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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Tufts, Cotton
Date: 1782-08

John Adams to Cotton Tufts

[salute] My dear Dr.

I have only time to inclose a few Papers and to pray for your Health and Prosperity.
I am much distressed for my Brother Cranch as the last Accounts were allarming. So pleasing a Friendship of near 30 Years standing is a Blessing not to be replaced. I cannot give up the Hopes that I may yet see him in good Health.
My worthy Father Smith must be greatly afflicted at this Sickness. The sorrows however, as well as the Joys of his Age, are either fatal, or soon over.
I long to be with you, even to share in your Afflictions. The Life I lead is not satisfactory to me. Great Feasts and great Company, the Splendeur of Courts and all that is not enough for me. I want my Family, my Friends and my Country. My only Consolation is, that { 370 } I have rendered a most important and essential service to my Country, here, which I verily believe no other Man in the World would have done. I dont mean by this, that I have exerted any Abilities here, or any Actions, that are not very common, but I dont believe that any other Man in the World would have had the Patience and Perseverance, to do and to suffer, what was absolutely necessary.—I will never go through such another Scene. Happily, there will never I believe be again Occasion for any body to suffer so much. The Humiliations, the Mortifications, the Provocations, that I have endured here, are beyond all description; yet the Unravelling of the Plot, and the total Change in all these respects make amends for all.
My Situation is at present as agreable as it ever can be to me, Out of my own Country and Absent from my family.
I cannot flatter you with Prospects of Peace. There are some Essays towards it, but their Success is too uncertain to be depended on. Yet England is too inadequate to her European Ennemies to hurt Us much. The Refugees are turning every stone to provoke fresh Hostilities against America, but I think they will be disappointed.—What a forlorn Situation those Wretches are in!—Yet I am told they modestly hope at least to be invited home, by their Countrymen. I suppose they think that America has not wit enough to govern itself without them.
It is now almost five Years since I left Congress, and what a Series of horrid scaenes have I got through. What storms, what Chases, what Leaks, what Mountains and Valleys, what Fatigues, Dangers, Hair Breadth scapes, what Fevers and Gouts, have I seen and felt!
If after all it should please God to preserve me home, I will leave the Splendid Pursuits of Fame, Fortune and Ambition to those, who have them in View and who may easily obtain them without the Pains, Achs and Dangers that I have run, from other Motives. My little Farm will be as extensive as my Expectations. My poor Boys must work—they have seen a little of their Fathers Pleasures in this Life, and knowing the Object he had in View, they will not reproach him for having neglected their Interests.
RC (PPAmP); endorsed: “Hon. John Adams Letter recd. March 1783.” Enclosed “Papers” not found or identified.
1. Thus approximately dated from JA's allusion to his “last Accounts” of Richard Cranch's renewed and severe illness. These had been received on 16 and ||the first and second letters of|| 17 August (see letters under those dates above), and this circumstance, together with other hints, suggests that the present letter was written at some point during the last two weeks of August 1782. See, further, Tufts to JA, 10 Oct. 1782 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0244

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-03

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My Dearest Friend

If my Letters have been as successfull as I wish them, you must have heard many times from me since I received a single line from your Hand. This is the sixth time I have written to you; since I received your last Letters, which were dated in March.1 From that time up to this 3d of September not a syllable has come to Hand. A few vague english News paper Reports, respecting a negotiation for a peace. I find your Name mentiond so late as June. Not a vessel has arrived from Holland since Capt. Deshon. We cannot account for so long a space of times elapsing: since it is said the United provinces acknowledged the Independance of America, without receiving any official account of it.
The enlargement of the prisoners from Mill prison, together with the intelligence they brought of the proposed acknowledgment of our independance, coincideing with the general wish for peace, the specious Letters sent out of New York by Carleton and Digby about the same time,2 so facinated all Ranks of people that a General Joy pervaded every class; I hardly dared to oppose, to the congratulatory addresses I received upon the occasion, the obstinate persuasion I had; that it was only a tub to the Whale.3
I ventured to say in some companies, where my unbelief appeared very singular, that altho I ardently wished for peace, I could not conceive that an object, of so great Magnitude, could be the Work of a few weeks, or Months; and altho the acknowledgment of our Independence, was an indispensable preliminary, yet there were many other important articles to be adjusted by the contending powers. I thought it would be better to suspend those warm expressions of joy; which could only be warranted by an assureance that an honorable peace had taken place. If any real foundation existed for such reports, a week or two would give us official assureances of it, and I must beg to suspend my belief untill that period.
It really pained me to see the sanguine hopes of my Country perish like the baseless fabrick of a vision. Yet in less than ten days they reflected, and doubted, the elated joy subsided, and they spurned the Idea of a seperate peace.
The Marquis de Vaudreuil arrived in Boston harbour about a fortnight ago with 13 ships of the Line. His intention is to repair the damaged ships.4
The two Armies have past an inactive Summer. When when shall { 372 } I receive any Letters from my dear Friend? Instead of being more and more reconciled to this seperation, every day makes it more painfull to me. Can I with any degree of calmness look Back and reflect that it is near 3 years since we parted, and look forward without seeing, or being in the least able to form an Idea of the period which is still to take place.
In my last Letter I made you a serious proposal. I will not repeat it at present. If it is accepted one Letter will be sufficient. If it is rejected, one Letter will be too many.5
We have had a most uncommon Season. Cold and dry—not one rainy day since the begining of June, and very few showers. The drought has been very extensive, and our corn is near all cut of.— Scarcly a spire of green Grass is to be seen. The B[osto]n prisoners have all reachd home except the 3 who were exchanged. There have been 3 of the Number to see me—to thank me for writing to you, and to acknowledge your kind attention to them. Beals and the two Clarks have offerd to repay the money you advanced to them; which they say was four pounds sterling a peice, but as I never received a line from you respecting them, or what you had done for them I am at a loss what to do.6 Some of them are able enough, others are not.
I have the very great pleasure to acquaint you that our dear and worthy Brother C[ranc]h is raised in a manner from the dead. His dropsical Symptoms have left him and he has for a month past surprizingly mended. His Cough still continues, but we have great hopes now of his recovery. He is not able to attend to any buisness nor will he be for many months, even tho he should get no relapse.
Let me beg you my dear Friend to be particularly attentive to your Health. Do not practise so indiscriminately lieing with your windows open, it certainly is a bad practise in a country so damp as Holland. My Notice of this opportunity is so short that I cannot write to Mr. T[haxte]r or my Son from whom I long to hear.
Mrs. D[ana] was well when I last heard from her. She has been at Newport ever since July. Our Friends are all well and desire to be rememberd. They make great complaints that you do not write to them, and will in Spight of all I can say, think themselves neglected.
I feel in my Heart a disposition to complain that when you write, you are so very concise. I am sorry I cannot prevail with you to write by way of Spain or France, but you must have reasons to which I am a Stranger.

[salute] Adieu my dearest Friend and be assured of the Strongest attachment and warmest affection of your

[signed] Portia
{ 373 }
Our two dear Boys are very studious and attentive to their Books and our daughter thinks of nothing else but making a voyage to her pappa.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Portia 5 Septr. ansd. 16 Oct. 1782.JA's date in the endorsement was probably not a misreading of AA's date but intended to cover her letters of both 3 and 5 Sept. (below), which came by the same conveyance.
1. JA to AA, 22, 29 March, above. Later letters from him to AA surviving in the Adams Papers are dated 1 April, 14 May, 16 June, 1, 25 July, and 15, first and second 17, and 31four more in August that she could hardly have received by 3 September.
2. The Carleton-Digby letter to Washington of 2 Aug. (text in Washington, Writings, ed. Sparks, 8:540–541), forwarded by Washington to Congress on 5 Aug., was not fraudulent, but it was misleading because it greatly overstated the concessions the British government was prepared to make for peace with America. On the ground that no word of this kind had been received from its own ministers in Europe, Congress took a properly wary attitude toward it. See Cotton Tufts to JA, 26 Sept., below; Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 24:466, 468–469, 471–472; JCC, 23:462–463; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 6:438, 440, 442, 443.
3. To “throw a tub to the whale” was to “bamboozle or mislead an enemy” when in danger, as whalemen did when a boat was threatened by a whale or school of whales (E. Cobham Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, London, n.d., under Tub).
4. Louis Philippe de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil (1724–1802), French admiral (Ludovic de Contenson, La Société de Cincinnati de France..., Paris, n.d., p. 276).
5. See above, AA to JA, 5 Aug., a letter it is believed JA did not receive. However, see also below, AA to JA, 5 September.
6. See above, AA to JA, 9 Dec. 1781, and note 3 there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0245

