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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0194

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-12

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 7th Instant, the Shrewed Man mentioned therein is now in this Town. He talks I am told of residing here.1
I have a Letter from my Freind at Paris.2 He seems to be much satisfied with Mr J Firmness, who has declared He will treat with no Powers where Our Independance becomes a Question and is disputed. “He has no great Confidence in political Connections, He Strives to Act Independantly, as He did in the Above Instance, when { 460 } V was informed thereof, He was alarmed. However J continues to make F draw with Him.”
The Shelburne Plan of settling little Matters before the important one is determined is I think well marked by one who as an Author and as a Man is esteemed by Your Excellency.
Il y a un certain Ordre, qui rend les Négociations aisées, Si on ne le suit pas, On avance lentement, et enfin quelque Difficulté improuve rend inutiles les Articles, qu'on avoit deja dressés.
On demande, par example.
S'il faut Commencer par la discussion des Points les plus importans d'une Affaire pour descendre ensuite dans le détail des Objets moins interessans; ou s'il faut Commencer par ces détails pour monter insensiblement aux Articles les plus Essentiels; les personnes, qui auront beaucoup de Temps à perdre, ou qui aiment à n'etre jamais saves de rien peuvent prendre la derniere maniere.
des Principes des Negociations par l Abbé Mabbly p 290.3
If Ld Shelburne thinks the Acknowledgement of the American Independance a thing of Course His Conduct may not be so Absurd but when at the same time, He Keeps it in reserve, because of its Importance to his Adversaries, they and not Him are to blame for Suffering it.
Oswald is at Paris, and is thought not to be a great Politician, having Already descovered the Utmost Extent of his Powers.
I have sent the Commissions to Paris; I have no Slips, since those, which your Excellency has received.
I have been told that Mr F has had a retention of Urine.

[salute] I have the Honour of being with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servan

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. Silas Deane.
2. Probably Matthew Ridley. See Ridley's letter of 20 Sept. to JA, below.
3. There is a certain order that renders negotiations easy. If it is not followed, one advances slowly until some unexpected difficulty renders useless the articles already settled.
One asks, for example.
Should he begin by discussing the most important points of an affair in order then to descend into the details of objects less interesting; or begin with details in order to rise imperceptibly to the most essential articles; those with much time to waste, or who prefer to accomplish nothing, choose the latter method.
A copy of Abbé Gabriel Bonnot de Mably's Des principes des négociations, pour servir d'introduction au droit public de l'Europe, fondé sur les traites, The Hague, 1767, is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0195

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-12

From Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

[salute] Sir

We duly received your most esteem'd favour of the 10th. of this month to us in particular, and to our Society with Messrs. Willinks and de La Lande & fynje. About the latter we'll have a conversation this evening, and give your Exce. a proper answer probably to morrow. In the mean time we most humbly thank your Excellency in our particular for the kind assurances, which you are pleased to give that your Exce. will make no objection or opposition to our Request to the Magistrates, in favour of the Loan of Maryland. We don't doubt Sir but the consequences will prove that this affair will be very beneficial to the American Loans in general, and even in case it should be resolved to make a similar application in favour of the general Loan, that it would more easily be granted, than in case this was refused. Therefore Sir we take the Liberty to request your Exce. in case the deputates of this City now at the Hague might inquire about your Sentiments, which we believe will be done, not to speak of your Loan, which might perhaps suspend their advise. Your Exce. will easily comprehend that the promotion of the general Loan is as well our Interest, as of the other. And by consequence, that if our opinions are different in relation of this step, we must have our reasons for it. And really we fear that it would in the present circumstances, that the Loan is already going so many weeks, rather be prejudicial, as it would be a publicq proof, that it doth not answer the Expectation. And for this reason we cannot do any thing either privately or more public without the consent of the undertakers, who are as much as we interested in the matter.
We are persuaded that in case your Excellency supports our claim, it will directly be accorded, as there is not the least objection against it, and by this you'll greatly oblige us, as we desire to open the Loan for Maryland as soon as possible.

[salute] We have the honour to subscribe our selves with much respect, and esteem Sir of your Excellency the most humble & obedt. Servants

[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0196

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1782-09-13

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Gentn.

I have recd your two Letters1 for which I am obliged to you. This is an affair of Some Delicacy and Difficulty, but all Things considered I have concluded not to make any opposition to the Application of Messrs Van Staphorsts. Upon the whole, I hope the United States will be benefited rather than injured as you have found in my Letter to the society of the 10th. I would not advise an Application in behalf of the general Loan, without a Prospect of success.
I Shall observe your Caution, and not mention what you desire me to conceal.
I hope our Loan will not languish much. After a little time perhaps it may do better than ever.

[salute] With great Esteem &c.

1. Of 5 and 11 Sept., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0197

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-13

From Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

[salute] Sir

Mess. W. & J. Willink and De La Lande & fynje have sent your Exce. by the Post waggon of this day an answer to the letters, which we received from your Excellency this week.1 We could not sign said answer, since it contains two inferences, in which we don't agree with said Gentlemen. 1o. That the Loan for Maryland will injure the Loan of the united state. We are just of the opposite opinion, as I had the honour to tell your Exce. since we think, that every Loan for America, of the Nature as the Maryland Loan, are very proper to promote the general and particular Credit of that Republic, and will stil more convince the Inhabitants of this country of its Solidity, and of the necessity to encourage its connexions.
The second point in which we are of a different opinion is a matter of fact. Vize. that according to the opinion of said Gentlemen the Loan for the united states goes on very bad. We could wish it was better in that respect. But we beg to observe, that there are two Channels by which the bonds are sold. The one by our selves goes not brisk. But the other by the undertakers, of which we cannot judge with the same exactness, is according to our informations, { 463 } better. And this is not surprizing, since it is their proper commerce, and since they have means to sell it cheaper than we.
We take the liberty to mention these things to support our opinion, and to explain our sentiments. But we left it to your own judgment to decide, whether the other Gentlemen, or we are in the right.
In the meantime we gladly underwrite the sentiments of them with relation to a subscription of the Regency for the great Loan, in case it can be requested upon the same footing as the other, and we expect in this respect your esteemed answer.
This may be how it will. It cannot but do good, that our motion be granted, and thus one sheep passes the bridge, than the others will easily follow, and on the contrary in case by Accidents this might be refused, it will make it more difficult for others in the future. Therefore we take the liberty to insist again that your Excellency will assist us in our claim. And give us permission to make further upon this matter the following observations.
In relation to Loans people in our Country are very difficult, when a new Credit is made, and how solid such a Loan may be, one prefers to trust his money to an old Debtor. This is the very reason wherefore the Dutch money lenders, even at present in the war time, have more Credit for the English Stocks, however great the burthen may be, as for the American Loans. We confess this is foolish and absurd, but it is fact. And we don't presume that your Excellency will doubt of it. But let this work go on, and the American Loans become more common, than we dare assure your Excellency, that their Credit will advance with double steps, and that one negotiation of two or three Millions will open the way for promoting an other of double that sum.
It was this consideration, joined to a sincere attachment to the concerns of America, that furnished us a motive more, to undertake the Maryland Loan, and we made the motion to the Regency, with intention that in case of success the public might be convinced, that our Magistrate after a serious reflection was determined to favour the American Loans, and people also might safely trust their money to it.
We hope now your Excellency will excuse us to prove more at large the good influence, which the Subscription of the City for the Maryland Loan will have upon the general Credit of America, and we flatter our selves that after having considered our reasons your Excellency will continue in supporting our demand, not doubting but you'll have opportunity for it. Only we must take the Liberty to { 464 } expose very seriously to your Excellency, (and we think too favourably of the Confidence which you was pleased to accord us, than that we should fear that your Excellency would take it amiss,) that it would not be prudent to speak now of other future subscriptions. This we dare say will in the proper time be done very safely and with the desired succes. Now it might occasion a negative answer upon our Request, and not only be in prejudice of the Maryland Loan, but also to the Credit of America in general. Since people would Argument, If the Regency dare not Interest in such a Loan it is a proof, that the[y] has no Credit at all for America, and therefore we must not lend our money. And on the contrary they will give it readily if the Magistrate begins. The Magistrate having done the first step, will more easily come to a second, and therefore as soon as we will have a favourable Answer we will consult our friends upon the proper means for a motion in favour of the great one, and in case we find that it may be done with good hopes of succes, and of doing a good effect upon Individuals we'll make it our duty to communicate our sentiments to your Excellency.
We have communicated this letter to Mr. Calckoen, the Lawyer, for whom we know you have some credit, and asked his opinion upon it, and his answer was, that he judged our motion very proper to raise the American Credit to a high degree, and that he therefore wished it might succeed, for which he was willing to do all he could. But that a refusal would be mortal, and of such bad consequence that perhaps it might never be restored. He gave us permission to mention this upon his name to your Excellency, desiring that we should in the meantime make his respectful compliments. Which we do by the present, and also we take the liberty to assure your Excellency again of the highest esteem of Your Excellencys Most humble Servts.
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst
1. See the firms' letter of this date, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0198

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-13

From Wilhem & Jan Willink and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

Mr van Staphorst having taken along with him Your Excellency's favour of the 8th: Inst: prevented it's reply. Since being favoured with your Excellency's of the 10th:, We have conversed with Said { 465 } Gentlemen, who told us to have informed Your Excellency, about their Sentiments in respect of the motion in behalf of the Continental Loan,1 and desired us, as we are of some different Opinion to give ours, to leave Your Excellency at leisure to consider the matter.
We comprehend that a concurrency in a time the Loan could enjoy a better Success than We experience actually is, instead of being favourable rather prejudiciable, and therefore a Subscription of the City, as shall apparently be granted to the Maryland Loan, would be equally encouraging to the Continental, and will prevent the not considering Publicq to form an Idea of greater Solidity of the first founded on the City's example. But we consider necessary, if claiming it with an appearing hope of Success, to be authorised to offer equal advantages as Maryland has engaged in furnishing Produce to be Sold here, to pay the annual Interest of the Loan out of the Same. Without Such or Simular advantages for the Citizens or promotion of Trade, We'd not advice to make any apply for fear of not Succeeding. We Submit further our Sentiments to your Excellency's better consideration, to receive your Directions about Said matter.

[salute] We have the honour to Subscribe us with the utmost Consideration and all possible respect. Sir! Your most humble and Obedt Servts:

[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
1. See the Staphorsts' letter of this date, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0199

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-15

From Robert R. Livingston

No 11

[salute] Sir

I have been favoured with your Letters from the 19th: April to the 5th: July, by the Heer Adams.2 How impatiently they have been expected you will be able to judge by mine of the 29th: Ulto: which you will receive with this. The events they announce are considered as of the utmost importance here, and have been directed to be officially communicated to the different States.
Your loan is approved, and the ratification herewith transmitted.3 The resolution which will accompany this will be a sufficient Spur { 466 } to induce you to exert every nerve to get it filled—for if the War continues, it will be essential to our Exertions, if it should terminate, it will not be less necessary to enable us to discharge our Army—in every view it is necessary.4 In the present situation of the states, money can be raised but slowly by taxation, new systems must be introduced, which cannot without difficulty be adopted in the hurry, confusion and distress of a war. They will however be adopted. Congress are constantly employed in discussing the means for a regular payment of the interest and The gradual discharge of the principal of their debt.
The other resolution arises from the difficulty of ascertaining what are really the funds of the United states in Europe, when more than one person can dispose of them.5 I am satisfied this resolution will meet your approbation, from the rule which you say you have prescribed to yourself. It will, I dare say, be equally agreeable to all our Ministers to be relieved from the troublesome task of bankers to the United states.
You mention the negociations on the tapis at Paris, but so slightly as to leave us in the dark relative to what they may be (presuming, as indeed you might have done on probable grounds) that we Should receive information on that head from Doctor Franklin, but unfortunately we have learnt nothing upon that subject from him. I must beg therefore, in order to open as many channels of information as possible that you would give me not only the state of your own affairs, but every other interesting information which you may receive from our other ministers, or thro' any other authentic Channel.6
I observe your last Memorial or Note is in French.7 Would it not be expedient and more for our honor, if all our Ministers at every Court were to speak the Language of our own Country, which would at least preserve them from errors which an equivocal term might lead them into. I mention this merely as a hint which is submitted to your judgment.
We are now informed that the Aigle and the Gloire, two frigates from France have just entered the Capes, closely pursued by a British Ship of the line and three frigates. It is strongly apprehended from the situation in which8 that they must either be destroyed, or fall into the Enemies hands.
Pigot is arrived at New York, with 26 sail of the line. The late changes in Administration seem to have made such a change here that I much doubt whether they will quit us this fall, at least till { 467 } they hear again from England, tho' they certainly were making every disposition for it before. I will keep this Letter open till I hear the fate of the frigates, and know whether our dispatches by them can be preserved.
Mr Dumas's application is before Congress. They may possibly appoint him Secretary to the Legation, which I heartily wish they may, as he certainly has been an assiduous and faithful servant. But there is no probability of their going further, as they would not chuse to appoint any but an American to so important an office as that of Chargé des affaires—Nor will their present system of oeconomy permit them to make so great an addition to his Salary as you mention, which is much greater than is usually allowed to secretaries, as their Circumstances require it to be less.9
The Aigle, Capt la Touche has been driven on shore and is lost within the Capes. Her dispatches, money and passengers have however happily been saved. The Gloire, the other frigate has arrived at Chester. I find no dispatches from you among the Letters that have come to hand, nor any thing from Holland, but duplicates of Letters from Mr Dumas. Congress yesterday passed the annexed resolution, which needs no comments.10

[salute] I am, sir, with great respect & esteem Your most obed humble Servt:

[signed] Robt R Livingston
RC and enclosures (MHi: John Adams, Embassy MSS); endorsed: “no. 11.”; by John Thaxter: “Mr. Livingston 15. & 18th. Septr. 1782.” For the documents enclosed with this letter, see notes 3–63, 4, 5, and 6.
1. In his reply to this letter of 6 Nov. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:854), JA indicated that he had received the triplicate two days earlier, on the 4th, but see note 3.
2. These letters, which Livingston sent to Congress on 11 Sept. (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 41), included those of 19, 22, 23 (||1 and ||2), and 24 April (vol. 12:420–428, 441–443, 450–452, 458–459); 16 May; 9 and 14 June; and 5 July (1st), all above. Not mentioned in Congress' register of letters received, but which Livingston's letter clearly indicated had arrived, was JA's second letter of 5 July, above, with which were enclosed copies of the loan contract to be ratified by Congress.
3. Congress ratified the five loan contracts enclosed with JA's 2d letter of 5 July, above, on 14 Sept. (JCC, 23:579–580). JA sent the ratified contracts off to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje enclosed in a letter of 5 Nov. in which he indicated that he had received them that day (LbC, Adams Papers).
4. This actually refers to three resolutions adopted on 14 Sept. that authorized the borrowing of an additional four million dollars in Europe, directed that the authorization be sent to Benjamin Franklin and JA, and instructed Franklin to apply to the French government for the loan's implementation (JCC, 23:578–579).
5. This resolution, also adopted on 14 Sept., informed the ministers in Europe that the superintendent of finance was responsible for the disposition of all funds obtained in Europe as was determined by congressional appropriations (same, p. 576).
6. Possibly in response to Livingston's con• { 468 } cern expressed here, Congress resolved on 17 Sept. that JA, Franklin, Jay, and Laurens were all expected to participate in the peace negotiations (same, p. 585). An extract from the minutes containing the 17 Sept. resolution is in the Adams Papers and is filmed under that date (Microfilms, Reel No. 353).
7. This is JA's memorial of 23 April to the States General in which he formally proposed a Dutch-American commercial treaty. He included the French text of the memorial in his letter to Livingston of 23 April (vol. 12:450–451).
8. A copying error occurs at this point because two copies of this letter in the Adams Papers read, “in which they were left, that they must either be destroyed. . . .”
9. Although Congress considered Dumas' salary and position on 16 Sept., it took no action regarding either. See JA's 16 May letter to Livingston, and note 2, above.
10. See note 6.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0200

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-09-16

To Edmund Jenings

I have the Honour of yours of 12. Your accounts from Paris coincide with mine, and make me happy. Vaughan has no public Character at all, and oswalds is the same with Carletons. The K. of Spain is not mentioned in Fitzherberts.
The Slips are great Curiosities. They were written with the Design of being printed as written by a Briton. The Publisher has told that th[ey] are of an American! Which makes the We's, Us's &c very Odd. They will think them from a Penitent Refugee. No matter. Why did they alter the Dates? They ought to have more Weight for having been written two Years and an half ago.1 No matter again. They will serve to keep up the Ball.
The Utmost extent of Fitzherberts and oswalds Powers, is such, that they ought to have been Sent home again, instead of inviting Holland and Spain to Send Ministers to treat with them. Mr. J is very right and if he is not over born, all will do well. I incourage his heart to Stand fast, and he writes me, he's of my Mind. But it is a dangerous Business that th[ey] are about at Paris. I dont like it, at all. Mr Franklin, had on the 12 of this Month been Sick three Weeks with2 the Stranguery, and severe Pains in his Thigh, as I have seen in a Letter from his Grandson.3
We shall soon learn, whether the Enterprise to relieve Gibraltar is really undertaken or not and what is its success. Will the Spaniards be afraid of the Equinox.
The Corps Diplomatique here, all Speak of the Independance of America as decided. Even the Minister from Russia Says it, and the Minister from Portugal Said it to me, not 3 days ago. In such a Case, where the Ministers of every Power in Europe, even those the most attached and obliged to England are so clear, why will Shelburne be obscure? He is a Blockhead. He has no sense. He is fur• { 469 } nishing to France and Spain, Weapons against himself. When the Conferences are broken off, it will be Said all over Europe that it is because England would not treat with America. I have at Length dined with D. Llano, the Spanish Minister. I meet now the whole Corps Diplomatique, at Court, at the House of France and that of Spain. The Ministers of Prussia and Sardinia and Liège are very sociable, and indeed the one from Portugal has been so several Times.
Do you love Latin? a few Days after my first Audience, I dined with a large Company of Patriots of the first Magnitude. The Custom here is to drink Toasts in a Boccale, as they call it. The Masters of the Feast, produced a most beautifull Glass, which had imprinted round the Brim of it, Aurea Libertas. He poured into it a full Bumper, and Addressing himself first to the Glass and then to me, pronounced these Words, with a profound Bow.

Aurea Libertas gaude: pars altera mundi

vindice te renuit, Subdere colla jugo.

Hoec tibi, Legatum, quem consors Belga recepit

Pectore Sincero pocula plena fero.

Utraque Gens nectet mox Suspicienda Tyrannis

Quae Libertati vincula Sacra precor.4

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams Septr. 16. 1782.”
1. JA began the first of the letters that were ultimately published as “Letters from a Distinguished American” on or about 14 July 1780 and completed the final unpublished letter on or about 22 July 1780. As published in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, the ten published letters were given dates between 17 Jan and 6 Feb. 1782 (vol. 9:541–588). The editors have no evidence as to why they were redated, probably by either Jenings or the printer, but the new dates were presumably intended to make the letters appear more recent and thus more relevant.
2. At this point in the Letterbook, JA wrote and then canceled “billious Cholick.”
3. Not found.
4. Golden liberty rejoice! The other part of the world, with you as avenger, has refused to place their necks beneath the yoke. I bear these full cups with a sincere heart for you whom our Belgian colleague received. Each nation will form bonds, suspected by tyrants, which I pray will be bonds sacred to Liberty.
In the Letterbook at the top of the page following this toast, JA wrote, “Never was a Bumper quoffed with more good Will.”

