case, their High Mightinesses could make the same proposal to France and Spain in order to forestall discussions on the point of freedom of the seas, which would impede the general peace; and place the republic in the position of making its peace with Great Britain, which would be delayed by difficulties that would be encountered from the particular stipulations or arrangements to be made with England on this point.
“The definitive treaty between England and the Republic could then be made contingent upon the customary law of all nations that find through the exercise of this law the means to depart from it by particular treaties on the subject of contraband goods recognized as such by the respective contracting parties.2
“Mr. Adams is asked to communicate his ideas on this point as soon as possible; and also his thoughts on how best to further such a negotiation and bring about a general peace.3 For it seems that in the meantime the Republic could accede to the Armistice, which must necessarily result from the signature of preliminary peace accords between the other belligerent powers, and treat with England on all the other points in question.”
You are at liberty, sir, if you judge it appropriate, to confer on the matter, ministerially, with Mr. Brantsen.
The only remaining task is to present the compliments and most cordial sentiments of Mr. Van Berckel, who has just left me, so that I could write the above. I am with great respect, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] C. W. f. Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams Min. Plenipo: des Etats- / Unis.”
1. That is, Great Britain's 20 Jan. signing of preliminary treaties with France and Spain but not the Netherlands. Despite the lack of a preliminary Anglo-Dutch treaty, which would not be signed until Sept. 1783, the Dutch were included under the terms of the armistice concluded on 20 Jan., for which see the British and American proclamations of 14 and 20 Feb., respectively, both below. For the signing of the preliminaries, the armistice, and JA's comments on the status of Anglo-Dutch peace negotiations, see his 22 Jan. letter to Robert R. Livingston, above. For the increasingly bitter reaction of Dumas’ Dutch friends toward France, the Comte de Vergennes, and even the Duc de La Vauguyon for failing to support the Netherlands in peace negotiations with Great Britain and thereby precluding it from signing a preliminary treaty at the same time as the other belligerents, see Dumas’ letters of 28 and 30 Jan. and 4 Feb., all below.
2. The third and fourth instructions to the Dutch peace negotiators required them to obtain from Britain an unequivocal acknowledgment of the right of the Netherlands to { 211 } base its neutrality on the terms of Catherine II's 28 Feb. 1780 Declaration of Armed Neutrality and assurances that Britain would no longer consider naval stores to be contraband (vol. 13:246–247). In offering this proposal, Van Berckel, the grand pensionary, and the others involved recognized that Great Britain would never agree to a treaty incorporating the substance of those instructions. Therefore, in their proposal to JA, the Dutch sought to finesse their way around the instructions by having all of the belligerents except Britain formally accede by treaty to the principles of the Armed Neutrality, including the exclusion of naval stores from list of goods considered contraband. The treaty would be part of the stipulative law of nations rather than the customary law of nations that Britain adhered to insofar as the rights of neutrals and contraband were concerned. By doing so, the Dutch could save face by claiming that, with the sole exception of Britain, the principles of the Armed Neutrality had become the universal law of all nations and therefore the principal objectives of their war with Great Britain had been achieved. For the difference between the conventional or stipulative law of nations and the customary law, see Emmerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations; or, the Principles of Natural Law, London, 1759–1760, introduction, sects. 24–25.
3. For the response of JA and his fellow peace commissioners, see his reply of 29 Jan., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Storer, Ebenezer
Date: 1783-01-25

To Ebenezer Storer

[salute] Sir

Your Favour of 23 of December was brought to me this morning, and I have delivered the Letter inclosed to your son who is Still with me1
His Company has been usefull to me, and his Behaviour universally discreet and agreable, to Such a degree, that I have withheld from him few of the secrets of the whole Negotiation of the Peace of 1783, a distinction for a young Gentleman of his Age which may hereafter be considered as a great Thing.— It has been a Lesson I assure you, and I believe he will never forget it,—I am Sure he ought not.
Before this arrives you will have learn'd the Terms of Peace, and We have a Thousand Reasons, to be thankfull that they have been so favourable which the Public will not be soon informed of. they will See enough however I, hope to be content. My best Respects to Mrs Storer and ask her whether She could consent that Mr storer Should leave her and wander about the World for Eight Years in quest of Deerskins, Pine Trees & Cod Fish?
With great Esteem
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Ebenezer Storer Esq.” APM Reel 108.
1. Neither Ebenezer Storer's 23 Dec. 1782 letter to JA nor that to his son Charles Storer has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0133

Author: Brush, Eliphalet
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-25

From Eliphalet Brush

[salute] Sir

I had the honor of writing you Some time ago Requesting a pasport for a Vessel I have here, on a Supposition that peace was near at hand, but was not favour'd with your answer, which made me Suppose my Letter mis-carried.—1 The Confirmation of a Suspension of Arms, induces me to Request you wou'd do me the favour, to procure me as soon as possible, proper Certificates for the brig Minerva Capt. Hallet, for Philadelphia, in order that she may go Unmolested.
Shou'd you incline to Send any packits of Letters by this Conveyence, you have only to send them to me here, & I shall not fail forwarding them.
You’l oblige me much to give me a Line by Return of post, if what I request is practicable
I have the honor to be with Great / Esteem / sir / Your Most Obt / Humbl servant
[signed] E. Brush
1. Of 8 Dec. 1782, above. No reply has been found to that letter or this one.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0134

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-26

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

The post of this day has brôt me your favour of the 22d. ulto: in which you acknowledge the receipt of mine of the 14/25 of Novr:. I have since written to you upon the 8th & 30th. of Dec r:1 & 2/13 inst: as also to the Commissioners upon the third in answer to their joint letter—2 In the first place let me thank the Dr. & you for the ready manner in which you have consented to my proposition— You say my treaty may now be made as soon as I please. I shou'd rejoice most sincerely if that was the truth of fact. Besides what is said in my letter to the Commissioners, you are acquainted with the positive nature of my last Instructions, and know that I cannot move till I am advised to do so. There are in my opinion no plausible pretences to countenance a refusal at this time. It wou'd mark so strong a partiality as wou'd throw all the dishonour of it upon Her Imperial Majesty. Yet things are so strangely conducted here, that I { 213 } cannot take upon me to say with certainty, what wou'd be the effect of an immediate communication. You will readily agree that, all things considered, it wou'd be taking too much upon myself to make it. The Ministry here are well enô informed of my business. yet they preserve a most profound reserve. Which, I think, is as impolitic as profound: Do you ask me Do they not see and feel that America is Independant? That they must soon speak it out? Will they wait till the moment shall arrive when the United States will not thank them for doing so? Will they suffer all the other Neutral Powers to take the step of their Sovereign in a measure in wh: she might lead them with so much glory to Herself? Yes my friend, I believe, all these questions may be answered in the affirmative. Do you ask how is this to be accounted for. I can say in general, they are looking for glory towards the East only; when they might find no inconsiderable portion of it in the West.
I have long been persuaded of the friendly sentiments of the Sovereign you name.3 The measure he has taken redounds much to his honour, and is a new proof of his wisdom.
Why have you been totally silent about your Son? Have you heard from him on his route? I have had no letter from him since that of the 13th. of Decr: from Stockholm. Four posts from thence are due here. I presume he must have arrived in Holland. Adieu my Dear Sir, / Your's affectionately
[signed] F DANA
P.S. Give me the earliest possible intelligence when the point is settled—Peace or War. You may in such case address directly to my bankers. wh: will save time.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Exy. Mr. J Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c” endorsed: “Mr Dana / Jan. 15. asnd Feb. 22 / 1783.” Filmed at 15 January.
1. That is, [19 Dec. 1782] and [10 Jan. 1783], both above.
3. The king of Sweden; see JA's letter of 22 Dec., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0135

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1783-01-28

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir,

I am happy to find by your favor of the 23d. that You are safely arrived after a good Journey.
It is best I believe that nothing should be said between You two about the Affair in which both have been perfectly innocent. If You { 214 } go I wish You a good Journey, but cannot warrant You against fresh troubles—for neither the Innocence nor Virtue of Angels would be a Security against them in a World, which abounds with so many mischievous Spirits.
Your own Sentiments are so just & so well reasoned upon public Affairs, that You can go no where without doing good, & it would be ridiculous in me to advise You.
The whole System of my Politicks is summarily comprehended in your own Precept vizt. “Make & keep Independence independent”— Every Step to that End is a wise one, & every Appearance to the contrary is Mischief—
I can answer for myself, & I believe for many others— For myself, I have hitherto lived an independant Man, and it is my intention to die so.—
The Paper You ask for, if it is in being, is many hundreds of Miles from me, & cannot be come at but by myself—
I congratulate You upon the Signature of the Preliminaries and the Armistice on the 20th. You may insert these three Commissions in the English Papers or Remembrancer as soon as You please—1 Dr. Franklin has written a fresh Resignation to Congress, as his Son tells me.2
With great Esteem & Affection, I have the honor &c
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Jenings.” APM Reel 108.
1. The commissions sent to Jenings almost certainly included that of 29 Sept. 1779 authorizing JA to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty, since revoked on 12 July 1781. The commission and the resolution revoking it appeared in the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 11 March and later in part 1 of John Almon's Remembrancer for 1783, p. 315. See also Jenings’ letter of 14 March and Henry Laurens’ of 26 March, both below. The other two commissions cannot be identified precisely but were probably JA's original commission of 29 Sept. 1779 to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty and that of [29 Dec. 1780] to negotiate a Dutch-American commercial treaty (vol. 8:185, cal.; 10:449). It almost certainly did not include the 15 June 1781 joint commission to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty (vol. 11:371–374), which the commissioners had exchanged with their British counterparts and which in company with Richard Oswald's commission appeared in various London newspapers, including the London Chronicle of 25–27 February.
2. Presumably JA means Franklin's grandson William Temple Franklin. No January letter from Franklin to Congress renewing his request to resign has been found, but see the last paragraph of that to Robert R. Livingston that was begun on 5 Dec. 1782 and finished on the 14th (Franklin, Papers, 38:410–417).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0136

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vauguyon, the Duc de La
Date: 1783-01-28

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Monsieur le Duc,

I had, the day before yesterday, the pleasure of receiving the letters your Excellency did me the honor to write me on the 12th, from Versailles, & on the 21st. from the Hague—1 Mr: Jay's letters, inclosed, I delivered to him yesterday—
I should have been very happy in the honor of the Conversation your Excellency intended with me before your departure. I hope to have the satisfaction of meeting you again, sometime or other; but, at present, cannot foresee when or where— But, whether this is intended for me or not, I shall carry with me, wherever I go, the highest respect & esteem for your public & private Character, and a pleasing Remembrance of those Scenes, in which I have had the honor to live & act with you at the Hague—
I have the honor to be, Your Excellency's / Most Obedt. humle: Servt. &c
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Ambassador of France. / At the Hague—” APM Reel 108.
1. In this letter of 21 Jan. (Adams Papers), La Vauguyon indicates that he was sending a packet addressed to JA that he had found on his return to The Hague. No letters to “Mr: Jay”—whether it was to John or James is unclear—are mentioned, indicating that they may have been enclosed in the packet.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0137

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-28

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Mr.

Vous aurez reçu aujourd’hui, par un Courier de Mr. l’Amb. de fce. parti Samedi 24e2 après dîner ma Lettre du 24e., qui est de la derniere importance pour ceux de la part de qui je l’ai écrite, & sur laquelle ils languissent de recevoir votre réponse, parce que l’effet qu’ils s’en promettent est seul capable, à leurs yeux, de réparer l’énorme & impardonnable faute (c’est l’expression adoucie de leur sentiment) que l’on a faite en les abandonnant, sacrifiant, trompant & jouant. (Voilà com̃e ils parlent à Mr. l’Ambr. même, qui voudroit qu’ils entamassent cette même négociation en 1ere. instance avec le Minere. de fce., & en promet en ce cas la réussite desirée; ce qu’ils refusent tout plat.)3 Il m’a dit, & à eux aussi, qu’il croyoit que vous ne feriez point difficulté de prendre cela sur vous, mais que Mrs vos Collegues, & notam̃ent Mr. F——n,4 probablement s’y opposeroient. { 216 } Ils lui ont répondu, que ne voyant aucune raison pourquoi Mr. F—— s’opposeroit à ce que cette mesure fût prise conjointemt. avec les 3 puissces. belligérentes, plutôt que d’en laisser l’avancemt ou le retardemt à la fantaisie d’une seule, ils regarderoit certainement cette opposition com̃e l’effet de l’influence de Mr. le C. de V. sur Mr. F——n, qu’alors il seroit inutile de s’adresser davantage à eux pour aucunes négociations quelconques, & qu’en ce cas Son Exce. pourroit à l’avenir se contenter de s’adresser à L. h. p. sans exiger que leurs personnes & villes fussent plus longtemps compromises & Cernées.
J’ai cru, M, dans une affre. si grave, devoir vous rendre compte explicitement de toutes les circonstances. J’ajouterai, que la Nation est outrée du dernier procédé de la fce., & que M. De V—— acheveroit de perdre toute sa confiance, s’il intriguoit pour traverser cette mesure, qu’ils proposent, avec une parfaite confiance en votre candeur & en vos dispositions
Samedi 25 au Soir, j’allai com̃uniquer à Mr. le Gd. Pre. la copie de ma Lre. du 24 que voici; & il l’approuva.
Hier 27. J’allai aussi lui lire in extenso la copie des Prelimes. dont vous m’avez favorisé & puis aux autres amis. Personne n’en aura copie jusqu’à ce que vous me le permettrez5
Mr. Gyzr. que j’ai vu ce matin, & Mrs. V. B. & Vr. avec qui je soupai hier, m’ont chargé de leurs meillrs. comps. pr. V. E.

Translation

[salute] Sir

You will have received today, by the French ambassador's courier, who departed after dinner on Saturday the 24th,2 my letter of the 24th. It is of the utmost importance for those on whose behalf I wrote it and who impatiently await your reply, because in their eyes it alone can produce an effect capable of repairing the enormous and unforgivable wrong (that is a polite term for their feelings) that has been committed in abandoning, sacrificing, deceiving, and abusing them. (That is how they speak to the ambassador himself, who would like them to take up the same negotiation directly with the French ministry and promises in that case the desired result; but this they flatly refuse to do.)3 He told me, and them also, that he thought you would have no objection to assuming this task, but that your colleagues, notably Mr. Franklin,4 would probably oppose it. They replied that they saw no reason why Mr. Franklin would be opposed to this measure being taken jointly with the three belligerent powers rather than leaving its advancement or delay to the caprice of one only—that they would certainly regard such opposition as the result of the Comte de { 217 } Vergennes’ influence on Mr. Franklin. They added that it then would be useless to solicit them further for any negotiations, and in that case his excellency himself might in the future approach their High Mightinesses directly, without any longer requiring the involvement of their people and cities.
I thought, sir, that in so grave a matter, I should give you an explicit account of all the circumstances. I shall further state that the nation is outraged by France's latest maneuver, and that the Comte de Vergennes would completely destroy all remaining trust if he conspired to thwart the measure they propose. They seem to have complete confidence in your candor and inclinations.
On Saturday evening, the 25th, I went to show the grand pensionary a copy of my letter of the 24th, which he approved.
Yesterday, the 27th, I visited the grand pensionary again to read him in full the copy of the preliminaries with which you have favored me, and afterward to our other friends. No one shall have a copy until you give permission.5
Mr. Gyselaar, whom I saw this morning, and Mr. Van Berckel and Mr. Visscher, with whom I dined last night, begged me to present their best compliments to your excellency.
FC (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 486–487); internal address: “Paris à S. E. Mr. Adams.” FC (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 222–223).
1. Dumas refers to this letter in his of 30 Jan., below, but the absence of a recipient's copy in the Adams Papers and JA's failure to mention it in any of his later letters to Dumas may indicate that he never received it.
The file copy in the PCC is one of eighteen letters to various people, including JA, the Duc de La Vauguyon, Henry Laurens, and Benjamin Franklin, that Dumas copied from his letterbook and sent to Livingston enclosed with his letter of 20 March 1783 (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 220–266, 291–296). Dumas informed Livingston that he wanted to provide Congress with a just idea of the state of things and, at the same time, a sample of his activities and daily correspondence. Dumas likely also intended to emphasize the increased workload resulting from his assumption of the duties of chargé d’affaires in JA's absence and thus Congress’ need to more adequately compensate him. See Dumas’ letter of 8 Nov., note 1, above.
2. This is an inadvertance by Dumas that he corrected in the copy sent to Congress. Saturday was not 24 but 25 Jan., for which see the letter's third from last paragraph.
3. A closing parenthesis has been editorially supplied.
4. Dumas removed all references to Franklin from the copy sent to Congress.
5. See JA's letter of 19 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0138

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-01-29

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir,

Upon receiving the letter you did me the honor to write me on the 24th. late last evening, I went immediately to consult with my Colleague, Mr: Jay—and we agreed to go this morning to Dr: Franklin. Accordingly we went today to Passy & communicated your letter to him & after recollecting the Powers we have received, we all { 218 } agreed that I should make you the following answer—
You will readily recollect the Resolutions of Congress which I did myself the honor, two years ago, to communicate to the President of their High-Mightinesses, & to the Ministers of Russia, Sweden & Denmark, at the Hague. The letter to the President was sent “au Greffe”—and there may perhaps be now found. These Resolutions contained the approbation of Congress of the Principles of the Declaration of the Empress of Russia, and authorised any of the American Ministers in Europe, if invited thereto, to pledge the faith of the United-States to the observance of them—1
Sometime after this, Congress sent Mr: Dana a Commission, with full power, to accede to the Principles of the Marine Treaty between the Neutral Powers; and he is now at Petersburg, vested with those Powers; and, according to late Intelligence from him, has wellfounded Expectations of being soon admitted—2
It is the opinion of my Colleagues as well as my own, that no Commission of mine, to their High-Mightinesses, contains authority to negotiate this business, and we are all of opinion, that it is most proper that Mr: Dana should negotiate it—
But, as there has been no express revocation of the Power, given to all or any of us, by the first Resolutions, and, if the Case should happen that Mr: Dana could not attend in Season, on account of the Distance, for the sake of accelerating the Signature of the Definitive Treaty of Peace We should not hesitate to pledge the faith of the United-States to the observance of the Principles of the Armed-Neutrality— I wish it were in my power to give you a more satisfactory answer, but Candor will warrant no other—3
With great respect to the Gentlemen, as well as to you, I have the honor to be, Sir, / Your humle: Servt.
[signed] John Adams.
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PHC: Charles Roberts Autographs Coll.); internal address: “Mr: C: W: F: Dumas.” endorsed: “Paris 29e. Janv. 1783 / S. E. Mr. J. Adams / 29e reçue par Courier de Mr. l’Ambr. / de Fce. la 1er. Fevr. <au matin> vers midi / rep. le 4 fevr.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. For JA's memorial to the States General of 8 March 1781, which Dumas presented to its president on the 10th, see vol. 11:185; and for his letters of the same date to the diplomatic representatives of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as to the pensionaries of Amsterdam, see same, p. 182–184. JA's letters proposed that the United States accede to the principles of the Armed Neutrality under the terms of Congress’ resolution of 5 Oct. 1780 (JCC, 18:905–906). JA's 1780 initiative came to nothing because the United States was then a belligerent and not recognized by any of the members of the Armed Neutrality, including the Netherlands. JA apparently assumed that since the memorial was sent “au Greffe” or “to the secretary,” it could be found in the office of Hendrik Fagel, the secretary of the States General.
2. Francis Dana's commission empowering { 219 } him to act as indicated here was of 19 Dec. 1780 (JCC, 18:1166–1168).
3. Though JA does not mention it in any of his correspondence for this period, he and Benjamin Franklin apparently met with Dutch negotiators Gerard Brantsen and Mattheus Lestevenon van Berkenrode at JA's residence and conveyed to them the information contained in this letter. The meeting was likely the result of Dumas’ 24 Jan. letter authorizing JA to confer “ministerially” on the subject, above, and is described in JA's 7 July letter to Robert R. Livingston (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:518).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0139

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, Mercy Otis
Date: 1783-01-29

To Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Madam

Your Favour of the 25 of October never reached me till to day, but it has given me great Pleasure as your Letters always do.— I was disappointed however in finding no Line from Mr Warren except the Superscription of yours.1
I assure you, Madam, what I Said about certain Annals was no Sarcasm. I have the Utmost Veneration for them, although I never was honoured with a Sight of any of them.2
Let me intreat you not to reserve any Place in them for the Dutch Negotiation, if you intend to celebrate my Patience, of all Virtues or Qualities I hate Most to be praised for my Patience. I had rather you Should immortalize my Impudence, for I rather think it was this quality, than the other which produced the Effect in Holland.— I entered into the Seven United Provinces with as much Impudence, as I should have appeared in the 13 United States of America. As Johnny Morehead Said to Mr Bollan. “Mr Such an one used, Sir, to come into my House with as much Impudence, as you would come into your own.[”]3 If the Word Shocks you Madam call it modest Assurance, or honest Boldness, or almost what you will except Patience.
The Times, Madam have made a Strange Being of me. I shall appear a Domestic Animal, never at home, a bashfull Creature, braving the Fronts of the greatest ones of the Earth.—a timid Man, venturing on a long Series of the greatest dangers.—an irritable fiery Mortal, enduring every Provocation and Disgust—a delicate Valeludinarian4 bearing the greatest Hardships.—an humble Farmer, despising Pomp, shew Power and Weath, as profuse as a Prodigal and as Proud as Cæsar— But an honest Man in all and to the Death.—
Alass! who would wish for Such a Character? Who would wish to live in Times and Circumstances when to be an honest Man, one must be all the rest.? Not I.— it can never be the Duty of one Man { 220 } to be concerned in more than one Revolution. And therefore I will never have any Thing to do with another.
But to be more to the Purpose—I Sincerely hope my Friend Mr Warren will go to Congress. I am astonished to learn that at a Time when a large Portion of the Massachusetts was at Stake and in question, and all their Fisheries there should be, but one Member attending the Great Wheel from that State.
I have never had an Opportunity, Madam, to see your Son since he has been in Europe, but once or twice at Amsterdam, and that before I had an House there. He has been travelling from Place to Place; and altho’ I have often enquired after him, I have seldom been able to hear of him. I have heard nothing to his disadvantage; except a Shyness and Secrecy, which, as it is uncommon in young Gentlemen of his Age and Education is the more remarked, and a general Reputation which he brought with him from Boston of loving Play. But I have not been able to learn, that he has indulged it improperly in Europe. But my Advice to him and every young American is and uniformly will be, to stay in Europe but a little while.5
The Reflection, Mrs Warren, that We are now at Peace after the Contest of one and twenty years, which you and I have been witnesses of, is Sweet indeed.— Those Qualities which through the Course of that Period have attracted the Attention and Confidence of the People, will now be little regarded, content, They have answered their End, and may now be laid aside.— Yet it is too Soon for Mr Warren or me to retire— Stability and Dignity must be given to the Laws, or our Labours have all been in vain and the old Hands must do this or it will not be done.
I hope to have the Pleasure of renewing old Acquaintances e’er long, and of being no stranger at the Blue Hills.
There is but one Case in which it is possible that I should Stay in Europe another year, and that is that Congress should renew the Commission with which I came out to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, in that Case I should hope my Dr Mrs Adams would come to me. But there is not I think the least Probability of that, nor indeed do I desire it.6 The first and strongest Wish of my Heart is to go home to my Family.— But in all Events The Mountain shall come to Mahomet or Mahomet shall go to the Mountain. My Family shall come to me or I will go to them.
With the greatest Esteem and Respect, Madam, / I have the Honour to be, your Fred, & sert
[signed] John Adams—
{ 221 }
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); internal address: “Mrs Warren.” endorsed: “J Adams Esqr. / Jany 29th 1783 / Paris—” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. For Mercy Otis Warren's letter, see vol. 13:541–544. James Warren wrote on 1 Nov., above, but the dispatch of his letter was delayed and it apparently did not reach JA until early April. For the letter's arrival and its effect, see note 1 to Warren's 1 Nov. letter and JA's reply of 9 April, and note 2, below.
2. This reference is to Mercy Warren's comment regarding JA's letter to James Warren of 17 June 1782 (vol. 13:127–128). There JA speculates about how his negotiations in the Netherlands would be treated in her proposed history of the Revolution, but see note 2 to her letter of 25 October (same, p. 543).
3. This exchange was probably between Rev. John Moorehead, minister of the Presbyterian Church in Long Lane, Boston, who was noted for his irascibility, and William Bollan, one-time Massachusetts agent in London and former owner of the Brattle Square house that JA purchased in 1768 (Warren-Adams Letters, 2:188; JA, D&A, 3:286–287). The origin of this anecdote is unknown, but for another concerning Moorehead, see JA, D&A, 2:65.
4. JA likely meant “valetudinarian,” and John Thaxter changed it to such in the Letterbook. The word refers to a person in ill health, particularly one who is preoccupied with his complaints (OED).
5. When Winslow Warren visited JA at Amsterdam in April 1781, JA had recommended him to Edmund Jenings (vol. 11:296). For Warren's adventures since his departure from America in the summer of 1780, including his capture on his voyage to Europe and 1781 arrest in London in the aftermath of John André's execution, see vols. 9:289; 11:75–76; AFC, 3:359–360.
In the recipient's copy, this paragraph is heavily canceled and for the most part unreadable. The text here is provided from the Letterbook, where the corresponding paragraph is not canceled. The cancellation of the text in the recipient's copy was most likely done by Mercy Warren, as it is very unlikely that JA would send a letter with a heavily canceled passage to anyone, much less a friend. Mercy Warren's motive in canceling the passage may have been to remove the perceived criticism in JA's references to her son's “Shyness and Secrecy” and reputation for “loving Play.”
6. Compare JA's comment here on the possibility that he would remain in Europe with that in his letter to AA of this date (AFC, 5:82–83).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0140

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-30

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Les Lettres que j’ai eu l’honneur de vous écrire Vendredi 24 & mardi 28e. ne sont que l’Expression la plus fidele des sentimens de nos Républicains. Je n’y ai rien mis du mien: au contraire, j’ai adouci tant que j’ai pu. Si l’on ne trouve à racom̃oder la chose de la maniere que je l’ai proposée, c’en est fait pour toujours du Crédit ici de la Fce. Voici la Copie promise de la Lettre; & d’une autre de la même main, reçue ce matin.1 La Fce. & nos Republicains, depuis tous ces jours, Sont l’objet des Sarcasmes, & des railleries ameres des malintentionnés; & nos Republicains, sans avoir NB. perdu courage vis-à-vis de leurs Antagonistes internes, sont outrés, & n’ont plus aucune confiance en ce qui leur est dit Ministériellement de la part de la Fce., pour colorer ce qui vient de se passer, ou pour leur faire faire quelque démarche ultérieure.— Ils plaignent { 222 } personnellement Mr. le D. de la V., & disent que Mr. le C. de V. le sacrifie, & lui fait perdre d’un coup de plume tout le fruit de ses sages, infatigables & brillants travaux ici. Du reste ils déclarent, qu’ils ne veulent être dominés, ou influés, ou menés à la lisiere, ni par l’Angleterre ni par la Fce.; & que, quoiqu’on leur propose de la part de la Fce., ils ne le porteront plus devant leurs Villes, que moyennant des sûretés suffisantes en poche. Si vous pouvez faire réussir, Monsieur, ce que j’ai proposé, je crois que ce sera une opération politique importante, un coup de partie pour l’honneur & l’avantage des Etats-Unis, parce qu’elle établira leur crédit, leur dignité & leur gloire ici pour toujours. Votre Jugement & profonde pénétratrion, Monsieur, n’a pas besoin que j’entre dans de plus longs raisonnemens là-dessus. Il suffit que cette affaire sera également avantageuse à tous, puisque tous y participeront & se l’assûreront.
Mr. le Comte de Llano m’a fait prier ce matin de lui com̃uniquer les Préliminaires dont Mr. l’Ambr. lui a dit que j’avois copie.2 Mais il s’est contenté de mes raisons pour ne pouvoir lui donner qu’une idée verbale des dits Préliminaires. J’ai cru pouvoir & devoir faire le même plaisir à Mr. D’Asp.
Voici quelques Lettres arrivées pour V. E.,3 avec les respects de ma famille. Vous connaissez toute la vérité de celui avec lequel je suis / Monsieur, De Votre Excellence / le très humble & trèsobeissant / serviteur,
[signed] C W. f. Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

The letters I had the honor of writing to you on Friday the 24th and Tuesday the 28th are simply a faithful expression of our republicans’ feelings. I added nothing of my own; to the contrary, I toned it down as much as I could. If the matter cannot be patched up in the manner I propose, any credibility that France enjoys here is doomed forever. Here is the promised copy of the letter and of another in the same hand, received this morning.1 In recent days France and our republicans have been the object of sarcasm and galling humor from the ill-intentioned, and while our republicans have not lost courage in confrontations with their domestic opponents, they are outraged and no longer have any confidence in what is said ministerially by France, whether it be to gloss over what has just taken place or to induce them to undertake some further step. They feel sorry for the Duc de La Vauguyon and say that the Comte de Vergennes is sacrificing him, causing him to lose with a single pen stroke all the fruits of his wise, tireless, and brilliant work here. Moreover, they declare that they are unwilling to be dominated, influenced, or led about by either England or { 223 } France and that, whatever proposals France may make, they will no longer place them before their towns unless they possess sufficient guarantees. If, sir, you can bring about what I suggested, I think it will be a major political achievement, a major coup for the honor and advantage of the United States, because it here will establish forever their credibility, dignity, and glory. Your judgment and deep understanding have no need of further arguments. It is enough that this matter will be equally advantageous to all, since all will take part in it and guarantee it.
The Conde de Llano begged me this morning to show him the preliminary accords, of which the ambassador told him I had a copy.2 But he was satisfied with my reasons for only being able to give him an oral account of the said preliminaries. I thought I could and should pay Mr. Asp the same courtesy.
Here are some letters that arrived for your excellency,3 together with the respects of my family. You know the truth of those with which I am, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] C W. f. Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams, Esqr. Min. Pl. des Et. Un.”
1. The author of the enclosed letters has not been identified nor have the enclosures themselves been found, but for their content, see JA's reply of 5 Feb., below.
2. That is, the Spanish minister, the Conde de Llano, had been told of Dumas’ copy by the Duc de La Vauguyon.
3. JA indicates in his 5 Feb. reply to Dumas, below, that this letter had arrived on the evening of 4 February. This likely means that one of the enclosed letters was Francis Dana's of [10 Jan.], above, which JA said arrived the previous evening, when he replied to Dana on 5 February.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0141

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-30

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We congratulate Your Excellency on the happÿ conclusion of Peace wishing all possible advantage to America whch. can proceed of so fortunate an event.
in the beginning of this month we had the honour to hand to your Excellencÿ the abstract of His acct. Currt. the ballance of whch. in our favour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ƒ 4787:11:8.
we transferred in new acct. Your Excellency did hitherto not acknowledge to us the receipt of the Same, So we pray you to mention us, if the Same is received and Noted in Conformity with you.1
Messrs. Van den Yver freres & Compe: have drawn on us the ammount of £[₶]4800—payed to Your Excellency according to their Letter of 20 Inst.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ƒ 2319: 15—2
we have also charged to your Excellency acct. we shall however be obliged to you to get us regularlÿ advised of the Sums you are pleased to dispose by Said Gentlemen.
{ 224 }
As we are to remit the acct. Currt. to his Excellency Robt. Morris Esqr. we shall be thank full to your Excellency for an order to the Houses. for the amount of your acct. to Inclose it in Said acct. Currt. of the United States.
We have forwarded your Excellencÿ's letter to Messs. Adams by the Firebrand Capn. Phoenix Frazier bound to Boston & have recommanded to said Captain to have proper care of the same he is ready to sail by the first fair wind.3
We have the honour to remain with respect full Consideration / Sir / Your Excellencys Most / Humble & Obedient Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr.”
1. Neither the current account nor the means by which JA received it have been found, but see his reply of 5 Feb., below.
2. See JA's reply of 5 Feb., below.
3. See the postscript signed by the Willinks to the loan consortium's letter of 9 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0142

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-31

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

After I had closed my last to you acknowledging the receipt of your's of the 22d. of Decr:, my Bankers advised me of the new Credit Mr: Grand had desired them to place to my account. I found it to amount to Dr: Franklin's Moiety of the sum necessary, only. From your letter I was lead to expect that Mr: Grand wou'd have given me a credit here for the whole sum.1 I desired my Bankers to intimate something of this kind to Mr: Grand, & to desire him to speak to the Dr: & you about it. If the other Moiety shou'd be wanted before I can receive any answer upon the subject, I see no other way than to draw upon your bank for it. It is an expence indispensable. Such is the manner of conducting affairs in this Court.
We are still uncertain as to the state of the negotiations of the other belligerant Powers. You have not given me the least clue by which I might discover your own sentiments about them. Every thing with us here depends upon their favourable issue. Nay more, in my opinion, whether we shall have a general war in Europe, depends upon it also: or in other words, the former may depend upon the latter. For judge you, if this is foreseen, whether it is for the Interest of all the belligerant Powers to terminate the present War.
I shall hope for the earliest intelligence from you when the Treaty { 225 } spoken of in your last, shall be concluded— I wish you had explained yourself upon the following passage in that letter “I shou'd not be surprised, if the English Minister to the Empress shou'd negotiate for you.” Perhaps the Turkish War, and its probable effects upon the political systems, may not have been taken into your calculation of events. Or perhaps your particular negotiations may have afforded some special light upon this matter. I want in this moment some parts of that curious history relative to our preliminaries. I have made some conjectures about it which I may communicate hereafter. I will say only at present that such a policy of the British Ministry as you hint at in the above citation, wou'd not perhaps be the worst they can adopt in the present Circumstances.
I have no news from your Son, since my last. If you shou'd see Mr: Allen pray tell him, or otherwise desire Mr: Thaxter to tell him I think it wou'd not be advisable for him to come on here yet a while.2
I am, my dear Sir, your much obliged friend & obedient hb̃le Servt.
[signed] F D
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J. Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c” endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dana / 20. Jany. 1783.” Filmed at 20 January.
1. Dana's last letter was that of [26 Jan.], above. In his letter of 25 Nov. 1782, above, he stated that he needed between £2,300 and £2,500 sterling to cover the expense of negotiating a Russian-American treaty. In this letter Dana is apparently saying that Benjamin Franklin, through Ferdinand Grand, had sent only half the required amount. The records indicate that Grand, on 14 Jan. at the behest of Franklin, provided Dana with a £2,500 credit at St. Petersburg (DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 147, 161).
2. Presumably Jeremiah Allen, but he did not take Dana's advice (from Dana, [10 Jan.], note 3, above). For Allen's arrival at Riga in late May and his September sailing for America with Dana, see Dana's letters of [3 June] (filmed at 23 May) and 29 Sept. (both Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0143

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-01

From John Jay

[salute] Sir

Mr. Fitzherbert has just been with me. He will give passports for american merchantmen, on our doing the like for british ones. He informed me that Doctr. Franklin is preparing a number of these Passports, in his own name. As this Business appears to both of us to appertain rather to the american Commissioners for peace, than to the residentiary minister at this or any other Court; would it not be proper to apprize the Doctr. of our Sentiments, before the passports he is now making out shall be delivered?—1
Yours &c:
[signed] John Jay
{ 226 } | view { 227 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency Mr Adams.”
1. A manuscript copy of the proposed passport under Franklin's signature, with his seal and dated 1 Feb., is in the Adams Papers; see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 5, above. The passport ultimately issued jointly by the commissioners is at [ca. 3 Feb.], below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0144

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-01

John Adams’ Draft of the Definitive Peace Treaty between the United States and Great Britain

The Definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship, between his Britannick Majesty, and the United States of America. concluded at [] the [] Day of February 1783.
In the Name of the Most Holy <and Undivided> Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So be it.2
Be it known to all those to whom it shall, or may, in any manner belong.3
It has pleased the Most High to diffuse the Spirit of Union and Concord among the Nations, whose divisions had Spread Troubles in the four Parts of the World, and to inspire them with the Inclination to cause the Comforts of Peace to Succeed to the Misfortunes of a long and bloody War, which having arisen between Great Britain and the United States of America, in its Progress, communicated itself to France Spain and the United Netherlands: <Consequently, the most Serene and most potent Prince, George the Third by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenbourg, Arch Treasurer and Elector, of the Holy Roman Empire.>4
Consequently, the United States of America, did on the Fifteenth Day of June in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty one, name and appoint their Ministers Plenipotentiairy and resolve ordain and grant, their Commission, in the following Words to wit
here insert the American Commission.
And his Sacred Majesty the King of Great Britain, did on the Twenty first day of September, in the twenty Second Year of his Reign, issue his Commission under the Great Seal of Great Britain to Richard Oswald Esqr in the Words following vizt.
here insert Mr Oswalds Commission.
And his Said Britannic Majesty on the one Part and the Said { 228 } United States of America, on the other, did lay the Foundations of Peace in the Preliminaries, Signed at Paris on the Thirtieth of November last, by the Said Richard Oswald Esqr on the Part of his Said Majesty and by the Said John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens Esqrs, on the Part of the Said United States, in Virtue of their respective Full Powers aforesaid, and after having mutually Shewn to each other their Said Full Powers, in good Form and mutually exchanged Authenticated Copies of the Same.
And his Said Britannic Majesty did on the Twenty fourth day of July in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty two and in the twenty Second Year of his Reign, issue his Commission Signed with his Royal Hand and under the Great Seal of Great Britain to Alleyne Fitzherbert Esqr, in the following Words vizt.
here insert Mr Fitzherberts Commission.
And the Said Alleyne Fitzherbert, on the Part of his Said Britannic Majesty and John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in the necessary Absence of the Said John Jay & Henry Laurens, on the Part of the Said United States, did at Versailles on the Twentyeth Day of January last communicate to each other their Full Powers aforesaid in good Form, and Agree upon an Armistice in the Words following.
here insert the Declarations.
And now the Said Alleyne Fitzherbert Minister Plenipotentiary of his Said Britannic Majesty, in Behalf of his Said Majesty on the one Part and John Adams Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens Ministers Plenipotentiary of the Said Unitated States of America, in Behalf of the Said States, on the other, having communicated to each other their aforesaid Full Powers in good Form, and mutually exchanged authenticated Copies of the Same, by Virtue thereof, have agreed and do hereby agree and conclude upon the Articles, the Tenor of which is as follows. vizt.
Art. 1. &c as in the Preliminary Articles.
To be added.
Art. 10. His Sacred Britannick Majesty, and the Said United States, promise to observe Sincerely and bonâ Fide, all the Articles contained and Settled in the present Treaty; and they will not Suffer the Same to be infringed, directly or indirectly, by their respective Subjects and Citizens5
{ 229 }
Art. 11. The Solemn Ratifications of the present Treaty, expedited in good and due Form, Shall be exchanged, in the City of London, or Philadelphia, between the High Contracting Parties in the Space of[] Months, or Sooner if possible, to be computed from the day of the Signature of the present Treaty.6
In Witness whereof, We the Underwritten their Ministers Plenipotentiary have Signed with our Hands in their Name, and in Virtue of our full Powers, the present definitive Treaty, and have caused the Seals of our Arms to be put thereto. Done at[] the[] day of February 17837
Dft (Adams Papers); endorsed: “first Sketch of a Definitive / Treaty. made Feb. 1. / 1783. / Shewn to M. M. F. & J. Feb 3. and approved / but Some Additions were proposed.”
1. This document is less a draft of a treaty than an effort to provide the formal legal apparatus common to peace treaties that was absent from the preliminary treaty signed on 30 Nov. 1782, above. Indeed, JA took his text almost verbatim from the 1763 Treaty of Paris between Britain and France that ended the Seven Years War. What alterations he did make owed largely to the fact that the peace of 1783 would be between a monarchy and a republic rather than two monarchies. On 2 Feb. JA wrote to Benjamin Franklin, below, and John Jay (private owner, 1964) and, as the descriptive note above indicates, the commissioners discussed the draft on the 3d.
There is no record of the commissioners’ discussions on 3 February. JA's draft, including two additional articles numbered consecutively with those of the preliminary treaty but otherwise without substantive alterations or additions, is significant, as it likely indicates that by early February the commissioners had concluded that further Anglo-American negotiations would not substantially alter the terms of the preliminary treaty. Certainly there is nothing to suggest that there was any disagreement between the commissioners and Alleyne Fitzherbert, the British minister, when they met at Fitzherbert's lodgings on 5 Feb. to confer “together upon the subject of the definitive treaty” (from Fitzherbert, 3 Feb., below). Nor does JA in his 6 Feb. letter to Thomas McKean, below, foresee any problems, believing that the “Business of Peace is done, in Substance, and will be compleated formally in the definitive Treaty in a few Days.” Any reservations JA and his colleagues may have had were probably due to the failure of the treaty to deal with commercial issues such as those contained in the proposed articles discussed by the commissioners between 10 and 13 Dec., above. Such concerns were likely a factor in JA's decision to write to the president of Congress on 5 Feb., below, to criticize Congress’ shortsighted revocation of his power to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty, which left the commissioners unable to deal adequately with commercial issues.
Neither JA nor his colleagues considered the fragility of the Shelburne ministry and the fact that the preliminary treaty had not yet been presented to Parliament. On 17 Feb. debates began in the House of Commons and one week later Shelburne resigned. Not until April did the Fox-North coalition assume power, and it was only at the end of April that David Hartley, the new British negotiator, arrived at Paris to renew discussions of the definitive treaty. In the end, nearly five months of negotiations resulted, on 3 Sept., in a treaty composed of the nine preliminary articles already approved, to which was added a preamble incorporating much of the language given here and one additional article, also derived from this draft (Miller, Treaties, 2:151–156).
2. In the definitive treaty the canceled words were restored, but “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So be it” were deleted.
3. In the definitive treaty the text from this point to the first article is substantially different largely because of the decision not to include, as JA apparently intended, the full text of the commissions and declarations.
{ 230 }
4. Although deleted here, the formula was restored in the definitive treaty.
5. Except for the reference to the United States, this is a virtually verbatim rendering of Art. 26 of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, but it was not included in the definitive treaty.
6. Except for the references to London and Philadelphia, this article is a verbatim rendering of Art. 27 of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. It also, with the addition of the following paragraph, became Art. 10 of the definitive treaty and constituted the only significant difference between the preliminary and definitive treaties.
7. Except for changes reflecting the circumstances of 1783, this paragraph is taken verbatim from the 1763 Treaty of Paris. There, as here, it appeared as a separate element following the treaty's final article, but in the definitive treaty it was incorporated into Art. 10.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0145

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1783-02-02

To Benjamin Franklin

Mr Adams having Something of Consequence to communicate to the American Ministers Plenipotentiary, for the Peace, requests the Honour of His Excellency Dr Franklin's Attendance, with the other Ministers, at Mr Adams's Lodgings, at Eleven O Clock Tomorrow Morning. The Points to be considered are 1. Passports to be given to and received from the British Minister, for British and American Vessells, and 2d Preparations for the Signature of the definitive Treaty, both upon the Propositions of the British Minister Plenipotentiary.2
RC (DLC:Franklin Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence / Monsieur Franklin, / Ministre Plenipotentiaire / des Etats Unis de L’Amerique pour las Paix / en Son Hotel a Passy / Pres Paris.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. JA wrote a second dateline at the bottom of the page: “Hotel du Roi 2. Feb. 1783.” He wrote an almost identical letter to John Jay of this date (private owner, 1964).
2. For the business conducted by the commissioners on the 3d, see the Passport for British Merchant Ships, [ca. 3 Feb.], below; and John Adams’ Draft of the Definitive Peace Treaty, [1 Feb.], above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0146

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-02

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Sir,

Being not in my power to go & pay my respects in person to your Excellency, on account of an indisposition occasioned by the short, but very hard journey from Rotterdam to this City, I have thought proper to send you here inclosed a packet Mr. Dumas gave me for your Excellency at the Hague.2 I had recd. in Amsterdam the letter you did me the honour to write me the 28. of December last; { 231 } consequently presented to him the order therein inclosed, & received Baretti's dictionary, having refused to take that of Crusca, because it is not my property, since your Excellency did me the honour to accept of it. I found in the said letter an unsealed one directed to several Gentlemen, to all of whom I showed it, as from its contents it appeared that your Excellency meant to let them Know that I had the honour of being acquainted with you.3 I recd. likewise, a few days after, the packet Mr. Lynch had sent for me under cover to your Excellency the 10th. of October last, which I must suppose was found among your papers. I have the honour to be most respectfully, / Sir, / your Excellency's most humble / and most Obedient Servant
[signed] Philip Mazzei
RC (MHi:Adams-Hull Coll.); internal address: “His Excelly., John Adams Esqre. &c.” endorsed: “Mr Mazzei 2. Feb. / 1783. / ansd 2. Feb. 1783.”
1. JA's reply, written later in the day, has not been found.
2. For the packet delivered to JA, see C. W. F. Dumas’ letter of 23 Jan., above.
3. The letter was of 28 Dec. to the members of the Dutch loan consortium, for which see JA's letter to Mazzei of that date, note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Fitzherbert, Alleyne
Date: 1783-02-03

To Alleyne Fitzherbert

Mr. Adams presents his Compliments to Mr. Fitzherbert, and has the Honour to acquaint him, that the American Ministers Plenipotentiary for the Peace, have just directed Mr. A. to inform Mr. Fitzherbert, that they have determined to exchange an hundred Passports, which are now printing and will be ready for Signature Tomorrow.
That they are ready to enter into Conferences concerning the Preparations for the definitive Treaty of Peace, and request Mr. Fitzherbert to appoint the Time and Place.
LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0148

Author: Fitzherbert, Alleyne
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-03

From Alleyne Fitzherbert

Mr Fitz-Herbert presents his Compliments to Mr Adams, and as he is obliged to go to Versailles tomorrow, begs leave to propose to him and the other American Ministers Plenipotentiary for the Peace { 232 } to meet at his (Mr F's) lodgings on Wednesday next at eleven o’clock for the purpose of conferring together upon the subject of the definitive treaty: however should that time or place be inconvenient to Mr Adams or either of his brother-commissioners, Mr FitzHerbert will be very happy to agree to any other.1
In consequence of what Mr Adams has been so obliging as to communicate to him respecting the passports which he and his brother-commissioners have ordered to be prepared, Mr FitzHerbert purposes writing to England this afternoon to desire a like number may be expedited to him forthwith from the Admiralty.
1. Wednesday was 5 February. JA indicated in his earlier letter of 3 Feb., above, that Fitzherbert should name the location for his meeting with the commissioners. Apparently JA conferred with Fitzherbert again and in his letters to Benjamin Franklin (DLC: Franklin Papers) and John Jay (LbC, APM Reel 108) later on the evening of 3 Feb., he informed them that the meeting would be at Fitzherbert's residence at the Hotel du Parc Royal.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0149

Author: d'Azyr, Félix Vicq
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-03

From Félix Vicq d'Azyr

[salute] Monsieur.

