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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0154-0002

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-08-18

Antoine Marie Cerisier to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Excellency

I had the honor of a visit from Mr. Sarsfield here. He spoke to me about a manuscript that he sent to you, and he seemed to want me to see a copy of it also.1 He deferred giving me a copy until after his trip, which, he said, he was only making to put final touches on this work. I doubt that he had the least bit of difficulty in getting it for me for a few days while he was at The Hague. There are some things in it that I would like to look at closely. If you have no objections, send it to me by way of Mr. Guild. I will soon be plunging into the great subject of general pacification. I saw your thoughts in the Courier du Bas-Rhin and the Gazette de Leyde, to which I could add my own.2 I would really like to have a copy of the commercial treaty as it stands now. I ask you to be persuaded of my entire devotion and deep veneration, with which I have the honor to be, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] A M. Cerisier
If you need to write to me confidentially, please use this address, at Mr. Lainé, watchmaker, opposite the mint tower,3 to be delivered to Mr. Robert.
{ 252 }
1. For Guy Claude, Comte de Sarsfield, see vol. 9:228–229. The manuscript that he sent to JA cannot be identified from Cerisier's description. Sarsfield wrote to JA on 10 Sept. (Adams Papers), indicating that he had sent JA a manuscript that morning that touched on events in the Swiss canton of Bern, but that cannot be otherwise identified. At breakfast on 8 Oct., Sarsfield gave JA his essay on slavery dated 27 Sept. and entitled “Quelques Considérations sur L'Esclavage, La Servitude De La Glebe, L'Etat de Liberté qui leur a succedé Et les Effects qui Resultent des uns Et des autres.” That essay is included in a 280-page collection of Sarsfield's writings in the Adams Papers that included pieces on the constitution of the Netherlands; the provincial constitutions of Utrecht, Gelderland, Friesland, Zeeland, Groningen, Drenthe, and Overijssel; the banks of Holland; the dikes of the Netherlands; the development of civilization; economics; and women (filmed at [ca. 1782–1783], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 359).
2. This is JA's A Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, [ca. 5–8 July], above, that appeared in the two papers on 10 and 13 Aug., respectively. It appeared in Cerisier's Le politique hollandais of 26 August.
3. Located in Sophia Pleine or Square in the middle of Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Samuel
Date: 1782-08-19

To Samuel Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

The present Minister, Shelburne I remember disgusted me by an unintelligible, misterious and Equivocal Letter or Number of Letters and in general by the Conduct he held, fifteen or Twenty years ago, and I recollect some disputes I had with Mr Otis upon his Lordships subject at that time.1 His Lordship appears to be the Same Character at this day. He is a good Proof of personal Identity. His Court have lately Signified, in, this Style to the two Imperial Courts and to Versailles, that his Majesty pretended not to prejudge any question, nor to hinder any Person from entering a Congress, whether it was a question of the States General, or whether they would make enter there the American Colonies. The Commission to Mr Fitzherbert, is to treat of Peace with the Ministers quorum cun que Statuum quorum interesse poterit.
Now if St James's means by this, the United States why not Use the Words? If they do not mean them, We ought not to be decoyd by Such Artifices. There Seems to be Something like an Endeavour in Earnest to agree upon Some Preliminaries, but what will be the Success I know not. Charles Fox has shewn himself the greatest Statesman in G. Britain, and if his Idea had been adopted he would have really served his Country.
I See, by the Papers, the Massachusetts goes on very consistently and Steadily—the Same Govr. Lt, and President of the senate. I wish myself often with you, and hope, sometime or other to be so, for I am weary of So insipid an Existence as I hold in Europe. I am wearing myself out, to little visible Purpose. I came within an Hairsbreadth of { 253 } Succumbing under this dutch Mission, but thank God it is terminated happily, and I look upon it, the very critical Pivot upon which our System turned in Europe, and Our Sons will see, if We do not the Importance of it. This being accomplished I see nothing more for me to do in Europe, as to Peace I despair as Things now are of doing so much good, as I could do at home, with infinitely more Satisfaction.
This State is thinking of Sending a Minister to Philadelphia if he should land at Boston I hope he will be taken proper Notice of. But the Step here is too Slow, and it is very difficult to quicken it.

[salute] Affectionately yours.

RC (NN: George Bancroft Coll.); endorsed: “from J Adams Esq Hague Aug [19] 1782.”
1. JA is likely referring to an incident during Shelburne's tenure as secretary of state for the southern department, when he was responsible for the American colonies from Aug. 1766 until the Earl of Hillsborough was appointed American secretary in Jan. 1768. Although it is unclear to what he is specifically referring, one possibility is the controversy in Massachusetts over Gov. Francis Bernard's conduct during the Stamp Act crisis. For a reference by JA to Shelburne in that regard, see his diary entry for 24 Dec. 1766 (JA, D&A, 1:326–329). There is no indication as to the nature of JA's dispute with James Otis.
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/