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0201

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-16

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

Your letter for recalling your son was unfortunately so long on its way that the season for sending him as you proposed is passed.1 It is almost now an equal chance that he might remain the winter in Norway. I am discouraged about the other course to Lubec also, and { 470 } am on the whole advised to send him on by Land altogether. It is possible he might have a road voyage even to Holland, but I presume you wou'd not judge it prudent for that reason to risk it. He has advertised in the papers according to the Custom here, his intended departure, so that if any occasion shou'd present of a fellow traveller, he might be ready to improve it. Possibly he may yet be detained till the sleighing season comes on about the middle of Novr: ordinarily. Whenever he departs you may depend upon receiving the earliest notice by the Post. I have suffered much on account of the loss of his time for studying regularly here. He wishes to go to his old instructor, and I beleive it wou'd be most adviseable to place him there, as soon as possible.
In my letter of the 19/30 Augt: I told you I was no longer at liberty to pursue a course like that you pointed out in your's of the 7th: of the same month—that my late instructions were clear and decided—and that I was glad of it. For had the matter been left at my discretion I shou'd have taken a course not wholly unlike that you mention. I had proposed every thing for the decisive step, and shou'd have taken it against the opinion of you know whom. Because my sentiments perfectly coincide with yours so far as they respect the dignity of the United States, which I have all along thought wou'd suffer less from a more open and firm policy; and that their views and interests wou'd be promoted and established much earlier by means of it. I venture to say that had you hearken'd to the advice that was given you when I was in Holland, not one of the United Provinces wou'd at this time have acknowledged our Independance: nay more, the present minor party wou'd have been the prevailing one, and in all probability affairs wou'd have worn a different countenance thro Europe, and we shou'd have seen, by the aid of Mediation &c, a seperate peace concluded between Britain and Holland. I am sensible as I told you before, of the difference between our situations, yet this difference does not in my opinion necessarily require a system absolutely the reverse. The same engines indeed cannot be set at work here. You say you shall wait for the advice of — in a certain case, altho you ventured to go against it in the former.2 Pray tell me by the former, do you mean your categorical demand? I want much to know this. As to that certain case, upon further reflection I hope nothing will be done upon it. I can see no good that will result to us from it. It appears to me to have been an artifice to annihilate what stood in its stead, the more to distance an object of much importance. Shall you set off for Paris, or have you such an aversion to { 471 } piddling that you choose to remain where you are? Is Mr: Jay still there, for the papers make no mention of him? Where is Mr: Lawrence? I shou'd be glad to hear you were at Paris. There is not one such soul to be found, I fear, in Europe as you speak of.

[salute] Adieu Your's &c

P.S. The letter for Mr. L. mark'd Duplicate No: 5: is the Duplicate of that you received last.3 Take care that they are sent by different opportunities.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Son Excellence Mr: Adams Ministre. Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis &c à son Hotel à la Haye”; endorsed: “Mr Dana 1/16 Sept 1782 [an]sd 10. Oct.”; stamped: “Amsterdam.” Some loss of text due to a tear in the paper.
1. This is JA's letter of 13 May to JQA (AFC, 4:322–323). The reasons for the delayed arrival of that letter and one to Dana of the same date, above, are explained in JQA's letter to JA of 6 Sept. (same, 4:378).
2. At this point Dana inserted a superscript “a,” referring JA to a note at the bottom of the page: “See your letter of the 13th: of May, not received till the 24th: of Augt: O.S.” Dana referred to France and specifically to the Duc de La Vauguyon and the Comte de Vergennes. For JA's response, see his letter of 10 Oct., below.
3. Dana's letter “No. 5” was that to Robert R. Livingston of 5 Sept. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:700–702).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0202

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-09-17

To Francis Dana

[salute] My dear friend

It grieves me when I think how long it is since I wrote you.1 But my head and hands and heart have been all full.
I sent, to the Care of the Dutch Ambassador, General Washington's miniature, for you. Should be glad to know whether you have recd. it. I have also sent along several Dispatches from our Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Have you received them?
Fitzherbert's Commission is to treat with the King of France and the Ministers “quorum cunque Principum vel Statuum, quorum interesse poterit”—and Oswald's is “to treat, consult of, agree, and conclude, with any Commissioner or Commissioners, named or to be named, by the said Colonies or Plantations, or with any Body or Bodies, corporate or politic, or any Assembly or Assemblies, or description of Men, or any Person or Persons whatsoever, a Peace or a Truce, with the said Colonies or Plantations, or any of them, or any Part or Parts thereof.” I said, his Commission—but he has none. He has only an order to the Attorney-General to make out such a Commission.
Thus you see there is yet no proof of Shelburne's sincerity. In { 472 } short nothing will be done, untill Parliament meets; nor then unless they take upon them to acknowledge the Independence of the United-States.
If Gibralter is succoured and holds out, Britain will not cede it. In short we shall have another Campaign. No peace untill 1784, if then.
What is the Story of the insurrection in the Crimea?2 What Powers of Europe are any way connected with that affair, or interested in it? Is it likely to have any Consequences? And what?
You have concluded, I hope, to stay another Winter. You must absolutely send my Son to me, by the earliest Neutral Vessell, to the Texell, in the Spring. My love to him. I have not time to write him now. He don't tell me how his Studies go on.
I shall sign the Treaty of Commerce next Week. All Articles, Words, Syllables, Letters and Points are adjusted, and nothing remains, but to write five fair Copies in Dutch and English, and to sign, seal and deliver them.3 My Loan is in Cash, better than fifteen hundred thousand Gueldres. So that we go on, you see, pretty well.
The Standard of the United-States waves and flies, at the Hague, in triumph over Sir Joseph York's Insolence and British Pride. When I go to Heaven, I shall look down, over the Battlements, with pleasure, upon the Stripes and Stars, wantoning in the Wind, at the Hague. There is another Triumph in the Case sweeter than that over Enemies. You know my meaning. It is the triumph of stubborn Independence—Independence of Friends and Foes. You know what I mean. “Monsieur, votre Fermetè a fait un tres bon effet ici”—has been repeated to me, more than once. “Monsieur, vous avez frappè le plus grand Coup de tout l'Europe. Cette Evenement fait un honneur infini a Mr: Adams. C'est lui qui a effrayè les Anglomans et rempli cette Nation d'enthousiasm &c:” These are Confessions “arracheés”—and therefore more delicious.4
I am now upon extreme good terms with the Ministers of France and Spain. I dine with both and they dine with me &c: And I meet the whole Corps Diplomatique at their Houses, as well as at Court: and might meet them, every morning, at certain Rendezvous's of Intelligence, and, every evening, at an Assembly at Cards, if I had not something else to do.

[salute] Adieu, my dear friend. Write me as often as you can.

RC in Charles Storer's hand (MHi: Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr Adams's letter Dated 17th. Septr: 1782 recd. 7/18 Octr:”
{ 473 }
1. JA's last letter was of 7 Aug., above.
2. JA is responding to newspaper accounts of Russian troop movements and military operations in the Crimea (Gazette d'Amsterdam, 10, 17 Sept.). The first report, probably the one JA refers to here, attributed the revolt not to any sudden discontent, but to foreign machinations. See, however, JA's letter of 29 Sept. to Dana, and note 2, and Dana's response of 18 Oct., both below, to the questions raised in this letter and that of the 29th.
3. In fact, the treaty was not signed until 8 Oct., above.
4. This is another of JA's numerous reiterations, some in English and others in French, of the comments by the Spanish minister to the Netherlands at a dinner hosted by the Duc de La Vauguyon on 23 April (vol. 12:445, 452, 468, 469; AFC, 4:338–339).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0203

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-09-17

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

This morning I was in Conference with Mr: Fagel in order to make the last Corrections in the Language of the Treaty which is to be executed in English and Dutch as that with the Crown of France was in English and French. We have now, I hope, agreed upon every word if not every point, and nothing remains but to make five fair Copies of it for signature, which, however, is no little labour. The Secretery thinks he shall accomplish them in the Course of this Week and part of the next, so that they may be signed by the latter end of next week, or perhaps the middle. The Secretary, who has always been complaisant, was more so than ever today. He congratulated me upon the prospect of a speedy conclusion of this matter; hoped it would be highly beneficial to both Nations; and that our Posterity might have Cause to rejoice in it, even more than We. He says the Usage is, for two Deputies to sign it, on the part of Holland, and one on the part of each other Province, so that there will be eight Signers in behalf of the Republick.
It is now nearly five Months since I was publicly recd: and proposed a project of a Treaty. All this time it has taken the several Provinces and Cities, to examine, make their Remarks and fresh Propositions and bring the matter to a Conclusion. It would not have been so long however, if the Court had been delighted with the business. But, in a Case where Unanimity was requisite and the Court not pleased, it was necessary to proceed with all the Softness, Caution and Prudence, possible, that no ill humours might be stirred. Yet in a Case, where the Nations heart is so engaged, in which, its Commerce and Love of Money, is so interested, what wretched Policy is it, in this Court, to shew even a lukewarmness, much more an aversion. Yet such is the Policy, and such it will be. The Prince of Orange is, to all appearance, as incurable as George the third, his Cousin.
{ 474 }
I was afterwards an hour with the French Ambassador, at his house. He tells me, his last Letter fm: the Comte de Vergennes says, he has yet seen no appearance of Sincerity, on the part of the British Ministry, in the Negotiations for Peace. Of this, Congress will be easily convinced by the Copies I have transmitted of the Commissions of Mr: Fitzherbert and Oswald.1 The Subject of our Conversation was the means of getting out the Dutch-Fleet, which is now in the Texel, although the British fleet, under Milbank, is returned to Portsmouth, and probably sailed, with Lord Howe for Gibralter. I asked the Duke where is the combined Fleet? His last Accounts were, that they were off Cape Ortugal, endeavoring to get round Cape Finisterre to Cadiz. He speaks of it, as doubtful, whether they will give battle to Lord Howe, because, the Spanish Ships, with an equal number of Guns, are of a smaller Calebre than the English. But hopes that the blow will be struck before Howe arrives. The means of getting the Fleet out of the Texel, to intercept a fleet of English Ships from the Baltic, came next under Consideration. But the Wind is not fair. It might have gone out, but they had not Intelligence. I asked who it was that governed Naval Matters? He answered, the Prince. But surely the Prince must have some assistance—some confidential Minister, Officer, Clerk, Secretary or Servant. If he were a Solomon he could not manage the Fleet and the whole system of Intelligence, and orders concerning it, without aid. He said, it is the College of the Admiralty, and sometimes Mr: Bisdom, who is a good man, and sometimes Mr: Vander Hope, who may be a good man—he has sense and art, but is suspected. Very well, says I, Mr: Bisdom and Mr: Vander Hope, ought to be held responsible, and the Eyes of the Public ought to be turned towards them and they ought to satisfy the Public. The Duke said, the Prince is afraid of the Consequences. He knows, that the sensations of the People are very lively, at present, and nobody knows what may be the Consequence of their getting an opinion, that there has been Negligence or any thing worse, which may have prevented them fm. striking a blow. I asked, if they had any plan for obtaining Intelligence, the Soul of War, from England? He said the Grand Pensionary told him he paid very dear for Intelligence.
However, I cannot learn, and do not believe that they have any rational plan for obtaining Intelligence, necessary from every Quarter, as they ought. They should have Intelligence from every Seaport in France, England, Scotland, Germany, and all round the Baltic—and they should have light Frigates and small Vessells out. But { 475 } when War is unwillingly made, every thing is not done. The next Subject was the Proposition from Amsterdam for renewing the Concert of Operations for next Campaign.
Congress may hear of some further plans for a seperate Peace, between Holland and England, but they will not succeed. The Republick will stand firm, tho' it will not be so active as we could wish, and the Concert of operations will be renewed.

[salute] I have the honor, to be, Sir, Your humle: servt.

[signed] J. Adams
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 173–175).
1. JA included the text of Fitzherbert's 24 July commission in his letter of 18 Aug. to Livingston, above, and Oswald's 25 July commission in his letter of 16 Sept. (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 169–172). For the text of Oswald's commission see Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:613–614. JA included the 16 Sept. letter among those that he sent to the Boston Patriot, where it appeared on 29 June 1811. But see Oswald's second commission, dated [21 Sept.], below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0204

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-09-17

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

You will naturally enquire, whether the Neutral Powers will continue their Neutrality, or whether the Neutral Confederacy will be broken?
No certain Answer can be given to these Questions. We must content ourselves with probabilities, which are strong for the Continuance of the Neutrality. Who indeed should break it? The Emperor was thought to be the most unlikely Potentate to accede to it; but he has acceaded and has taken several Steps, which prove that he will not break it, at least by leaning towards England. Sweeden is the steady Friend of France. Prussia, whose Inclinations and Affections are certainly towards France and Holland, and alienated from England, would certainly at this age of Life, be too cautious a Politician to wage War for England against the Houses of Bourbon and Austria, Holland and America.
There remains only Russia and Denmark. What can Russia do? This is a maritime War. She can't assist the English with Land-Forces, and an hundred thousand Men would do no good to England on Land. Her boasted Fleet added to that of England would only weaken it, for several Reasons—among The rest, because England must maintain it with Money, if not with Officers and Men—for Cash is wanted in Russia. Denmark remains but what can She do? Her Islands in the West Indies and her Trade are at Mercy, and She { 476 } would not have force enough to defend her own, much less to assist England, if She should declare War.
A Doctrine prevails, that an Acknowledgment of the Independence of America is an Hostility against England, and consequently a Breach of the Neutrality. Our Friends have sometimes favored this Idea. The Duke de la Vauguyon has often expressed this Sentiment to me, and, if I am not mistaken, the Marquis de Verac has said the same to Mr. Dana. If this Opinion is not clear, it is very impolitic to favor it. The Court of France in their public memorials have denied it, and it would be difficult to prove it, either by the Law or Practice of Nations. Sending or recieving Ambassadors; entering into peaceful Commercial Treaties, or at least negotiating at Philadelphia the Rights of Neutral Nations, is not taking Arms against Great Britain.
But if the Acknowledgment of our Independence is an Hostility, a Denial of it is so too; and if the maritime Confederation forbids the one, it forbids both. None of the Neutral Nations can take the Part of Great Britain therefore, without breaking to Pieces that great System, which has cost so much Negotiation and embraces so great a part of Mankind. The Neutral Powers set so high a Value upon it, and indeed make so great a profit by it, that I Think none of them will take the Part of Great Britain. The Connections of the Duke Louis de Brunswick in Denmark and Russia, have set some little Machines in Motion partly to favor him, and partly to hold out an Appearance of something fermenting for the benefit of Great Britain: but these will never succeed so far as to draw any Nation into the War, or to incline this Republick to make a seperate Peace.
It is to this Source that I attribute certain Observations that are circulated in Pamphlets and in Conversation, that there is at present an Incoherence in the general System of Europe; that the Emperor has deranged the whole System of the Equilibrium of Europe, so that if ever the Northern Powers should think of stopping by a Confederation the Preponderance of the Southern Powers, Holland would be unable, on account of the Demolition of the Barriers, to acceed to that Confederation.
Mr. Magis, who has been eight and twenty Years Envoy at the Hague from the Bishop of Liege,1 and who converses more with all the foreign Ministers here than any other, has said to me not long since, “Sir, the Wheel rolls on too long and too rapidly one Way; it must roll back again somewhat to come to its proper Centre. The Power of the House of Bourbon rises, and that of Great Britain sinks too fast, and I believe the Emperor, altho' he seems perfectly { 477 } still at present, will come out at length, and take the greatest Part of any Power in the final Adjustment of Affairs.”
The Comte de Mirabel, the Sardinian Minister, said to me upon another Occasion, “Your Country, Sir, will be obliged, in the Vicissitudes of things, to wheel round and take the Part of England and such Allies as She may obtain, in order to form a proper Ballance in the World.” My Answer to both was, “these Sentiments betray a Jealousy of a too sudden Growth of the Power of the House of Bourbon: but whose fault is it if it is a Fact? (which it does not appear to be as yet) and whose fault will it be, if it should hereafter become a Fact? Why do the Neutral Powers stand still and see it, or imagine they see it, when it is so easy to put a stop to it? They have only to acknowledge American Independence, and then neither the House of Bourbon nor England will have a colourable Pretence for continuing the War, from which alone the Jealousy can arise.”
The Prince de Gallitzin said not long since, that the Conduct of this Republick, in refusing a seperate Peace &c he feared would throw all Europe into a War, there were so many Pretentions against England.
I quote these Sayings of foreign Ministers, because You express a Desire to hear them, and because they show all the Color of Argument in favor of England, that any body has advanced. All these Ministers allow, that American Independence is decided—even the Minister from Portugal within a few days said it to me expressly. It is therefore very unreasonable in them to grumble, at what happens merely in Consequence of thier Neutrality.2
It is the miserable Policy of the Prince of Orange's Councillors, as I suppose, which has set a few Springs in motion here. Mr. Markov, one of the Ministers of Russia, and Mr. St. Saphorin, Minister from Denmark, are the most openly and busily in favor of England. But if instead of endeavouring to excite Jealousies and foment Prejudices against the House of Bourbon, or Compassion towards England, they would endeavour to convince her of the Necessity of acknowledging American Independence, or to persuade the Neutral Powers to decide the Point, by setting the Example, they would really serve England, and the general Cause of Mankind. As it goes at present, their Negotiations serve no Cause whatever, that I can concieve of, unless it be that of the Duke of Brunswick, and in the End it will appear, that even he is not served by it.

[salute] I have the Honor to be Sir, your humble Servant.

[signed] J. Adams
{ 478 }
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 177–180); endorsed: “17th Sepr 1782.”
1. Liège's minister at The Hague was Paul Franz von Magis. He presented his credentials in Nov. 1754 and served until Sept. 1788 (Repertorium, 3:235).
2. See also JA's account of his conversations with various foreign ministers at a dinner at court on 13 Sept. (JA, D&A, 3:5–6).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0205

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-19

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I inclose herewith some Slips which came to Hand by the last Mail.1
A Letter from Mr L of the 7th Instant has the following Paragraph.
I have had the Honour of corresponding with Mr Adams, All is well, it could not be otherwise it cannot be otherwise, when Men are not determined to be Knaves or Fools.2
I am Happy to find Mr L satisfied with your Excellencys Conduct towards Him. I have sent the Copies of the Commissions to Paris to be delivered to Him should He pass through that City, but this does not seem probable, He having desired me to write to Him at Calais post restante. He means to avoid Paris if possible.