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-03

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

What pleasing Sensations does a Packet from the other side of the Atlantic produce? Every part of the human frame sympathizes and is in Unison. This Truth I have most sensibly felt this day, in recieving three Letters from America. I was at Peace with myself before I opened them. The Superscriptions, in informing me from whence they came, saved me a Turn of the Fever, which threatened before. In opening that of Portia's of the 18th. July, I read these Words, “Ay, Ay—Eliza—is it thus You honor the bare Resemblance—thus place round your Neck the Ideal Image” &c. Heaven! said I, to my dear Friend Storer, with a deep Blush, (I have not forgot how to blush yet—horrible Misfortune to me) what can all this mean? There is a Mystery wrapt up in these Words. Read on, said he, and perhaps the Riddle will be unravelled. Half frightened I begun to read again, till I came to the Words, “why has the Painter been so deficient—it is { 374 } barely a Likeness of You.” The Mystery was developped—the Word Painter helped me thro' in an instant. I had flattered myself this miserable Portrait had been sent to bottom with the Letters by Dr. Waterhouse. I sent it away merely to get it out of my sight, and wished it at bottom an hundred times, but it was accompanied with Letters to my Sisters containing very particular Charges to be locked up. The Letters are sunk. I wish the Portrait in Holland again. But who this Eliza is, I don't know. I know not any one of the Name in whose good Graces I am so far initiated, as to do me so much honor as to wear my Portrait, except my dear Sister Betsy. Storer says he does not know who the Eliza is, and I have concluded that You are not serious. Upon my honor, Madam, if my Letters by Gillon, had arrived, it would have never been worn by anybody. You say, Madam, that “a manly Gesture, a Dignity of Air and Address should have been the distinguishing lines in the Portraiture.” In thanking You for the Compliment, You will permit me to observe at the same time, that those Traits would have rendered it still less a Resemblance. Unfortunately they are Accomplishments that do not belong to me, and the Painter was cautious not to flatter me in that Respect. That the fair Circle of my female Acquaintance kindly remember me, is a Circumstance not more flattering than pleasing to me. I never expect to be acquainted with a more amiable, virtuous and sensible Circle. I was ever happy in their Company. To have been ambitious of their Esteem was no fault I hope. It was ever an Object of mine, and in no Instance have I carried this Ambition to an undue length. To seek the Partiality or Affection of a young Lady, merely for the sake of it, and without intending to meet that Affection with an unequivocal proof of Sincerity, is an Object unworthy a Man of Honor and Virtue, and is as unjustifiable in itself, as the means which are often employed to attain this point. 'Tis the Ambition of a Knave, who is hostile to that Confidence and pleasing social Intercourse which Nature and Heaven designed should take place between the Sexes.
I am very happy to learn that our dear and worthy Friend, Mr. Cranch is still in being, but sincerely lament that his Health is yet precarious. May kind Heaven restore him, and be better to Us than our Fears. 'Tis hard parting with so invaluable a Character, with one in the midst of Usefulness. Your Letter concerning him in the Enterprize is not yet arrived. 'Tis hardly time to expect her yet.
I have read with extreme satisfaction your Observations occasioned by the Duel between Jackson and Gillon. They are excellent indeed. I have often reflected seriously on this Subject, but I am almost afraid { 375 } to come to a Conclusion or a Resolution upon it. How extremely difficult is it to recieve with Indifference the Sneers, Contempt and Imputations of Cowardice of the World, even of the base and abandoned part of it. It is a Practice most certainly against Reason and Common Sense, and the trivial ridiculous Incidents that often give rise to it, one would think should have exploded it long ago. 'Tis neither a proof of Bravery, nor is its Issue a Criterion of the Justice of the Cause. The greatest part of Mankind perhaps are agreed in the Folly of its Institution, but yet don't condemn the practice of it, or if they do, they consider him who is challenged as a Coward if he declines. Charity obliges me to say, that I believe a dread and fear of Contempt has induced many a well disposed Man to challenge, or accept one. How much stronger oftentimes is the Sense of this than of the Obligations of Religion or Morality? I have much more to say upon this Subject, considered in the Light of an Appeal to Heaven, and the Absurdity of such an Appeal, but I have not time at present. I cannot justify the Measure, yet it is difficult to foresee the part one would act, (who has his doubts) when called upon. Gustavus Adolphus took the most effectual Way to prevent it—cutting off the Head of the Victor is a short Method.
Your dearest Friend is much better in Health here than at Amsterdam. Dines to day with the Spanish Minister, a great friend—sups this Evening at Court, and tomorrow gives an Entertainment to the French Ambassador and some Members of the States General. A bad Example this to Us young Lads. However Storer and I are two sober Lads, and keep to our Business. But, Madam, all this and many things which preceeded are Triumphs over British Folly and Impolicy, the Crowns and Laurels of Patience and Perserverance which he is gathering who most deserves them from his Abilities and Integrity. The Treaty of Commerce will soon be finished I hope—another Triumph. The Resolutions of our States respecting a seperate Peace do them infinite honor in Europe. Oh! perfidious Britain. I would write another Sheet willingly, but should not be in time for the Vessel. Mr. Storer joins me in Respects to You and Family. Remember me as usual if You please. I have the honor to be with an invariable Esteem & Respect, Madam, your M. H. Servant,
[signed] J. North
Excuse this Scrall.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0246

Author: Adams, Abigail
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-05

Abigail Adams to John Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Your kind favours of May 14th and June 16th came to Hand last Evening; and tho I have only just time to acknowledge them, I would not omit a few lines; I have written before by this vessel; which is Bound to France. Mr. Allen your old fellow traveller is a passenger on Board, and promises to be attentive to the Letters. In my other Letter I mention a serious proposal made in a former; but do not inform you of the Nature of it, fearing a rejection of my proposal and it is of so tender a Nature I could scarcly bear a refusal; yet should a refusal take place, I know it will be upon the best grounds and reasons. But your mention in your two kind favours, your wishes with more seariousness than you have ever before exprest them, leads me again to repeat my request; it is that I may come to you, with our daughter, in the Spring, provided You are like to continue abroad. In my other Letter I have stated to you an arrangement of my affairs, and the person with whom I would chuse to come; I have slightly mentiond it to him; and he says he should like it exceedingly and I believe would adjust his affairs and come with me. Mr. Smith is the person I mean, I mention him least my other Letter should fail.1
I am the more desirious to come now I learn Mr. Thaxter is comeing home. I am sure you must feel a still greater want of my attention to you. I will endeavour to find out the disposition of Congress, but I have lost my intelligence from that Quarter by Mr. Lovels return to this State. I have very little acquaintance with any Gentleman there. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Osgood are the only two Members there from this State.2 Mr. Lovell has lately returnd. I will see him and make some inquiry; as to peace you have my opinion in the Letter referd to by this vessel.
The acknowledgment of our Independance by the United provinces is considerd here as a most important Event, but the Newspapers do not anounce it to the world with that Eclat, which would have been rung from all Quarters had this Event been accomplished by a certain character. Indeed we have never received an official account of it untill now. Let me ask you Dear Friend, have you not been rather neglegent in writing to your Friends? Many difficulties you have had to encounter might have been laid open to them, and your character might have had justice done it. But Modest Merrit must be its own Reward. Bolingbrook in his political tracts observes, rather Ironically (but it is a certain fact,) that Ministers stand in as much { 377 } need of publick writers, as they do of him. He adds, “in their prosperity they can no more subsist without daily praise, than the writers without daily Bread, and the further the Minister extends his views the more necessary are they to his Support. Let him speak as contemptuously of them as he pleases, yet it will fare with his ambition, as with a lofty Tree, which cannot shoot its Branches into the Clouds unless its Root work into the dirt.”
You make no mention of receiving Letters from me, you certainly must have had some by a vessel which arrived in France some time before the Fire Brand reachd Holland. She too had Letters for you.
Accept my acknowledgement for the articles sent. As the other arrived safe, I could have wished my little memorandom by the Fire Brand had reachd you before this vessel saild; but no Matter, I can dispose of them. My Luck is great I think. I know not that I have lost any adventure you have ever sent me. Nabby requests in one of her Letters a pair of paste Buckles. When your hand is in you may send a pair for me if you please.
Adieu my dearest Friend. Remember that to render your situation more agreable I fear neither the Enemy or old Neptune, but then you must give me full assureance of your intire approbation of my request. I cannot accept a half way invitation. To say I am happy here, I cannot, but it is not an idle curiosity that make me wish to hazard the Watery Element. I much more sincerely wish your return. Could I hope for that during an other year I would endeavour to wait patiently the Event.

[salute] Once more adieu. The Messenger waits and hurrys me.—Ever Ever yours,

[signed] Portia
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Portia Septr. 5. 1782.”
1. AA had discussed in more or less detail her thoughts on joining JA abroad in two recent letters that appear above, 5 Aug. (a Dft, of which the RC probably did not reach JA) and 3 Sept.; but the “arrangement of [her] affairs, and the person with whom [she] would chuse to come” are specified in neither. We must therefore suppose either that another letter of hers to JA on this subject was sent during the summer but is totally unrecorded, or that the missing RC of her Dft of 5 Aug.did add these details.
As for the “Mr. Smith” who was willing to come with her, the best conjecture the editors can make is that he was her cousin William Smith (1755–1816), the young Boston merchant, on whom see above, vol. 3:96; also Adams Genealogy.
2. Jonathan Jackson and Samuel Osgood (Biog. Dir. Cong.)

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0247

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-06

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

Coll. Vallentin having been detained some time at Amsterdam by the arrival of the Grand Duke there, and having been sick on the road, did not arrive with your letters of the 13th. of May last1 until the day before yesterday.—As to my return; if I can go with a French Courier from Hence as far as Frankfort on the Mayne, and from thence down the Rhine it will be the best course I can take; but if that is impracticable Mr. D[ana] proposes that I should go from hence to Lubeck in some neutral vessel and from thence to Amsterdam by land. I can indeed go directly from hence to Amsterdam by water; but as the season is so far advanced, I might very possibly be obliged to pass the whole winter in Norway or at Copenhagen.
But as soon as I shall be gone Mr. D will write you by the post, to let you know the course I shall have taken so that you will know when to expect me.