La Socièté Royale de Medecine après S’être Empresseé de Contracter une association de Correspondance avec le Collegè de Boston, association qui la flatte infiniment, m’a Chargé de Vous adresser le Diplôme qui Constate l’union de Ces deux Compagnies. Elle Vous prie de Vouloir bien le faire parvenir aux Membres illustres qui composent le Collegè de Boston;1
Parmi le petit Nombre d’exemplaires, du Journal de Medecine Militaire, dont elle peut disposer, elle en a Reservé un pour La Bibliothéque du Collegè de Boston;2 elle a desiré que je Vous l’adresse pour cette Compagnie, et elle la prie de l’agréer Comme une marque de sa déférence et de son attachement. Je le joins ici. cet Exemplaire est le 1er. Cahier pour l’année 1783; Les 4 premiers Cahiers pour 1782. n’ont été donnés à la Société qu’en nombre a peine Suffisant pour ses membres Residens à Paris.
J’ai L’honneur d’etre avec Respect / Monsieur / Votre très humble et très / obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Vicq d’azyr
{ 233 }
{ 234 }

Translation

[salute] Sir

The Royal Society of Medicine, after eagerly forming an association by correspondence with the college of Boston, a connection it finds most flattering, has instructed me to send you the diploma recording the union of these two bodies. It asks if you would please see that it reaches the illustrious members who constitute the college of Boston.1
Among the small numbers of copies of the Journal de médecine militaire at its disposal, the Royal Society has reserved one for the library of the college of Boston.2 It has asked me to send it to you, so that you might pass it on to that institution, as a mark of its deference and attachment. I am enclosing the first issue for the year 1783. The four first issues for 1782 were given to our society in quantities that scarcely sufficed for those of its members who live in Paris.
I have the honor to be, with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Vicq d’azyr
RC and enclosure (MBCo:Bowditch Book); internal address: “M John Adams” endorsed: “M. Vicq. d’Azyr / 3. Feb. 7 1783.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 110. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.
1. For more on Félix Vicq d’Azyr and the Royal Society of Medicine, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above. JA sent copies of this letter and the diploma to the newly formed Massachusetts Medical Society enclosed in his 10 June letter to its president, Edward Augustus Holyoke (MBCo: Bowditch Book).
2. The location of the number of the Journal de médecine militaire mentioned here is unknown. Though JA states in his 28 Feb. response to Vicq d’Azyr, below, that he would forward it to the society, the 10 June letter to Holyoke does not list it as an enclosure. A history of the society suggests the journal was received from JA, but it does not include the journal in a 1788 catalog of the society library (Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Norwood, Mass., 1923, p. 47, 390, 394). The society collection at MBCo includes a copy, but it bears a stamp that states it was acquired in 1890. The journal is not in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0150

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Date: 1783-02-03

Passport for British Merchant Ships

We John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, three of the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America for making Peace with Great Britain.
To all Captains or Commanders of Ships of War, Privateers or armed Vessels belonging to the said States, or to either of them, or to any of the Citizens of the same—And to all others whom these Presents may concern send Greeting.
Whereas Peace and Amity are agreed upon between the said United States and his Britannic Majesty, & a Suspension of { 235 } Hostilities to take place at different Periods in different Places hath also been agreed upon by their respective Plenipotentiaries. And Whereas it hath been further agreed by the said Plenipotentiaries, to exchange one hundred Passports for Merchant Vessels— To the End that such as shall be provided with them shall be exempted from Capture, altho’ found in Latitudes at a Time prior to the taking place of the said Suspension of Hostilities therein Now Therefore Know Ye, that free Passport, Licence and Permission is hereby given to the[] NB Commander now lying at the Port of[] and bound from thence to
And we do earnestly enjoin upon and recommend to You to let and suffer the said Vessel to pass unmolested to her destined Port, and if need be, to afford her all such Succours and Aid as Circumstances and Humanity may require.
Given under our Hands and Seals at Paris on the[] day of[] in the Year of our Lord 1783.
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Passport to Ships / given by the / Commissos. for making Peace.” and “Copy.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.
1. For the reciprocal British passport for American vessels, see Alleyne Fitzherbert's 18 Feb. letter to the commissioners, below. The passports, American and British, were intended to provide safe passage for the vessels of each country should they sail into areas where the terms of the declarations setting down the conditions governing the cessation of hostilities had not yet taken effect, for which see the British and American proclamations of 14 and 20 Feb., respectively, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0151

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-04

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

L’honorée vôtre du 29e. a pleinement satisfait ces Messieurs; & Mr. V. B., au nom de tous, m’a chargé de vous en remercier, & de vous assurer, que c’est précisément ce qu’il leur falloit, ce qu’ils espéroient pouvoir se faire de votre part, & de celle de Mrs. Vos Collegues; & que vous pouvez compter Sur eux, com̃e ils comptent sur vous, en allant agir conséquem̃ent.
J’ai été la com̃uniquer aussi à Mr. le Gd. Pense., qui m’a paru penser com̃e eux, & que l’on m’a dit confidem̃ent, de plus d’une bonne part, avoir à desirer, autant que la fce., que le parti Angl. ne prédomine plus ici.
J’ai à vous présenter les respects de tous.— Je suis charmé, Monsieur, qu’il y ait eu moyen de les contenter à si bon marché: car il me paroît, que ce qu’ils demandent n’est autre chose que ce qui est Stipulé dans les Traités de l’Amérique tant avec cette Rep. qu’avec { 236 } la Fce..—1 Du reste ils sont déterminés à ne signer, que lorsque cet Article de la Navigation sera en regle de la maniere proposée, & à ne point perdre non plus Négapatnam;2 & l’on craint, que si Mr. le C. de V. ne trouve pas quelque remede à cela, la confiance & l’inclination de cette nation pour la Fce. ne soit étouffée dans sa renaissance, elle importoit cependant plus à la fce. que Tabago.
M. De V——, pour s’excuser de la précipitation avec laquelle on a signé, a dit aux Mines. de la rep. à Paris, entre autres, que d’un côté l’Amérique, que se disoit épuisée, craignoit un soulevement Si l’on devoit imposer de nouvelles taxes, demandoit par Mr. Fn. 20 millions pour la Campagne prochaine si elle avoit lieu, enfin, qui vouloit jouir de la paix & de son Traité, plutôt que de hazarder une prolongation de guerre qui pouvoit en altérer l’accomplissement; & de l’autre, l’Espagne, qui, également épuisée, réclamoit absolument cette conclusion,—avoient mis la fce. dans la nécessité de signer Si précipitam̃ent: mais que cela n’empêchoit pas l’intention ferme de Sa Maj., de ne point terminer sans que l. H. p. Soient comprises dans la paix générale, & contentes. Dieu le veuille!
Il paroît que Mr. l’Ambr. & Mr. le Gd. Pre. ont reçu chacun par Son Courier les mêmes assurances. Ce dernier cependant n’a pas encore dit le mot de sa Dépeche à Nos autres amis.—
Je suis persuadé, que dans les Lettres confidentielles que je vous ai écrites, Monsieur, depuis l’officielle du 24, vous avez gardé par devers vous Seul ce qui (contre mon intention, qui est pure) pourroit faire de la peine à d’autres, & me nuire, quoiqu’à tort, dans leur esprit. J’ai voulu & dû être avec vous un historien fidele.
Daignez faire agréer mes respects à L. Exces. Mrs. Franklin & Jay, & être assuré du bon alloi de celui avec lequel vous est attaché Sans réserve, Monsieur, De V. E. le très humble & / très obéissant serviteur
[signed] C. W. f. Dumas
J’ai eu soin de régaler la nation de la proclamation de Boston dans tous les papiers holl. de ce jour.3

Translation

[salute] Sir

Your honored letter of 29 January proved fully satisfying to these gentlemen, and Mr. Van Berckel has instructed me to thank you on behalf of them all. I am also to tell you that it was exactly what they needed and what they had hoped for from you and your colleagues, and that you can count on them, just as they count on you, in your subsequent dealings.
{ 237 }
I also went to show it to the grand pensionary, who seemed to be of the same mind. I am told confidentially that he is as desirous as France that the English party should no longer predominate here.
Everyone asked me to give you their respects. I am delighted, sir, that it was possible to content them with such relative ease, for it strikes me that what they ask is only what is stipulated in the American treaties with this republic and France.1 Moreover, they are determined to sign only when the navigation clause has been settled in the manner proposed, and they will not consent to the loss of Negapatam.2 It is feared that if the Comte de Vergennes cannot find some remedy for this problem, this nation's confidence in and preference for France will be snuffed out just as it is reborn; and yet this nation is more important to France than Tobago.
The Comte de Vergennes, in justifying the haste with which he signed, told the republic's ministers at Paris, among others, that America and Spain were responsible for France's action. He said that on the one hand, America, claiming to be exhausted and fearing an uprising if new taxes were imposed, was demanding through Mr. Franklin some twenty million for the next campaign if it took place; and that America wished to enjoy peace and its treaty rather than risk a protraction of this war, which might compromise both; and on the other hand, Spain, equally exhausted, was absolutely demanding this conclusion. But, he added, this did not alter His Majesty's firm intention of not concluding matters unless their High Mightinesses were included in the general peace and satisfied. May God make it so!
It seems the ambassador and the grand pensionary each received the same assurances by mail. The latter, however, has not yet conveyed word of his dispatch to our other friends.
I am sure that in the confidential letters I have written you, sir, since the official one of 24 January, you have kept to yourself anything that (contrary to my intentions, which are pure) might prove hurtful to others and damage me, albeit erroneously, in their minds. With you I have tried and indeed had to be a faithful historian.
Please give my respects to their excellencies Franklin and Jay, and rest assured of the unreserved goodwill with which I remain, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] C. W. f. Dumas
I took pains to treat the nation to the Boston proclamation in all the Dutch papers today.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence / Monsieur Adams, Esqr. / Min. Plenipo: des Et. Un. / Paris”; internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams M. P. des E. U.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas / 4. Feby. 178.”
1. Presumably Dumas means to the extent that the provisions regarding neutral trade—in particular, the doctrine that free ships made free goods—and contraband in the treaties of amity and commerce of 1782 and 1778, respectively, were in accord with the principles of the Armed Neutrality.
2. The Dutch East India Company held Negapatam (now Nagapattinam), on India's Coromandel Coast, from 1659 until it fell to the British on 12 Nov. 1781. Although several other cities would be restored during Anglo-Dutch peace negotiations, Negapatam would remain under British control (George { 238 } D. Winius and Marcus P. M. Vink, The Merchant-Warrior Pacified: The VOC (The Dutch East India Company) and Its Changing Political Economy in India, Delhi, 1991, p. 51, 121, 123).
3. This is John Hancock's October proclamation celebrating Dutch recognition of the United States and JA as its minister at The Hague. A French translation appeared in the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 7 February. For the English text, see the Boston Independent Chronicle, 7 Nov. 1782.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0152

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Congress, the President of
Date: 1783-02-05

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir,

The Resolution of Congress of the 12th. July 1781,— “That the Commission and Instructions, for negociating a Treaty of Commerce between these United States and Great Britain, given to the Honorable John Adams on the 29th day of September 1779, be and they are hereby revoked,” was duly recieved by me in Holland; but no Explanation of the Motives to it, or the Reasons on which it was founded, was ever transmitted to me by Congress, or the Committee of foreign Affairs, or any individual Member—2 Nor has any-body in Europe or America ever once attempted, that I know of, to guess at the reason.— Whether it was intended as a Punishment to me, or with a charitable design not to lead me into Temptation— Whether it was intended as a Punishment to the English for their Insolence and Barbarity— Whether it was intended to prevent or remove Suspicions of Allies, or the Envy and green eyed Jealousy of CoPatriots, I know not.— Of one thing, however, I am fully satisfied, that Congress had Reasons and meant well— But whether those Reasons were founded on true or mistaken Information, I know not.
When I recollect the Instructions, which were given and revoked with that Commission, I can guess, and only guess, at some Considerations, which might, or might not, operate with Congress.— In these Instructions, Congress determined. 1st. That the common right of Fishing should in no Case be given up.— 2dly. That it is essential to the Welfare of all these United States, that the Inhabitants thereof, at the Expiration of the War, should continue to enjoy the free and undisturbed Exercise of their common right to fish on the Banks of Newfoundland, and the other fishing Banks of Newfoundland, and the other fishing Banks and Seas of North America, preserving inviolate the Treaties between France and the said States &ca. &ca.— And 3dly. “That our Faith be pledged to the several States, that without their unanimous Consent no Treaty of Commerce shall be entered into, nor any Trade or Commerce whatever carried on with Great Britain, without the explicit Stipulation herein after { 239 } mentioned.— You are therefore not to consent to any Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, without an explicit Stipulation on her Part, not to molest or disturb the Inhabitants of the United States of America in taking Fish on the Banks of Newfoundland, and other Fisheries in the American Seas, any where excepting within the distance of three Leagues of the Shores of the Territories remaining to Great Britain at the close of the War, if a nearer distance cannot be obtained by Negociation:— And in the Negociation You are to exert your most strenuous Endeavours to obtain a nearer distance in the Gulph of St. Laurence, and particularly along the Shores of Nova Scotia; as to which latter, We are desirous that even the Shores may be occasionally used for the purpose of carrying on the Fisheries by the Inhabitants of these States.”3
These Instructions are very decisive in favor of our indubitable right to the Fisheries: and it is possible, that Congress might be of Opinion, that Commerce would be the strongest Inducement to the English to make Peace, and at the same time, that there was something so Naval in the Fisheries, that the dread of acknowledging our right to them would be the strongest Obstacle in the way of Peace.— They might think too, that Peace was of more Importance to the United States, than a British Acknowledgment of our right to the Fisheries, which to be sure would have been enjoyed by our People in a good degree without it.— Reasonings like these might influence Congress to revoke the Commission and Instructions in question— But whatever Probability there might appear in them at that time, Experience has since shewn, that they were not well founded. On the contrary, Arguments have been found to convince the British Ministers themselves, that it was the Interest of their King and Country, not only to acknowledge the American Right to the Fisheries, but to encourage the unrestrained Exercise of it— These Considerations therefore can be no longer of any weight against a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, or against accrediting a Minister to the Court of St. James's— Nor can I concieve of any Motive now existing, against these Measures— On the contrary, so many Advantages present themselves to view, that I think it my Duty to recommend them to Congress, as proper to be adopted without loss of time.
If there are in Congress any of those Gentlemen, with whom I had the honor to serve in the Years 1775 and 1776, they may possibly remember, that in arguing in favor of sending Ministers to Versailles to propose a Connection with that Court, I laid it down as a first { 240 } principle, that We should calculate all our Measures and foreign Negociations, in such a manner, as to avoid a too great dependence upon any one Power of Europe—to avoid all Obligations and Temptations to take any part in future European Wars—That the business of America with Europe was Commerce, not Politicks nor War—And that above all it never could be our Interest to ruin Great Britain, or injure or weaken her any farther, than should be necessary to support our Independence and our Alliances—And that as soon as Great Britain should be brought to a Temper to acknowledge our Sovereignty and our Alliances, and consent that We should maintain the one and fulfil the others, it would be our Interest and Duty to be her Friends; as well as the Friends of all the others Powers of Europe, & Enemies to none.—4 We are now happily arrived, through many tremendous Tempests, at that period— Great Britain repects Us as Sovereign States, and respects all our political Engagements with foreign Nations; and as long as She continues in this Temper of Wisdom, it is our Duty to respect her.— We have accordingly made a Treaty with her and mutually sworn to be Friends.— Through the whole period of our Warfare and Negociations, I confess I have never lost Sight of the Principles and the System, with which I sat out, which appeared to me too to be the Sentiments of Congress with great Unanimity, and I have no Reason to suppose that any Change of Opinion has taken place; and if there has not, every one will agree with me, that no Measure We can pursue will have such a Tendency to preserve the Government and People of England in the right System for their own and our Interest, and the Interest of our Allies too, well understood, as sending a Minister to reside at the Court of London.
In the next place, the Court of London is the best Station to collect Intelligence from every part; and, by means of the Freedom of the Press, to communicate Information for the benefit of our Country to every part of the World.— In time of Peace, there is so frequent travelling between Paris, London and the Hague, that the Correspondence of our Ministers at those Courts may be carried on by private Hands, without hazarding any thing from the Infidelity of the Posts, and Congress may reasonably expect Advantages from this Circumstance.
In the third place, a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain is an Affair of great Importance to both Countries.— Upon this Occasion I hope I shall be excused, if I venture to advise, that Congress should instruct their Minister not to conclude such a Treaty; { 241 } without sending the Project to them for their Observations and fresh Instructions— And I should think it would not be improper upon this Occasion to imitate the Dutch Method, take the Project ad referendum and transmit it to the Legislatures of all the States for their Remarks, before Congress finally resolve.— Their Minister may be authorized and instructed in the mean time, to enter into a temporary Convention for regulating the present Trade for a limited period of Months or Years, or until the Treaty of Commerce shall be compleated.—
In the fourth place, it is our part to be the first to send a Minister to Great Britain, which is the older, and as yet the superior State.— It becomes Us to send a Minister first, and I doubt not the King of Great Britain will very soon return the Compliment— Whereas if We do not begin, I believe there will be many Delicacies at St. James's about being the first to send.— I confess, I wish a British Minister at Philadelphia, and think We should derive many benefits from his Residence.— While We have any foreign Ministers among Us, I wish to have them from all the great Powers, with whom We are much connected.— The Corps Diplomatick at every Court is, or ought to be, a System representing at least that part of the System of Europe, with which that Court is most conversant. In the same manner, or at least for similar Reasons, as long as We have any one Minister abroad at any European Court, I think We ought to have one at every one, to which We are most essentially related, whether in Commerce or Policy, and therefore while We have any Minister at Versailles, the Hague, or London, I think it clear We ought to have one at each— Tho’ I confess I have sometimes thought, that, after a very few Years, it will be the best thing We can do to recall every Minister from Europe, and send Embassies only on special Occasions.
If, however, any Members of Congress should have any Delicacies, lest an American Minister should not be recieved with a Dignity becoming his Rank and Character, at London, they may send a Commission, to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, to their Minister at Madrid, or Versailles, or the Hague, or St. Petersbourg, and instruct him to carry on the Negociation from the Court where he may be, until he shall be invited to London,— Or a Letter of Credence may be sent to one of these with Instructions to go to London, as soon as the King shall appoint a Minister to go to Philadelphia.— After all however, my own Opinion is, that none of these Manœuvres are necessary, but that the best way will be, to send a { 242 } Minister directly to St. James's, with a Letter of Credence to the King as a Minister Plenipotentiary, and a Commission to treat of a Treaty of Commerce; but with Instructions not to come to any irrevocable Conclusion, until Congress and all the States have an Opportunity to consider of the Project, and suggest their Amendments.
There is one more Argument in favor of sending a Minister forthwith— It is this—While this Mission lies open, it will be a Source of Jealousy among present Ministers, and such as are or may be Candidates to be foreign Ministers—a Source of Intrigue and Faction among their Partizans and Adherents, and a Source of Animosity and Division among the People of the States.— For this Reason, it is a Pity that the first Choice had not been such as Congress could have continued to approve, and the first Measure such as Congress could have constantly persevered in.— If this had been the Case, the Door of Faction would have been kept shut.
As this however was once my Department by the Voice of Eleven States in twelve present, and as I will be answerable at any hazard, it will never be again the Department of any one by a greater Majority, there seems to be a Propriety in my giving my Advice concerning it, on taking Leave of it, if such is the Will of Congress, as I have before done in this Letter, according to the best of my Judgment.5
And if it should not be thought too presumptuous, I would beg Leave to add, what is my Idea of the Qualifications necessary for an American foreign Minister in general, and particularly and above all to the Court of St. James's.— In the first place—He should have had an Education in classical Learning and in the Knowledge of general History, ancient and modern, particularly the History of France, England, Holland and America.— He should be well versed in the Principles of Ethicks; of the Law of Nature and Nations; of Legislation and Government; of the civil Roman Law; of the Laws of England and the United States; of the public Law of Europe, and in the Letters, Memoirs and Histories of those great Men, who have heretofore shone in the Diplomatick Order, and conducted the Affairs of Nations and the World. He should be of an Age to possess a Maturity of Judgment arising from Experience in Business— He should be active, attentive and industrious; and above all he should possess an upright Heart and an independent Spirit, and should be one, who decidedly makes the Interest of his Country, not the Policy of any other Nation nor his own private Ambition or Interest, or those of his Family, Friends and Connections, the Rule of his Conduct.6
{ 243 }
We hear so much said about a genteel address, and a Facility in speaking the French Language, that one would think a Dancing Master and French Master, the only Tutors necessary to educate a Statesman.— Be it remembered, the present Revolution, neither in America or Europe, has been accomplished by elegant Bows, nor by Fluency in French—Nor will any great thing ever be effected by such Accomplishments alone.— A Man must have something in his Head to say, before he can speak to effect, how ready soever he may be at Utterance— And if the Knowledge is in the Head and the Virtues, are in his Heart, he will never fail to find a way of communicating his Sentiments to good Purpose.— He will always have excellent Translators ready, if he wants them, to turn his Thoughts into any Language he desires.— As to what is called a fine Address, it is seldom attended to after the first or second Conversation, and even in these, it is regarded no more by Men of Sense of any Country, than another thing, which I once heard disputed with great Vivacity among the Officers of the French Frigate Le Sensible.—7 The Question was, what were the several Departments of an Ambassador and a Secretary of Legation? After a long and shrewd Discussion, it was decided by a Majority of Votes, “that the Secretary's Part was to do the Business, and that of the Ambassador to keep a Mistress.”— This Decision produced a Laugh among the Company, and no Ideas of the kind will ever produce any thing else among Men of Understanding.
It is very true, that it is possible a Case may happen, that a Man may serve his Country by a Bribe well placed, or an Intrigue of Pleasure with a Woman—But it is equally true, that a Man's Country will be sold and betrayed a thousand Times by this infamous Commerce, where it will be one served.— It is very certain, that We shall never be a Match for European Statesmen in such Accomplishments for Negotiation, any more than, I must & will add, they will equal Us in any solid Abilities, Virtues & Application to Business; if We choose wisely among the excellent Characters, with which our Country abounds.—
Among the Ministers, which have already crossed the Atlantic to Europe, there have been none exceedg Mr. Jay and Mr. Dana in all the Qualifications I have presumed to enumerate and I must say; that if I had the Honor to give my Vote in Congress, for a Minister at the Court of Great Britain, provided that Injustice must finally be done to him, who was the first Object of his Country's Choice,8 such have been the Activity, Intelligence, Address and Fortitude of { 244 } Mr. Jay, as well as his Sufferings in his Voyage, Journies and passed Services, that I should think of no other Object of my Choice, than that Gentleman.
If Congress should neglect all their old Ministers, and send a fresh one from America, they cannot be at a loss—for there are in that Country great Numbers of Men well qualified for the Service— These are most certainly better known by Name to Congress, than to me, and therefore I shall venture no further, but conclude by wishing this arduous Business well settled, and by Assurances to Congress, and to You, Sir, of my warmest Attachment and Respect.— / your most obedient and most humble / Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 339–350); internal address by JA: “President of Congress.”; endorsed: “Letter of Mr J Adams / Feby. 5. 1783 / Read April 28. 1783 / Referred to Mr Hamilton / Mr Ellsworth / Mr Rutledge.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. The recipient's copy and the Letterbook copy are both clearly addressed to the president of Congress, but elsewhere it has been published and cited as being to Robert R. Livingston (JA, Works, 8:33–40; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:242–247; Smith, Letters of Delegates, 20:232). That the letter was not intended for Livingston is significant and probably reflects JA's growing reluctance to deal with the secretary on substantive matters, particularly when he criticized Congress’ conduct of foreign policy. See, for example, JA's letters to Jonathan Jackson of 8 Nov., above, and to James Warren of 20 and 21 March, both below, all of which were originally intended for Livingston.
A notation by Thaxter on the Letterbook copy indicates that on 13 Feb. he “delivered the above to Capt. Cox of No. Carolina bound from hence to Nantes, inclosed in a Letter to Mr. Jeremiah Allen at Nantes.”
The effect of JA's appeal to Congress for the power to conclude an Anglo-American commercial treaty was immediate but ultimately inconsequential. On 1 May, the committee named in the endorsement reported, resulting in Congress’ resolution authorizing JA, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay to negotiate a commercial treaty with Britain and ordering a joint commission and instructions to be prepared (JCC, 24:320–321). The 1 May resolution was enclosed in a 16 June letter to the commissioners from Elias Boudinot, president of Congress, who noted that the commission and instructions were not ready. In fact, no commission or instructions resulting from the 1 May resolution were apparently ever prepared, and it was not until 7 May 1784 that JA, Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were commissioned to negotiate treaties with 23 nations in Europe and North Africa, including Great Britain (same, 26:357–362).
2. For Congress’ resolution of 12 July 1781 revoking JA's commission and instructions to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty, see vol. 11:434–435. JA received a copy of the resolution in mid-Oct. 1781, as an enclosure in a 21 July letter from the Committee for Foreign Affairs. Neither there nor in Robert R. Livingston's letter of 20 Nov., which also enclosed a copy of the resolution, was there any explanation of why Congress had revoked the commission, but see note 4 to the committee's letter (vol. 12:16, 75).
3. JA quotes almost verbatim the first, second, and fifth items in the second instruction, in which Congress set down what it had “determined”: that is the ultimata for the commercial treaty. Not quoted were the third item, calling for an arrangement to be made with France “for the better securing to these States, a Share in the said Fisheries,” and the fourth, declaring that any British molestation of American fishermen after the peace would be considered a violation (JA, D&A, 4:183–184).
4. JA gives an accurate account of his views in 1775 and 1776. This is particularly so with regard to the principles that guided him in drafting the Treaty Plan of 1776, which contemplated only a commercial treaty with { 245 } France. It also explains why he believed that by agreeing to an alliance in addition to the commercial treaty in 1778, the American negotiators, and in particular Franklin, a fellow member of the committee to draft the Treaty Plan, had betrayed those principles. For an examination of JA's views regarding the proper relationship between the United States and Europe as exemplified by the terms of the Treaty Plan and to which he held with remarkable consistency throughout his life, see the editorial note to Plan of Treaties, 12 June – 17 Sept. 1776, vol. 4:260–265.
5. In the Letterbook JA initially ended his letter at this point, then canceled the closing and internal address and continued.
6. In describing the qualifications of the ideal American minister to Great Britain, JA obviously describes himself, and it is difficult to believe that anyone in Congress reading this letter would not draw the same conclusion. Indeed, James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson on 6 May 1783 in cipher that “Congress have received a long and curious epistle from Mr. Adams . . . addressed to the president not to the secretary for foreign affairs. He animadverts on the revocation of his commission for a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, presses the appointment of a minister to that court with such a commission, draws a picture of a fit character in which his own likeness is ridiculously and palpably studi[e]d, finaly praising and recomending Mr. Jay for the appointment” (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 20:232–233).
7. In 1779 JA sailed to America and then returned to Europe on La Sensible.
8. In the Letterbook the passage “provided that Injustice must finally be done to him, who was the first Object of his Country's Choice” was written below the closing and marked for insertion at this point. This is significant because for the first time JA explicitly stated that his appointment as minister to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty made him the de facto, if not de jure, minister to the Court of St. James. Presumably his reasoning was that the power to negotiate a commercial treaty, as opposed to a peace treaty, was inseparable from the powers normally granted the minister to a particular country. JA, for example, had been commissioned to negotiate a Dutch-American commercial treaty even before the Netherlands recognized the United States. The same circumstances applied to his appointment to negotiate a commercial treaty with England. Thus for JA the issue was not whether Congress should choose him from among other candidates to be minister to England, but rather that Congress could not choose anyone else unless it was willing to condemn his faithful efforts on behalf of the United States and debar him from future service to the nation.
JA said much the same in his letter of 4 Feb. to AA. There he wrote that “the Revocation of my Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with G. Britain without assigning any Reason, is an affront to me and a Stain upon my Character that I will not wear one Moment longer than is indispensably necessary for the public Good. And therefore I will come home, whether my Resignation is accepted or not, unless my Honour is restored. This can be but one Way, in Europe, and that is by Sending me a Renewal of the Commission” (AFC, 5:88–89). But see also JA's 6 Feb. letter to Thomas McKean, and for an even more explicit statement of his entitlement to the post of minister to Great Britain, that of 28 March to Dumas, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0153

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1783-02-05

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir,

Your's of December 30th., I recieved last Night.1 Orders are long since gone from Mr. Grand to his Correspondent at St. Petersbourg, to furnish You the Money You want.— You will find our Treaty inaccurate and blundering, but You will pardon all our Bulls, when You know the Haste and the Danger We were in, and think that We have done very well.
{ 246 }
I should advise You not to hesitate a Moment about administering the Oath of Allegiance.— I have done it.— Dr. Franklin has done it— Mr. Lee has done it— It will do no harm now & then.
You ask my Opinion in a former Letter about coming away— I cannot advise You to come away before You recieve an Answer and Leave from Congress.— Mr. Livingston has resigned the Office of foreign Affairs—tho’ We have no official Information of it, know not the Cause, nor who is talked of for a Successor.2
I did not write You an Account of the Signature of the Peace and Armistice on the 20th. of January, because I knew You would have it sooner twenty ways.
I have no News of my Son, since Stockholm, nor indeed of his leaving that Place, which distresses me much.
With great Esteem, I have the honor to be, / Sir, / your most obedient & / most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams.3
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MHi:Dana Family Papers); internal address: “Mr. Dana.”; endorsed: “Mr: J: Adams's Letter / Dated Feby: 5th. 1783 / Recd.—23d.—O.S. / Treaty & Armistice sign'd / Jany: 20. 1783.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Of [10 Jan.], above.
2. Robert R. Livingston resigned on 2 Dec. 1782, and JA may have learned of his planned departure from a congressional resolution enclosed with Livingston's letter of 19 Dec., above. But Congress did not act expeditiously to appoint a successor, and Livingston retired to his New York estate in June. The position remained vacant until 7 May 1784 when John Jay was named his successor (DAB; JA, D&A, 3:168).
3. In JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0154

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-02-05

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I recd last night your Favour of 30 of January, with the Copies of Letters inclosed.—2 I am not at all Surprized at the Sentiments expressed in those Copies, nor am I able to give any Satisfactory Answer to the pungent Questions, which I read there.— I feel very Sincerely afflicted for our Friends without being now able, and without having ever been able to do them any Service.— I could tell you a very true Story, which would convince you, that the United States run a great Risque of as bad a Peace, as that of Holland, and that there is no Thanks to the Minister that your Correspondent thinks hard of, that We had not a worse.—3 Unsuspecting Confidence is ever dangerous in Negotiations. The States General Should have had a Minister in London as soon as Mr Rayneval went there, and instead of being instructed to trust so much to another, they should have been instructed to have conducted their Affairs wholly { 247 } themselves.— You knew the Situation I am in and therefore I rely upon your honour to communicate nothing of this to the Duke de la Vauguion. You knew I never liked the French Minister of foreign affairs. I had great Reasons to distrust him. which you knew not, but the World may one day see.
As to the proposed Negotiation, for the Freedom of Navigation, Mr Dana has full Power to treat.— And if France and Spain will come into a Treaty with Holland upon the Subject, Mr Franklin Mr Jay Mr Laurens and myself will treat, En Attendant Mr Dana. But between You and me I doubt whether, the French Minister, will be for Such a Treaty. This is merely from Conjecture not Knowledge, so that no dependence can be placed upon it.4 if the English are cunning they will make a Merit with Holland of agreeing to the Liberty of Navigation. and I suspect this is their Instruction if they get Negapatnam.
with great Esteem &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Dumas.” APM Reel 108.
1. Immediately to the left of the dateline is a notation: “See the last Leaf but two in this Book.” JA is referring to the Letterbook copy of his second letter to the president of Congress on 8 Sept. 1783, in which he commented at length on the French foreign ministry's manipulation of the press (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:681–683).
2. The letters enclosed by Dumas have not been identified, but see Dumas’ letter of 30 Jan., note 3, above.
3. The Comte de Vergennes.
4. JA originally ended the letter here, then entered the following sentence below the closing and marked it for insertion at this point.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1783-02-05

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Gentlemen

I recd last night yours of Jany 30, and I had before recd that with my Account, I have recd of Mr Van den Yver, frees & Comp. four hundred Louis D’ors at two different Times as they have advised you, You may charge all these Sums to the United states as Moneys paid to me, towards my Salary.— But I shall soon receive of him or you a larger sum, viz 1250 £ sterling, but whether here or at Amsterdam I dont know.
Will you be so good as to Advertize in some Gazette for all Persons in Amsterdam who have any Demands upon me to bring their Accounts to you,. You will let me see them before you pay them.
With great Regard
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs Wilhem & Jan Willink” APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0156

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: McKean, Thomas
Date: 1783-02-06

To Thomas McKean

[salute] My dear Sir

Your Favour by Mr Randall, I received last Night,2 by the Way of Marseilles, where I Suppose that Gentleman landed and Still remains, as he is not arrived here Whenever I may meet him, all that Attention shall be Shewn him which is due from me, to your Recommendation.— I wish you had oftener laid me under Obligation to you in this Way.— The Sight of your Letter refreshed me like the Countenance of an old Friend.— it gave me Such a kind of Pleasure as I shall feel at the Sight of our worthy Friend Jefferson, if he Should arrive.
The Business of Peace is done, in Substance, and will be compleated formally in the definitive Treaty in a few Days, So that this worthy Gentleman will probably arrive too late for this Business.— But Congress may probably destine him to Some other.— There are openings enough at present. But the Business is all done in a manner. a Treaty of Commerce was Signed Yesterday with Sweeden, by the Sweedish Ambassador here and Dr Franklin.3 Mr Dana will probably be received too by the Court of Russia, and all the Neutrals. It is a Pity that Sweeden had not been referred to him. Congress must take the Resolution of Supporting their own Systems and their own Elections or they will become the Sport of every intriguing Minister at every foreign Court.
The most important Mission of all is now opened to the Court of Great Britain. You know very well, that I have been unfairly treated in that matter, and you must be Sensible that it is impossible for me to Stay in Europe at any other Court.— in the Name of common Justice then give me my Quietus and let me return home, by accepting my Resignation immediately, that I may not be exposed to the further disgrace of waiting in Europe with the Air of a Candidate and an Expectant of that Mission, if foreign Finesse and domestic faction have determined that I shall not have it.— I dont like the Air of coming home without Leave or I would embark in the first ship.
Pray has Mr Livingston laid before Congress a Letter of Mr Marbois,—this will explain to you, the Attack which was made upon me.4 But are the essential Interests of our Country, and those servants of Congress who have been determined to defend them to be thus Sacrificed. depend upon it, you have been egregiously imposed upon. it is time to assert your own Dignity The Attack that was { 249 } made upon me, was an Attack upon your Western Lands and Fisheries, and to betray me in such a Case would be an eternal opprobium to our Country.
If you take the Recommendations of foreign Courts or foreign Ministers or secretaries, you will be the meerest Dupes & Bubbles in the World, you will have ignorant Boys imposed upon you, or dishonest Dotards in their Second Childhood, for the most important Places in your disposal.
With great Esteem and Affection, I have the Honour / to be sir your most obedient & most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (PHi:McKean Papers); internal address: “Chief Justice McKean.”; endorsed: “Lre. Febry. 6th. 1783. / Excellency John Adams Esqre. / No. 173.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. A notation by John Thaxter on the Letterbook copy indicates that on 13 Feb. he “delivered the above to Capt. Cox of No. Carolina bound from hence to Nantes, inclosed as the Letter to the President of Congress preceeding this & in the same Packet.”
3. For the repercussions of JA's announcement of the signing of the Swedish-American Treaty, see his 7 Feb. letter to Dumas, note 2, below.
4. For François de Barbé-Marbois’ letter of 13 March 1782 to the Comte de Vergennes, which had been intercepted by the British and supplied to the American negotiators at Paris, see Henry Laurens’ account of a conversation with JA on 19 Dec. 1782, note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0157

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-06

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Mrs. Jn. De Neufville & fils d’Amsterdam m’écrivent ce qui suit
“Nous vous prions de nous procurer un Passeport, pour le Brig. Américain le Firebrand de Boston, d’environ cent quarante toñeaux com̃andé par le Capne. Phoenix Frazier, qui desire profiter aussitot que possible de la cessation d’hostilités. Et les Vaisseaux de Nantes & de l’Orient obtenant des Passeports sur la requisition qui en est faite aux Ministres, s’il n’est pas de votre ressort d’en accorder, nous vous prions pour le susdit Capitaine d’en obtenir un de Paris, pour le garantir de tous inconvénients en cas de mauvaises rencontres.”1
Je suis avec les respects de ma famille, joints au mien, Monsieur, de Votre Excellence / le très-humble & très obéis- / sant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Demain se prendra aux Et. d’hollde. la résolution finale de poursuivre criminellement la désobéissance quant à la sortie de l’Escadre pour Brest2
Le reglemt de la jurisdiction militaire est tonjours sérieusemt. sur { 250 } le tapis de L. N. & Gr. P. Ce sera le croc en jambe du Haut Conseil de Guerre. La Mémoire là-dessus de Mr. Van Berkel, fait & rejeté il y a 10 ans, est adopté par les Etats d’Hollde. & inséré dans leurs registres. Quel triomphe pour l’Auteur!

Translation

[salute] Sir

Jean de Neufville & Fils of Amsterdam writes to me as follows:
“Please would you obtain for us a passport for the American brigantine Firebrand of Boston, approximately 140 tons, commanded by Capt. Phoenix Frazier, who would like to take advantage as soon as possible of the cessation of hostilities. Since ships from Nantes and Lorient obtain passports by requesting them from ministers, if it is not in your power to grant this, we ask that you obtain one from Paris for the said captain as a safeguard in the event of hostile encounters.”1
I am, with the respects of my family joined to my own, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Tomorrow the States of Holland will pass a final resolution to prosecute criminally the disobedience regarding the sortie of the squadron for Brest.2
The administration of military justice is still seriously on the agenda of their Noble and Great Mightinesses. It will be the Achilles heel of the High Council of War. Mr. Van Berckel's memorandum on this subject, written and rejected ten years ago, has been adopted by the States of Holland and inserted into their registers. What a triumph for the author!
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. M. Adams M. P.”
1. See JA's letter to Duncan Ingraham Jr., 19 Feb., below.
2. Dumas refers to the controversy over naval preparedness that had been festering since the previous autumn and that he had first described in his serial letter to Livingston of 27 Sept. to 22 Oct. 1782. In early Oct. 1782 a Dutch squadron of ten ships commanded by Vice Admiral Hartsinck was to have sailed for Brest to join the French fleet in operations against the British. The admiral and his subordinates refused to sail, however, citing the lack of provisions and the poor condition of their vessels (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:776–778; Gazette d’Amsterdam, 15 Oct.). The failure of the squadron to sail provoked the States of Holland and West Friesland to demand that William V, in his capacity as admiral general, explain the Dutch Navy's unpreparedness and its consequent failure to take effective action against the British. For the resolution adopted by the States of Holland and West Friesland on 7 Feb. and that province's correspondence with William V leading to it, see the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 18 February. For the stadholder's response of 13 Feb., see the Gazette of 11, 14, 18, and 21 March. In fact, while the questions of naval preparedness and William V's competence as admiral general fueled the ongoing dispute between stadholder and anti-stadholder factions, the issue had been rendered moot by the inclusion of the Netherlands in the armistice that resulted from the signature of the preliminary treaties between Britain, France, and Spain on 20 January.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0158

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-02-07

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I have heard no News of my Son, Since he was in Stockholm, the Beginning of December, although I was led to expect his arrival at the Hague by the End of that month—we are now in February and I hear nothing of him, which gives me much Anxiety, least he should have fallen Sick or met with Some other unfortunate accident. I there any way of writing to Stockholm, Lubeck, Copenhague or Hamborough or all of them to enquire after him. Perhaps our Friend Mr: D’Asp would be So good as to write to Stockholm to enquire if any Body heard of him there; and when he quitted that City and for what other he was bound.1
Hamborough I should think the likelyest Place to find him, or hear of him at present—I want to hasten his Journey to the Hague—
The Treaty with Sweeden was Signed on the fifth of this month So that Mr: D’Asp and you may now be Friends without political Reserve.2
My best Respects to Madame & Mademoiselle, and all other Friends.
Your most obedient.
[signed] John Adams.
You may print our Preliminary Treaty as Soon as you will.3
Tr (PCC, No. 101, II, f. 316).
1. For Dumas’ efforts to obtain news of JQA, see his reply of 13 Feb., below.
2. JA's report in this letter and that to Thomas McKean of 6 Feb., above, that the Swedish-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce had been signed on 5 Feb. is accurate. In fact, however, the negotiations were incomplete and on 7 Feb., at Sweden's behest, the documents that JA alludes to were burned and a new, undated set was signed. Over the next month additional articles were negotiated and a new signing took place on 5 March, with the final treaty dated 3 April. It is quite possible that this letter to Dumas was the source of an account of the signing in the Gazette de Leyde. Much annoyed by the report, Gustaf Philip, Count von Creutz, Swedish ambassador to France, wrote to his government that “through the carelessness of Mr. Adams, the American agent, the secret finally leaked out” (Amandus Johnson, Swedish Contributions to American Freedom 1776–1783, 2 vols., Phila., 1953–1957, 1:577–580, 587–589; Miller, Treaties, 2:149). The report appeared in the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 18 February.
3. The preliminary Anglo-American treaty was printed in the Gazette d’Amsterdam on 11 February.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0159

Author: Codman, Stephen
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-08

From Stephen Codman

[salute] Sir:

I take the liberty to acquaint your Excellency of my arrival in this place the 15th Ulto. from Havana, in the Ship, Commerce, belonging to Mess Codman & Smith of Boston.— The very unexpected peace which has taken place, will very much injure our Voige, our Cargo of Sugars Still Remaining unsold, and no offers at present made.— I am notwithstanding getting the Ship ready for sea, and shall be able to dispatch her in all this Mo., and as I expect she will arrive in the American Seas before hostilities will cease I have to request of your Excellency, to procure (if possible) of the English Commissioner at Paris, a passport for my Ship against any English Cruizer, and to put her upon the footing of a peaceable Vessell.— The Ship is called the Commerce, is abt: 200 Tons, navigated by abt: 30 men, did mount 14. 6lb. Cannon (but if we procure this passport shall not mount them) the Captains name Ignatius Webber,1 her Cargo will consist principally of Brandy & Cordage, she will proceed from hence direcly for Portsmouth in the State of New Hampshire— Your Excellency will please to excuse my freedom in this Request. I was induced to make it, from a knowledge of your readiness at all times to assist a countryman, and from your connection in Mr Smiths family.— I sailed from Boston last July at which time that family was well, doubtless you have much later accos from thence—should your Excellency have any Commands for Boston, by this Ship you will please to give orders, and they shall with pleasure be executed— As my Ship will be kept waiting for an answer, your Excellency will please to forward this matter (if to be obtained,) by the first post,— after the dispatch of the Ship, I intend to take a tour thro’ France in my way to England and will do myself the honour of waiting upon your Excellency.— I congratulate your Excellency upon the peace, (which as I [am in]formed) is so honourable for our Country—
I have the honour to be / with Respect & Esteem / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient Servant
[signed] Stephen Codman2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency / John Adams Esq / Commissioner for the United / States of America. / att—Paris—”; internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esq:”; endorsed: “Stephen Codman / Feb. 8. ans 22. 1783”; notation: “Bilbao.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. This was not the first time that the Massachusetts privateer Commerce or its captain visited Bilbao. In May 1781, Bilbao merchants Joseph Gardoqui & Sons sent goods to AA on the vessel (AFC, 4:110).
2. Stephen Codman (1758–1844) was a son { 253 } of John Codman Sr. of Boston. His older brother, John Jr., was in partnership with William Smith, Isaac Smith Sr.'s son and AA's first cousin (Cora Codman Wolcott, The Codmans of Charlestown and Boston, 1637–1929, Brookline, Mass., 1930, p. 13, 63–65). JA's reply of 22 Feb. has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0160

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1783-02-09 - 1783-02-11

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We are honoured with your Excellency's letter of 5 Inst: by whch. you desire us to advertise in Some Gazette, for all persons in Amstm., who have any demand on your Excellency to bring the acct: to us, to hand the Same to you, for examination, we shall perform it and stipulate the time for it till 1st. March.
We observe your Excellency desires to have charged to the acct. of the United States the ballances of your acct. but as Messrs Van Staphorst & de La Lande & fynje ‘d not look upon this order en debita forma as directed to us alone, we beg to get the enclosed returned to us signed by your Excellency.2
We hope not by the before mentioned motion your Excellency may Leave Europe without before returning in Holland, as we Wish to be happy enough to see you again before it, if otherwise by your passage thro’ other places any letters of our House can be serviciable to your Excellency, please to call upon us.
the solidity of the bonds of Danemarch is so much declined in the opinion of publicq that the same are offered at 90% without buyers.
Mr. Thaxter writes us about the Coach whch. stands in needs of many repairs to the Amount even of 25 a 30 guineas, but if the man doth not incline to this, it maybe Sold for 50 a 60 Guineas, we let him be informed of, and prefers to have it sold at said price or higher if possible so he humbly prays your Excellency to order the disposal of the same on said terms or better's.
we beg our Compliments to Mr Thaxter and have the honour to be with respectfull regard / Sir / Your Excellency's Most Humble / and most Obedient Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
Pray Sir remember us to Mr J: Jay.3
The pacquet is handed to Mr Cerisier, such Pacquets costs a good deal of postage by the mails.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr / Paris”; endorsed: “Messs Willinks.” Filmed at [February 1783].
1. This date is derived from the Willinks’ mention of JA's letter of 5 Feb., above, and the estimate that it would have taken from four to six days for a letter to travel from { 254 } Paris to Amsterdam. This seems plausible because JA also wrote to Dumas on 5 and 7 Feb., both above, and in his reply of 13 Feb., below, Dumas indicated that the letter of the 5th was received by way of Amsterdam on the 13th, while that of the 7th was received directly from Paris on Tuesday the 11th.
2. The enclosure was a receipt indicating that the loan consortium was to charge to the account of the United States 7,107.06.08 guilders, received by JA.
3. This is likely Sir James Jay, for which see the Willinks’ letter of 9 Nov. 1782, above. The firm had had no known contact with his brother John to date.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0161

Author: Watson, Elkanah Jr.
Author: Cossoul, François
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-11

From Elkanah Watson & François Cossoul

[salute] Sir

We are induced to take the freedom to write to your Excellency from a presumption that our complicated situation will Justify the liberty— In short Sir we have several Ships on hand, but are entirely suspended in our opperations for the want of an eclaircessment respecting the extent of our commercial connection with England— We therefore hope your Excellency will favor us with your answer to the following questions, per return of Post if possible—Vizt:
Can American Vessels be Receiv'd in the Ports of England immediately after Peace is ratified? and if they will then be protected in the Ports of America with English Manufactored goods—?
We are told Congress are about contracting with the fermiers General to pay off the Continental debt in Tobacco,1 and shou'd this be the case we beg leave to crave your Excellency's patronage, We have been in treaty with the fermiers nearly Eighteen Months one of them dined with us lately in Nantes. and gave us some flattering expectations— Should they make application to your honour, and your knowledge of us can Justify your recommendation in our favour, we will pledge our honour, that you will never have cause to regret your confidence. and we shall esteem ourselves equally Indebted, whether we succeed or not— We think it apropos to observe that no American house in Europe receiv'd so large Consignments of Tobacco as ourselves in the course of the last Year, and we may add without flattery. no one better situated for Strict regularity and dispatch—2
We are with every sentiment of respect / your Excellency's— / Most Obedt. and very h'me Servants
[signed] Watson & Cossoul
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Honble: John Adams Esqr. / Paris—”
1. On 24 March 1777 Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane signed a contract with the Farmers General for a loan of two million livres to be paid for by shipments of tobacco, half the money to be advanced immediately. The second million was never paid, and by the date of this letter the Farmers General had received tobacco valued only at 153,229 { 255 } livres. In July the Farmers General wrote to Franklin to demand payment, but when Congress considered the request in November, it thought it inappropriate to enter into commercial transactions to discharge the debt, proposing instead that the debt be repaid using whatever revenues were available to Congress for the purpose. However, no payments had been made prior to the dissolution of the Farmers General in 1791 (Jacob M. Price, France and the Chesapeake, 2 vols., Ann Arbor, Mich. 1973, 2:714–715; JCC, 25:792–793).
2. Watson & Cossoul was founded by Elkanah Watson, a young merchant from Massachusetts who had apprenticed with John Brown of Providence, and François Cossoul, a Nantes merchant. Watson, who first went to Europe in 1779, had exchanged letters with JA in 1780, beginning a sporadic correspondence that would continue through 1825 (vol. 9:32–34, 256–257, 276–278). Initially prosperous, by late 1783 the firm was bankrupt and dissolved. Watson and Cossoul moved their business to the Americas, establishing operations in Edenton, N.C., and Haiti (DAB). In his reply of 16 Feb., JA indicated his belief that American ships would be received in either British or U.S. ports without passports. He added that he would keep the firm's request in mind if contacted by the Farmers General (LbC, APM Reel 108).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0162

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lagau, Philippe Jean Joseph
Date: 1783-02-13

To Philippe Jean Joseph Lagau

[salute] Sir,

I have recd. this morning the letter you did me the honor to write me the 31st. January, & knowing nothing of Mr: Harras I opened the letter to him according to your express desire. The letter enclosed I shall send by the first opportunity to America. The letter to Mr: Harras I shall seal again & send to the Hague—but I know nothing of such a person—.
The Bill of exchange you speak of I have never recd. nor before heard of. I suspect you may have been imposed on—1
I am very anxious abt. a young American of 15. or 16. years of age, who was to have passed thro’ Hamburg to the Hague, in Decr: or Jany: but I've heard nothing of him— He was at Stockholm the beginning of Decer: since wh: I have heard nothing of him. If you have heard any thing of him at Copenhagen, Hamburg, or elsewhere, you will oblige me much to let me know it—
I am, Sir, / yr:
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr: Hagau. Chargè / des Affaires du Consulat / de France— / Hamburgh.—”; APM Reel 108.
1. In his letter of 31 Jan. (Adams Papers), Lagau, chargé d’affaires of the French consulate at Hamburg, forwarded a letter to an otherwise unidentified Charles Harras. That letter presumably contained the bill of exchange that JA mentions here. For the circumstances that led Lagau to supply Harras with a substantial amount of money and the denouement of the affair, which confirms JA's suspicion that the French diplomat had “been imposed on,” see Lagau's letters of 14 and 28 Feb. and letters exchanged by Dumas and JA of 18 and 23 Feb., respectively, all below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0163

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-13

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

J’ai reçu les 2 respectables vôtres du 5 & du 7 court., la derniere mardi au soir directement, & la Iere. ce matin par Amsterdam.
Je prends part à votre inquiétude pour Mr. votre fils. Mais par les mesures que j’ai prises, j’espere que vous en serez bientôt quitte. J’ai donné un Extrait de votre Lettre du 7 accompagné d’un note signée de ma part, à Mr. le Duc de la Vauguyon, qui va l’envoyer au Ministre de France à Hambourg, qui est requis de faire les perquisitions nécessaires à Hambourg, Lubeck & Stralsund. J’ai donné pareil Extrait & note à Mr. D’Asp, qui va écrire aussi à Stockholm, à Elseneur, & à Coppenhague au ministre de Suede pour le même sujet. Dans ma note Mr. votre fils est requis de m’écrire & partir tout de suite pour se rendre ici. Je regrette seulement, que vous ne m’ayiez pas mis plutôt en oeuvre, pour vous épargner cette inquiétude, qui me fait de la peine.1
Ne craignez aucune indiscrétion de ma part, Monsieur, quant à votre Lettre du 5. La persoñe que vous exceptez nom̃ément n’en saura rien sur mon honneur.2 J’ai fait confidence du contenu à Mrs. Van B——, Gr. & Visscher, qui viennent de sortir de chez moi, sous le sceau du secret; & je suis sûr d’eux.— Il faudra bien que l’affaire de la Navigation libre s’arrange à la satisfaction de tous; autrement ce seroit une boete de Pandore, dont une Puissance après l’autre deviendroit dupe à coup sûr.
Je vous rendrai confidence pour confidence; mais c’est entierement pour vous tout seul: c’est que le Ministre de la rep. pour l’Amérique, sera Mr. de Dedem Cousin de Mr. De Capelle du Pol. Cela étant, j’ai bonne opinion des liaisons futures de nos deux républiques: car nos patriotes sont sûrs de lui; & vont travailler pour le faire proposer par cette province, qui s’est réservé3 la proposition dans sa résolution à ce sujet.4
Je Suis, Monsieur, avec grand respect, de votre Excellence / le très humble & / très-obéissant servit
[signed] Dumas
Dans une autre Lettre, j’espere de pouvoir vous confier aussi, Monsieur,5 avec certitude, pour qui l’on travaille, pour avoir la mission de cette rep. à la Cour de Londres: car ce ne sera pas pour Mr. De W.6
P. S. Mr. de Dedem n’est plus un secret. Il va être proposé. Mr. Branzen le sait aussi
{ 257 }

Translation

[salute] Sir

I have received your two esteemed letters of 5 and 7 February, the latter arriving on Tuesday evening directly and the former this morning via Amsterdam.
I share your anxiety regarding your son. But in view of the steps I have taken, I trust you will soon be reassured. I have given an extract from your letter of 7 February, together with a note signed by me, to the Duc de La Vauguyon. He is going to send it to the French minister at Hamburg, who is instructed to make the necessary inquiries in Hamburg, Lübeck, and Stralsund. I gave the same extract and note to Mr. Asp; he too will write to Stockholm, Elsinore, and to the Swedish minister at Copenhagen. In my note, your son is required to write back to me and leave at once for The Hague. I only regret that you did not put me to work sooner, to spare yourself this worry, which distresses me.1
You need fear no indiscretion on my part, sir, with regard to your letter of 5 February. The person you expressly exclude will know nothing of the matter, I swear.2 I have entrusted the contents to Mr. Van Berckel, Mr. Gyselaar, and Mr. Visscher; they have just left my house, sworn to secrecy, and I am sure of them all. The business of the freedom of the seas will have to be settled to everyone's satisfaction; otherwise, it will be a Pandora's box, entangling one power after another without fail.
I shall repay your confidence with another, but for your eyes only: the republic's minister to America will be Mr. Dedem, cousin of Mr. Capellen tot den Pol. This gives me high hopes for the future relations between our two republics, for our patriots are sure of him. They will work to see he is put forward by this province, which has reserved to itself3 the resolution on this subject.4
I am, sir, with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
In another letter I hope soon to tell you confidentially and5 with certainty who we are working to have nominated as the republic's ambassador to London; for it will not be Mr. Van Welderen.6
P. S. Mr. Dedem is no longer a secret. He will be put forward. Mr. Brantsen is aware of this too.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exc. Mr. Adams, Min. Plenipo: des Et. Un.”
1. Dumas wrote to the Duc de La Vauguyon and Swedish chargé, Per Olof von Asp, on 14 Feb. (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 498).
2. La Vauguyon.
3. The remainder of this sentence was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
4. On 21 Feb. the Gazette d’Amsterdam reported that the States of Holland and West Friesland had nominated Baron van Dedem de Pekkendam d’Overyssel to be the Dutch minister to the United States. On the 28th the paper corrected itself and indicated that { 258 } person named was Dedem de Pekkendam's cousin, Baron Frederick Gysbert van Dedem tot den Gelder en Hartssmeulen, deputy to the States General from Overijssel, signer of the 1782 Dutch-American Treaty and Convention, and later minister to the Ottoman Empire, but that the other provinces had not yet made their determination on the subject (vol. 13:381, 386; Repertorium, 3:270–271). Dedem, however, was not to be the first Dutch minister to the United States; rather, it was Pieter Johan van Berckel who received the appointment in late February, for which see Dumas’ letter of 28 Feb., below.
5. The following two words were written in the left margin for insertion at this point.
6. Almost certainly Count Jan Walraad van Welderen, who served as minister from 1762 until the outbreak of war in 1780. Baron Dirk Wolter de Lynden van Blitterswyck was named Dutch minister to Britain in 1784 (Repertorium, 3:264).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0164

Author: Ingraham, Duncan Jr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-13

From Duncan Ingraham Jr.

[salute] Sir

Your much esteem'd favór of 7th Inst with which I am Honour'd was receiv'd Yesterday & am very sorry that you have cause to be anxious about your Son John Quincy Adams.—1 I will write next post to Hamburg, Copenhagen & Gottenburg & endeavour to Learn something of him & which I hope to give you a pleasing Account of per return of the Northern Post.—
I am much oblidg'd by your Intention to send me some Passports for our Vessels which are now Laying here at a Great expence, of our own are the three following. Vizt
150 Tons   Brigt. Sukey   Capt.   Moses Grinnel for Boston—  
130 ”   Brigt Constance   Capt:   Cornelius Fellows for Do.—  
150 ”   Brigt Stadt Berlin   Capt.   James Hayden for Philadelphia.  
there are several Dutch Vessels beginning to fit out but I presume that every thing will be establish'd on a Peace Basis before they Sail.— Capt. Frazier in the Firebrand to Mess Deneufvilles House is also ready.—
Mr Nalboró Frazier goes to Philadelphia in the Stadt Berlin & will take charge of any Dispatches you may wish to forward.—2
Mrs: Ingraham has encreas'd my Family this Morning with a Dutch Girl, she desires her respects as do the rest of my Family.—3
I have the Honór to be with much esteem / & respect / Sir / Your most Obedt: Servant
[signed] Duncan Ingraham Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr.—”
1. The letter of the 7th has not been found, but it likely was similar to JA's letter to C. W. F. Dumas of that date, above.
2. Merchant Nalbro Frazier, who later in 1783 formed a partnership with Tench Coxe at Philadelphia that continued until 1790 (Jacob E. Cooke, Tench Coxe and the Early Republic, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1978, p. 62–79).
3. Susannah Greenleaf Ingraham (1754–1832) had just given birth to Sophia May Ingraham (1783–1864) (Richard D. Flinn, The Descendants of Philander Chase, Hillsboro, Ohio, 1991, p. lii, 1).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0165

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-13

From Robert R. Livingston

No. 15.