[salute] I have the Honour of being Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. These were JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American” and may have included those published in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer on 30 Aug. and 3 and 11 Sept. (vol. 9:550–553, 574–578, 571–574).
2. For Laurens' 7 Sept. letter and the use that he and Edmund Jenings made of it in the course of their dispute over the anonymous letters, see Laurens, Papers, 16:289.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0206

Author: Ridley, Matthew
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-20

From Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

I doubt not you have e'er this thought me slow in keeping the promise I made of writing to you. I have had many Reasons for defering it; but amongst others the desire of writing you with some certainty of the Tempers of People here. I have had one very serious Conversation with, J.1 He appears to me very desirous of seeing you—were it only for a few Hours—he says he has some Things to consult you upon that he cannot put to Paper. He dare not trust { 479 } them even with Cypher—They relate to opinions of I suppose both Men and Things and which he says must only be talkd of, not written. I proposed his taking a Trip to Bruxelles to meet you there, that I had a chaise at his service and would if he thought proper go with him. This he said he could not do without advising F. and V. The latter would certainly know where he was gone—he would be asking F. F. would not be able to tell him. And suspicions would immediately arise that seperate treaties or some Clandestine Work was going forward. He said he saw one inconvenience that might arise from your coming here—that of giving rise to speculations with respect to Peace. Still he wishd he could see you. I know you are much engaged; but if you cannot meet could not this difficulty about meeting be in some measure obviated thro' a mediate Person? Our Friend at Bruxelles would I am sure think nothing of a Trip to you both to be useful. My dear Sir, the present Moments are ticklish. It is with great Pleasure I find Mr. J—— firm. I wish however he was supported. Reneval is gone to England—not for any Good I believe.2 As a Negotiator he is not equal to it. To speak the words of another a mere repeating Machine very fit. I cannot for my part see what occasion France has to send any person to England. The English have come here for Peace to send there is rather relinquishing their superiority. I have an opinion V. is suspicious of too great an Intimacy with the English Commissioners here: and Indeed I have some Reason for thinking so. The departure of R was very private and sudden and entirely unknown to our Folks. There was a moment I beleive that the prospects of Peace were flattering. I do not think they remain so—on the contrary I beleive very little if any progress is made. If Gibraltar is taken it may make some difference: but between you and me I neither expect or wish it. I am firmly perswaded that every advantage gained to the S——ds will only tend to new demands from them and consequently more embarrass the business of Peace. I wish sincerely you knew all that is passing here.
I have enquired about the blank Commission you mentioned and am informed though not filled up it is promised.3 Application was made I beleive by Letter to Mr. J—— before he came here and personal application has been made since. Under such circumstances I am not surprized a promise was extorted W. T. F is the person.
Our Account with the French Court is adjusted. The King has given up all Interest due to this time and has taken all the Expences of the negotiation of the Dutch Loan on himself. All Gifts are de• { 480 } ducted from the amount and one Obligation given for the whole remainder to be paid by Installments in twelve Years—the first payment to commence in three Years after the making a Peace. The Debt is much less considerable than I expected; about twenty Eight millions of Livres including the Loan from Holland.4
The Marquis de La Fayette is still here. I do not beleive he intends out. Genl. du Portail and Colo. Guvyon have been waiting untill this time to go with him but the former told me the other day he should go out next Month whether the Marquis went or not and that indeed he had no expectation he would go. The Marquis also told me he was surprized he had not heard from you lately—He loves news and I have no doubt would be very glad to know what you are about. However a Line there now and then is not amiss.5 He has been very kind to Mr B.6 respecting the stores at Brest in endeavouring to procure for him the Assistance of Government in getting them away. Mr. B. set off for that place last night.
Os and Fitz are both here. Mr. Vaughan is returned to England. Mr L. is also going there on his way to America—Indeed I imagine he may be there before this. It is I find a Step not much approved of here. I wish it does not give rise to injurious Comments.
We have nothing new from America. The present Conversation is entirely engrossd about Gibraltar. The French and Spanish Fleets are sailed from Cadiz for Algeziras. I am told by those who know the situation this position will not prevent the English throwing in supplies it being more than cannon shot distance and as the combined fleet must lay at Anchor the English may run in and do their business without much danger.
We seem convinced here Vaudreuel is on our Coast—if he is we may expect some Arrivals soon. Should there be any news you shall have it. With kind Wishes I have the honor to be: respectfully sir Yr. &c.
You know my address. Can you send a Cyhr for Mr. J——?
It is necessary to observe to you that as Reneval went off Secretly no Body here seems to know of it—you will therefore take no notice about it.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Ridley 20 Septr 1782 ansd 29.”
1. This conversation occurred on 18 Sept., and the account given here follows very closely Ridley's journal entry for that date insofar as it concerned the proposed meeting between JA and Jay at Brussels. In the course of the conversation, Ridley also recommended Edmund Jenings to Jay as a “well informed Man and in whom he might confide every Thing and whose only wish was to serve his Country.” Ridley then asked Jay “if { 481 } he knew the cause of the difference between Mr A and Dr F. He said not.” Ridley proceeded to inform Jay “of it in the manner Mr A. had told it me—he seemed surprized” (MHi: Ridley Journal). Ridley's account of the “difference” between JA and Franklin was probably derived from his conversation with JA on 7 July, for which see Ridley's letter of 13 July, note 1, above.
2. JA may have learned of Gérard de Rayneval's mission to London unofficially from a newspaper account such as that in the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 20 Sept., but a more official notification came from the Duc de La Vauguyon, and, owing to the ambassador's explanation of its purpose, he did not share the apprehensions of the Americans in Paris (to Robert R. Livingston, 23 Sept.; to Ridley, 29 Sept. [2d letter], both below). Rayneval was sent principally to discuss with Shelburne the principles on which a peace settlement between Britain, France, and Spain would be based. However, the mission's secrecy led the American negotiators at Paris, particularly John Jay, to fear that Rayneval's intention was to encourage the British to refuse recognition of American fishing rights off Newfoundland or to agree to a western border on and free navigation of the Mississippi River. Such fears were heightened by the disclosure to John Jay by the British negotiators at Paris of an intercepted letter from François de Barbé-Marbois, secretary of the French legation in Philadelphia, to the Comte de Vergennes. There Barbé-Marbois dismissed the more expansive objectives contained in Congress' instructions to its negotiators and indicated French support for little more than recognition of American independence in any Anglo-American peace treaty (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 320–330; Murphy, Vergennes, p. 359). Had JA known of Barbé-Marbois' letter in September he too would have been concerned because it confirmed his suspicions of French policy toward the United States, but in the end Rayneval's mission had no tangible effect on the peace treaty.
3. This was the commission to be secretary of the peace commission. JA favored the appointment of Edmund Jenings, but in a conversation with Ridley at dinner on 5 Aug., JA indicated that he did not know if Franklin would agree or if Jenings would accept the position and asked Ridley “to sound Mr Jay on the subject” (MHi: Ridley Journal).
4. Ridley's journal entry for 18 Sept. indicates that Benjamin Franklin informed him that day of the contract signed on 16 July by himself and the Comte de Vergennes, setting down the conditions under which the United States would repay the loans that it had received from France, including the one guaranteed by France and raised in the Netherlands (vol. 12:94). The agreement was ratified by Congress on 22 Jan. and France on 21 Dec. 1783 (Miller, Treaties, 2:48–56). The account Ridley gives here is virtually the same as in his journal.
5. JA last wrote to Lafayette on 21 May, above, and, presumably responding to Ridley's advice, wrote next on 29 Sept., below. Lafayette's comment on JA's correspondence may have been made during his visit to Ridley on the evening of the 16th (MHi: Ridley Journal).
6. Thomas Barclay.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0207

Author: Ridley, Matthew
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-20

From Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

The present Letter is on a Subject, which, tho' in itself little interesting to others, is, to me, as desiring to retain your good opinion, much so. The Subject I allude to, is that of the Loan negotiated by me in Holland for the state of Maryland. I should be sorry, after the repeated proofs I received of confidence and politeness from you, that you should conceive me reserved and close—yet such are the present appearances of that business; and therefore I wish to explain to you why, I said so little on the Subject. It was one of the { 482 } Conditions on the part of Messrs. Van Staphorst, who negotiated this Affair, that I should communicate to no Person whatever, that it was seriously in Agitation, as they had in contemplation making an application to the City to Interest themselves in it. When I applied to you to authenticate the papers, your extreme delicacy in asking me no Questions prevented mine being hurt, and saved me much embarrassment.1 Had you acted otherways it must have distressed me; for I assure you my good Sir, I have yet to learn the Art of lying. This is the actual State of the matter; and I flatter myself will exculpate me in your Mind for any seeming reserve.
With respect to the manner in which this business was undertaken. I must inform you, I took every precaution to prevent it in any manner impedeing the Continental Loan and wrote the Gentlemen on that Subject before putting it into their Hands. I had always declared I would do nothing for a particular state that might injure the whole: and in the present instance was cautious to allow no more Interest or Commission for negotiation than had been agreed upon for the Continent. Indeed when the nature of the business I did is maturely considered, it is more of the Commercial than public kind. I contracted for a quantity of Tobacco at a certain price and in certain modes of delivery, in consequence of which, the Gentlemen agreed to advance me a certain Sum of Money and to endeavour to procure for me what farther sum I wanted, so far as the Funds I made by contracting for the Tobacco, would answer to.
I have given you the trouble of this Letter, not that I have any Reason to suppose you think amiss of any thing I did; but desirous as I am of retaining your good opinion and esteem, I could not reconcile to my self the leaving unexplained any part of my Conduct, which might, in Minds less Candid than I know yours to be, have a misterious appearance.

[salute] With best wishes for your health, and begging you to accept my sincere Thanks for the repeated Marks of Civility I received under your Roof, I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Your most Obedient and most humble servant

[signed] Matt: Ridley
Chez Messrs. Le Couteulx & Co. Banquiers a Paris
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Ridley. 20. Septr. recd 28. Ansd 29. 1782.”
1. See the 7 Sept. 1782 letter from Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0208

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-21

From Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

[salute] Sir

The 13th. Instt. we had the honour of waiting on your Excellency last, which we do confirm, and have now to acquaint your Excellency that our Petition to the Regency of this Town, relative to the Maryland Loan, notwithstanding the favourable Report of the Committee, has been declined by the majority of a few Voices in the Council, who unhappily has not been very numerous.
Your Excellency will easily perceive that of consequence there will be now no occasion for making the Same motion in behalf of the General Loan for the United States of America; for which we are exceeding Sorry, as no doubt it would have given a great weight to the American Credit, at least have raisen it the Sooner.
We have now resolved to open the Loan for the State of Maryland yesterday, agreable to the inclosed Advertisements,1 and flatter ourselves, that as it is but a Small Sum of money, it will be Soon compleated.

[salute] With the greatest respect we have the honour to be Sir! Your Excellency's most obedt. & humble Servants

[signed] Nichs. & Jacob van Staphorst & Co
1. The enclosures have not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0209

Author: George III
Recipient: Oswald, Richard
Date: 1782-09-21

Richard Oswald's Commission to Negotiate a Peace Treaty

George the third, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith and soforth, To our trusty and well beloved Richard Oswald of our City of London Esquire, Greeting; Whereas by Virtue of an Act pass'd in the last Session of Parliament intitled an Act to enable his Majesty to conclude a Peace or Truce with certain Colonies in north America therein mention'd, It is recited that it is essential to the Interest Wellfare and prosperity of Great Britain and the Colonies or Plantations of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, { 484 } in north America, that Peace, Intercourse, Trade and Commerce shou'd be restored between them, Therefore, and for a full manifestation of our earnest wish and Desire, and of that of our Parliament, to put an End to the Calamities of War, it is enacted, that it should and might be lawfull for us to treat, consult of, agree and conclude with any Commissioner, or Commissioners named or to be named by the said Colonies or Plantations, or any of them respectively, or with any Body or Bodies corporate or politic, or any Assembly or Assemblies, or Description of men, or any Person, or Persons whatsoever a Peace or a Truce with the said Colonies or Plantations, or any of them, or any part or parts thereof, Any Law, Act or Acts of Parliament, matter or thing to the contrary, any wise notwithstanding: Now know ye, that we reposing especial Trust in your Wisdom, Loyalty, Diligence and Circumspection, in the management of the Affairs to be hereby committed to your Charge, Have nominated and appointed, constituted and assign'd, and by these presents Do nominate and appoint, constitute and assign you the said Richard Oswald to be our Commissioner in that Behalf, to use and exercise all and every the Powers and Authorities, hereby entrusted and committed to you the said Richard Oswald; and to do, perform and execute all other matters and things hereby enjoin'd and committed to your care during our Royal Will and Pleasure, and no longer, according to the Tenor of these our Letters Patent And it is our Royal Will and Pleasure, and We do hereby authorize empower and require you the said Richard Oswald, to treat consult of and conclude with any Commissioners or Persons vested with equal Powers, by and on the part of the Thirteen United States of America,2 Viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and, Georgia in North America, a Peace, or a Truce with the said thirteen United States, any Law, Act or Acts of Parliament matter or thing to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding; And it is our further Will and Pleasure that every Regulation, Provision, matter or thing which shall have been agreed upon between you the said Richard Oswald, and such Commissioners or Persons as aforesaid, with whom you shall have judged meet and sufficient to enter into such Agreement, shall be fully and distinctly set forth in writing, and authenticated by your hand and Seal on one side; and by the hands and Seals of such Commissioners or Persons on the other; and such Instrument so authenticated shall be by you transmitted { 485 } to us through one of our principal Secretaries of State, And it is our further Will and Pleasure that you the said Richard Oswald shall promise and engage for us, and in our Royal Name and Word that every Regulation, Provision, matter or thing, which may be agreed to, and concluded by you our said Commissioner, shall be ratified and confirmed by us, in the fullest manner and extent, and that We will not suffer them to be violated or counteracted either in whole or inpart, by any Person whatsoever, And We do hereby require and command all our Officers, Civil and military, and all other our loving Subjects whatsoever, to be aiding and assisting unto you the said Richard Oswald in the Execution of this our Commission, and of the Powers and Authorities herein contain'd. Provided allways, and We do hereby declare and ordain, that the several Offices Powers and Authorities hereby granted shall cease determine and become utterly null and void, on the first day of July which shall be in the year of our Lord, One thousand, seven hundred and eighty three, although We shall not otherwise in the mean time have revoked and determined the Same: And whereas, In and by our Commission and Letters Patent under our Great Seal of Great Britain, bearing Date the seventh day of August last We nominated and appointed, constituted and assigned you the said Richard Oswald to be our Commissioner to treat, consult of, agree and conclude, with any Commissioner or Commissioners, named or to be named by certain Colonies or Plantations in America therein specified, a Peace or a Truce with the said Colonies or Plantations, Now know ye, that We have revoked and determin'd, and by these presents do revoke and determine our said Commission and Letters patent, and all and every Power, Article and thing therein contained. In Witness whereof, We have caused these our Letters to be made patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster the Twenty first day of September, in the Twenty second year of our Reign.
By the King himself.
[signed] Yorke
Paris 9th Novemr 1782. The foregoing is a true Copy, delivered to John Adams Esqr—Richard Oswald.
MS (Adams Papers). Filmed at 9 Nov., Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 359.
1. Oswald received this, his second commission, on 27 Sept. (from John Jay, 28 Sept., Adams Papers). A copy of Oswald's first commission, dated 25 July, was sent to JA by John Jay on 1 Sept., above. Then, on 16 Sept., JA sent Robert R. Livingston the text of Oswald's commission (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 169–172||; LbC, Adams Papers||).
2. Compare Oswald's authorization to negotiate with the “Thirteen United States of America” here with the corresponding passage from his 25 July commission quoted in note 1 to John Jay's letter of 1 Sept., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-09-23

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

As this is a moment of great Expectation, News, of the greatest Importance from the East-Indies, from the West-Indies and North-America fm. Gibralter, from Lord Howe's Fleet and the combined Fleet, being hourly looked for, I took this opportunity, to return to the Spanish minister a visit which I owed him.
He told me that he trembled for the news, we should have from Gibralter. I asked him if he thought there would be a battle at Sea. He answered Yes. He believed the combined fleet would meet Lord Howe and give him battle: I said, that in this Case it would probably be but a running fight. His Lordship's object was to protect his Convoy and get into the Port, and he would not stop to fight more than should be unavoidable. D. Llano however said, that he believed the fate of Gibralter would be decided before Howe could arrive, either the place taken or the Assault given over: By his advices, the Attack was to begin the 4th. or 5th. of September. Howe sailed the twelfth and would be probably twenty days, at least, on his way, which would leave a Space of 27. or 28 days for the Attack, which wd. decide it, one way or the other.
I did not think it proper to tell him my own apprehensions, and I wish I may be mistaken but I have no Expectation at all, in my own mind that the combined fleet will meet Howe; that there will be any naval Engagement, or that Gibralter will surrender.1 They will make a horrid noise, with their Artillery, against the place; but this noise will not terrify Elliot,2 and Gibralter will remain to the English another year, and Lord Howe return to England, and all Europe will laugh. England, however, if she were wise would say, what is sport to you, is death to us, who are ruined by these Expences. The earnest Zeal of Spain to obtain that impenetrable Rock, what has it not cost the House of Bourbon this war? And what is the importance of it? A mere point of honor!—a trophy of Insolence to England and of humiliation to Spain! It is of no Utility, unless as an Assylum for Privateers, in time of war: for it is not to be supposed that the Powers of Europe, now that the freedom of Commerce is so much esteemed, will permit, either England or Spain, to make use of this fortress and Assylum, as an Instrument, to exclude any Nation from the Navigation of the Mediterranean.
From the Hotel d'Espagne, I went to that of France, and the { 487 } Duke de la Vauguyon informed me, that he had a letter fm. the Comte de Vergennes informing him, that he had received, in an indirect manner, a set of Preliminary Propositions, as from the British Ministry, which they were said to be ready to sign. That he had sent M. de Rayneval to London, to know with certainty, whether those Preliminaries came from proper Authority or not.
Thus we see, that two Ministers from England and another from Holland are at Paris to make Peace. The Comte D'Aranda is said too to have powers to treat on the part of Spain—Mr: Franklin and Mr: Jay are present on the part of the United States, and Mr: Gerard de Rayneval is at London. Yet, with all this, the British Ministry have never yet given any proof of their Sincerity, nor any Authority to any one to treat with the United States. I believe the British Ministry even my Lord Shelburne would give such powers, if he dared. But they dare not. They are afraid of the King, of the old Ministry and a great party in the Nation, irritated every moment by the Refugees, who spare no pains and hesitate at no impostures to revive offensive hostilities in America. If Gibralter should be relieved and their fleets should arrive from the West-Indies and the Baltick, and they should not have any very bad news from the East-Indies, the nation will recover from its fright, occasioned by the loss of Cornwallis, Minorca, and St: Kitts, and the Ministry will not yet dare to acknowledge American Independence. In this Case, Mr: Fox and Mr: Burk will lay their foundation of Opposition, and the State of the Finances, will give them great weight. But the Ministry will find means to provide for another Campaign.
But to return to the Duke de la Vauguyon, who informed me further, that he had received Instructions, to propose to the Prince of Orange a new plan of Concert of Operations, viz, That the Dutch Fleet, or, at least, a detachment of it, should now, in the absence of Lord Howe, sail from the Texel to Brest and join the French Ships there, in a Cruize, to intercept the British West-India Fleet. The Prince does not appear pleased with the Plan. He has not yet accepted it. The Grand Pensionary appears to approve it and support it with warmth. There is now a fine opportunity for the Dutch fleet to strike a blow, either alone, upon the Baltick fleet, or in conjunction with the French, or even alone upon the West-India Fleet. But the main Spring of the Machine is broken or unbent. There is neither Capacity, nor good-will, among those who direct the Navy.3
At dinner, in the course of the day, with Mr: Gyzelaear, Mr: Vischer, and a number of the Co-Patriots, at the Hotel de Dort, they { 488 } lamented this incurable misfortune. Some of them told me, that the Sums of money, granted and expended upon their marine, ought to have produced them 120. Vessells of War, of all sizes, whereas they have not one quarter of the number. They have no more than 12 of Line in the Texell, reckoning in the number, two Fiftys: and they have not more than six or seven in all the Docks of Amsterdam, Zealand the Maes and Friesland, which can be ready next Year.4

[salute] I have the honor to be, Sir, Your humbl: Servt.

[signed] J. Adams
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 181–184); endorsed: “From Mr J Adams Dated Hague 23d: Septr. 1782.”
1. JA's pessimism over the prospects for a Franco-Spanish victory at Gibraltar proved justified. Indeed, the issue already had been decided, for on 13 Sept. the British garrison repelled the attack of the combined forces and destroyed all the floating batteries constructed to support the assault. The 16 Oct. arrival of Admiral Howe's fleet and supply ships to relieve the fortress, therefore, was almost anticlimactic; as JA predicted, the combined Franco-Spanish fleet was unable or unwilling to bring Howe to battle. Although Spain continued the siege, it did so without French assistance and, unless Britain was willing to cede Gibraltar for equivalent cessions from Spain, without any real prospect of obtaining it in any peace settlement. In December Spain abandoned its claim (Mackesy, War for America, p. 482–484, 506–508; Murphy, Vergennes, p. 352–367; Morris, Peacemakers, p. 404).
2. Gen. George Augustus Eliot, who had served as governor of Gibraltar since 1775 and would be created Lord Heathfield, Baron of Gibraltar, in 1784 for his successful defense (DNB).
3. JA's account of the French proposals is correct, but so too are his doubts about Dutch willingness to agree to combined operations (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 309). The Gazette d'Amsterdam of 1 Oct., in a report dated 29 Sept. at The Hague, indicated that La Vauguyon had met with deputies of the States General to discuss the current campaign and to renew the “Plan de Concert” for the next year's operations.
4. For the Dutch order of battle as of 1 April 1782, which is essentially in accord with the figures given here, see Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 376.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0211

Author: Dartmouth College, Trustees of
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-24

From the Trustees of Dartmouth College

[salute] Sir

Though we have not the honor to be personally acquainted with you, yet, from your extensive character, we have the happiness to know your Excellency to be a friend to knowledge, as well as freedom.
Your abelities being so adequate to the gratefication of your benevolence, is a consideration attended with a very sensable pleasure, while we address you on a subject, that comprehends much of the happiness of the human species.
We beg leave, Sir, to recommend to your friendly notice, attention, and patronage, the honorable John Wheelock Esquire, the { 489 } worthy President of this Institution; (accompanied by Mr. James Wheelock) and the very liberal design, which is, by our particular request, the object of his attention.1 You will perceive, Sir, the measure is favored by all the influence of the first characters now in America. And permit us to refer you for the further particulars of it to our agent, and to the articles, contained in the recommendation.