[salute] I am your dutiful Son,

[signed] J.Q.A.
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. JA to JQA, 13 May, above; JA to Dana, 13 May (MHi:Dana Papers).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0248

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-07

Isaac Smith Sr. to John Adams

I Yesterday received your long lookt favor being the Only One I have received for two Years.1 I dont know that I am intitled to any particular Notice, more than many of your friends but thought I might claim some share. I received a letter from Mdm. the Widow Chabenel incloseing some letters to be forwarded to her relations att the southward. Billey lately returnd from Philadelphia were he saw her Nephew that came in the Carolina ship. Any service I can do for any of your friends, shall be readily complyd with.
I have gave Mr. Jer. Allen who goes by this Conveyance a letter from Mrs. Adams since which I have forwarded yours by Grinnel. This Vessell was built in Town, under the direction of Mr. John Peck of the moddle of the Hazard and Bellesarius, but she is too deep loaded to Answer the end of sailing. She is in the room of a french Kings Brig [ . . . ]2 condemnd You will have heard of Admiral Vaudrell: lieing here with 13 ships of the line to refit. One of which in coming { 379 } up through carelesness is got a ground and itts feared will not be got of again.
Whilst now writing I have received another letter from Mrs. Adams which I forward.—Our friend Mr. Cranch is greatly recoverd, contrary to Our expectations.—As to political Affairs itts likely some of your friends more Verst in those matters have wrote you. General Carltons proclimation of Independancy, which was never supposd to be real has turnd Out so. The Continental Armies lay silent.
We are dayly expecting 25 or 30 sail from Jamaica and the Continent. G.W.3 writes he has some Advises as though designd this way. About 3,000 Troops lately Arrived att Halifax, said to be Hessians &c. from Ireland. We had a Town Meeting Yesterday and came into some spirited resolves in order to stop the Illicit Trade in runing goods into the states from N. York &c.4 There has lately Two Vessells been taken with about £4000 sterling carried into Rhode Island and Connecticut designed to be smuggeld this way, (all kind of British [goods]5 in Neutral bottoms liable). Several parcels have been seizd in coming on the Road, so that I beleive there will be a stopt put to itt. The Nantucket gentry have been exempted from having Taxes collected, who have in return been carrying on a Neutral trade with New York.
Itts said a ship with Continental Clothing came Out with Grinnel. Itts6 the most dangerous place on the Continent. I dont think Insurance could be had even att .60 PC. Capt. David Phipps is here a prisoner being taken by the french, (in a cruising ship from Penobscut, he being Comodore there).
Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Otis, with all your friends in general are well. Our DC7 time is chiefly taken up with Accompanying the F[rench] Officers &c.—I am with Respect Your hum. servt.,
[signed] I. Smith
1. Letter not found; JA's last recorded letter to Smith is dated 11 March 1781, above.
2. Illegible word: “Cutter”?
3. G[eneral] W[ashington]?
4. See the record of this meeting in Boston Record Commissioner, Reports, 26:272–275.
5. Word editorially supplied.
6. Thus in MS; place not specified, but probably Boston is meant.
7. The editors have no explanation for this cryptic expression.
{ 380 }

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0249

Author: Waterhouse, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-10

Benjamin Waterhouse to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

When I was at Braintree I mentioned to you that I was pretty certain I had a letter from Mr. Adams to you, among my papers which I left behind at N. York and that when my trunk arrived I would carefully examine it and send it to you. I have done so, but without success. I therefore conclude if there was one, the Goths have taken it.
We hear there is a Vessel arrived at Boston from Amsterdam; if so you undoubtedly have news from Mr. Adams and Mr. Thaxter and as it is possible I may not have a letter, in which case I hope to have some account of them from you. Did you know how much I honor and respect the one, and what friendship and regard I have for the other you would not wonder at my solicitude for their wellfare. Altho' I wish to hear from them politically, yet I am more anxious to hear from them personally.
Common report would lead one to believe that our prospects of a peace were vanishing. I fear that obstinate, miserable Man, Pharoah the 2d, is not yet sufficiently humbled to do a just thing—and that he will pursue afresh his abominable measures, untill the measure of his iniquity is quite full.
Please to present my best respects to your venerable Father—also to Mr. Cranch who I hope is better. My compliments to Dr. Tuffs. My most respectfull Compliments to Miss Adams, not forgetting my good friend Master Charles, who, if you have any good news from his father, will I hope stand scribe to save his Mama the trouble.

[salute] I am with every sentiment of respect Madam your most obedient humble servt.,

[signed] B. Waterhouse MD

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0250

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-17

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

I have transmitted Money to the young Men, whom you mentioned to me, and have expected every day for a long time to hear of their Sailing in a Cartel for America. They have been better treated since the Change of Ministers. My Respects to their Parents.
It is now five Months since my publick Reception here but We have not yet learned, that any News of it, has arrived in America.1
{ [fol. 380] } { [fol. 380] } { [fol. 380] } { [fol. 380] } { 381 }
The Refugees in England are at their old Game again. Andrew Sparhawk has published in the Morning Post, that his Brother has received a Letter from New York, that Massachusetts and several other States were upon the Point of overturning the new Government, and throwing off the Authority of Congress, and returning to the Government of G. Britain. Their blood thirsty Souls are not yet satiated. They are labouring to bring on again an offensive War. But I think they cant succeed.2
I suppose the unhappy Affair of the County of Hampshire, is the Thing which gave Occasion to this Representation.3 Our Countrymen, must be very unreasonable if they cant be easy and happy under the Government they have. I dont know where they will find a better— or how they will make one. I dread, the Consequences of the Differences between Chiefs.
If Massachusetts gets into Parties, they will worry one another, very rudely. But I rely upon the honesty and Sobriety as well as good sense of the People. These Qualities will overawe the Passions of Individuals, and preserve a Steady Administration of the Laws.
My Duty to my Mother, and to your Father. I hope to see them again. Love to the Children and all Friends. What shall I say of my Brother Cranch? I long and yet I dread to hear from him.
I hope to sign the Treaty, this Week or next or the Week after. All Points are agreed on, and nothing remains but to transcribe the Copies fair. This Government is so complicated, that Months are consumed in doing what might be done in another in an hour.4
I dont know what to do with the Lists of Articles you send me. It would be better for you to write to Ingraham & Bromfield. I will pay.
1. Actually, this news, as officially reported by JA, did not reach Congress until just about the time of his inquiry. Secretary Livingston began a letter to JA of 15–18 September with an acknowledgment of the receipt of “your letters from the 19th of April to the 5th of July, by the Heer Adams” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:728). This vessel had had a slow voyage and evidently carried duplicates of dispatches JA had sent by earlier ships that had been captured.
2. These tory communications have not been traced. Others of a similar kind from London papers, enclosed in the following letter, have not been found.
3. During the preceding months of 1782 there were civil disturbances in the western counties of Massachusetts arising from similar grievances and taking the same forms of protest that the Shays insurrection did a few years later. For the background and a connected narrative of the so-called “Ely riots,” see Robert J. Taylor, Western Massachusetts in the American Revolution, Providence, 1954, p. 109–120.
4. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Netherlands and the United States was finally signed on 8 October. See JA's account of the formalities in his Diary and Autobiography, 3:16–17, with notes and references there.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0251

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-09-24

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

The Lyars Stick at nothing. The Paragraphs in the enclosed Paper, which respect me, are impudent Forgeries. So far from thinking that the French never meant to treat, I have been long of opinion that the English never meant to treat, and that the French, from the Sincerity of their Desire to treat, have given a too ready Attention to Maneuvres of the English which have been only insidious Hypocrisies. There have been many other Paragraphs in the London Papers respecting me, equally false, shameless and abominable—and probably will be many more.
You see too, they begin to abuse G. Washington, more than they used to do, for his just Friendship to France.
Billy Walter and the two Sparhawks have made themselves ridiculous enough, by their Attempts to propagate an Opinion, that the Massachusetts was wavering.
It is a long time indeed, since We have any News from America. We have not yet learnd that you had any News of our Acknowledgment here, on the 19 of April, now more than five Months.
Dont be too sanguine in your Expectations of Peace. I see no Probability of it, before 1784. We shall not find it, this Winter. The English will have another Campain, unless there should come from the East and West Indies, North America, and Gibraltar, better News for Us, and more disastrous for them, than I expect.
There is nothing, but their Finances, which will dispose them to Peace, and I fancy, they will find Ways to get Money for one feeble Campain more. I call it feeble for such it must be, with all their Exertions.
We read in the Gazettes of Motions in Poland, and upon the Frontiers of Turkey and Russia, but I dont see a Probability of a War breaking out. If there should, I dont see how it can hurt Us. The English however seem to flatter themselves with Hopes, that by persevering, they may give an Opportunity to Time to ripen into Existence, conjunctures, now only in Embrio. They talk of a different Posture of Things on the Continent, which may cutt out Work, for the Bourbon Family nearer home.1
These however are only the Ravings of the Refugees in Dissappointment and Despair. Such Conjunctures are to give Time to England to blott out the Navies of France and Spain, and after that bring { 383 } America to Reason. How many Years will this require. And how are their Taxes to be paid and Supplies to be raised?
In short if our Country men are Steady, the British Delusion cannot last much longer. If Americans go to playing Pranks, and furnishing their Ennemies in Europe, especially in England, especially the Refugees, with Arguments, and Hopes, it may be protracted some Years. The People of England is now so much awakened, the American War is so unpopular, and there is so strong a Party for Acknowledging our Independence without Conditions, that a little ill Success would turn the Scale. The Loss of Gibraltar, the Loss of Jamaica, the Loss of a naval Battle, any remarkable Disadvantage in the East Indies, the Loss of the Jamaica or Balic2 Fleet. The Difference between the State of the English and their Ennemies is this—any unfavourable Event would compleat their Discouragement and unite a Majority in an Acknowledgment of our Independence. Whereas many great Disasters would not induce their Ennemies to give it up.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found or identified.
1. On the complex international issues and maneuvers touched on in this paragraph, which indirectly but effectively caused the failure of Dana's mission to the Empress Catherine's court, see the enlightening article by David W. Griffiths, “American Commercial Diplomacy in Russia, 1780–1783, WMQ, 3d ser., 27:379–410 (July 1970).
2. Thus in MS, for “Baltic”?