[salute] Sir

On my return the night before last from a Journey to the State of Newyork, I found you favours of the 6th: 7th: 17th: 17th: 23d: September,1 they contain important and useful information, and that particularly of the 6th: is replete with matter, which deserves an attention, that I lament the not having it in my power to give it at this moment, as the Express by which this goes to Baltimore is upon the wing— I congratulate you most sincerely upon having surmounted all the obstacles, that opposed themselves to the completion of our important Connection with the United States— It has I think given the last blow to the pride of Britain, its power so far as it could endanger us was past recovery before, except as it derived force from its pride, which like the last strugles of a dying Man, gave an appearance of vigor to the Body which it was about to destroy—
This covers a ratification of the Treaty, the first Copy sent by Mr: Jefferson has not been signed by me, owing to my absence—that Gentleman has not yet sailed from Baltimore, having been delayed by a number of the Enemy's Cruisers which infest the Bay—2
We this day received the Speech of his Britannick Majesty,3 it breaths so much the language of peace, that I begin to think it will be unnecessary to give Mr. Jefferson the trouble of going over at all— The delays he had met with will leave you longer without intelligence from hence than I would ever wish you to be, tho’ no important Event has taken place, except the evacuation of Charles Town—4 Our distress for want of money has rather increased than diminished, this object will demand your attention, full as much if the war should be terminated, as if it should continue— The Army and other public Creditors begin to grow very uneasy, and our present exhausted situation will not admit of internal Loans or such taxes as will suffice to give them relief—
I have sent you three different setts of Cyphers not thinking it adviseable to send duplicates be pleased to let me know whether any, and which have arrived safe5
I am Sir / with very great Respect and Esteem / your most obedt. humble Servant
[signed] Robt R Livingston
{ 260 }
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Honorable / John Adams—”; endorsed: “No. 15. / Mr Livingston / Feb 13. 1783. Recd 28 May / ansd 30th.” and “Recd 28 May.” For the enclosures, filmed at 23 Jan., see note 2.
2. JA enclosed the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Convention on Recaptures with his letter of 8 Oct. 1782 to Livingston (vol. 13:389–393). Read in Congress on 21 Jan., the treaty and convention were ratified on the 23d (JCC, 24:50, 66–82). Livingston enclosed the ratified treaty and convention with this letter. In the Adams Papers is one set of the ratified documents that came either with this or a duplicate letter. For the exchange of ratifications, see JA's letters to Dumas and Livingston of 29 and 30 May, respectively, both below.
3. For George III's 5 Dec. 1782 speech to Parliament, see JA to Livingston, 14 Dec., and note 4, above.
4. Charleston had been evacuated on 14 Dec. 1782 (vol. 13:221).
5. For the ciphers sent by Livingston, see same, p. 86, 87, 427, 432–433, 436, 533.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0166

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1783-02-14

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Mr Storer, whom you know, will deliver you this, but whether he will find you at Brussells or else where, I knew not.
I begin to grow impatient to See, the definitive Treaty Signed that I may take myself away, from this dull Place.
I am just returned from Dinner, with the Sweedish Ambassador, who invited Us all, upon occasion of the Signature of the Treaty, between his Master and Congress, which was done the 5. instant— I am much pleased with this Ambassador, 1. because he has a noble Library. 2. because his Face is pale, as if he keept his Books to read, not merely for shew. 3. because he talks a good deal and 4. because he talks well, like a man of Sense and Learning.— I Should endeavour to be acquainted with this Man more intimately, if I were to Stay here.— he has been 18 years at this Court.1
Will you be the Mentor of my young Friend who bears this and give him good Council, as you often do me
your most obedient
[signed] J. Adams.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Edmund Jennings Esqr.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Gustaf Philip, Count von Creutz, the Swedish ambassador, presented his credentials in April 1766 and took leave in May 1783 (Repertorium, 3:408).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0167

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Oswald, Richard
Date: 1783-02-14

To Richard Oswald

[salute] Sir

I hope You will excuse the Liberty I take of writing You a Line by Mr. Charles Storer, who has been for some time one of my Family, { 261 } to enquire after your Health and Welfare, in which I interest myself very much.
We have expected You here every day for a long time, and begin to be apprehensive You dont design to return, which will be a disappointment to me, because I wish to have the pleasure of finishing the Work of Peace with a Gentleman, who has conducted it hitherto with so much Advantage. If this satisfaction is not be obtained, I wish the Service in the Hands of some one equally possessed of the only System, which can ever conduct it to a right Conclusion, for the Prosperity of your Country or mine— Of one thing I am well persuaded, that no Man will ever be found with better qualifications or dispositions.—
If You should not return here, it is not very probable we shall meet again— But whether together or assunder, I shall carry with me at all times the most entire Esteem and Respect for Mr. Oswald.
I have the honor to be, Sir, —
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Richard Oswald Esqr.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0168

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vaughan, Benjamin
Date: 1783-02-14

To Benjamin Vaughan

[salute] Sir

Mr Charles Storer, of Boston who has for Sometime past made one of my Family, will have the Honour to deliver you this. On Account of his amiable Qualities and his Discretion, I have presumed to introduce him to you, relying at the Sametime on your Goodness to excuse me for taking Such a Freedom.
We expect every hour, and with not a little of Impatience, an Account of the Debates upon the Preliminary Treaties. Appearances intimate a formidable Opposition, and We are Sorry to See, a Richmond & a Keppell retiring.— if their Places Should be filled with Persons less benevolent to Us, or if you will, less convinced of the Importance of restoring as much as possible the old good Nature and good humour, the Change will not be for the better.1
Where is Mr Oswald? and Mr Laurens? Are We not to finish with the former?— I hope So, because, I am perswaded there is no Man, better qualified, in the head or the heart to do the Business well.—
If any Pamphlets have been published upon the Peace, I should be obliged to you to name them to Mr storer that he may bring them with him.
{ 262 }
With great Respect and Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir your most obedient and humbl. sert
[signed] J. Adams.
RC (NjP:De Coppet Coll.); internal address: “Mr Benjamin Vaughan”; endorsed: “Paris. 14. Febr. 1783. / Mr. J. Adams / to / Mr Vaughan.”; notation: “expect a formidable / Opposition in Parliament / to the Prelimes: / Sorry to see Richmond & / Keppel retiring.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Charles Lennox, 3d Duke of Richmond and Lennox, served as master general of the ordnance in the Rockingham and Shelburne ministries, but by January he no longer participated in cabinet discussions. Refusing to join the Fox-North coalition, he resigned on 3 April but resumed his post later in the year under William Pitt (DNB).
Adm. Viscount Augustus Keppel served as first lord of the admiralty in Rockingham's ministry and also in Shelburne's until January. He returned to the admiralty in April with the formation of the Fox-North coalition (same).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0169

Author: Lagau, Philippe Jean Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-14

From Philippe Jean Joseph Lagau

[salute] Monsieur

J’ai eu l’honneur de vous addresser Le 31 du mois dernier une lettre pour M Harras dont j’ai eu l’honneur de faire la connoissance à son passage par cette ville.1
Ce jeune homme arriva ici à la fin du mois de novembre accompagné de M Chapmann Capitaine en Second à bord du navire americain La Grace Capitaine George Michel qui a eu la malheur de faire nauffrage sur les côtes de Jutland.2 j’ai crû de mon devoir de rendre à lui et à L’autre comme alliés tous les services qui dependoient de moi; en consequence je n’ai pas balancé à fournir dabord au premier le necessaire pour faire sa route d’ici a Amsterdam en lui avancant une somme de 25 Ducats d’hollande pour la quelle il m’a donné un Billet sur son Capitaine à Tistedt en jutland qui sera probablement payé. Le Second c’est à dire le S. harras s’est arreté en cette ville à peu pres trois semaines se trouvant incommodé de ses fatigues et ne pouvant à cause de cela accompagné son compagnon de Voyage. aprés s’etre retablis il vint me trouver pour me prier de le faire partir aussi. D’aprés des preuves que j’avois eu qu’il etoit le neveu du president Mores à Philadelphie je n’ai pas balancé de payer sa depense à hambourg ainsi que son Voyage d’ici a Amsterdam montant ensemble à 50 Ducats d’hollande pour les quels il m’a donné une Lettre dechange sur vous Monsieur en m’assurant que vous la payeriéz certainement. sa conduite reglée, jointe au zêle que j’avois et que j’ai de rendre service aux alliés du Roy mon maitre me dicterent une pleine confiance en sa parôle. mais quel est mon etonnement aujourd’hui que je reçois sa lettere dechange de retour { 263 } et que j’apprends que le payement en est refusé. Oserois je dans cette circonstance reclamer vos bontés et vous faire envisager combien il seroit injuste que je perde cette somme que je n’ai avancé que pour secourir en païs etranger des americains denués de tout ressource. je compte trop sur votre equité Monsieur pour m’inquieter du payement de mes avances et c’est dans cette ferme confiance que j’ai pris la Liberté de vous faire representer une seconde fois La lettre de change en question en vous suppliant de vouloir bien L’honorer ou m’indinquer Les moyens comment m’y prendre pour recouvrir mon payement.
Permettér que je profite de cette occasion pour vous renouveller L’hommage du profond respect avec le quel j’ai l’honneur detre / Monsieur / Votre trés humble et / trés obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Lagau
[signed] Chargé des affaires du Consulat
[signed] General de France a hambourg

Translation

[salute] Sir

On the 31st of last month I had the honor of sending you a letter for Mr. Harras, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when he passed through this town.1
This young man arrived here at the end of November accompanied by Mr. Chapman, first officer of the American ship Grace, Captain George Mitchell, which had the misfortune to be shipwrecked off the coast of Jutland.2 I thought it my duty to help both gentlemen in any way I could, since they were allies. Accordingly I did not hesitate to provide Mr. Chapman with what he needed to travel to Amsterdam, and lent him the sum of 25 Dutch ducats; for which he gave me a note on his captain at Tisted in Jutland, which will probably be paid. Mr. Harras stayed on in this town for about three weeks, being in a state of exhaustion and thus unable to leave with his traveling companion. On his recovery he came to ask if I could arrange for his departure too. Since I had proof that he was the nephew of President Morris in Philadelphia, I did not hesitate to pay for his journey to Hamburg, as well as for his trip from here to Amsterdam; this amounted to 50 Dutch ducats, for which he gave me a letter of exchange on you, sir, assuring me that you would certainly honor it. His good manners, together with my eagerness to assist the allies of my master the king, gave me every confidence in his word. However, to my great astonishment, his letter of exchange was returned to me today, and I am told that payment is refused. May I under the circumstances appeal to your kindness, and point out how unjust it would be if I lost this sum, which I only put forward to assist two penniless Americans in a foreign country? I believe too strongly in your { 264 } fairness to worry about repayment of my loan, and it is in this firm confidence that I have taken the liberty of presenting for the second time the letter of exchange in question, begging you either to honor it or to indicate how I should set about recovering this sum.
Allow me to take advantage of this opportunity to renew the tribute of deep respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Lagau
Chargé d’Affaires of the Consulate
General of France at Hamburg
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Lagau 14. Feb. / 1783. ansd 23.”
1. For Lagau's letter of 31 Jan. (Adams Papers), and the outcome of his effort to assist the otherwise unidentified Charles Harras, see JA's reply of 13 Feb., note 1, above.
2. The brigantine Grace, Capt. George Mitchell, was bound for Philadelphia from Amsterdam with a cargo of textiles when it went aground and was wrecked (PCC, No. 78, IV, f. 345, 354, and No. 91, f. 12; Morris, Papers, 7:314, 8:135).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0170

Author: George III
Date: 1783-02-14

George III, Proclamation of the Cessation of Hostilities

By the KING.
A PROCLAMATION,
Declaring the Cessation of Arms, as well by Sea as Land, agreed upon between His Majesty, the Most Christian King, the King of Spain, the States General of the United Provinces, and the United States of America, and enjoining the Observance thereof.
GEORGE R.
WHEREAS Provisional Articles were signed at Paris, on the Thirtieth Day of November last, between Our Commissioner for treating of Peace with the Commissioners of the United States of America and the Commissioners of the said States, to be inserted in and to constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded between Us and the said United States, when Terms of Peace should be agreed upon between Us and His Most Christian Majesty: And whereas Prelimininaries for restoring Peace between Us and His Most Christian Majesty were signed at Versailles on the Twentieth Day of January last, by the Ministers of Us and the Most Christian King: And whereas Preliminaries for restoring Peace between Us and the King of Spain were also signed at Versailles on the Twentieth Day of January last, between the Ministers of Us and the King of Spain: And whereas, for putting an End to the Calamity of War as soon and as far as may be possible, it hath been agreed between { 265 } Us, His Most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the States General of the United Provinces, and the United States of America, as follows; that is to say,
That such Vessels and Effects as should be taken in the Channel and in the North Seas, after the Space of Twelve Days, to be computed from the Ratification of the said Preliminary Articles, should be restored on all Sides; That the Term should be One Month from the Channel and the North Seas as far as the Canary Islands inclusively, whether in the Ocean or in the Mediterranean; Two Months from the said Canary Islands as far as the Equinoctial Line or Equator; and lastly, Five Months in all other Parts of the World, without any Exception, or any other more particular Description of Time or Place.2
And whereas the Ratifications of the said Preliminary Articles between Us and the Most Christian King, in due Form, were exchanged by the Ministers of Us and of the Most Christian King, on the Third Day of this instant February; and the Ratifications of the said Preliminary Articles between Us and the King of Spain were exchanged between the Ministers of Us and of the King of Spain, on the Ninth Day of this instant February; from which Days respectively the several Terms above-mentioned, of Twelve Days, of One Month, of Two Months, and of Five Months, are to be computed: And whereas it is Our Royal Will and Pleasure that the Cessation of Hostilities between Us and the States General of the United Provinces, and the United States of America, should be agreeable to the Epochs fixed between Us and the Most Christian King:
We have thought fit, by and with the Advice of Our Privy Council, to notify the same to all Our loving Subjects; and We do declare, that Our Royal Will and Pleasure is, and We do hereby strictly charge and command all Our Officers, both at Sea and Land, and all other Our Subjects whatsoever, to forbear all Acts of Hostility, either by Sea or Land, against His Most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the States General of the United Provinces, and the United States of America, their Vassals or Subjects, from and after the respective Times above-mentioned, and under the Penalty of incurring Our highest Displeasure.
Given at Our Court at Saint James's, the Fourteenth Day of February, in the Twenty-third Year of Our Reign, and in the Year of Our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.
God save the King.
{ 266 }
Reprinted from broadside (Adams Papers); endorsed: “King of G. B. Proclama / tion declaring the Cessa / tion of Hostilities. dated / 14. Feb. 1783.” Printed at the bottom of the page is the following publication information: “LONDON: Printed by CHARLES EYRE and WILLIAM STRAHAN, Printers to the King's most Excellent Majesty. 1783.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
2. The Anglo-American preliminary treaty of 30 Nov. 1782 had taken effect on 20 Jan. with the signing of the Anglo-French preliminaries on that date. However, the 30 Nov. agreement contained no provision for implementing, throughout the world, the Anglo-American cessation of hostilities also agreed to on 20 Jan., calendared above. Therefore, this and the corresponding paragraph in the American proclamation of 20 Feb. are translations of Art. 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary treaty of 20 Jan., a copy of which is in the Adams Papers at that date.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0171

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Date: 1783-02-15

To Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Sir

The Morceau inclosed, is translated from a Pamphlet lately published in London, in which this Piece is inserted.
It is curious in itself, but considering the time and Place when and where it was first published, it is a document of History, for it was a political Machine, which had great Effects.
As Such I should be obliged to you, if you would insert it at length in the Politique Hollandais, but if you cannot, or do not choose to do that, you may print it in a Pamphlet by itself, or give it to Mr Holtrop, who will be glad to print it, with a french Translation of the History of the Rise, and Progres of the Disputes with America.1
I sent you, Some days ago, a few Lines with seven Papers inclosed.2 I should be glad to know if you have recd them as well as this. You see I confide much in your Discretion.
What do you think of our Peace? Is it well made? Will it last?
your most obedient
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr A. M. Cerisier.”; APM Reel 110.
1. The enclosed “Morceau” is JA's “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” which was included in the London edition of A Collection of State-Papers in late November 1782 (vol. 13:258, note 3). JA had apparently had the “Dissertation” translated into French and is here indicating that if Cerisier did not publish it in Le politique hollandais, Willem Holtrop, an Amsterdam bookseller and publisher, could publish it as part of a French edition of his Geschiedenis van het geschil tusschen Groot-Britannie en Amerika, zedert deszelfs oorsprong, in den jaare 1754, tot op den tegenwoordigen tijd. Door . . . John Adams, Amsterdam, 1782. That volume was an abridged edition of JA's 1775 Novanglus letters, which had originally appeared in John Almon's Remembrancer for 1775 (p. 24–32, 45–54). JA's History of the Dispute with America; From Its Origin in 1754. Written in the Year 1774 was published in London in 1784. The only significant difference between { 267 } the Dutch and English versions was the inclusion in the former of two letters dated 21 Jan. and 10 Feb. 1775 to a “Friend in London,” which Almon had printed separately (p. 10–12). For Cerisier's proposal to publish the “Dissertation,” see his reply of 26 Feb., below; and for the “Dissertation,” the unabridged Novanglus letters, and those to a “Friend in London,” see vol. 1:103–128; 2:214–215, 216–387, 391–393.
2. These “seven Papers” comprised the “Parcell” that JA sent to Cerisier under a brief covering letter of 24 Jan. (LbC, APM Reel 110). JA wanted them published in Le politique hollandais, but without revealing his identity and “without any Preamble or Remarks.” The documents cannot be identified with certainty because JA never indicated what he sent nor Cerisier what he received. However, prefaced by Cerisier's note that he had received several documents relating to the Anglo-American peace negotiations that had not appeared in any public paper, Le politique hollandais for 17 (p. 11–16) and 24 Feb. (p. 17–29) contained the following seven items: JA's 29 Sept. 1779 commission to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty; JA's 29 Sept. 1779 commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty; the 15 June 1781 joint commission to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty; Congress’ resolution of 12 July revoking JA's commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty; Richard Oswald's 21 Sept. 1782 commision to treat with the United States; the 30 Nov. 1782 preliminary Anglo-American peace treaty; and the 20 Jan. 1783 declarations of the Anglo-American suspension of arms and the cessation of hostilities.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0172

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-15

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Je saisis l’occasion d’un Courier de la Rep., pour vous confirmer ma Lettre d’hier par la poste,1 où je vous rends compte des précautions prises pour avoir au plutôt des nouvelles de Mr. votre fils, & pour le faire arriver au plutôt ici. Je m’attends à apprendre que ce n’est que la saison, dans un pays septentrional comm̃e la Suede, qui l’aura empêché de se remettre en route aussi vite que vous le desiriez.
Celleci vous parviendra dans une autre que Mr. Visscher écrit à Mr. Brantsen.
Ce que vous me dites, Monsieur, dans la vôtre du 5, ou plutôt ce que vous ne m’y dites pas, me fait desirer avec impatience votre retour ici, c’est-à-dire, la conclusion finale du Traité Définitif de Paix générale: car je ne vois pas d’apparence à avoir cette satisfaction plutôt.
Il me tarde extrêmement d’apprendre ce qu’il peut y avoir de pire que le tour joué à nos amis.— Il regne un froid à glacer, pas entre eux & moi (au contraire), mais entre eux & certain caractere dont ils plaignent pourtant la personne; & s’il en faut croire ce qu’on se dit ici à l’oreille, il est à plaindre, après toutes les peines qu’il s’est données pour bien servir, & tout le succès qu’ont eu ses peines.2
Nous som̃es fort curieux ici de savoir le rôle & les allures à Paris & à Versailles de Mr. De H. le Chambn. du Pce.3
{ 268 }
Mr. de Dedem est en Overyssel. Notre ami m’a montré une Lettre qu’il lui écrit aujourd’hui, sur laquelle il doit se rendre incessamment ici, pour s’y trouver la semaine prochaine quand il sera proposé. Nos amis en ont déjà parlé au Gd. Pre., qui l’approuve, & au Pce., qui leur a répondu froidement qu’il étoit carte blanche4 c’est à dire qu’on pouvoit faire com̃e on vouloit.— Je serai certainement des premiers à l’aller complimenter, dès qu’il sera arrivé.
Je suis, Monsieur, avec grand respect / De Votre Excellence / le très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur,
[signed] Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

I am taking advantage of a courier of the republic to confirm the letter I sent yesterday by post,1 wherein I inform you of steps taken to get the fastest possible news of your son and to summon him here as soon as possible. I expect to learn that it is only the winter weather, in a northern country like Sweden, that has prevented him from setting forth as promptly as you wish.
This letter will come to you enclosed in another, which Mr. Visscher is writing to Mr. Brantsen.
What you mention, sir, in your letter of 5 February—or rather, what you omit—makes me impatient for your return. I refer to the conclusion of the general peace treaty, for I see no likelihood of having this satisfaction any sooner.
I am also impatient to learn what could be worse than the trick played on our friends. A glacial coldness reigns—not between them and me (quite the contrary), but between them and a certain character whom they nonetheless pity as a man; and if rumors here are to be believed, he is indeed to be pitied, given the efforts he has made to be of service and the success these efforts have had.2
We are very curious to hear how Mr. Heyden de Reynestein, the prince's chamberlain, is conducting himself at Paris and Versailles and what role he has played.3
Mr. Dedem is in Overijssel. Our friend showed me a letter he wrote today, stating Mr. Dedem must come back here immediately to be present when his name is put forward next week. Our friends have already spoken of this to the grand pensionary, who approves, and to the prince, who answered rather coldly that they had carte blanche,4 meaning they could do as they wished. I shall certainly be among the first to congratulate him when he arrives.
I am, sir, with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams.”
{ 269 }
1. Dumas to JA, 13 Feb., above.
2. That is, the French ambassador, the Duc de La Vauguyon.
3. On 7 March the Gazette d’Amsterdam reported that William V's chamberlain, Count Sigismund Pieter Alexander van Heyden de Reynestein, who had been charged with a particular mission to the court of France, had been treated with distinction and met several times with the Comte de Vergennes. No reference by JA to the chamberlain or his activities at Paris has been found.
4. The remainder of this sentence was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point. William V was referring to the province of Holland's reserving to itself the power to nominate and confirm its candidate for the post of minister to the United States, for which see Dumas’ letter of 13 Feb., above. Its ostensible candidate, Baron Frederick Gysbert van Dedem tot den Gelder, arrived at The Hague on the morning of 20 Feb. (from Dumas, 20 Feb., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0173

Author: Grand, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-15

From Henry Grand

[salute] Monsieur

La situation des Finances ici est telle que je suis obligé de recourir à tous les moyens propres à les améliorer & comme la Voye de vôtre Emprunt en Hollande peut y contribuer M. Franklin ma autorisé en consequence à ecrire aux Messieurs d’hollande qui en sont chargés, la lettre que j’ai lhoñeur de vous remettre ici, vous priant de vouloir bien joindre vôtre Aprobation à celle de M. franklin. afin que je puisse encore la faire partir par le Courrier de ce matin.1
J’ai lhonneur d’etre avec tout le Respect possible / Monsieur / Vôtre très humble & très obeissant serviteur,
[signed] Grand

Translation

[salute] Sir

The financial situation here is such that I am forced to resort to all necessary means to improve it. As the loan you are arranging in Holland may prove helpful, Mr. Franklin has authorized me to write to the Dutch bankers responsible. I have the honor to enclose my letter to them and ask you to append your approval to that of Mr. Franklin so that I can yet dispatch it with this morning's post.1
I have the honor to be with all possible respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Grand
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Son Excellence Monsieur J Adams Paris.”
1. Grand's letter to the consortium has not been found, but he also wrote to Robert Morris on 15 Feb. and laid out the demands for funds that were producing the crisis alluded to in this letter to JA. Grand noted that the quarterly subsidy from France had already been received and expended, leaving him with virtually nothing to pay, among other things, the bills of exchange and loan office certificates just received from Morris; interest on the Dutch loan guaranteed by France; bills accepted, but not paid, by John { 270 } Jay at Madrid; and the ministers’ salaries (Morris, Papers, 7:435–436). Under these circumstances it is understandable that Grand would turn to JA's 1782 loan and the consortium for relief. For JA's view of Grand's demand, see his 23 Feb. letter to the consortium; but see also the consortium's response of 3 March, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0174

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-17

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

None of yoúr Excellency's favours to answer Since our Last of 2 Janny.1 whereby we acquainted yoúr Excellency the Compleating of the £[₶]400/M Desired by Mr: Grand at Paris. the drafts we paid of Boƒ2200.— accepted by yoúr Excellency. and the distribútion of Obligations during the month of December. amounting to a Sum of ƒ24000.—.
Having Since wrote to his Excellency Robert Morris Esqr. we advised him that in the Course of the month of Jany. we distributed again Several Obligations amounting to ƒ18000.—.
We also receiv'd a Letter of his Excellency of 27th. noṽ wherein he acquaints ús of Several drafts Done on ús for the amount of Fifty Thousand Seven hundred and Six Current florins.2 which Shall all be duely paid. being 8. thereof presented and accepted before we received his Excellency's advice.
Messs. John de Neufville & Son have deliverd us a note of 7 Coupons paid by them for yoúr Excellen. account as.
N   95   }   Each of ƒ25.—.— due 1st Septr.
1782. amt. . . . . to  
ƒ175.—  
  96  
  98  
  99  
  167  
  169  
  170  
      for Several postage of Letters   “ 4.10—  
        together ƒ179.10—  
bút as we have no order of yoúr Excellency to pay this. we Shall be very glad to receive it as Likewise yoúr further approbation on any other demands these Gentlemen might do on ús3
We have the Honoúr to remain with a perfect Consideration / Sir / Yoúr Excellys. most obedt. / most humb Servants.
{ 271 }
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink.
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excelly. John Adams Esqr. / at Paris.”
1. Not found, but see the consortium's letter of 9 Jan, above, which concerns many of the matters attributed to the 2 Jan. letter.
2. Morris, Papers, 7:124.
3. These coupons were the legacy of JA's unsuccessful 1781 effort to raise a loan through Jean de Neufville & Fils.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Kemp, François Adriaan Van der
Date: 1783-02-18

To François Adriaan Van der Kemp

[salute] Dear Sir

The Bearer of this, Dr. John Wheelock, is President of an Institution in America, which is founded upon good Principles and deserves Encouragement. If you will give him Leave he will explain to you his Errand to Europe, and if you think there is any Prospect of his Success, I should be obliged to you for any Advice you may give him.2
I am impatient to get back to Holland where I hope to have the pleasure of a little more Conversation upon the Times. remember me most respectfully and affectionately to our Friend in Overyssel, the Baron de Poll.
With much Esteem & Respect, / Your most obedient servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (PHi:John Adams Letters); internal address: “Mr Van der Kemp.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. For François Adriaan Van der Kemp, Mennonite minister, fervent Dutch patriot, and JA's longtime friend and correspondent, see JA, D&A, 2:456.
2. For John Wheelock's mission to Europe to raise money and obtain materials for Dartmouth College, see the Sept. 1782 letter from the college's trustees (vol. 13:488–489). On 18 Feb., in addition to this letter to Van der Kemp, JA wrote letters of introduction to Jean Luzac (ICHi:Madlener U.S. Presidents Coll.), Daniel Crommelin & Sons, C. W. F. Dumas, Rev. Archibald MacLaine, Baron Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol, and the loan consortium (all LbC's, APM Reel 108).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0176

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-18

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Nos amis sont très contents de la Déclaration réitérée que je leur ai faite de votre part, &c., & vont agir en conséquence auprès de la Cour de France, compris celle d’Espagne, & auprès de vos { 272 } Excellences. Ils me paroissent persuadés, que la mesure peut & doit réussir. Cependant, à tout événement, ils me chargent de proposer encore la question suivante, pour obtenir là-dessus une réponse, favorable s’il se peut, qui acheveroit de les mettre à l’aise, & de les tranquilliser.
“Q. Lorsque L. H. P. auront fait la proposition à la France, de signer conjointement avec l’Espagne, l’Amérique, & les Pays-Bas unis, une Convention fondée sur les principes de la Neutralité armée pour le maintien de la liberté de la Navigation;— au cas que la France & l’Espagne parussent vouloir reculer & différer une telle convention, ou S’y refuser avant la conclusion ou signature du Traité définitif;— Mr. Dana, & pendant son absence Mr. Adams, Soit seul & com̃e Ministre des Etats-Unis auprès de cette République, ou avec Mrs. ses Collegues, seroient-ils prets à signer une telle Convention provisionnelle, lorsqu’elle leur seroit proposée de la part de L. H. P., entre les Etats-Unis & les Pays-Bas unis?”
“On est persuadé ici, que sans un Traité pareil, soit entre la France, l’Espagne, les Etats-Unis & les Pays-Bas-Unis, ou, à défaut des deux premieres, au moins entre les deux dernieres Puissances, rien ne sauroit prévenir ni excuser la honte du Traité définitif pour cette République, qui n’est entrée en guerre que pour la liberté des mers, & qui en a fait une conditio sine qua non dans ses préliminaires de paix.”
Il est fort à souhaiter que l’un de ces deux arrangemens soit faisable à défaut de l’autre, parce que cela applaniroit tout d’un coup, le chemin au Traité définitif.— Il ne resteroit du moins d’autre difficulté que celle de Négapatnam & de la navigation par les Moluques, sur lesquelles je viens de lire le rapport des 17 Directeurs de la Compagnie, qui oppose les raisons les plus fortes à la cession de l’un & de l’autre.1
Mon opinion est, sauf toujours votre meilleur avis, que votre acquiescement à la demande de ces Messieurs, peut se fonder sur ces trois choses: 10. Sur la Résolution des Etats-unis du 5 Octobr 1780, com̃uniquée par vous-même à L. H. P. par Lettre du 8 Mars 1781;2 & sur ce que vous m’avez marqué, que vos pouvoirs à cet égard n’ont point été révoqués:— 20. sur ce que L. H. P. sont une des Parties de la Neutralité armée, à laquelle Mr. Dana attend qu’il plaise à une autre des Parties d’admettre les Etats-Unis:— sur ce qu’il ne s’agit, ce me semble, que de se garantir réciproquement, ce que vous avez déjà signé dans le Traité d’amitié & de Commerce conclu avec L. H. P.
{ 273 }
Je suis avec tous les sentimens d’un vrai & grand respect, & en vous priant de les faire agréer aussi à LL. EE. Mrs. Franklin, Jay, Laurens, & Brantzen, Monsieur / De V. E. le très humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] C. W. f. Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

Our friends are very content with the renewed declaration that I have made to them on your part, etc., and will act accordingly with the courts of France and Spain, and with your excellencies. They seem to me convinced that the measure can and ought to succeed. But in any case, they instruct me again to ask the following question, in hopes of obtaining a favorable reply if possible, which would completely reassure them and put them at ease:
“Question. When their High Mightinesses have made their proposal to France that it sign jointly with Spain, America, and the United Netherlands an agreement based on the principles of the Armed Neutrality in order to maintain the freedom of navigation, should France and Spain seem inclined to defer such an agreement or to reject it before the conclusion or signature of the definitive treaty, would Mr. Dana (and in his absence, Mr. Adams, either acting alone or as minister of the United States to this republic, or in conjunction with his colleagues) be prepared to sign a provisional agreement of this nature between the United States and the United Netherlands when it is proposed by their High Mightinesses?
“We are convinced here that without such a treaty, whether between France, Spain, the United States, and the Netherlands, or, failing the two former, at least between the two latter powers, nothing could avert or excuse the shame of the definitive treaty for the Netherlands, which only went to war over the freedom of the seas and which made it a conditio sine qua non in its preliminaries to peace.”
It is most desirable that one of these two solutions be feasible if the other should fail, because it would immediately smooth the path to a definitive treaty. At least then the only remaining difficulty would be Negapatam and navigation through the Moluccas. I have just read a report on this matter by the seventeen directors of the company, which argues strongly against ceding either.1
My opinion—unless, of course, as always, you have a better one—is that your acquiescence to these gentlemen's demands could be based on the following three things: 1. On the resolution made by the United States on 5 October 1780, which you yourself communicated to their High Mightinesses in a letter of 8 March 1781,2 and in which you noted that your powers in this matter have not been revoked; 2. On the fact that their High Mightinesses are one of the parties involved in the Armed Neutrality, and that Mr. Dana is waiting until it pleases one of the other parties to admit { 274 } the United States; On the fact that it seems to me simply a matter of guaranteeing mutually what has already been signed in the treaty of friendship and trade concluded with their High Mightinesses.
I am, with all the sentiments of true and great respect, sir, and pray that you present them also to their excellencies Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and Brantsen, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] C. W. f. Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à S. Excellce. Mr. Adams, M. P. des E. U.”; endorsed: “Mr Dumas Feb. 18 / 1783 / Ansd 23.”
1. For the substance of the Dutch East India Company's protest against any concessions in an Anglo-Dutch treaty with regard to the East Indies, which the company claimed would result in the rapid and total ruin of its trade and be in violation of the 1782 instructions to the Dutch peace negotiators, see the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 21 Feb., and vol. 13:248.
2. See JA's 29 Jan. letter to Dumas, note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0177

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-18

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

J’ai le plaisir de pouvoir vous donner enfin de bonnes nouvelles de Mr. votre fils. Le billet suivant m’a été écrit avant hier matin par Mr. Visscher
“J’ai vu une Lettre”1 Elle est de Mr. Van Der Borgh, Envoyé de cette rep. à Stockholm, à Mr. son frere ici. “de Stockholm du 31e. Janv. dans laquelle je trouve les Lignes suivantes, qui peuvent interesser Mr. Adams:—Le jeune Adams est allé passer l’hyver à Gottembourg & à Coppenhague. Je conjecture qu’il étoit déjà parti de Stockholm avant le 19 de Janvier”2 sans quoi Mr. Van der Borg l’auroit chargé d’une Lettre pour Mr. Visscher.
16 fevr. 1783 []“J’ai l’honneur &c. C. Visscher”
Or com̃e Mr. D’Asp a écrit non seulement à Coppenhague, mais aussi à Elseneur & à Gothenbourg, je ne doute pas que nous n’ayions bientôt de ses nouvelles directes, & qu’il ne se mette incessam̃ent en chemin pour venir ici, ou Made. Dumas & moi nous en aurons si bon soin, que vous n’aurez plus d’inquiétude sur son sujet.3
Je vois dans un de nos papiers Hollandois, à l’Article de Paris que sans nous avertir que vous nous quitterez, on nous annonce un autre Ministre, Mr. Faulkner.4 S’il en étoit quelque chose, com̃e je n’ai pas l’honneur de le connoître, pas même de nom, ayez la bonté de m’instruire.
{ 275 }
Je suis avec grand respect, / Monsieur votre très-humble / & très obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Ayez la bonté Monsieur de cacheter & faire rendre l’incluse à Mr. De Lynde.5
P. S.6 Ma Lettre étoit fermée, & alloit partir, lorsque Mr. Pe. Alexe. Boué,7 Négociant de Hambourg, s’est présenté pour la seconde fois depuis 15 jours, avec une Lettre de change tirée par Mr. Charles Harras sur Votre Excellence, a l’ordre de Mr. Lagau Consul de France à Hambourg, de 50 Ducats, en date du 24 Décembre; & une Lettre de Mr. Lagau pour V. E. que voici. Il gardera celle de Change jusqu’à ce que vous m’honoriez de vos ordres pour que je la lui paie, ou pour la renvoyer, faute de paiement, à Mr. Lagau, sans protest pourtant.8

Translation

[salute] Sir

I have the pleasure of finally being able to give you good news of your son. The following note was written to me the day before yesterday by Mr. Visscher:
“I have seen a letter”1—it is from Mr. Van der Borch, the republic's envoy to Stockholm, to his brother here—“from Stockholm on 31 January. It contains the following lines, which may be of interest to Mr. Adams: ‘Young Adams went to spend the winter in Göteborg and Copenhagen.’ I would surmise he had already left Stockholm before 19 January,”2 or Mr. Van der Borch would have given him a letter for Mr. Visscher.
16 February 1783 “I have the honor, etc. C. Visscher”
Now, since Mr. Asp has written not only to Copenhagen but also to Elsinore and Göteborg, I have no doubt that we shall soon have direct news of him and that he shall set off instantly for The Hague. Madame Dumas and I shall take such good care of him that you need have no further worries on his count.3
I see in one of our Dutch papers a report from Paris announcing another minister, Mr. Faulkner.4 No one has warned us you would be leaving. If indeed this is true, since I have not the honor of knowing the gentleman, even by name, do please inform me of it.
I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Please be so kind, sir, as to seal and pass on the enclosed letter to Mr. De Lynden.5
P.S.6 My letter was already closed and about to leave when Mr. Pierre Alexandre Boué,7 a merchant from Hamburg, came to see me for the { 276 } second time in fifteen days, with a bill of exchange dated 24 December for fifty ducats drawn by Mr. Charles Harras on your excellency, to the order of Mr. Lagau, French consul at Hamburg, as well as a letter for your excellency from Mr. Lagau, which I enclose. Mr. Boué will keep the letter of exchange until you favor me with orders to pay him or send it back without payment to Mr. Lagau without protest.8
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Excellence Mr. Adams, Mine. Plenipo: des E. U.”
1. These and the following quotation marks are supplied. The words between them are an interjection written by Dumas in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
2. The words from this point to the end of the paragraph are an interjection written by Dumas in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
3. Coincidentally, on 18 Feb. JA received a letter from JQA dated 1 Feb. at Göteborg, the first he had received from him since his departure from St. Petersburg. JQA wrote that he had been delayed by bad weather, which made travel difficult, and had not written previously because he was uncertain whether JA was at Paris or The Hague. JA replied that “you cannot imagine, the Anxiety I have felt on your Account, nor the Pleasure just received from your Letter,” a sentiment echoed in his Diary entry for 18 Feb. (AFC, 5:86–87, 97; JA, D&A, 3:108).
4. The Dutch newspaper in which Dumas saw this item has not been identified, but the same report appeared in the London Chronicle of 22–25 Feb. and the Courier de l’Europe of 25 February. The account in the Chronicle, dated 9 Feb. at Paris, reads, “M. Falkner, it is said, will go to reside in Holland in quality of Ambassador,” adding that “Dr. Franklin will return to America to form a code of laws, agreeable to his promise.”
5. For Dumas’ letter to Baron de Lynden van Blitterswyck, see Nationaal Archief: Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 2, f. 501.
6. The postscript was written on a separate piece of paper.
7. Dumas wrote Boué's first and middle names in the left margin.
8. Boué probably gave Dumas Lagau's letter of 14 Feb., above. For JA's directions regarding the Harras affair, see his reply of 23 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0178

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-18

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir.

I am advised from very good authority that the Emperor is desirous of entering into a Treaty of Commerce with the United States of Ama., on terms of equality & mutual advantage, therefore shall be much obliged to you for informing me if there is any person in Europe authoriz'd by Congress to enter into such a Treaty with his Imperial Majesty.1
Altho’ I have no doubt of your being well inform'd in these Points, I hope you will excuse me for mentioning, that it is an invariable rule with the Court of Austria never to make Officially the first advances to any other Sovereign Power, therefore if Congress approve of a Commercial Treaty being enter'd into with his Majesty, it is necessary that the formal Proposition for that purpose shou'd be first made on the part of America.
{ 277 }
I have the Honor to be with the greatest Respect and / Esteem— / Dear Sir / Your most Obedt. & most / Humble Servant
[signed] W: Lee2
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr. &c. &c. / at / Paris.”
1. JA copied this and the following paragraph, added an extract from his reply to Lee of 23 Feb., dated it 23 Feb., and enclosed it in his 22 Feb. letter to Francis Dana, below.
2. In 1777 Congress appointed Lee commissioner to Prussia and Austria. Lee visited Vienna in the summer of 1778, but the effort to establish diplomatic relations with the two nations proved fruitless (vol. 6:125–126, 215).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0179

Author: Fitzherbert, Alleyne
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1783-02-18

Alleyne Fitzherbert to the American Peace Commissioners

[salute] Gentlemen,

I have the honour to transmit to you herewith a packet containing one hundred passports for American Vessels which I have this moment received by a Courier from England.
I take this opportunity of acquainting you that a proclamation was issued out in the King's Name on the 14th Instant, making known the cessation of hostilities which has been agreed upon between the several belligerent powers, and declaring farther that the several epochas at which the said armistice is to commence between His Majesty and the United States of North America are to be computed from the third day of this Instant February, being the day on which the Ratifications of the Preliminaries were exchanged between His Majesty and The Most Christian King. I must add that His Majesty was induced to take this step under the firm & just expectation that you, Gentlemen will correspond to it in your parts, by adopting the same measure reciprocally in the name of the States Your Masters.
I have the honour to be with great Regard and Esteem, / Gentlemen, / Your most obedient / and most humble Servant
[signed] Alleyne Fitz-Herbert
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “J. Adams., B. Franklin, & J. Jay Esqrs &ce &ce &ce” and “To J. Adams, B. Franklin / and J. Jay Esqrs Plenipotentiaries / of the United States of / North America”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Mr. Fitzherbert / 18th.<April> Feby. 1783.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0180

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Ingraham, Duncan Jr.
Date: 1783-02-19

To Duncan Ingraham Jr.

[salute] Sir,

Inclosed are six Passports for American Vessels, one of which You will please to deliver to Mr. de Neufville for the Firebrand Capt. Frazier—2 You will dispose of the rest as You judge proper.
There is also inclosed a little Packet directed to You, which You will dispose of as <directed> requested.—
You will accept my Congratulations upon the late addition of a Daughter to your Family— I have a Letter from my Son at Gottenburg 1st. Feby. very well.
I have the honor to be, with much Esteem &c
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Ingraham.”; APM Reel 108.
1. On this date JA also wrote to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, enclosing six passports for their use (LbC, APM Reel 108).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0181

Author: Dohrman, Arnold Henri
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-19

From Arnold Henri Dohrman

[salute] Monsieur

Permettez-moi que je seliute a Votre Exe. sur l’heureuse issue de notre Gloirieuse Cause, voila nos Ennemis abattú & l’honneur retabli pour jamais a notre Amerique, votre Exe. doit connoitre mieux que personne la grande part que je prend dans tout ce qui concerne les Interets de l’Etats Unis de l’Amerique,1 pour le service desquels je n’ai pas hesité comme une marque de mon attachement a exposer toute ma fortune par consequent elle pourra concevoir de quel plaisir je dois etré animé en nous voyant parvenú en si peu de temps a un but ou les Hollandois n’ont pú atteindre qu’apres septante ans,2 je m’en rejouis & n’en ai jamais douté.
Cette Cour vient finalement a vouloir faire aussi quelque chose pour r’appeller ceux qu’ils ont si legerement & imprudemment bannis, il sembla qu’ils sont revenú de leur ancienne fierté, fondé sur la jadis puissance de l’Angleterre, ils ont soutenú ce Caractere bien en avant & il n’y a que quelque tems qu’ils ont commencé a craindre les Consequences ils ont donc finallement par l’inclus decret revoqué on de trait ceux par lesquels ils nous ont si fortement offensé,3 je tache presentement que je puis decouvrir ma Commission d’aprofondir autant qu’il me sera possible les Dispositions du { 279 } Portugal envers l’Amerique, sans cependant en rien compromettre les Etats-Unis, etant trés fortement persuadé que l’interet du Portugal l’exige, qu’ils nous recherchoient puisque nous pouvons vendre & acheter partout avec moins de géne & plus bon marché. si par des Efforts extraordinaires (& a qouy ils semblent peu disposé) Messrs. le Portugais, ne nous engagoient a leur accorder notre Amitié. sur le pied dont nous l’accordont a toute autre Nation, j’avoue que cet Edict semble plutot etré dicté pour ne plus grossir la masse des affronts dont ils craignoient les consequençes que par un desir Reel a nous faire plaisir, & de celui de nous donner une Satisfaction, ils n’y ont envisagé que Lapas de leur Interets, qui pendant cette Guerre les a fait patir, pour avoir eu trop de Complaisançe pour l’Angleterre, & dont ils veuloient se refaire.
Mon Interêt est lié a celui des Etâts-Unis, & si je ne pui parvenir a etablir une Correspondance entre ces Paÿs d’un avantage reciproque, je m’en irai plutot en Amerique que d’y donner les mains.
Je serois extremement charmé de recevoir des Nouvelles de Votre Exe. e je la prie de Croire que je suis avec beaucoup d’Estime / de Votre Exe. / très humble & très ôbeisst. Serviteur
[signed] Arnd. Henrÿ Dohrman
P. S. Je prie votre Exe. de assurer de mon Respect a Messrs. Franklyn, Jay & Laurens, auquels deux premiers nommé j’ai eu l’honneur d’ecrire plusieurs Lettres, dont je n’ai jamais eu de Reponse.4

Translation

[salute] Sir

Allow me to salute your excellency on the felicitous outcome of our glorious cause. Our enemies are defeated and America's honor is restored forever. Your excellency must know better than anyone what a large part I take in everything that concerns the interests of the United States of America.1 As proof of my attachment, I have unhesitatingly put my entire fortune at risk. Accordingly, you may well imagine how delighted I am to see us reach, in so short a time, a goal that the Dutch only attained after seventy years.2 I rejoice, and indeed never doubted it.
The court here has finally reached the point of wanting to do something to recall those it so unthinkingly and imprudently banished. The Portuguese seem to have renounced their former arrogance, founded on England's former might. They persisted in this trait for a long time and only began to fear the consequences quite recently. In the enclosed decree, they henceforth revoke in a few lines all previous decrees that proved so { 280 } offensive to us.3 At present I am trying to bring to fruition my commission to develop Portuguese relations with America as much as I can, without compromising the United States in any way, convinced as I am that this is in the best interests of Portugal. I think they were courting us, since we can buy and sell everywhere with less bother and expense. If through some extraordinary effort (to which they seem little inclined) the Portuguese were not urging us to grant them our friendship on the same footing as we grant it to every other nation, I confess this edict might seem dictated more by a desire to avoid adding to the mass of insults, with consequences they fear, than by a real desire to please us or to give us satisfaction. They saw only the allure of their own interests, which caused them to suffer during the war for having been too obliging toward England, and they wanted to retrieve their losses.
My own interest lies with the United States, and if I cannot manage to establish a reciprocally advantageous exchange between these countries, then I would sooner leave for America than give my hand to it.
I would be extremely delighted to receive news from your excellency and please be persuaded that I am, with great esteem, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Arnd. Henrÿ Dohrman
P. S. Please will your excellency give my respects to Messrs. Franklin, Jay, and Laurens. I had the honor of writing several times to the first two gentlemen but never received a reply.4
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers). For the enclosures, see note 3.
1. Dohrman had served as U.S. agent to Portugal since 1780 (vol. 11:56–57).
2. That is, the Dutch had taken seventy years to become independent from Spain, while it had taken the Americans only seven to be free from Britain. The Dutch revolt began in 1566 and ended only with the 1648 Peace of Münster. The twelve-year discrepancy is owing to the Twelve Years’ Truce, from 1609 to 1621 (vol. 10:115).
3. On 15 Feb. the queen of Portugal issued a decree allowing American vessels to trade in Portuguese ports for the first time since they were banned on 5 July 1776. Dohrman enclosed the printed decree in Portuguese and his own French translation.
4. Dohrman had written to the American Commissioners on 5 May 1778 and to Franklin on 22 Sept. 1778 (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:413, 502), but no extant letters to John Jay have been found. For letters from JA to Dohrman in 1780 and 1781, see vol. 9:319; 11:56.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0182

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Fitzherbert, Alleyne
Date: 1783-02-20

The American Peace Commissioners to Alleyne Fitzherbert

[salute] Sir

We have recd. the Letter wh you did us the Honor to write on the 18th. Inst, together with the Passports mentioned in it.
His britannic Majesty's Proclamation of the 14th. Instant has our entire approbation, and we have the honor of transmitting to you, herewith enclosed, a Declaration perfectly correspondent with it.
{ 281 }
It appears to us important to both Countries that a System be speedily adopted to regulate the Commerce between them; and it gives us pleasure to inform you that we are authorized to form one,1 on Principles so liberal, as that british Merchants shall enjoy in America & her Ports & Waters, the same Immunities and Priviledges with her own; provided that a similar Indulgence be allowed to those of our Country, in common with british <Subjects> merchts. in general—
We presume that such a System will on consideration appear most convenient to both; <but if it shd. not, we shall be ready to frame one on narrower Principles of Reciprocity.> if so, we shall be ready to include it in the definitive Treaty—
We flatter ourselves that this overture will be considered as a Mark of our attention to the Principles adopted in the Preamble of our Preliminaries,2 and of our Desire to render the commercial Intercourse between us free from Embarrassing & partial Restrictions—
We have the Honor to be with great Regard & Esteem / Sir / Your most obt & very / hble servt
Dft in an unknown hand (Adams Papers); endorsed in an unknown hand: “Sketch of a Letter.”; and by JA: “to Mr Fitzherbert.”
1. Congress resolved on 31 Dec. 1782 to authorize the American Peace Commissioners to negotiate commercial stipulations as part of an Anglo-American peace treaty (JCC, 23:838).
2. The preamble to the preliminary treaty of 30 Nov. 1782, above, expresses the joint hope that “a beneficial and Satisfactory Intercourse, between the two Countries may be established, as to promise and Secure to both, perpetual Peace and Harmony.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0183

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Date: 1783-02-20

Proclamation of the Cessation of Hostilities by the American Peace Commissioners

By the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America for making Peace with Great Britain
A Declaration
of the Cessation of Arms, as well by Sea, as Land, agreed upon between His Majesty the King of Great Britain and the United States of America
Whereas Preliminary Articles, were Signed, at Paris, on the thirtieth Day of November last, between the Plenipotentiaries of his Said { 282 } | view { 283 } | view { 284 } Majesty the King of Great Britain, and of the Said States, to be inserted in, and to constitute the Treaty of Peace, to be concluded, between his Said Majesty and the Said United States, when Terms of Peace Should be agreed upon between his Said Majesty, and his most Christian Majesty: And Whereas Preliminaries for restoring Peace, between his Said Majesty the King of Great Britain, and his most Christian Majesty, were Signed at Versailles, on the twentieth Day of January last, by the respective Ministers of their Said Majesties: And Whereas Preliminaries for restoring Peace, between his Said Majesty the King of Great Britain and his Majesty the King of Spain, were also Signed at Versailles on the Twentieth Day of January last, by their respective Ministers: and Whereas, for putting an End to the Calamity of War, as Soon and as far as possible, it hath been agreed, between the King of Great Britain, his most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the States General of the United Provinces, and the United States of America as follows, that is to Say.
That Such Vessells and Effects, as Should be taken in the Channel, and in the North Seas, after the Space of Twelve Days, to be computed, from the Ratification of the Said Preliminary Articles, Should be restored on all Sides; That the Term Should be one Month from the Channel and the North Seas as far as the Canary Islands, inclusively, whether in the Ocean or the Mediterranean; Two Months from the Said Canary Islands, as far as the Equinoctial Line or Equator, and lastly five Months, in all other Parts of the World, without any Exception, or any other more particular Description of Time or Place.
And Whereas the Ratifications of the Said Preliminary Articles, between his Said Majesty, the King of Great Britain, and his most Christian Majesty, in due Form were exchanged by their Ministers, on the third day of this instant February, from which Day the Several Terms abovementioned, of Twelve Days, of one Month of two Months and of five Months, are to be computed, relative to all British and American Vessells and Effects.
Now therefore, We, the Ministers Plenipotentiary, from the United States of America, for making Peace with Great Britain do notify to the People and Citizens of the Said United States of America, that Hostilities on their Part, against his Britannic Majesty, both by Sea and Land, are to cease, at the Expiration of the Terms herein before Specified therefor, and which Terms are to be computed, from the third day of February instant. And We do, in the name and by the Authority of the Said United States, accordingly warn and { 285 } enjoin all their Officers and Citizens, to forbear all Acts of Hostility, whatever, either by Land or by Sea, against his Said Majesty, the King of Great Britain, or his Subjects, under the Penalty of incurring the highest Displeasure of the Said United States.
Given at Paris the Twentieth Day of February, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty Three
[signed] John Adams [SEAL]
[signed] B Franklin [SEAL]
[signed] John Jay [SEAL]
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Declaration of an Armi- / stice, made by the American / Ministers, on the 20. Feb. / 1783.” Dft (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
1. See George III's reciprocal proclamation of 14 Feb., and note 2; and for a reproduction of the American proclamation, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 7, both above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0184

Author: Vaughan, Samuel Jr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-21

From Samuel Vaughan Jr.