[salute] We have the honor to be with highest sentements of respect, Sir, Your Excellencys most obliged, obedient, and humble Servants, Signed by order of the board of Trustees,

[signed] Beza Woodward Secretary
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Trustees of Dartmouth Colledge Septr. 24. 1783. ansd. Feb. 25.”; in another hand: “1783.”
1. John Wheelock (1754–1817) succeeded his father, Eleazar, Dartmouth's founder, as president in 1779. He and his brother James were embarking on a trip to raise funds, a venture that achieved only limited success (DAB). In his reply of 25 Feb. 1783, JA informed the trustees he had met Wheelock at Paris and had provided him with letters of introduction to individuals at The Hague and Amsterdam (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:44). The trustees sent a similar letter to Benjamin Franklin (Franklin, Papers, vol. 38).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0212

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-25

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I did not receive any Slips by the two last Posts.
I am particularly obliged to your Excellency for your Favor of the 16th. Instant. The Dutchman Compliment was really polite the Sentiments of certain public Characters relative to the American Independance lead to something Substantial.
I find it is the wish of some to see the letters now publishing in the news papers collected in a Pamphlet. If you, Sir, approve it, is there any corrections and alterations that you may be inclined to make, if you chuse to transmit them to me, they shall be conveyed to the Amateurs.1
Give me leave to beg of your Excellency to send the inclosed by the first Opportunity.2

[salute] I have the Honour of being Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American,” then appearing in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, were never collected and published in a pamphlet, but see JA's reply of 27 Sept., below.
2. In his reply, JA indicated that the enclosures were letters, but they have not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0213

Author: Lincoln, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-25

From Benjamin Lincoln

[salute] Sir

Congress, a few days since, received your letter of the 19 of April last1 which announced to them that you had been received by the States General of the United provinces in the quality of Minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America—an event interesting and important—besides a participation in the general joy occasioned hereby my private feelings are perfectly gratified that through your agency this interesting connexion has been so happily effected.
From the Secretary of foreign affairs you will receive the State of our public matters in this quarter. I cannot however refrain mentioning to you that we have now a better army in the field than ever before. The Troops are exceedingly well clothed and their discipline nearly perfect.
A few days since they turned out to receive Count Rochambeau, whose Army from Virginia is just joining ours at the Hudson.2 When the parade was over, he was pleased to say to His Excellency General Washington that he had “passed thro' a Prussian Army.”
Perfect harmony subsists between the Armies of the two Nations the Blood they spill together cements the Union, and there is no other contest between them, than who shall excell in the field and in acts of real friendship and generosity. Congress has ordered me to prepare and lay before them a State of the pay rations and subsistance of the Officers and Men in the Armies of the different powers in Europe. As these often vary, I have no means of procuring the necessary information with accuracy from any books I have seen, I am under the necessity therefore of requesting that your Excellency would be so good as to procure and forward to me the State of the pay rations and Subsistance of the Officers and Men in the Service of the States General, of Prussia, Russia and of the other Northern powers.3
I was in the Massachusetts last Spring. I had then the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Adams and your family well. My compliments to Mr. Thaxter, his father unfortunately a few months since broke one of his legs but is doing well. He has lost his young friend Thomas Barker and Couzin Joshua, the Doctor, his little Son.4

[salute] I have the Honour to be with great respect Yr. Excellencys mt. obed. Servant

[signed] B Lincoln
{ 491 }
1. The letter of 19 April (vol. 12:420–428) arrived on 11 Sept. (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 41), for which seeRobert R. Livingston's letter of 15 Sept., above.
2. Rochambeau reached Washington's headquarters at Verplanck's Point, N.Y., on 14 September. For an account of his reception, see The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 17451799, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, 39 vols., Washington, D.C., 1931–1944, 25:157–158.
3. On 6 Nov. JA wrote to Lincoln that the information would be difficult to obtain quickly, but that he would attend to it as soon as possible; on the 8th he requested C. W. F. Dumas to undertake the task (both LbC, Adams Papers).
4. Thomas Barker, brother of Dr. Joshua Barker of Hingham, Mass., died on 14 August. Dr. Barker's two-year-old son, Joshua Thomas Barker, died the previous day (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols., Cambridge, 1893, 2:22, 23; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 18:8–10).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0214

Author: Morris, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-25

From Robert Morris


[salute] Sir

I do myself the Honor to enclose for your Perusal Acts of Congress of the twenty seventh of November and third of December 1781, and the fourteenth and twenty third Instant.1 In Consequence I have to request that all Bills hitherto drawn by Authority of Congress be paid, and the Accounts of those Transactions closed. After this is done, and I hope and beleive that while I am writing this Letter it may have been already accomplished, you will be freed from the Torment and Perplexity of attending to Money Matters. I am persuaded that this Consideration will be highly pleasing to you, as such Things must necessarily interfere with your more important Attentions.
I have long since requested the Secretary of foreign Affairs to desire you would appoint an Agent or Attorney here to receive and remit your Salary, which will be paid quarterly: in the mean Time it is paid to him for your Use.2 As to any contingent Expenses which may arise, I shall readily make the necessary Advances upon Mr Livingston's Application. These Arrangements will I hope be both useful and agreable to you.

[salute] I am, Sir, With perfect Respect Your Excellency's Most obedient & humble Servant

[signed] Robt Morris
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Morris 25 Septr. 1782.”; enclosure endorsed: “Resolutions of Congress 27 Nov. 1781. Financeir to take all Loans.”
1. The enclosure was an extract from the minutes by Congress, attested to by its secretary Charles Thomson. The resolves of 27 Nov. and 3 Dec. 1781 gave the superintendent of finance the authority to manage and dispose of loans or other monies obtained in Europe for the use by the United States, subject to Congress' appropriation. The re• { 492 } solve of 14 Sept. informed Congress' diplomats in Europe that the superintendent of finance was responsible for the management and disbursement of money obtained in Europe, according to Congress' appropriations. The resolve of 23 Sept. consisted of additional instructions to Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul general in France, specifically directing him to desist from spending public money for clothing or other effects without the specific direction of Congress or the superintendent of finance (JCC, 21:1142, 1149–1150; 23:576, 595).
2. For Robert R. Livingston's requests to JA that he appoint an agent, see his letters of 22 May, and note 5, and 29 Aug, both above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0215

Author: Morris, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-25

From Robert Morris

[salute] Sir

Your letter of the 22nd April has been delivered to me by Mr. Peter Paulus1 to whom I shall most chearfully Afford such advice or countenance as he may stand in need of. But it seems this Gentlemans wants are not confined to those Points, he applies to me for a Supply of Money to set up his Trade, I have explained that your desires in his favor do not extend to the advance of Money, and I am exposed by my Station to too many such Applications, they have indeed proved extreamly inconvenient and I am compelled to resist them all in my Power, it is probable that I shall be obliged to Number this Gentleman in the list of those whose Necessities encrease my advances.
I congratulate your Excellency most Sincerely on the event of the 19th April from which I hope and expect that our Country will derive essential benefits.

[salute] With great Respect and Esteem I have the Honor to be Your Excellencys most obedient & hble Servt:

[signed] Robt Morris
1. See JA to Benjamin Rush, 22 April 1782, and note 1 (vol. 12:443–445).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0216

Author: Valltravers, Rodolph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-25

From Rodolph Valltravers

[salute] Sir

Just returned from a Tour through Hungaria, I have the Satisfaction of recieving your very Kind Favor of Augt. the 18th. inclosed in Mr. Bosset's Letter, the Resident of two german Courts at the Hague,1 whose ill-grounded Scruples have been the Cause of the long Detention of mÿ preceding application to Your Excellency, of april 11th. from Münich.2 I am happy to hear from your own honored Self, the final Reception of mÿ Letter, along with the Speedy Conveÿance of its Contents to Mr. H. Laurens, at Nantes, for which { 493 } please to accept mÿ warmest Thanks. Not having, as yet, had the Pleasure of hearing from that worthy Patriote, I this Day write to him again, under Cover of the Widow Babut & Des bouchéres, at Nantes, to inform him of the present Place of my abode, and of mÿ Direction, under Cover A Monsr. le Baron de Fichtel, Agent du St. Empire Romain, á Vienne.
Alltho' my Law-Suite against a great Knave of a Debtor, now in this Capital be likely decided next Week, I shall not stirr from hence, before I am honored with Yr. Exc's. or Mr. Laurens's Commands, that I maÿ direct my steps accordingly, towards the latter End of next Month.
Previous to my Return to Switzerland, mÿ native Country, it might perhaps not be improper to visit Venice, to Sound the Dispositions of its Leaders, concerning the american independent and united States, and to laÿ a proper Foundation for a political, as well as a mercantile Connection with that respectable Free-State. The whole with the utmost Prudence and Secrecy, when Authorised, and Supported thereunto by Congress.
An immediate, direct, and free Intercourse with that maritime Commonwealth would pave the Waÿ to other Connections with Genoa, with Lucca, with Florence and Leghorne, with Naples and Sicily, with Turky and the Levant, with Trieste and Fiume, and give great Weight to any Subsequent Négociation with the Cantons of Switzerland; if it was but for their pecuniarÿ present Assistence. These, Yr. Exccy. Knows, are objects of no small Moment, which I have given due Attention to; and in which, I may flatter my self, from my local Knowledge of those several states, their Language, Policies, Laws, and Circumstances, to render our great Cause of publick Liberty, no small Services, when approved of, and encouraged thereto by Superior Comand.
Happy, if by the Exertion of my poor abilities, with indefatigable Zeal, Fidelitÿ and Attachment, I can further entitle my self to Yr. Excy's. Kind Esteem and Protection.
[signed] Rodh. Valltravers
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Valtravers.”; in another hand: “Septr 25th 1782.”
1. Baron Georges François Bosset de la Rochette over his career represented a number of German states at The Hague. Currently he was serving Baden (-Durlach) and Brandenburg-Ansbach (-Bayreuth) (Repertorium, 3:13, 30–31).
2. See JA's letter to Henry Laurens of 18 Aug, and note 1, above, for JA's letter to Valltravers of 18 Aug., not found, as well as for Valltravers' letter to JA of 11 April (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-09-27

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Yours of 25: is just come to hand. The Letters inclosed shall be sent, with mine.
As to publishing the Letters in a Pamphlet, I have no Objection provided no Name is mentioned. But there is one Alteration necessary which runs throughout. They are now printed as if written by and Englishman. So that, England, Englishmen Britain Britons &c ought to be substituted instead of “We,” “Us,” &c. As they are announced to be by an American they ought to be consistent, in the style.
As to Corrections and Alterations, there are certain grammatical Incorrectnesses, owing to haste which a School Boy, would not commit deliberately. They were neither 9 Years in Writing nor correcting. If any one thinks them worth it, I have no objection to reprinting them. But I should think the true dates better than the supposed ones. I have not the Time to meddle with them, any more.
There are, Somewhere in Existence 30 Letters written to Mr Calkoen of Amsterdam near two Years ago, in answer to as many Questions which he put to me, about American affairs which I Should be glad to have preserved, as they will be sometime or other, not from any intrinsick Merit in them, but merely on Account of the Effect they had. They were communicated to a Society of forty Gentlemen of Letters in Amsterdam—and out of them was composed a Comparison between the Dutch Revolution and ours which was read in the Same society and contributed Somewhat to open the Eyes of People in this Country, and to our final success. But there is no need of Haste in this matter.1
If an Historian Should ever arrise, who shall think it worthwhile to compare my Negotiations here, with those of Mr Franklin and of Mr Dana, <and of Mr Jay> and perhaps of others and he Should be furnished with all the Documents which are in my Possession—he will reflect, that it is some times necessary and usefull to be “Assuming.” If After receiving Such Advice and Exhortations as I did, I had suspended opperations to request Instructions, I Should have been forbidden to do, what has been done, I should have been pegged like Ariel in a rifted oak, and this Country would now have been Seperately at Peace with England.
Thanks be to God, that he gave me Stubborness, when I know I { 495 } am right. Monsieur “Votre Fermete a fait un tres bon Effet ici” pronounced by the Same Personage who Spent five hours, to perswade me to be infirm a Year before, was a Confessien “Arrachee” that gave me Pleasure enough.2
I have Several Anecdotes to tell you, of Plans projected when our affairs were upon the critical turning Point here, which would even then have ruined Us forever, Plans projected, not I believe from ill design, at that time but merely from Indecision, Timidity Irresolution, wanting a clear Head, and a distinct View of the little nice Points upon which great affairs sometimes turn. Stubbornness, Obstinacy, L'Abondance dans Son Sens, et “L'Ignorance de se donner aux Convenances” came in Aid again and defeated all this little Plans, and Saved the American Cause here.
But now all is well Complaisance, Familiarity, Friendships and every Thing that is lovely.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams. Septr. 27h. 1782.”
1. JA's 1780 letters to the Amsterdam lawyer Hendrik Calkoen regarding the American Revolution (vol. 10:196–252) were not published in London until 1786, but for their complete publication history, see the editorial note accompanying them in vol. 10.
2. For JA's description of his meetings with the Duc de La Vauguyon on the 19th and 20th of April 1781, during which the French ambassador attempted to dissuade JA from presenting his 19 April memorial to the States General, see vol. 11:263–265.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0218

Author: Barclay, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-27

From Thomas Barclay

[salute] Dear Sir

I wrote you from Paris inclosing you a packet of great Consequence which I received from Mr Livingston, but for want of a Conveyance to please me, I put it into the hands of Mr. Jay who will take proper Care of it.1 I wish you had it, and if Mr. Jay had, when I was at Paris, any thing of much Consequence that he wou'd put on paper, I wou'd have sent the whole by Express. I am anxious about it, and I think at this time if it were possible that you and Mr. Jay Cou'd freely Communicate together it wou'd be much for the Advantage of our Country. I had some Conversation with him on this subject, and I am sure nothing wou'd give him more pleasure than a personal interview with you. I hinted the possibility of his meeting you at Brussells, but his situation will by no means admit of it. He says if he was not prevented by business he wou'd go to the Hague to see you. More particulars wou'd occur in two or three Conversations than a long Correspondence by letters Cou'd produce. When I left Paris Doctor Franklin Continued much indisposed with the { 496 } Gout and Gravel, and slept none at night, I think at his age such distempers are alarming, and he seems to be somewhat of the same opinion himself. I Came here to assist in forwarding to America about seven or eight Hundred Ton of supplies for our Army that have lain here several months, and I shall be obliged to go away without Effecting it. Exclusive of a scarcity of vessells there is a scarcity of money, we want the Court of France to do it, but I fear we shall have some difficulty in succeeding, However I shall do every thing that belongs to my part of the business. If it proves utterly Impossible to procure funds in France for the purpose, will you lend us some of yours to Effect it. Perhaps the Ratification of the Loan by Congress will have reach'd you, and that you will have the power of appropriating about one Hundred thousand florins to such a valuable end, as that of getting out so large a Quantity of Cloathing and other Articles as lye here, and as are wanted in America. I shall write to Doctor Franklin next post2 that I see no Certain way of forwarding them unless the Court of France step forward decidedly and do it, or enable me to do it. There is no news stirring that I know of, the St. James, Washington and Queen of France arrived at L'Orient in 34 days from Philadelphia, but I have not receivd my letters. If any thing worth Troubling you occurs on my arrival at L'Orient or at any time hence, you shall have it, mean time I remain with best wishes for your Health and happiness, and with Complims. to Mr. Dumass and Mr. Thaxter Sincerely Dear Sir your most obed Hume Serv.
[signed] Thos Barclay
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Barclay 27th April 1782.”
1. Barclay's letter of 4 Sept., above. For the material from Livingston enclosed with it, see note 1, and Livingston's letter to JA of 30 May, note 3, above.
2. On 30 Sept. (Franklin, Papers, vol. 38).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0219

Author: Morris, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-27

From Robert Morris


[salute] Sir

I do myself the Pleasure to congratulate you on the Success of your patriotic Labors in Holland. The general Tribute paid to your Abilities on this Occasion will so well dispense with the Addition of my feeble Voice that I shall spare your Delicacy the Pain of expressing my Sentiments.
The enclosed Resolutions and Copies of Letters will convey to { 497 } you so fully the Views of Congress, and explain so clearly my Conceptions on the Subject, that very little need to be added.1 If the Application to France should fail of Success, which I cannot permit myself to believe, you will then have a new Opportunity of shewing the Influence you have acquired over the Minds of Men in the Country where you reside, and of exerting it in the Manner most beneficial to our Country.
Before I conclude this Letter I must congratulate your Excellency on the Success of the Loan you have already opened, and which I consider as being by this Time compleated.

[salute] With perfect Respect I have the Honor to be Sir Your Excellency's most obedient & humble Servant

[signed] Robt Morris
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Morris Letter to me 27. Sept. 1782.”
1. The enclosure included three items. The first was Robert Morris' letter of 30 July to the president of Congress in which he presented his estimate that nine million dollars would be needed for expenditures in 1783 and that four million of that total should be borrowed (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:636–638). The second, attested to by Congress' secretary Charles Thomson, contained the text of three resolutions adopted on 14 Sept. and of another adopted on the 23d. The resolutions of the 14th authorized and directed Benjamin Franklin to obtain a loan of four million dollars from France, while that of the 23d directed him to do so despite the reservations expressed in his letters of 25 June to Livingston and Morris (JCC, 23:578–579, 595–596; Franklin, Papers, 37:535–544). The last enclosure was a copy of Morris' letter of 27 Sept. to Franklin informing him of Congress' actions and directing him to proceed with the loan (Franklin, Papers, vol. 38).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0220

Author: Rush, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-28

From Benjamin Rush

[salute] My dear friend

Accept of my congratulations upon the Success of your negociations at the Hague. Your countrymen are not insensible of your Zeal and industry in effecting the important event of a connection with the States of Holland. Our hearts vibrate with the hearts of those honest republicans whose petitions and memorials opened the eyes of their rulers to acknowledge our independance. The tories themselves express a Satisfaction in a Union with a nation of a religion, and of manners similar to those of the Americans. Blessed Union! founded in wisdom—policy—and interest! May it continue (to use an Indian phrase) while the Sun shines and the rivers flow.
Liberty and independance thrive in our country, and we every day become more and more unbritished in our laws—manners and ideas of every thing. Our habits are already those of old republicans, and { 498 } we talk of our constitutions as if they had been the legacies of our ancestors. The Order and tranquility which prevail every where among us would make a stranger beleive that he was in one of the best established governments in Europe. O! liberty—liberty who would follow thee blindfold!
The depradations upon our trade during the last year have prevented our paying the Sum demanded by congress last year in taxes. Philada has however paid its quota with a degree of punctuality and chearfulness that does honor the republican Spirit.
You will see in some of our papers published last Summer some essays upon a navy under the Signature of Leonidas that have been ascribed to me.1
The wealth—the Sense and the Virtue of Pensylvania have all come forth at last in favor of the revolution. The faction that usurped the power of the state in 1776 have become as contemptible as they were weak and wicked.2

[salute] With great respect I am my dear friend yours most sincerely

[signed] Benjn Rush
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Rush. Sept. 28. 1782 ansd. 7 Nov.”
1. Rush refers to his seven essays signed “Leonidas” that were published in the Pennsylvania Journal on 29 May; 19 June; 4, 10, 17, 31 July; and 14 August. The essay appearing on 4 July dealt specifically with the navy (Rush, Letters, 1:273–377).
2. Rush refers to the radical faction led by James Cannon, Timothy Matlack, and Dr. Thomas Young that produced the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution with its unicameral legislature. Both Rush and JA were highly critical of that document and those who produced it. On 19 May 1777 Rush wrote to Anthony Wayne that “Cannon, Matlack, and Dr. Young still hold back the strength of the state by urging the execution of their rascally government in preference to supporting measures for repelling the common enemy”; he took much the same line in a letter to JA on 24 Feb. 1790 (Rush, Letters, 1:107, 148–149, 532–536).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0221