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1782-09-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams 2d

[salute] My dear Daughter

I have received your charming letter, which you forgot to date, by Mrs. Rogers.1 Your proposal of coming to Europe to keep your papa's house and take care of his health, is in a high strain of filial duty and affection, and the idea pleases me much in speculation, but not at all in practice. I have too much tenderness for you, my dear child, to permit you to cross the Atlantic. You know not what it is. If God shall spare me and your brother to return home, which I hope will be next Spring, I never desire to know of any of my family crossing the seas again.
I am glad you have received a small present. You ask for another; and although it would be painful for me to decline the gratification of your inclination, I must confess, I should have been happier if you had asked me for Bell's British Poets.2 There is more elegance and beauty, more sparkling lustre to my eyes, in one of those volumes, than in all the diamonds which I ever saw about the Princess of Orange, or the Queen of France, in all their birth-day splendour.
{ 384 }
I have a similar request under consideration, from your brother at P[etersburg].3 I don't refuse either, but I must take it ad referendum,4 and deliberate upon it as long as their H[igh] M[ightinesses] do upon my propositions. I have learned caution from them, and you and your brother must learn patience from me.
If you have not yet so exalted sentiments of the public good as have others more advanced in life, you must endeavour to obtain them. They are the primary and most essential branch of general benevolence, and therefore the highest honour and happiness both of men and Christians, and the indispensable duty of both. Malevolence, my dear child, is its own punishment, even in this world. Indifference to the happiness of others must arise from insensibility of heart, or from a selfishness still more contemptible, or rather detestable. But for the same reason that our own individual happiness should not be our only object, that of our relatives, however near or remote, should not; but we should extend our views to as large a circle as our circumstances of birth, fortune, education, rank, and influence extend, in order to do as much good to our fellow men as we can.
You will easily see, my dear child, that jewels and lace can go but a very little way in this career. Knowledge in the head and virtue in the heart, time devoted to study or business, instead of show and pleasure, are the way to be useful and consequently happy.
Your happiness is very near to me. But depend upon it, it is simplicity, not refinement nor elegance [that]5 can obtain it. By conquering your taste, (for taste is to be conquered, like unruly appetites and passions, or the mind is undone,) you will save yourself many perplexities and mortifications. There are more thorns sown in the path of human life by vanity, than by any other thing.
I know your disposition to be thoughtful and serene, and therefore I am not apprehensive of your erring much in this way. Yet no body can be guarded too much against it, or too early.
Overwhelmed as I have been ever since you was born, with cares such as seldom fall to the lot of any man, I have not been able to attend to the fortunes of my family. They have no resource but in absolute frugality and incessant industry, which are not only my advice, but my injunctions upon every one of them.

[salute] With inexpressible tenderness of heart, I am Your affectionate father,

[signed] John Adams
MS not found. Printed from Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, . . . Edited by Her Daughter, New York, 1841–[1849], 2:18–20. (Readers may note that this is an altered form of citation for this source. See entry for { 385 } AA2, Jour. and Corr., in Short Titles of Works Frequently Cited in the front matter of vol. 3, above.) The textual corrections made by the present editors suggest the general unreliability of Caroline A. de Windt as a transcriber of MSS.
1. Letter not found, but it is mentioned by AA as enclosed in hers to JA, 17–18 July, above.
2. The Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill, issued in London by John Bell beginning in 1777, eventually ran to 109 pocket-sized volumes and was long a standard work. See DNB under Bell's name.
3. JA doubtless wrote “P,” which the editor of AA2's Jour, and Corr. mistakenly expanded to “Paris.”
4. Mrs. de Windt's rendering of this passage was: “I must take il ad referendum” which is meaningless.
5. Word supplied by the present editors.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0253

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-26

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of July 2d.1 I received being the first, since you left America. I rejoice at the Success of Your Ministry, but am sorry to hear that Your Constitution has been shock'd by a nervous Fever. Our Friend Mr. Cranch has been in a most critical Scituation. In the close of last Winter, after repeated Colds, he was seized with frequent Faintings. His Perspiration and Expectoration almost entirely Suppressed; a severe Pain in his left Side extending to his shoulder Blade with slight Deliriums and a want of Heat sufficient to give any Vigour to the Circulation came on and threatned him with speedy Dissolution. In this State he lay for some Days, at length he recovered so far as to attend Court in April Sessions. On May the 2d. AM. a Debate of great Importance came on in the House of Representatives, the Room was somewhat crouded, the Members being enjoind not to leave the House; the external Air was warm the Wind being at South and the Air of the Room much more so by the Breath of those present. The Wind changed just before the House broke up to N.E. [and] became cold and damp. By this Change of Air he was soon affected—about 4:00 PM. being then in Court he found himself so unwell as to retire. I found him with all the Symptoms of an approaching Fever. Before the next Morning a large spitting of Blood came on. In a few Hours his old Pain in his Side reaching to the Shoulder Blade, and Danger seem[ed] to be near at hand. However in a fortnight or Three Weeks his Fever somewhat subsided and he recoverd to so much Strength as to return Home tho' in a very languid State and with a low state of Bowells. I soon observed an Enlargement of his Legs which dayly encreased untill his Bowells were greatly distended and a general Anasarcous Swelling appeared. By the Assiduity uncom• { 386 } mon Care and judicious Management of his tender Consort and a succesful Operation of medicines, His Health is in a great Measure restored. He is now on a Journey to Haverhill, Newbury Port, Kittery &c. Heaven I trust has reserved both You and Him for further Services and may Gracious Heaven keep You both in Health.
We have suffered much in this State by a severe Drought. The smallest Quantity of Rain has fallen for Three Months, that has been remembered. The Water above the Bridge at the Iron Works in Braintree has been dried up for near Three Weeks. Our Crops of Grass were great. Our English Grain much blasted, and Syberian Wheat almost entirely cut off. Our Indian Corn is estimated at 2/3ds of a common Crop. The Drought was extended as far as Philadelphia at the Southward. It began later than with us. Their Crops of English Grain were very good.
A Medical Society is now established amongst us under the name of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the present President Edward Augustus Holyoke Esq. of Salem.2 We wish for the Aid and Communication of the Gentlemen of the Faculty in Europe. And as You are acquainted with some of the most eminent, would pray You to mention in your next, some Gentlemen both in France and Holland or elsewhere with their Titles &c. that You should judge would be for the Interest and Honor of the Society to elect as Members.
J[ohn] T[emple] Esq. since his Return to America from his last Tour to England has been questioned with Respect to his Designs &c. Pains were taken to induce the Legislature to make Enquiry into his Conduct. The Legislative Body considered it as belonging to the Executive, the supreme Executive at length directed the State Attorney to take it up, he presented a Bill, the Grand Jury returned Ignoramus, previous to this he had been laid under heavy Bonds, these he requested to be cancelled, still they are detained. At length he petitioned to the General Court that he might be released from his Bonds and have an Opportunity to lay before them Proofs of his Attachment to his Country, the Uprightness of his Intentions, the Services he had done &c. His Petition was sustained—a Committee appointed—they report in his Favour, the Consideration of it however was refered to the next Session after this. J[ames] S[ullivan] Esq. (lately one of the Justices of the Superior Court who not long since resigned his Seat and returnd to the Bar) attacked J.T. charging him with Falsehood, Toryism &c. This brought on a Paper War, which seems to be disagreable to the Friends of both. J.T. supposes his Antagonist to be the Tool of a certain Great Man and is not alone in his supposition. { 387 } Should he be proved a Tory it would be a favourable Circumstance—to [project?] in the Minds of People a Jealousy against his Rival. By the People I mean Populace to secure whom every little Art is to be practised.—After all it is generally thought that the Toryism of J.T. has been nothing more than Don Quixotism.3
Sir Guy Carlton and Admiral Digby in a Letter to General Washington Dated Aug. 2d. said to be written in Consequence of Directions from England, write as follows. “We are acquainted Sir by Authority, that Negociations for a general Peace have already commenced at Paris and that Mr. Grenville is invested with full Powers to treat with all the Powers at War and is now at Paris in the Execution of his Commission. And We are further Sir made acquainted that his Majesty in order to remove every Obstacle, to that Peace which he so ardently wishes to restore, has commanded his Ministers to direct Mr. Grenville, that the Independency of the Thirteen Provinces should be proposed by him in the first Instance instead of making it a Condition of a general Treaty; however not without the highest Confidence that the Loyalists shall be restored to their Possessions and a full Compensation made them for whatever Confiscations may have taken Place.”—This insidious Letter was published. People in general were amused for a while with the Ideas of a full Acknowledgement of American Independency and a speedy Peace. But the Eyes of People are now generally open, being pretty well satisfied that Carltons Independence is a Dependance on the King and Independance on the Parliament, &c. which is inadmissable with Americans.
On the 10th, of August Marquiss de Vaudreuil arrived here with 14 or 15 Ships of the Line from the West Indies; unfortunately the Magnifique of 74 Guns in entring the Harbour ran a ground near Lovells Island (in the Seamens Phrase) broke her Back and is ruined. Congress informed of this Event, immediately voted to present to Monsr. Lucerne for his most Christian Majesty the America a 74 now laying at Portsmouth, which seems to [be] very pleasing to People and I make no Doubt will be so to the French Nation.4 Admiral Pigot arrived sometime since at New York from the West Indies with 22 Sail of the Line. We have Accounts from thence of Embarkation, some say of Troops, some of Refugees. Some say the former destined here or to Rhode Island and the Latter to Hallifax. However a more probable Opinion is that they will bend the whole of their Force to the West Indies. Accounts from the Southward inform us that General Leslie has announced to the People of Charlestown S.C. the speedy Evacuation of that Place, and some of the Inhabitants have { 388 } made Application to be received into the Favour and Protection of their Country in consequence of it.
It gives me great Pleasure that Your Address has baffled the Arts of the British Court and that Your Patience and Perseverance has triumphed over every Opposition to Hollands Acknowledging our own Independence. This is an Event that will raise the Importance of America among the Nations in Europe, will secure her many commercial Advantages and render her Independance more compleat. As a Member of the United States I could wish Your Continuance in Europe till the Grand Object of our Wishes was obtained. As a Member of this Commonwealth and as a Friend I wish Your Presence here. Our Policy and Manners &c. are not improved of late Years. Were You to return, Your Talents would find full Exercise. But I must forbear and explain myself hereafter.
Mr. Thaxter would have received a Line with this, did I not suppose him to be on his Voyage here, if he is still with You be pleas'd to present my Regards to him. Your Connections are in Health.