Mr Vaughan Junr. presents his best respects to Mr Adams. His Brother being out, & not intending to return before dinner, Mr V Junr. took the liberty of opening Mr Adams’ note:1 He is sorry to find Mr Adams is indisposed, & is sorry, also, he has not a newspaper of any date by him: Mr V however had the pleasure of receiving letters from London last night; there was nothing new, excepting the effect of the signature of the Preliminary Articles,—the Stocks rose to 70 odd. & the Articles were to have been laid before Parliament last Teusday.2 These circumstances were not contained in Mr Vaughan's letters, but were communicated by the person who brought them. Mr Vaughan Junr. begs leave to express his warmest wishes for Mr Adams recovery.
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at [1783?].
1. Not found.
2. For the parliamentary debates over the preliminary peace treaty that actually began on Monday, 17 Feb., see JA's 25 Feb. letter to Jeremiah Allen, and note 4, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0185

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1783-02-22

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I was honoured Yesterday with yours of 15 Jany. O.S.1 You must have learnt, sometime that the Peace is made, and the Armistice. { 286 } You can no longer hesitate to make known your Errand. Whether the Advice of the Marquis de Verac is for it or against it, I should think you would now go to the Minister.—2 Your Instructions are Chains Strong Chains.— Whether you shall break them or no as We have been obliged to do, you are the only judge.— There is a Vulcan at Versailles whose constant Employment it has been to forge Chains for American Ministers.— But his Metal has not been fine and strong enough, nor his Art of fabricating it, Sufficiently perfect, to be able to hold a Giant or two who have broken them in Pieces like morcels of Glass.
It is a miserable Situation however to be in, and it is a melancholly Thing for a Man to be obliged to boast that he has departed from Instructions, who has So Sacred a regard to Instructions, and who thinks them when given upon true Information binding upon him in a moral Point of View as well as a political,. But in Such Cases where We know that Instructions are given upon mistaken Information, where We know that if the Principal were upon the spot & knew the Circumstances he would be of the same mind with Us, what shall We say? What shall We do.— Must We ruin our Country in Obedience to an Instruction issued in Error, Misinformation, or Want of Intelligence.? An Admiral is ordered to Sea, the Comte D’Estang for Example with the combined Fleet of Seventy Sail of the Line. He is not to open his orders, untill he arrives in the Latitude of 20.— On his Arrival in this Latitude he opens his orders, and finds them positive And Express, to Set Fire to the Magazine of Powder, in every ship in his Fleet.— What Shall he do? go to the Bottom in good Company? No.— I will return into Port with my Fleet Says the Admiral and lie at my Masters Mercy. Some of his servants have deceived him.
I have written to Congress a Resignation, and expect the Acceptance of it, and to go home in the Spring.
your Sincere Fnd & humble sert.
[signed] J. Adams.
I have a Letter from John at Gottenburg 1. Feb.— expects to be at the Hague by the last.3
RC (MHi:Dana Family Papers); internal address: “Mr Dana”; endorsed: “Mr: J. Adams's Letter / Dated Feby: 22d. 1783. N.S. / Recd. March 16th.—O.S.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. [26 Jan.], above.
2. Presumably Count Ivan Osterman, the Russian vice chancellor responsible for the day-to-day conduct of foreign affairs. See Dana's letter of [7 March], below.
3. A second postscript, dated 23 Feb., concerned possible treaty negotiations with Austria. JA included a verbatim transcription { 287 } of the first two paragraphs of William Lee's 18 Feb. letter, above, and the substance of the first sentence of the second paragraph of JA's 23 Feb reply, below. JA then ended the postscript by advising Dana “immediately to communicate your Mission, to the Minister of the Emperor and the Ministers of all the other Courts which have acceded to the Armed Neutrality.” In JA's Letterbook the body of the letter is in John Thaxter's hand, but the second postscript is by JA.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0186

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-02-22

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

Your favour of 13. is received, and I thank you, for the Trouble you have taken concerning my son, and I beg you to present my most hearty Thanks to the Duke de la Vauguion for the Compassion he had for me in my affliction and for the Trouble he has taken, in writing to the Minister of France at Hambourg, and to Mr D’Asp for writing to Stockholm Elsineur and Copenhagen.— I have within a few days recd a Letter from my son dated the 1. of Feb at Gottenbourg, explaining the Reasons of his delay and expecting to be at the Hage by March. This gives me great Relief.— When he arrives, let him Stay with you or go to Leyden at his Election. at present I hope to be at the Hague, not long after him.
Mr Dedem I hope is appointed. Pray how does he go to America? I Should be glad to go with him in the Same Ship. Perhaps the Prince will send a Frigate with him. he ought.1
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Dumas”; APM Reel 108.
1. JA's plan to return to America with a new Dutch minister soon became public, for which see Dumas’ letter of 28 Feb., note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0187

Author: Sons, Herman Heyman’s
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-22

From Herman Heyman's Sons

[salute] Sir

It is with the greatest Satisfaction that we Obser. by the Publik papers the Declaration of Independence from Great Brittan to the United States, a Situation which we have heartely wished to the Latter for many years past, and by which means our Country will be now abel to enter in the most Friendly & Advantageous Alliance with the same.
To Convince the United States from our Wishes to accept the first Opportunity to enter in Connection with them we purchased a Vessell and made and Expedition of the Products of our Country by the same in the Latter end of last year for Nord America, and such { 288 } is now quite Compleated so that the Vessell will Sail by the first fair Wind; our Partners in this Speculation are Mr Henry Talla & Mr Arnold Delius of our Place; the Latter is going along with the Cargo in the Rank as Supper Cargo; but at his arrival he'll make some Stay in Nord America, to establish if possibel an uninterrupted traid between the United States and our Place; which will be Caried on under the Firm of Heymans Talla Delius & Co., our First intention has been to send the Vessell to St Thomas to Sell that part of her Cargo which Consisted of Provisions, and not answered so Well in Nord America, and to take an opportunity to proceed with the Remainding to Philadelphia or Boston, but now the Declaration of Independency & the Prelimenares of Peace beeing signed from great Brittan; made a material alteration in the Destination of the Vessell, and we are Determened to send it now Direct to Nord America.
We conceive that our Reception in a Country which never had any Direct Dealing with our part of the World might at first be some what Cool, and traid not be Carried on in such a Spirit and Confidance as Merchands which have been all ready in Connection before; we should therefore be infinitly Obliged to your Exelency to favor us with some Letters of Introduction & Recommandations as well to the First houses in the most principal traiding Places of the United States, as likewise to the Congress or Regency of the same; it would be against Delicacy to say you much of the Security of our House, but we may say without Vanity that it is of the first Rank at our Place so the other two Interested Gentlemen above mentioned enjoy likewise the first Credit, may we still take the Liberty to beg of you the favor to address yourselfs by Messrs Fiezeau Grand & Co Messrs Hope & Co & Messrs Luden & Co at Amsterdam Messrs Girardot Haller & Co Messr Cottin fils & Jauge at Paris; and you'll get Convinced that you Introduce People to your Good Country, which honesty & Good Caracter as well theyr Security intitles them to receive the best Reception in the United States; we formerly Received at our house alone every Year 5 or 6 Cargos of Rice & 3 of Tobacco as the Products of Nord America by way of England, and our Port at least Imported of the first 20 and of the Latter about 15 Cargos.
Youll excuse our Liberty to trouble you with the present, but the assurance of your Patriotism & Uninterrupted Zeal for your Country, makes us flatter ourselfs that you'll take such in the Light, that our Sincere Wishes and our only Views are to make both our Countries become in mutual Avantageous and the most Amicabel Connections, we are Convinced that it lays in your power to promote { 289 } such, and to procure us and our City all such Benefices or Emoluments, which are granted to other Powers, may we there fore Request from you these assistances, and that you will favor us with such Letters as Necessary to fullfill our most Earnest Wishes, in Particular that to Congress; that we may receive theyr Protection and enjoy all the Benefice which they grant to other Nations.
We have the Honour to remain with the most Sincerest Regard / Sir / Your most Obedt humbe Servts
[signed] Herman Heymans sons1
Your Speedy answer will infinitly Oblige us
1. With the voyage of Die Drey Freunde described in this letter, Bremen merchants Herman Heyman's Sons, Heinrich Talla, and Arnold Kaufmann Delius opened trade between Germany and the United States. Unfortunately, damage to the cargo during a stormy crossing made this first effort a commercial failure, but the initiative laid the foundation for a flourishing trade as other merchants followed their lead (Sam A. Mustafa, “Arnold Delius and the Hanseatic ‘Discovery’ of America,” German History, 18:40–42, 51–56 [Jan. 2000]). In his reply of 11 March, JA wished Heyman's Sons well and enclosed letters of recommendation for Delius to Isaac Smith Sr. in Boston (both LbC, APM Reel 108), and Robert Morris in Philadelphia (Morris, Papers, 7:555). This letter is virtually identical to the firm's 17 Feb. letter to Benjamin Franklin (PPAmP:Franklin Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0188

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-02-23

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir,

In answer to the questions in your's of 18th, I beg leave to inform you, that in my opinion Mr. Dana is the only proper person in Europe to treat with anybody in Europe about the Armed Neutrality and the Liberty of Navigation— It is true, our former Power is not expressly revoked, but I consider Mr. Dana's Commissions in form to be an implicit and tacit Revocation of ours—so that I dare not take upon me, and from friendship and Delicacy to Mr. Dana, I ought not, to enter into any Conferences upon this Subject alone. In Company with my Colleagues in the Commission for Peace, I would not refuse to enter into Conferences, en attendant Mr. Dana— But whether my Colleagues would enter into this Negociation without France and Spain, at least France, I doubt; and have not time now to consult them, who are at a distance from me.
I think the proper Method for our Friends to take, is to open a Negotiation with Mr. Dana, and with all the Neutral Powers, and with France and Spain at the same time. We, who are now in and about Paris might negociate with the Ministers of France, Spain & { 290 } Holland, or at least confer, if they will admit Us, en attendant Mr. Dana— Mr. Dana can enter into Negociation with Holland and all the other Powers, who have signed the Armed Neutrality.
I thank You & Mr. Fisher1 for the Note about my Son— Take good Care of him, & keep him in good order when he comes.—
I know nothing of Mr. Faulkner, having never heard of him before. It is probable I shall take leave of my Friends in Holland in the Spring— A thousand Causes public and private render it necessary—It is most probable I shall return to America, but not certain.— Congress will infallibly send me a Successor, and one I hope who will give entire Satisfaction to the Republick to which he goes, as well as to that from whence he comes— But who it will be, I know not.— I am sure I can do more good to Holland in America than at the Hague—And all the good I can I will, because I love them.
As to the Bill of Exchange, I have written to Mr. Lagau, that I know nothing and never heard of a Mr. Harras— Mr. Lagau has unfortunately been imposed upon—that I could not accept the Bill if Mr. Harras had been an American, which he probably is not, but some European Imposter— I am sorry for Mr. Lagau's Mistake and Misfortune—but the Maxim is Caveat Emptor— You will be so good as to inform Mr. Boué— My Compliments to the Ladies and believe me / your Friend
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Dumas.”; APM Reel 108.
1. Carel Wouter Visscher, pensionary of Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0189

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1783-02-23

To William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I have this moment the Honour of your Favour of the 18 and thank you for the Information it contains.
Mr Dana who is now at Petersbourg, has a Commission which Authorises him to treat with the Emperor, as well as with all the other Powers, who compose the Armed Neutrality.— I will write him an Extract of your Letter,1 and I Suppose he will enter into immediate Negotiation upon it, if he has not begun it before now which I suspect.
You have no doubt been informed that Sweeden has made a Treaty with the United States.
{ 291 }
But We have not yet made a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, and would it be good Policy to be in a hurry to make any further Treaties of Commerce, before We have digested one with her, with whom, in my poor opinion, We shall have, for many years more Commerce than with all the other Nations of Europe put together.
With great Regard &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr W. Lee.”; APM Reel 108.
1. See JA's 22 Feb. letter to Francis Dana, note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Date: 1783-02-23

To Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Gentlemen

I have recd your Favour of the 17th. and the former Letters mentioned in it.
I approve of your Paying to Messs John De Neufville & son the seven Coupons, which you will please to charge to the United States. I Should think it best for the Holders of those Seven Obligations, to deliver them to you and take new ones from you to Save themselves as well as Messs Deneufvilles Trouble in future. or at least apply to you directly with the Coupons as fast as they become due. You are to pay the Money charge it to the United States and receive the Coupons as your Vouchers. Three of these Obligations are in the Hands of Mr John Luzac of Leyden.1 I dont know who is possessed of the other four. But Mr De Neufville can tell you.
I hope to be in Amsterdam, within a few Weeks and Settle my Accounts with all of you Gentlemen, but in the meantime I beg the favour of you to pay Messieurs Wilhem and Jan Willink the Sums they have disbursed for me, either in Amsterdam, or by Means of Mr Van den Iver at Paris, and Charge them all to the United States of America.
I Shall have Occasion within two or three Months to dispose of perhaps <thirty or> forty or fifty Thousand Guilders, of the public Money in your Hands, you will please to reserve this and enough to pay the Interest of the Loan as it becomes due, and the rest I have no Objection to your paying to Mr Grand, if you have not contrary orders from Mr Morris.
With Great Esteem I have the Honour to be
{ 292 }
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs Wilhem and Jan Willink / Nicholas and Jacob Vanstaphorst / & De la Lande & Fynje”; APM Reel 108.
1. For Luzac's investment in the Neufville loan, see vol. 11:102.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0191

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Allen, Jeremiah
Date: 1783-02-25

To Jeremiah Allen

[salute] Sir

I thank you for your Care of my Letters mentioned in yours of the 19th.1 which I beg you to Send by the first Vessell. Dr Franklin has Sent Passports to Nantes to the Care of Mr Williams, for all the American Vessells.
I am very much obliged to you, for your Politeness in Sending me, the Salt Fish, but if they are not already on their Way, I beg you to keep them, for the Use of your other Friends, because my Traiteur knows not how to cook them and if he did, a genuine Fish Dinner would not relish any where but in Boston or its Neighbourhood, at least without a Company of genuine Amateurs,2 which I could not find here.— I have Such an Appetite for a Boston Fish Dinner, Since the Peace, that I hope to enjoy one, before August.
I have not any Information of Portugals Acknowledgment of our Independence,3 and I join with you in wishing our Friend Success at Petersbourg.
The Debates in Parliament upon the Peace on the 17 were very warm and the Decisions not So politick, as We could wish. both Houses, however declare the Articles binding, the Lords approve them, and the King in his Answer to the Lords Address, declares his opinion in favour of them, and his Determination to execute them with Honour and good faith.4
Will you be So good as to give me Notice of the first Arrivals from Boston or Philadelphia and the News they bring and the Passengers who come.
I am &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Jeremiah Allen at / Nantes.”; APM Reel 108.
1. Not found. Notations in JA's Letterbook indicate that he sent Allen two letters to be forwarded, those to the president of Congress and Thomas McKean of 5 and 6 Feb., respectively, both above.
2. That is, with a company of genuine connoisseurs.
3. For Portugal's action regarding the United States, see Arnold Henri Dohrman's letter of 19 Feb., and note 3, above.
4. As JA indicates, George III assured the House of Lords that “it is my firm purpose to execute every Article of the Treaties on my part, with that good faith which has ever distinguished the conduct of this nation.” While the 17 Feb. parliamentary debates over the preliminary treaty gave evidence of sharp conflict between various individuals and { 293 } parties over the wisdom of the concessions made to the United States regarding territory and fishing rights and the failure to obtain compensation for the loyalists, there was never any possibility that the treaty would be rejected. Even Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle, and Lord John Cavendish, principal critics of the treaty in the Lords and Commons, respectively, opposed renouncing the treaty and thereby violating “the national faith.”
Instead, the debates were really over the Earl of Shelburne's continuance in office. Although JA did not know it, Shelburne had resigned the previous day. His departure was owing to two defeats in the House of Commons, both the work of Lord John Cavendish. On 17 Feb. he offered an amendment to the Commons’ address to George III that substantially weakened the House's expressed approbation for the king's successful negotiation of a peace, which passed by sixteen votes. On the 21st, Cavendish undertook to censure the ministry and in pursuit of that objective proposed five resolutions, all of them adopted. The first three and the fifth were relatively innocuous, declaring Commons’ support for George III's efforts to render the preliminary treaties effective, its intention “to improve the blessings of peace, to the advantage of his crown and subjects,” its approval of granting independence to America under the existing circumstances, and its determination to obtain relief for the loyalists. But the fourth resolution spawned the most divisive debate. Declaring that “the concessions made to the adversaries of Great Britain, by the said Provisional Treaty and Preliminary Articles, are greater than they were entitled to, either from the actual situation of their respective possessions, or from their comparative strength,” it closely resembled the language of an amendment offered on 17 Feb. by the Earl of Carlisle to the Lords’ address to the king. Its passage by seventeen votes sealed Shelburne's fate and made his the only eighteenth-century British government to suffer a parliamentary defeat over a peace settlement (Parliamentary Hist., 23:374–493, 498–571; Scott, British Foreign Policy, p. 334–335; to Benjamin Vaughan, 12 March, note 2, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0192

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: College, the Trustees of Dartmouth
Date: 1783-02-25

To the Trustees of Dartmouth College

[salute] Gentlemen

Your Favour of September the Twenty fourth recommending your worthy President Dr Wheelock and his Designs1 gave me much Pleasure and does me great Honour.
It is to American Seminaries of Learning that America is indebted for her Glory and Prosperity, and therefore no Man can be more usefully employed than in affording them every Countenance and Assistance in his Power.
Dr Wheelock after remaining a few Days in Paris Satt off with his Brother for the Hague and Amsterdam. I gave him Letters to Several Persons of Consideration in those Cities,2 Such as will be most likely to forward his Designs but what Success he will have I am not able to Say.
With the greatest Respect &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Hon. Board of / Trustees of the University of / Dartmouth.”; APM Reel 108.
2. For the letters of recommendation, see JA to François Adriaan Van der Kemp, 18 Feb., and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0193

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-25

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I received by the last post Copies of several Resolutions of Congress, from Mr: Thaxter. None of them seem to be of any present importance since the peace, except that of the 14th: of Septr. last, relative to our Loans in Europe.1 This must not occasion any change in the Credit you & the Dr: have engaged to me. I shall still rely upon it. There can be no doubt but that Congress will approve of our conduct whenever they shall be informed of the circumstances. I have written again by this days post to Mr: Livingston upon the subject; and I early informed him that I shou'd apply to you & the Dr: for the Money, and have since written to him that you had consented to advance it: So that they will expect it, and be prepared for it. I shall therefore rely upon it especially as the resolution came on without any intimations from you to the contrary2
Will it surprise you to learn that I am advised to remain in status quo, till the British Minister here has in form communicated to this Court the signature of the Preliminaries of Peace? This is the very Truth, and is the only good reason I can give for remaining so— I hope for the pleasure of seeing you at the Hotel des Etats-Unis at the Hague, in course of the summer on my route for America; when I shall bid an eternal Adieu to Europe
I shou'd be anxious about your Son of whom I have heard nothing since the 13th: of Decr: was it not that we have had no posts from Sweden since his last letter. However he might have written to me from Hamborô or some other station on his rout, as I desired him to do. Pray give my thanks to Mr: Thaxter for the trouble he has taken to copy and forward the abovementioned Resolutions of Congress. The originals I shall not want. He will always use his discretion in matters of that sort.
I am Dear Sir, with the greatest esteem / Your most obedient humble Servant,
[signed] FRA DANA
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “À Monsieur / Monsieur Adams / Ministre Plenipotentiaire des / Etats-Unis / À / la Haye”; internal address: “His Excelly: J: Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c”; endorsed: “M. Dana 14. Feb. / ansd 24 March.” Filmed at 14 February.
1. For Congress’ 14 Sept. resolution ratifying the Dutch-American loans, see vol. 13:467, note 3.
2. In his letter of this date Dana wrote Robert R. Livingston that he depended on Congress’ approval of the provision of funds { 295 } by JA and Benjamin Franklin to finance his negotiations in Russia but would follow the Marquis de Vérac's advice and await the signing of the definitive treaty before presenting his credentials. The two other letters to Livingston mentioned by Dana were of [18 Nov.] 1782 and [31 Jan.] 1783 (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:54–56, 234–235, 263–264).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0194

Author: Vaughan, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-25

From Benjamin Vaughan

[salute] Dear sir,

I have to return you many thanks for your favor of the 14th:. The renewal of my acquaintance with Mr Storer, was a pleasure which I did not so soon expect; and you will find, upon his return, that we did not forget that you have expressed so much interest in him, as an additional motive for our attentions to him in every shape.
I have in return to ask the favor of a couple of letters in behalf of Mr Joshua Grigby Junr:, who is immediately going off to settle in North America. His father is a country gentleman of about £2000 a year in Suffolk, and in style enough to think once of being a county member. He himself, besides being the eldest child, has about £500 per annum in his own distinct right. His zeal had carried him into our militia, where he remained four years, and where I remember he struck me verry much by his manly air & manners, though he was then probably scarcely eighteen years of age.— In general I think very little more need be said in favor of a settler, than to state that he wishes to be a settler from the midst of high connections & some prospects, with a persuasion that the life is happy, innocent, & domestic. With this character, & reminding you that he is zealous, I leave him to your kindness.— The letters are requested for persons now in the middle colonies.1
Mr Laurens, whom you inquire after, I presume is just arrived in London; and Mr Oswald was about to return to Paris:—But what this distracted state of parties will produce, I cannot yet inform you.— The event of the peace, & the reception it meets in parliament, will tell you who were America's best friends. They were those who made least profession and had most understanding. It is unnecessary to hint more to you.— All ranks are satisfied with peace, but the great are not satisfied with a minister who had so few of them in his train: They therefore say we might have had a better peace. You are one of those that know, and I ask your opinion about the fact of a better peace being easy without more war, or even with it.
I mean to put you up some pamphlets of the worst sort; (for our better are only preparing.)— Hereafter the peace will probably be { 296 } well understood, and then you shall have other pamphlets in another style.
Mr Storer upon his return will present you with some maps by De Barres of your American country.2 They are finely executed, and by authority, but chiefly relate to the Northern coast. I have the honor to be, with much respect, / Dear sir, / Your most obedient / & most humble servant,
[signed] Benjn: Vaughan
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams.”; endorsed: “Mr. B. Vaughan / 25. Feb. Ansd 12 March / 1783.”
1. In his 12 March reply to Vaughan, below, JA enclosed letters of that date recommending Grigby to Elias Boudinot (NHi:Gilder Lehrman Coll., on deposit) and Benjamin Lincoln (LbC, APM Reel 108), but see also his letter to Samuel Adams of 5 April, below. Vaughan also wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 25 Feb. to request a letter for Grigby (PPAmP:Franklin Papers).
2. Joseph F. W. Des Barres, The Atlantic Neptune, Published for the Use of the Royal Navy of Great Britain, 2 vols., London, with several editions between 1774 and 1783. Vaughan, in fact, did not send the volumes with Charles Storer. In his letter of 11 March, below, he indicated that the maps were finally on their way, but not until his letter to Vaughan of 12 May did JA indicate that he had received them (LbC, APM Reel 108).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0195

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-26

From Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Monsieur

Toutes les pieces que vous m’avez fait l’amitié de m’envoyer ont paru Successivement dans le politique-Hollandais, ainsi que vous l’aurez vu Si vous perdez quelque moment à la lecture de cette feuille, à paris.1 J’étais trop charmé de vous montrer combien j’étais Sensible au Souvenir & à la confiance que vous daignez me continuer, pour négliger l’usage de pieces aussi intéressantes. Il m’a été jusqu’a présent impossible d’imaginer quelque expédient pour y inserer la Suite de la lettre du Dayli advertiser: mais vous ne devez en imputer le blâme & la faute qu’à vous Seul. Pourquoi avez-vous su terminer, avec une Si glorieuse rapidité, une affaire dont la difficulté du Succès étonnait d’avance les plus profonds politiques & les plus grands hommes d’Etat de ce tems?2 Vous aviez consacré votre gloire par l’impulsion donneé à vos concitoyens dans leur insurrection mémorable; vous l’aviez éleveé au dessus des doutes & de l’envie par la maniere dont vous l’avez Soutenue & par le plan de législation que vous leur avez donneé; mais ce dernier trait vous assure à jamais une des premieres places parmi les hommes d’Etat, bonfaiteurs du Genre-humain. Quant à moi, j’ai tombé des nuë, quand j’ai lu le Traite éntre l’Angleterre & l’Amérique: Et je vous avoue que je n’ai pu me défendre d’un mouvement d’orgueil, au { 297 } Souvenir que j’avais quelque part à la confiance & à l’amitié du grand homme qui l’avait tracé & conclu. Ce Monument éternel de la gloire de votre patrie & de la vôtre a fait revenir ici bon des gens qui Se laissent aisément offusquer de préjugés. Quant à moi qui n’apprécie les choses ni par l’opinion des autres ni par les interêts particuliers, j’ai toujours eu pour vous les mêmes Sentimens qui Sont tracés ici; & le croassement des corbeaux qui obscurissent l’air ne m’empêchera jamais de voir l’aigle qui plane dans une région Supérieure. Notre politique Européenne, les pièges tendus par les petits esprits Sont quelque fois au dessous des regards droits & simples des grands génies; mais il ne faut qu’un coup-d’oiel de ceux-ci pour détruire tout l’art & tout le fruit des manoeuvres des petits négociateurs en fait de commerce & de politique. l’hommage que je vous rends est puisé dans mon coeur, & quelque Situation que le ciel réserve à la suite de mes jours Si mélangés jusqu’à présent, ces Sentimens y resteront toujours. Lorsque j’ai pris la liberté de vous consulter Sur une histoire de l’Amérique, j’avais prédité & prier toutes les objections que vous m’avez faites; mais c’est moins une histoire parfaite, un tableau de caracteres que je veux entreprendre, qu’une notice abrégée qui mette les Européens en état de moins se tromper en partant de cette partie de l’autre hémisphere & des prodiges qui viennent de S’y opérer. Je me Serai borné à l’histoire de cette guerre que j’aurai fait préceder d’un discours préliminaire contenant un tableau Sinon complet, du moins fidele de l’Etat des Colonies au moment de l’insurrection. Je me Serais Interdit tout portrait de fantaisie; je ne me Serais permis que des reflexions générales; j’aurais cherché Seulement à exposer les faits sous le point de vue le plus propre à fournir aux lecteurs actuels & aux historiens futurs les moyens de tracer les caracteres. Il vient de paraître à Londres un Histoire des dix dernieres années du regne de George III3 & une multitude d’autres pamphlets Sur la révolution Américaine. Connaissez-vous parmis ces ouvrages quelque chose qui puisse m’aider? Mr Guild m’a écrit que les journaux du Général Washington pourraient être publiés après la guerre; & qu’il ne Serait même pas impossible de se les procurer à présent.— Je crois vous avoir prevénu que je faisais imprimer l’ouvrage de Mr Payne. J’ai conçu d’après cela une idée Sur le Essay Sur le droit canonique & feôdal. Ne trouveriez vous pas mauvais que je le fasse paraître avec l’ouvrage de Mr Payne, attendu qu’il y a des observations qui donnent un nouveau poids aux Siennes & qui de moins montrent comment on pensait en Amérique dix ans avant l’eruption des { 298 } hostilités. J’y mettrai une préface de ma façon. Mais je n’ai voulu rien faire, Sans votre aveu: les deux ouvrages Seraient comme incorporés ensemble & Se Suivraient avec un titre qui les annoncerait tous deux.—4 Mr de Chavannes est venu me prier de vous Informer que Son poëe est presque achevé pour l’impression; & Si vous désiriez qu’il vous le communiquat, avant de vous en faire la dédicace. Quoique la poesie Soit négligeé en bien des endroits & que le poeme n’ait pas cette unité d’action, de lieu, de tems, requise par les maîtres de l’art; il y a d’excellentes tirades; & l’Amérique & Son Ministre y jouent un rôle très glorieux.5
Je ne désespere pas de vous voir encore dans ce pays, à moins que vous ne Soyez appellé Sur un théatre plus vaste: j’imagine que ce Sera, lorsque la ratification des Etats-unis, Sera arriveé. Comme vous vous interessez beaucoup à moi, vous n’apprendrez pas avec indifférence que Mr le Duc de la Vauguyon me témoigne beaucoup d’amitié & d’égard, & que dernierement il recommanda expres–sément à Son Secretaire de venir de Sa part me marquer le plaisir & la Satisfaction que je lui avais causés par quelques numeros du politique-Hollandais & m’assurer qu’il Serait charmé de trouver l’occasion de me montrer, en m’obligeant, Ses Sentimens d’estime & de reconnaissance. Mais tous ces complimens ne m’offrent pas une perspective qui me délivre de la Situation génante où je Suis par la Servitude & les tracasseries que m’occasionne la rédaction de la Gazette Sous l’influence d’un homme qui n’a pas le Sens commun & qui voudrait l’ôter aux autres.6 Mais je suis obligé de dévorer ma douleur; elle est bien cuissante pour un homme que vous avez daigné honorer de votre amitié & à qui cette faveur doit inspirer naturellement de l’orgueil. Je Suis avec la vénération & le devoument le plus parfait / Monsieur Votre très humble & / très obéissant Serviteur
[signed] A. M. Cerisier

Translation

[salute] Sir

All the documents you were kind enough to send me have appeared successively in Le politique hollandais, as you would have noticed had you wasted a few moments reading it, in Paris.1 I was too delighted and touched by your attention and continuing confidence not to use such interesting documents. Until now I have found it impossible to devise some means of publishing the rest of the letter from the Daily Advertiser, but you have only yourself to blame for this. How did you manage to successfully conclude with such glorious rapidity an affair deemed to be astoundingly { 299 } difficult by the most profound politicians and the greatest statesmen of our time?2 You had crowned your own glory by spurring on your fellow citizens in their memorable uprising; you had raised it above the reach of doubt and envy by upholding the rebellion and by your legislative plan; but this latest deed ensures you an eternal place among the foremost statesmen who have ever served humanity. I confess I was thunderstruck when I read the treaty between England and America and could not repress a surge of pride, remembering that I had some share of the confidence and friendship of the great man who had planned and concluded it. This eternal monument to the glory of your country—and to your own renown—has brought about the return here of many people who are easily offended by prejudice. As for me, who have my own view of things unmoved by the opinions of others or by particular interests, I have always entertained the same feelings for you that I describe here; and the raucous flocks of crows that darken the sky will never prevent me from seeing the eagle soaring far above. Our European politics and the traps set by petty minds sometimes fall below the straight and simple gaze of great geniuses, but it takes only a mere glance from such a man to destroy all the artifice and intrigue of the petty negotiators found in trade and politics. The tribute I am paying you comes from my heart, and no matter what heaven may reserve for my remaining days—my fortunes having been, until now, rather mixed—these sentiments will always remain. When I took the liberty of consulting you about a history of America, I had predicted and requested all your objections; but it is not so much a perfect history and vast tableau of characters I wish to undertake as a brief account that would immediately give Europeans a better understanding of the other hemisphere and the marvels that have just occurred there. I shall limit myself to a history of this war, preceded by an introduction depicting—if not completely, then at least faithfully—the state of the colonies at the onset of the revolt. I shall forbid myself all imaginary portraits; will allow only general remarks; and will try only to set forth the facts from the point of view most likely to enable present readers and future historians to outline the characters. There has appeared in London a history of the last ten years in the reign of George III3 and a multitude of other pamphlets on the American Revolution. Do you know of anything among these works that might assist me? Mr. Guild told me in a letter that General Washington's diaries might be published after the war, and that one might even be able to obtain them now. I think I told you I was having Mr. Paine's book published. After that I had an idea about the Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law. Would you find it inappropriate if I published it with Mr. Paine's work, given that it contains observations that lend new weight to his remarks and that do at least show how people were thinking in America ten years before hostilities erupted? I would write an introduction. But I didn't want to proceed without your consent. The two books would be bound together, preceded by a title page announcing them both.4 Mr. De Chavannes came and asked me to tell you that his poem is almost ready to be printed, and would you like him to { 300 } send it over before dedicating it to you? Although the actual poetry is rather careless in many places and the work lacks the unities of action, time, and place required by the masters of this art, it does contain some excellent tirades, and America and its minister play a most glorious role.5
I do not despair of seeing you here again, unless you are summoned to some yet greater stage. I imagine it will be after the U.S. ratification will have arrived. As you have taken a strong interest in me, you will not be indifferent to learn that the Duc de La Vauguyon has shown me great friendship and consideration. He recently asked his secretary to come expressly on his behalf and say what pleasure and satisfaction I had caused him in several issues of Le politique hollandais and to assure me he would be delighted if an opportunity arose to render me some service and thereby demonstrate his esteem and gratitude. But all these compliments fail to offer me the prospect of delivering me from the vexing situation where I am, by the obligation and annoyances of editing the gazette under the influence of a man who has no common sense and who would like to deprive others of it.6 I am obliged to swallow my pain, which is particularly bitter for a man whom you have honored with your friendship and in whom this favor naturally inspires pride. I am with the most perfect reverence and devotion, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] A. M. Cerisier
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Cerisier. ans. 6 March. / 1783.”
1. Cerisier is replying to JA's letters of 24 Jan. (LbC, APM Reel 110) and 15 Feb., above. With the first, JA enclosed seven “Papers” for publication in Le politique hollandais and referred to them again in his letter of 15 February. For the items that JA likely sent Cerisier and their publication in the issues of 17 and 25 Feb., see the 15 Feb. letter, and note 2.
2. This is likely a reference to JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American.” They did not appear, however, in the London Daily Advertiser, but in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer between 23 Aug. and 26 Dec. 1782. Cerisier had translated and reprinted four of the letters in Le politique hollandais between 14 Oct. 1782 and 20 Jan. 1783 (vol. 13:xxi–xxii, 507). His comments reflect the fact that the signing of the Anglo-American preliminary peace treaty removed the rationale for publishing more of the letters, but he resumed their publication with the issue of 2 June.
3. The History of the Second Ten Years of the Reign of George the Third, King of Great-Britain, London, 1782.
4. Le politique hollandais of 24 March announced the publication of Remarques sur les erreurs de l’Histoire philosophique & politique de mr. Guillaume Thomas Raynal, par rapport aux affaires de l’Amérique-Septentrionale &c. par mr. Thomas Paine . . . traduites de l’anglais & augmentées d’une préface & de quelques notes par A. M. Cerisier, Amsterdam, 1783. The work is derived from Paine's Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North-America. In Which the Mistakes in the Abbe's Account of the Revolution of America Are Corrected and Cleared Up, Phila., 1782. No copy of either the French or English publication is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library). Since JA's reply of 6 March has not been found, there is no way to know what JA told Cerisier regarding the “Dissertation,” a French translation of which he had included in his letter to Cerisier of 15 Feb., above. But the “Dissertation” did not appear in Cerisier's edition of Paine's Remarques.
5. Dedicated to JA, this is L. de Chavannes de la Giraudière's L’Amérique délivrée, esquisse d’un poème sur l’indépendance de l’Amérique, Amsterdam, 1783. In a [post 26 Feb.] letter Cerisier requested JA's opinion of the dedication (Adams Papers, filmed at [1782?]). JA apparently did not respond, with { 301 } the result that on 4 Aug. Jacobus Adrianus Crajenschot, an Amsterdam bookseller and the poem's publisher, made a similar request, evidently with the same result (Adams Papers). On 18 Aug. Le politique hollandais announced the poem's publication. The dedication, however, was apparently not Chavannes’ primary concern. In a letter of 5 Aug. he appealed to JA for assistance in a dispute with Crajenschot, who he said was treating him and his family badly, probably meaning that he was not being paid. JA apparently took pity on Chavannes, because in the Adams Papers is a receipt, dated 22 Aug., for six ducats paid to Chavannes through Cerisier (both Adams Papers).
6. This was Crajenschot, who also published Le politique hollandais and Cerisier's edition of Paine's remarks on the Abbé Raynal's Histoire mentioned in note 4. He and Cerisier were in the midst of a bitter dispute over control of the paper (W. P. Sautijn Kluit, “Le Politique Hollandais,” Handelingen en Mededeelingen van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde te Leiden, over het jaar 1882, Leiden, 1882, p. 13, 26–28).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0196

Author: Howard, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-26

From John Howard

[salute] Sir,

The subject upon which I am about to address your excellency is so nearly connected with the interest of that country which gave us birth, and which your excellency has the honor to represent, I hope I may not be accused of having acted an unwarrantable part, even if my request should be rejected, on account of some reasons unknown to me—
During my few weeks residence in London, I have found a number of worthy citizens who are resolved to fly, with the Goddess Liberty, from this devoted island and establish themselves, under the shadow of her wings, in the favoured climes of America— Most of them are men of property, & they have ever been warm friends to the American <interest> cause— They are husbands—they are fathers— and the many arguments that result from this last relation compell them to go—
It is therefore, Sir, thier desire to obtain a grant of some of the unlocated lands in the interior parts of the United States—not as monopolizing Speculators, but with an absolute determination to transplant themselves and families in the identical spot which they may have the happiness to obtain— But as those gentlemen are perfectly ignorant of most parts of the continent, they have requested me—I am a native of Newengland, & was brought a prisoner from America to this Country—to join, & assist them in their laudable design— Therefore, Sir, I do myself the honor of addressing your excelleny to request, in behalf of those gentlemen, that, if it be not incompatible with the public character of an ambassador, you would honor me with your advice & assistance, assuring you, Sir, that you would thereby greatly oblige a number of worthy citizens & country { 302 } farmers, as well as him, who has the honor to be / with the highest sentiments of esteem & respect, / your excellencies most obedient / and most devoted humble servant
[signed] John Howard
P.S. Should your excelleny think propper to honor me with a line, please to address to Cornhill, No. 41—London Ut supra1
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr.
1. See See JA's reply of 16 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0197

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-27

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

We refer to what we had the Honour to write yoúr Excellency the 24th. of this month.1 Since we received your much esteemed favoúr of the 19th. Instt: whereby yoú Excellency was pleased to sent ús half a dozen Passports to be used by ús. we are much obliged for yoúr Excellency's attention, & Shall make the needfull use of ’em, if it happen we want any more we Shall be free with the permission your Excellency is pleased to grant us—.2
Messrs. van den Ýver freres & Co. have mark'd ús to have paid by yoúr order to Mr. Taxter the Sum of £100—stg. for accoúnt of Congress, and as they have Sent us a Receipt of it, we Shall in Consequence charge the States of America for it—3
The Pacquet your Excellency has Sent ús for Mr. Ingraham has been deliver'd to said gentle4
We have the honoúr to Remain with due Consideration— / Sir / Yoúr Excellency's most obed / most humb Servants.
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nico. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excelly. John Adams Esqr. / at Paris—.”
1. Not found.
2. In his letter of the 19th (LbC, APM Reel 108), JA noted that the effective dates for the cessation of hostilities in various parts of the world were to be computed from 3 Feb., the date on which the Anglo-French preliminary treaty was ratified, and advised them to consult Duncan Ingraham should they need assistance in filling in the blanks in the passports.
3. On 17 Feb. JA requested Van den Yver Frères & Co. to pay Thaxter £100 for his salary, for which the firm was to draw on the consortium (LbC, APM Reel 108).
4. Presumably JA's letter to Ingraham of 19 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0198

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: d’Azyr, Félix Vicq
Date: 1783-02-28

To Félix Vicq d’Azyr

[salute] Monsieur

J’ai reçu le Diplome de la Societé Royale de Medecine et le premier Cahier, du Second Volume du Journal de Medecine militaire que vous m’avez addressé.1 J’ai l’honneur de vous en remercier,. Je ferai parvenir l’un et l’autre, au College de Medecine de Boston. il Sera très flatté d’une association, qui lui fera partager la Gloire de cette celebre Compagnie, et les Avantages de Ses travaux. il trouvera dans Ses ouvrages des Secours dont il a besoin et des Moyens pour concourir à Ses Vues Salutaires. il Sera, tres empressé, quand il Sçaura tout ce qu’elle a fait pour lui, de lui temoigner Sa Reconnoissance et Sa Consideration respectueuse.
En attendant qu’il puisse faire part de ces Sentiments, Je vous prie, Monsieur, de lui demander la permission de l’assurer du Respect, avec lequel J’ai l’honneur d’étre, pour elle et pour vous / Monsieur / votre tres humble et tres / obeissant Serviteur
[signed] John Adams

Translation

[salute] Sir

I have received the diploma from the Royal Society of Medicine and the first number of volume two of the Journal de médecine militaire, which you sent me.1 I kindly thank you and will forward both to the Boston college of medicine. Its members will be most flattered to be associated with so famous an institution, to share in its renown and the advantages of its work. They will find in its works the assistance they need and the means to concur in its salutary opinions. They will be most eager, when they realize what a help the Royal Society has been, to express their gratitude and their respect.
Pending a formal expression of these sentiments, I beg you, sir, to ask if I may assure them of the respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your and their very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (Bibliothèque de l’Académie Nationale de Médecine); internal address: “Monsieur Vicy D’Assis, Secretaire perpetual / de la Societé Royale de Medecine.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 110.
1. Enclosed in Vicq d’Azyr to JA, 3 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0199

Author: Brandenburg & Company
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-28

From Brandenburg & Company

[salute] Monsieur

Monsieur Vôtre fils à été ici pendans cet hiver, et nous a été recommender de Petersbourg par nos amis et Mr Dahne.
Nous Lui avons fournis L’argent necessaire pendans Son Sejour qui n’a eté que d’un mois, et il nous à eté un Vrai plaisir d’avoir pû Lui rendre tous Les Services qui ont pû dependre de nous. C’est une jeune personne qui S’est acquit beaucoup d’amitié ici et qui merite bien qu’on L’aime.1
Nous venons d’apprendre par un de nos Amis ici, auquel on a ecrit d’Amsterdam, que vous éties inquiet à son Egard, n’ayant point eu de Ses Nouvelles dépuis Le mois de Decembre passé.
Nous Somes Surpris Monsieur que vous n’ayés point de Ses Lettres. Nous n’avons aucune de Lui même dépuis Son depart, mais Selon Les Avis que nous avons il Se portoit trés bien à Gothembourg il y à quinze jour.
Il est partis d’ici vers La fin de Decembre, pour Gothembourg munis de trés bonnes Lettres de recommendation, il à Sejourner à Norkoping pendans 3. Semaine par raport au mauvais chemin, et il est arriver à Gothembourg vers La fin de Janvier ou il etoit encore il y à 10 jours. Nous Lui croyons pourtant partis à ce moment.2
Nous Vous faisons nos Sinceres Compliment Sur la Paix Glorieuse que vous venés de Signer. Nous Serons trés flatter Monsieur Si dans notre pais nous pouvons vous être de quelque Utilité, dans quel genre que ça Soit; Soyés persuader de nôtre zele pour tous ce dont il vous plaira nous charrer.
Nous avons L’honneur d’etre avec un trés parfait Estime; / Monsieur! / vos trés humbe & trés obeist Servit
[signed] Sr Ln. Brandenburg & Company

Translation

[salute] Sir

Your son was here this winter and was recommended to us from St. Petersburg by our friends and Mr. Dana.
We provided him with the money he needed during his stay, which was only a month, and found it truly a pleasure to do everything in our power to be of service. He is a young man who earned himself many friends here and who deserves affection.1
We have just learned from one of our friends here who had received a { 305 } letter from Amsterdam that you were worried about your son, not having heard from him since last December.
We are surprised, sir, that you have received no letters from him. We have not had any either since he left, but according to our information he was very well when in Göteborg about two weeks ago.
He left here for Göteborg toward the end of December, provided with excellent letters of introduction. He stayed in Norrköping for three weeks on account of the poor roads and arrived in Göteborg in late January. He was still there ten days ago, but we think he must have left by now.2
We offer our sincere compliments on the glorious peace treaty you have just signed. We shall be most flattered, sir, if we may be of use to you here in our country in any way at all. Please believe how eager we are to do anything you ask.
We have the honor to be with most perfect esteem, sir, your very humble and very obedient servants
[signed] Sr Ln. Brandenburg & Company
1. In his Diary JQA wrote that a “Mr. Brandenburg,” presumably a member of this firm, visited him on his first day at Stockholm to deliver a letter from Francis Dana. In a 6 May letter to his father, JQA indicated that at Stockholm he received 420 Swedish “Rixdallers,” worth approximately 1,250 guilders (JQA, Diary, 1:161; AFC, 5:150–151).
2. JQA traveled from Stockholm on 31 Dec. 1782 and reached Norrköping the following day, remaining there until 14 January. He was in and around Göteborg from 16 Jan. until he departed for Copenhagen on 11 Feb., arriving there on the 15th. On the date of this letter he was still at Copenhagen awaiting passage to Hamburg (JQA, Diary, 1:162–171; AFC, 5:97–98).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0200

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-28

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Le Baron Dedem a échoué. Mr. Van Berkel le Bourguemaître de Rotterdam, frere du Pensionaire d’Amst. s’est présente subitement, & l’a emporté venit & vicit. C’est donc lui qui sera Minre de la Rep. en Amérique. Je viens de l’en féliciter cordialement. Vous avez ses respects. Il sera charmé de vous avoir pour compagnon de Voyage.1 J’ai les respectées votres des 18,2 22 & 23. Je fais de mon mieux pour Mr. Weelock. Nous aurons bien soin de Mr. Votre fils. C’est tout ce que je puis Sans manquer la poste, ajouter aujourdhui au respect avec lequel je suis Monsieur / V. t. h. & t. o. servit,
[signed] Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

Baron Dedem lost. Mr. Van Berckel, Burgomaster of Rotterdam and brother of the pensionary from Amsterdam, presented his candidacy unexpectedly and was chosen: venit and vicit. It is therefore he who will be the { 306 } republic's minister to America. I have just given him my hearty congratulations. He sends you his respects. He will be delighted to have you as a traveling companion.1 I have your esteemed letters of the 18th,2 22d, and 23d. I am doing my best for Mr. Wheelock. We shall take good care of your son. Lest I miss the post, this is all I can add for now to the respect with which I am, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams.”
1. The Gazette d’Amsterdam of 4 March reported the selection of Pieter Johan van Berckel, noting that he was the brother of Engelbert François van Berckel, who was renowned for his role in the negotiation of the 1778 Lee-Neufville Treaty (“Traité Préparatoire avec l’Amérique”). It then expressed the hope that a new American minister to the Netherlands would be appointed in place of JA, then actually at Paris, who was expected shortly to take his leave at The Hague and return to America on a Dutch warship in company with the new Dutch minister. It was from that notice, quoted in his letter of [23 March], below, that Francis Dana learned of JA's plans to return to America.
2. JA's 18 Feb. letter introduced Dr. John Wheelock, president of Dartmouth College (LbC, APM Reel 108). See JA to François Adriaan Van der Kemp, 18 Feb., and note 2, and JA to the Trustees of Dartmouth College, 25 Feb., both above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0201

Author: Lagau, Philippe Jean Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-28

From Philippe Jean Joseph Lagau

[salute] Monsieur

En reponse à la lettre dont Votre Excellence a bien voulû m’honorer le 13 de ce mois je vois que le Sieur Harras a Surpris ma bonne foy, cependant je ne Scaurois me persuadé que cetoient les intentions de ce jeune homme qui independament des temoignages qu’il avoit, paroissoit un garçon bien elevé, d’une bonne conduite, et plein de zêle à se rendre util à Sa patrie. j’espére en attendant que Votre Excellence voudra bien s’employer à me faire recouvrir le rembours de mes avances que je n’ai fait que pour assister un allié en païs étranger; si cependant Elle croit ma requète injuste, Elle voudra bien n’y pas faire attention. Ce n’est pas que je sois dans le cas de perdre une somme aussi considerable, mais je serai faché de demander une chose qui ne repondit point à La plus Stricte honneteté.
Je m’etois deja donné avant la reception de la lettre de Votre Excellence toutes les peines possibles pour me procurer des nouvelles du jeune americain dont Elle me parle, je Scais Monsieur qui s’est, et combien Il vous est cher, c’est dans cette consideration que je me Suis informé à Lubeck, ainsi qu’en cette ville pour en avoir des notions, mais jusqu’ici mes peines ont été infructueuses, je poursuivrai neamoins mes perquisitions, et je vous Supplie d’être persuadé que je me ferai un plaisir autant qu’un devoir de vous en rendre compte1
{ 307 }
Agréer l’hommage de ma reconnoissance à la bonté que vous avéz bien voulû avoir de faire parvenir en Amerique La lettre dont j’avois chargé M harras. Oserois je pour la derniére fois prendre la liberté de supplier Votre Excellence de faire encore parvenir L’incluse cy joint, Elle rendra un service essentiel à un negociant de cette ville etablis a Newbern qui n’a pas reçu depuis bien du temps des nouvelles de sa fammille dont Il est cheri. pardonnéz je vous Supplie La liberte que je prends et soyéz persuadé que je saisirai avec empressement toutes les occasions ou je pourai vous convaincre de ma reconnoissance ainsi que du profond respect avec lequel j’ai l’honneur d’etre / Monsieur a Votre Excellence / le trés humble et / trés obss Serviteur
[signed] Lagau

Translation

[salute] Sir

In response to the letter your excellency honored me with on 13 February, I see that Mr. Harras has abused my trust. However, I cannot believe that this was what the young man intended; even without the evidence of his recommendations he seemed a well-brought-up young fellow, well-behaved and eager to serve his country. I hope your excellency will kindly see that I am reimbursed for the cash advances I made with the sole purpose of helping an ally in a foreign country, but if you find my request unjustified please ignore it. It is not that I risk losing so considerable a sum, but the thought of asking something inconsistent with strict honesty that pains me.
Even before receiving your excellency's letter I had gone to much trouble to obtain news of the young American in question. I know, sir, who he is and how dear he is to you, and it was with that in mind that I sought after him in Lübeck as well as in this town, but so far my efforts have proved fruitless. I shall nonetheless pursue my inquiries and beg you to believe that it will be both my pleasure and my duty to keep you informed.1
Please accept the tribute of my gratitude for your kindness in forwarding to America the letter I had entrusted to Mr. Harras. May I take one final liberty and ask your excellency also to send on the letter I enclose? It will greatly oblige a trader of this town, now established in New Bern, who for some considerable time has been without news of the family that loves him. Please excuse the liberty I am taking and rest assured that I shall seize every possible opportunity to prove my gratitude and the profound respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Lagau
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Lagau / 28.th. Feby. 1783.”
1. See Lagau's letter of 3 March, and notes, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0202

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-02

From John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

on calling this Moment for my Man Manuel to comb me I am told he is gone to shew my Nephew the Fair—2 I fear they will have so many fine Things & Raree shows to see and admire, that my Head will remain in statu quo ’till afternoon, & consequently our intended Visit to Ct. Sarsfield be postponed. Thus does Tyrant Custom sometimes hold us by a Hair, and thus do ridiculous Fashions make us dependent on Valets, & the Lord knows who—
adieu my Dr Sir / Yours sincerely
[signed] J. Jay
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Exy. Mr Adams / Hotel du Roy”; endorsed: “Card / Mr. Jay”; filmed at [1782–1783]. Dft (NNC:John Jay Papers).
1. The month of this letter is derived from Jay's draft, which he endorsed “To Mr. Adams, March 1783.” The 2d is the likely day it was written because of Jay's reference to “the Fair” at the end of the first sentence. If the fair was the annual carnival, it would have ended by 5 March, Ash Wednesday, the date from which all entertainments were closed for Lent.
2. Jay's valet, whom he had brought with him from Spain, was Manuel de Egusquisa; his nephew was Peter Jay Munro (Jay, Unpublished Papers, 2:11, 684). JQA was a friend and correspondent of Munro. The Adams Papers editorial files record 26 letters from JQA to Munro between 26 Oct. 1783 and 10 Nov. 1784, all of them at NNMus; but see also AFC, 8:300, 301.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0203

Author: Lagau, Philippe Jean Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-03