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-09-29

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear sir

I received yesterday your favor of 26th. Augst: OS. with Duplicates and Triplicates of a former letter and one original.1 These shall be sent by different vessells, as you desire. I agree to your Condition to make a minute of the postage, but you may inclose your letters to any one of the six following Gentlemen at Amsterdam and direct them to charge the postage to the U. S. viz Wilhem or Jan Willink, Nicholas or Jacob Van Staphorst, or de la Lande & Fynje.
I am so anxious abt. John's Education, that it gives me great { 499 } pleasure to learn that he is coming here: tho' at the same time, it grieves me to take him from you, whose situation must be lonely and disagreable. I dare not take upon me to advise you to quit that Stage, tho' I lament the policy, which has tied your hands. It is a bit of that web, in wh: you and I, and every honest American, in Europe, has been long entangled. I broke thro' it, as the Whale goes thro' a net. You would have done the same in my situation, and I could not do it in yours. If I had transmitted to Congress the advice, exhortations and remonstrances I received, and asked their Instructions, I should have been forbidden to stir, and should have been here sprawling with hands and feet in the air, pegged, like Ariel, in a rifted Oak; this Republic would at this moment have been seperately at peace, and American Independence would never have been acknowledged by any Power in Europe, except France, untill England should have done it.
I am at present, as you wish me, i: e: as happy as I ever can be in Europe. I am well accommodated and have an oppo. of living in an habit of Civilities with the French and Spanish Ambassadors, as well as with some principal People of this Country. The Ministers of Prussia, Sardinia and Leige are sociable. The Envoy from Portugal and the Chargè des affaires of Sweden are sometimes so. Russia and Denmark are stiff and distant; but they do neither honor, nor service to themselves, or their Courts by it.
My loan in in Cash, at least a million and an half of Gueldres. The Treaty is all agreed: is now copying and will be signed next week. It is very little different from that with France. Mr: Charles Storer is now with me, as well as Mr: Thaxter. It is not certain that he will go home with the Treaty. He seems to have an inclination to stay a little longer.
Can you give me a brief sketch of the Dispute in the Crimea, and a probable guess, whether it will terminate in a War, between the Empress and the Porte? Was it stipulated in the last Treaty of Peace, that the Crimea should be independent, and that the late Kan should be the Sovereign? Is his Expulsion suspected to have been effected by any intrigues of the Turks, or any other Power? Or is it only the effect of the Levity of the Tartars?2
Pray what foreign Ministers are at the Court of St. Petersbourg? And what are their sentiments of our States? The French or Dutch Ambassador can sound them and tell you. Here the whole Corps Diplomatique is unanimously of opinion that our Independence is decided.
{ 500 }
I presume that my Son is already on his journey, or voyage, for which reason I don't write him.
[signed] Adieu.
RC in Charles Storer's hand (MHi: Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr: Adams's Letter Dated 29th. Septr: 1782 Recd 7/18 Octr: Houses in Amsterdam Loan.”
1. Of [6 Sept. N.S.], above. For the enclosures, see note 1 to that letter.
2. The deposed khan of the Crimea was Shahin Girai, whose rule over the Crimea had been guaranteed by the 1774 Treaty of Kutschuk-Kainardji. A Russian puppet, he was deposed in favor of his brother and forced to flee in June 1782 when a revolt against his despotic rule broke out. Catherine II was unwilling to accept an outcome that diminished her prestige and influence in the Crimea and offered the Ottoman Empire an opportunity to increase its own at her expense. She soon dispatched an army to restore the khan and incidentally to make final the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian empire (Murphy, Vergennes, p. 333–334).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de
Date: 1782-09-29

To the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] My dear General

I Should have written you, Since the 29 of May, when I wrote you a Letter that I hope you recd, if it had not been reported Sometimes that you was gone and at other times that you was upon the Point of going to America.1
This People must be indulged, in their ordinary March which you know is with the Slow Step. We have however at length the Consent of all the Cities and Provinces, and have adjusted and agreed upon every Article, Word, Syllable, Letter and Point, and Clerks are employed in making out five fair Copies for the Signature which will be done this Week.
Amidst the innumerable Crowd of Loans which are open in this Country, many of which have little Success, I was much afraid that ours would have failed. I have however the Pleasure to inform you, that I am at least one Million and an half, in Cash, about Three Millions of Livres which will be a considerable Aid to the operations of our Financier at Philadelphia, and I hope your Court, with their usual Goodness will make up the rest that may be wanting.
I am now as well Situated as I ever can be in Europe. I have the Honour to live, upon agreable Terms of Civility with the Ambassaders of France and Spain; and the Ministers of all the other Powers of Europe, whom I meet at the Houses of the French and Spanish Ministers as well as at Court, are complaisant and Sociable. Those from Russia and Denmark are the most reserved. Those from Sardinia and Portugal are very civil.
{ 501 }
The Ministers of all the neutral Powers consider our Independance as decided. One of those even from Russia Said so not long ago and that from Portugal Said it to me within a few Days. You and I have known this Point to have been decided a long time: But it is but lately, that the Ministers of neutral Powers, however they might think, have frankly expressed their opinions, and it is now an Indications that it begins to be the Sentiment of their Courts, for they dont often advance faster than their Masters in expressing their sentiments upon political Points of this Magnitude.
Pray what are the Sentiments of the Corps Diplomatick at Versailles? What Progress is made in the Negotiation for Peace? Can any Thing be done before, the British Parliament, or at least the Court of St. James's, acknowledge the Sovereignty of the United States absolute and unlimited?
It would give me great Pleasure to receive, a Line from you, as often as your Leisure will admit.

[salute] With great Esteam I have the Honour to be, Sir your most obt.

1. This letter was in response to Matthew Ridley's suggestion in his first letter of 20 Sept., above. According to JA's first letter to Ridley of 29 Sept., below, he received both of Ridley's 20 Sept. letters on the evening of the 28th. Note, however, that JA's last letter to Lafayette was dated 21 May, above, rather than the 29th.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0223

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Ridley, Matthew
Date: 1782-09-29

To Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

Last Night I received your Letter of the 20th.1 Your Reserve upon the Subject of the Maryland Loan needed no Apology. I was Soon informed of your Engagements with Messrs. Van Staphorsts, and Some Persons may possibly think I ought to have opposed them. But I am not myself of that opinion. I think that on one hand a Minister of the United States is not obliged to do any Thing to promote a Loan to any particular State, and on the other that he is not obliged and indeed has no Right to oppose it unless it very clearly interferes with the general Loan. Accordingly I shall take no step in opposition to yours. I wish it well, and would much Sooner favour it—indeed I dont believe it will interfere at all with the general Loan. I am much inclined to be of the opinion of Messrs Van Staphorsts, that by multiplying Connections with America it will rather assist it.

[salute] With great Respect, I have the Honour to be,

{ 502 }
1. Ridley wrote first and secondtwo letters on 20 Sept., both above, and both were received on the 28th. This letter is a reply to the second letter, but its position as printed here is determined by its location in the Letterbook.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0224

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Ridley, Matthew
Date: 1782-09-29

To Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

It would give me great Pleasure to See, and converse freely with the Gentn you mention upon Men and Things.2 I have long known him a Man of Honour and Abilities. He and I have often differed in opinion, and each of us has Supported his opinion with Ardour: this We may do again without abating a mutual Esteem or Affection, as long as a Perswasion remains of Candour, Integrity and Sincerity, as it does <entirely> on my Side. <But I can have no Confidence whatever in a Man who has learned to lie, to borrow an Expression of your own>.3
I cannot come to Paris, untill the British Cabinet have acknowledged the Independance of the United States.4 I will meet him, at Bruxelles at any time he Shall appoint. I See no objection to his informing V. and F. both of his Intentions to take a Jaunt to Bruxelles. He need not Say that he expects to see me. But if he did there would be no harm. I hope that Mr J. and Mr Adams have a Right to see one another without asking Leave of Dr Franklin or the Comte de Vergennes, and to converse together as freely as they please without communicating their Conversations to any others—at least such Liberties will be taken by me. Mr J. is too cautious of Writing. We must write to one other. And if our Letters Should be opened and read, there will be found in them nothing amiss, I presume.
If Mr J. has no objection to conversing in the manner you mention with our Friend at Brussells,5 I have none, but the best Way would be for J. to come here and Spend a Week with me in my House at the Hague. He may tell his Design at Versailles and Passy, and set their Speculations and Insinuations at Defyance—next to this is the Project to meet at Bruxelles.
The blank Comn. you say is promised.6 I Should have thought that I had Some right to be consulted in it—but have never been asked a question. Let me however ask you 2 or 3. Is not the Art of choosing the best Men for Plans, the greatest Art in Government in Politicks Negotiations, War and Peace? Is the Gentleman promised, { 503 } in Age, Experience, Education, Genius, Learning, Knowledge of Men Books and Things, Prudence, Discretion, the best Man? Is not our Friend, infinitely superiour? Is not Mr Charmichael or Mr Dumas, or Mr Thaxter, Superiour? Has not even Dr Bancroft better Pretensions? For my own Part I think Mr Jennings the fittest Man: the man who would Support the Interests the Reputation and Dignity of the United States in that Place more than any other Man in Europe, and therefore he Should have my Vote. Is it not one of the most important Commissions? are not public Men accountable, somewhere or other? to God? their Country? their Posterity? their own Consciences Judgements and Honour for the Votes they give, upon Such occasions? By what Arts could my Friend J be So taken in?
Your Account of the Settlement of Accounts with France, gives me great Pleasure. I hope you are not misinformed. What is one Million and one Sixth of a Million Sterling? to our States. In time of Peace it would be about the Quarter Part of one Years Exportations whereas the annual Interest of the British National Debt, amounts to more than the whole of their Exportations for a Year.
I will write Soon to my worthy Friend the Marquis.7 But he owes me a Letter now. I should not have stood upon Punctilios with him, however but it has been often Said he was gone and always that he was gone or going.
It is not worth while for Mr Laurens to regard the “injurious Comments” His Character and Conduct is far above such Insinuations. He has explained his Motives to me, and he is perfectly in the right. He is too honest a Man not to be exposed to the malicious Insinuations of a dirty Gang.
I have had explained to me, from high Authority, that of V. through the Duke de la Vauguion, the nature of Raynevals Mission, and am Satisfied there is nothing amiss in it. The Comte de Vergennes has had some Propositions made to him from London in an indirect Manner, and he sent R. to know if they came from proper Authority.
My Loan is in Cash at least a Million and an half of Guilders, and the Treaty of Commerce will be Signed this Week.

[salute] I need not Say that this Letter is highly confidential, nor desire you to believe me, with much sincerity your humble sert

{ 504 }
1. This letter is a reply to Ridley's first letter of 20 Sept., above, but its position as printed here is determined by its location in the Letterbook.
2. John Jay.
3. Probably Benjamin Franklin.
4. Insofar as negotiations were concerned, this difficulty had been removed on 27 Sept., when Richard Oswald received his new instructions of [21 Sept.], above. John Jay informed JA of their arrival in a letter of the 28th (Adams Papers), but see also Ridley's letter of 29 Sept. to JA, below.
5. Edmund Jenings.
6. This is the commission as secretary to the peace commission that was given to William Temple Franklin.
7. See JA's letter of 29 Sept. to Lafayette, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0225

Author: Ridley, Matthew
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-29

From Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

I did myself the Honor of writing you a few Posts since.1 I now inclose you a Letter which will communicate something agreeable.2 The Grand difficulty being removed I have now some hopes of seeing you in this part of the World. Personal motives engage me strongly to wish it but public ones which are of more weight seem to require it.
By the Vessels, arrived at L'Orient are Letters as late as the 12: Augt: Genl. Washington was upon the North River. The French Army were marching to join and which would make up about 150003—Whether there would be any active operations on our side seemd doubtful. The French fleet had been off the Delaware and after staying there a few days was gone or was going to Boston to refit &ca. The fleet consisted of 13 sail. One Letter I have says—“Savannah certainly evacuated Charles Town probably.” I however doubt this last part. People were thinking a little of Peace; but I do not learn there was any foundation for Mr Waters's famous list of extraordinary tumults and changes.
Everything is very private here. Reneval is returned some time but what he went about I do not believe is yet rightly known. Whatever it was I do not think he was so successful as he expected: or rather as others expected.

[salute] I shall be glad to hear you enjoy good health. And have the Honor to be with respect Sir Your mt Obedt servt

[signed] Matt: Ridley
1. See Ridley's first and secondtwo letters of 20 Sept., both above.
2. The enclosure was John Jay's letter of 28 Sept. (Adams Papers), informing JA that Richard Oswald had received a new commission dated [21 Sept.], above, on the 27th. Jay gave it to Ridley to forward to JA on the evening of the 29th (MHi: Ridley Journal).
3. For the arrival of Rochambeau and the French Army, see Benjamin Lincoln's letter of 25 Sept., and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0226

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-10-01

To John Jay

[salute] Sir

Your Favour inclosing a certain Copy, I have recd, and in exchange Send you, two others, Fitzherberts Commission and the Dutch Instructions.1 The first you may have Seen or may not. The other may have been communicated to you in Part. I need not Say to you that it ought not to be known, from whence, either of them comes to you, or to me.

[salute] With great Esteem, I have the honour to be Sir, your most obedient and humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC (private owner, 1978).
1. See John Jay's letter of 1 Sept., and note 1, above, with which was enclosed a copy of Richard Oswald's first commission of 25 July. For Alleyne Fitzherbert's commission of 24 July and the instructions given to the Dutch negotiator, Gerard Brantsen, see JA's letter of 18 Aug. to Robert R. Livingston, and notes, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0227-0001

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-01

From Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Monsieur

Il y a longtems que j'aurai entamé le sujet important de l'admission des Etats-Unis de l'Amérique dans la Neutralité; mais je ne Sentais pas avoir des argumens assez forts pour traiter cette matiere;1 et vous savez que dans ces sortes de cas il vaut mieux ne rien dire que de ne pas dire assez. Je Suis effectivement embarassé pour montrer comment cette démarche ne Serait pas une dérogation aux principes qu'ont énoncés les puissances neutres de ne rien hazarder qui puisse passer pour partialité de la part d'aucune des puissances Belligérantes: il est vrai que l'on peut considerer les Américains, d'après le bonheur qu'ils ont eu de chasser les Anglais de leur territoire, comme des peuples que la Grande-Bretagne veut conquérir; or toutes les puissances belligérantes étant dans un état à être conquises l'une par l'autre, elles ne laissent pas de conserver, chacune, jusqu'à l'Epoque d'une conquête, le droit d'etre reconnue indépendante. Donc les Américains qui ne sont vis à vis des Anglais que comme un peuple qu'ils veulent conquérir, ont aussi le droit d'etre régardés indépendans, même par des puissances neutres: mais l'Angleterre pourra toujours opposer à ces raisons que les Américains ne Sont encore à Son égard que comme les rebelles qu'elle veut punir: ainsi l'affaire étant indécise quant au droit, il sera { 506 } difficile de donner des raisons Satisfaisantes aux puissances neutres pour agir autrement; on pourrait répondre que l'Angleterre s'est Suffisamment déclarée, en avouant Son impuissance à continuer une guerre offensive,2 Sans laquelle on ne peut esperer de conquête; et Surtout par la lettre de Carleton que vous connaissez Surement:3 voilà les meilleurs argumens à cet égard; mais ils prouveraient encore qu'il ne Serait pas nécessaire d'admettre les Etats-Unis dans la neutralite; pour accelerer la paix; puis que, les choses étant ainsi, là reconnaissance de l'Amérique par l'Angleterre, le plus grand obstacle à la paix, Sera bientôt levé. J'attends avec impatience vos observations sur cet objet: quelques lumieres communiquées par vous, me mettrons en état de traiter cette matiere avec connaissance de cause: j'aurai Soin de remplir votre intention de la maniere la plus exacte, quant aux pieces à traduire du General advertiser.4

[salute] J'ai l'honneur d'etre avec tous les sentimens de respect et de dévonment que voùs m'avez connus Monsieur Votre très humble & très obeissant serviteur

[signed] A M Cerisier

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0227-0002

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-01

Antoine Marie Cerisier to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

It has been a long time since I broached the important subject of the admission of the United States of America to the neutrality, but I feel that I do not have arguments strong enough to discuss this issue.1 And as you know, it is better to say nothing at all in such cases than not to say enough. Indeed, I am perplexed as to how to demonstrate that this démarche would not derogate from the principles enunciated by the neutral powers not to hazard anything that could pass as partiality toward any of the belligerent powers. It is true that one could consider the Americans, after the good fortune they have had of chasing the English from their territory, as a nation that Great Britain wants to conquer. But all the belligerent powers, being in a state of being conquered one by the other, can only preserve, each of them, until the date of conquest, the right to be recognized as independent. Therefore, the Americans, who the English see only as a nation they wish to conquer, also have the right to be viewed as independent, even by the neutral powers. But England can always oppose these reasons because it continues to regard the Americans as rebels they wish to punish. So the affair being indecisive as to right, it will be difficult to give satisfactory reasons to the neutral powers to act otherwise. One could respond that England had sufficiently decided by avowing its inability to continue an offensive war,2 without which it has no hope of conquest, and above all by Carleton's letter, of which you surely are aware.3 These are the best arguments in this regard, but it could still prove to be unnecessary to admit the United States into the neutrality; since all things being equal, { 507 } the greatest obstruction to peace, the recognition of America by England, would be lifted. I impatiently await your observations on this subject, for whatever light you can shed on it will enable me to deal with this matter in full knowledge of the facts. I will faithfully adhere to your intentions in any of your letters to be translated from the General Advertiser.4

[salute] I have the honor to be, with all the sentiments of respect and devotion that you have come to know from me, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] A M Cerisier
1. Cerisier here addresses the irreconcilable conflict between the desire of the United States to be recognized by and admitted to the League of Armed Neutrality and the incongruity of a league of neutrals admitting a belligerent as one of its members. On 5 Oct. 1780 Congress authorized its diplomats in Europe to accede to the Armed Neutrality (JCC, 18:905–906), and JA pursued that objective from the moment he received the instruction in March 1781 (vol. 11:182–185). He raised the issue again in his A Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, [ca. 5–8] July, above, which Cerisier printed in Le politique hollandais of 26 August. For Catherine II's original declaration of armed neutrality and the reasons why Americans were drawn to it, see vol. 9:121–126.
2. For the House of Commons' 27 Feb. address to George III, which declared that “he would be highly criminal and an Enemy to his Country who should attempt to carry on an offense War in America against the Sense of the House,” and the king's response of 1 March, see vol. 12:304–305.
3. Probably the letter from the joint peace commissioners, Gen. Sir Guy Carleton and Adm. Robert Digby, of 2 Aug., for which see Arthur Lee's letter of 7 Aug., and note 6, above. A French translation appeared in the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 1 October.
4. Cerisier printed four of the “Letters from a Distinguished American” in Le politique hollandais between 14 Oct. 1782 and 20 Jan. 1783. No. 1 appeared on 14 Oct. and 18 Nov.; No. 2 on 16 Dec. and 6 Jan.; No. 4 on 6 and 13 Jan.; and No. 5 on 13 and 20 Jan. (vol. 9:541–550, 574–578, 571–574).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0228

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-01

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

I have no time to write you by this post.1 Your Son is in good health, but I fear he will not find an opportunity to leave this terrestial paradise before the first snows. Mr: Thaxter's letter of the 21.7 and 31st. of Augt: has come to hand, but no tidings yet of the picture.2 Pray by whom did you send it? Nothing of importance stirring here. How goes on your negotiation for Peace? Do our Enemies seek it with seriousness? Let me know something about it. If I thought there was not a prospect of a Peace this Winter, I wou'd certainly leave this Country with your Son, and return with all good speed to our own. Remember your Treaty.

[salute] I am my dear Sir, your much obliged & affectionate Friend, and humble Servant

[signed] FRA DANA
{ 508 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence Mr: Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats-Unis à son hotel à la Haïe”; endorsed: “Mr Dana 20 sept. 1782.” Filmed at 20 Sept., Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 358.
1. Although he does not mention it, enclosed with this letter was the original of Dana's letter of 18/29 Sept. to Robert R. Livingston (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook, Official Letters, 1781–1782). This letter is not in the PCC, and Dana wrote in the margin of the LbC that “This letter is not to be found on the Files of the Office of Foreign Affairs, among my letters.” The letter primarily concerned trade and Dana's efforts to allay fears that an independent America would become a serious commercial rival of Russia. Dana indicated this was an important issue because the possibility of a Russian-American commercial rivalry “was maintained by both Friends and Foes tho' with very different views.” Dana was referring to the French and British and promised to explain himself later, for which see his letters of [4 Oct.] and [26 Oct.] to JA, both below.
2. Dana refers to two letters that he received on 29 September. The first was begun on 21 Aug. and completed on the 27th; the second, dated 31 Aug., was finished and sent on 6 Sept. (MHi: Dana Family Papers). The portion done on 27 Aug. is an account of JA's negotiation of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and specifically of JA's opposition to the inclusion in the treaty of the Dutch placard of 1756 regulating the entry of prizes into Dutch ports. In the letter he began on 31 Aug., Thaxter indicated that JA wished to know if the miniature of George Washington had arrived yet. For the placard of 1756 and JA's objections to its inclusion, see The Negotiation of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce, 22 Aug. – 8 Oct., Nos. III and IV, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0229

Author: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-01

From Arthur Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I enclose you some late proceedings by which you will perceive that Mr. Laurens is to be made a victim if possible to the system of throwing every thing into one man's hands. By these votes you will judge pretty accurately who are Devotees to this unjust, unwise, and irrepublican system. Except that of N. Y. where one of the ays was from policy given against the motion of which he was probably the prompter.1 However they have at last fed the one man's pride, vanity and all arrogating disposition by putting him sole in the Commission for negociating with Sweden, which woud not have been done had he not written that it was the particular desire of the King of Sweden communicated to him by the Ambassador of that Court at Vesailles, that he might be the person. It was an omission, for which I am blamable, not to have inserted this in the Commission, that if a fiction or a mere compliment, and I suspect it was one or the other, the falsity or the vanity of it might have appeard. The words of his Letter are these—“The2 Ambassador from Sweden to this Court applied to me lately to know if I had Powers that woud authorise my making a treaty with his master in behalf of the U.S. Recollecting a general one that was formerly given to me with the other Commissioners I answered in the affirmative. He seemd much { 509 } pleasd and said the King had directed him to ask the question, and had chargd him to tell me, that he had so great an esteem for me that it woud be a particular satisfaction to him to have such a transaction with me. I have perhaps some vanity in repeating this; but I think too, that it is right the Congress shoud know it, and judge if any use can be made of the reputation of a Citizen for the public Service.”3
It is with sorrow, I inform you of the death of young Col: Laurens, who was killd lately in a skirmish with the British near Charles-town. He is as much a public as a private loss; and I am much afraid it will be an accumulation of misfortune on his most worthy Father too great for him to bear.4
The Enemy have revoked the order for the evacuation of Augustine;5 but all their motions tend to that of N. York and Charles-town. They are to strengthen the garrison of Quebec, recal their indian parties from our frontiers, and bend all their force against the french and spanish Islands. How far we can in prudence pursue them thither with our land forces, is not yet the subject of discussion. Remember me to Mr Laurens if in Europe, and to Mr. Dana when you write to him.

