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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0168

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1782-08-29

To Arthur Lee

[salute] Dear sir

I have a great Mind to envy your Situation or to wish myself with you in Congress where I Should have less Anxiety and more health, if not an opportunity to do more good.
{ 404 }
The Mynheers have overcome most of their Terrors and are now well fixed, in the good System. They will hearken to no Seperate Proposals, and therefore will make an important Diversion in our favour although they Should not Succeed in their Endeavours, to excite the Court to more Strenuous Exertions.
We have Succeeded, to obtain a Small Loan. There is near a Million and an half of Guilders obtained, to be paid upon the rect of the Ratification of the Contract.
The Deputies of the Provinces have generally re[ceive]d their Instructions concerning the Treaty of Commerce, and I am daily in Conference upon the subject. It is slow Work but in time it will be finished, to mutual satisfaction as I believe.
Fitzherberts Powers are to treat with France, the states Gen. and the Ministers of all other Principum et statuum quorum interesse poterit.
Mr Brantzens Powers are to treat in concert with France and all the other Powers at War with England but to agree to no Peace or Truce but in Concurrence with them.
I dont like, very well, the Idea of any Conferences before, a British Minister has Powers to treat with the Ministers of the United states in so many Words: and think that if We had refused, to treat till that time Shelburne would have been forced to come into Fox's Plan. Possibly however they may agree upon Preliminaries. But I have not very Sanguine hopes of it.
I should be very glad to hear from you as often as your important Engagements will permit1
RC (Adams Papers). This is one of twelve letters from JA to Arthur Lee that Lee's grandnephewgrandson, Richard Henry Lee, returned to JQA after using them in his Life of Arthur Lee, LL.D. (2 vols., Boston, 1829). For additional information on the return and JQA's reaction, see vol. 7:127–128.
1. This letter was originally written on a sheet folded to make four pages. At some point, probably after the letter was returned to JQA, the third and fourth pages were removed, thereby losing the letter's final sentence and the signature. As printed in the Life of Arthur Lee, LL.D., 2:244–245, the letter ends, “Meantime I have the honour to be, with great esteem, your most obedient, John Adams.”

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0169

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-08-29

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I Am honoured with the Receipt of your Excellencys Letter of the last Post.1
{ 405 }
The Letter of which I gave your Excellency an Extract about a fortnight Ago2 made me very Uneasy, as it shewed me there was a misunderstanding somewhere—I could wish your Excellency would clear it up by a Letter to our Friend at Nantes. I fancy He imagines that His name is joined with yours in the Different Commissions, your Excellencys assurances that it is not, will clear up his Doubts, and account for your Conduct towards Him whilst in Holland.
I Heartily wish that my Correspondent in London had ushered into the world the Letters in a better dress. I herein inclose the first that has appeared.3
I have written at several Times various matter for insertion in the public Papers, but I Know not whether it has come to hand—Mr Lee4 tells me that all Letters by the Way of ostend are opened and that Passengers are Examined strictly—I will endeavour however to convey the State Papers over and have some notice taken of the Suggestions which your Excellency has thrown out. I agree with your Excellency that the more such Questions are agitated, the better will it be.
For the Cause of Truth, Justice and Humanity, a Familiarity with Strange names strange Ideas and Strange Facts will soon naturalize them. I think if I was in England now I could work to a good purpose. I am told that Ld Shelburne pays great Court to the Bedford party, He has taken a good method to get into the good graces of the Dutchess. He gives Her a good Rent for Her House at Streatham.5 However no one thinks that He will be able to stand unless He meets with Uncommon Sussecss. I fear for the Combined fleet. The Winds have been to High. The Peace is at Gibraltar.

[salute] I have the Honour to be Your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. [28 Aug.], above.
2. This is Henry Laurens' letter to Jenings of 5 Aug., portions of which Jenings included in his to JA of 11 Aug., above.
3. Presumably the first of JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American,” which appeared in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer of 23 Aug. (vol. 9:541–545).
4. William Lee.
5. Because of the distance to his residence at Bowood in Wiltshire, Shelburne leased Streatham Park, a Georgian mansion built by a brewer, Ralph Thrale, in 1730 on land purchased from the 4th Duke of Bedford. The house passed to Ralph's son Henry, who died in April 1782. It was presumably from Henry's wife, Hester, rather than the Duchess of Bedford, that Shelburne leased the residence. Streatham is located in the London borough of Lambeth, south of Brixton (www.Thrale.com, 12 April 2005).
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/