From Philippe Jean Joseph Lagau

[salute] Monsieur

C’est avec le plus sensible plaisir que j’ai l’honneur de vous annoncer que Monsieur Votre fils s’est embarqué à Copenhague pour Kiel d’ou Il se rendra à hambourg ou nous L’attendons incessament.1 Monsieur le Chevalier de Viviers Ministre du Roy en cette ville2 se fait un plaisir de faire sa Connoissance et je ne manquerai pas de lui temoigner tout mon empressement à lui être util, pour Convaincre Votre Excellence du zêle que j’ai à vous Convaincre du profond respect avec lequel j’ai L’honneur d’etre / Monsieur / de Votre Excellence / Le très humble et très obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Lagau

Translation

[salute] Sir

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that your son has embarked at Copenhagen for Kiel, whence he will travel to Hamburg, where we await { 309 } him forthwith.1 The Chevalier de Viviers, the king's minister to this town,2 will be happy to make his acquaintance, and I myself shall not fail to express my eagerness to assist him, the better to convince your excellency of the deep respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Lagau
1. JQA reached Copenhagen on 15 Feb., intending to sail from there to Kiel. But contrary winds and harbor ice forced him to abandon that plan, with the result that he departed Copenhagen on 5 March, traveled overland to Hamburg, and—although his diary indicates the 10th—arrived there on the evening of the 11th. Lagau's information about JQA's planned departure from Copenhagen was derived from a letter to the French minister at Hamburg written by Matthieu de Basquiat, Baron de La Houze, the French minister at Copenhagen, whom JQA had seen on 19, 23, and 24 Feb. (JQA, Diary, 1:171–174; AFC, 5:97–98, 104; from Pierre Penet, 17 March, below).
2. Claude Antoine, Chevalier de Viviers, French minister to Hamburg since Oct. 1782, was the Comte de Vergennes’ brother-in-law (Repertorium, 3:119; Murphy, Vergennes, p. 167). For the minister's letter of 3 March to the Duc de La Vauguyon, which repeated Lagau's report on JQA's movements at somewhat greater length, see Dumas’ letter of 11 March, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0204

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-03

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We take the liberty to apply to your Excellency as we are informed that it is practised by our neighbours to Let their Ships sail under American Colours and Papers, as we have just now bought a vessel of a 150 Tuns, we'd wish to Let it Sail to America, with American papers & colours we request your Excellency's advice how this is best Practicable, with granting the necessary papers to us, for whch. purpose 'll as soon as we can advice the name of the Capn and ship
we flatter ourselves if it is practilable your Excellency'll not refuse to add this favour to the many we are indebted to you, whch. we make us a duty to acknowledge with thankfullness
We convey inclosed the acct. delivered to us according to the note.1
The man of the Coach is humbly requesting to receive some notice of the Same, whch. we beg to be inform'd of, as also in its time of your coming here to do ourself the pleasure of waiting on Your Excellency
in the meanwhile we have the honour to remain most respectfully.
Gentlemen / Your most Humb. servts.
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink2
{ 310 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr. Paris.”
1. Not found.
2. The Willinks wrote again on 6 March (Adams Papers) to renew their request for “Papers” and to announce Pieter Johan van Berckel's appointment as Dutch minister to the United States.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0205

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-03

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

We have before us your Excellency's esteem'd favour of 23 past, we'll enquire after the Seven obligations, to exchange the Same if the holders consent to it, we shall pay to Mr. de Neufville the Coupons and charge the same to the acct. of the United States, with the sum Messrs. Willink have disbursed for your Excellency.
we take due notice your Excellency is to dispose in some time 40 a 50/ms. ƒ of the publicq money,1 and orders us to reserve of it the Intrest of the Loan to become due, as to the rest you have no objection to our paying it out to Mr. Grand, we beg Leave to observe to your Excellency, that we not being authorised by his Excellency Robt Morris Esqr. nor Mr. Grand to make any demands on us and expecting at every Moment orders of Mr. Morris, who was pleased to order to us to pay out to Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. what ever sums they might dispose, who in consequence desired 2 Millions but on our advice of not having such a sum in cash they desired provisionally one Million, so we expect his Excellency may order by his first letters the remainder to said Gentlemen, wherefore we find ourselves unqualifyed to satisfy the private demands of mr Grand unless your Excellency is pleased to authorise us specially to it, whenever we are always ready to pay due attention to his orders.
Money in Cash with each of us amounts together after the mentioned objects deduced at abt. ƒ200/m when nothing is Calculated for draft of his Excellency Mr Morris directly made or bills on Mr Laurens.
we have the honour to remain with great esteem / Sir / Your Excellency most Humb / & Most Obedient Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
{ 311 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr at paris.”
1. That is, forty or fifty milles (thousand) florins.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0206

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-04

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

La Poste, qui part à 5 heures aujourd’hui, & un mal de reins violent, m’obligent de renvoyer la réponse aux honorées vôtres à Jeudi prochain.
Ce matin L. H. P. ont pris une Conclusion conforme au Préavis de la Province d’Hollande, Sur les Instructions à donner à leurs Plénipo: pour arriver à la Paix générale.1 Il y a de l’inconstitutionel dans cette Conclusion, en ce qu’elle n’est point unanime: car les Députés de 3 provinces ont déclaré n’être pas encore autorisés à donner leur assentiment. Mais cela viendra.
Je continue d’agir sourdement pour Mr. Wheelock, en attendant qu’il soit temps de le faire plus ouvertement; & j’ai lieu d’espérer, que l’affaire succedera du plus au moins. Jeudi je vous répondrai plus amplement là-dessus, Monsieur, ainsi qu’à Mr. Franklin.2
Il ne sera pas difficile du tout, de lier la partie avec Mr. le Bourguemaître Van Berkel, pour faire le Voyage ensemble dans une bonne Frégatte, si vous pouvez attendre jusqu’au mois de Juin.—Quand j’ai répété à notre ami G—— ces paroles Perhaps the ——3will send a frigate with him; he ought; il m’a répondu: il devra bien, quand nous l’aurons ordonné.
Je suis, Monsieur, avec grand respect, / De Vre. Excellence / le très-humble & / très-obéissant servit,
[signed] Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

The post, which leaves at five o’clock today, and a violent attack of lumbago oblige me to put off replying to your esteemed letters until next Thursday.
This morning their High Mightinesses reached a conclusion consistent with the previous notice of the Province of Holland concerning the instructions to be given their plenipotentiaries in concluding a general peace.1 There is some unconstitutionality in this conclusion in that it is not unanimous, for the deputies of three provinces have declared themselves as yet unauthorized to give their assent. But that will come.
{ 312 }
I continue to act silently on behalf of Mr. Wheelock, until it is time to act more openly, and I have reason to believe that the matter will succeed. On Thursday I shall answer you and Mr. Franklin too in greater detail.2
It will be quite easy to join Burgomaster Van Berckel and travel together in a good frigate if you can wait until June. When I repeated these words to our friend Gyselaar, “Perhaps the ——3will send a frigate with him; he ought,” he replied, “He should, when we have ordered one.”
I am, sir, with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à S. E. Mr. Adams M. P.”
1. The 14 March Gazette d’Amsterdam reported that the dispatch to Paris of the new instructions, now approved by five of the seven provinces, had been delayed but that the Dutch negotiators were directed to refuse any cession of territory to England, to demand a free navigation according to the plan of the Armed Neutrality, and to obtain indemnification for Dutch losses. Compare the new instructions with those issued to Gerard Brantsen in 1782 (vol. 13:246–248).
2. Dumas wrote to JA concerning Wheelock on Thursday, 6 March, below. Dumas’ letter to Franklin of 14 March (DLC:Franklin Papers) acknowledged Franklin's letter of 17 Feb. introducing Wheelock (PCC, No. 101, f. 318) and gave an account of Wheelock's activities on behalf of Dartmouth College since his arrival in the Netherlands.
3. Presumably the stadholder, William V.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0207

Author: Berckel, Pieter Johan van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-05

From Pieter Johan van Berckel

[salute] Monsieúr

Púisqúe J’ai la satisfaction d’être elú par Leúrs H: Puissances poúr aller resider aúpres dú congres dés Etats únis de L’Ameriqúe en qúalité de ministre Plenipotentiaire de notre Repúbliqúe Je n’ai pú me dispenser de voús en informer. Mais encore je me fai cette occasion de voús ecrire a profit, et je la saisis poúr voús temoigner, qúe L’honneúr de cette commission me flatte extrémement, parce qúe J’ai toújoúrs senti le desir le plús viff d’en étre chargé, afin de troúver Les moiens de mettre aú Joúr Les Sentiments d’Estime & d’amoúr qúe mon coeúr noúrit poúr votre noúvelle Repúbliqúe ce qúe je ferai d’aútant plús facilement, parce qúe Le Service de ma Patrie exige, qúe je porte toús mes Soins a Serrer Le plús etroitement ces noeúds, qúi doivent Lier ces deúx Soeúrs de facon qú’Elles ne Se Separent Jamais.
Permettez moi en même tems de Solliciter votre amitié & votre bien veúillance, Elles me Sont chéres, et me peúvent étre de trés grande útilité; J’en concois toút Le prix, & ne manquerai pas de faire tout le possible poúr voús engager a les accorder a celúi, qúi Se nomme avec la plus parfaite estime / Monsieúr / Votre trés húmble Serviteúr
[signed] P: J: Van Berckel
{ 313 }

Translation

[salute] Sir

Since I have the satisfaction of being elected by their High Mightinesses to reside near the Congress of the United States of America as minister plenipotentiary of our republic, I must not fail to inform you of this. But I also take this opportunity to attest to you how delighted I am with the honor of this appointment, having always desired it keenly. It will enable me to manifest the feelings of love and esteem my heart entertains for your young republic. Indeed, I shall manifest them all the more readily in that the service of my country requires me ever to strive to tighten the bonds between these two sisters, so that they shall never be separated.
At the same time, please allow me to court your friendship and goodwill. I hold both dear, and both may prove extremely helpful. I am fully aware of their worth, and shall certainly do everything in my power to make you bestow them on the man who signs himself, with the greatest esteem, sir, your very humble servant
[signed] P: J: Van Berckel

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0208

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-06

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

En com̃ençant par le plus pressé, voici une Lettre de Son Excellence le Ministre Plenipo: de cette rep. auprès de nos Et. Unis.1 Il m’a chargé en outre de vous demander les Eclaircissemens suivants.
1o. Quels Meubles & fournitures il lui convient principalement d’emporter avec lui d’ici, plutôt que de les acheter & faire faire à Philadelphie?
2o. S’il devra faire une Entrée publique, ou S’il pourra s’en dispenser, sans se singulariser d’avec les autres Ministres Etrangers, & sans compromettre la dignité de la Puissance qui l’envoie, dans l’opinion de celle où il est envoyé?
3o. Dans le cas où l’Entrée publique Soit nécessaire, lequel lui tournera mieux à compte, ou de faire faire un carosse de parade (pour cette seule journée où il s’en servira peut-être) ici, ou à Philadelphie?
Mr. Wheelock est parti pour Amsterdam, content de moi. Mr. Van Berkel le Pensionaire, à qui je l’ai présenté, est d’avis qu’il ne propose l’affaire ouvertement, que lorsque la conclusion générale de la paix aura remis les Esprits de ce pays dans une Assiete plus { 314 } tranquille & plus gaie. J’ai accompagné les deux freres2 à Leide où nous avons dîné chez Mr. Luzac & où Mr. Van der Kemp est entré de tout son coeur dans le Plan. Il doit avoir écrit aujourd’hui là-dessus au Professeur Oosterbaan à Amsterdam,3 & à deux autres maisons Anabatistes à Harlem & en Frise. Il sera lui-même à Amsterdam d’une grande fête, qui S’y doñera le 15 à Mr. De Capelle du Pol & à Mr. Van Berkel où l’affaire pourra être com̃encée.4 E[nfin] Mr. Gyzelaar s’interessera aussi a la réus[site du] Plan, quand il sera temps de le proposer dans sa ville. Pour à La Haie, le meilleur nous a paru de ne point faire usage des Lettres pour Le Pce. & pour McL——,5 au moins quant à présent, & jusqu’à-ce que la Réussite ailleurs empêche de tourner la proposition en ridicule, & de la traverser.
Vous devez avoir reçu actuellement, Messieurs, ainsi que les Ministres de France & d’Espagne, par ceux de la Repe. à Paris, l’ouverture d’entamer la Négociation pour un Traité de Garantie réciproque de la Liberté des mers.6 Ces Messieurs comptent à cet égard, & principalement, sur les promesses réiterées que vous m’avez autorisé de leur faire, sûrs que vous ne vous laisserez point influer ni diriger par Shelburne & Co:, qui s’entendent, disent-ils, com̃e larrons en foire. Vous n’aurez pas de peine à comprendre l’allusion.— Si cette convention pouvoit se faire avant la signature du Traité définitif, ce seroit le triomphe ici de nos républicains.— Quelqu’un m’ayant objecté, que l’Angle. pourroit en prendre ombrage Si ce Traité se faisoit avant l’autre; Et depuis quand, ai-je repliqué, la France a-t-elle recom̃encé à avoir peur de donner ombrage à l’Angleterre?
Je Suis avec grand respect, & en vous présentant les obéissances de ma famille avec les miennes, Monsieur / Votre très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

Beginning with the most urgent matter, here is a letter from his excellency the minister plenipotentiary of this republic to the United States.1 He has further instructed me to ask you the following questions:
1. What furnishings and supplies would it be advisable for him to take from here, rather than buying them or having them made in Philadelphia?
2. If he should make a public entrance or if he can dispense with this without appearing too different from the other foreign ministers or compromising the dignity of the power that is sending him, in the opinion of the power that receives him?
3. In case a public entrance is indeed necessary, which would turn best { 315 } to his account, to have a ceremonial carriage made (for this one day when he might use it) here or in Philadelphia?
Mr. Wheelock has left for Amsterdam, quite pleased with me. Mr. Van Berckel the pensionary, to whom I introduced him, is of the opinion that he should only present the matter openly once the general conclusion of the peace treaty has restored people's minds to a state of cheerfulness and calm. I accompanied both brothers2 back to Leyden, where we had dinner at Mr. Luzac's house. Mr. Van der Kemp entered wholeheartedly into the plan. He was supposed to write about it today to Professor Oosterbaan in Amsterdam3 and to two other Anabaptist houses in Haarlem and Friesland. He himself will be in Amsterdam on 15 March for a grand entertainment in honor of Mr. Van der Capellen tot den Pol and Mr. Van Berckel, at which the matter can be broached.4 Finally, Mr. Gyselaar too will take an interest in the plan when it is time to propose it in his town. As for The Hague, it seemed best to us not to use the letters for the prince and for MacLaine,5 at least not now, until success obtained elsewhere prevents the proposal from being ridiculed and thwarted.
By now, gentlemen, you should have received from the ministers of the republic at Paris, at the same time as the ministers of France and Spain, an overture to open negotiations for a treaty of reciprocal guarantee of the freedom of the seas.6 These gentlemen are counting heavily on the oftrepeated promises you authorized me to give them, certain you will not allow yourself to be influenced or driven by Shelburne and Co., who get on, they say, like thieves at a fair. You will easily understand this allusion. If this convention could take place before the definitive treaty is signed, it would be a triumph here for our republicans. Someone offered me the objection that England might take umbrage if this treaty is concluded before the other; “And,” said I, “since when has France ever been afraid of giving umbrage to England?
I am with great respect, and in presenting my family's compliments with my own, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence / Monsieur Adams / Mine. Plenipo: des Et. Unis / Paris.”; internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams M. P.”; endorsed: “Mr Dumas 6. March / 1782.” Text lost where the seal was removed has been supplied from Dumas’ letterbook copy (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 2, f. 509–511).
2. John Wheelock and his brother James, who was traveling with him (vol. 13:488–489).
3. François Adriaan Van der Kemp was a close friend and student of Prof. Heere Oosterbaan, having studied under him at the Baptist seminary in Amsterdam (Harry F. Jackson, Scholar in the Wilderness: Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, Syracuse, N.Y., 1963, p. 19, 20, 21, 23, 24–25; Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 2:1025–1026).
4. For the banquet, which was rescheduled to 26 April, see Dumas’ letter of 24 April, below.
5. For JA's letters of introduction on Wheelock's behalf, see his 18 Feb. letter to Van der Kemp, and note 2, above. One of the letters, also of 18 Feb., was to Archibald MacLaine, minister of the English church at The Hague (LbC, APM Reel 108). Neither a recipient's nor a Letterbook copy of a letter to William V, “the Prince” or, as Dumas wrote in his { 316 } letterbook, “le grand Personnage,” has been found.
6. Dumas refers to the proposal contained in his letter of 24 Jan., above, to which JA had replied on the 29th, also above, after consulting Benjamin Franklin and John Jay. Although Dumas indicates here that a formal request for negotiations should have been or would be received by the American Commissioners from Dutch peace negotiators Brantsen and Berkenrode, there is no evidence that such a proposal was formally presented.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0209

Author: Laurens, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-06

From Henry Laurens

[salute] Dear Sir.

Nothing but a persuasion of duty to my Country & my friendship to you could have prevailed on me to transmit the Letter which will accompany this;1 it was originally intended an Address to Mr. Jenings, but after it was finish'd, doubts arose in my mind, whether it would work any good effect upon him, as well as whether I ought in honor to myself to hold a further correspondence with that Gentleman. Circumstances which have since occured, convince me I determined well in witholding it. The paper contains a brief history of Mr. Jenings's misconduct respecting the Anonymos Letter, which, if he did not write, he industriosly procured & put into your hands, & upon that foundation he employ'd his “dangeros disposition” to “heal animosities” which had never existed & to “bring friends to a right understanding.” who had never been at variance. What he may have told you of the conversation at Bruxelles, I know not, but you will now perceive that when he was chased by no less than three demands for explication he sneak'd off with, “I imagined I saw.” As I am not accustomed to smile upon a Man when I am angry with him, ’tis probable I did not look very pleasant under the impertinence of his interrogatories, ’tis evident my answers were dealt with Caution, “I imagined I saw.” his imaginations had strangely deceived him, it was with his rudeness, I was “not quite satisfied.” I complained of it the moment he went from me.
Mr. Bridgen upon being informed of Mr. Jenings's declaration, vizt. “that it was at his particular desire the anonymos Letter had been sent to you.” denied it in the most possitive terms & confirmed the denial from under his hand. he also writ to Mr. Jenings charging him with having sent or delivered that Letter to you without his “concurence or desire.” Mr. Bridgen has further informed me, that in a late conversation with Mr. Jenings he repeated the charge, Mr. Jenings acknowledged he had said “the Letter had been sent by his desire” & that “he thought he might take such a liberty with him.” Mr. Bridgen's declarations & behavior discover that he himself { 317 } entertains different Ideas of truth & honor. The subject requires no further pursuit, ’tis not my aim, to blast Mr. Jenings's Character but to undeceive you & to prevent, if possible, the progress of future evils, from his influence over or interference in our Councils & deliberations. The knowledge of this business is confined to those, whom it doth concern, except that I have never yet given the smallest intimation to Mr. Jay, you will of course make such communication to our Colleague as you shall think necessary.
Doctor Franklin is possessed of another anonymõs, much in terms of the one before us,2 dated Amsterdam, but it not only bears the mark of Bruxelles, but contains certain strokes within, which confirm my “Belief” of the Author of both. These papers were contrived not merely for the purpose of slandering of Mr. Adams, the grand view was to excite jealousy & by degrees to produce animosity among us all, Mr. Adams in the mean time to be played upon & hoodwinked by an excess of flattery. how far in my apprehension, the scheme succeeded I shall candidly intimate, if you desire it, the next time I have the honor of conversing with you— You may recollect, a plain spoken Man3 said to you at Hotel Yorke, “this is all very pretty Drama.” but you told all he said within half an hour.
Regarding Mr. Storer as your Secretary & confidential friend & as a Servant of the United States, I have given him such information as I judged necessary for putting him upon his guard. Mr. Storer will communicate as much of the State of public affairs in this Country, as probably I know—my knowledge extends not much beyond appearances. these do not please me. but I am told that I shall be better pleased in a few days; mean time, a certain Noble Lord4 now a little be-clouded has not failed to take the necessary advantage of his success, in artfully obtaining the “Provisional Treaty” without “the knowledge or participation of the great & good Ally of America”—for argument sake, I admit the fact—what then?—John Adams & Co. may be hanged but no damage will arise to the United States. I shall endeavor honestly to defeat His Lordship's pious designs— I suspected His Lordships goodness when he offered to make me a present of my self. Be assured of my sincerity in subscribing with great affection & regard / Dear sir Your obedient humble servt.
[signed] Henry Laurens.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “John Adams Esquire / Paris.”; endorsed: “Mr Laurens 6. March / ansd 12. 1783.”
1. The enclosed letter from Laurens to Edmund Jenings was dated 24 Jan. and contained a detailed accounting of why Laurens believed Jenings to be the author or sponsor { 318 } of anonymous letters sent to American officials during the previous year. The enclosure carries the notation: “Intended now only for Mr. Adams's information & for Mr. Jay's if Mr. Adams shall think it necessary.” For more on the controversy and the Laurens-Jenings conflict, see vol. 13:64–65, and Laurens, Papers, 16:157–160, 277–333. Laurens also wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 6 March and noted there that he had informed JA that Franklin was “possessed of another anonymous Letter with the Bruxelles mark on it and I am now confirmed in my ‘Belief’ of the Author of both. I wish Mr. Adams may communicate all that I have further said on this occasion” (DLC:Franklin Papers). For JA's continued efforts to avoid involvement in the affair, see his reply to Laurens of 12 March, below. Franklin replied to Laurens on 20 March and, perhaps confusing the Laurens-Jenings difficulties with those between JA and himself, wrote that “Mr. Adams has communicated nothing to me on the Subject of the anonymous Letters. I hear frequently of his Ravings against M. de Vergennes and me whom he suspects of Plots against him which have no Existence but in his own troubled Imaginations. I take no Notice, and we are civil when we meet” (NjP:De Coppet Coll.).
2. Franklin sent JA copies of the anonymous letters, dated 31 Jan. and 8 May 1782 (Franklin, Papers, 36:499–501, 37:289–291).
3. Presumably Laurens himself.
4. The Earl of Shelburne. In his letter to Franklin of 6 March, Laurens wrote that he had learned from a member of Parliament that “Lord Shelburne declared to the House of Lords, the Provisional Treaty was obtained from the American Ministers without the concurrence or participation of the Court of France, that the Court was not pleased and consequently would not hereafter be so friendly to the United States.” Shelburne's comment, however, has not been found in accounts of the debates over the preliminary treaty.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0210

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-07

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

The post of yesterday brôt me your obliging favour of the 5th. of this month N.S. in which you say nothing of the Treaty with Sweden which the Leyden Gazette tells us was signed that day.1 I do not doubt the fact, from the intelligence you gave me some time past of the prepared state of it. My former letter will have advised you of the deficiency of Mr: Grand's Credit and of my proposal to draw in case of necessity, upon your bank.2 I will pledge my private estate for your security if you will answer the draft when I shall make it. The resolution of Congress which you lately transmitted to me I apprehend can alone make any difficulty. It must be surmounted.
I shall follow your advice about administering the Oath of Allegiance— When I asked your opinion about a certain step wh: I proposed to take, it was not with a view of making you responsible in the least degree for it. I asked it as of my private friend. I perceive your objections to it in their full force, thô you have not particularly assigned them. But a short answer is alone sufficient. Necessity knows no Law. And this Necessity I begin to feel will soon become irresistable. I must and I will take it. They must charge themselves { 319 } with the disagreable consequences of it, if any shou'd follow from it, of which I am not aware, who have imposed this necessity upon me— I am not sorry that a certain Gentleman3 has resigned, but this resignation can have no influence upon my determination— You will have heard from your Son shortly after the date of your Letter, from Gottenbourg, from whence he wrote me.4 He has been neglectful of my Instructions to keep you constantly informed about himself, while on his route
I have this day communicated my Mission to the Vice Chancellor Count Ostermann, without having been advised to do so by my correspondent; but I had immediate assurances that the way was clear.5 It is strange that any one shou'd have thought otherwise.
Adieu my dear Sir. I am yours affectionately
[signed] FD
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J. Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c.” Filmed at 24 February.
1. For the announcement, premature as it turned out, see JA's 7 Feb. letter to Dumas, and note 2, above.
2. Of [31 Jan.], above.
3. Robert R. Livingston.
4. JQA's letter to Dana has not been found.
5. An unidentified member of Catherine II's private cabinet assured Dana on 5 March that no obstacles remained to prevent Dana from communicating his mission to the vice chancellor, Count Ivan A. Osterman, although there might be some delay in receiving a response. This resulted in Dana's writing to Osterman on [7 March] to formally announce his appointment as U.S. minister to Russia and his readiness to present his letter of credence from Congress (U.S. and Russia, p. 175–177). For the progress of Dana's effort, see his letters of [9], [12], and [15 May], all below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0211

Author: Parish & Thomson
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-07

From Parish & Thomson

[salute] Sir

After having been under the Necessity of writing in answer to Mr. Thaxter a few post days ago, that we were not able to procure any information about your Son, it is now with particular Pleasure that we have the honour to inform your Excellency that the young Gentleman was at Copenhagen on the 1st. Instant. Our friend there writes us that a Mr. Adams lately arrived from Stockholm was about setting off for Kiel in the Packet, that he called at his lodgings but he was gone out; our friend proposed to wait on him again next morning & would I render him every agreeable Service. We flatter ourselves that this can be no other than your Son & it makes us very happy to have the Pleasure of relieving your anxiety on his account; we may now expect to see him soon in this City, & beg leave to assure your Excellency, of our paying every attention to him, during his Stay here.—1
{ 320 }
Our Magistrates propose writing to your Excellency or to Dr Franklin, relative to a commercial Treaty with America;—if they do, we wish You wou'd desire them to settle first a Demand we have against them for the illegal Detention of two Ships, which they stopt here in 1776, on a supposition of their being American Property, by which our friend Mr. John Ross of Philadelphia suffered a Loss of £1100.—Str.— We request the Favour to give information hereof to Dr Franklin.—2
We have the honour to be, / Your Excellency's / most obedient & very / humble Servants
[signed] Parish & Thomson
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr. / Minister plenipotentiary from / the United States of North / America to Holland, at / Paris”; internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr. / Paris—”; endorsed: “M M. Parish & Thomson / Hamborough 7. March / ansd 19. 1783.”
1. Parish & Thomson wrote again on 14 March to announce JQA's arrival “some Days ago” (Adams Papers). JA replied to this letter of 7 March and that of the 14th on 19 and 24 March, respectively (both LbC's, APM Reel 108), in each case thanking the firm for its information regarding JQA's progress.
2. Nothing further is known of this incident, and although JA promised in his letter of 19 March to bring it to Franklin's attention, no further mention of it has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0212

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1783-03-09

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Gentlemen,

I have recd. the favor of your's of the 3d.
There is nobody in Europe authorized to give American Papers to any Vessels.— We have given Passports to British Vessels in pursuance of the Articles of the Peace, but British Vessels alone wanted such Protection. Dutch Vessels have no need of them.1
Please to pay off the Accounts which you transmit me, in this Letter of the 3d, take Receipts and charge the whole to my private Account.
As to the Coach, it is repaired as I suppose— I have been long expecting to sign the definitive Treaty, and to return in the Coach immediately. I still hope this will soon be the Case, but cannot be certain. We wait for the Chaos in England to reel into Order.
With great Esteem your Friend.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs. Wilhem & Jan Willink.”; APM Reel 108.
1. The Willinks wrote again on 17 March (Adams Papers), thanking JA for the information that he had provided and asking whether it was advisable to send ships to { 321 } New York or Charleston. Replying on the 24th (LbC, APM Reel 108), JA indicated that he thought it inadvisable to send ships to those ports because he was uncertain as to whether they had been evacuated.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0213

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-09

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir.

Having been lately on a Journey I cou'd not sooner thank you for your obliging favor of the 23d. Ulto, which I found here on my return home.
In consequence of What you tell me, I shall refer the Emperors Agents to Mr. Dana, at the same time I perfectly coincide with your opinion that we ought not to be in a hurry, now we have Peace, to enter into Coml. Treaties.
I see no reason for changing the Opinion I long since entertain'd, that while the War continued, Ama. shd. have had Ministers or Agents in all the principal Courts in Europe to endeavor to obtain an acknowlegemt. of our Independence, which might have greatly operated in prevailing on G. B. to make Peace with us; but if that point cou'd not be obtain'd, she might be prevented from geting any assistance either in Men or Money to carry on the War; When we have Peace we ought to be on the reserve & let the Powers of Europe court us, for they will certainly receive more benefit from a Com̃erce with us than we shall.
Congress however, has hitherto pursued a line of conduct directly opposite to my Ideas, possibly induced to do so from Versailles or Passy where it was wish'd to confine every thing that related to Ama. which in my opinion was one great leading cause of the War continueing so long as it has done; & I shall not be surprized if a reverse of conduct takes place now, when we may see American Ministers & Treaties as plenty as Blackberries.
A wise Administration will however first consider how the Expence is to be furnish'd & whether the Benefits likely to accrue to Ama. from such Treaties will be equivalent to the expence of making them & of keepg. a Watch to see that they are maintain'd.
At all events, I hope & Trust, that no engagemts. whatever will be enter'd into on the part of Ama. that can in any manner involve us in the disputes that may arise in Europe.
If Mr. Dana enters into Negotiation with the Emperor I suppose he will be well inform'd of the nature of Comerce in this Country, for in many respects a Treaty with the Emperor, to be beneficial to Ama., must differ from that with France.
{ 322 }
We are told here, that Congress sent to Dr. Franklin a particular Commission to make a Treaty with Sweeden at the express desire of his Sweedish Majesty. Is this true.
I have the Honor to be with very great / Regard & Respect / Dear Sir / Your most Obedt. & most. / Humble Servt.
[signed] W. Lee
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esq. / Paris.—”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0214

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Date: 1783-03-10

To Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Sir

Pray be so good as to insert an exact Translation of the inclosed Letter in the Politique Hollandais, without my Name or that of the Abby.1
or if you chose it you may add it to the Essay &c2
It is high Time for Writers to reflect a little upon the Subject before they pretend to write an History of Such an Affair. This will put them on thinking.
Mr Marmontel as Historiographer du Roi is to write it. The Abby de Mably was to write it. as it was given out. The Abby Raynal has written it. But this Letter which has been shewn to both the former, has convinced them that thirteen compleat Revolutions in America, one in France, one in Spain, one in Holland and one in England, not to mention the armed Neutrality, are not so easily described
yours
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Cerisier”; APM Reel 110.
1. This is JA's 15 Jan. letter to the Abbé de Mably on writing a history of the American Revolution (above at 9 Jan.), which Cerisier published in the 24 March edition of Le politique hollandais, p. 83–91. JA used Cerisier's translation when he included the letter to the abbé as a postscript to the first volume of his Defence of the Const., 1:384–392.
2. The “Essay” was the French translation of “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” which JA had sent to Cerisier with his letter of 15 Feb., and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0215

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Berckel, Pieter Johan van
Date: 1783-03-11

To Pieter Johan van Berckel

[salute] Sir,

I have recd. the Letter, which you did me the honor to write me on the 5th. of this Month, & am happy to recieve this Confirmation of the News of your Appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States of America.— Your Name, Connections & Character { 323 } are Sufficient Pledges of your Attachment to your own Country as well as ours, and cannot fail to be as pleasing in America as they seem to be in Europe.
A Friendship between our Countries is so natural, that I think you will have little difficulty in succeeding to your Wishes.—
Mr. Dumas desires me to inform you, what Furniture it will be proper to carry with You— In my Opinion you will be able to purchase at Philadelphia whatever you may have occasion for as cheap and as good as you can have them in Europe— Linnens and other light Articles you may carry with you, but it is unnecessary to encumber yourself with heavy ones.
It will by no means be necessary to make a public Entry— There has as yet been no Example of it, and as Such splendid Ceremonies are much out of Fashion in Europe, it will never be necessary to introduce them into America. You will have no Occasion therefore for any Carriage but one of a common kind, which may be made in Philadelphia or Boston with as much Elegance & Convenience, as in Paris, Amsterdam or London.—
My Advice would be to land at Boston, & take the Journey to Philadelphia, while you send your Frigate round by Sea to that City— This will give you an Opportunity of seeing a great part of the United States, and of becoming acquainted with many principal Charactors. I will be answerable for your cordial Reception every where.
His Excellency the Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Hancock, and his Honor the President of the Senate, Mr. Samuel Adams, will recieve You at Boston—Governor Trumbull at Connecticut—General Washington and Governor Clinton at New York—Governor Livingston at New Jersey. I would by all means advise You to pass through New York and New Jersey, where You will find Multitudes charmed at the Sight of a Dutch Minister more than any other in the World.
I wish You a pleasant Voyage and Journey— If you take your departure at any time before the middle of June, your Voyage can scarcely fail to be agreable—After that it may be long and tedious.—
I have the honor to be with great Esteem and / Respect, / Sir, &c
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Peter John Van Berckel / Minister Plenipotentiary”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0216

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-11

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous verrez par la Copie ci-jointe d’une Lettre que Mr. le Duc de la Vauguyon a eu la bonté, avec ses complimens pour V. E., de m’envoyer, que Mr. votre fils étoit parti le 3 de Coppenhague.1 Mr. D’Asp, de son côté, est venu me lire une Lettre du Bn. Sprengporten, Mine. de Suede à Coppenhague,2 qui lui marque l’avoir vu & entretenu le 25 fevr., & qu’il se disposoit alors à poursuivre Son voyage, pour se rendre ici selon vos desirs. Ainsi nous l’attendons tous les jours. Sa chambre est prête, & tous nos soins aussi pour son agrément & bien-être, soit ici, soit à Leide s’il en preferoit le séjour.
Je joins ici la Lettre en original, que Mr. d’Asp, qui vous présente ses respects, vient de m’écrire sur une affaire qui lui tient fort à coeur. J’en enverrai de mon côté une copie, que j’en ai tirée, à Mr. Livingston, pour que cela parvienne de ce côté ou du vôtre; avec priere de faire mettre quelque avertissement là-dessus dans les gazettes Américaines.3
Dans l’espoir de revoir ici V. Exce. dans le cours du mois prochain, j’ai trouvé l’expédient de pouvoir renvoyer jusquelà le reglement & remboursement des comptes du ménage ici, afin de ne point vous embarrasser, Monsieur, dans cet éloignement.
Voici seulement quelques comptes qui m’ont été présentés, sur lesquels j’ai dit que je demanderois vos ordres.
1o. Le compte d’un Boucher d’Amsterdam pour viande livrée du 1er. Avr. au 8 May de  . . . ƒ70.15.10
la viande de boeuf, qui j’y trouve marquée à 10s. d’holl. la lb est à un prix exorbitant, & apparem̃ent un dessous de carte que les domestiques font valoir quand ils peuvent.
2o. Le compte d’un Brasseur d’Amsterdam pour biere livrée du 18 May 1781 au 12e.
Avril 1782 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . de ƒ 31.20.—
3 Le compte du Bureau de la poste ici pr. le London Courant, Morn. post, Morn. Chron. & genl. Advertiser, 8bre. 9bre. & xbre, 4 papiers à 36 fl. faisant . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  ƒ144.—   }   ƒ162.—  
Courier de l’Europe les 3 mois   18.—  
4o. Le compte du relieur ici, pour relieures y compris les Gazettes holl. & le politique
holl. de . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ƒ 190.14.—
Quant aux livres reliés, vous les trouverez Monsieur, dans la { 325 } Bibliotheque, ou je les ai rangés à part.4 Et pour les papiers Angl. &c je les expédie toujours par les vaisseaux partants d’Amsterdam.
Je suis malade. Mais nos amis ont la charité de me visiter. Vous avez, Monsieur, les respects de ma famille avec ceux de, Monsieur / votre très humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

You will see from the enclosed copy of a letter the Duc de La Vauguyon was kind enough to send me, with compliments to your excellency, that your son left Copenhagen on 3 March.1 For his part, Mr. Asp came to read me a letter from Baron Sprengtporten, Swedish minister at Copenhagen,2 indicating that he had seen and talked to him on 25 February and that he was making ready to continue on his journey to arrive here, as you wished. And so we are expecting him at any time. His room is ready, and we have made plans for his entertainment and well-being, either here or in Leyden, if he prefers to stay there.
I enclose the original of a letter that Mr. Asp, who sends you his respects, has just written me about a matter close to his heart. I shall send a copy I made of this to Mr. Livingston, so that it arrives either through him or through you, with a request to have some mention of this put in the American newspapers.3
In hopes of seeing your excellency here again some time next month, I have managed to put off settling our household accounts until then, so as not to bother you, sir, at such a distance.
Here are just a few of the bills that have been brought me. I told the creditors I would ask you for instructions.
1o. 1. Bill from a butcher in Amsterdam for meat delivered between 1 April and 8 May . . . . . . . . . . . . . ƒ70.15.10
The beef, which I see is priced at 10 Dutch suivers per pound, is quite exorbitant, apparently some secret deal the servants exploit whenever they can.
2. Bill from an Amsterdam brewer for beer delivered between 18 May 1781 and 12 April 1782 . . . . . . . ƒ 31.20.—
3. Bill from the post office here for the London Courant, Morning Post, Morning Chronicle, and General Advertiser, October, November, and December; four papers at 36 florins, making . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  ƒ144.—   }   ƒ162.—  
Three months of Courier de l’Europe   18.—  
4. Bill from the bookbinder here for bindings, including the Dutch gazettes and Politique hollandais . . . ƒ 190.14.—
Regarding the books that were bound, you will find them here, sir, in the library, where I put them on a separate shelf.4 And as for the English papers, I always send them on ships leaving from Amsterdam.
{ 326 }
I am ill. But our friends have been charitable enough to visit me. You have, sir, the respects of my family with those of, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son. Exce. Mr. Adams M. P.”; endorsed: “M. Dumas 11. March / ansd. 19.”
1. The enclosure was a copy of a 3 March letter from the Chevalier de Viviers, the French minister at Hamburg, to the Duc de La Vauguyon. In the letter De Viviers noted that he had written to Lübeck, Stralsund, Berlin, and Copenhagen for news of JQA and had just received a reply from the Baron de La Houze, the French minister to Denmark. It provided essentially the same information, although at greater length, as contained in Philippe Jean Joseph Lagau's letter of 3 March, above.
2. Baron Johan Vilhelm von Sprengtporten, Swedish envoy to Denmark since 1762 (Repertorium, 3:405).
3. Per Olof von Asp wrote to Dumas on 10 March in an effort to locate Nicolas Myrin, a Swedish teenager who had not been heard from since joining a loyalist military unit, the New Jersey Volunteers, in 1779. Dumas sent a copy of Asp's letter to Livingston on 11 March (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 283–290) and the original letter (not found) to JA. In his reply of 19 March, below, JA informed Dumas that he would inquire after Myrin. On the same day he sent the original letter to Benjamin Lincoln with a cover note (LbC, APM Reel 108). Lincoln placed an advertisement in the Philadelphia Freeman's Journal on 9 July seeking information on Myrin.
4. JA's library at MB includes thirteen bound volumes of Politique hollandais for the period from 12 Feb. 1781 to 10 Feb. 1783: one copy of vol. 1; four of vol. 2; five of vol. 3; and three of vol. 4 (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0217

Author: Vaughan, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-11

From Benjamin Vaughan

[salute] Dear sir,

I have to apologize to you for having omitted to recollect to put up your two Volumes of Maps, which I beg permission to have the honor to present to you.1 If possible, they shall go by this opportunity.
I do not learn that we have yet fixed our ministry, which does not at all concern me, provided we could fix our principles. I am happy however to find, notwithstanding the factions in parliament, that the people of England are not at all averse to a proper footing with America, provided they could be assured of America's disposition to be reciprocal in the matter of advance. So far they are right, that no public overtures from thence have yet arrived at their knowledge; in which I think you gentlemen at Paris might nevertheless assist us.— Perhaps I may truly affirm that the boldness of my friend,2 has done more towards advancing manly opinions, than any thing I have yet experienced in this country. Happy I am to find notwithstanding this clamor, that he retains all his old American sentiments, and repents of nothing. Some of his friends only lament that he did not corrupt the votes of some, who never vote but by corruption; and in truth it { 327 } would have secured the business. I have the honor to be, / Dear sir, / your very respectful / & most obedient humble se[rt.]
[signed] Benjn: Vaughan
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Vaughan / 11. March 1783.” Some loss of text due to a torn manuscript.
1. See Vaughan's letter of 25 Feb., and note 2, above.
2. Probably Shelburne, for whom Vaughan had served as a confidential observer at the peace negotiations.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Laurens, Henry
Date: 1783-03-12

To Henry Laurens

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr Storer arrived Yesterday with your kind Letter of 6 March, with its Inclosure. I know not what to Say to the Subject of this Inclosure. it is a Mystery which Time will unriddle and to time I leave it, So entirely that I dont think it necessary to Say any Thing to our Colleague about it.1
Appearances, on the Side where you are, dont please me more than you. But I hope the Weather will soon clear up, and that We shall soon have the Pleasure Of Seeing you and Mr. Oswald here, to put the last hand to the Peace.
It is not worth while for any noble Lord to “boast of his Art,” in obtaining the Provisional Treaty, without the Knowledge of our great and good Ally.— It was not owing to “his Art.”— But how does he know what Knowledge was communicated to our Ally? As to getting “John Adams and Co. hanged,” this would be no more than a Hillsborough, Germain or Sandwich would have done if they could. This would be no Feat for a Whig Minister to boast of.
This Same “Hanging” is however a grave Business, and perhaps the aforesaid Co. may have reflected upon the Nature of it, more seriously than his Lordship, unless it has struck him lately.— But I cannot think our Country will hang her Ministers merely for their Simplicity in being cheated into Independence, the Fisheries and half the great Lakes. Our Countrymen love Buck Skins Beaver Skins, Tom Cod & Pine Trees too well, to hang their Ministers for accepting them, or even for purchasing them by a little too much “Reciprocity” to the Tories.
Be it as it may, if a French Minister and an English Minister should form a Coalition as curious as that of the Fox and the Geese, to get J. A. hanged, he is pretty well prepared for this, or to be recalled, or censured or flattered or Slandered, just as they please.
{ 328 }
I wish I could See more Serious Preparations for evacuating New York and Penobscot.— our People will not feel like freemen in friendship with G. Britain till this is done.— if any one Thinks that keeping Possn. of N. York will help the Refugees, he deceives himself. G. Britains Misfortunes have arisen, from the Ignorance in her Rulers of the American Character.— if Ministers are incapable of learning it, they never will Succeed in addressing themselves to it.— if They think that Fear will work for the Refugees, they will find it opperate against them.
But Why is the definitive Treaty, delayed! Congress will not take the Preliminaries into Consideration, till they have the definitive Treaty. There can be no Ratification, untill Congress have that.2 And in my Opinion the States after the Ratification and Recommendations will take none of them into Consideration, untill the U. States are evacuated by the Troops. in this I may be mistaken.
My Respects to your good Family, and believe me with great Esteem and Respect, Sir your most / obedient and most humble sert
[signed] J. Adams.
RC (ScL [ScU]:Kendall Coll.); internal address: “His Excellency Henry Laurens Esq”; endorsed: “John Adams 12 Mar— 1783. / Recd. 25th.— Ansd. 26th—” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. That is, JA saw no need to bother John Jay over the Laurens’ allegations against Edmund Jenings in the 6 March letter and its enclosure (and note 1), above.
2. Contrary to JA's expectation, Congress approved the preliminary treaty on 15 April and four days previously had issued a proclamation declaring an end to hostilities due to the signing of the preliminary articles (Miller, Treaties, 2:96–107).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0219

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vaughan, Benjamin
Date: 1783-03-12

To Benjamin Vaughan

[salute] Dear Sir,

Mr. Storer arrived yesterday with your favor of 25th. Ulto.— I thank You for the Pamphlets, which are an Amusement in this place, how little soever there is in them of Sense or Candor.
The Refugees however seem to judge right in their own Affair— Sensible that they have no Claim at all upon America for Compensation, they demand it of Great Britain, upon whom the pretensions of some of them may be very just.
But why has no Man dared to mention tens of thousands of Sufferers in America, as innocent, as meritorious at least, as any of the Refugees? Who is to make Restitution and Compensation to these?—
Inclosed are Letters for your Friend Mr. Joshua Grigby Junr.1 { 329 } With five hundred a Year however a Man will not stand in need of Letters of Recommendation or Introduction in America.
Those who say you might have had a better Peace, speak from Conjecture, not from Knowledge— They reason from a false Comparison of the Forces of the belligerent Powers— Their Imaginations magnify the Finances and military Power of Great Britain, and diminish those of France, Spain, Holland & America, & then they reason from this delusive Comparison, that the Peace is inadequate to the relative Situations— I am afraid that the Vote to this purpose, will be unhappy one for Great Britain— Will it not nourish a continual discontent in your Nation, & a continual Jealousy in all the Powers that have been at War with You?2
I will answer You with great Sincerity, I do not believe you could possibly have obtained a better Treaty with America— On the contrary, the least delay would have lost You some Advantages which you now have.
What Conditions might have been obtained from France and Spain, I know not.— France appears in the Treaty with great Moderation in the Eyes of Europe, and her Aversion to continue the War could arise from no other Motive— Spain appears to have conquered her predeliction for Gibraltar— If therefore instead of wasting the Force of 40. or 50 Ships to guard that Rock, She had acted with France in the West Indies or against New York or both with 25. 20 or even only 15. Dutch Ships in the North Seas or the Channel, where would have been your Hopes? Surely only in the defensive— Admitting, what is very extravagantly improbable, that you could have defended all another year at an expence of 20. Millions, would you have been then able to demand better Terms, or your Adversaries disposed to grant them? I trow not— On the contrary, their Courage & Pretensions would have advanced.3
America did you a very kind Turn you may depend upon it, when She rapidly hastened on the Signature of the Provisional Treaty— Think of it as you will, you would have had no Peace at this hour, but for this able Seizure of the Moment of the Tide in the Affairs of Men, for which you are indebted to Mr. Oswald & his Principals— Without this, the Negotiations would have dreamed on, until D’Estaing had sailed from Cadiz, and then voila! une autre Campaigne.
I should be very glad to see the better sort of Pamphlets you mention, & particularly some to shew the Policy & the Necessity of an immediate Evacuation of New York & Penobscot.
I have the honor to very respectfully, / Sir &c
{ 330 }
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Benjamin Vaughan Esqr.”; APM Reel 108.
1. For JA's recommendations of Grigby, both dated 12 March, see Vaughan's letter of 25 Feb., note 1, above.
2. Here and in the following three paragraphs JA echoes the argument favoring the Anglo-American preliminaries put forward by Lord Shelburne, among others, during the 17 Feb. parliamentary debates over the treaty, namely that Britain's political and economic situation vis-à-vis its enemies left it no choice but to make peace. By contrast, JA notes the views of those who saw Britain's position as less dire and certainly not requiring the concessions allowed the Americans and paraphrases to a degree the amendment offered by Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle, to the main motion to send an address of thanks to George III. There, after admitting that the Lords had no option but to approve the treaty since to do otherwise would violate “the national faith,” Carlisle declared that “at the same time, we cannot help lamenting the necessity, which bids us subscribe to articles, which, considering the relative situation of the belligerent powers, we must regard as inadequate to our just expectations, and derogatory to the honour and dignity of Great Britain” (Parliamentary Hist., 23:375–380, 418–420).
3. JA had long considered the commitment of French and Spanish naval forces to European waters, particularly for operations against Gibraltar, shortsighted and counterproductive. He believed that those forces would have been better deployed to American waters, where their effect would have likely been to bring the war to an end much sooner. For this issue as a recurring theme in JA's correspondence, not just with individuals like Vaughan, but also in letters directed to Congress and the French government, see the indexes to vols. 7–13.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0220

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-14

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have been now three weeks in this City, mixing with men of various characters & Parties in order to find out their Desposition towards our Country, the result of my Observations is that the people at large tho by no means having any real Friendship for the United States, are willing to Acquiesce in the present Situation of Things, & to serve themselves of the commerce, which America holds out to them, but that the Courtiers stil retain their malice against us, and that by consequence the true Interest of the nation will not be immediately pursued, but as a nibbling Kind of Politicks was long persisted in to the disgrace of the Kingdom, it will require so long a Time to get rid of its piddling Ideas of commerce that its Rivals in Europe will get to the Start and deprive it of those advantages, which ought to be seized on this moment.
Your Excellency has seen in the news Papers a Bill for the Provisional Establishment & regulation of Trade between G B & the United States, a measure, which the opposition called on the Minister to pursue, He was backward therein at first, however no sooner did He produce his Bill but almost every one clamoured agst It, as doing Some thing too much for America & are for proceeding no further therein than putting America on the same footing as other { 331 } States are with respect to G B. the Times require something more to be done but G B will be in this, As she has been, in all other transactions for some time past, a year or two too late—1 Mr D Hartly mixd in the Debate on this Bill & opposed it as He had proposed to bring in a Bill to repeal the Prohibitory Acts; He lamented that the matter had not been provided for by an Article in the Provisional Treaty. & then read the Plan of a Treaty, which I will endeavour to get, & which He may perhaps send to Dr F.2
Mr Eden said He was for bringing in a Bill
1st to establish the Independancy of the Colonies
2dy to repeal the Acts, which prohibit Intercourse
3dy to Subject all imports in American Ships to the Same duties & regulations as are prescribed by Law in regard to the imports of European Nations
4th to pursue a Similar Principle as to exports.
The Lord Advocate3 threw out his Idea of a Bill to be brought in on this occasion, in which He was for retaining all the Sugar Words of the Preamble of the Bill before them, to treat The Americans not as aliens and to suffer them to Trade to West Indias— He particularly Objected to the first Article in Mr Edens Plan, ie the establishing the Independancy of America, because He said He wished above all things to leave out every word, that tended to remind the Americans they were independant, that is to say, He said to suggest to them, they were aliens. This Idea is curious & connected with what dropped from Mr Sheridan, the Friend of Mr Fox with respect to the Keeping the troops at New York until Something shoud be done for the Royallists, is alarming.
I see, that a Commission to empower your Excellency to make a Treaty of Commerce & the revocation thereof have been published in many of the Papers,4 I have been told that the people in Parliament imagine it was revoked because Congress have not a right to stipulate for the Commerce of the several Independant States, which have such Contradictory Interests you Sir will smile at this Ignorance, as the Gentleman who informed me of this Notion, was ashamed of it, when He was put in mind of treaties of Commerce having been made with France & Holland under the Authority of Congress. This did not occur to Him & yet I assure you Sir, He is one of the most enlightned Members of Parliament— I have hinted to Him, what might possibly have been the Causes of the revocation of the Commission and that G B was somewhat interested therein.
your Excellency cannot but Observe The Whimsical State of { 332 } Affairs in G B, as General Conway calls it, and at the same time cannot but wonder, that an Englishman of the rank of this Gentleman, or indeed any other should make use of such a term in speaking of the Situation of Things. There has not been a responsible Minister for this fortnight & by consequence all Matters of Importance must be at a Stand, among the rest, the Definitive treaty, I should Think, is Kept back much to your Excellencys Regret. The Party, which appears the Compactest, & are prepared to enter into the strong posts of Government is considered by the Commander in Chief,5 as inimical to Him & to what is dearest to his Heart & not one of them has the perfect Confidence of the people, it is Natural therefore to imagine, that should it enter into office, it will not Continue long and indeed such is the Tempers of Men in this Kingdom & the State of Affairs that it is Impossible, I think there should be a Stable Administration for some time—the People in general appear to be humbled. They now feel their real Situation, & are by no means guilty of those Vain boastings, which made them so ridiculous a little while ago, to the whole world, but humbled or rather Confounded as they are, I see no signs of real Repentance for their past Conduct—they are in a State of political Reprobation of Hell or Heaven, of Liberty or Slavery they reak not & are yet capable of Horrid Deeds if they had the Power.
I have informed your Excellency, that I have mixed with Men of various Characters & Parties & I learn from them, that there is not a Man of public Virtue & possessing public Confidence in the Kingdom, but that all is Knavery & therefore that Each is to look to Himself—is this of men it is Evident, there must be some Strange Convulsion such as will drive Many a Man to America for shelter agst the Evils of bad Government & bad Principles. This more eses the Burthen of your Excellencys Duty to make your Country an Asylum to the Miserables of G B. it will be so if the Spirit & Principles of true Republicanism are adopted in the Education of Youth & in the Administration of the Governments now Established. your Excellency There is much to be done in America—in these & many other respects. the Good Man Dr Price with whom I have conversed feels it too for the sake of America & of Humanity & has I believe turned his thoughts to the Subject & may express them in print,6 Every thing from a Man so well intentioned & so enlighned, will tend to good, He is a real Cosmopolite and an Israelite in whom their is no Guile.7 it is possible too, that He will publish something About the Conduct of Opposition towards Lord Shelburne— Should { 333 } your Excellency pass through Brussells & have an opportunity of sending thither, I beg that Monsieur L’Avocat Vander hoop de le rue de Rollebeek may be sent to, He has for your Excellency a book containing the Characters of many people in England, which perhaps may Afford some Amusement.
I am with the greatest Consideration / Sir / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient / Humble Servant
[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr.”; internal address: “His Excellency Mr Adams.”; endorsed: “Mr. Jennings March 14. / ansd 24.”
1. Jenings refers to the “Short Abstract of a Bill for the Provisional Establishment and Regulation of Trade and Intercourse between the Subjects of Great Britain, and those of the United States of North America.” William Pitt introduced the bill on 3 March and the abstract appeared in various London newspapers, including the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 5 March and the London Chronicle of 6–8 March. A printed copy of the original bill is in the Adams Papers, filmed at [1783]. For two later printed versions of the bill as amended and sent to Congress by Henry Laurens on 16 March and 5 April (Laurens, Papers, 16:162–165, 174–179), see PCC, No. 89, f. 261–266, 273–278.
The American Intercourse Bill was a legacy of the Shelburne ministry and reflected to at least some degree the earl's patronage of Adam Smith because it essentially sought to establish free trade between the two nations by restoring Anglo-American trade to its prewar state despite the independence of the United States. In its original form on 3 March, all statutes intended to “regulate or prohibit the Intercourse and Commerce between Great Britain and the Territories now composing the said United States of America” were to be repealed. More importantly, until an Anglo-American commercial treaty or convention was negotiated, American ships were to be admitted to British ports and their cargoes—“the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of the said United States”— were to “be liable to the same Duties and Charges only, as the same Merchandizes and Goods would be subject to, if they were the Property of British Subjects, and imported in British-built Ships or Vessels, navigated by British natural-born Subjects.” Coming in the wake of the earlier debates over the preliminary Anglo-American peace treaty, those on 7 and 10 March over the “American Intercourse Bill” exhibited a growing opposition to the regulation of Anglo-American trade as contemplated in the original bill and the amended versions (which were never debated) and narrowed the distinction between British trade with America and that with other countries. Ultimately, on 9 April Charles James Fox caused the bill to be tabled and on the 11th introduced bills to repeal the Prohibitory Acts and eliminate documentation requirements for American shipping (Parliamentary Hist., 23:602–615, 640–646, 724–730). The nature and tone of the debates over both the peace treaty and the trade bill made it unlikely that an Anglo-American commercial treaty, whether done in conjunction with the definitive peace treaty or separately, could be concluded on terms acceptable to JA, his colleagues, or Congress.
2. Here and elsewhere in the letter, Jenings refers to comments made on 10 March, the second day of debate over the trade bill. Of particular significance were the remarks of David Hartley, who had long been sympathetic to the American cause and declared that the American Intercourse Bill was “wholly inadequate to its avowed object, and would lead to infinite mischief and inconvenience.” Recalling that five weeks earlier he had introduced a bill to repeal the Prohibitory Acts, Hartley “reasoned, for a considerable time, on the subject, and produced the heads of a treaty, calculated to lead to the establishment of such commercial regulations, between Great Britain and the United States, as should answer the ends of each” (Parliamentary Hist., 23:640). That Hartley contemplated a commercial treaty is significant because he would soon be appointed to settle the definitive peace treaty. Of equal significance was his decision to { 334 } write to Benjamin Franklin on 12 and 31 March, enclosing with the two letters specific proposals and articles for an Anglo-American commercial agreement. For Hartley's letters to Franklin, see Henry Laurens’ letter of 26 March, note 5, below.
3. Henry Dundas, Lord Advocate of Scotland.
4. The commission's appearance in the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 11 March was likely owing to Jenings’ efforts. See JA's letter to Jenings of 28 Jan., and note 1, above; and Henry Laurens’ to JA of 26 March, and note 2, below.
5. George III.
6. Richard Price, a dissenting minister sympathetic to the American cause, later became a close friend of JA. In 1784 he wrote Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, and the Means of Making It a Benefit to the World, London. Price's inclusion of a 1778 letter from Anne Robert Jacques Turgot criticizing American state constitutions spurred JA to write his three-volume Defence of the Const. (DNB; AFC, 6:197, 7:365–366; JA, D&A, 2:297).
7. John, 1:47: “Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0221