[salute] Farewell

Congress have resolvd not to conclude any Peace but in confidence and concurrence with our Allies and to prosecute the war, till a peace satisfactory to all can be obtaind. All propositions for Negociation are to be referrd to the Commissioners in Europe.6 Genl. Lee died here a few days since and was buried with great honor.7
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers). The enclosures are not with this letter in the Adams Papers, but see note 1.
1. On 17 Sept., Congress considered Henry Laurens' resignation as peace commissioner and resolved that reasons for appointing him remained valid and that “his services in the execution of that trust cannot be dispensed with.” Congress then resolved to inform its peace commissioners that they should convene together wherever peace negotiations might take place. On 20 Sept., Congress considered and then defeated James Madison's motion that the 17 Sept. resolution “informing Mr. Laurens that his services as a minister plenipotentiary for negotiating peace cannot be dispensed with by Congress, and so much of the other resolution of the same date as relates to Mr. Laurens, be not transmitted till the further order of Congress.” Lee likely enclosed the extracts from the minutes containing the resolutions of 17 and 20 Sept. and the roll calls that are in the Adams Papers and filmed under those dates (Microfilms, Reel No. 358). For Madison's motives in offering the resolution, principally in reaction to the petition that Edmund Burke offered in Parliament in Dec. 1781 on Laurens' behalf, see Smith, Letters of Dele• { 510 } gates, 19:201; for a draft of the petition itself, see Laurens, Papers, 15:456–458. The New York delegate referred to by Lee was probably James Duane, who had been on the committee, with James Madison, that had originally offered the resolution rejecting Laurens' resignation (JCC, 23:584–585, 593). For the 17 Sept. resolution concerning the commissioners, see also Robert R. Livingston's letter of 15 Sept., and note 6, above.
2. Opening quotation marks supplied.
3. The Swedish ambassador to France, Gustaf Philip, Graf von Creutz, approached Benjamin Franklin on 23 April regarding a Swedish-American treaty of amity and commerce, probably because of the imminent recognition of the United States by the Netherlands and the likelihood of a Dutch-American commercial treaty in the near future. Franklin informed Robert R. Livingston of the Swedish request in a letter of 25 June, with the result that on 28 Sept. Congress resolved on a plan for a Swedish-American treaty and issued Franklin a commission and instructions for its negotiation (Franklin, Papers, 37:204–205, 538; JCC, 23:610–624). Lee's quotation from Franklin's letter of 25 June is accurate.
4. John Laurens was killed on 27 Aug., during a skirmish on Chehaw Neck, S.C. For an account of the action, see Laurens, Papers, 15:605.
5. When Sir Guy Carleton, the new commander in chief in America, reached New York in May, his orders were to evacuate New York, Charleston, Savannah, and possibly St. Augustine. A shortage of shipping, however, forced the cancellation of the immediate evacuation of St. Augustine, and it was not carried out until the early fall of 1783 (Mackesy, War for America, p. 474, 492; David Syrett, Shipping and the American War, 1775–1783, London, 1970, p. 236–237, 239).
6. On 24 Sept. the Chevalier de La Luzerne had made representations to a congressional committee concerning letters he had received from the Comte de Vergennes concerning British peace overtures. In the course of his presentation the French minister reportedly stated that the shortest way to defeat British artifice and intrigue regarding a peace treaty would be to make it absolutely clear “that the United States neither can nor will make any peace without the concurrence of their ally, and that, if England has any overtures for peace to make to them, the American plenipotentiaries are sufficiently empowered to receive them and to negociate a peace if those overtures are admissible” (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:757–762). This led Congress, on 3 and 4 Oct., to adopt a number of resolutions. On the 3d, it thanked France for its support in the preliminary peace negotiations then ongoing and assured it that Congress would “inviolably adhere” to the Franco-American alliance and make no separate peace. But Congress reiterated its peace ultimata regarding boundaries, fishing rights, and free navigation of the Mississippi, while noting that any claims for restitution of or compensation for property confiscated by the states would meet “insuperable obstacles.” On the 4th, Congress took the action mentioned by Lee by declaring that “the ministers plenipotentiary of these United States in Europe are vested with full power and authority in their behalf, and in concert with their allies, to negotiate and conclude a general peace.” Congress again declared that the United States would adhere to the Franco-American alliance and make no separate peace (JCC, 23:632–634, 637–639). Copies of the 3 Oct. resolutions are in the Adams Papers and filmed at that date (Microfilms, Reel No. 358), but there is no indication by what means JA received them.
7. Gen. Charles Lee died on 2 Oct. (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0230

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-04

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

Please to forward the enclosed letters three in number, by the earliest different opportunities.1 Do not send either in the same enclosures with any others you have already received from me or shall receive hereafter. If you have the same Cypher sent to you, and you { 511 } have patience to do it, decypher one of them. They contain a matter I have hinted to you long since as presenting a clue to a certain piece of advice given to me wh. I did not follow—You will recollect it at once as you also disapproved of it.2 Your picture not yet come to hand. From your Friend & Humble Servant.
1. These are the original, duplicate, and triplicate of Dana's letter of 20 Sept. [1 Oct. N.S.] to Robert R. Livingston that, according to Dana's letterbook, were enciphered and sent with the post of 23 Sept. [4 Oct. N.S.]. The letter of [1 Oct.] is not in the PCC, and Dana wrote in the margin of the Letterbook copy that “This letter is not to be found on the Files of the Office of Foreign Affairs, among my other letters.” Not mentioned, but also enclosed, were the duplicate and triplicate of Dana's 18/29 Sept. letter to Livingston (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook, Official Letters, 1781–1782).
2. The letter was enciphered because it discussed provisions of a proposed commercial treaty between France and Russia, which Dana took up in considerable detail in his letter of [26 Oct.] to JA, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0231

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-04

From Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

[salute] Sir

The opportunity, by which we take the Liberty to write your Excellency these few lines, is, that we've seen a Letter from London by the last mail, where in the writer assures that it was decided the 23 Septr. in the Kings Councel, by a unamity of all the Ministers, to declare the Independency of the United States in America, and that the Act, passed under the great Seal, should immediately be forwarded. Since as much as we know this is not confirmed by other letters, we must doubt of its authenticy. If it is true we suppose it will be known to your Excellency, and as it would be of much value to us, as well for the Intrest of the American Loans, we would wish to be informed by your Excellency, wether you received about it Any intelligence or not, and there fore we beg the favour to receive a few words in answer upon this Question.1
Our hopes that the Undertakers will soon ask the third Million of the Loan are still increasing. Two or three of them have already spoken about it. Since our demand in favour of the Maryland Loan is declined in Council,2 it remains an undecided Problem, wether the Credit, which it would have give to said Loan, would have been of a good influence upon the General.

[salute] We have the honour to be with much esteem Sir of your Excellency, the most humble & Obedt. Servts.

[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst
{ 512 }
1. See JA's reply of 5 Oct., below.
2. In addition to the Staphorsts, Wilhem & Jan Willink wrote on 5 Oct. (Adams Papers) to report that the Regency of Amsterdam had refused to subscribe to the Maryland loan.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-10-05

To Edmund Jenings

A Sermon on,
2. Samuel Chapt. 16. Verses 17. and 18. And Absalom Said to Hushai Is this thy Kindness to thy Friend? Why wentest thou not out with thy Friend? And Hushai Said unto Absolom, Nay but whom the Lord, and this People, and all the Men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide,1 and to him will I Say2 God Save the King, God Save the King.
Hushai, has here asserted the first Principle of the Rights of Man kind, the first Principle of Liberty. He here gives to the Nation, or Body of the People, the unlimited and unconditional Authority of pulling down a Government that is inconvenient to them and erecting another in its Stead, as fully as a Freeholder in his own right may demolish a decayed or unconvenient Building and erecting another, better calculated to his Use or fitted for his Taste.
The 1. Proposition is, that as Government is instituted by the Nation it is their right to frame it to their Taste, Use and Convenience.
2. As it is instituted for the Nation, for their Pleasure, and Accommodation, it ought to be Such and they have a right, and it is their Duty to make it Such as they foresee, or find by Experience will answer their Ends.
3. The Will, and Judgment and Choice of a Nation, their Taste Pleasure, and Convenience, being in the Nature of Things only to be judged of, by the Nation, and indeed by the Majority of the Nation, every Individual has a right to the submission of the whole to the decision of the Majority, and it is the Duty of every Individual to submit to the Decision of the Majority although it be against his own opinion or quit the Club.
4. It is therefore the Duty of every Individual to cry God save the King as Hushai did in such Cases, and every Subject is legally adjudged justified in Obedience to the Authority of the Sovereign in such Cases, even although, the national Will upon which it is founded should be but temporary or even momentary. Subjects are { 513 } necessitated to acknowledge Such Authority, by submitting to it to try and punish Crimes under, it, to alter Property under, it to take Arms under it, and all other Things. The Nations ennemies are obliged to consider Commissions given by Such an Authority, as given by the Lawfull Authority of the nation. Their Armies and Navies must consider them so—and cant avoid it.
If Foreign Nations have any Thing to Speak of, or treat about with such a Nation, they must treat with the Powers that be and Surely a foreign Nation, would be justified in considering the Powers that be, and treating with them, if the Members and Subjects of the Nation itself are so justified.
I wish I had nothing else to do I would make a drol sermen upon this Text, or a devout one—for it will admit of either.
Philo <Nestor> Mentor3 has written excellently upon the Powers that be—But neither the Doctrine of Philo <Nester> Mentor nor that of Hushai amount to passive obedience, and Non Resistance.
Il faut bien distinguer.4
Passive obedience and Non Resistance, are contended for, to Tyrants who rule against the Good and the sense and Voice of the Nation. Upon this Principle Hushai, ought not to have cryed God save the King to Absalem tho the Lord and the People set him up.
Surely Subjects and foreigners are justified, in acknowledging the Powers that be.
Keep this Ball up. It is at least as amusing as Shuttlecock—and as innocent.
If Subjects Citizens and foreign Nations are thus justified and necessitated to acknowledge the Powers that be for the time, Surely it can be no Hostility against England or breach of the armed Neutrality, to acknowledge the Congress, or the United states to be sovereign de facto, and admitting them into the armed Neutrality.
You see I am very dull. Dulness is the Power that is now over me and I must acknowledge her sovreignty.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams Octr. 5th 1782.”
1. The quotation of verses 17 and 18 ends at this point.
2. The remainder of the sentence is from verse 16, “And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.”
3. Possibly a newspaper pseudonym, but if so, the author has not been identified.
4. He should be more discriminating.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0233

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-10-05

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

On the third day of this Month, about ten O Clock a Solemn Deputation, in three Coaches preceeded by twelve Messengers of State, went in Procession to the House in the Wood2 to enter into Conference, with the Statholder concerning the past Administration of the Marine, in Consequence of a Resolution of the States of Holland and West Friesland upon the Proposition of the City of Leyden.3 Military Honours were paid by the Guards were paid to the Deputation from the Sovereign as it passed. It consisted of Mr Cornelis De Gyzelaer, Gysbert Van Staveren and Carel Wouter Vischer, Pensionaries of Dort, Leyden and Amsterdam; Jacob Van Zuylen Van Nyevelt and Meynard Merens Secretaries of Rotterdam and Hoorn, and Pieter Van Bleiswyk, Grand Pensionary of Holland.
They communicated their Message in Writing and received a written Answer, which is Satisfactory.
This is an important Political Maneuvre, and will do much towards restoring the States to their Constitutional Dignity and Authority. But whether it will Stimulate the Admiral General to greater Exertions, time will alone discover. The States Seem to be rolling the Stone of Sisyphus.
1. This letter is not in the PCC and was probably not sent. However, Livingston received a report on the meeting and its purpose in C. W. F. Dumas' letter of 27 Sept. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:776–777).
2. For a picture and description of the Huis ten Bosch, or Maison du Bois, the residence of William V, see JA, D&A, 3:viii–ix, 33.
3. On 31 July the deputies from Leyden offered a resolution in the States of Holland and West Friesland calling for a full investigation of the ineffectiveness of the Dutch Navy in the war against England and, in particular, for the stadholder to communicate all of the orders he had issued to the navy in his capacity as admiral general since the beginning of the war. For a French translation of the resolution, see the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 9 August. The provincial states approved Leyden's resolution on 27 Sept., but that and the meeting with William V on 3 Oct. did no more to make the Dutch Navy an effective force against England than the agreement, concluded at about the same time, to coordinate French and Dutch naval operations (to Livingston, 23 Sept., and note 3, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0234

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Date: 1782-10-05

To Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

[salute] Gentlemen

Last Evening I had the Honour of yours of Yesterdays Date. It would give me Pleasure, if it were in my Power to confirm to you, { 515 } the News contained in the Letter from London, which you have Seen vizt. That on the 23 Ult. it was decided in the Kings Council by an Unanimity of all the Ministers, to declare the Independancy of the United States of America, provided this Declaration were to be Sent to Paris in order to a general Peace. If even Such a Declaration were to be Sent to America, with the insidious View of deceiving and dividing, it would be no Satisfaction at all. Such a Measure would deceive Nobody but those who invented it. All Such Artifices will be lost upon America.
But to give you a direct Answer to your Question, I have not received any Such Intelligence, either from England or France. If I had, as I know of no Reason there would be, for keeping it Secret, I would with Pleasure communicate it to you.
I am told that the Persons this Way, who have been intrusted with Obligations, have disposed of them all, and wait for further Supplies.

[salute] I have &c

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0235

Author: Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-06

From the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] My dear Sir

Your favor of the 29h last Has Safely Come to Hand, for Which I am the More Obliged to you, as I See the Greater Value By the Honor of your Correspondance. I Have Been long waïting for a Safe Opportunity to write, and will Endeavour this May Stir Clear of the Post Offices, As the itching fingers of Clarks do not Permit Any Secret to Pass Unnoticed.
I Am Happy to Hear you Have walked on with our dutch friends to the wished for Conclusion of the treaty of Commerce. Amist the wonders you Have Performed in that Country, I Greatly Rejoice at your Having Succeeded in Monney Matters. The More So, as I Aprehend Our financier Needs Much An European Assistance, and the Great Expenses they Have Made in this Country Give me But little Hope to Obtain a further Supply than the Six Millions, and the Ballance of Accounts Which Have Been determined upon Since the time I Arived from America.
M. jay Advances But Slowly with the Spaniards—in fact, He does not Advance at All, and tho' Count d'Aranda Has Got Powers, tho' He Has with a Pencil drawn an Extravagant line this Side of the { 516 } Mississipp, Yet Untill Powers Are Exchanged Upon an Equal footing, and Untill the Spanish Pencil is transported three Hundred Miles west ward, there is No doing Any thing towards Settling a treaty with that Nation.1
As to the Grand Affair of Peace, there are Reasons to Believe it will take Place. Many Attempts Have Been Made to treat upon an Unequal footing, Which By the Bye was a Very impertinent Proposal. But we Stood firm, deaf, and dumb, and As france Refused to Enter into Business Untill we were Made to Hear and to Speack, at last, with Much Reluctance, And Great Pains, His Britannic Majesty and Council were Safely delivered of A Commission to treat with Plenipotentiaries from the United States of America.
In Case we are to judge from Appearances, One would think Great Britain is in Earnest. But When we Consider the temper of the King and His Minister, the foolish, Ridiculous issue of the Attempt Against Gibraltar, the Collection of forces at Newyork the Greater Part of Which are destined to the west indies, and the Continuance of the American, french, Spanish, dutch interests on the one Hand, and those of a Haughtly Nation on the other, it Appears Probable that five or Six Months will Pass Before the work of Peace is Happily Concluded. But that it will Be Concluded Before Next Summer Appears to me the Most Probable idea that Can Be formed Upon this Matter.
We Have Letters from America as late as the 6h September. M. de Vaudruïl and His Squadron Had Arrived at Boston. It was Said Charlestown Would Be Evacuated and the troops Sent to Newyork. There is a Rumour of Madras Having Been taken—at least we May look for Good News from the East indias.2
As I Have No Public Capacity to Be led into Political Secrets, I Beg you will Consider these Communications as Confidential, and Have the Honor to Be with the Highest Regard My dear Sir Your Obedient hble Servant
[signed] Lafayette
1. For Jay's negotiations with the Spanish ambassador at Paris, see his 2 Aug. letter to JA, and note 1, above.
2. The Gazette d'Amsterdam of 15 Oct. carried this report as part of an 8 Oct. dispatch from Paris, which noted the arrival of a reliable report that Haidar Ali had captured Madras. While the French did enjoy considerable naval success in Indian waters, establish beachheads on the Indian coast south of Madras, support the anti-British efforts of Haidar Ali, and threaten Madras several times, the port itself was never taken (Mackesy, War for America, p. 494–500).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0236

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-10-07

To John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

Your favour of 28 Ult. was brought me last night.1
On Fryday last I was notified, by the Messenger of their H.M. that the Treaties would be ready for Signature on Monday (this day). I am accordingly at Noon, to go to the Assembly and finish the Business. But when this is done, Sometime will be indispensable, to prepare my Dispatches for Congress and look out for the most favourable Conveyances, for them. I must also Sign another Thousand of Obligations at least, that the Loan may not Stand Still. All this Shall be dispatched with all the Diligence, in my Power, but it will necessarily take up sometime, and my health is so far from being robust, that it will be impossible for me to ride, with as much rapidity, as I could formerly, although never remarkable for a quick Traveller. If any Thing in the mean time Should be in agitation, concerning Peace, in which there Should be any difference of opinion between you, and your Colleague, you have a right to insist upon informing me, by Express, or waiting till I can come.
The Signature was put off yesterday, till to day, by the Princes being in Conference with their H. M. and laying his orders to the Navy before them.2

[salute] With entire Esteem, your most obt.