[salute] I am Sir with great Respect Yours.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Tufts Sept 26. 1782.”
1. Not found.
2. Cotton Tufts had been active in trying to establish a medical society in Massachusetts as early as 1765. He became one of the incorporators of the Massachusetts Medical Society chartered by the General Court in Nov. 1781. Edward Augustus Holyoke (1728–1829) served as president from 1782 to 1784. See Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society ... 1781–1922, privately printed, 1923, p. 5–7, 16–17, 462.
3. The controversy over John Temple's patriotism or toryism, touched on above in Richard Cranch to JA, 30 Oct. 1781 (see note 2 there), had been renewed with great virulence in 1782. The “Paper War” was principally between Temple and James Sullivan (1740–1808), Harvard 1762, a partisan of John Hancock (“a certain Great Man”), whose “Rival” was Temple's father-in-law, James Bowdoin. See Thomas C. Amory, Life of James Sullivan, Boston, 1859, 1:134–138; 2:388; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 15:305.
4. The ship presented was the America, just completed at Portsmouth (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships, 1:40).

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0254

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Thaxter, John
Date: 1782-09-27

John Quincy Adams to John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

I received a few days agone your favour of the 14th. of August. You say you have had a Fire for several days. I believe there has not been a week together through the whole summer without our having one. For some flakes of Snow fell, one morning in the middle of July. It is true, this has been an Extraordinary summer, but it freezes every year in the month of August here: and sometimes in the month of { 389 } June. I think upon the whole that the climate of Holland is the most agreable of the two.
I am afraid I shall not have the pleasure of seeing you before you return to America. The season is at present too far advanced to think of going by water, and I believe I shall not be able to get away from here before the snow comes, so that I shall probably not arrive before the latter end of January, in Holland.
Mr. D[ana] desires me to tell you that he has receiv'd your letter; and does not answer it because, as he has heard that the treaty is signed; you will perhaps be gone before the letter would reach you: and because he is at present indisposed: he desires you would send him a copy of the Treaty if possible, and that you would let him know whether you have bought him a scrutoire. If so he begs you would put all his papers in it but send nothing forward, for he says he expects to set of himself in the month of May.

[salute] Permit me to reiterate the assurance of my best wishes for your safe return to our dear country, and believe me to be Sir Your most obedient humble servant.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0255

Author: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Recipient: Cranch, Elizabeth
Recipient: Norton, Elizabeth Cranch
Date: 1782-09

Abigail Adams 2d to Elizabeth Cranch

[salute] My Dear Eliza

Mr. Robbins1 dined with us to day and has just now told me he intends to make you a vis this afternoon. I hope he will find you quite recovered, and wish you were to return with him. I shall want the pleasure of your company a Wedensy very much—and wish I could offer a sufficient inducement for you to return, tomorrow or next day. I know of nothing to write that will either amuse or give you pleasure. My head is quite barren, my heart is warm. Could you look there you would find it full of good wishes for your health, happiness and pleasure. You are pleased with your visit I know, I wish I was with you. My good my amiable aunt is doing every thing to amuse you, her endeavours will not fail of suckcess I dare say—I hope the dignity of my Eliza will have a good affect upon her cousin.2 If he knew that his conduct was exaggerated much, and heard the speach of every one, I think he woul[d] never have given the cause—but—I can say nothing in vindication of him. You are expected at Milton this week. I dont know how the disappointment will be survived—by—the good folks—whose hearts beat with expectation—for the approach of—Miss { 390 } ——C[ranc]h. I want to say something to you, to provoke you to answer this, if my wishes will not induce you to write me. Five letters in three days and not one line, or one thought, of Amelia. It is mortifiing Betsy how shall I help it. Do as you aught, Miss, says yourself and you will be thought of.—Ah—ah—ah—ah.—I am going to write to Miss Watson; have you aney thing to say to her. Mr. T——r3 goes tomorrow morning. Adieu my Dear I will release you from aney more nonsence, by subscribing your friend,
[signed] Amelia
I open my letter to tell you I dreamed a dream last night and had the pleasing idea of our friend T——s4 return but alas twas a false vision.—My Brother Charles is unwell.
RC (MHi:Cranch Papers); addressed: “Miss Eliza Cranch Weymouth per by Mr Robbins”; endorsed: “AA Septembre 1782.” Minimal corrections of punctuation have been made, but they have not resolved all of AAz's girlish ambiguities.
1. Chandler Robbins of Plymouth, who had graduated from Harvard in July, had been engaged as tutor for CA and TBA after Thomas Perkins' departure; see AA to JA, 17–18 July, above; AA to John Thaxter, 26 Oct. 1782 (MB).
2. Which “aunt” and male “cousin” at Weymouth these may be is not clear.
3. Possibly Royall Tyler, although it does not seem likely that AA2 would at this point entrust him with letters to her friends.
4. Doubtless John Thaxter.

A Note on Citations in the Appendix

In the Appendix, minimal information is included in the notes to identify letters which are printed in Adams Family Correspondence, volumes 3 and 4. Full information as to location and printings of other letters or documents cited in the Appendix is supplied at the point of first reference. Thereafter, only sender, recipient, and date are given.


