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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-08-03

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Your Favour with the Anecdote and that with the Preliminaries, I have recd.1 Be So good as to Send me every Thing of this Sort, which I will not fail to make a good Use of.
The Imprudence of Ld shelburne in keeping open the question of American Independence, appears, every day more glaring to me and I find it is Seen in the Same light generally in Europe. The Kings Mulish Stubbornness, may cost him very dear. What a dreadfull Curse to have a Mule for a King or a Statholder! What a fine Excuse they furnish to Spain and France? who need no other Justification than british Indiscretion is sure to afford them.
The Court Gazettes in this Country are growing more patriotick, one of them told me lately, “Monsieur, Vous Serez plus content de notre Gazette a l'avenir”2 and he has kept his Word. Indeed Frisland and Zealand and even Holland are taking Steps, which are alarming to these Gentry. Calling for Orders and Letters, means more than an attack upon the Duke, and has had an Effect accordingly.3
I long to See Mr Days Pamphlet. Pray what and who is this Mr Day?
Can you tell me the Names of the monthly and critical Reviewers in London? Franklin and Bancroft have Connections ancient and { 217 } modern with those Writers, and indeed with most of the Printers and Booksellers in London, which enable them to get a million of Wickednesses and Follies, published, to answer their Views, and to prevent Somethings which would serve a better Purpose, from being published.4
Will you be so good as to get Something like this inserted in some of the Papers, absolutely without its being known to any body but yr friend to whom you may send it, that it comes from you.5
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams augst 3d 1782.”
1. 24 July and [ca. 1 Aug.], both above.
2. Sir, you will be very satisfied with our journal in the future. The newspaper referred to has not been identified but may have been the Gazette de la Haye. JA had met with a M. Du Cange who wrote for the paper and reportedly was to meet with its editor (from Du Cange, 23 July, above).
3. JA is presumably referring to the calls for the Dutch Navy to take a more aggressive role against the British, including combined operations with the French Navy. JA likely had seen the proposals from the provinces as printed in the newspapers. See, for example, the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 26, 30 July and 2 August. JA saw such efforts as more productive than efforts to dismiss the Duke of Brunswick as William V's chief advisor. For the controversy over Brunswick, see the indexes to vols. 11 and 12; for earlier comments on the effort as a diversion from more important national issues, see Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's letter of 6 Jan. and JA's reply of 14 Jan. 1782 (vol. 12:172–175, 184–186).
4. Jenings never responded directly to JA's request, but see his comments on the “puffs” that he had seen in the London newspapers in his letter of 22 Aug., below.
5. JA probably refers here to his longstanding desire to have his response to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts, later known as the “Letters from a Distinguished American,” published in London. At least that is apparently what Jenings took him to mean in his reply of 11 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0133

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-08-07

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I have recd. the two halves of your letter to Congress, and they have been sent on.1 I sent you a few days since a packett fm. our Minister of foreign Affairs.2 Sometime ago, I sent unto you the miniature of Genl. Washington, wh. Mr. Searle gave me, and I am anxious to learn that you have recd. it.3
I can give you no news fm. America, France, Spain or Holland, but what you will have previously seen in the Newspapers. Patience is still necessary with this People. They must have their way and they always march with the slow step, excepting in the month of April last. The Treaty, I am told, will now be soon finished. Tomorrow, as they say, the States of Holland will take their resolutions upon it.
{ 218 }
Mr. Thaxter has been sick ever since I removed to the Hague, but is now getting better.
My Son has not written me a line a long time. He should not wait to receive letters from me, because he knows I am busy and he is at leisure.4
Now, Sir, for something of consequence. You are weary of a pitifull existence. So am I. Yet we must both bear it, lest our impatience should do mischief. I cannot advise you to come away this year. These moments are too critical and your powers are of too much importance. I think them of the greatest moment of any, except those for Peace. The simple signature of your name would pacify the world. I mean it would settle the great point, which, once settled, any Nation will afterwards continue the war unreasonably at its peril. My most friendly and candid advice is, therefore, to put on Patience as armour, wait another Winter. I don't mean by this, however, to advise you to be silent, unless you have reason to believe you shall be refused. You may communicate your character and mission in confidence to the confidential Minister—no, I mean the Minister of Foreign Affairs—represent to him that you came to that Court, as the first and Principal in the Armed Confederation, but that your Commission is to all. Represent delicately the propriety of that Courts communicating your application to the other Parties to that Treaty, that, if he refuse, you shall be obliged to go to the other Courts, those of Berlin, Stockholm, Vienna &ce. That it is doubly for the public good of Europe, that this Confederation should as one acknowledge American Independence, that it is even friendship to England and the only means of saving it from irretrieveable destruction. If you receive an answer and a refusal, come off, but go to Stockholm, Berlin or Vienna and sound those Ministers. If you receive no answer, communicate your Character and Powers to the Ministers of Stockholm, Berlin and Vienna, at Petersburg, and pray them to transmit them to their Court, and remain patiently where you are, 'till next year.
The Neutral Nations ought to seize on Fox's system and settle the matter.5 If they will do nothing by next Summer, I cannot advise you to wait longer.
I write you this, as crude hints, and beg you would consider them in no other light, and believe me to be your sincere Friend, and humle. Servt.
[signed] J. A.
{ 219 }
RC (MHi: Dana Family Papers); addressed: “The honble. Francis Dana Esqr. St. Petersbourg”; endorsed: “Mr: J: Adams's Letter Dated Augt: 7th. 1782 Recd: Aug: 18/29.”
1. For this letter, see Dana to JA, [1 July], note 2, above.
2. The packet contained copies of Livingston's letters of 2 March and 22 May to Dana, which were received on 29 Aug. and to which Dana replied on the 30th (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:209–213, 436, 679–680). See also Dana's letter to JA of 30 Aug., below.
3. For the otherwise unidentified miniature portrait of George Washington, see vol. 12:217, 324, 397.
4. JQA's last letter was of 31 March; he wrote next on 6 Sept. (AFC, 4:302–303, 378).
5. That is, they should immediately recognize the United States as independent and sovereign; however, compare this statement and the advice given by JA earlier in the letter with his A Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, [ca. 5–8 July], above.
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, 2017.