[signed] J. Adams
RC (NNC: John Jay Papers;) endorsed: “Mr Adams 7 Oct 1782 Recd 14 Do.” and “Recd 14 Octr.”
1. This letter (Adams Papers) notified JA of the arrival of Richard Oswald's commission of [21 Sept.], above, and requested that he come to Paris as soon as possible.
2. In response to the States of Holland and West Friesland's resolution of 27 Sept. that was presented to William V on 3 October. See JA's letter of 5 Oct. to Livingston, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0237

Author: Hope, Alexander
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-07

From Alexander Hope

[salute] May it please your Exellency

That I dare presume to address You and at the same Time to acquaint You that I am a Native of the Province Newyork have for the last three Years sail'd amongst the West India Islands in the Capac• { 518 } ity as Master of a Vessel (for which I have sufficient Papers to produce) untill my Health was impair'd with the Fever was then advis'd by the Doctors to seek a Northern Climate and having an advantageus offer to come Mate of a Ship from St Croix to Copenhagen. I embrac'd it where the Ship was sold. I there had Offers to go immediately Mate of another Ship to the West Indies but I must so engage as to return with the same Ship which did not suit Me. I then thought it best to come to Holland and took a Passage to Rotterdam where I have in the most uncommon Manner been [. . . .] into the Dutch Service when I had no other Intention than to return to my Native Country it has happend for me so well that I have met with a Captain of a Dutch Man of War Who has recommendd on the Admiral for the Capacity of a Masters Mate which Duty I now do but your Exellency can well think that unacquainted with the Language I can cut but a sorry Figure. The Intention of this Letter is to intreat of your Exellency if it may please you to endeavour for my Discharge. I have no other Wish than the Wellfare of my Native Country and here your Exeleny can well think let my Talents be ever so great from the Deficiency in the Language I am not likely to arrive at any Thing therefore intreat of your Exellency to interest Yourself in my behalf. I am ready and willing to engage in any Ship in my Countrys Service that your Exellency pleases and to undergo any Examination that your Exellency pleases to appoint so far as my Capacity is good and beg leave.

[salute] In the most humble Manner to subscribe myself your Exellencys most devoted humble Servant

[signed] Alexander Hope1
1. Nothing further is known of Alexander Hope, and there is no evidence that JA made an appeal to the Dutch admiralty on his behalf.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0238

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-07

From James Warren

[salute] My dear Sir

Your Letters of the 17th. June and 2d. of July have given me great pleasure, perhaps more because they were Unexpected. A Spirit of Jealousy founded on a long Intermission had made me suppose you had totally forgot me? and never Intended again to write a Single Line. I hope the reasons you give for so long silence are by the fine Air of the Hague, and by Exercise removed and that I shall again { 519 } frequently hear from you in this way. One thing you may be Assured of that you cant write to a More sincere and determined Friend. I Like my New Allies the Dutch very well, and when my Imagination roves into futurity, and Speculates and Combines, I can suppose they may do us as much real service as some Others, and from Motives quite as disinterested, and I like the Alliance perhaps the better because it has been formed by an Independent Statesman, in spite of the false politics of his own Country, and the designing politics of others, and I trust he will be regarded even by the present Generation in spite of the rascally Venality or Envy of those who from their Exalted Stations have A greater oppy. of doing him Justice. But my Friend the divine Science of Politics is Composed of the same Materials here as in Europe. There is indeed something Exceedingly singular in your Country. None ever rose with more rapid Strides, or was more distinguished by its virtue and public spirit, and no Country ever Catched the Vices of Others and degenerated so fast. I will not prevent your Singing or laughing by Attempting A description or saying more on this Subject. I wish for Peace but what kind of one must we have had, if it had been made this Year. I wish to see you return to our Hills. I shall certainly take pleasure in roveing with you among the Partridges, Squirrels &c, and will even venture upon an Emulation with you which shall make his Hill shine the brightest, tho I believe I should fail in the Attempt. I Expect Notwithstanding all your great Engagement, and the great Game you have to Play, the Splendor of Courts and the Entertainments of Princes and Princesses that you will bring with you great Improvents in the delightful Science of Husbandry, do Ascertain [wha]t Marle is that we may know w[het]her we have it here or not.1 I can tell you no News but what you will have more directly from other hands. They may tell you how our Constitution operates in practice how our Executive support their dignity, and how our Legislature preserve their Independence. I am quite a private Man a distant Spectator that sees but Little enough however to feel some disgust, detestation, and Contempt. The Papers will shew you in what manner Mr Temple is persecuted here, and his defence, this matter has formed Considerable Parties and I think Temple gains Ground fast.2 I need not Tell you, that your Family are well. You will undoubtedly hear from them by this Oppy.3

[salute] I am Yr Friend &c &c

The Muse Mrs. W. wishes you Health, and Happiness.
{ 520 }
I Beg your Care of the Inclosed it Contains one for my Son—I wish to go safely, and am told there is no dependence on the Common Post from Amsterdam to France.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr The Hague”; endorsed: “Warren Oct. 7. 1782.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
1. A type of soil consisting of clay and calcium carbonate that is used as fertilizer (OED).
2. This was, in the words of Cotton Tufts, the “Paper War” between John Temple and James Sullivan over Temple's motives in returning to America in 1781. For JA's role in Temple's return and the controversy that erupted on his arrival, see JA's 16 Aug. 1781 letter to the president of Congress, and note 1 and references there (vol. 11:449–452).
3. Probably the Sukey, captained by Moses Grinnel. AA intended to send her letter of 8 Oct. by that means (AFC, 5:4), and Isaac Smith indicated in his of the 9th, below, that Grinnel was the bearer.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0239

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Ridley, Matthew
Date: 1782-10-08

To Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

I recd your favor of 29 Ult, with its Inclosure, last night. Great News indeed. Inclosed is an answer.1 This Day at Noon, I Am to meet the Lords the Deputies of their High Mightinesses, to Sign the Treaty.2 It has been delayed Sometime, in order to have the Silver Boxes for the Seals made with Suitable Elegance and Dignity for the Taste of these magnificent Republicans, too much of the Dignity of this Country consists you know in Silver and Gold and Diamonds.3 As there will be five or Six of these Boxes, I hope Congress will coin them Up to carry on the War.
1. The enclosure to Ridley's letter of 29 Sept., above, was John Jay's letter of 28 Sept. (Adams Papers), for which see note 2 to Ridley's letter. In his reply to Jay of 7 Oct., above, the enclosed “answer” referred to here, JA indicated that Jay's letter, and thus Ridley's letter of the 29th, had arrived on the 6th, rather than on the 7th as he indicates in this letter to Ridley.
2. For JA's account of the signing of the treaty, see his letter of 8 Oct. to Robert R. Livingston (The Negotiation of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce, 22 Aug. – 8 Oct., No. XI, above).
3. No indication as to the fate of the silver boxes has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0240

Author: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-09

From Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sr

I wrote you by Via france, lately, but beleive the Ship is not saild (cald the Marquis Fayetta)1 on Account of Our Coast being very much infested with Cruzers, the brige. Capt Hales who came from Holland with the bearer Capt Grinnel was taken in Our bay and { 521 } Carrd. to Bermudas, att which place great many Vessells are carried.2
The french fleet are here fiting, and will leave considerable of money which is the Only service they do us as they never have been Out, when three or four, might, as they were not damagd but are now going to take a turn in the bay. Capt Manley command the Hague formerly the Dean, (Nicholson being suspended) who is going Out with them on a Cruize.3
The British got of Capt Letouch Ship in the Delaware, they got chief of the money a shore, all to about Forty thousd Crowns, but the Capt and people were taken.4 By a person from Phila. there is a report and suppose itt to be true, that a party salled Out from Charlestown to supprize a party of Our but were driven back with loss on their side and some on Our's Amongst which was Colo Laurence.
Itt is supposd. Charlestown is Avacuated by this.
A Vessell Arrd last week att Providence that came Out with the Firebrand Capt. Trowbridge which we here nothing of as yet and itts to be feard, will fall into the Enemies hands.5 The Pilgrim which has run clear for some Years was run ashore att C. Codd the day after she saild (a few days since).6
Yesterday was a Storm of rain, and more fell than has att any One time for 3 or 4 mo. having had the longest drout ever known, some people in the Country have been Oblidgd to go 20 Miles to Mill.
I did not know of this Vessells going so soon and yesterday could not get an Opportunity to send Mrs Adams word and as the bag is to be taken down this forenoon and the Vessell going down, itts Not possible to get her word, so that I suppose she does not write you unless she has intrusted her letters with any Other person.
Mrs. Adams and family were well, they have lately been to Haverhill Mr. Gardner the Treasurer dyd, two days Ago with a Violent fever.
There has been an Assistant Treasurer Mr Thos Jones7 who is very capable and who has been consollidating all securites equal to Specie, so that the goverment are Endeavoring to know what they really Owe and itt will not be so much as was expected, itts said. One Million and half Dls and the goverment are laying excise's so as to pay the Interest which iff they can do they wont want money and the Court is doing every thing they can for that Valuable End.

[salute] I Am will wishing you a confirmd. state of health Yr M H sert

[signed] Isaac Smith
{ 522 }
1. Probably Smith's letter of 7 Sept. (AFC, 4:378–379), which he apparently had intended to go by way of the Marquis de la Fayette, Capt. John Buffington. An advertisement in the Boston Independent Chronicle of 19 Sept. indicated that the vessel intended to sail for France on the 20th.
2. Neither the ship nor the captain has been otherwise identified, but the Salem Gazette of 10 Oct. reported that a Captain Hale was among the 62 prisoners from Salem, Boston, and Gloucester that arrived in a cartel from Bermuda on 3 October.
3. Owing to Silas Deane's apparent treachery, the Deane had been renamed the Hague in Sept. (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships). The reason for Samuel Nicholson's suspension from command and replacement by John Manley is unknown, but he was acquitted by a court martial in 1783 (DAB). News of Manley's appointment to command the Hague appeared in various Boston newspapers, including the Independent Chronicle of 26 September.
4. This was the French frigate Aigle, for which see Matthew Ridley's letter of 13 July, note 2, above. The incident was reported in the Boston newspapers essentially as given here by Smith (Boston Gazette, 23 Sept).
5. AA also expressed apprehension over the fate of the Firebrand in her letter to JA of 8 Oct. (AFC, 5:6), but the Boston Gazette of 14 Oct. indicated that it had arrived sometime in the past week.
6. The Independent Chronicle of 10 Oct. reported that the privateer Pilgrim, out of Beverly, had been run aground on Cape Cod by the British fifty-gun ship Chatham and destroyed, but that the crew had escaped.
7. This may be an inadvertence. No mention of Thomas Jones has been found, but Thomas Ivers had been appointed to serve as assistant treasurer during Henry Gardner's illness, for which see Samuel Cooper's letter of 22 July, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0241

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-10-10

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I have recd your Favour of Sept. 5/16. if my Son can find a good oppertunity to come, I should be glad to see him. But should not be willing to trust him with every Companion. He is too young for such a Journey, unless in Company with a prudent Man.
Mr ||John Adams|| has a Letter from Mr ||John Jay|| of 28. Ult. informing him, that Yesterday, Mr Oswald recd a Commission to treat of Peace with the Commissioners of the United States of America.1 This is communicated as a Secret, therefore no Notice is to be taken of ||John Adams|| or ||John Jay|| in mentioning it. ||John Jay|| presses ||John Adams|| to come to him, and he thinks of going in 10 days.
On the 8th the Treaty of Commerce and Convention, concerning Recaptures was Signed.
You want to know whether a Categoric answer was demanded against advice. No. It was advised by Several Members of the States and by the Ambassader.2 It was not done, untill We had written to the C. de V. and obtained his opinion that he did not see any Inconvenience in going Simply to the States, and asking them what answer I Should transmit to Congress. However when he came to read { 523 } the Words Demand, Requisition, and Categoric Answer, he was Shocked, as the Ambassador himself told me. These Words were my own, but I did not venture them without the Advice of some good Friends in the States, and to all Appearance these Words contained the electric fluid, which produced the Shock. I was, however, at that Time so well known, that it was presumed, I Should make the Demand, although the Advice had been against it, as I certainly should have done, Supported as I was by the opinion of Members of the states. Take the Merit and the glory, of a Measure you cannot prevent, or at least a Share in it, although you dislike it, is a Maxim with most Politicians; and under certain Limitations is a lawfull Maxim. We must be very ignorant of our Friends not to know, that it is one of their Rules. And there are many Occasions upon which We, if at Liberty might take Advantage of it, by taking Measures upon ourselves which they cannot oppenly oppose, but must appear to favour.

[salute] My dear friend Adieu

RC (private owner, 1994;) endorsed: “Mr: Adams's Letter Dated Octr: 10th. 1782. Recd:—21st.—O.S.” In this letter JA used the code that Dana sent to him in Sept. 1781 to encode several names, and they have been decoded from that source (vol. 11:480–481).
1. This is a paraphrase of the first line of Jay's letter (Adams Papers).
2. This is JA's demand that the States General respond to his 19 April 1781 memorial, which he presented on 9 Jan. 1782. For JA's address and his account of its presentation, see vol. 12:175, 186–191.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1782-10-10

To Arthur Lee


[salute] Dear Sir

I had the honor of yours of August 7th. yesterday. The letters inclosed are sent to their Destinations.
I have long since taken such measures, as depended upon me, and continue to do all that Decency will permit, to induce the States to send a Minister to Congress. I am convinced it will not be done before next Spring. To give You a compleat detail of the Reasons of this would cost a tedious Narration without use. It is sufficient to say, that every thing here is done against the Grain, and they cannot agree upon the Man to send. All the Patriots think, Van der Capellan de Poll or Van Berckel the fittest: but both are obnoxious to the Court, and the Court are disposed to exhaust all their { 524 } Subtilty to postpone and delay every thing, which tends to cement the two Republicks.
It is not an easy thing to ascertain with precision in all Cases the Boundary between Independence and Uncomplaisance; but in this point I feel in myself, and I see in every body else, quite as much disposition to be complaisant, as is reconcileable with Independence: it is of more Importance however to be one than the other. It gives me infinite pleasure to learn that Mr. Jay is in this Sentiment. Mr. Dana's Sentiments may be learned from the following Extract of a letter from him of 5/16 Septr.
“In my Letter of 19/30 of August, I told You I was no longer at Liberty to pursue a Course like that You pointed out in your's of the seventh of the same month: that my late Instructions were clear and decided, and that I was glad of it; for had the Matter been left to my Discretion, I should have taken a Course not wholly unlike that You mention. I had prepared every thing for the decisive Step, and should have taken it against the Opinion of You know whom: because my sentiments perfectly coincide with yours, so far as they respect the dignity of the United States, which I have all along thought would suffer less from a more open and firm Policy, and that their Views and Interests would be promoted and established much earlier by means of it. I venture to say, that, had You hearkend to the Advice that was given You, when I was in Holland, not one of the United Provinces would at this time have acknowledged our Independence: nay more, the present minor Party would have been the prevailing one, in all probability, Affairs would have worn a different Countenance thro' Europe and We should have seen, by the Aid of Mediation &ca, a seperate Peace concluded between Britain and Holland. I am sensible, as I told You before, of the Difference between our Situations; yet this Difference does not, in my Opinion, necessarily require a System absolutely the reverse. The same Engines indeed cannot be set at work here.”1
The Instruction, which You say subjects Us to the French Ministers, has never been communicated to me.2 I cannot believe that any such one has passed. I suspect that You have put too strong a Construction upon it. Congress must have a very modest Inconsciousness of their own Abilities to subject themselves or their Ministers to any body. There is not, in my Opinion, a Sovereign in Europe more enlightend than Congress, nor a Minister in Europe superior to three of theirs, I mean Mr. Jay, Mr. Laurens and Mr. Dana, at least, if there is such a Minister, I have not yet had the { 525 } honor to find him. The Qualities of Ministers, which produce Events, do not consist in dress, Horses, Balls nor Cards.
I was never in my life clearer in any opinion, than I am in this, that it would serve our Cause, for Mr Dana to communicate his Mission to the Minister of the Empress of Russia, and to the Ministers of every one of the Neutral Courts at Petersbourg. I think he would not be refused. The Matter would be taken into Consideration, [and] might be long delayed: but if he were refused, it would be upon the Principle of Neutrality, and even this Refusal would be infinitely less hurtful to our Reputation, than to have a Minister in Europe, with such a Commission in his Pocket, prohibited to make any Use of it. It is now known, that he has such a Commission, as much as it would be, if he communicated it, as he might, in Confidence.
Dr. Franklin, whose System has ever been [to] sweep Europe clear of every Minister but himself, that he might have a clear unrivalled Stage, was consistent when he wrote to Mr: Dana, that Congress were wrong in sending a Minister to Spain, Holland, Vienna, Berlin, Tuscany, and every where else:3 but it is not consistent in Congress, as I humbly apprehend, to send Ministers to Europe and then tie their Hands. Subjecting them to the French Ministry is, I say it freely, chaining them Hand and Foot. Those Chains I will never wear. They would be so galling to me that I could not bear them. I will never however be wanting in Respect or Complaisance to these Ministers knowingly.
I should ever esteem it an honor and a happiness to hear the News and the Politicks of the Times from You, and give me leave to assure You, that I have the honor of being your Friend and humble Servant
[signed] J. Adams
Dupl and RC in John Thaxter's hand (MH-H:Lee Papers, bMS Am 811.3 [90–91]). The duplicate is printed here because heavy damage to the edges of the recipient's copy has resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of text. Damage to the duplicate has resulted in the loss of two words, both supplied from the recipient's copy.
1. See Dana's letter of 5/16 Sept. and JA's reply of 10 Oct., both above.
2. This is the partially enciphered portion of Congress' 15 June 1781 instructions to the joint commission to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty, for which see vol. 11:374–377, and note 6. There the commissioners were required “to make the most candid and confidential communications to the ministers of our generous Ally the King of France to undertake nothing in the Negotiations for Peace or truce without their knowledge and concurrence and ultimately to govern yourselves by their advice and opinion endevouring in your whole Conduct to make them sensible how much we rely upon his majestys influence for effectual support in every Thing that may be necessary to the present security or future Prosperity of the United States of America.” JA was { 526 } unable to decipher that portion of the instructions.
3. JA refers to Benjamin Franklin's letter to Dana of 7 April 1781, written in response to Dana's letter of 6 April that requested Franklin's advice concerning his mission to Russia (Franklin, Papers, 34:517–519, 514–515).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0243-0001

Author: Addenet, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-10

From M. Addenet

[salute] Monsieur

Il y a quelques mois qu'un de nos Ambassadeurs me demande Si j'avois vu un ecrit dont il ne Connoissoit que Le titre et dont il desiroit faire lecture. C'étoit celui qui Contient Les Pensées sur la révolution de L'Amérique.1 Sans lui dire de qui je le tenois je le lui prêtai, et, en lui rendant Ce service, je Crus entrer dans vos vues. Il est parti sans m'avoir rendu cet ouvrage que je serois fort aise de Conserver et qui d'ailleurs me seroit utile en Ce moment. J'espere que vous voudrés bien m'en donner un exemplaire que je vous serai obligé de me faire parvenir Sous l'enveloppe de Monsieur genet Premier Commis des affaires Etrangeres.
Je saisis cette occasion de me rappeller à votre souvenir et de vous renouveller les assurances de mon dévouement. Je serois fort flatté que vous me Crussiés digne de votre Confiance et que vous Pussiés agréer l'offre que je vous fais de mes faibles services. Je puis vous certifier que mon zéle sera encor au dessus du peu de Connoissances que j'ai tant Sur la politique que Sur le Commerce et qui ont été l'objet Continuel de mes occupations depuis ma plus tendre jeunesse.
Permettés moi de vous remercier de l'accueil gracieur que vous avés fait à un ami que j'ai eû l'honneur de vous adresser l'année derniere.2 Il vient d'arriver et il se loue infiniment de la bonté avec la quelle vous l'avés reçu. Sa reconnoissance est égale à la mienne.

[salute] Je Suis avec un Profond respect, Monsieur Votre très humble et très obéissant serviteur

[signed] Addenet De Maison Rouge

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0243-0002

Author: Addenet, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-10

M. Addenet to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

A few months ago, one of our ambassadors asked me if I had seen a document that he knew only by title and that he wanted to read. It was the one containing Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie.1 Without telling him from whom I obtained it, I lent it to him, and in doing him this favor, I believe I did as you would have wished. He left without returning it to me. I would have liked to have kept it since it could be very useful right { 527 } now. I am hoping that you could give me another copy, and would be obliged if you could send it to me under cover to Monsieur Genet, first commissioner for foreign affairs.
I take this opportunity to be remembered to you and assure you of my devotion. I would be flattered if you believed me to be worthy of your confidence, and if you would take advantage of my feeble services. I can assure you that my zeal will be even greater than my limited knowledge of politics and trade, the study of both being an ongoing occupation of mine since childhood.
Permit me to thank you for the gracious welcome you gave one of my friends about whom I wrote to you last year.2 He just arrived and was infinitely pleased with the kindness you showed him. His gratitude is equal to mine.