The Lovell Cipher and Its Derivatives

The earliest instance so far located in the Adams Papers in which a passage in cipher appears is in a letter from James Lovell to JA of 14 Dec. 1780, a copy of which (also in the Adams Papers) Lovell enclosed in his letter to AA of 19 December.1 The presumption raised by the absence of any accompanying key or explanation that there had been some earlier communication in reference to the cipher, and perhaps use of it, is borne out by two letters of Lovell written six months before.2 In the letter to JA, Lovell had written that the cipher was one which had already been “communicated to Doctr. Franklin and which will serve great numbers with equal safety.” Lovell's letter to AA informed her that the cipher was being communicated to her both for her own use in letters to JA and so that she would be able to decode letters written to her in it. No instances have been found in the Adams Papers in which JA or AA employed the cipher themselves, and both continued to experience difficulty in decoding it.
A reluctance to employ the cipher and even to attempt to decode it is attributable to an aversion or hostility to the clandestine implications and attendant ambiguities of secret writing. AA had been clear on the point, and associated her husband with her view, in declining to give her attention to the cipher proffered by Lovell: “I . . . thank you for your alphabeticall cipher tho I believe I shall never make use of it. I hate a cipher of any kind and have been so much more used to deal in realities with those I love, that I should make a miserable proficiency in modes and figures. Besides my Friend is no adept in investigating ciphers and hates to be puzzeld for a meaning.”3
AA, however, with time became “more reconciled to ambiguity and ciphers, than formerly”4 when confronted by repeated instances of intercepted letters and by Lovell's affirmation in his letter of 19 Dec. 1780 that information of importance to JA and to her was being denied her because Lovell judged it safe to communicate it only in { 394 } code: “If you had not bantered me so more than once about my generally-enigmatic manner, and appeared so averse to cyphers I would have long ago enabled you to tell Mr. A some Things which you have most probably omitted, as well as to satisfy your Eve on the present Occasion.”5
Lovell responded to the modification in AA's dislike of ciphers “from the necessity of them” by enclosing another “Alphabet [i.e. key] for your use” in his letter to her of 30 Jan. 1781.6 Some months afterward, when faced with the cipher in a letter, she managed to read it with substantial help from Richard Cranch.7 Much later, upon having sight, through Lovell, of JA's letter of 21 Feb. 1782 to Secretary Livingston,8 and learning from it that JA continued to be unable to crack the code, AA undertook to induct her “dearest Friend” into its mysteries, reporting, “I have always been fortunate enough to succeed with it.”9
Lovell seems to have been the deviser of the cipher, which he employed in writing to Franklin, to Dana, and to others, as well as to the Adamses. At least it was called “M. Lovell's Cypher,” and Edmund Randolph and Madison acknowledged him as their instructor. The cipher's first recorded use was in a letter from Lovell to Horatio Gates, 1 March 1779; it had currency at least until 1784 in private communications among those in government, and seems to have been at least informally adopted for official use.10 The President of Congress, Samuel Huntington, wrote to JA in the cipher, as did R. R. Livingston after he became Secretary for Foreign Affairs.11 There were variations of Lovell's cipher, other than changes in the key-word, in use among America's representatives abroad. Dumas employed one with which Franklin was familiar, and Francis Dana sent a more complicated system based upon the same principles as Lovell's to JA from Russia.12
Lovell's cipher was of the type built upon the substitution of numerical equivalents for agreed-upon letters from a key-word or phrase. { 395 } Each of the letters adopted for use served in turn as the initial element in alphabets arranged on a sheet in parallel vertical columns. A column of corresponding numbers placed alongside these columns of alphabets provided the equivalents for the letters of encoded words, the substitutions being made alternately from two alphabets, or if more than two then in strict rotation, forward or backward as desired. Since the alphabets normally included the ampersand as a final element, the numbers used in substitution were from 1 to 27. In the cipher's purest form the numbers 28 and 29 were used at the beginning of a passage as indication that the substitutions were being made in the normal or in a reverse order, and the number 30 was used as a blind. However, more frequently all three numbers (28–30) served as blinds. Any uncoded word or words broke the continuity, the next succeeding coded passage beginning with that alphabet used at the outset of the first encoded passage, unless 28 or 29 signaled reversal.
The key letters which Lovell used and instructed others to use in communications with JA, Franklin, and Dana were the letters c and r, which he derived from and clued to (at least for JA) the name Cranch. In writing to Elbridge Gerry, Lovell used as key letters e and o, representing the second and third letters “of the maiden Name of the Wife of that Gentleman from whom I sent you a Little Money on a Lottery Score.”13 Other keys, all employing more than two alphabets, were used in ciphers of the same type by Madison and Randolph (Cupid), Jefferson and William Short (Nicholas), and Lovell with other correspondents.14
The difficulties in decoding experienced by JA, as well as by Franklin and Dana, can be attributed in part to their receiving instruction in the cipher exclusively from a distance. What was easy for domestic users by explanation and demonstration close at hand proved formidable when communicated by mail, which had to conceal as well as explain. This may account for Lovell's adopting for his tutees abroad a simplified form of the cipher in which only two letters were used as the key.
A more serious hazard was that Lovell, the expositor, was gifted with neither precision nor lucidity, and having once formulated his directions, was given more to repetition and even playful variation than to real clarification. Lovell was frequently chided, particularly by AA, for his natural bent toward obfuscation: “If Mr. L——I will { 396 } not call me Sausy I will tell him he has not the least occasion to make use of them [ciphers] himself since he commonly writes so much in the enigmatical way that nobody but his particular correspondents will ever find out his meaning.” She followed this statement with a sentence she decided not to include in the recipient's copy, attributing to JA similar sentiments about Lovell's style: “I have seen my friend sometimes rub his forehead upon the receipt of a Letter, walk the room —What does this Man mean? who can find out his meaning.”15
Lovell's first instructions to JA, communicated in May 1780, were that the “Mode ... is the Alphabet squared . . . and the key Letters are the two first of the Surname of the Family where you and I spent the Evening together before we set out from your House on our Way to Baltimore. . . . Make use of any of the perpendicular columns according to your key Letters.” To this he appended a vertical column of numbers, 1–27, a second alphabetical parallel column beginning with a and ending with &, a third and fourth column beginning with b and c respectively and carried only through the fourth letter, the rest of the “Alphabet squared” indicated by dots of elision. Aside from indicating that the key letters or key-word could be altered at will and suggesting the means to communicate the new key, there was nothing more. Explaining the cipher just afterward to AA, Lovell, less fearful of interception, added no help beyond using for his illustrative columns two alphabets in which the first letters were c and r. When AA six months later asked for help, he responded only by enclosing the same two alphabetical columns.16 His instructions to Franklin in Paris, which Franklin on request sent to Dana, differed in no essential, concentrating on the selection of the key-word or letters.17 Not until June 1781, when he wrote to JA, “I suspect that you did not before understand it from my not having said supped in Braintree,” did he undertake clarification. This time his column of numbers extended to 30, the numbers 28, 29, and 30 “to be used as Baulks in the Beginning and End or within your Words”; and apparently for the { 397 } first time explained the “rule of Sequence”: “Make 2 Columns of Letters. . . . Begin your 1st Column with the first letter and your second Column with the 2d letter of the Family Name formerly referred to. Go on to &, then follow a b &c. &c. &c. Look alternately into the Columns.”18 When Secretary Livingston unhappily concluded that JA had not understood his earlier letters in cipher, written without awareness of the difficulty, he had Lovell enclose still another explanation: “You are to form Alphabets equal in number and of the same commencement and Range, as the Letters of the first sixth part of the family Name where you and I supped last with Mrs. Adams, and you are to look alternately into these constructed Alphabets opposite to my figures, for the Elements to spell with, some figures however I may have used as Baulks.”19 Nearly a year later Lovell tried again, but in the same language.20 Livingston, meanwhile, had apparently decided to resolve the problem by adopting a different cipher: “I am sorry for the difficulty the cypher occasions you, it was one I found in the Office, and is very incomplete. I enclose one that you will find easy in the practice, and will therefore write with freedom.”21AA, during the same period, in a brave but misguided moment had decided to try her hand at explaining: “Take the two Letters for which the figure stands and place one under the other through the whole Sentance, and then try the upper Line with the under, or the under with the upper, always remembering, if one letter answers, that directly above or below must be omitted, and sometimes several must be skiped over.”22
More than two years after his first attempt at explication, Lovell wrote to JA: “I have not to this day Information that you comprehend the Cypher which I have very often used in my Letters.”23 Livingston, noting JA's lack of response, concluded earlier that JA did not comprehend “the cyphers. ... I had them from the late committee of foreign affairs, tho' they say they never received any letters from you in them.”24JA's own allusions to the cipher not only confirm fully the doubts felt in Philadelphia, but also convey an unconcern that must have had an effect there: “Your Plan of a Cypher I cannot comprehend—nor can Dr. F. his”;25 “I have Letters from the President and { 398 } from Lovell, the last unintelligible, in Cyphers, but inexplicable by his own Cypher—some dismal Ditty about my Letters of 26th July—I know not what.”26 “I am on this Occasion as on all others hitherto utterly unable to comprehend the Sense of the Passages in Cypher. ... I have been able sometimes to decypher Words enough to show, that I have the Letters right; but upon the whole I can make nothing of it, which I regret very much upon this Occasion, as I suppose the Cyphers are a very material part of your letter.”27
The frustrations attendant upon the efforts of Congress' committee and of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to have their representatives abroad master and use the cipher derived not from JA alone. Almost a year after JA reported Franklin's inability to comprehend it, Franklin himself wrote to Dana, “If you can find the Key and decypher it, I shall be glad, having myself try'd in vain.”28 Dana, in turn, seems to have had his own difficulties. To him Livingston wrote, “I need not tell you how impatient I shall be to hear that this has reached you, since I cannot use my cipher, till I receive a line from you written in it, nor can I write with freedom to you, till I have a cipher.”29
As for JA, while it is true that he gave an impression of insouciance in reporting his inability to comprehend the encoded messages, evidence exists that he made some effort to master Lovell's instructions. To Lovell's iteration of the clue to the key letters as the source of his difficulties, JA, with asperity, wrote, “I know very well the Name of the Family where I spent the Evening with my worthy Friend Mr.—— before We set off, and have made my Alphabet accordingly. . . . The Cypher is certainly not taken regularly under the two first Letters of that Name.”30 In the Adams Papers in JA's handwriting and endorsed “cypher” by him, undated, is a complete “Alphabet squared” with a vertical numerical column, 1–27, at left. The square is without indication that the columns in which c and r are the initial letters are more important than any others. A second attempt in JA's hand, also surviving in the Papers, and illustrated in the present volume, suggests one reason why he remained unenlightened. Across the top of the sheet is an alphabet including the ampersand, at the left is a vertical column of numbers, 1–30, paralleled by three columns of alphabets with initial letters a, c, and r. Failing to understand or to heed { 399 } Lovell's belated explanation that the numbers 28–30 were “baulks,” JA utilizes these numbers in the c and r columns to begin a new alphabetical cycle. Thus, in the one column the equivalent of c is not only 1 but 28, that of d is 2 and 29, of e, 3 and 30; in the second column the same holds true for r, s, and t. The application of such a system to the material in code could only produce results unsatisfactory to all.
A further account of the kinds of difficulties that recipients experienced in decoding the Lovell cipher is presented in the Descriptive List of Illustrations in the present volume, Nos. 3 and 4. The discussion there should be read in conjunction with what has been developed here, and the pertinent facsimile illustrations themselves examined.
Examples of other ciphers constructed on systems other than numerical substitution do exist in the Adams Papers. On the various types in use during the Revolutionary period, the discussions of the subject by Burnett and Boyd should be consulted.31
1. P. 36, above.
2. To JA, 4 May; to AA, post 4 May 1780, both in Adams Papers.
3. To Lovell, 11 June 1780, vol. 3:363, above.
4. To same, 3 Jan. 1781, p. 57, above.
5. P. 36, above.
6. Adams Papers. The new key is not now, however, with Lovell's letter.
7. Lovell to AA, 26 June 1781, p. 163, above; the undated fragmentary sheet containing Cranch's efforts to decode the ciphered passages is illustrated in the present volume.
8. LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:521–530; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:192–199.
9. To JA, 17 June 1782, p. 327, above.
10. Franklin to Dana, 2 March 1781, Adams Papers; Edmund C. Burnett, “Ciphers of the Revolutionary Period,” AHR, 22:331 (Jan. 1917); Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:149, 237, 451.
11. 5 July, 20 Nov. 1781, both in Adams Papers; Livingston's letter is printed without indication that passages are in cipher in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:849–851.
12. Livingston to JA, 26 Dec. 1781, Adams Papers, printed in Wharton, 5:73–74; Dana to JA, 18 Oct. 1782, Adams Papers.
13. 5 June 1781, MHi: Gerry-Knight Collection. Other examples of the cipher in the same collection are in letters from Lovell of 17 June, 13 July 1781.
14. Burnett, AHR, 22:331.
15. To Lovell, 11 June 1780, Dft, vol. 3:363, above. The Adamses' judgment of Lovell's deficiencies is amusingly echoed by CFA when in arranging the family's papers he came to read Lovell's letters: “A man whose situation gave his letters unusual interest. Yet he is so crackbrained that his prose is hardly intelligible and his cypher utterly unreadable. This is a great pity. Such half disclosures of the course of things are worse than none at all” (Diary, entry for 3 Jan. 1835).
16. 30 Jan. 1781>, Adams Papers. It should be noted, however, that at the end of his letter to AA of 8 Jan. he said flat out, without alluding to cipher or key: “This Evening four Years [ago] I passed with you at your Brother Cranche's” (above, p. 63).
17. Franklin to Dana, 2 March 1781.
19. Livingston to JA, 26 Dec. 1781, with enclosure of same date signed by Lovell and attested by L. R. Morris, Secy., “By Order Mr. Livingston,” Adams Papers.
20. To JA, 30 Nov. 1782, Adams Papers.
22. To JA, 17 June, p. 327, above.
23. 30 Nov. 1782.
26. To Dana, 12 March 1781, LbC, Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works, 7:377–378; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:284–285.
27. To Livingston, 21 Feb. 1782.
28. 2 March 1781. Franklin did, however, in the same letter write correctly two short passages in the cipher.
29. To Dana, 10 May 1782, in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:411–414.
30. To Livingston, 21 Feb. 1782.
31. AHR, 22:329–334; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:x–xi.