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1783-03-15

To William Lee

[salute] Dear sir,

Yours of the 9th. is just put into my hands. In answr: to your question, respecting the particular desire of the K. of Sweden to make a Treaty with Dr. Franklin, I can give you no other satisfaction than by sending you the words of the Dr's: letter to Congress, as sent me by your Brother, vizt. “The Ambassador, fm. Sweden to this Court, applied to me lately, to know if I had Powers that wd. authorise my making a Treaty with his Master, in behalf of the U: S:. Recollecting a general one, that was formerly given to me, with the other Commissioners, I answd. in the affermative. He seemed much pleased & said, the K. had directed him to ask the Question & had charged him to tell me, that he had so great an esteem for me, that it would be a very particular satisfaction to him to have such a transaction with me. I have, perhaps, some vanity in repeating this; but, I think too, it is right the Congress should know it, & judge if any use can be made of the reputation of a Citizen for the public Service.”—1
Dr: F. knew that Mr: Dana had power in his Commission to treat with the K. of Sweden, & that, consequently, the old Resolution of Congress was quo ad hoc superceded, & consequently the answr: to the Ambassador should have been, “I have not power, but Mr: Dana has”— But the feelings, if not the rights of every American Minister in Europe have been wantonly sacrificed to Dr: F.’s vanity—
You know the old acquaintance of the C. de V. at the Swedish Court, from whence, as I conjecture, this mænuvre originated.2 It seems to have been the policy to prevent any other American than Dr: F.—from obtaining reputation in Europe—that, when he shd. die, all opinion of American wisdom & virtue should die with { 335 } him: or, more probably, Dr: F. was thought to be more pliable than some others. il sçavoit mieux se donner aux convenances et bien seances—3
Congress have been much of yr: opinion, wn: left to their own good Sense, of the propriety of having Ministers at the several principal Courts; but great pains have been taken to baffle it, by secretly counteracting their designs, and even by procuring Instructions to Ministers wh: have defeated their missions. I have long & severely smarted under the anguish, occasioned by such means, but by patience, perseverance, & obstinacy, if you will, I broke thro’ all the Snares, fm. every quarter in Holland & exhibited to the world a demonstration in practice of the error of their Theory: But this has thrown a Ridicule on some Characters that will never be forgiven me—
Dr: F. has given his whole weight to the System, wh. you & I, have tho’t wrong. Mr: Dana has a letter, under his hand, in which he says boldly, “that Congress were wrong in sending a Minister to Berlin, Vienna, Tuscany, Madrid, Holland, & Petersburg & the Neutral Courts.”4 Endeavors of a thousand sorts have been made to ridicule such missions, by calling them begging Embassies, “political forlorn hopes”5 &ca:— The Missions to Holland & Petersburg, however in my opinion, have done more towards bringing the war to an end, & towards the handsome terms obtained by the Peace, than any battle or seige, by land or Sea, during the whole war— The world & posterity must judge whether our system or theirs was right: But they ought not to make such personal attacks upon us because we differed fm. them in System—
We shd. not be too much irritated by what has been done wrong in such great affairs; but we shd. learn wisdom by experience— Mr: Dana will take it kindly if you write him yr: tho’ts of a Treaty with the Emperor, & the variations fm. the French, wh: ought to be made—6
With esteem I am, &c:
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Willm: Lee Esqr:—”; APM Reel 108.
1. This quotation is from Franklin's letter to Robert R. Livingston of 25 June 1782, but JA is quoting the text as supplied to him by Arthur Lee in a letter of 1 Oct. 1782 (Franklin, Papers, 37:535–539; JA, Papers, 13:508–510).
2. The Comte de Vergennes served as France's ambassador to Sweden from 1771 to 1774, but see Lee's reply of 27 March, and note 7, below.
3. JA refers to an anonymous report sent by Edmund Jenings in a letter of 14 Nov. 1781 that the French (i.e., Vergennes) lacked full confidence in JA because of his rigidity and refusal to accommodate himself to { 336 } diplomatic proprieties. Instead, they placed their confidence in Benjamin Franklin, finding him much more complaisant (vol. 12:66–67). For JA's initial reaction to the report in his reply to Jenings of 29 Nov. and for a later more detailed response in the Boston Patriot of 17 Nov. 1810, see same, p. 96–98, 259.
4. This is Franklin's 7 April 1781 letter to Francis Dana offering advice on Dana's mission to Russia (Franklin, Papers, 34:517–519). For Franklin's comments and JA's thoughts regarding them, see Dana's letter of 18 April and JA's reply of the same date (vol. 11:266–270). For additional remarks by JA on the wisdom of sending American diplomats to European courts, this time in a 6 Sept. 1782 letter to Robert R. Livingston, see vol. 13:431–432, 435.
5. This phrase may have been taken from the Marquis de Lafayette's 20 Jan. 1783 letter to William Carmichael. There Lafayette wrote that “Dignity forbade our sending abroad Political forlorn hopes, & I ever objected to the Condescention; the more so, as a French treaty had secured their Allies to you & because America is more likely to receive advances than to need throwing herself at other People's feet” (PCC, No. 156, f. 308–311). The marquis enclosed a copy of the letter with his to John Jay of 15 Feb. (Lafayette, Papers, 5:94–97). Since Jay knew of JA's views regarding American diplomatic representation in Europe, it is likely that he showed his colleague the copy of Lafayette's letter.
6. For Lee's initial decision to write to Dana concerning negotiations with Austria and then his judgment that such a letter was unnecessary, see his letters of 27 March and 24 April, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Howard, John
Date: 1783-03-16

To John Howard

[salute] Sir,

I have just recd. the letter you did me the honor to write me on the 26th. ult:.
You could not have applied to a person, less acquainted with the subject of lands. I know not where the best, & cheapest at the same time, are to be found: Indeed I should think it most prudent, for the man who wishes to purchase, to go to the Country first & enquire—and not to be in haste. There are Lands enough—
The difficulty will not lie in finding Lands when they arrive in America; but in preparing their minds for a new Course of life before they set sail—a new Country, new people, new manners, Principles, Habits. It is not every man who is calculated for such an enterprize—and I should advise all to think of it maturely before they undertake it— And I would not advise any one to undertake it, untill he knows the genius of the People & the nature of the Governments in America, and is determined to conform himself to both—
I am, Sir, &c:
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr: Jno: Howard. No: 41. Cornhill. London.—”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0223

Author: Murray, Jacobus & Jan Anthony
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-16

From Jacobus & Jan Anthony Murray

[salute] Monsieur

Il y a deja bien de tems, que nous souhaitions de trouver une occasion de feliciter Votre Exellence, avec l’heureuse & Rapide Revolution de l’Amerique, dans la quelle Votre Exellence a eu un si grand part, & qui vient de finir avec tant de gloire pour votre Patrie, & pour vous meme, nous la souhaitons avec d’autant plus d’empressement parce que Votre Exellence, durant sa residence dans cette Ville nous a honoré avec le fournissement de tels livres dont Votre Exellence a fait usage, tant pour Vous meme, que pour Votre famille, ce qui nous a procuré le bonheur de Vous recevoir quelque fois chez nous, ainsi que de connoitre votre caractere humaine & aimable.
Nous l’avons trouvée maintenant & en consequence, nous prenons humblement la liberté d’en faire usage, en prenant celle de recommander a Votre Exellence deux amis avec les quels nous sommes liés intimement, & qui ont le dessein de fixer leur domicile a Philadelphie, & d’y exercer la Librairie, ayant fait pour cela une collection considerable des meilleurs livres, qu on puisse trouver, & prenant en outre toutes les mesures propres à se mettre en etat d’augmenter de tems en tems ce fonds pour pouvoir contenter toutes les demandes, que les amateurs en amerique leur pourroient faire pour les livres de l’Europe. Cette entreprise, que Votre Exellence comprend bien ne pouvoir etre executée qu’a des grands fraix vient d’etre formée par Messieurs Boinod & Gaillard, Suisses de nation,1 ce Mons: Gaillard a une pension françoise établie et priviligiée depuis plusieurs années dans une des principales Villes de la Hollande, mais qu’il est obligé d’abandonner par raison de santé, l’autre Mons. Boinod est avocat & s’est voué a l’education particuliere, il a voyagé pendant quelques années avec son Eleve, qui est actuellement a notre université pour finir ses Etudes, ces Messieurs ont de puissantes protecteurs dans ce Pays, dont ils pourront avoir de bonnes recommandations, & ils possedent toutes les connaissances requises pour remplir un tel dessein. Puisque donc ces amis, nous sont chers & que nous serions charmé de pouvoir contribuer quelque chose a la reussité de leur affaire, nous avons compris que la puissante influence de Votre Exellence, en toút ce qui regarde les affaires americaines, pourroit faire plus que tout autre chose, nous recommandons humblement ces amis a Votre protection & faveur, { 338 } Vous priant instamment Monsieur de vouloir bien leur favoriser de Vos recommandations aupres de telles personnes en Amerique, que Vous jugerez en etat de les aider dans leur dessein, ou meme, que Votre Exellence, en retournant dans sa chere & maintenant libre patrie, veuillé bien leur marquer les memes bontés, que Votre Exellence a bien voulu nous montrer ici a Leyde, & nous regarderons cette bienveillance accordée a nos susdits amis comme faites à nous memes, & en conserveront toujours un souvenir eternel. faites nous Monsieur, la grace de nous repondre deux mots sur cette presente, enfin de pouvoir encore rejouir nos amis avant leur depart, qui se fera bientot.
Nous sommes dans cette attente avec le plus profond respect / Monsieur / Vos tres Humbles & / tres Obeissantes Serviteurs
[signed] les freres Murray2

Translation

[salute] Sir

For some time we have been hoping to find an opportunity to congratulate your excellency on the successful and speedy outcome of the American Revolution, in which your excellency played so great a part and which has just ended so gloriously for your country and for you. We hoped for this occasion with particular enthusiasm because while your excellency lived in this town we had the honor of providing your excellency with certain books, which were read either by you or your family. We thus had the great pleasure of entertaining you in our house from time to time and of getting to know your humane and amiable nature.
Having now found this occasion and in consequence taking humble advantage of it, we would like to recommend to your excellency two very close friends of ours who are planning to go and live in Philadelphia, where they would like to set up a bookstore. To this end they have acquired a considerable collection of the best books available, besides taking all necessary steps for periodically increasing their stock, so as to meet all potential demands of connoisseurs of European books in America. This enterprise, which as your excellency will realize can only be carried out at great expense, has been formed by Mr. Boinod and Mr. Gaillard, who are both Swiss nationals.1 Mr. Gaillard has for some years had an established and exclusive French boarding school in one of the principal towns of Holland, which, however, he is obliged to give up for reasons of health. Mr. Boinod is a lawyer particularly devoted to education. For some years he traveled with his student who is currently at our university finishing his studies. These gentlemen have powerful patrons in this country who would write them excellent recommendations, and they possess all the knowledge necessary to accomplish their design. These friends are very dear to us, { 339 } and we would very much like to help them achieve success. Since we understand your excellency's influence is extremely powerful in all aspects of American affairs and that it would probably prove more effective than anything else, we humbly commend our friends to your goodwill and protection. We earnestly beg you to recommend them to whatever persons in America you deem capable of helping with their plan. It would even be helpful if your excellency, on returning to your beloved and now liberated fatherland, could show them the same favor you bestowed on us here in Leyden. We would consider this kindness to our friends as a kindness to ourselves and keep it in mind forever. Please could you give a brief response to our request, to cheer our friends before their departure, which is imminent.
We await your response with the most profound respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servants
[signed] les freres Murray2
1. Daniel Boinod and Alexander Gaillard emigrated to Philadelphia in the fall of 1783 and opened a shop offering French-language books. Among their customers were Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. In 1784 Boinod and Gaillard began publication of the short-lived Le Courier de l’Amérique, which was notable for opposing French influence in American government (Washington, Papers, Confederation Series, 1:126–127; Augustus H. Shearer, “‘Le Courier de l’Amérique,’ Philadelphia, 1784,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 14:45–55 [1920]; Smith, Letters of Delegates, 21:773). See also C. W. F. Dumas’ letter of 24 April, below.
2. Jacobus Murray established himself as a printer and bookseller at Leyden in 1772 and was joined in the business by his brother Jan Anthony in 1779. The firm remained active into the nineteenth century (Utrecht University Library, “Name List of Printers in the Utrecht University Library,” drukkers.library.uu.nl/en, 5 Sept. 2007). There is no record in the Adams Papers of JA's or JQA's buying any books from the firm.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0224

Author: Penet, Pierre
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-17

From Pierre Penet

J’ai la satisfaction d’annoncer à Votre Excellence, qu’ayant été informé le 11 du courant de l’arrivée de Monsieur Adams votre fils, en cette Ville de Hambourg, venant de Copenhaguen, je me suis présenté aussitôt en son Hôtel pour avoir l’honneur de le saluer, lui offrir mes services & l’engager de faire une visite au Ministre de France. Le même jour je l’ai présenté au Premier Bourguemaître & Président du Senat de la ditte Ville de qui il a été trèsfavorablement acceuilli. Le jour suivant J’obtins l’agrément de le conduire au Senat où on désiroit le voir; il y fut également acceuilli.
Je lui ai donné pour société Messrs. C. Voght & Cie. une des plus puissantes Maison de Hambourg qui lui procurera pendant son séjour tous les amusemens possibles—1 Je me vois, avec peine, privé du plaisir de tenir compagnie plus longtems à Monsieur Votre fils, espérant faire voile incessamment pour l’Amérique tant pour y { 340 } régler mes Comptes avec les Etats & les Particuliers, que pour prouver l’innocence de ma cause & l’injustice que j’ai supportée.
Persuadé que la Nation Américaine s’aura mieux apprécier ma conduite que ne l’ont fait mes compatriotes surtout les Negts. de Nantes, Ville où j’ai fait fleurer le Commerce par celui que j’ai introduit de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, & où pour récompense, j’ai supporté les plus affreux évènemens sans avoir pu jusqu’a ce moment obtenir aucune justice, pas même réponse au mémoire que j’ai eu l’honneur de vous communiquer à la Haïe.
Si vous avez des paquets à faire passer en Amérique, je m’en chargerai avec plaisir.
J’ay l’honneur d’être avec le plus profond Respect, / De Votre Excellence, / Le très-humble & très- / Obéissant serviteur.
[signed] P: Penet2

Translation

I have the satisfaction to advise your excellency that, having been informed on the 11th of the arrival of your son, Mr. Adams, from Copenhagen, I immediately went to his hotel to have the honor of greeting him, offering my services, and urging him to visit the French minister. That same day I introduced him to the first burgomaster and president of the senate of our town, who accorded him a most favorable reception. The following day I had the pleasure of escorting him to the senate, where his presence was desired and he was similarly welcomed.
I introduced him to the firm of C. Voght & Co., one of the most powerful houses in Hamburg, who will arrange all possible entertainments during his stay.1 With regret, I find myself unable to keep him company longer, as I hope to set sail forthwith to America. I intend both to settle my accounts with the states and particular individuals and to prove the innocence of my cause and the injustice I have suffered.
I am convinced that the American nation will better appreciate my conduct than did my countrymen—especially the merchants of Nantes, a city to which I introduced a flourishing New England trade, receiving in return the most appalling treatment and being unable until now to obtain any form of justice, not even a reply to the memoir I had the honor of sending you at The Hague.
If you have packets to send to America, I shall attend to them with pleasure.
I have the honor to be, with the most profound respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] P: Penet2
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. P. Penet / 17. March 1783.”
{ 341 }
1. JQA's Diary and letters contain nothing about his activities in Hamburg, despite the fact that he remained there almost a month (JQA, Diary, 1:174). This makes Penet's report concerning his efforts on behalf of JQA of particular interest, but see also Lagau's letter of 4 April, and note 1, below.
2. Since 1775 Penet had involved himself in a series of unsuccessful ventures to provide the United States with military supplies, first in America and then at Nantes as part of the firm of Penet, da Costa Frères & Company. Forced into bankruptcy in 1782, he fled his creditors and was preparing to return to America to settle his affairs. Penet wrote to JA from Germany on 20 Oct. 1782, flattering JA with reports of Dutch and German esteem for him, asking JA for his continued personal support, and offering JA assistance in Germany while Penet awaited passage to America (Adams Papers). Penet's letter to JA was not, however, a defense in the same sense as his letter of the same day to Benjamin Franklin (Franklin, Papers, 38:234–236), and no reply by JA has been found. For detailed accounts of Penet's activities, see Morris, Papers, 2:321; Thomas J. Schaeper, “Pierre Penet: French Adventurer in the American Revolution,” Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, 117:854–856 (Nov. 1983).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0225

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-18

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Mr. D’Asp me com̃uniqua hier 3 Lettres qu’on lui écrit de Stockholm, Elseneur & Gothembourg, par lesquelles Mr. votre fils avoit quitté Stockholm le 30 Dec. pour Gothembourg, d’où il étoit parti le 11 fevr. pour Coppenhague, où il comptoit rejoindre le jeune Comte de Grecco Capitaine au service du Duc de Modene, avec lequel il avoit fait le voyage de Petersbourg à Stockholm, afin de continuer delà ensemble le voyage par Hambourg en hollande. Ceci combiné avec ce que j’ai déjà eu l’honneur de vous com̃uniquer des autres Lettres reçues de Coppenhague & Hambourg, ne nous laisse plus de soucis; & nous attendons à toute heure à son apparition. Ces dernieres Lettres s’accordent toutes à louer beaucoup Mr. Adams de sa sagesse & intelligences, & à pronostiquer, qu’il figurera un jour com̃e Mr. son pere au Congrès.
L’incluse pour philadelphie est le duplicat de celle que j’ai déjà envoyée par l’orient sous couvert de Mr. Barclai. Quelqu’un m’a dit en confidence, que Mr. Livingston auroit résigné. Si c’étoit vrai, j’espere que la Com̃ission de Mr. Van Berkel (actuellement en affaires à Amsterdam) n’en Sera pas moins remplie, & que vous voudrez bien pour cet effet y ajouter un mot de recom̃andation, & acheminer la Lettre le plus promptement possible.1
Nous attendons ici le retour du Courier, avec l’Ultimatum des Anglois.
On m’a fait une autre confidence, savoir que j’aurai peut-être bientôt à vous complimenter, Monsieur, com̃e Ministre des Etats-Unis près de la Cour Britannique.
{ 342 }
J’attends l’honneur de votre réponse sur le compte de la poste ici pour les papiers Anglois. Ne voulez-vous pas Monsieur, que je contremande ces papiers Anglois pour l’avenir? Il me Semble qu’un ou deux suffiroient pour envoyer en Amérique. C’est une dépense qui va loin.
Agréez les respects de mes femelles avec celui de, Votre Excellence / le très humble & très obeis- / sant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Mr. Holtzhey le Medailleur d’Amsterdam, me demande à qui il faut S’adresser à Paris, pour avoir pour lui, & pour ses amis, de ces nouvelles Médailles que Mr. Franklin, selon les gazettes a fait frapper.2

Translation

[salute] Sir

Yesterday Mr. Asp communicated to me three letters written to him from Stockholm, Elsinore, and Göteborg, according to which your son had left Stockholm on 30 December for Göteborg, from which he departed on 11 February for Copenhagen. He hoped to meet up there with young Count Greco, a captain in the service of the Duke of Modena; they had traveled from St. Petersburg to Stockholm, intending to continue on together through Hamburg into Holland. This news, combined with the contents of letters received from Copenhagen and Hamburg that I already had the honor to pass on, leaves us no further cause for concern, and we expect him to appear at any time. These most recent letters all praise young Mr. Adams’ wisdom and intelligence and predict he will one day follow his father into Congress.
The enclosed letter for Philadelphia is a duplicate of the one I already sent via Lorient under cover of Mr. Barclay. Someone told me confidentially that Mr. Livingston had resigned. If that is true, I trust that the appointment of Mr. Van Berckel (currently on business in Amsterdam) will be no less acceptable and that you will kindly add a note of recommendation to this end and dispatch the letter as rapidly as possible.1
We are currently awaiting the return of the courier with the English ultimatum.
I was told something else confidentially, to wit, that I may soon be congratulating you on becoming minister of the United States to the British court.
I await the honor of your reply concerning the postal account here for the English papers. Would you like me to cancel the English papers, sir, for the future? It seems to me one or two would be enough to send to America. It is a continuing expense.
Please accept the compliments of my ladies, together with those of your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
{ 343 }
Mr. Holtzhey, the Amsterdam medalist, has asked me to whom he should address himself at Paris in order to obtain for himself and his friends some of the new medals which, according to the newspapers, Mr. Franklin has had struck.2
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à S. E. Mr. Adams.”
1. Probably Dumas’ 5 March letter to Robert R. Livingston, in which he asked Livingston to procure a house, carriage, and horses for Van Berckel in advance of his arrival (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:272–273). For JA's forwarding of the letter and his advice on its subject, see his reply of 28 March, below.
2. For the Libertas Americana medal commissioned by Franklin, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 8, above. The newspaper from which Holtzhey learned of the medal has not been identified, but the London Chronicle of 13–15 March reported that Franklin had struck a medal and described its appearance in great detail.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0226

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-03-19

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] [Si]r

I am honoured with your's of the 11th. You will please to accept of my thanks for the kind Care you have taken of my Son, who is I hope before this with you, and to repeat my humble thanks to the Duke for his goodness upon this Occasion. My Younker ought to think himself highly honoured; by the Notice that has been taken of him by so many respectable Personages.
Mr. D’Asps Letter I will send to America with my best Recommendations, so that the Person sought for may be found, if living, or some News at least obtained of him.
Please to refer all Amsterdam Accounts against me to Messs. Wilhem & Jan Willink who have Orders to pay them.
The Account of the Post Office for News-Papers, and the Accounts for the Dutch News Papers, You will please to desire Messs. Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicholas & Jacob Van Staphorst & De la Lan[de and Fynje] to pay and charge to the United States of America. The Accounts should be sent them with Receipts upon them as their Vouchers for the Payment.
The Account for binding Books and for the Politique Hollandais, Messs. Wilhem & Jan Willink will pay, upon sending them the Account with a Receipt upon it and charge it to my private Account.
I am sorry you are unwell, but hope You are better. I know not when I shall return. I wait with Impatience for the Arrival of the Ratification of the Treaty— But the definitive Treaty of Peace is not concluded, and I know not when it will be. The Peace seems to have lulled all Mankind to sleep. No News from America, none from { 344 } { 345 } England. There seems an universal Stagnation.— Tell Madam Dumas, that I am so impatient to go home to America, that I want to demand Categorical Answers from England, Holland, America, France and every body else.— It is now said, that there will be a Congress, and that the definitive Treaty will not be signed till Mid-summer— If this should be agreed to, I shall take a Tour to [the Hague as soon] as the Ratification of [the] Treaty [with] Holland arrives.
Is the Comte de Welderen to go to England? Or do they send our Friend the C. de Linden?
I am with great Esteem, / Sir, / your most obedient / and most humble Servt.
[signed] J. Adams.1
Will you pray our Friend Luzac to preserve in his Paper: the inclosed Declarations and Passport.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (DLC); internal address: “Mr. Dumas.”; endorsed: “Paris [. . .] / S. E. Mr. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108. Text lost due to a torn manuscript has been supplied from the LbC.
1. Signature and postscript in JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0227

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1783-03-20

To James Warren

confidential

[salute] Sir,

I was in hopes that the Peace would have put Us at ease; but it has not as yet much diminished our Anxiety.— The long interval, in which we have not been able to obtain any Intelligence from America, either by the way of Spain, France, Holland or England—The unsettled State of Parties and Councils in London, whee there has been no responsible Minister this fortnight at least2—The delay of the definitive Treaty, which it is now given out will not be signed for sometime, as there is to be a Congress and a Mediation here—And many other Causes, leave us in a painful state of Suspence and Solicitude.
The Revocation of the Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, without issuing another, appears in Experience to be one of the most unfortunate measures, which Congress ever adopted.— My Lord Shelburne and his Colleagues had been convinced by various Arguments, that it was the Interest { 346 } and best Policy of the British Nation to cultivate the Friendship of America, and to allow her the amplest advantages in Trade; and the Voice of the Nation was falling in with this Principle: so that if there had been a Commission in being we should have had a provisional Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, signed at the same time with the provisional Articles of Peace—3 But now there is great danger, that a new Ministry will come in, tainted with Passions, Prejudices and Principles as unfriendly to Us, as they are contracted in their Nature.— If any portion of foreign Influence contributed to the Revocation in question, the same will undoubtedly be employed in England; for it insinuates itself everywhere to embroil Affairs there, and to prevent if possible a friendly Disposition towards Us from prevailing. Can We blame this Influence? We ought only to blame ourselves for giving way to it.— It is not founded in our Interests, nor in any Interests that We are under any Obligation to favor. We are under no Ties of Honor, Conscience or good Faith, nor of Policy, Gratitude or Politeness, to sacrifice any profits which We can obtain in Trade with Great Britain, merely to promote the Trade of France. It is of the last Importance to Us in a political Light, that our Commerce should be impartial in future, and be drawn to no Country by any other Attraction than the best Bargains. The Price and Quality of Goods should be our only Criterion.— Let the Rivalry of our Trade be free and unrestrained— Let Nations contend which shall furnish Us the best Goods at the cheapest Rate, and Detur digniori.—4
This is the only principle, which can warrant Us from too close an Attachment to one Scale in the Ballance of Europe, which will excite Jealousies in the other.— Gentlemen can never be too often requested to recollect the Debates in Congress in the Years 1775 & 1776, when the Treaty with France was first in Contemplation.— The Nature of those Connections, which ought to be formed between America and Europe, will never be better understood than they were at that time. It was then said, there is a Ballance of Power in Europe—Nature has formed it—Practice and Habit have confirmed it, and it must forever exist.— It may be disturbed for a time, by the accidental Removal of a Weight from one Scale to the other; but there will be a continual Effort to restore the Equilibrium.— The Powers of Europe now think Great Britain too powerful— They will see her Power diminished with pleasure— But they cannot see Us throw ourselves headlong into the Scale of Bourbon without Jealousy and Terror.— We must therefore give no exclusive priviledges in { 347 } Trade to the House of Bourbon.— If We give exclusive priviledges in Trade, or form perpetual Alliances offensive and defensive with the Powers in one Scale, We infallibly make Enemies of those in the other, and some of these at least will declare War in favor of Great Britain.— Congress adopted these Principles and this System in its purity, and by their Wisdom have succeeded most perfectly in preventing every Power in the World from taking Part against them.— I hope I shall not give offence, if I humbly request Congress to take a review of the original Report of the Committee, which I think I remember very well as it is in my hand writing, and of the Alterations made in it, after debating it paragraph by paragraph in Congress.— Compare the Plan of a Treaty, which was sent over by Dr. Franklin, with the Treaty as it was signed, and remark in how many particulars the distresses of our affairs have compelled Us to depart from the purity of our first Principle.—5 It is most certain We have now no Motive to depart farther from it.— One principal Duty of our Ministers abroad should have been to keep the several Courts informed that this was our System, which would have greatly facilitated & accelerated the progress of our Cause in Europe— But the Instructions, with which those Ministers have been bound, and the artful Obstructions thrown in their way, have rendered them much less useful than they might have been.—
I am very sorry to say, but my Duty obliges me to say, that in my poor Opinion our foreign Affairs have been very ill conducted.
Had I been permitted, on my Arrival in Paris in 1780, to open a Negociation with the British Ministry, if it had only been so far as to communicate to them, and if they had neglected to take Notice, to the Nation, Copies of my Commission to make Peace and a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain6—Had Mr. Dana been permitted to communicate his Commission to the Ministers of the several Courts to which he is destined7—Had Mr. Jay, Mr. Dana and myself been encouraged and countenanced as We ought to have been, instead of being opposed, obstructed, neglected and slighted, as We have been in our several Departments, many thousands of Lives would have been saved, many Millions of Money, and the War would have come to a Conclusion much sooner, upon Terms quite as advantageous to America, more equitable to Holland, and more glorious for France.— I must and do most solemnly deliver it as my Opinion, that French Policy has obstructed the progress of our Cause in Europe, more than British.— It is high time that We should be upon our Guard, and not mistake Evil for Good.
{ 348 }
Mr. Marbois has not been alone in his Idea, “that the independent Party will always stand in great Want of our Support,” nor in his Endeavors to keep the independent Party always in want of such Support.8
Every Step, which our Negociations advanced in Europe, diminished this “Want of Support.”— It was a Crime in me to wish to do something in Holland to render Us less dependent on France, as it was in Mr. Samuel Adams to toast, “May the United States ever maintain their Right to the Fisheries.”—9
But I venture to say, the Authors of this shackling and clipping System, this enfeebling and impoverishing Plan, have been very bad French Politicians.— They have been ignorant of America, the Character of her People and her Resources.— They must reform their Policy, or their Master and his Country will have Cause to repent it.— They must change their System; and the sooner they are plainly and honestly told so, the better— The United States of America are not a Power to be trifled with.— There has been too much trifling in many Respects.
There are Intimations of a Desire of Commercial Treaties and Connections at present in various Parts of Europe.— The United States have been admitted to dance amongst the proudest Powers of Europe at a Masquerade Ball at the Court of Turin, and Portugal has acknowledged their Independence by the Act inclosed.—10
With great Respect and Esteem, I have the Honour to be / Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] John Adams11
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); internal address: “<Secretary Livingston> General Warren.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. In the Letterbook is the notation by John Thaxter: “Paris <29th March> 15th. April 1783. Delivered Mr.<Carnes> George Mason the above, who was bound to Nantes.” At some point after John Thaxter had copied the recipient's copy, perhaps on 29 March, JA decided not to send Robert R. Livingston this letter and that of the 21st, which immediately follows and bears the notation by JA “not Sent.” His decision may reflect uncertainty about whether Livingston remained secretary for foreign affairs but more likely was owing to the letters’ content, namely, his harsh criticism of Congress’ conduct of foreign relations and particularly the baneful influence of the Comte de Vergennes and Benjamin Franklin. But it is unlikely that JA, when he decided to withhold the letters from Livingston, had any intention of sending them instead to James Warren. That determination probably was made on or about 9 April, the day on which JA wrote the first of four letters to Warren (the others dated 12, 13, and 16 April), all below, that were carried by either George Mason or Capt. Adam Hoops to Nantes for dispatch to Philadelphia. For JA's motives for addressing the six letters to Warren that together constitute his harshest indictment to date of Congress’ conduct of foreign relations and the roles of Vergennes and Franklin, see his 9 April letter to Warren, and note 2, below.
2. The Earl of Shelburne's resignation on 24 Feb. and the protracted cabinet crisis that followed before the Fox-North coalition assumed office on 2 April ended any hope { 349 } of an expeditious negotiation of the definitive treaty. The initial choice to replace Shelburne was William Pitt, the younger, chancellor of the exchequer. Acceptable to George III, Pitt demurred because of doubts about the depth and duration of royal and party support for any ministry he might form. However, he headed the caretaker government during the interim, and it was he who introduced the American Intercourse Bill on 3 March. The extraordinary length of the crisis stemmed not only from the difficulty of rationalizing a government led by Charles James Fox and Frederick Lord North but also from George III's insistence on his right to choose his ministers, particularly the prime minister, when several of those proposed, especially Fox, were despised by the king (Cannon, Fox-North Coalition, p. 58–81).
3. For JA's earlier, very extensive comments on Congress’ 1781 revocation of his commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty, see his 5 Feb. letter to the president of Congress, and notes, above. As JA indicates, Shelburne believed that providing the United States trade advantages would enhance markets for British goods and drive a wedge between France and America (Scott, British Foreign Policy, p. 326–328). In that respect Shelburne's views were not markedly different from JA's in 1780 when he composed A Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe upon the Present State of Affairs between the Old and New World into Common Sense and Intelligible English, London, 1781, or his twelve “Letters from a Distinguished American.” In both he argued that Britain's economic selfinterest required that it make peace with America and establish a new commercial relationship based on free trade. Indeed, in the fifth number of the “Letters” JA indicated that the Franco-American Alliance, but not the commercial treaty, would last no longer than the war. His proposals to this effect proved impractical, however, as enmity between the former combatants proved too great an obstacle to the formation of an economic alliance (vol. 9:157–221, 531–588).
4. Let it be given to the more worthy.
5. For JA's earlier comments regarding the guiding principles of American foreign policy as expressed in his draft of the Treaty Plan of 1776, which he believed Franklin betrayed when he negotiated the Franco-American treaties, see his 5 Feb. 1783 letter to the president of Congress, and note 4, above.
6. In 1780 Vergennes vigorously opposed JA's proposal to officially disclose to the British his commissions to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties (vol. 9:97–100; 10:1–4, 32–42). What JA does not indicate here is that, despite Vergennes’ admonitions, he used a variety of unofficial means to ensure that the North Ministry was aware of his mission and to influence British public opinion in favor of peace. See, for example, JA's letters to Edmund Jenings of 2 and 19 April; and to Edmé Jacques Genet of 17 and 28 May (vol. 9:104–105, 155–157, 321–324, 350–358).
7. On 27 May 1782, after lobbying by the French, who thought Dana's appointment premature, Congress resolved that Dana was to “be instructed not to present his letters of credence to the Court of Petersburg, until he shall have obtained satisfactory assurances that he will be duly received and recognized in his public character” (vol. 13:410–412; JCC, 22:301).
8. The quotation is from an intercepted letter from François de Barbé-Marbois to Vergennes dated 13 March 1782 (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 324–325; vol. 13:481; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:238–242). For more on the intercepted letter, see Henry Laurens’ 19 Dec. 1782 account of a conversation with JA, and note 4, above.
9. In the same letter, Barbé-Marbois reported to Vergennes on the efforts of Samuel Adams to lobby the public on the fisheries issue: “He has raised the expectations of the people of Massachusetts to an extraordinary pitch; the public prints hold forth the importance of the fisheries; the reigning toast in the east is, May the United States ever maintain their right to the fisheries” (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:239).
10. JA's reference to Turin, the capital of Sardinia, remains obscure, but for the Portuguese declaration, see Arnold Henri Dohrman's of 19 Feb., and note 3, above.
11. The word “confidential” at the beginning of the letter and the closing and signature are in JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0228

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1783-03-21

To James Warren

confidential.

[salute] Sir,

The Situation of things in England cannot be too much attended to at this time— The whimsical state of Parties; the Anarchy in Government and the Confusion of Opinions among the People, have been occasioned in a great Measure by the want of an American Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain— It is this that has brought all things to a stand.— The Merchants and Manufacturers know not what to do, nor what they can depend upon.— Had a provisional Treaty of Commerce accompanied the provisional Treaty of the 30th. of November, the Nation would have been so decidedly satisfied with the Peace, that Mr. Fox and my Lord North would never have been able to have obtained a Vote of the House of Commons, that the Peace was inadequate.—2 The critical Moment for obtaining the best possible Treaty of Commerce, I very much fear, is lost forever.
The true secret Motive of this Peace, was the precarious Situation of the Ministers who made it, I mean the Earl of Shelburne and the C. de Vergennes.— The Earl's Continuance in Office certainly depended upon his making Peace, at least a provisional one with America— And I knew, perhaps better than my Colleagues, that after the Signature of the provisional Treaty, the Comte's Continuance in Office depended too upon the Peace.— I am commanded by Congress to write the Characters of Ministers, and I must obey. There are Commis and Deputy Commis in the Office of Interpreters, or some other Scribblers, who employ themselves incessantly in3 filling all the Gazettes of Europe with pompous Panegyricks of this Minister, and sublime Ideas of his Power and Credit, as well as his Abilities.— But this is mere Puff & Bubble— He has long Experience in Courts, and is adroit enough in ordinary Business, but is by no means a great Minister.— He has neither the extensive Knowledge nor the Foresight, nor the Wisdom, nor the Virtue, nor the Temper of a great Man.— His Politicks are disturbed by little Passions, weak Prejudices and unworthy Tricks, in every Step of their Progress.— Not having those great Abilities and that decided Character, which command Respect, he has not the Advantage of high Birth and Nobility, which in this Country might serve as a Substitute for them.— The Queen is not his Friend.— He has not given { 351 } that Satisfaction to Spain, which is pretended, and he has disgusted Holland— And if America has any Regard to the Character of her Ministers, to her Fisheries or her Western Lands, he has given Cause enough of Disgust to America. Feeling his Weakness and his Danger, he has united himself to De Fleury, to whom the French don't scruple to give very hard Names.— By Means of this Comptroller of Finances, whose Reputation here is very bad, and the Chancellor, he has obtained a Feather in placing himself at the Head of the Council of Finances, which has been trumpetted as the Place of Monsieur de Maurepas, but it is not—Mr. de Maurepas was President of the Conseil du Roi, a very different Place from this, which is merely a nominal thing.—4 He will not suffer the Baron de Breteul to come from Vienna, from a Jealousy of him—5 And it has been given to me as a serious Opinion by Noblemen of great Consideration, among the rest, by one who is dear to America, that he will not stand his Ground very long—Some say not six Months.— If there is Truth in this Representation, and I verily believe it to be literally true, Congress will easily see, that if the Comte had not made Peace, after the Signature of the provisional Treaty, he would not have been able to stand the Clamour.— The Fact was, there was a great Cry against him. You heard in all Companies—“He has done wrong— There should have been a Congress of Ministers of all the Powers at War. The Ministers of France, Spain, England, Holland and the United States, should have all assembled in one Room and discussed the whole Peace in presence of each other, and all signed together— Instead of that, he sends Rayneval and his Son to London6—communicates nothing to the American Ministers—nothing to the Dutch Ministers, and leaves the Americans to sign first; whereby England was at liberty to turn her whole Force against France and Spain— The Americans have done right, but the Comte has cheated himself.”— This was the Language of France, and Congress may easily see by it, that the Comte's Continuance in Office, after this faux pas, depended upon his making a Peace. He felt it, and accordingly hastened it to a Conclusion so suddenly, as to violate his Promises solemnly made and often repeated to the Dutch Ministers.
The Baron de Breteul, Ambassador at Vienna, is of high Birth and numerous noble Connections, and very rich. He has a Son, to whom the Duchesse de Polignac has a desire to marry her Daughter.— Breteul desires to enter into the Ministry, or to be Intendant of Bretagne— But the Comte has hitherto refused to let him come { 352 } home, because he dreads him. It is now said, however, that Orders are gone to him to come to France— And it is ardently to be wished, that Breteul or some other Minister may take the Place of Vergennes. There cannot be a worse in my Opinion for America. He has meant Us too much Evil; is too conscious of it and too sensible that We know it; and he has been too cleverly defeated in some of his ill Intentions, ever to be our Friend.—
It is not easy to explain the Motives of a little Mind, which has no fixed Principle of Action. It is not easy to assign the Reason of his long continued Rancour against our Rights to the Fisheries and the Western Lands—Against our obtaining Loans or Subsidies from the King sufficiently noble and ample to have established our Credit, and to have enabled Us to strike an effectual Blow against New York—against our having an effectual Assistance of Men of War, and against the Progress of our Negociations in Europe.
He is incapable of any Sentiment so patriotic, as to do all this to keep Us dependent upon France, that She might avail herself of our Weight and our Commerce. He wished to keep Us dependent, that he might have Us in his own Power—that he might have the miserable Gloriole of being the Pacificateur of Europe—of having America, Holland, Spain and France in his Pocket— That he might be made a Grandee of Spain, and obtain a Reputation imposing enough to secure him his Place.
That he has pursued the Design for many Years of manæuvring Us out of our Fisheries and Western Territories, is past all doubt.— Mr. Gerard, who was a faithful Representative of him, betrayed such a Design when he was at Philadelphia.7 Mr. Marbois, who is, I am very sorry to see,8 too faithful a Representative of him, has pursued the same Design.9 Mr. Rayneval, who is another of his Images, has held the same Language, and the Comte himself has held it too.10 His Attack upon me in his Letters to Dr. Franklin, which the Dr. was left to transmit to Congress without informing me, was an Attack upon the Fishery and Western Country. Franklin's Motive was to get my Commission, and Vergennes's Motive was to get it for him— Not that he loved Franklin more than me, but because he knew Franklin would be more obsequious. The Pretence, that I had given Offence, was a mere Fiction. Such an Invention they knew would be most likely to intimidate Members of Congress, and carry their Point. I repeat it, it was not true that I had given Offence. To suppose that I had, is to suppose him the most senseless Despot that ever existed— The Secret was, that I was known to be too much attached to the { 353 } Western Countries and the Fisheries, and to be a Man, who would neither be decieved, wheedled, flattered, or intimidated into a Surrender of them. Franklin he knew would let him do as he pleased, and assist him in inventing an Excuse for it.—11
I cannot account for his Enmity to Us, but by supposing an Affectation of a Reputation of great Foresight.— He affected to foresee, that We should suddenly become a great12 Nation, very rich and powerful13—so powerful, as to be independent and keep ourselves neutral in a future War. He thought by crippling Us, he could keep Us dependent and oblige Us to join France in a future War against England. He thought too, that by getting America, Holland and Spain wholly into his Power, he could make the Peace as he pleased, and thus oblige every one to acknowledge him as its Guardian, and trumpet his Fame so high, as to make the Nation forget who he was and is, and oblige the King to continue him in Power—But he has been vastly disappointed— And the Truth is, that the American Ministers made the Peace in spight of him, let his hireling Trumpetters say what they will.
It may not however be of any very great Importance to Us, who is the Minister here.— Let who will be the Minister, We must be jealous of him, and trust him no farther than We see him.— Every humiliating Instruction to your Ministers in Europe must be repealed, and they must see with their own Eyes.— We must preserve a good Understanding with France—And the King and the Nation are well disposed to it. But We shall never preserve their Friendship, unless We take Care of their Ministers. We must not send our Army to Capua.14 We must cherish our Militia in every State—keep ourselves prepared for whatever may happen. This is the Way to preserve & improve the Peace. We can have no Dependance upon England, whose People are still capable of horrid Deeds, if they had the Power. They have no sincere Friendship for the United States, altho’ they are willing to acquiesce in the Peace, and avail themselves of our Commerce. They are humbled, in appearance at least, feel their real Situation and have left off their vain Boastings. But there is Cause to suspect, that they are confounded rather than humbled, and that they have not sincerely repented of their past Conduct— A Correspondent of mine says—“they are in a State of political Reprobation—of Hell or Heaven, of Liberty or Slavery they reck not.”15
As the Courtiers still entertain their old Malice against Us, it is not probable, that the true Interest of the Nation will be immediately and steadily pursued— But as Shelburne pursued for a long { 354 } time an oscillating kind of Policy to the Disgrace and Loss of the Nation, it will now require so much time to get rid of old Prejudices in Commercial Matters, that its Rivals will get the Start. If the Duke of Portland, Ld. John Cavendish, Mr. Fox &ca. are now in Power, this Administration cannot last long—16 And I fear they will not understand so well as Shelburne the true System towards America. Administration will fluctuate for sometime, and there are terrible Symptoms of bloody Contests, which will drive Multitudes to America, but will weaken and ruin that Island more completely, than it is our Interest, or that of Mankind perhaps, to wish.
The annual Interest of their Debt added to the Expences of Government exceed by several Millions all their Revenues—An horrid Truth, which presents the Prospect at least of a partial Bankruptcy; and this alone, without any other Commotion, will drive great Numbers to our Country.
It is our Business to render our Country an Asylum, worthy to recieve all who may wish to fly to it. This can only be done, by rendering the Minds of the People really independent—By guarding them against the Introduction of Luxury & Effeminacy—By watching over the Education of Youth—By keeping out Vices and cultivating Virtues—By improving our Militia, and by forming a Navy. These alone can Compose a Rock of Defence— Without these, Alliances will be a Snare. With them, We may have what Alliances We please, and none but such as We chuse.—
With great Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour / to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble / Servant
[signed] John Adams.17
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); internal address: “<Secretary Livingstone.> General Warren.—” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. In the Letterbook are the notations by JA: “not Sent.”; and by John Thaxter: “Paris 15th. April 1783. Delivered to Mr. George Mason of Virginia, who was going to Nantes to embark for America.” For JA's decision to send this letter and that of 20 March, above, to James Warren rather than Robert R. Livingston, see note 1 to the 20 March letter and JA's letter to Warren of 9 April, and note 2, below. See also JA's letter of 25 May to Livingston, below, which JA also noted in his Letterbook as “not Sent” and which expresses similar sentiments regarding Vergennes and his precarious hold on his office.
2. JA refers to Lord John Cavendish's 21 Feb. resolutions censuring the Shelburne ministry, for which see JA's 25 Feb. letter to Jeremiah Allen, and note 4, above. However, the parliamentary debate over the American Trade Bill in March and the treaty itself in February seems to contradict JA's assertion that the negotiation of an Anglo-American commercial treaty in conjunction with the peace treaty would have saved the Shelburne ministry.
3. The passage from this point through “a great Man” was paraphrased and condensed by Mercy Otis Warren and included in a note to her 1805 History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, repr. edn., 2 vols., Indianapolis, 1988, 1:330. There she attributed the comment to an “American minister.”
4. By the date of this letter the very limited { 355 } reforms proposed by Jean François Joly de Fleury, minister of finances since May 1781, had cost him Vergennes’ support, and Joly de Fleury would resign on 29 March. Earlier, in February, Louis XVI had appointed Vergennes president of the Royal Council of Finances, not for his financial expertise, of which he had little or none, but as a reward for his service as foreign minister. And while the new post did not equal that held by Jean Frédéric Phélypeaux, Comte de Maurepas, president of the Royal Council until his death in 1781, it did solidify Vergennes’ position within the government (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Murphy, Vergennes, p. 401–404; Munro Price, Preserving the Monarchy: The Comte de Vergennes, 1774–1787, N.Y., 1995, p. 77–78, 84; vol. 13:537–540).
5. Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier, Baron de Breteuil, had served as ambassador to Austria since 1775. He left his post in April 1783 and was subsequently appointed to administer the department of Paris (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Repertorium, 3:113).
6. Constantine Gravier, Vicomte de Vergennes, accompanied Joseph Matthias Gérard de Rayneval to London in early Dec. 1782, presumably to emphasize his father's commitment to obtaining an immediate peace settlement. Their mission was to resolve the last obstacle to an Anglo-Spanish peace treaty: the disposition of Gibraltar. Although Britain was willing to meet Spanish demands and yield Gibraltar, the compensation it demanded made an agreement on those terms impossible. Nevertheless, talks continued and resulted in an agreement whereby Gibraltar remained British (Murphy, Vergennes, p. 364–366; Morris, Peacemakers, p. 400–404).
7. Conrad Alexandre Gérard, first French minister to the United States, served from July 1778 to Sept. 1779 (Repertorium, 3:144). For his efforts to limit American claims to the fisheries and western lands, notably in JA's 1779 instructions for negotiating Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties, of which JA was informed by James Lovell, see vol. 8:89, 275.
8. In the Letterbook the passage from this point to “Representative” originally read “is now a faithfull Representative.”
9. JA presumably is referring generally to François de Barbé-Marbois’ lobbying of Congress as secretary to Gérard's successor, the Chevalier de La Luzerne, and more particularly to Barbé-Marbois’ intercepted letter of 13 March 1782 to Vergennes, for which see JA's 20 March 1783 letter to Warren, notes 8 and 9, and references there, above.
10. In the Letterbook the passage from this point to “transmit” originally read, “His base Attack upon me in his Letters to Dr Franklin which the Dr had the greater [mean?]ness to transmit.”
11. JA refers to Benjamin Franklin's 9 Aug. 1780 letter to the president of Congress. That letter was written partially in response to one of 31 July from Vergennes with which the foreign minister enclosed a number of letters that had passed between him and JA (Franklin, Papers, 33:141–142, 160–166). The letters formed a correspondence initiated by JA in mid-July over the nature and sufficiency of French aid and the desirability, at least in JA's mind, of executing his mission to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties. Outraged at the nature and tone of JA's comments, Vergennes demanded that they be placed before Congress, and Franklin was forced to comply. Franklin acted reluctantly, however, and JA, owing either to faulty memory or overweening resentment, here wrongly accuses his colleague of failing to inform him that the letters were being sent to Philadelphia. On 8 Oct. Franklin wrote to inform JA of the 9 Aug. letter, which had not gone off, and to request that he apologize to Vergennes in order to remove the offense that had been taken from JA's comments in his letters. Franklin implied that if JA did so it was still possible to stop the 9 Aug. letter and its enclosures. JA replied on 30 Nov. and refused Franklin's request, indicating there that he himself had already sent the letters to Congress (vol. 10:258–260, 383–385). Nevertheless, JA apparently associated Franklin's letter and its enclosures with Congress’ reprimand of 10 Jan. 1781, which advised him that Vergennes’ objections to his conduct and language were “well founded” and that he should be more circumspect in his diplomacy (vol. 11:29). That rebuke, however, stemmed not from Franklin's 9 Aug. letter, which arrived on 19 Feb. 1781, but rather from Congress’ consideration of the correspondence between JA and Vergennes that it received on 26 Dec. 1781 as an enclosure, presumably included at JA's direction, to Francis Dana's letter of 24 Aug. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:42–43). For an account of the exchange between { 356 } JA and Vergennes that took place between 13 and 29 July 1780, its origins, content, and consequences, see vol. 9:516–520.
12. At this point in the Letterbook JA wrote and then canceled “Power.”
13. Thaxter failed to copy “at Sea,” which appears in the Letterbook at this point.
14. Hannibal brought his army to Capua after three years on the battlefield during the Punic Wars. There the soldiers enjoyed Capua's renowned opulence, a distraction that Livy contended transformed the army into a less effective fighting force (Serge Lancel, Hannibal, transl. Antonia Nevill, Oxford, 1998, p. 113–116).
15. This passage is from Edmund Jenings’ letter of 14 March, above.
16. For the composition of the Fox-North coalition government, see J. Steven Watson, The Reign of George III, 1760–1815, Oxford, 1960, p. 579; Cannon, Fox-North Coalition, p. 82–84. JA's point here is that all three men were whigs, long in opposition to the tories of Frederick Lord North, and thus any ministry in which they joined with North was inherently unstable.
17. The word “confidential” at the beginning of the letter and the closing and signature are in JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0229

