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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0134

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-26

From John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

I have at Length had the Pleasure of recieving your very friendly Letter of the 22d. Feby. last. It has been very long on the Road. Accept my Thanks for your kind Congratulations; and permit me to assure you that I sincerely rejoice in your having safely reached the Place of your Destination on a Business which declares the Confidence of America, and for an Object, in the Attainment of which, I am persuaded you will acquire Honor to yourself and Advantage to her.
The Circumstances you mention as Indications of the Disposition of Spain undoubtedly bear the Construction you give them. As the Count de Florida Blanca is I am told a man of Abilities, he doubtless will see and probably recommend the Policy of making a deep Impression on the Hearts of the Americans by a seasonable Acknowledgement of their Independence, and by affording such immediate Aids as their Circumstances and the obvious Interest of Spain demand. Such Measures, at this Period would turn the Respect of America for Spain, into lasting Attachment and in that Way give Strength to every Treaty they may form.
Sir John Dalrymple is here.1 He came from Portugal for the Benefit of his Ladys Health (as is said). He is now at Aranjues.2 He has seen the imperial Embassador, the Govr. of the City, Segnr. Campomaner, the Duke of Alva and several others, named to him I suppose by Lord Grantham3 who I find was much respected here. He will return thro France to Britain. I shall go to Aranjues the Day after tomorrow and shall form some Judgment of his Success by the Conduct of the Court towards America.
I am much obliged by your Remarks on the most proper Route for Letters and Intelligence to and from America and shall profit by them. You may rely on recieving the earliest Accounts and whatever interesting Information I may obtain, and that I shall be happy in every opportunity of evincing the Esteem with which I am Dear Sir Your most obedient Servant
[signed] John Jay
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Jay. Ap. 26. 1780 ansd. 13. May.”
1. Sir John Dalrymple, author of numerous legal, historical, economic, and scientific works, had no previous diplomatic experience and it is likely that his efforts in Spain had no { 241 } official sanction. Dalrymple's memorial to Conde de Floridablanca, in which he emphasized his close ties to the North ministry, proposed a joint guarantee of colonial possessions by Great Britain, France, Portugal, and Spain. The thirteen American colonies would remain in British hands, but with perhaps some modification in their government. Dalrymple apparently also offered to exchange Gibraltar for the Canary Islands. Floridablanca, who provided both Jay and the French ambassador with copies of the memorial, never seriously considered Dalrymple's proposals, but the existence of any negotiations was enough to make Vergennes suspicious of his Spanish ally (DNB; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:726–731; Morris, Peacemakers, p. 56, 60).
2. Aranjuez, the Spanish royal summer residence thirty miles south of Madrid.
3. Thomas Robinson, 2d baron Grantham, had been the British ambassador to Spain from 1771 to the outbreak of war in 1779 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0135

Author: Carmichael, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-26

From William Carmichael

[salute] Sir

I did myself the honor of writing to you last Post in answer to yours of the 8th of April, at that time I had suspicions that a Sir John Dalrymple who has now been here near three weeks, was imployed by G. Britain to sound the Disposition of this Court and in the mean time to work under Ground for the interests of his own Country. I have been hitherto able to trace most of his motions, which are somewhat suspicious. He came hither from Lisbon under pretence or really on account of his Ladys bad State of health: He had a Passport from the Ministry here for that purpose as I have been informed from those who are personally imployed about him. He hath visited several of the Principal Grandees and all those who were most connected with Ld. Grantham. He hath been at Aranjuez, where the Royal family is at present, hath seen the French Embassador and as I have been told will soon set out for France. This last circumstance occasions me to give you the present Trouble. Altho I ought to have no other apprehension of his residence here or at Paris at this Crisis unless it be the singularity of the Circumstance, for I know he had at one time the Confidence of his King and at least that of part of the Administration. I have never heard that he hath done any thing to forfeit it. If he is imployed in the way I suspect He may be induced to pay you a visit if he passes thro Paris, which altho it may be unnecessary, induces me to put you on your Guard. I shall endeavor to inform you punctually of his rout and shall be always happy on every occasion of testifying to you and Mr. Dana how much I am Your humble Sert.
[signed] Wm. Carmichael
1. This place and date are derived from John Jay's letter of 26 April (above), which also provided an account of Sir John Dalrymple. Since JA answered the letters from Carmichael { 242 } and Jay on 12 and 13 May respectively, it seems likely that both were written at about the same time.
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.