{ 402 } { 403 }


The Adams Family, 1761–1782

N.B. This is the first Chronology to appear in the Adams Family Correspondence and covers vols. 1–4. See Introduction, 3:xxxviii–xxxix.
1761   Feb.   John Adams (JA) records arguments in Superior Court of Judicature on writs of assistance (Petition of Lechmere).  
1761   May   Upon the death of his father, JA inherits Braintree property (later known as the John Quincy Adams Birthplace).  
1761   Nov.   JA admitted to practice in the Superior Court of Judicature.  
1762   Spring   JA begins serving on town committees and traveling the Inferior and Superior Court circuits. His circuit riding continues for fourteen years.  
1762   Aug.   JA admitted barrister in the Superior Court of Judicature.  
1762   Oct.   Courtship correspondence of JA and Abigail, daughter of Rev. William Smith of Weymouth, begins.  
1763   Feb.   Treaty of Paris concluded, by which France cedes Canada, and Spain cedes the Floridas, to Great Britain  
1763   March   JA's first known newspaper contribution, signed “Humphrey Ploughjogger,” is published in the Boston Evening Post.  
1764   Feb.   Beginning of smallpox epidemic in Boston which was to last throughout the year.  
1764   April–May   JA inoculated in Boston for the smallpox, conducting almost daily correspondence with his fiancée at Weymouth.  
1764   Oct. 25   JA and Abigail Smith (AA) marry and make their home in the house inherited from JA's father.  
{ 404 }
1765   Jan.   JA joins a lawyers' “sodality” in Boston for the study of legal history and theory.  
1765   March   JA elected surveyor of highways in Braintree.  
1765   March   Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament; repealed in March 1766, but repeal is accompanied by the Declaratory Act.  
1765   June   JA travels the eastern court circuit to Maine for the first time.  
1765   July 14   Abigail (AA2), 1st daughter and eldest child of JA and AA, is born at Braintree.  
1765   Aug.–Oct.   JA publishes “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law” in installments in the Boston Gazette.  
1765   Sept.   JA composes the Braintree Instructions denouncing the Stamp Act.  
1765   Dec.   JA named of counsel for Boston to plead for reopening of the courts.  
1766   March   JA elected a Braintree selectman.  
1766   July   JA becomes active in the improvement of professional practice of the law through the Suffolk bar association.  
1766   Aug.   Benjamin Blyth executes portraits of JA and AA.  
1767   July 11   John Quincy (JQA), 1st son of JA and AA, is born at Braintree.  
1768   April   The Adamses move to the “White House” in Brattle Square, Boston.  
1768   June   JA writes instructions for the Boston representatives to the General Court protesting the seizure of John Hancock's sloop Liberty. Later in the year he successfully defends Hancock in admiralty court against charges of smuggling in connection with the Liberty.  
1768   Sept.   British troops arrive in Boston Harbor to control resistance to Townshend Act duties, which are repealed, except for the tax on tea, in 1769.  
1768   Dec. 28   Susanna (d. 4 Feb. 1770), 2d daughter of JA and AA, is born in Boston.  
{ 405 }
1769   Spring   The Adamses move to Cole (or Cold) Lane, Boston.  
1769   May   JA writes instructions for the Boston representatives to the General Court protesting the presence of British troops and the growing power of admiralty courts.  
1769   May–June   JA successfully defends Michael Corbet and three other sailors in admiralty court for the killing of Lt. Henry Panton of the British Navy.  
1770   March   JA agrees to defend Capt. Thomas Preston and the British soldiers involved in the “Boston Massacre.”  
1770   May 29   Charles (CA), 2d son of JA and AA, is born in Braintree.  
1770   June   JA elected a representative to the General Court from Boston; serves until April 1771.  
1770   Oct.–Nov.   JA successfully defends Preston and the soldiers in the “Boston Massacre” trials.  
1770     The Adamses move during this year to “another House in Brattle Square.”  
1771   April   The Adamses move back to Braintree.  
1771   June   JA travels to Connecticut for his health and takes the mineral waters at Stafford Springs.  
1772   Sept. 15   Thomas Boylston (TBA), 3d son of JA and AA, is born in Braintree.  
1772   Nov.   The Adamses move to Queen Street (later Court Street) in Boston, and JA maintains his law office there until the outbreak of hostilities.  
1773   Jan.–Feb.   JA publishes articles in the Boston Gazette answering William Brattle and opposing crown salaries to Superior Court judges.  
1773   May   JA elected by the House a member of the Massachusetts Council but is negatived by Gov. Thomas Hutchinson.  
1773   Dec. 16   Boston Tea Party.  
{ 406 }
1774   Feb.   JA buys his father's homestead (later known as the John Adams Birthplace) from his brother Peter Boylston Adams.  
1774   March   JA furnishes legal authorities for impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Peter Oliver.  
1774   March   Boston Port Act passed by Parliament, closing port of Boston in June.  
1774   May   JA elected by the House a member of the Council but is negatived by Gov. Thomas Gage.  
1774   June   JA elected a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress. The family returns to Braintree.  
1774   June–July   JA travels “for the tenth and last time on the Eastern Circuit” in Maine, and parts with his loyalist friend Jonathan Sewall at Falmouth.  
1774   Aug.   JA travels from Boston to Philadelphia with the Massachusetts delegation to the Continental Congress.  
1774   Sept.–Oct   JA attends first Continental Congress.  
1774   Oct.–Nov.   JA returns from Philadelphia to Braintree.  
1774   Nov.–Dec.   JA attends first Provincial Congress in Cambridge as a member from Braintree.  
1774   Dec.   JA reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1775   Jan.–April   JA publishes essays signed “Novanglus” in Boston Gazette in answer to Daniel Leonard's “Massachusettensis” articles.  
1775   April 19   Lexington and Concord fights; first blood of the Revolution is spilled.  
1775   April–May   JA travels from Braintree to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  
1775   May   Colonial forces lay siege to British army in Boston, now under the command of Howe and Clinton.  
1775   May–July   JA attends second Continental Congress; makes first proposal of Washington as commander in chief of a Continental Army.  
1775   June 17   AA and JQA watch Bunker Hill battle from Penn's Hill above their house.  
1775   July 3   Washington takes command of Continental forces at Cambridge. AA conveys a high opinion of him to JA in a letter of 16 July.  
1775   July   JA elected by the House a member of the Council; resigns in April 1776.  
{ 407 }
1775   July   JA writes letters to AA and James Warren ridiculing John Dickinson's conciliatory views; the letters are intercepted and published by the British in August and produce a lasting sensation that promotes the idea of independence.  
1775   Aug.   JA returns from Philadelphia to Braintree, attends the Massachusetts Council in Watertown, and is reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1775   Aug.–Sept.   JA travels from Boston to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  
1775   Late summer and fall   Dysentery epidemic in Boston; JA's brother Elihu dies in camp in August, and AA's mother dies October 1.  
1775   Sept–Dec.   JA attends the Continental Congress and plays a principal part in the measures leading to the establishment of an American navy.  
1775   Oct.   JA appointed Chief Justice of Massachusetts; resigns in Feb. 1777 without ever serving.  
1775   Dec.   JA obtains leave from Congress and returns from Philadelphia to Braintree, attends the Massachusetts Council in Watertown, visits the army headquarters in Cambridge, and is reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1776   Jan.   JA drafts for the General Court a proclamation to be read at the opening of courts of justice and town meetings.  
1776   Jan.–Feb.   JA travels from Braintree to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  
1776   Feb.–Oct.   JA attends the Continental Congress.  
1776   March 17   The British evacuate Boston.  
1776   March–April   After reading Paine's Common Sense, JA writes Thoughts on Government, published anonymously.  
1776   Spring and summer   Smallpox epidemic in Boston.  
1776   May   JA advocates establishment of new state governments and writes preamble to the resolution of 15 May recommending such action to the states.  
1776   June   JA appointed president of the newly formed Continental Board of War and Ordnance.  
1776   June–July   JA appointed to committee to draft a declaration of independence and makes the principal speech in favor of the resolution for independence, adopted on 2 July, followed by adoption of the Declaration of Independence, 4 July.  
{ 408 }
1776   June–Sept.   JA drafts a “Plan of Treaties” and instructions to the first American Commissioners to France.  
1776   July   AA and children inoculated for smallpox.  
1776   Sept.   JA journeys to Staten Island with Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge as a committee of Congress to confer with Admiral Lord Howe.  
1776   Oct.   JA obtains leave from Congress and returns from Philadelphia to Braintree.  
1776   Nov.   JA reelected to the Continental Congress.  
1777   Jan.   JA travels from Braintree to attend the Continental Congress sitting in Baltimore.  
1777   March   JA travels to Philadelphia when Congress adjourns to that city.  
1777   July 11   AA gives birth to a stillborn daughter, Elizabeth.  