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-21

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I did myself the Honor of writing to Your Excellency about a Week Ago. I have now only to enclose the last bill introduced into the House of Commons for the purpose of opening an Intercourse with the United States.1 and what passed thereupon Yesterday in the House, where I was, & where I observed as much embaressement arising from Ignorance or Selfishness, as can be imagined. Your Excellency will Compare this Bill with the first, which it is said here, was somewhat approved of at Paris. and you will see the present Disposition of the Times here. I have pointed out the Mischief of the present bill to many with some effect.— the American Merchants had a meeting to Day to appoint a Committee to attend & inform the House of Commons, of their Sense of this Business, the Importance of which is felt by them. I attended the meeting in Hopes of collecting some Information. but little was done in it more than naming a Committee & agreeing to address the King for his paternal care in making Peace2 the Address did not pass Unanimously. I am not Idle in my pay.— I shall I believe send to Your Excellency, some productions which will give you my Idea of the present business— if I had your Excellencys I should be enlightened.
I am with the greatest Consideration / Sir / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
PS. No certain Account yet of the Ministry Many Ships put up for sailing to Boston Virginia &c.3 with the Manufactures of GB.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr..”
1. Probably the printed copy of “A Bill for the Provisional Establishment and Regulation of Trade and Intercourse between the Subjects of Great Britain and those of the { 357 } United States of North America,” or American Intercourse Bill. A copy of the bill, introduced on 3 March, is in the Adams Papers, filmed at [1783].
Debate on the bill in the House of Commons was postponed on 20 March in anticipation of a report from a 21 March meeting of London merchants trading in America. Several more meetings were held before a written report was submitted to William Pitt on Friday, 28 March. Pitt resigned the following Monday, however, and the bill was permanently tabled without the report being made public. The report is probably identical or similar to a document preserved in the Pitt papers endorsed “Observations on the Trade of North America by the Committee of American Merchants.” That document, dated 22 July, calls for a reduction or elimination of duties on American imports and an increase in bounties on goods exported to the United States (Edmund C. Burnett, “Observations of London Merchants on American Trade, 1783,” American Historical Review, 18:769–780 [July 1913]).
2. On 5 April the London Gazette published an address to the king from the “Merchants and Traders of London interested in the Commerce of North America” asking that “liberality” be exercised in crafting a commercial agreement (same, p. 772).
3. The final five words of the postscript are written in large script, apparently for emphasis.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0230

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-23

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

In the Gazette of Amsterdam of the 4th: of March which has this day come to hand, we read, On débite que les Etats-Unis de l’Amerique nommeront un nouveau Ministre auprès de cette République, à la place de Mr: Jean Adams, qui se trouve actuellement à Paris, et qui aussitot après avoir reçu la ratification du Congrès, reviendra ici pour prendre congé, et partira ensuite avec Mr: Van Berkel à bord d’un vaisseau de Guerre pour se rendre en Amerique.1 I pray you to inform me how much of this is true, and if you really intend to return to America, that you wou'd let me know as nearly as may be, the time of your proposed departure, the place, and manner. that if it is practicable for me I may join you, and that we may return as we came together. Our Country is now most happily in peace: that you who have contributed so greatly to its freedom and happiness, shou'd wish to spend the rest of your days there with your agreable family is not to be wondered at. It has had my constant good wishes if no more, and from a firm persuasion that it will not be in my power to render it here any other service than by making a good treaty of Commerce, if I may be able to effect it, I shall rejoice in the moment when I quit this Country to return to our own, and to my family and friends— I am sick, sick to the heart of the delicacies and whims of European Politicks— A nobler field for glory was never opened before a Souvereign— A Sovereign never loved or sought glory with more zeal—yet—
{ 358 }
When we shall meet again we will talk over these things
I have not heard from your Son since he wrote me from Gottenbourg as I have before informed you; nor can I yet learn that he has taken up any money upon the credit I procured for him. I hope he is safe with you before this time. If you leave Europe before me, pray desire Mr: Thaxter to take any papers, books, or other things he may have under his care for me to America with him, provided you shou'd sail for Boston, and to deliver them to Mrs: Dana on his arrival there. If you sail for Philadelphia he may put them into a trunk, first sealing up the papers, and leave it in the care of Messrs: Ingraham and Bromfield, subject to my directions—
I am dear Sir with much esteem & respect your Friend and / obedient humble Servant
[signed] FD.
P.S. Let Mr: T. immediately destroy the Copies of all such Letters he may have on hand, as I have already received.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J: Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c.”; endorsed: “Mr Dana. March 12 OS. / recd & ansd. April 18. 1783.” Filmed at 12 March.
1. For a summary of the report in the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 4 March, see Dumas’ letter of 28 Feb., note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0231

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1783-03-24

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear sir,

I have received your favor of 14th. February1—and am not without hopes of receiving from Congress, in a few days, directions for advancing the money to you: But five thousand Pounds sterling is an enormous sum, and, in the opinion of some, more than the Treaty, in the present Circumstances will be worth. Dr: Franklin started to me a doubt, whether you had not been imposed upon, and told of a Custom, which never existed.— I have no doubt you have informed yourself exactly on this, as on all other occasions; but I should advise you to procure a Certificate, from the French & Dutch Ambassadors, that it is an usage, and indispensable to pay such a sum of money— If you draw on Messrs: Wilhem & Jan Willinks, Nicholas & Jacob Van Staphorsts, and de la Lande & Fynje, I will advise them to pay it, & have no doubt they will do it—2
Nothing, my dear friend, surprizes me. I have seen so extensive & long continued a system of Imposture practised upon Congress and their Ministers, and have So long smarted under the torment of it, { 359 } that no fresh instance can surprise me. I suspect that the design is now to defeat you by forming a Congress here, in order to have all your business done by the “Pacificateur de l’Europe.”3 I hope you will no longer wait a single moment, but communicate your mission to the Minister of every neutral Court, or at least of every Court within your Commission, let the advice given you be what it will. For my own part I have resigned all,4 & shall go home; and have some hopes of opening the eyes of our Countrymen in some particulars: But, to stay in Europe with my veins tingling with contempt & detestation of the odious impositions practised upon us, is impossible— I had rather drive a Trucks in the Town of Boston.—
I have a letter from John, at Hamburgh the 14th. of this month, in good health. He will be at the Hague in a few days. I had a letter from him at Gothenbourg, and another at Copehagen—5
I have particular reasons, my friend, to beg of you, in Confidence, the Character of a Mr: Tyler, who once studied with you.6 What is his moral Character, as well as his literary abilities? Will he ever make anything at the Bar? Don't spare him in the least.—
With great affection & esteem, I am, dear Sir, / Your humle: servt:
[signed] J. Adams.7
RC in Charles Storer's hand (MHi:Dana Family Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur / Monsr. Francis Dana / à / St. Petersbourg.”; internal address: “Mr: Dana”; endorsed: “Mr: Jerh: Allen's Letter / Dated Riga” and “Mr: Jno: Adams's Letter / Dated March 24th. 1783. / recd: May 21st.—O.S. / Bankers.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. [25 Feb.], above.
2. In a letter written on [1 June] (Adams Papers, filmed at 21 May), Dana indicated that when a treaty was concluded, four signers were generally appointed and each was paid 6,000 rubles. The fee was “so settled a Custom,” according to Dana, that each of the nations acceding to the Armed Neutrality had paid it. It was not until 13 May (LbC, APM Reel 108) that JA formally requested that the consortium provide Dana with the credit, for which see the consortium's reply of 22 May, below.
3. Vergennes; see JA's reference to him in that sense in his 21 March letter to James Warren, above.
4. In the Letterbook JA wrote then canceled “my little occupations” at this point.
6. Royall Tyler began boarding at the Braintree home of Richard and Mary Cranch in April 1782 and embarked on an ill-fated courtship of AA2 during the summer. Dana responded to JA's request for information on [3 June] 1783: “I can conjecture, I think, the particular reasons which induce you so earnestly to enquire into the moral Character, and literary abilities of a certain young Gentleman— You have a Daughter, Sir, Am I right?” Dana reported that Tyler studied in his law office for two or three months and that while he was said to have literary abilities he was lax in his studies. “Dissipation seemed to be his capital foible. He is, I think, good tempered; of a frank, and open disposition: and one of those Characters of whom tis commonly said. They are their own greatest Enemies, but the Enemies of no one else” (Adams Papers; filmed at 23 May). See also AFC, 4:335–337, 5:54–59.
7. Signature in JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1783-03-24

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I am very much obliged to you for your excellent Letter of the 14 of this Month.
As The British Administration have made it their Business for 8 or 10 Years, to propagate in the Nation false News from America, and conceal the true, it is not Surprising that People are in Ignorance: But they must think seriously and inform themselves truly, now, or they will be the Loosers.
I regret the Delays of the definitive Treaty, for many Reasons publick and private and begin to be apprehensive that it is intended to delay it, till Mid Summer. There is no Remedy but Patience.— I wish to be at home, where much remains to be done. in Europe there is now little to do.— In England, if any where, Some service might perhaps be done.— at all others Courts, American Ministers will be like the Courtiers of Alcinous Fruges consumere nati.1— make bows at Court, dress ride, walk and play. much good may do them. in America “much remains to conquer Still; Peace has her Victories no less than those of War. New Foes arise, threatning to bind our Souls in Chains. Help Us to Save fair freedom from the Paw, of hireling Wolves.” So prayed John Milton.2 I am pleased to hear that Dr Price has not forgot Us, whatever comes from his Pen will be pure.—and do great good.
The Education of Youth is all that remains for America to do which deserves much Attention.— If We can preserve the rising Generation from the Contagion of French and English Manners, from the Gangrene of Luxury which an unlimited Commerce might introdue, our Country will indeed be an Asylum for all good Men, and will produce Virtues, Arts and Talents in as great Perfection as human Nature and this World were made for. But how is this to be done? Laws will not have force enough.— How shall We court the Ladies and the Parsons to sett the Example.— These with the Countrymen might Succeed.— Dr Price would do well to address the American Ladies. We must ask leave of them to be virtuous. it would be a Pity if they would not grant it.
I am with great Esteem, Sir your most obedient / Servant
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Jennings.”; APM Reel 108.
1. Fit to no task higher than to eat their share of the earth's fruits. Alcinous was the king of the Phaeacians, who welcomed Odysseus when he was cast ashore by a { 361 } storm. Members of his court were said to be indulgent idlers (Horace, Epistles, Book I, epistle ii, lines 27–28).
2. Milton, “To the Lord General Cromwell,” lines 9–14.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0233

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1783-03-25

Robert R. Livingston to the American Peace Commissioners

CopyNo. 1.
2plicate.

[salute] Gentlemen,

I am now to acknowledge the favor of your joint Letter by the Washington, together with a Copy of the preliminary Articles1—Both were laid before Congress— The Articles have met their warmest approbation, and have been generally seen by the People in the most favorable point of view.
The steadiness manifested in not treating without an express acknowledgment of your Independence previous to a Treaty, is approved; and it is not doubted but it accelerated that declaration. The Boundaries are as extensive as we have a right to expect, and we have nothing to complain of with respect to the Fisheries— My Sentiments as to English Debts you have in a former Letter, no honest Man could wish to with hold them.2 A little forbearance in British Creditors till People have recovered in part the losses sustained by the war will be necessary to render this Article palatable, and indeed to secure more effectually the Debt. The Article relative to the Loyalists is not quite so accurately expressed as I could wish it to have been. What, for instance, is intended by real British Subjects?3 It is clear to me that it will operate nothing in their favor in any State in the Union; but as you made no secret of this to the British Commissioners, they will have nothing to charge you with, and indeed the whole Clause seems rather to have been inserted to appease the clamours of these poor Wretches, than to satisfy their wants. Britain would have discovered more candour & magnanimity in paying to them three months expence of the war establishment which would have been an ample compensation for all their losses, and left no germ of dissatisfaction to bud and blow, and ripen into discontents here—another Administration may think the noncompliance of the Legislatures with the Recommendations of Congress on this subject a sufficient cause for giving themselves and us { 362 } new trouble— You however were perfectly right in agreeing to the Article—the folly was theirs, who did not either insist upon more, or give up this.
But, Gentlemen, tho’ the issue of your Treaty has been successful, tho’ I am satisfied that we are much indebted to your firmness and perseverance, to your accurate knowledge of our situation, and of our wants for this success; yet I feel no little pain at the distrust manifested in the management of it, particularly in signing the Treaty without communicating it to the Court of Versailles ’till after the Signature, and in concealing the seperate Article from it ever when signed. I have examined with the most minute attention all the reasons assigned in your several Letters to justify these Suspicions. I confess they do not appear to strike me so forcibly as they have done you, and it gives me pain that the Character of Candour and Fidelity to its Engagements, which should always characterize a great People should have been impeached thereby. The concealment was in my opinion absolutely unnecessary. For had the Court of France disapproved the terms you had made after they had been agreed upon, they could not have acted so absurdly as to counteract you at that late day, and thereby have put themselves in the power of an Enemy, who would certainly betray them, and perhaps justify you in making terms for yourselves.
The secret Article is no otherwise important than as it carries in it the Seeds of Enmity to the Court of Spain, and shews a marked preference for an open Enemy.
It would in my opinion have been much better to have fixed on the same Boundaries for West Florida into whatever hands it fell without shewing any preference, or rendering concealment necessary—since all the Arguments in favor of the Cession to England would then have operated with equal force, and nothing have been lost by it, for there can be no doubt, that whether Florida shall at the close of the War be ceded to England or to Spain, it will be ceded as it was held by Britain. The seperate Article is not I suppose by this time a Secret in Europe, it can hardly be considered as such in America. The Treaty was sent out to the General with this Article annexed by Sir Guy Carleton, without the smallest injunction of Secrecy—so that I dare say it has been pretty generally read at Head Quarters.4 Congress still conceal it here. I feel for the Embarrassment explanations on this subject must subject you to, when this Secret is known to your Allies.
I intended to have submitted this matter to Congress, but I find { 363 } that there is not the least prospect of obtaining any decision upon it in time to send by this conveyance, if at all. I leave you to collect their Sentiments as far as I know them from the following state of their proceedings. After your joint and seperate Letters, & the Journals had been submitted to them by me, and had been read, they were referred back to me to report, when I wrote them the inclosed Letter No. 1.— When the Letter was taken into consideration, the following Motions No. 2. 3. 4. were made and debated a whole day. After which the Letter and Motions were committed and a Report brought in No. 5. This was under consideration two days, when the arrival of a Vessel from Cadiz with Letters from the Count d’Estaing & the Marquis de la Fayette, containing Accounts that the preliminaries were signed, induced many Members to think it would be improper to proceed in the Report, and in that state it remains without any express decision.5 From this you will draw your own inferences. I make no Apology for the part I have taken in this business. I am satisfied you will readily acquit me for having discharged what I concieved my duty upon such a view of things as you presented to me. In declaring my Sentiments freely, I invite you to treat me with equal Candour in your Letters; and in sending original papers I guard against misrepresentations that might give you pain. Upon the whole I have the pleasure of assuring you, that the Services you have rendered your Country in bringing the business to a happy issue are very gratefully recieved by them, however we may differ in Sentiment about the mode of doing it. I am sorry that the extreme negligence of the different States has prevented, and will probably long prevent my being able to send you a State of the injury done to real property, and the Number of Slaves destroyed and carried off by the British Troops and their Allies—Tho’ no pains have been or shall be wanting on my part to urge them to it.6
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, / with great Respect & Esteem, / your most obedient hble Servant.
[signed] Robt. R. Livingston.
RC with enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “Hon’ble John Adams, Benja. Franklin / John Jay & Henry Laurens Esquires”; endorsed: “Mr Livingstone. 25. March / 1783. to / The Ministers for Peace.”
1. Livingston is answering the commissioners’ letter of 14 Dec. 1782, with its enclosed preliminary treaty, above, which reached Philadelphia on 12 March aboard the ship General Washington, commanded by Joshua Barney (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 441). His letter, to a considerable degree and particularly regarding the treaty's separate article, summarizes the congressional debates over the treaty on 12–15, 18–19, 22, and 24 March (Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 6:328–330, 351–352, 358–365, 375–377, 382–384). Congress did not ratify the provisional treaty until 15 April, and Livingston enclosed the ratified treaty with his letter of 21 April, below. JA's letter to Livingston of { 364 } 3 July indicates that the foreign minister's letters of 25 March and 21 April, below, reached the commissioners on 3 July. On 18 July the commissioners answered Livingston's two letters and dealt with the issues raised by their enclosures (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:510–513, 566–570).
2. Since this was Livingston's first letter written specifically to the commissioners, he presumably was referring to his 6 Jan. letter to Benjamin Franklin, in which he wrote, “English Debts have not that I know of been forfieted unless it be in one State, and I should be extremely sorry to see so little integrity in my Countrymen as to render the Idea of withholding them a general one— however it would be well to say nothing about them if it can conveniently be done” (Franklin, Papers, 38:552–556).
3. In their 18 July reply, the commissioners stated that “the Words for restoring the Property of Real British Subjects were well understood and explained between us not to mean or comprehend American Refugees. Mr. Oswald and Mr. Fitz-Herbert know this to have been the Case, and will readily confess and admit it. This mode of Expression was preferr'd by them as a more delicate Mode of excluding those Refugees, and of making a proper Distinction between them and the Subjects of Britain whose only particular Interest in America consisted in holding Lands or Property there” (PCC, No. 85, f. 309–310; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:569).
4. The letter from Gen. Sir Guy Carleton and Rear Adm. Robert Digby enclosing the preliminary treaty to Washington was dated 19 March and was sent to Congress by Washington with a covering letter dated the 21st (PCC, No. 152, XI, f. 179–180, 183–184; JCC, 24:211). Carleton and Digby did not indicate that the separate article was secret.
5. The enclosures included Livingston's 18 March letter to the president of Congress (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:313–316); motions of 19 March by Hugh Williamson of North Carolina, Richard Peters of Pennsylvania, and Alexander Hamilton of New York (JCC, 24:193–194); and the 21 March committee report on the motions (Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 6:375, 378). Livingston harshly criticized the commissioners’ concealment from the French of their negotiations with the British, their agreement to the separate article and continuing concealment of it from the French, and their agreement to the preamble, which could be understood as providing for the treaty to go into effect when the British and French agreed to peace terms rather than when they signed a treaty. Livingston proposed that Congress direct that the separate article be disclosed to La Luzerne so as to remove any suggestion that France was not trusted, to inform the commissioners of the action and the reasons for it, and to direct that the treaty not go into effect until an Anglo-French treaty was signed. The three motions expressed Congress’ discomfort with keeping the separate article secret from the French; two would have required disclosure of it to them. The committee report proposed resolutions thanking the commissioners for their negotiation of the preliminary treaty, instructing them to communicate the separate article to the French government, and indicating Congress’ wish that the treaty had been shown to the French government before being signed. For the debates over Livingston's letter and the issues raised by it, as well as a summary of the committee report, see Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 6:351–352, 358–365, 375–377, 382–384. As Livingston indicates, the issues raised in his letter, the motions, and the committee report were mooted by the arrival on 24 March of the French frigate Le Triomphe with letters from Cadiz announcing the conclusion of a general peace. For the vessel's arrival and the official notice from the Comte d’Estaing, see the Pennsylvania Gazette of 26 March; and for the Marquis de Lafayette's letters to Livingston, the president of Congress, and George Washington, see Lafayette, Papers, 5:84–93.
6. The issue of Britain's removal of slaves had been raised during the peace negotiations and was prohibited by Art. 7 of the preliminary treaty, but Congress took no formal action on the matter until 26 May. On that date it directed that the relevant correspondence between George Washington and Guy Carleton be sent to its ministers in Europe to form the basis for remonstrations aimed at obtaining reparations from the British government (JCC, 24:363–364). Almost two years passed before John Jay, on 13 April 1785, as secretary for foreign affairs, sent the documentation to JA to present to the British government in his new role as minister to Great Britain (Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:349–365).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0234

Author: Laurens, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-26

From Henry Laurens

[salute] Dear Sir,

I was yesterday honored by the reciept of your Letter of the 12th. Instant.
Can Mystery remain when Demonstration is produced? Time has acted his part, if We affect to disbelieve the Evidence which he has brought forth, neither will We be persuaded tho’ one rose from the dead. You will herewith receive copy of a Letter from Mr. Bridgen in confirmation of what I said to you in my last, if after this there shall still remain in your opinion a “Mystery which Time only can unriddle,” it must so rest with you—1 I will not attempt an Exposition because I would not without necessity speak even a Truth to offend you. Time or even one moment's reflexion will however convince you that if you can believe the Person capable of the Doings already proved, is a fit and proper person for a confidential Friend in the important affairs of the United States of America, your Faith is strong enough to admit that your very best Friends may be of a different Opinion—private Affections and Attachments I presume not to touch. Believe me sir I write to you in Friendship and that even respecting the faulty Person himself I wish it were possible with the utmost stretch of Charity to believe him not guilty.
I lately saw in a Morning Chronicle a publication of your first Commission for making a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain and of the revocation of that Commission which staggered me because upon being questioned by some of our best friends I had signified an Opinion that such a Commission was subsisting. I know but of one Person in England who could have made that mischievous publication I wish he may not be possessed of more important Documents.2
That “the noble Lord”3 did boast is beyond all doubt but I had the good fortune to give a check to his success by propounding a Question almost in terms with that which you have put— How does His Lordship know whether We conferred with, or what We communicated to our Ally? but admitting the fact, which I do not admit, what then? Be assured that a disappointed & mortified S—— maugre all pretensions to Whigism has as good a stomach for such a “Feat” as even an H—— a G—— or the other S or S had.
I coincide exactly in your opinion on the Delay of the Definitive Treaty, the Evacuation of New York, the Tories, Recommendations { 366 } &c. and ’tis probable I have given a Damp to the third Edition for the [“]Provisional Establishment and Regulation of Trade &c” by framing a counter Bill supposed to be pending in each of the United States for regulating the British trade which I held up as a Mirror to a noble Lord and a few of the most eminent Commoners, the picture alarmed them, and if I judge right a Lead will be laid upon their Bill.4
“You cannot think our Country will hang their Ministers for being cheated into Independence Fisheries &c &c.” I fancy not, but be as grave as you please upon the subject, believe me his Lordship boasted of having “cheated” us “into” those great benefits & flattered himself with hopes that upon the same ground he would be able to “cheat” us out of them again. I hope his Wings will be clipt. If the proper Ministry shall succeed I have every reason to expect an honest and liberal proceeding with respect to us will immediately ensue. My opinion is founded upon the most explicit assurances from the very best hands— The Tories nicknamed Loyalists, are execrated by the Circle in which I sometimes move and yet they say they must “make some Provision for some of the poor Devils for National honor's sake—” I reply, make what provision you will, it would be impertinent in me to interfere in that Business, but you must not attempt to cram them down our throats, ’tis time you should know that America will not be taxed without her own consent. I have uniformly discouraged all attempts to trade with the United States until the Definitive Treaty shall be concluded, and the British Forces by Land & Sea effectually withdrawn. The Reasonings which I have urged particularly personating the State of New York have been acknowledged invincible, but some of the Merchants are nevertheless mad, and will send their Ships—let them be mad. I trust the United States will be wise.
My Son & Daughter join in respectful Compliments with, / Dear Sir, / your obedient and / most humble servant,
Henry Laurens.
P.S. 4th. April. I beg leave to refer to a few lines of P. S. to Doctor Franklin. I shall be on my way to Paris about the 8th. Inst. Mr. Oswald it seems is not to be at the finishing our negotiations, I am thankful however for the appointment of another honest Man—David Hartley Esquire who desires me to present his Compliments.—5
[signed] HL
{ 367 }
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esquire / Paris.”; endorsed: “recd 9. of April at night.”; by John Thaxter: “Mr. Laurens / 26. March 1783.”
1. The enclosed letter of 12 March 1783 from Edward Bridgen stated that Edmund Jenings admitted to identifying Bridgen as the person who urged him to forward an anonymous letter to JA even though he had no basis for doing so. Bridgen's letter was included in Mr. Laurens's True State of the Case. By Which His Candor to Mr. Edmund Jenings Is Manifested, and the Tricks of Mr. Jenings Are Detected, [Bath], 1783, p. 68 (Laurens, Papers, 16:326).
2. JA's 29 Sept. 1779 commission and Congress’ resolution of 12 July 1781 revoking it appeared in the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 11 March. Laurens is almost certainly correct about Edmund Jenings’ being the paper's source for the publication but wrong that JA might have any objections to it. See JA's letter to Jenings of 28 Jan., and note 1; and Jenings’ letter of 14 March, and note 4, both above. But Laurens was concerned over more than Jenings’ involvement. In a 5 April letter to Robert R. Livingston, Laurens reported on a meeting with Charles James Fox, who “was desirous of knowing whether the American Ministers were authorized and disposed to open an Intercourse & Commerce upon terms of Reciprocity without delay, I replied, I believed they were, altho’ a late Publication by a suspected hand, of the Revocation of Mr. Adams's Commission left me not so clear on that point” (Laurens, Papers, 16:174–176).
3. Shelburne.
4. For the bill's third version and Laurens’ full account of his conversation with Fox about it, see Laurens, Papers, 16:174–179. The bill was permanently tabled, and on 9 April Fox moved that in lieu of its passage the Prohibitory Acts be repealed. The suggestion met little opposition and was approved (Parliamentary Hist., 23:724–728, 730).
5. Laurens arrived at Paris on 15 April, and Hartley reached the city nine days later, on the 24th (Laurens, Papers, 16:188; JA, D&A, 3:112). However, on 12 March and again on the 31st Hartley wrote letters to Benjamin Franklin and enclosed with each proposals for “Supplemental” or “Provisional” treaties with the United States. The proposals were apparently derived from Hartley's comments of 10 March, during the debate over the American Intercourse Bill, setting down the “heads of a treaty, calculated to lead to the establishment of such commercial regulations, between Great Britain and the United States.” With one notable exception, the articles proposed by Hartley were apparently intended to form the basis for a convention or conventions for the implementation of the preliminary treaty of 30 Nov. 1782 in the period prior to the conclusion of the definitive treaty or to do essentially what the American Intercourse Bill was designed for, that is to regulate Anglo-American commerce until a permanent commercial treaty was negotiated or until commercial provisions were incorporated into the definitive treaty. The exception was an article to be incorporated directly into the definitive treaty by which “the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty & the citizens of the united States shall mutually be considered as Natural born Subjects, & enjoy all rights & privileges as such, in the Respective Dominions and territories, in the Manner heretofore accustomed.”
At some point Franklin gave JA copies of Hartley's two letters and their enclosures, for the documents are in the Adams Papers, apparently the only extant copies. It is not known when Franklin did so, but there is no indication that the proposals contained in Hartley's letters were ever placed before the negotiators. The outcome of the debates over the American Intercourse Bill made it clear that Hartley's proposals, particularly on trade, were at odds with the growing British resistance to any additional concessions to the United States. Thus, despite whatever sympathy the American Commissioners might have had for Hartley's good intentions, negotiations with him resulted in a definitive treaty only little changed from the preliminaries of 30 Nov. 1782. The letters and enclosures in the Adams Papers can be found under the dates of 12 and 31 March and [March-April]; but see also Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:288–291, 353–355). For JA's use of Hartley's proposals, see his Draft Articles to Supplement the Preliminary Anglo-American Peace Treaty and his Proposed Articles for an Anglo-American Commercial Treaty, both at [ca. 27 April], below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0235

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-27

From Francis Dana

[salute] Sir

Yours of the 22d. of Feby: has come to hand this moment, and has given me much satisfaction. I always admired the noble and independant spirit of my friend; but I now see cause to admire it still more. You have confered additional obligations upon, or to express myself otherwise, you have rendered additional services to your Country, by breaking to peices chains forged to hold it in a state of subserviency to the interests of others. God and your Country will approve the measure. But there is nothing gives me more real pleasure than your determination to return to America. I have only one request to make to you, that you will not decline a moment taking a seat in Congress after your arrival there. They want only proper information to lead them into proper measures: the turn of thinking there must be changed; and I know no man better calculated on every account to bring this about, than yourself. I beseech you therefore never to decline such an occasion. By my last letter you will find my intention is, if not to accompany you, at least to follow you soon to America.
As to the extract of W Ls letter and your answer upon it as well as your advice to me to communicate my mission to the Minister of the Emperor, and the Ministers of all the other Courts which have acceeded to the Armed Neutrality,1 I think at present it is not adviseable to make this communication on that occasion, for first I have no authority to make any commercial Treaty with the Emperor: and as to that part of my com̃ission which respects the Armed Neutrality or Neutral Confederation, I have long since upon consideration, giving it to Congress as my opinion, that America cou'd not become a party in it, or accede formally to the marine convention so long as she continued a belligerant Power: and also, that that Convention from its terms and nature, was limited to the duration of the War.2 But if I shou'd be mistaken in this last point, I think it is not worth while for America at this time, to pay near five thousand pounds sterling to the Ministers of this Court for the liberty of acceeding to the Marine Convention: and if it was, I have not the money at my disposal. The communication you are sensible must be general to all the parties to that Confederation, and of course to this Court's To make the communication which wou'd amount to a { 369 } proposition on any part to acceede to the Convention, and not to be able to do it for want of what I know is essential to the end, wou'd be only to expose the honour of the United States without the prospect of any advantage. It is quite enô to pay Five thousand pounds sterlg: for a Treaty of Commerce with this Empire. I think it my duty therefore to keep the Marine Convention out of sight as long as possible, and to confine myself to the Treaty of Commerce; into which I have adopted the leading principles of the Marine Convention and shall endeavour to conclude both points in one Treaty.3 If I fail in this I must fail in both, and shall immediately quit this Court. I must exercise my discretion in some things, and as you have done, submit my conduct to the judgment of those whose right it is to decide upon it. If they furnish me not with the means they must not expect the accomplishment of my Mission.— I pray you to give me your advice upon these matters with the utmost freedom, and as soon as possible. Thô I have ventured not to follow it in this particular case, yet I give you my reasons for not doing it, that you might judge upon them, and am not the less obliged to you for your advice.
I have not received an answer in form to my letter communicating my Mission to the Vice-Chancellor, but only a verbal message in excuse of the delay for a time entirely past.4 I do not like this delay— The immediate assurances mentioned in my letter in which I informed you of this Communication, came from a Member of her Majesty's private Cabinet, who sought an interview with me for that oceasion. But I refer you to a passage in my last letter “I am sick” &c God send me speedily a happy deliverance from them. Adieu my dear Sir, / Yours &c
P.S. Remember me affectionately to Mr: Thaxter & your Son. Tell the latter I have this day received his Letter from Hamborough, and that he will probably have recd. one from me on his arrival in Holland.5 He must not fail to give me a very particular account of his route, of the money proper for it, the best method of travelling it, &c &c
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana 16 March / ansd. 1. May 1783.” Filmed at 16 March.
1. For the extracts, see William Lee's letter of 18 Feb., and note 1, above.
2. The end of hostilities ostensibly removed the Armed Neutrality's raison d’être, but not necessarily, so far as Americans were concerned, its importance. There had always been an illogic in the United States as a belligerent seeking to join a league of neutrals. The real problem, however, was that Russia had never recognized the United States as a { 370 } sovereign nation, much less a belligerent under the law of nations. For Catherine II's 1780 declaration and the American view of it, see vol. 9:121–126.
3. No draft treaty has been found. Dana's instructions of 19 Dec. 1780 empowered him “to enter into a treaty of friendship and commerce with her on terms of the most perfect equality, reciprocity and mutual advantage, and similar to those expressed in our treaty with his Most Christian Majesty” (JCC, 18:1172). It seems likely, therefore, that Dana used the 1778 Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce as his guide and incorporated into it provisions derived from the principles of the Declaration of the Armed Neutrality.
4. For Dana's letter to Count Ivan A. Osterman of [7 March], to which he had received no reply, see his letter to JA of [7 March], and note 5, above; and for the progress of his efforts, see his letters of [9], [12], and [15 May], all below.
5. Neither letter has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0236

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-27

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir.

Your obliging favor of the 15th. instt. did not come to my hands ’till the 8th day after its date, but it did not appear to have been open'd, tho’ the direction was in a handwriting that I am not acquainted with.
I can readily, from my own experience, subscribe to the Truth of every thing you have said in your Letter, & to prevent Dr. Franklin from repeating the same unwarrantable practice with the Emperor, (which from some expressions drop'd I have reason to think was in agitation) as with the K. of S.1 I have plainly Inform'd the Government here, that no Person in Europe is authorized by Congress to treat with the Emperor but Mr. Dana—who is now at Petersburg, & was I in Paris, I wou'd make a point of giving the same explicit information to the Imperial Ambassador there.2
I know it has always been the Creed at Passy that Congress ought not to presume to make any appointments in Europe which Dr. Franklin was not at the head of, or commanded to be done; upon this principle it is I suppose, that he has had the effrontery, as I am told, to nominate Mr. W. T. Franklin to Congress to be appointed Amn. Minister at the Court of Versailles; it having been previously settled between the Doctr. & Cte. DeV. that the Doctr. himself, as being the most trusty Person, shou'd be sent as Amern. Minister to London.
Doctr. Franklin I see has the superlative Modesty, by his Agents in London, to style himself, in the English papers the founder of the new American Empire;3 but I have look'd upon him to have been Born, to be a Scourge to Ama., therefore considering the penetrating & Sagacious Judgemt. of your particular Countrymen, it has surpriz'd me to see him blazon'd out in the Boston Papers,4 in nearly as { 371 } fulsome terms, as in the Buletins that are sent from the Genl. Post Office in Paris, to most of the Gazettes in Europe. The contending Parties there, like Mr. Deane, seem to place a great deal of their merit in the Share they enjoy in his good Graces. (See the writings abt. Mr. Jno Temple &c).5
It wd. give me most sincere pleasure if our country wd. learn wisdom from experience, in that case I shall think it fortunate, that we have receiv'd such imperious & iniquitous treatment from a certain quarter, as they ought to convince every American that there is nothing due from us on the score of Gratitude, which may prevent us from hereafter being intrigued into schemes that can only be productive of injury & disgrace to us.
A plot seems already form'd to get Gl. Washington to Paris,6 which I trust America will have Wisdom enough to prevent, for I can never forget from what source the K. of Sweeden imbibed the Idea, nor by whose assistance he carried in to execution the Nefarious plan of depriving his Country of its Liberties, which he had sworn to maintain, & immediately afterwards attempted to cloath his Sacrilege with the mask of religion, by going to church Taking a Prayer Book out of his pocket, & singing Psalms; thus making a mockery both of God & Man.—7 What a Pity it was, that the genius of Sweeden did not at that moment furnish a Brutus, or a Cassius.
Please to give me a safe direction to Mr. Dana that I may write to him, tho’ I am much employed at present in preparing for my voyage to America, which may take place in the course of next month & shall be happy to be Bearer of your commands. Pray tell me if you think British Manufactures will now be admited, as I shall be almost obliged to take some of them for my own private use.
Intelligence from London mentions that great Intrigue & exertion were used from a certain quarter, to prevent the Bill for opening a Commercial Intercourse between G. B. & the U. S. from passing, in the original form, as introduced by Mr. Pitt; in which they have pretty well succeeded, but all that is wrong may be cured by a judicious Treaty.
Have you heard latelly from my Brother or do you know if he is still in Congress?8 who has succeeded Mr. Livingston as Secretary?—
With very great Esteem & Respect, I have the Honor to be / Dear Sir, / Your most Obedient / & most Hb̃le Servant
[signed] W. Lee.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esq. / at / Paris—”; endorsed: “Mr W. Lee. March 27. / ansd. April 6. / 1783.”
{ 372 }
1. The King of Sweden.
2. For Lee's ultimate decision not to write Dana, see his letter of 24 April, below.
3. There had been numerous reports in London newspapers that Benjamin Franklin had been or would be appointed minister to Great Britain. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 16 Jan. quoted a 4 Jan. Paris letter indicating that “Dr. Franklyn's friends openly declared, that he had already the appointment of Plenipotentiary from Congress to the Court of London.” In the issue of 27 Jan. Dr. Franklin was reported to be coming to London as the American minister and to have “taken lodgings in Surry-street, which he occupied some years ago, and is expected in London in a few days.” On 5 Feb. the paper carried an excerpt from a Paris letter of 29 Jan. that referred to Franklin as “the father of the Revolution in America.”
4. It is not known what Boston newspaper Lee may have seen, but the Continental Journal on 6 Feb. published excerpts from four letters by Franklin in which he reported that he saw “all the Marks of a constantly growing Regard for us, and Confidence in us, among those in whom such Sentiments are most to be desired” and that “our Reputation rises throughout Europe” and “our public Affairs go on swimmingly in Holland.”
5. John Temple, a Boston native and the son-in-law of James Bowdoin, had returned from England to America as an emissary for reconciliation and touched off a newspaper war between himself and James Sullivan over Temple's patriotism and intentions. In the Boston Evening Post of 30 Nov. 1782, Temple's supporters called Sullivan's claim that Temple and Franklin were “bitter enemies” a “groundless, inscendiary assertion.” For more on Temple, the controversy over his return, and JA's unintentional involvement in it, see vol. 11:449–452 and AFC, 4:385–388.
6. It is not known where Lee obtained his information, but a report from Paris in the London Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser of 22 March stated that “a pressing invitation has been sent by the King and Queen of France to General Washington, to come for some months at least to Versailles, and in person receive the investiture of the honors that await him.” A French ship of the line reportedly had been dispatched to Philadelphia to carry Washington should he accept the invitation.
7. Lee refers to the Comte de Vergennes’ service as the French ambassador to Sweden from 1771 to 1774. In August 1772 Gustavus III staged a successful coup d’état against the Swedish Diet to reestablish his authority and prerogatives, an event that served French policy by diminishing Russian influence. Vergennes as ambassador did not instigate the plot, but he was the paymaster who made it possible and he reaped the rewards from its success. In his biography of Vergennes, Orville T. Murphy rejects the view that Vergennes plotted against the interests of the United States but nevertheless sees the suspicions expressed by Lee, which JA shared, as “understandable” because “they knew, as well as other diplomats of Europe, that Vergennes was capable of intrigue and plotting” and his role “in the Swedish coup d’état of 1772 was public knowledge” (Murphy, Vergennes, p. 176–206, 394).
8. Arthur Lee served in Congress, with relatively few interruptions, from mid-Feb. 1782 to early June 1784 (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 18:xxiii; 19:xxv; 20:xxiii; 21:xxvi). He wrote to JA on 7 Aug. and 1 Oct. 1782. JA replied to the first on 10 Oct. (vol. 13:219–222, 508–510, 523–526). No reply to Arthur Lee's second letter has been found, but see JA's 12 April letter to Lee, note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-03-28

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir,

The Letter for Philadelphia, inclosed in your's of the 18th, I have caused to be inclosed to Mr. Morris, unsealed as it is, desiring his Attention to its Contents—1 But I should think Mr. Van Berckel had better see for himself first— As he goes in a Frigate, he may carry every thing he wants, and perhaps he may please himself better at { 373 } home than in America, in the Articles of Furniture &ca— I wish I could go with him, and if he is willing I don't despair of it, unless the Signature of the definitive Treaty of Peace should be delayed beyond the Month of June.
You say, it has been communicated to You, in Confidence, that You may perhaps have occasion to compliment me soon, as Minister Plenipotentiary to the British Court— This is quite unaccountable to me. I am myself in no such Secret— I know of nobody, to whom such a Confidence has been made. Who is there in Europe, who knows so much of the secret Intentions of Congress? Is there any Influence in Europe sufficient to determine the Measures and decide the Elections of Congress on this Side the Ocean, before they happen on the other? I hope not. The Deliberations and Elections of that Body ought to be perfectly free, unbiased, independent and impartial— They have ever been so heretofore, You may depend upon it, when they have designed me to any Trust, and I hope I shall never be pointed out by them to any thing, when they are not perfectly so.
If ever a Citizen could claim an Office in Equity, I have an incontestible Right to be Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Great Britain: Because I have had such a Commission in my Portefeuille these four Years.— I came to Europe thro’ many Dangers on that Mission, to which I was destined, by the impartial & unsolicited Voice of my Country, with great Unanimity.— The Revocation of my Commission was obtained by foreign Influence, by a bare Majority, and by Misrepresentations, and I will venture to say against the Sentiments of the great Body of the Citizens of the United States. Dont conclude from hence, that I expect to see that Commission revived— Indeed I do not, nor do I care one farthing about it for myself. The Dignity and Honor of the United States require, that it should be revived, as it is the only Way in which they can wipe out the Stain, which they have been sufficiently decieved and imposed upon to bring upon themselves— But for myself, I had rather no such Commission should ever appear—2 No Swiss was ever more homesick than I am.3 My Health, my Family require me to go home. And my Country would probably recieve Services from me there, for which I am rather better qualified than for any in Europe, and of much more Importance as I think, now the Peace is made.
If I should now recieve a Letter of Credence to the King of Great Britain, it would be to me one of the most melancholy Days I ever { 374 } saw, and therefore I wish the definitive Treaty signed, that I might get embarked out of the Way of the Possibility of it.— All this You see is confidential.
As to the News Papers, I shall be obliged to You to stop them all, English and Dutch, excepting one of each— Choose which you will.—
Mr. Franklin's Medal is not yet finished. Only a first Essay or two have been struck off in Lead. Mr. Franklin has promised me some of them as soon as they are out, and then I will beg Mr. Holtzhey's Acceptance of a Couple of them.—4
With great Regard, I have the / honor to be, / Sir, / your most obedient & / most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MiU-C:Cass Papers); internal address: “Mr. Dumas.”; endorsed: “S. E. Mr. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Probably Dumas’ 5 March letter to Robert R. Livingston, for which see his letter of 18 March, and note 1, above.
2. JA had commented at length on Congress’ revocation of his commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty in letters to AA of 4 Feb. (AFC, 5:88–89) and to the president of Congress of 5 Feb., above. And while in both of those letters JA indicated his belief that he deserved to be appointed minister to Great Britain, the passage here is the most explicit statement yet of his sense of entitlement.
3. JA also wrote to AA on this date about his desire to return to America, there stating that “no Swiss ever longed for home more than I do. I Shall forever be a dull Man in Europe” (AFC, 5:110). Homesickness came to be seen as a characteristic attribute of the Swiss after 1688, when Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer identified obsessive longing for one's native land as a disease, which he called nostalgia, on the basis of studies of Swiss students, domestics, servants, and especially soldiers living abroad (Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, N.Y., 2001, p. 3–5).
4. It is not known when JA sent Holtzhey a copy of Franklin's Libertas Americana medal, but in a letter of 5 Dec. Holtzhey acknowledged receiving “a fine silver medal” from JA “about three months ago” (Adams Papers). See also the Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 8, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0238

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1783-03-28

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I am much obliged to you for your Favour of 21. and its Inclosures. I do not think myself at Liberty to write my private Sentiments about the Regulations of Trade between G. Britain and America, without consulting my Colleagues.— The British should have a Minister here to treat with Us upon this Matter.— all I can Say is that no commercial Regulations which Parliament can make will materially hurt America. but there are many which they may make which will ruin themselves. One Maxim I regard as infallible, “The more Priviledges they allow America, the better for themselves.—[”] Every Restraint will hurt only themselves.
{ 375 }
I1 may assist their Deliberations, at present to print the inclosed Treaty and Convention, which I beg the favour of you to do, as soon as possible, in the News Papers.2
With great Esteem, I have the Honour to be, Sir / your most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Jennings.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. In the Letterbook JA inserted “t” to make the word “It.”
2. These were the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Convention on Recaptures, both signed on 8 Oct. 1782 (vol. 13:348–386). They were not printed in the London newspapers subsequent to this letter. However, according to an undated letter from Edmund Jenings, probably written in early July, the two documents had appeared in a “Handsome Volume” published six weeks earlier (Adams Papers; filmed at [June 1783]). Jenings referred to The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America, London, 1783. Compiled by William Jackson, a radical journalist who supported the American cause, it was based on the collection published by Congress in 1781 (DNB; vol. 11:477). But the new compilation contained additional material, including the 1775 Olive Branch Petition to George III, the preliminary Anglo-American peace treaty, and the “Never Before Published” Dutch-American treaty and convention.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0239

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Murray, Jacobus & Jan Anthony
Date: 1783-03-28

To Jacobus & Jan Anthony Murray

[salute] Gentlemen,

I have recd. the Letter You did me the honor to write me on the 16th. of this Month, and I thank You, Gentlemen, for your polite Congratulations on the Peace.
The Ports and Cities of the United States of America are so open and free to all Men in Matters of Commerce, that no other Recommendation or Introductions are necessary, than good Commodities and a cheap Price.
Messs. Boinod and Gaillard will find the same Protection and Hospitality, with the Natives of the Country.
But, altho’ they judge right in beginning their Enterprize as early as possible, I cannot say what Success they may have, at the first Opening of Commerce with the Peace, as there will probably be many Rivals, and no great Plenty of Cash.
I wish the Gentlemen Success however, and if they address themselves to his Excellency the Governor of Pensylvania, Mr. Dickinson, to Genl. Mifflin, to Mr. Wilson or to Dr. Rush, they will find in those Gentlemen all the Countenance, they can expect from Men of Letters & wise Magistrates.
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, / very respectfully, &c
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs. Murrays”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0240

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-28

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Quoique nous n’ayions pas encore le bonheur de posseder ici Mr. Votre fils, nous n’en som̃es plus inquiets. En attendant voici encore des nouvelles de lui, un peu de vieille date, il est vrai: mais c’est que la Lettre a fait le tour de Coppenhague à Paris & de Paris ici.
“A Coppenhague ce 25 fevr. 1783
“La Lettre, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur,1 dont Votre Excellence m’a honoré le 14 de ce mois, m’a fait rechercher ici avec empressement le fils de Mr. Adams, qui est venu me voir aussitôt qu’il en a été informé. J’ai appris de lui, qu’il étoit arrivé depuis quelques jours de Gothenbourg, d’où il a écrit il y a environ 3 semaines à Mr. son pere, pour lequel il m’a remis hier avant de s’embarquer pour Kiell afin de se rendre à Lahaie, une Lettre que je viens de mettre sous les auspices de Mr. le Comte de Vergennes.2 Il m’a prié en même temps, Monsieur le Duc, de vous faire agréer toute sa reconnoissance, & l’hom̃age de son respect. Je rends mille graces à Votre Excellence, de m’avoir procuré la connoissance de ce jeune & aimable Américain. A en juger par sa façon de penser & de S’expliquer, il m’a presque fait croire que les hom̃es naissent à 30 ans dans son pays, quoiqu’il n’en ait tout au plus que 16. Je suis faché que son départ trop prompt m’ait privé de la satisfaction de lui rendre ce séjour agréable. On ne peut rien ajouter à l’attachement respectueux avec lequel j’ai l’honneur d’être, de Votre Excellence, le trèshumble & très obéissant serviteur
La Houze.”
Mr. le Baron De La Houze est Ministre de France à Coppenhague.
J’arrangerai les comptes à payer avec ces Messieurs d’Amsterdam, selon vos ordres du 19.
L’on ne sait pas encore qui ira à Londres com̃e Ministre de cette rep. Il n’en est pas question encore. Ce qui est sûr, c’est qu’il n’y a pas la moindre apparence que ce Soit le Comte de Welderen.
L’incluse pour le Congrès vous apprendra l’état des choses ici.3
L’incom̃odité qui me faisoit souffrir, & qui m’inquiétoit beaucoup, diminue Dieu merci.
J’ai surpris ces jours passés les Tablettes de Miss Nancy; & j’y ai trouvé les deux chansons ci-jointes que son enthousiasme versificateur lui a inspirées.4 Les rimes n’y Sont pas toutes riches: mais { 377 } com̃e la raison y est, je les ai louées, & je lui en ai demandé copie, afin que Mr. Thaxter vous les chante, Monsieur, dans quelque momens où vous serez fatigué des choses sérieuses.
Je Sens, Monsieur, combien il est naturel pour vous de desirer de retourner en Amérique & chez vous. J’ai pourtant dans l’idée que vous irez à Londres avant d’avoir cette Satisfaction; & ma grande raison, c’est que je crois que le Traité à faire avec La Grde. Brete. pour le Commerce aura besoin, plus que tout autre, d’une main ferme & inflexible com̃e la vôtre. Vous savez que je ne suis pas flatteur de mon métier: ainsi ceci n’est pas un compliment, mais ce que je pense.
Je Suis avec grand respect, Monsieur / De Votre Excellence / le très-humble et très / obéissant serviteur
Dumas

Enclosure

Chanson Sur l’air de Vous L’ordonnez5

1.

Ami des Loix

Du citoyen, de L’home

Je veux chanter ta gloire a haute Voix

come on chantoit dans la grece et dans Rome

Tous tes pareils plutot que les grands Rois.

2.

Approchez vous

Mes aimables compagnes

Qui de la liberté avez le gout,

Du protecteur qui toujours l’accompagne

chantons l’honneur dont plusieurs Sont jaloux

3.

Si vous daignez

Pour votre recompense

O Gyzelaar, vous qui nous defendez

Bien recevoir notre reconoissance

Nous connoitrons que vous nous Estimez.

4.

Nous connoissons

Tous ceux dont le coeur male

Avec le votre en parfait unisson

{ 378 }

Tend a briser cette chaine fatale

Que nous avoit mis L’Enemi des Bons.

[5.]

Vivez donc Tous

Un grand nombre d’années

Accompagné des plaisirs les plus doux

Literateurs qui nous avez charmées

Ce sont les voeux que nous formons pour Vous.

Chanson sur l’air God save the King.

1.

Le premier des Adams

asservit ses Enfans

En trop mangeant

Mais un plus sage Adams

Leur destin menageant

Les rend de notre temps

Independans.

2.

Nymphes de L’ocean

Et du grand continent

Quil va baignant

Come moi, par vos chants

Celebrez en dansant

De cet Evenement

Lillustre agent.

