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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0171

Author: Mends, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-27

From Benjamin Mends

Doubt not but the tender-feelings of humanity your Excellency possesses will render an apology needless for addressing you on a subject wch so nearly concerns all who are friends to the poor American Prisoners. I have fail’d not to visit them as often as their hard hearted Jaylor wd permit, and have done all in my power to alleviate their miseries. The money your Excellency was so kind as to remit I have given wch were 5 guineas one to each for wch they were extremly thankful. But their returning exegence have urged them to send you the inclos’d Petition wch was deliver’d to me to be forwarded to your Excellency wch hope will come safe.1 It is a great pity there is not a private Agent appointed here for their relief and particularly those discharged fm the ships as not being found in Arms many of those poor men are dischargd in a strange Country without money, Clothes or Friends wch a few here have been generous unto and sent them off in Nutral Vessels. Coll Richardson promisd to us to effect this laudable design, and spoke to his Excellency B. Frankling and as he cd not succed wrote me fm Parris that { 278 } he shall lay it before Congress wch hope will have the desired success2 what ever yr Excellency may think proper to remit at any time shall be cherfully appli’d by your Excellency Most Obedient Humble st
[signed] B Mends3
1. The enclosed petition was probably from Edward Savil, Bryant Newcomb, Samuel Curtis, Job Field, and Jeriah Bass, 14 Feb., above. The five men also had written to JA on 8 Sept. 1781 (vol. 11:483).
2. Col. William Richardson, formerly with the 5th Maryland regiment, and his son were captured on the brig Talbot in 1780 and released on parole in November of that year (Heitman, Register of the Continental Army; Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 161). There is no evidence that he presented Congress with a proposal to appoint a private agent for prisoners, but for additional information regarding his conversation with Benjamin Franklin on the subject, see C. Mends to JA, 2 May (Adams Papers).
3. Nothing is known of Benjamin Mends other than what is stated in this letter and one dated 2 May from his father, C. Mends (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-02-28

To John Jay

[salute] Sir

I have the pleasure to inform You, that Friesland has taken the Provincial Resolution to acknowledge the Sovereignty of the United States of America, and to admit their Minister to an Audience, and have instructed their Deputies in the Assembly of their high Mightinesses at the Hague to make the Motion in eight days from this.
The States of Holland have also taken my last Requisition and transmitted it to the several Cities, and tomorrow it is to be taken into Consideration in the Regency of Amsterdam. Dort has made a Motion in the States of Holland to acknowledge American Independence, and admit me to an Audience. Their high Mightinesses have encouraging News from Petersbourg and from the East and West Indies; so that at present there are Appearances that our Affairs, will go well here, and come to a speedy Treaty. If any thing should delay it, it will be the Example of Spain; but I don’t believe that will a great while. One thing is past a doubt, if Spain should now make a Treaty with You, this Republick would immediately follow the Example, which, if any thing can, would accelerate the Negotiations for Peace.
By the 10th. Article of the Treaty of Alliance between France and America, the Parties agree to invite in Concert other Powers to make Common Cause and accede. Permit me to suggest an Idea. Suppose You write to the French Ambassador at Madrid, and cite { 279 } the Words of that 10th. Article, and request him to join You in an Invitation to the King of Spain. Excuse this Freedom. You will judge whether it will do.1
I should be exceedingly obliged to You for the earliest Intelligence, whether there is any prospect with You or not.

[salute] With great Esteem and Respect, I have the Honor to be, Sir, your most obedient & most humble Servant.

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (NNC:John Jay Papers); endorsed: “John Adams 28 Feb 1782 Recd 15 March 1782 ansd 18 Do.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In the Letterbook this paragraph was written at the end of the letter and marked for insertion at this point.
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.