1777   Aug.   Beginning of correspondence between AA and James Lovell, a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress; the correspondence continues with growing frequency and intimacy through early 1782, when Lovell leaves Congress.  
1777   Sept.   JA leaves Philadelphia upon the adjournment of Congress after the American defeat at Brandywine Creek, and travels to York, Penna., where Congress reconvenes.  
1777   Oct. 16   Burgoyne surrenders his northern army to the American forces under Gates at Saratoga.  
1777   Nov.   JA obtains leave from Congress, returns to Braintree, and resumes his law practice, traveling to Portsmouth in December to defend the owners of the Lusanna, He there learns he has been elected by Congress a joint commissioner (with Franklin and Arthur Lee) to France, replacing Silas Deane.  
1778   Feb. 6   Treaties of alliance and of amity and commerce between France and the United States signed at Versailles.  
1778   Feb.–March   JA and JQA sail from Quincy Bay aboard the Continental frigate Boston, Capt. Samuel Tucker, to Bordeaux.  
1778   April   JA and JQA join Franklin's household at the Hôtel de Valentinois in Passy; JA begins his efforts to put the affairs of the American joint mission on a businesslike footing. His personal tensions with Franklin begin.  
{ 409 }
1778   April   JQA enters M. Le Coeur's pension academy in Passy.  
1778   May   JA has his first audience with Louis XVI at Versailles.  
1778   Sept.   Joint commission dissolved and Franklin named sole minister to France.  
1778   Dec.   AA2 makes extended visit to the James Warrens in Plymouth, not returning to Braintree until May 1779.  
1779   Jan.   AA writes to a member of the Continental Congress severely criticizing Silas Deane's controversial address in defense of his conduct in France.  
1779   March   JA takes leave of the French court.  
1779   March–June   JA, accompanied by JQA, in Nantes, Brest, Lorient, Saint Nazaire, and on board the Alliance arranging for the exchange of prisoners of war and awaiting passage to America.  
1779   April   JA makes acquaintance with the Joshua Johnson family at Lorient, perhaps providing JQA with the opportunity of meeting Louisa Catherine Johnson (later his wife, LCA), then aged four.  
1779   April   By secret treaty Spain becomes a co-belligerent with France in the war against England.  
1779   June–Aug.   JA and JQA sail from Lorient to Boston with the Chevalier de La Luzerne, French minister to the United States, aboard the French frigate La Sensible, arriving home on 3 August.  
1779   Aug.   JA proposes founding the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, incorporated May 1780.  
1779   Aug.–Nov.   JA elected to represent Braintree in convention to frame a new state constitution; attends the convention and drafts The Report of a Constitution. . . for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is adopted, after alterations, by the convention and by the towns of Massachusetts in June 1780.  
1779   Sept.   JA elected minister by Congress with sole powers to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain; commissions revoked June–July 1781.  
1779   Nov.–Dec.   JA, JQA, and CA, accompanied by John Thaxter as JA's private secretary, sail from Boston aboard La Sensible to El Ferrol, Spain.  
1779   Dec.–Jan.   The Adams party travels across northern Spain. From Bilbao JA sends the first of his consignments of European goods to AA, of which a number more were to follow from time to time from mercantile firms in Spain, France, and the Netherlands.  
{ 410 }
1780   Jan.–Feb.   The Adams party travels from Bayonne to Paris and takes up residence at the Hôtel de Valois in Rue de Richelieu.  
1780   Feb.   JQA and CA enter an academy in Passy conducted by M. Pechigny.  
1780   Feb.–March   Russian Declaration of Armed Neutrality at sea, aimed at Great Britain and later joined by various northern powers; it eventually proves ineffective.  
1780   May 19   A meteorological phenomenon occurs in New England: “the Dark Day.”  
1780   Spring and summer   The correspondence between JA and the Comte de Vergennes on such topics as the former's announcing his mission, Congress' devaluation of Continental currency, and French naval strategy in American waters leads to an open breach between them.  
1780   June   JA commissioned an agent by Congress to negotiate a Dutch loan.  
1780   July–Aug.   Accompanied by his sons, JA travels from Paris to Amsterdam, before learning of his commission, to explore the possibility of Dutch financial aid to the United States.  
1780   Aug.–Nov.   JQA and CA attend the Latin School on the Singel in Amsterdam. They are withdrawn when JQA proves insubordinate.  
1780   Oct.   Treason of Benedict Arnold. Capture of Henry Laurens, with incriminating papers, at sea.  
1780   Dec.   Francis Dana elected by Congress American minister to Russia; he proceeds there in 1781 but is never officially recognized.  
1780   Dec.–Jan.   JA elected minister by Congress, in the place of Henry Laurens, to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the Netherlands.  
1781   Jan.   JQA, CA, and John Thaxter matriculate as students at the University of Leyden through arrangements made by Benjamin Waterhouse.  
1781   Jan.–Feb.   Great Britain begins hostilities against the Netherlands, using the captured papers of Henry Laurens as a pretext.  
1781   March   Maryland's ratification of the Articles of Confederation, adopted by Congress in 1777, makes the confederation of American states complete.  
{ 411 }
1781   March–May   JA drafts, submits, and prints a Memorial to the States-General urging Dutch recognition of American sovereignty.  
1781   April   JA rents and furnishes a house on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. CA, because of illness and homesickness, leaves Leyden and comes to live with his father.  
1781   April   AA makes plans to buy land in Vermont and in the following year does so.  
1781   May   James and Mercy Otis Warren and their family move to Milton, occupying former Governor Hutchinson's house on Neponset Hill and thus becoming neighbors of AA.  
1781   June   JA elected by Congress first among five joint commissioners (JA, Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and Jefferson) to treat for peace with Great Britain. Their instructions make them strictly dependent on French advice and approval.  
1781   June   Austrian and Russian courts offer their services as mediators between the belligerents.  
1781   July   JA returns to Paris to discuss with Vergennes the proposed mediation of the Austrian and Russian courts; rejects Vergennes' proposals and returns to Amsterdam.  
1781   July   JA awarded LL.D. in absentia by Harvard College; not conferred until December.  
1781   July   AA writes letters to Lovell and to Elbridge Gerry, defending JA against aspersions cast on him by Franklin's letter to Congress of 9 Aug. 1780, written at the behest of Vergennes.  
1781   July–Aug.   JQA travels overland from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg as companion, interpreter, and clerk to Francis Dana.  
1781   Aug.   JA commissioned by Congress to negotiate a triple or quadruple alliance between the Netherlands, France, Spain, and the United States.  
1781   Aug.   CA starts his voyage home, traveling from the Texel aboard the South Carolina, Commodore Alexander Gillon, but disembarks at La Coruñia in September; completes his voyage, beginning in December, from Bilbao on the Cicero, Capt. Hugh Hill, arriving home late in January.  
1781   Aug.–Oct.   JA suffers severely from a nervous fever.  
1781   Sept.–Oct.   Siege of Yorktown ends in Cornwallis' surrender, 19 Oct., to the Franco-American allies.  
1782   Jan.–March   With the aid of Dutch friends, JA presses for recognition at The Hague.  
{ 412 }
1782   Feb.–March   North's ministry resigns and is replaced by that of Rockingham, which shortly sends peace emissaries to France.  
1782   April   JA is recognized by the States General as minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands and granted an audience with the Stadholder, Willem V.  
1782   May   JA takes up residence at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis at The Hague, purchased by him as the first legation building owned by the United States in Europe.  
1782   June   JA contracts with a syndicate of Amsterdam bankers to raise the first Dutch loan to the United States, 5,000,000 guilders.  
1782   June(?)   JA publishes anonymously A Collection of State-Papers, Relative to the First Acknowledgment of the Sovereignity of the United States of America, and the Reception of Their Minister Plenipotentiary, by Their High-Mightinesses the States-General of the United Netherlands, The Hague, 1782.  
1782   June   First mention in the Adams correspondence of Royall Tyler, who later becomes engaged to AA2.  
1782   July   Shelburne succeeds as British prime minister following death of Rockingham.  
1782   Summer   JA conducts lengthy negotiations for a treaty of amity and commerce between the Netherlands and the United States, signed at The Hague, 8 October.  
1782   Oct.   JA travels from The Hague to Paris.  
1782   Oct.–Nov.   JA participates in negotiating and, with his fellow commissioners, signs at Paris, 30 Nov., the Preliminary Treaty of Peace between the United States and Great Britain. He remains in Paris.  
1782   Oct.–Nov.   JQA leaves St. Petersburg and travels via Finland and the Åland Islands to Stockholm, where he remains until the end of the year.  
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.