Translation

[salute] Sir

Although we still have not the pleasure of having your son here, we are no longer worried about him. Meanwhile, I enclose some further news of him, admittedly a bit out of date, but that is because the letter went all the way from Copenhagen to Paris and from Paris to here.
“Copenhagen, 25 February 1783
“The letter, Ambassador,1 that your excellency kindly wrote me on the 14th of this month caused me to begin an urgent search for Mr. Adams’ son, who called on me as soon as he heard of it. He told me that he had arrived a few days earlier from Göteborg; that he had written to his father { 379 } from there about three weeks before; and before embarking for Kiel en route to The Hague he gave me a letter for his father, which I have just entrusted to the Comte de Vergennes.2 At the same time, your Grace, he asked me to convey to you his deep gratitude and respect. I thank your excellency most warmly for introducing me to this pleasing young American. To judge by his way of thinking and speaking, he has almost convinced me that men are born at the age of thirty in his country, although he can barely be sixteen. I am sorry that his premature departure deprives me of the pleasure of rendering his stay agreeable. I can add nothing to the respectful esteem with which I have the honor to be your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
La Houze”
Baron de la Houze is the French minister to Copenhagen.
I shall arrange for the bills to be paid with the Amsterdam merchants, as per your orders of 19 March.
We do not yet know who will go to London as minister from this republic. The question has not yet arisen. What is certain is that there is not the slightest likelihood of its being Count Welderen.
The enclosed letter for Congress will acquaint you with the present state of affairs here.3
The indisposition that was causing me such pain and worry is diminishing, thank God.
A few days ago I came across Miss Nancy's writing tablets and found the enclosed songs, which her enthusiasm for verse had inspired.4 The rhymes are not all splendid, but since they are not devoid of thought I praised them and asked her for a copy so that Mr. Thaxter might sing them to you in those moments when you grow weary of serious matters.
I feel, sir, how natural it is for you to wish to return home to America. However, I have an idea that you will go to London before you have that pleasure, and my main reason for so thinking is that the commercial treaty with Great Britain will need a firm and steady hand like yours, more than any other. You know I am no flatterer by profession; this is no compliment, but what I think.
I am with great respect, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas

Enclosure

Song, to the tune of “Vous l’ordonnez”5

1.

Friend of the law,

Of citizens, of men,

I wish to sing your glory aloud

As they sang in Greece and Rome

Your equals, rather than great kings.

{ 380 }

2.

Draw nigh,

My amiable friends

Who have tasted freedom, and let us laud

The constant guardian

Singing the honor that others envy.

3.

If you do deign

For your recompense,

O Gyselaar, who defends us,

Receive well our gratitude,

Knowing that we are esteemed by you.

4.

We know

All those whose hearts do ache

With yours in perfect unison

The fatal chain shall break,

Imposed on us by enemies of the just.

5.

You live therefore

For many a year

Enjoying pleasures most sweet

As writers who have charmed us do—

Such are our wishes formed for you.

Song, to the tune of “God Save the King”

1.

The first of the Adams

Enslaved his children

By eating too much,

But a wiser Adams

Preserved their destiny,

Giving them liberty

In our own time.

2.

Nymphs of the ocean

And of the continent

That it doth bathe,

Like me, by your songs

Celebrating and dancing

The illustrious agent

Of this event.

{ 381 }
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence / Monsieur Adams, Ministre / Plenipo: des Etats-Unis / Paris.”; internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas / 28. March 1783 / inclosing 2. Songs from Miss Nancy.”
1. The Duc de La Vauguyon.
2. These were JQA's letters of 1 and 20 Feb. (AFC, 5:86–87, 97–98). In the latter JQA described his 19 Feb. meeting with the Baron de La Houze, at which he learned of La Vauguyon's letter of inquiry indicating that JA had “been anxious on my account.”
3. Presumably Dumas’ 27 March letter to Robert R. Livingston (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:347–348).
4. In 1782 John Thaxter described Dumas’ daughter Anna Jacoba, whom everyone called Nancy, as “a very pretty young Lady of about 16 or 17. Years old”; and in a 12 April 1783 letter to Dumas he stated that “I am much pleased with Miss Nancy's poetic Performances, which do much Honor to her Talents. She discover a happy Turn that way, and I hope she will indulge it, as it is a fine accomplishment” (AFC, 4:355; PCC, No. 101, f. 359). This was not Nancy's first effort at versification in honor of a distinguished American. In 1779 she had written a song to celebrate the exploits of John Paul Jones, then in the Netherlands after the battle between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 74–75).
5. Comédie Française orchestra director Antoine Laurent Baudron wrote “Vous l’ordonnez” for Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’ 1772 comedy Le barbier de Séville (Dominique-René de Lerma, “Two Friends within the Saint-Georges Songs,” The Black Perspective in Music, 1:116 [Autumn 1973]).

Enclosure

Chanson Sur l’air de Vous L’ordonnez5

1.

Ami des Loix

Du citoyen, de L’home

Je veux chanter ta gloire a haute Voix

come on chantoit dans la grece et dans Rome

Tous tes pareils plutot que les grands Rois.

2.

Approchez vous

Mes aimables compagnes

Qui de la liberté avez le gout,

Du protecteur qui toujours l’accompagne

chantons l’honneur dont plusieurs Sont jaloux

3.

Si vous daignez

Pour votre recompense

O Gyzelaar, vous qui nous defendez

Bien recevoir notre reconoissance

Nous connoitrons que vous nous Estimez.

4.

Nous connoissons

Tous ceux dont le coeur male

Avec le votre en parfait unisson

{ 378 }

Tend a briser cette chaine fatale

Que nous avoit mis L’Enemi des Bons.

[5.]

Vivez donc Tous

Un grand nombre d’années

Accompagné des plaisirs les plus doux

Literateurs qui nous avez charmées

Ce sont les voeux que nous formons pour Vous.

Chanson sur l’air God save the King.

1.

Le premier des Adams

asservit ses Enfans

En trop mangeant

Mais un plus sage Adams

Leur destin menageant

Les rend de notre temps

Independans.

2.

Nymphes de L’ocean

Et du grand continent

Quil va baignant

Come moi, par vos chants

Celebrez en dansant

De cet Evenement

Lillustre agent.

Enclosure

Song, to the tune of “Vous l’ordonnez”5

1.

Friend of the law,

Of citizens, of men,

I wish to sing your glory aloud

As they sang in Greece and Rome

Your equals, rather than great kings.

{ 380 }

2.

Draw nigh,

My amiable friends

Who have tasted freedom, and let us laud

The constant guardian

Singing the honor that others envy.

3.

If you do deign

For your recompense,

O Gyselaar, who defends us,

Receive well our gratitude,

Knowing that we are esteemed by you.

4.

We know

All those whose hearts do ache

With yours in perfect unison

The fatal chain shall break,

Imposed on us by enemies of the just.

5.

You live therefore

For many a year

Enjoying pleasures most sweet

As writers who have charmed us do—

Such are our wishes formed for you.

Song, to the tune of “God Save the King”

1.

The first of the Adams

Enslaved his children

By eating too much,

But a wiser Adams

Preserved their destiny,

Giving them liberty

In our own time.

2.

Nymphs of the ocean

And of the continent

That it doth bathe,

Like me, by your songs

Celebrating and dancing

The illustrious agent

Of this event.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0241

Author: Willard, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-01

Notice of Honorary Degree from Harvard College

At a meeting of the President & Fellows of Harvard College April 1, 1783.
Voted, that the Diploma for a Doctorate of Laws, conferred on his Excellency John Adams Esqr, some time since, be immediately engrossed, and the Seal enclosed in a Silver Box.1
Copy/Attest:
[signed] Joseph Willard Presdt
1. For the history of JA's honorary doctorate, which had been voted in July 1781 and announced on 19 Dec. 1781, as well as the diploma, seal, and silver box, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 9, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0242

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-03

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Nous savons ici, par Lettres de Hambourg du 25 du passé, que Mr. Votre fils, après S’y être arrêté quelques jours, en étoit reparti le 23.1
Voici des Lettres Américaines venues par la poste d’Angleterre. Celle de Mr. Guild S’est trouvée dans un paquet entierement usé & { 382 } | view { 383 } | view { 384 } ouvert d’un côté. Il contenoit deux brochures: Letter to the Abbé Raynal by Ths. Payne, & Catalogus eorum qui in Universitate Harvardiana Cantabrigiæ in Rep. Massachsi. ab año 1642 ad an. 1782 alicujus gradus laurea donati sunt.2 J’ai cru devoir déposer ces deux pieces dans votre Secretaire, & vous envoyer Seulement la Lettre.3
A certain face you would not meet in a wood, you will meet it, with his influenza in the future Congress of final pacification, at which I am assured he is appointed to assist. I Sat next him yesterday at the F. Ambassador's, who gave a Diplomatic Dinner.4 We were much talkative together about the several climates of Russia nearly corresponding with those of our States, and the extensiveness of both, about Kamtschatka, Capt. Cook, the Caspian Sea and Mount Caucase, which he told me he went through. There, said I, you may possibly have traaden on some of the Steps of Alexander the great. He Smiled, and I too, fancying him horded, when there, with the modern Hircanians, so formidable to Caravans.5
Je Suis avec grand respect, De Votre Exce. / le très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Translation

[salute] Sir

We know by letters from Hamburg of 25 March that your son, after staying there for some days, departed on the 23d.1
Here are some American letters that came via the post from England. The one from Mr. Guild was in a very tattered parcel, open along one side. It contained two pamphlets: Letter to the Abbé Raynal by Thomas Paine, and Catalogus eorum qui in Universitate Harvardiana Cantabrigiæ in Rep. Massachsi. Ab anno 1642 ad an. 1782 alicujus gradus laurea donati sunt.2 I thought I should place these two pieces in your writing desk, and send only the letter.3
A certain face you would not meet in a wood, you will meet it, with his influenza in the future Congress of final pacification, at which I am assured he is appointed to assist. I Sat next him yesterday at the F. Ambassador's, who gave a Diplomatic Dinner.4 We were much talkative together about the several climates of Russia nearly corresponding with those of our States, and the extensiveness of both, about Kamtschatka, Capt. Cook, the Caspian Sea and Mount Caucase, which he told me he went through. There, said I, you may possibly have traaden on some of the Steps of Alexander the great. He Smiled, and I too, fancying him horded, when there, with the modern Hircanians, so formidable to Caravans.5
I am with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
{ 385 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Excellence Mr. Adams M. P.”
1. In fact, JQA left Hamburg on 5 April (JQA, Diary, 1:174).
2. For the publications sent by Guild, see his letter of 28 Nov. 1782, and note 7, above, but Dumas is probably here referring to Guild's letter of 3 Dec., above, and the cover letter for the pamphlets dated the 7th (Adams Papers), for which see JA's letter to Guild of 9 April, and note 1, below.
3. Dumas wrote the following paragraph in English and it has been inserted verbatim into the English translation.
4. Dumas’ conversation at the French ambassador's dinner was with Arkady Markov, special Russian envoy to the Netherlands. In the summer of 1782 JA had a humorous exchange with the Russian centering on the similarity between the words “influenza” and “influence” (vol. 13:422, 424–425). In March, Catherine II had renewed the Austro-Russian mediation proposal, with the negotiations for the general peace to be held at Paris rather than, as previously intended, at Vienna. Markov was to join the Russian minister to France, Ivan Sergeevich Bariatinskii, for the negotiations (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 433; U.S. and Russia, p. 183).
5. The Hyrcanians were the inhabitants of a region of ancient Persia located southeast of the Caspian Sea.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0243

Author: Lagau, Philippe Jean Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-04

From Philippe Jean Joseph Lagau

[salute] Monsieur

J’ai reçu la lettre dont Votre Excellence a bien voulû m’honorer le 21 du mois passé.2 La présente lui sera remise par Monsieur Hardouin negociant au Havre de Grace qui a eu l’honneur de faire la Coñoissance de Monsieur votre fils en cette ville et qui est en état de vous en donner de bonnes nouvelles.3 Il m’a prié de Le recommender à vos bontés, et comme Il part de ce païs y regretté de tous ceux qui L’y ont connû je prends la liberté de vous supplier de daigner L’honorer de votre bienveillance et de L’acuillir favorablement. Je saisirai toujours avec empressement toute occasion que se présentera pour vous temoigner ma recoñoissance ainsi que Le profond respect avec lequel j’ai L’honneur d’étre / Monsieur / de Votre Excellence / Le trés humble et trés / obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Lagau

Translation

[salute] Sir

I have received the letter of 21 March with which your excellency honored me.2 The present letter will be delivered to you by Mr. Hardouin, a merchant of Havre de Grace who had the honor of meeting your son in this town and who will be able to give you good news of him.3 He asked me to commend him to your good offices, and as he is leaving the country, much to the regret of all who knew him here, I take the liberty of begging you to honor him with your goodwill and to receive him favorably. I shall always seize eagerly on any occasion that arises to demonstrate my gratitude, together with the profound respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Lagau
{ 386 }
1. The firm of Parish & Thomson also wrote on 4 April (Adams Papers) to inform JA that JQA was still at Hamburg but would proceed overland to The Hague. In the letter, JA's of 19 and 24 March were mentioned, for which see the firm's letter of 7 March, and notes 1 and 2, above.
2. Probably JA's of 24 March thanking Lagau for his assistance in tracking JQA (LbC, APM Reel 108).
3. JQA introduced the otherwise unidentified Hardouin in a 6 May letter to JA, describing him as “a French young Gentleman whose company I had the pleasure of from Hamborough to Amsterdam, and who intends to go to Havre de Grâce to form an establishment in the commercial way” (AFC, 5:150).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Samuel
Date: 1783-04-05

To Samuel Adams

[salute] Sir

Mr Grigby, the Bearer of this Letter, is recommended to me, by Gentlemen, who have been friendly and Usefull to America in the Peace, in Such a manner that I beg Leave to introduce him to your Acquaintance.1 His Views I Suppose are commercial, but a Letter to You may do him more Honour, than to many more Merchants, and perhaps more service even in his own Way.
I have been waiting month after Month for the Compleation of the definitive Treaty, and for News from America, but cannot yet Say when We shall see either. The Pause has been very disagreable. But We hope for an End soon.— I want to come home for many Reasons, one of which lies with great Weight upon my Mind. it is to persuade you to make a Collection of your Writings, in which I think the new World deeply interested, and the old one too.2
With great Regard, your humble servant
[signed] J. Adams
RC (NN:George Bancroft Coll.); internal address: “Hon. Samuel Adams.”; endorsed: “from JA Apr 5 1783.”
1. For earlier recommendations of Grigby, see Benjamin Vaughan's letter of 25 Feb., and note 1, above.
2. JA had long believed that Samuel Adams’ actions were central to the origin and success of the American Revolution: in January he had advised Antoine Marie Cerisier and the Abbé de Mably that his second cousin's writings were crucial to any historian of the Revolution (John Adams and the Writing of the History of the American Revolution, 9 Jan. – 8 March, above). More recently, on 28 March, he had asked AA to urge Samuel Adams to publish his papers (AFC, 5:111, 112), but see also JA's 10 April letter to William Lee, below. Despite JA's efforts, there was no contemporary publication of Samuel Adams’ writings.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Guild, Benjamin
Date: 1783-04-09

To Benjamin Guild

[salute] Sir,

I have recd. your favor of Decr. 3d, & thank You for the Register, Catalogue & Pamphlet, which are precious Presents to me.1 Since { 387 } the Date of your Letter, you have recd. no doubt a great deal of News, and I should be very glad if I could this moment know from you the Operation of it, about which We are very anxious.
We are not yet certain about the Arrangement of the British Ministry, altho’ there are Reports circulating, that a Coalition of three Parties has been formed— Such a Staganation as We have seen for some Months, not only of all Business, but of all Intelligence both from our old Friends & old Enemies, has been very irksome, and even as distressing I think as War— But it cannot now be many Weeks before We shall hear from all Parts.
I have been negociating a Connection and Correspondence between the Medical Society at Boston and the Societé Royale de Medicine here, and have succeeded to my Wish— I hope the Society at Boston wont think me impertinent and officious— If they do, I must throw the Blame upon Dr. Tufts, who led me into the Scrape.
Mr. Winslow Warren has been sometime at Marseilles, and I am told is now gone into Italy, in pursuit of Commerce and Knowledge at once—2 What could any Man do better? I wish I could follow him— His Friends will be obliged to You for News of him.
With great Esteem, I am, Sir.—
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Guild.—”; APM Reel 108.
1. For the enclosures that arrived with the 3 Dec. 1782 letter, above, but which came under cover of one dated 7 Dec. (Adams Papers), see Guild's letter of 28 Nov., and note 7, above. JA received the letters of 3 and 7 Dec., and probably also, although it is not mentioned, the 28 Nov. letter on 8 April; all were among the “Lettres Américaines” forwarded by Dumas with his letter of 3 April, above. For the possible impact of the 28 Nov. letter, see JA's 9 April letter to James Warren, note 2, below.
2. Winslow Warren, in fact, left Europe for America on 12 March and landed at Philadelphia in May (Charles Warren, “A Young American's Adventures in England and France during the Revolutionary War,” MHS, Procs., 65:266 [Jan. 1934]). See also letters to Mercy Otis Warren of 29 Jan., and note 5, above; and to James Warren of 12 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0246

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1783-04-09

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I hope this will find you in Congress, Supporting your Country and her Friends, where you ought to have been these many Years past.—2 For want of a few more hands of your Stamp at the Great Wheel, We poor Creatures are trembling here under a fearfull Looking for of Judgment and fiery Indignation from Philadelphia.
It is utterly inconceivable how Congress can have been deceived { 388 } into Such Instructions as they gave Us, which without all Controversy would have ruined our Country if they had been obeyed. Those Instructions put Some of our essential Interests into the Power of the worst Ennemy of those Interests.
Great Britain is in a State that is undefineable. Unable for many Weeks to form any Administration at all, the King is now reported to have made a Combination So whimsical that it cannot be expected to last, if it can operate at all. it must be divided in Sentiment upon every material Question. The Distress for Grain, the Poverty of the Treasury, the Weakness of publick Credit, the Weight of Taxes, the general Discontents and Animosities and the Danger if not the Certainty of a publick Bankruptcy at least in Part, threaten that devoted Country with Calamities of which no Man can foresee the End.—
You are threatned with an Inundation of Emigrants from all Parts of Europe, but there will not be Such an Appearance of them as is talked of.— it is not So easy for Men to change Countries.— if you were to listen to the Conversations in private Circles or in Coffeehouses or to the Paragraphs in the Gazettes, you would think that all Europe was about to empty itself into America: But After all the Number of Emigrants will be Small.
I am in expectation every hour of receiving your Acceptance of my Resignation, and indeed I Stand in need of it.— The Scenes of Gloom Danger and Perplexity I have gone through, by Sea and Land, and the Shocks of Various Climates, have affected my health to a great degree and what is worse my Spirits. Firm as Some People have been complaisant enough to Suppose my Temper is, I assure you it has been shaken to its foundations, and more by the fluctuating Councils of Philadelphia than by any Thing else.— When a Man sees entrusted to him the most essential Interests of his Country, Sees that they depend <wholly> essentially upon him and that he must defend them against the Malice of Ennemies, the Finesse of Allies, the Treachery of a Colleague, and sees that he is not to be supported even by his Employers, you may well imagine a Man does not sleep on a bed of Roses. it is enough to poison the Life of Man in its most Secret Sources.
The Fever which I had at Amsterdam, which held me for five Days hickouping and Senseless over the Grave, eshausted me in such a Manner that I never have been able to recover it entirely.3 I have rode and walked and exercised incessantly now for a Year and three Quarters, and have lived in all respects with great Caution, but all does not do.— I have Weaknesses of Mind and Body, to { 389 } which I have been all my Life before a Stranger. But I am not yet however So weak as to Stay in Europe, with a Wound upon my honour. and if I had the Health of Hercules, I would go home Leave or no Leave, the Moment another Person is appointed to Great Britain— No fooling in such a March. I will not be horse Jockeyed.— at least if I am De Vergennes & Franklin shall not be the Jockies.
It is not that I am ambitious of the Honour of a Commission to st James's or that I fondly expect an happy Life there. I could be happier, I believe at the Hague. But my Ennemies, because they are Ennemies or despisers of the Interests of my Country shall never have Such a Tryumph over me. I should think myself forever unworthy of the Confidence of Congress or of any other Body possessed of sense or Spirit if I did.— In Truth I Sigh for Repose— My Family has become an indispensible Necessary of Life to me. I am no longer a Boy, nor a Young Man.—and there is no Employment however honourable, No Course of Life however brillant, has Such a Lustre in my Imagination as absolutely a private Life. My Farm and my family glitter before my Eyes every day and night.
You may well imagine, that I shall not be beloved in London. I have been as you know, too old and atrocious an offender not to have Millions of Ennemies there.— You know too, that I have acted too daring and decided a Part in France and Holland, as well as in America not to have numerous Ennemies and powerfull ones too in all those Countries.— The Peace does not open to me in publick Life Prospects of Glory & Tryumph and Power and Wealth that can flatter or excite Ambition or Avarice in me.
I knew very well for many Years before I engaged in publick, that if I ever should engage, whatever Dangers I might brave whatever Loses I might Suffer, and whatever Successes I might have, Rewards and Fortunes were never made for me nor mine.—that the utmost I could ever expect would be a comfortable or even a tollerable old Age.— For this I would gladly now compound.—at home I might enjoy it—abroad I certainly cannot.— decide my fate therefore as soon as possible, if it is not yet decided, which I wish & hope and let me embrace you at Philadelphia or at Milton.
With great Affection and Esteem your Friend
[signed] John Adams
RC (MB); internal address: “General Warren.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. A notation on the Letterbook copy reads: “Paris 15th. April 1783. Deliverd to Mr George Mason of Virginia.”
2. This is the first of four letters, the others dated 12, 13, and 16 April, all below, that JA wrote to James Warren setting down his { 390 } views of the flawed conduct of American foreign policy since 1776 and the dangers for the new nation if the current practices continued. In addition to these four letters, JA included two others originally intended for Robert R. Livingston dated 20 and 21 March, both above. Together these six letters constitute JA's most sustained, comprehensive, and censorious analysis to date of Congress’ conduct of foreign relations and the damage done to American interests by the Comte de Vergennes and Benjamin Franklin.
The arrival of Warren's letter of 1 Nov. 1782, above, likely spurred JA to write Warren so extensively on the subject of foreign policy and to assume not only that his friend would agree with his assessment, but that Warren might be able to remedy the situation as a member of the Continental Congress. The 1 Nov. letter was likely among a number of “Lettres Americaines” that C. W. F. Dumas had received, by way of England, at The Hague and immediately forwarded to JAunder cover of a 3 April letter that reached JA on the 8th, above. With that same batch of letters, JA likely also received Benjamin Guild's letter of 28 Nov., to which JA also replied on the 9th, both above. In their letters, both Warren and Guild refer to Warren's October election as a Massachusetts member of the Continental Congress, the only letters in the Adams Papers that specifically mention it. And while Warren indicated that he probably would not go to Philadelphia—and did not in fact go— the mere possibility of having a close friend and confidant in Congress likely was motivation enough for JA, particularly in view of Warren's very pessimistic assessment of Congress’ diplomacy and his allusions to the consequences of French and Franklinian manipulation. It is probably fortunate for JA's future diplomatic career that Warren was not at Congress when the letters reached Philadelphia. Indeed, by July, as he awaited Warren's reply, JA apparently had some doubts about the wisdom of laying out his views with such candor. Warren would be receiving “some long Letters from me,” he wrote to AA on 9 July. “Pray him to be very cautious of them. Neither they nor I can do any good in the present Circumstances.” On 27 Oct. Warren replied to all six letters, which according to AA he received at Milton sometime prior to 15 Oct. (AFC, 5:198, 257–258; Warren-Adams Letters, 2:229–234).
3. For JA's 1781 illness at Amsterdam, which lasted almost seven weeks and during which, as he later wrote, “I have been, to the very gate of the other Mansion. My Feet had well nigh Stumbled on the dark mountains,” see vol. 11:469–470; 12:21.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0247

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1783-04-10

To William Lee

[salute] Sir,

I know not to what extravagances Adulation may extend in regard to Dr: Franklin—nor do I much care, now the Independence of our Country, her Tom-Cod & Buckskins are so well secured. I expect soon to see a proposition to name the 18th. Century, the Franklinian Age, le Siecle Franklinnien, & am willing to leave the Question, whether it shall have this epithet or that of Fredericien, to the Dr: & the King: tho’, the latter will stand a poor Chance with a certain French Writer, who, within a few weeks, has said, that the Dr:, after a few ages, will be considered as a God, and I think the King has not eno: of the Cæsar in him to dispute with the Skies—2
The title of “Founder of the American Empire,” which as you observe the Eng: Newspapers give him, does not, most certainly belong to him:3 and it is extremely fortunate for our Country that no one man has the least Color of a just pretension to that popular { 391 } & bewitching Appellation— Gen: W. himself, who has undoubtedly acted his part, as well as any Citizen whatever, has no just pretensions to it— There has been such a Swarm, such a republic of Characters, in every State, acting material & essential parts in the great Drama, that it is very difficult to say who has done the most— For my own part I am not afraid nor ashamed to say, that I think Mr: S: Adams is the man, who has acted the longest & the most essential part, as well as the most dangerous & difficult, in this Revolution— and I say this, without fear of being contradicted by Posterity; because there are extant Writings of this Gent:, for a Succession of 40. years together, which will one day be collected, all tending to the great end we have seen, written with a Simplicity & Elegance, a majesty & energy, wh: will be read with admiration in future ages, & wd. have done honor to any that is past. He will have the honor too of a disinterestedness, equal to that of any Character in Athens or Rome,4 and, what will still add to his glory, he has done all under the constant pressure of Poverty & Distress. A Collection of his Writings wd. be one of the most usefull & important works, especially for our Country, wh: was ever was published—5
I am on a delicate & invidious Subject; but historical Justice is as essential to the formation of virtuous Citizens, & consequently as indispensable for the prosperity States, as distributive Justice— But there is such a prostitution of all Justice, such a confusion of Right & wrong, virtue & vice, to accomplish the Apotheosis of Dr: F., as ought to excite the indignation of every honest man— There is such a partiallity to him too, among our own Countrymen, their Allies & their Enemies, arising fm. the imposing bubble of his Reputation, as embarasses Congress in their Deliberations, & forces even that august body into similar Partialities. Such a Reputation is as real a Tyranny as any that can be erected among men—
If you direct a letter to Mr: Dana, under cover to Messrs: Strathborne & Wolfe, Bankers at Petersburgh, it will go safe to his hands.—
The revokation of the Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with G: B: without issuing another, a measure wh: originated in the common source of evil, has lost us, I fear forever, the critical moment for makg: the best possible Treaty: Yet I hope the Minister, who may be appinted, will be able to convince the English where their true Interest lies.—
I can give you no advice abt: carrying to America British Manufactures, as I know not whether they will be recd. or not—
{ 392 }
I have no letter fm. yr: Brother, since the middle of last Fall—nor do I know that Mr: Livingston's Resignation has been accepted—
I am Sir, / Yr: &c.—
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr: Lee—”; APM Reel 108.
1. This is the second of two Letterbook copies of this letter. The first, dated 6 April, is in John Thaxter's hand and bears the notation “Not sent” (LbC, APM Reel 108). Significant differences between the two are indicated in the notes. Despite the fact that JA and Lee were in substantial agreement regarding the malignant influence of Benjamin Franklin, JA likely decided to err on the side of caution and not send the 6 April letter because of its criticism of Franklin. His reconsideration and decision to send a revised letter, at least as critical of Franklin as the first, may be another result of the arrival of James Warren's 1 Nov. letter, for which see JA's 9 April letter to Warren, and note 2, above.
2. JA's reference to Franklin here and to George Washington and Samuel Adams in the following paragraph likely means that he had read portions of Joseph Antoine Joachim Cérutti's L’aigle et le hibou, fable écrite pour un jeune prince que l’on osoit blâmer de son amour pour les sciences et les lettres, Glasgow (Paris), 1783, a 15-page poem accompanied by 38 pages of notes. Franklin may have shown JA the copy he received as an enclosure in a 1 March letter from Ignace d’Urtado, Marquis d’Amezaga (PPAmP:Franklin Papers). For Cérutti, Franklin was a gray-haired Jupiter, the man of the century whom future ages would regard as a god; Washington, the American Atlas, was the New World equivalent of Frederick the Great; and Samuel Adams, whose modest appearance belied the strength and wisdom of his ideas, was one of the foremost architects of American liberty (p. 8–9, 39–40).
3. In the first letter this sentence was followed by “He has a much better Right to be called ‘The Dæmon of Discord among American Ministers, & the Curse and Scourge of their Cause.’”
4. In the first letter the remainder of this paragraph reads: “a Character to which Dr. Franklin has very small Pretensions, and the still greater Glory of a Distress and Poverty, which, happily for the Public, Genl. Washington was and is exempt from.”
5. In the first letter this sentence begins a new paragraph, which continues “Dr. Franklin's political Works would appear much smaller, by the Comparison.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0248

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-11

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Mrs. Brush & Allen m’ont remis les faveurs dont vous les aviez chargés pour moi;1 & j’y répondrai plus à loisir: car nous allons monter en voiture, ces Messieurs, Miss Nancy & moi, pour dîner à Rotterdam chez Mr. Van Berckel.2
Mr. Votre fils n’est pas encore arrivé.
Le principal sujet de la présente est un message que Mr. le Greffier Fagel me fit faire hier par Mr. Tynne,3 pour s’informer du Titre que prennent les Etats-Unis, ou que leur donnent les autres Puissances. Sur ce que j’ai repondu ne savoir rien là-dessus, si ce n’est leur souveraine & absolue Indépendance, on m’a prié de vous écrire à ce sujet, parce qu’on a besoin de le savoir, pour dresser les Pleinspouvoirs & Lettres de Créance de Mr. Van Berckel. Je m’acquitte de { 393 } la Com̃ission à la hâte, & suis avec grand respect / De Votre Excellence / le très-humble & très- / obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Il me semble, sauf meilleur avis que le titre de Hauts & Puissants Etats en Congrès assemblés conviendroit le mieux peut être.

Translation

[salute] Sir

Mr. Brush and Mr. Allen have given me the favors you entrusted to them;1 and I shall answer at greater leisure later on since we are about to get into the carriage—these gentlemen, Miss Nancy, and I—to go to Rotterdam and dine with Mr. Van Berckel.2
Your son has still not arrived.
The main topic of the present note is a message that secretary Fagel sent me yesterday by Mr. Tynne,3 to find out what title the United States have adopted, or how they are addressed by other powers. I told him I had no idea, unless it was their Sovereign and Absolute Independence; whereupon I was asked to write to you about it, because they need to know in order to draw up Mr. Van Berckel's commission and letter of credence. I acquit myself in haste and am with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
It seems to me, until I hear otherwise, that the title High and Mighty States in Congress Assembled might perhaps be best.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à S. E. Mr. Adams M. P.”
1. Dumas indicates in his letter of 15 April, below, that these are JA's letters of 28 March, above, and 30 March (PCC, No. 101, II, f. 357). The latter was a letter of recommendation for Jeremiah Allen, a “Fellow sufferer in my Last Voyage to Europe.”
2. In his letter to Robert R. Livingston of 12 April, Dumas described the dinner and the presentation of the Americans to Pieter Johan van Berckel (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 303–304).
3. In his 23 April letter to Robert R. Livingston, Dumas identifies “Mr. Tynne” as the first clerk in Fagel's office (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 315–318).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0249

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-11

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have received Letters from your Excellency of the 24th & 28th Ult. what accompanied the last will be published with other Matters of a like Nature & altogether will make an handsome & interesting Collection.1
The mischiefs, that might have ensued from the intended American Trade Bill are at length guessed at by many, and the Difficulty of drawing it up, to the Content of Selfishness, (which is never { 394 } satisfied,) is felt by all.2 The farther Parliament advanced in pursuit of its illiberal Object, the more it was Confused: the too Eager Endeavour to render it Conducive to promote the Interests of Great Britain alone, showed its Inefficacy, & rendered it abortive, it is now to be dropt & a short act passed to repeal all the late prohibitory Laws, & make perhaps some change in others of a long standing— I am somewhat pleased at this Change of Measures, As I, not an Ennemy to Great Britain, took in an early stage of the business some pains to point out the Mistakes of Parliament in entertaining this Bill.
I am, however Stil apprehensive this people are not yet sufficiently enlightned, if they are not, it is in Vain that they send a Commissioner to Enter into a Negociation for a Treaty of Commerce, should his Instructions be drawn up in a sordid spirit and should He not be of an open Character and treat with liberallity, this important business may be long delayed
This my apprehension is grounded on the General spirit in Parliament Manifested in the Debates on the late Bill and on a Conversation, which I have had with Mr Edm: Burke who your Excellency Knows, has great Influence over that Party, which was called the Rockingham One.3
Meeting this Gentleman last Wednesday in Westminster Hall I was introduced to Him as an American Gentleman by a common Friend— I Judged the opportunity favorable to show Him the Treaty with Holland, which I had then in my pocket, but began our Conversation with observing that I thought the American Trade Bill, which was to come that day before the House, was not likely to Answer any good purpose, for that it was not founded on Equallity & reciprocity; on which He broke out with so much warmth in Justification of it, that would have surprized me, if I had not been informed He was the father of it. I soon found that I could do nothing with Him and therefore after saying, that I saw his Mind was made up on the Subject I endeavoured to turn the Conversation by presenting Him with the dutch Treaty. He took it, & after looking at it for a little while, He returned to the Matter of the American Bill: but before He did so fully, He asked me whether I had any Authority from Congress, that if I had, He should refer me to the Ministers of State, that He was but a private Individual, I answered Him that I had no public Authority to speak on the Subject, that I had not spoken to Him thereon, If I had not been accidently introduced to Him, by a Common Friend & had not wished well to England & { 395 } that Harmony might be established between Her & the United States. He then said He would speak as a private Man.
He told me, the Object of the Bill was to treat the Americans not as foreigners, & that was a favor done them. That He thought it could be confered better by the Medium of Parliament, which might certainly repeal its Laws, without Causing any just Alarm to other Nations; that a Treaty, which might give any Extraordinary Advantages to the united States, would violate those which now existed with the Northern Nations, that however He imagined this Mode would not now be adopted but that a Treaty would be entered into
He considered the Bill in admitting the Produce of America into England free of Duty, as Conferring such a favor & Boon as no Country besides enjoyed, that G B taxed the Plank & Masts of Norway.
That the Prohibition of American Manufactures into Great Britain was of no Consequence as America had none.
That Parliament did not object to the Admission of real American Manufactures, but was fearful, that under Color thereof, those of Other Countries would be brought hither & that it was Impossible to detect the Abuse.
That if America objected to this regulation it showed disposition to Hostility.
That Great Britain could do, As she had done without America.
That she was not yet a conquered Country & ought not to be treated with Insolence, that America ought not to be insolent, to take warning from the Situation of G B. that Americans, who talked of Priveldges, were so
He was fond of this language and applied the word insolent to every Argument used against his Bill—where upon I frequently remarked to Him, that He was very sore, & irritable. I might have said, irritating.
He applied it in an harsh manner to the following Lines read from a letter.
“All I can say is that no Commercial Regulations, which Parliament can made will materially hurt America; but there are many, which they may make, which will ruin themselves, one Maxim, I regard as Infallible, the more priveledges they allow America the better for themselves, every restraint will hurt only themselves.”4
The same Censure fell upon the Suggestion, that America might pass similar Acts or continue the present prohibiting the Manufactures of G B.
{ 396 }
it fell likewise on the general Idea of Reciprosity, And that America demanded no favors boons or Priveledges; but that G B would find it Her Interest to grant them.
He said in short, that He had struck out of the present Bill the Words, that it was made “in order to Evince the Disposition of G B to be on terms of perfect Amity with the United States & in full Confidence that the said United States & &c.” for that He liked not Parlaver.5
This is the first time, I have had a free Conversation with this noted Man, if I may form an Opinion of Him from it, He seems to me to have but Little Judgement with a most peremptory Manner. Oh that you Gentlemen at Paris had Him as a Negociator to Cope withal, He would be soon laid on his back. If He has drawn up, as it is very probable He has, Mr Hartleys Instructions, that Gentleman will cross the Water on a very fruitless Errand.6
Your Excellency will discover in what fell from Mr Burke the general Matter urged against his Bill, but I hinted beside in Observing on what He had said, that under the Notion of not considering the Americans as foreigners, there was something in the Bill that marked them as Colonists—that the Nations of Europe would not be cheated out of their stipulated right to be treated as among the most favord, by the repealing or enacting Acts of Parliament in favor of the United States, that with respect to the Latter this mode woud not be satisfactory, as it would not be permanent; Parliament being at Liberty to alter it with more Ease, than the Covenants in a Solemn Treaty could be violated.
It was observed, that no favor was done to America to admit her raw Materials into England Duty free, no more than bounties or draw backs were formerly allowed for the mere benefit of the Colonists. that these were necessary measures for the sake of british Manufactures, which flourished thereby That it was the Interest of this Country to admit all the raw Materials of the rest of Europe on the same footing, but other Powers were wiser than to suffer them to go out of their Territories, That the Proof given, that G B taxed the Plank & Masts of Norway (which by the bye was the only one adduced) went but a little way. for it was a Mode of Taxation on the people. The Articles not being reexported, but were used & were ready for use on their importation here, without undergoing any operation or process.
That America had Manufactures, & might have more, that if she had not, the prohibition of them, was Absurd That the { 397 } Manufactures of different Countries were dis[. . .] & that it would not be worth the while, to import into America the Manufactures of Europe in order to reship them into G B.
I have troubled your Excellency with this Long detail & with the papers inclosed to shew you, that I am not Idle—7 I Hope nothing escaped from me during my Conversation that was improper however should it be so the mischief cannot be great, as what was said came from a private Man. but altho I am not Idle, I do nothing now with Alacrity. I am fearful of my Ennemys Knowing any thing About me. for after what has passed, I cannot but expect He will endeavour to give wrong Ideas of my best Intentions and perhaps Suggest that I do or say things, for which there is no foundation.
I am with the greatest Consideration / Sir / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr.
1. That is, the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Convention on Recaptures, but see JA's 28 March letter to Jenings, note 2, above.
2. For the parliamentary debates over and the ultimate fate of the American Intercourse Bill, see Jenings’ letter of 14 March, and note 1, above.
3. Jenings’ meeting with Edmund Burke occurred on 9 April, the final day of parliamentary debate on the American Intercourse Bill. Nothing that Burke told Jenings in the course of their conversation about the means by which Britain intended to regulate Anglo-American trade or its reluctance to enter into a commercial treaty differed significantly from what he had expressed in Parliament on 7 March at the opening of debates on the bill (Parliamentary Hist., 23:611–614, 724–728).
4. Jenings quotes from JA's letter of 28 March, above.
5. For the American Intercourse Bill as originally conceived, see JA's 14 March letter to Jenings, and note 1, above. Later versions of the bill indicated its temporary nature but failed to explain the rationale for the bill after the passage was removed by Burke (PCC, No. 89, f. 261–264, 273–278). This was largely because, as Burke indicates in the second paragraph below, the regulation of Anglo-American trade by act of Parliament was more advantageous to Britain than a formal commercial treaty would be. If Britain regulated by statute, it would not have to grant whatever terms might be offered the United States to those nations with whom it had treaties containing a most favored nation clause.
6. It was Charles James Fox who determined David Hartley's instructions regarding the definitive treaty (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 426–427). But there is also no indication that Burke differed markedly from Fox on the content of such a treaty, particularly in so far as it concerned Anglo-American commerce.
7. Although JA mentions the enclosures in his reply of 18 April, below, they are not with Jenings’ letter in the Adams Papers and have not been further identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0250

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1783-04-12

To Arthur Lee

[salute] Dear sir

Congress forced Us, into a situation, which obliged Us to venture upon a Piece of Indiscipline, in order to Secure a tollerable Peace, So that you may well Suppose We are anxious to know how it is { 398 } received among you, and what is to be our Fate. Whether We are to be approved, excused, justified or censured. The most curious and inexplicable Part of the History is Franklins joining in the Mutiny.—You who know him will not be at a Loss to account for it.— in Truth the Necessity was too obvious and glaring, and the Cod and Bucks and Beavers, were annimals too dearly beloved, in our Country for a Man to take upon himself to be responsible for the Loss of them.
We have had a very dull Pause Since the Peace. no News from America, and a stagnation in England, which has left Us in a painful State of Uncertainty. Now indeed the Ministry is arranged, for a little while and Mr Hartley is expected over to finish the Negotiation. You know him, he is talkative and disputacious and not always intelligible so that I expect We shall be longer about the Business than is necessary.
I am not able to conceive, how a Ministry composed of Parts so heterogeneous can go on with Business. it cannot be expected to be solid and durable. Mr Fox professes to mean to finish soon and liberally, but I know not what opposition and Contradiction he may meet in the Cabinet.— I confess I dont like the Change at all. Shelburne and his sett would have gone thro well. Mr Laurens who is in London Seems pleased with the Change, at least he was with the prospect, a few days before it took place, and he Seems to think that the Tories are not so much regarded as We feared.—
Shelburne did the best thing of his whole Life, when he made Peace, and the Vote against him does no honour to his Opponents. The Peace is really much better for England than she had a right to expect, and the continuance of the War, would have been ruin. This the present sett are sensible of, but Truth is a Small Sacrifice to Faction. The Vote of dissatisfaction with the Peace is a disagreable Event, and one knows not what Effects it may have. I dont believe it could ever have been carried if a Treaty of Commerce had been Signed, on the 30 of Nov. Why the Commission for making such a Treaty was revoked with out issuing another, you must ask Mr Marbois. I know not:— I think however you cannot too soon Send a Minister to London, to arrange finally a System of Commerce and to watch over all your Intests in that Country. French Politicks are now incessantly at Work in England, and We may depend upon it, they labour less for our good than their own.— if our Interests were the Same with theirs We might better trust them, Yet not entirely for they do not understand their own Interests, so well as We do ours.
{ 399 }
Congress will never adopt a right System of foreign Affairs untill they consider their Interests as distinct and keep them seperate from those of all other Nations. One essential Part of the Business and Duty of their Ministers is to watch French Politicians as well as English, to cooperate with them where they coincide with our system, and to counteract them where they interfere with it. At least this has ever been my opinion. it was so when I was in Congress in 1775 & 1776 & 1777 and every days Experience in Europe, in every Country in every department, has afforded something in Confirmation of it. I have acted in Conformity to it, at every Risque, and, considering the furious Wrath it has occasioned, And the violent Efforts to demolish me, with wonderfull success. But the Success would have been much more compleat, if Congress had adhered to the system as Steadily as I did.
With great Esteem and Respect, sir your / most obedient & most humb servnt
[signed] J. Adams
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Hon. Arthur Lee Esq.”; endorsed: “The Honble J. Adams / April 1783”; notation by JQA: “Recd. from R. H. Lee / 24 July 1828.” This is one of twelve letters from JA to Arthur Lee that Lee's grandnephew, Richard Henry Lee, returned to JQA after using them in his Life of Arthur Lee, LL.D., 2 vols., Boston, 1829. For additional information on the return and JQA's reaction, see vol. 7:127–128. LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Although JA does not mention it, this letter may be a reply to one from Arthur Lee dated 26 Jan., of which only an extract has been found (MH-H:MS Sparks 32, Hist. MSS. Am., II, 78). That letter, in turn, likely was a reply to a letter from JA (not found) written in response to Lee's letter of 10 Oct 1782 (vol. 13:523–526). According to the extract, which includes a parenthetical identification of Benjamin Franklin, Lee responded that “the servility, envy, & avarice of the old man you mention (Franklin) have been the more pernicious to our cause, as he is most unaccountably rooted in the opinion of many, and nothing but success will in their eyes justify a conduct founded upon opposite principles.”
The Letterbook copy contains a notation by John Thaxter: “Paris 15. April— Delivered to Mr. George Mason of Virginia.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0251

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Osgood, Samuel
Date: 1783-04-12

To Samuel Osgood

[salute] Dear Sir,

Recollecting the Correspondence, which passed between you & me in the Year 1775, I have been sometimes in hopes you would have revived it, since you have been in Congress.—1 A Multitude of things have been transacted in Congress, the Grounds, Motives & Objects of which have never been explained to me; so that I have been frequently at a loss to regulate my own Conduct— I have been somewhat cautious too of writing to particular Members of Congress upon public Subjects, because of the critical & dangerous { 400 } Situations in which our Affairs have been—least Occasion should have been given to Misrepresentation— The Times however are past, which required such Cautions, and I should advise the Members of Congress & their foreign Ministers to correspond freely with each other in future.— There will no longer be so much to be apprehended from the Capture of Letters at Sea, or their Stoppage in a Post Office. The unavoidable Difficulties of Correspondence have been heretofore very great, but they have been made much greater by Art.
I hope by this Time Gentlemen are cured of their implicit Confidence, and convinced, that they must see with their own Eyes, hear with their own Ears and judge with their own Understandings, or be cheated— There is but one Maxim, which is universal, and that is, that “We ought to trust Nobody in Europe”—Absolutely Nobody. All American Offices in Europe should be filled with Americans— And nothing should be done but upon American Intelligence—otherwise you will be carried to Market every day, and sold sometimes for Cash, sometimes for Offices and sometimes for Glory, and not seldom even for Caprice.
Indiscreet Confidence has gone very near ruining our Country heretofore, and it has been saved by such hazardous Resolutions as very few will ever venture upon, and indeed by such as ought never to be drawn into Precedent— I hope no Case will ever occur, in which they may be imitated.
The Shackles which have been fastened upon American Ministers have obstructed and injured our Cause in a great degree— And for what? For no other Reason under Heaven, than to give to one French Minister and one American Minister the Reputation of doing every thing— That one Soul burning in the Flames of Ambition may be cooled with the proud Title of “Pacificateur de l’Europe,” and another with that of “Pacificateur de l’Amerique.”— Gentlemen must search the human Heart a little more profoundly, than they seem to have done on some Occasions, or our Country will be made the Sport of Passions, in which She has no Interest.—
I wish You, Sir, a long Career in the Service of your Country, and more pleasure & better Success in it, than has fallen to the Lot of your / Friend & Hble Servt.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Osgood.”; notation: “Paris 15th. April 1783— / Delivered Mr. George / Mason of Virginia.”; APM Reel 108.
{ 401 }
1. JA last wrote to Osgood, then aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. Artemas Ward, on 15 Nov. 1775, and Osgood's last to JA had been of 4 Dec. 1775, to which no reply has been found (vol. 3:309–310, 352–353). JA's decision to resume their correspondence likely stemmed from references to Osgood's election to Congress in letters from James Warren and Benjamin Guild of 1 and 28 Nov. 1782, respectively, but see JA's 9 April letter to Warren, and note 2, all above. Osgood, who was at Congress when both the preliminary peace treaty and JA's “Peace Journal” reached Philadelphia, replied to this letter of 12 April on 7 Dec., commenting at length on the peace negotiations and Congress’ reaction to the arrival of the “Journal” (JA, D&A, 3:42–43; Smith, Letters of Delegates, 20:xix; 21:184–196).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1783-04-12

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

What would I have given to have been your Doorkeeper for a few days while you had under Deliberation the Dispatches We Sent by Barney, that I might have listened with my Ear at the Key hole and overheard your Debates. I fancy Some Members will be of Opinion, that they have committed a Mistake in committing the Lamb so unreservedly to the Custody of the Wolf.— If Congress are not betrayed by the Want of Intelligence or by Misinformation into any unseasonable Votes, all will be very well.— I Should not wish to See, any other Vote than a Simple Ratification of the provisional Treaty of the 30. of Nov. 1782.— Yet the Departure of Barney was, by various means partly accidental and partly designed So long delayed, even to the 17 of January, and the English and the French might have Sent the News in their own Way and in their own Colours So much sooner, tho We know not that they did, that you might be led to form Opinions upon partial Evidence. You may well Suppose, We are anxious to know. Not a Word from any Part of America, directly or indirectly which gives cause to suppose that you have recd the News even of the Treaty of the 30. of Nov. Nor that you have recd the Dutch Treaty, four Copies of which I put on board four different Vessells at Amsterdam in October.2 We cannot account for the failure of Arrivals in Spain France, Holland, So absolutely without Supposing an Embargo.
The Treaty with sweeden is made, Denmark has ordered our Flagg to be respected like that of Republicks of the first order. Portugal has done the Same. The Emperor has an Inclination to treat with Us but The House of Austria never makes the first Advances. Mr Dana has announced himself to the Chanceller Osterman and recd for Answer that the Way was clear.
Mr Fox the new Minister declares his good dispositions and his { 402 } Determination to finish with the Utmost Liberality. Mr Hartly it is Said is to finish with Us. and the Duke of Manchester with the other Powers.3
Your Son is Said by some to have gone to Italy and by others to have embarked for America from Marseilles where he has wisely been to lay the foundation of Trade & Fortune.
our young Men may lawfully make their Fortunes We their Fathers, have been employed in preparing the Way.— I dont know what to do with my Boys, however.
Affectionately yours
[signed] J. Adams
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); internal address: “General Warren.”; endorsed: “Mr J Adams / April 83.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. A notation on the Letterbook copy states, “Paris 15th. April 1783. Delivered to Mr. George Mason.” For the letter's origin and context, see note 2 to JA's 9 April letter to Warren, above.
2. For the arrival, ratification, and exchange of ratifications of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Convention on Recaptures, see Robert R. Livingston's letter of 13 Feb., above, and JA's 30 May letter to Livingston, below.
3. George Montagu, 4th Duke of Manchester, presented his credentials as British ambassador to France on 6 May (Repertorium, 3:162). He replaced Alleyne Fitzherbert and signed the definitive peace treaties between Britain, France, and Spain at Versailles on 3 Sept., the same day that JA and his colleagues signed the definitive Anglo-American peace treaty at Paris (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 427, 435–436).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0253

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1783-04-13

To James Warren

Confidential.

[salute] Dear Sir,

I have in some late Letters opened to You in Confidence the Dangers, which our most important Interests have been in, as well as the Opposition and Jealousy and Slanders, which your Ministers have met with, from the vain, ambitious and despotic Character of one Minister, I mean the C. de Vergennes— But You will form but an imperfect Idea after all of the Difficulties We have had to encounter, without taking into Consideration another Character equally selfish and interested—equally vain and ambitious—more jealous and envious, and more false & deceitful, I mean Dr. Franklin.
It is a Saying of Algernoon Sidney concerning Sir Walter Rawleigh, that “his Morals were not sufficiently exact for a great Man”2—And the Observation can never be applied with more propriety than to Dr. Franklin.— His whole Life has been one continued Insult to good Manners and to Decency. His Son, and Grandson, as { 403 } he calls him with characteristic Modesty; the Effrontery with which he has forced these his offspring up in the World, not less than his Speech of Polly Baker, are Outrages to Morality & Decorum, which would never have been forgiven in any other American— These things however are not the worst of his Faults— They shew however the Character of the Man; in what Contempt he holds the Opinions of the World, and with what Haughtiness he is capable of persevering through Life in a gross & odious System of Falsehood and Imposture.3
A sacred regard to Truth is among the first and most essential Virtues of a public Man— How many Kings have involved themselves and their Kingdoms in Misfortunes, by a Laxness in this particular? How much Mischief has been done in all Ages by Ministers of State, who have indulged themselves in a Duplicity and Finesse, or in other Words, in an Hipocrisy and Falsehood, which some are even abandoned enough to recommend and prescribe to Politicians, but which never yet did any thing but Harm and Mischief.— I am sorry to say, but strict and impartial Justice obliges me to say, that from five complete Years of Experience of Dr. Franklin, which I have now had in Europe, I can have no Dependence on his Word. I never know when he speaks the Truth, and when not. If he talked as much as other Men, and deviated from the Truth as often in proportion as he does now, he would have been the Scorn of the Universe long ago— But his perpetual Taciturnity has saved him.
It would be Folly to deny, that he has had a great Genius, and that he has written several things in Philosophy and in Politicks, profoundly— But his Philosophy and his Politicks have been infinitely exaggerated, by the studied Arts of Empiricism, until his Reputation has become one of the grossest Impostures, that has ever been practised upon Mankind since the Days of Mahomet.
A Reputation so imposing in a Man of Artifice and Duplicity, of Ambition and Vanity, of Jealousy and Envy, is as real a Tyranny as that of the Grand Seignior. It is in vain to talk of Laws of Justice, of Right, of Truth, of Liberty, against the Authority of such a Reputation. It produces all the Servility of Adulation—all the Fear, all the Expectation & Dependence in common Minds, that is produced by the imposing Pomp of a Court and of Imperial Splendour. He has been very sensible of this, & has taken Advantage of it.
As if he had been conscious of the Laziness, Inactivity and real Insignificance of his advanced Age, he has considered every American Minister, who has come to Europe, as his natural Enemy. He