[salute] I am with deep respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Addenet De Maison Rouge
1. This was Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie, extraites de l'ouvrage anglois, intitulé Mémoire, addressé aux souverains de l'Europe, sur l'état présent des affaires de l'Ancien et du Nouveau-monde, Amsterdam, 1780. It was the French translation, done by Addenet and to which was added a preface by Jean Luzac, of JA's A Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe upon the Present State of Affairs Between the Old and New World into Common Sense and Intelligible English, London, 1781. For JA's revision of the memorial, originally by Thomas Pownall, and the circumstances of the French edition, see the editorial note to A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July] 1780, and references there (vol. 9:157–164). The ambassador remains unidentified, and it is not known whether JA complied with Addenet's request.
2. This is Addenet's letter of 4 May 1781 (Adams Papers), which served to introduce Benoit de la Fosse.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0244

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-10

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

In consequence of your Excellency's commands of the 8th. inst:, we have sent to day one thausand obligations; and we Shall as soon as possible send the other thousand, which we get printed.1
These thousand being Signed by your Excellency, we pray to have them handed together to Mr. Van der Beets on the Stamp Chamber; whch. being the disposal of Mr. Zweerts of this City, we pray your Excellency to inform him of it at the same time.
Your Excellency may depend on our Secrecy abt. your journey, we beg leave in the meanwhile to wish it an agreable one for your Excellency and a happy one for America.
{ 528 }

[salute] We have the honour to be with respectfull Consideration Sir Your most Humble and most Obedient servants

[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
1. In his letter of 8 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers), JA had requested additional obligations to sign because he would be leaving The Hague on a journey, the purpose of which should remain secret. In his reply of 14 Oct. to this letter, JA indicated that he had delivered the thousand obligations to Mr. Van der Beets to be forwarded to Mr. Zweerts (LbC, Adams Papers). On the 15th the consortium wrote to inform JA that Zweerts had received the obligations and that they were enclosing another thousand obligations to be signed and returned to him (Adams Papers). Later on the 15th, Zweerts wrote JA to indicate that he had received the obligations (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-10-12

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

Yesterday, afternoon Mr Van der Burg, Van Spieringshaek the Agent of their High Mightinesses brought me the inclosed Resolution, relative to a Vessell of Mr Dubbledemuts.1 I promised to inclose it to Congress. I would have it translated here but I have not time. I presume Congress has or will have an Interpreter for the Low Dutch.
It is much to be desired that Congress would take Some Measures to inquire into this matter.
The Cause of my being so pressed, for Time is, that I am preparing to set off for Paris, and have not only all my Dispatches to make up, to send the Treaty, but have Obligations to sign respecting the Loan, that So essential a Business may not Stand still in my absence.
Mr Jay writes me that Mr oswald has recd a Commission to treat of Peace with the Commissioners of the United States of America.2 I Shall set off for Paris next Week.3

[salute] I have the Honour to be, &c

[signed] J. Adams
RC and enclosures (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 206–233).
1. The enclosed “Minutes” of the States General regarding the capture of the sloop Chester in 1777 and the efforts of the Dubbeldemuts firm to obtain restitution is with this letter in the PCC. For an English translation, see PCC, No. 104, IV, f. 228–242. For JA's earlier involvement in the case, see his letter of 4 July to Edward Rutledge, note 1, and references there, above.
3. When JA published this letter in the Boston Patriot of 17 July 1811, he noted that
“The foregoing letter is the last that I wrote to my government from Holland, till my { 529 } return to the Hague on the 23d day of July, 1783.
“The customs of the world made it necessary that I should make formal visits to take leave before my departure for Paris, of the president at least of their high mightinesses, of the prince and princess of Orange, of the grand pensionary of Holland, of the Secretary Fagel, and of so many other characters, as consumed much time.
“It was necessary that a great number of obligations should be signed for the loan of money.
“The dispatches necessary for congress were voluminous. It was necessary to make arrangements to set my household in order. Every moment of my time, assisted by two secretaries, Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Charles Storer, was employed, and the rainy season had made the roads almost impracticable. With our utmost exertions, we could not arrive at Paris till the 26th of October.”

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0246

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1782-10-12

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Gentlemen

The Bearer of this is Mr. Charles Storer, a young Gentleman of Boston, whom I beg leave to recommend to your Acquaintance.
I have sent to your Address to day a Trunk, which I beg the favor of You to fill up with such Things as Mr Storer shall mention to You, and send it well covered with a tarred Canvass to Mrs. Adams of Braintree to the Care of Isaac Smith Esqr. of Boston. Send it, if You please, by Captain Coffin.1
I have one more favor to beg of You. It is to engage me a Coach with four Places to go to Paris, for two months. It should be strong and decent, and it should be at the Door of the Arms of Amsterdam at nine oClock on Friday morning next.
You will please to charge all these Things to my private Account.
I have asked these favors of your House alone, because I would not give unnecessary Trouble to all the Gentlemen and I hope You will excuse the freedom I take with You.
You will be so good as to inclose in the Trunk an Invoice of the Articles You send with their prices, for the Information of Mrs. Adams.

[salute] With great Esteem, I have the Honor to be, Gentlemen, &c

LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. For the contents of the trunk, see letters to AA from JA and Charles Storer of 12 and 17 Oct., respectively (AFC, 5:15–16, 19–20).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0247

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-14

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

In answer to your most esteemed favoúr of 12 Curr. we shall have tomorrow morning a conversation with M. Charles Storer to be ac• { 530 } quainted with the articles, he chuses to fill up the trunck which we have received bÿ your Excellency's order, and we shall take the utmost Care to procure the best goods at the lowest rate and sent it, if possible by Cap: Coffin to the Address of Isaac Smith Esqr. of Boston to be forwarded to Mrs. Adams of Braintree.
We beg leave to ask, if your Excellencÿ wants a coach with four places together with foúr horses and to keep these horses with the Coachman the whole journeÿ along with him at Paris in that case we have to observe, that it is impossible to proceed the voyage as quck as if your Excellencÿ takes fresh horses in different places for the horses must rest by and bÿ, therefore we wait for further information to act according the desire of your Excellencÿ and than we Shall take care of a Strong and decent Coach and that he shall be at the door of the Arms of Amsterdam at nine o clock on friday morning next.
We Shall charge the amount of the articles bought by your order on your private acct. and mind to put the invoice into the trunck. Shall we paÿ the coach now or by your Excellency return.
We are much obliged to your Excellency for the preference you give us in executing the commissions you have occasion for, and we take the liberty to recommand us in every respect and we assure you, we shall have the greatest care for the concerns you be so kind to trust to our application.

[salute] We have the honour to be with the greatest Consideration & esteem Sir Your most obedients & very Humble Servant.

[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at [20?] Oct., Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 358.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1782-10-15

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Gentlemen

In Answer to the Question contained in your Favor of yesterday, I would observe, that I must depend upon Post-Horses and Postilions on the Road, and shall have Occasion for the Amsterdam Coachman and Horses only as far as Utrecht. But You will have the Goodness to desire the Coachmaster at Amsterdam to write to some Person in Utrecht to procure me a fresh supply of Horses when I shall arrive there. For the Remainder of the Journey I must take Post Horses.
{ 531 }
It is at your Choice, Gentlemen, to pay the Hire of the Coach now, or upon my Return.
There is one favor more, Gentlemen, that I have to ask, and that is, that You will be kind enough to furnish me with a Letter of Credit to some Banker at Paris for Cash to bear my Expences while there.1

[salute] With great Esteem, I have the honor to be, &c

LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. In the Adams Papers, dated 18 Oct., is a letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink to the Paris banking firm of Van den Yver Fréres & Co., introducing JA and requesting that it render whatever services JA required and furnish him with funds to be debited against the Willinks' account. JA picked up the letter at Amsterdam on the 18th, having left The Hague on the previous day to begin his journey to Paris, where he arrived on the night of the 26th. JA's departure did not go unnoticed. On 22 Oct. the Gazette d'Amsterdam reported that, after taking leave of the States General and the stadholder, JA had left for Paris on the previous Thursday, the 17th, leaving C. W. F. Dumas as chargé d'affaires. A translation of that report appeared in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer on 31 October. For JA's account of his journey, see JA, D&A, 3:29–37.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0249

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-15

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

A long and painful Illness has prevented my corresponding with your Excellency regularly, but I paid the Bill you drew upon me and advised me of in your last Letter.2
Mr Jay has I believe acquainted you with the Obstructions our Peace Negociations have met with, and that they are at length removed.3 By the next Courier expected from London, we may be able perhaps to form some Judgment of the Probability of Success, so far as relates to our Part of the Peace. How likely the other Powers are to settle their Pretensions, I can not yet learn. In the mean time America is gradually growing more easy, by the Enemy's Evacuation of their Posts; as you will see by some Intelligence I enclose.4
I have had the Happiness formerly to help your Excellency in the Discharge of the Public Demands upon you. I am now obliged to recur to you for the same kind of Assistance. Notice has been given me that the Interest of the Ten Millions borrow'd in Holland under the Guarantee of this Court becomes due the 5th: of next Month. My Frinds here are all engaged by Bills accepted and expected. I must therefore request that you will undertake the Payment of that Interest, which at 4 [per]r Cent amounts to about 400,000 Livres Tournois.5
{ 532 }

[salute] With great Respect, I have the honour to be, Sir Your Excellency's Most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin 15 Oct. 1782.”
1. The original of this letter did not reach The Hague until after JA's departure. Therefore, the copy printed here is likely the one that Franklin gave to JA on 31 Oct. and to which JA replied on 1 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers; Franklin, Papers, vol. 38), noting in his Letterbook that “the original not being received.”
2. JA's last known letter was of 23 July (LbC, Adams Papers), for which see his letter of 13 June to Franklin, note 1, above. In this sentence Franklin likely is referring to JA's letter of 10 June concerning a bill he had drawn on Fizeaux, Grand & Co. for his salary, above.
3. See Jay's letters of 1 Sept., above, and 28 Sept. (Adams Papers). That of the 28th informed JA that on the previous day Richard Oswald had received a new commission (21 Sept., above) authorizing him to negotiate with “the Commissioners of the United States of America.” The expected courier would presumably bring Oswald instructions regarding the negotiations that had already taken place.
4. Not found.
5. JA responded to Franklin's request on 1 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers), following his arrival at Paris. There he indicated that while there were ample proceeds from the loan available to pay the interest, Congress had not authorized him to dispose of such a large sum and, in any case, no funds could be expended until Congress returned the ratified contracts. The difficulties were resolved when JA received the ratified contracts from Congress on 5 Nov. and sent them to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje as enclosures in a letter of that date (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0250

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-16

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I congratulate your Excellency on having Compleated the work of which you have been the Sole Author. This being finished will not your Excellency Show yourself openly in an Affair, which must Stand in need of your inate Stubborness, in order to Check anothers Pliancy. In short Shall I not have the Pleasure of seeing your Excellency Soon in your way to Paris? Are not things ripe for you?
By what I can find from England Shelburne is by no means as yet fixed in his Place. That is, He has not got a decided Majority in the House—those, who left Him at the End of this Session, declare his Ministry is worse than the late Northern One.
I am greatly surprized to find That four Mails are arrived without bringing any more Slips.

[salute] I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servant

[signed] Edm: Jenings

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0251

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-18

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Friend

I have this moment received your Letters of the 17th. and 29th. of Septr: and after assuring you that they have given me much pleasure because they acquaint me your health and spirits are in a tolerable good state. I shall endeavour to make the best returns for them I am able to do, in my feeble state. My heart is obliged to ask leave of my head whenever it wishes to pay a proper attention to those who have a place in it. I have been confined for some time by an indisposition which has unfitted me for writing. I am now better, tho' I still labour under a dull heavy head ach, which will never entirely forsake me while I remain in this climate. I have however resolved to spend another benighted winter here. Your Son, I believe will go from hence in about a fortnight, by the way of Sweden and Denmark, when I shall be in a very lonely state, but still I shall be relieved from much anxiety about his education. The measure is necessary for his good. He wishes to be at his studies as soon as possible. I will give you some further particulars abt his route, company &c. if he goes. This course will be considerably more expensive than a passage by water in the Spring, which you propose in your last letter, yet the time that will be saved by it will make the difference of expence an object of little or no consideration in your mind. The kind manner in which you have expressed your sorrow that you have been so long prevented writing me, has done my almost disconsolate heart great good. Your friendship I place among the most valuable blessings of my life. The picture you sent to the care of the Dutch Ambassador I have heard nothing about. I will wait upon him soon and enquire after it. The dispatches have come to hand, except the copy of one letter and of a Cypher which were said to be enclosed. Can you give me any account of these?1 Please in future to write on the inside of the cover “This packet contains 5 (or as the Case may be) Papers” when I shall know if the a whole comes to hand from you. I thank you for the communications relative to Messrs: Fitzberbert and Oswald. There can certainly be no sincerity in such vague schemes and perhaps as little wisdom as sincerity. My opinion is, Gibralter will be taken. This is the opinion of the Spanish Ministers here. If so, I flatter myself we may have a general peace in the course of the next Winter. Pray send me a copy of your Treaty if possible. It may be sent directly on, as there are no secrets { 534 } in it, I presume. I shall attend in future to the Houses you mention. Are either of them Bankers to the United States? I have exactly the same idea as you have, of a certain policy. The web is too strong to be broken. You will find in my letter of the 5/16 Septr: precisely the same sentiments touching the probable effects of a similar policy with you, had you pursued it, as you have expressed upon it in your last, a little more particularly pointed out however. I shall begin to think by this conformity in our opinions that my ideas are not always erroneous upon the political plans which we ought to adopt. But I can think only and not act. Please to attend to my enquiry in the above letter about the categorical affair. Your Loan is in a much better state than I expected. You will be pleased to inform me from time to time of any alterations of consequence which may take place in it. We shall I beleive stand in need of it, as our Taxes seem to be very deficient. Not so much perhaps owing to the want of specie in the Country, as to its unequal distribution among the people. Those of the interiour parts must be nearly destitute of it, and of course really unable to pay their taxes in it. But this is an evil that will gradually be done away. The matter you speak of towards the close of your last, if I am not deceived, has been effected by the intrigues of ||the Ministry||||the Empress|| and will terminate as your question supposes. Nay further, 'tis probable ||the Emperor|| is necessary to it, and will take a part in it. There is much curious History in this matter which I cannot go into for want of a Cypher between us. I believe the Corps Diplomatiq here do not differ in opinion from the Corps Diplomatique with you.
As to the Information you wish for respecting the affairs of the Crimea I am unable at present to satisfy my own mind about them. The Independency of that Country was stipulated in the Treaty of Kainard,2 and the People were at liberty to elect their own Khans, and of course the Grand Sultan had no longer the right to depose them. From that time the Empress has considered herself as their Protectress. Russia besides obtained as it was then thought the great object of Peter the First, which her Majesty had pursued with all the magnanimity which adorns her character, that of a free commerce upon the Turkish Seas; and several ports there, viz. Kinburn, Kerseh, and Yanikale:3 but it was soon perceived that Her Majesty had lost almost all advantages thro' the want of proper information in her Negociators, which her arms had put into her hands. In short that this great project was left unprotected, and at the mercy of the Turks because her Majesty cou'd neither send or { 535 } build any Ships of War there for its protection. Another war therefore is perhaps necessary to remove the Turks at a more convenient distance, and to obtain the right of establishing a Navy in those Seas. When these objects will be pursued time will show us. I will endeavour to give you some further particulars relative to this Subject at another time; at present my head is in such a state that it is with great difficulty I have proceeded thus far. Pray give my regards to Mr. Thaxter and tell him as he has concluded to remain with you awhile longer, I hope he will write me by every convenient opportunity.

[salute] I am Sir, your much obliged Friend & obedt: hble: Servant

[signed] FD

[salute] Dear Sir

The above was written too late for the post of the day. Since then, I am inform'd the Commercial Treaty with Denmark is concluded;4 and that nearly the same advantages are granted to the Danes, as to the English by their Treaty; probably the very same which the English will enjoy after the expiration of that, in virtue of a new Treaty. I think they will not again obtain any particular advantages over other Nations, which have heretofore given them a sort of a Monopoly here. The error of such a policy is now clearly discerned. I do not yet learn that the Treaty with Portugal is concluded. Sweden wishes to have one also: And Her Majesty's Ministers for certain substantial reasons, are inclined to make Treaties with all the World, America at present alone excepted. I venture to say that a liberal Commercial Treaty with the United States, wou'd be productive of more solid benefits to this Empire than all the Treaties Her Majesty can form with any of the European States; and that the sooner such a one takes place the better for the Interests of her Empire. These two Truths are demonstrable. But it is said Il faut menager les Anglais—This moment we have received an account of the destruction of the floating batteries before Gibralter. My hopes are at an end. There now remains but one great stroke that of attacking Ld. Howe's Fleet which does not consist of more than 30 ships of the Line, when the combined Fleet amounts to 57. What an occasion to give a mortal blow to the British Navy! But may we expect this will be done? Adieu.5
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dana 7./18 Octr. 1782.” The enclosure is a copy of a letter from Elbridge Gerry to Dana of 13 June and is endorsed by Thaxter: “Copy of a Letter from Mr. Gerry to Mr. Dana { 536 } 13th. June 1782.” Dana's letter to JA was apparently folded inside the enclosure, for the fourth and otherwise blank page of the Gerry letter bears the address in Dana's hand: “A Son Excellence Mr. Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis à son hotel. A la Haïe.” In his letter, Gerry commented on his retirement from Congress, the prospects for peace, the financial situation in the United States, and the importance of the fisheries to the United States in general and Massachusetts in particular. It may have been Gerry's observations on the fisheries that led Dana to send JA a copy, but no mention of either the Dana or the Gerry letter has been found in any of JA's later correspondence. In this letter Dana used the code that he sent to JA in Sept. 1781 to encode several names, and they have been decoded from that source (vol. 11:480–481).
1. The following sentence was written at the bottom of the second page and marked for insertion at this point.
2. This is the Russo-Turkish 1774 peace treaty of Kutschuk-Kainardji by which Russia established itself as a power on the Black Sea.
3. Kinburn is located on the Dnieper estuary in the Black Sea, 39 miles east of Odessa. Kerch, also known as Kertch or Kersch, is a Crimean seaport on the Strait of Yenikale, now the Strait of Kerch, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
4. Russia and Denmark signed a treaty of amity and commerce on 19 Oct. at St. Petersburg (Table générale du recueil des traités de G. F. de Martens et de ses continuateurs, 1494–1874, Gottingue, 1875). Neither Portugal nor Sweden, mentioned later in the paragraph, concluded a commercial treaty with Russia at this time.
5. The final twelve words were written on the front page, below the text of the previous letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0252-0001

Author: Holtzhey, Jean George
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-20

From Jean George Holtzhey

[salute] Monsieúr

L'Independance de Votre Nation, m'a fait inspirer l'idée de immortaliser ce grand et digne Evenement par úne Medaille que j'ai fait súr Leúr Liberté et dont J'ai l'honneúr de Vous envoÿer la premiere épreuve; dans L'Esperance qu'il fera tant de plaisir a Votre Excellence:1 que d'Honneur pour ma personne de me dire que je reste avec un profond respect Monsieur! Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] Jean George Holtzhey

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0252-0002

Author: Holtzhey, Jean George
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-20

Jean George Holtzhey to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Your nation's independence has inspired me to immortalize this great and noteworthy event in a medal commemorating its liberty, and of which I have the honor of sending you the first proof in the hope that it will bring great pleasure to your excellency:1 and it is a personal honor for me to say that I remain with a profound respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Jean George Holtzhey
1. For the medal designed and struck by Holtzhey to commemorate Dutch recognition of the United States, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. Medal Commemorating Dutch Recognition of the United States, by Jean George Holtzhey, 1782 53810, above. C. W. F. { 537 } Dumas enclosed Holtzhey's letter and the medal with a covering letter of 28 Oct. (Adams Papers) that was sent to Paris in the care of a courier from the Duc de La Vauguyon. JA received the medal and the letter on the morning of 2 Nov. and immediately replied (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:655–656). He thanked Holtzhey for his “ingeniously devised” and “very beautiful” medal and indicated that upon his return to the Netherlands he likely would purchase some to give to friends.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0253

Author: Ridley, Matthew
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-21

From Matthew Ridley

[salute] Sir

I was honored with your favors covering Letters for Mr Jay which I delivered.1 My Papers are packd up as I am moving from my present Hotel.2 This is the Reason I cannot mark the dates: but the last was the 8h. Currt: I have delayed writing in Answer, being continually buoyed up with Hopes of seeing you here: and this is the Reason Mr Jay has not wrote. He desires me however to remember him to you and flatters himself it will not be long before you meet as he finds the Affair of the Treaty is settled.
Your first Letter made no small impression on me. I have no doubt Reasons will be given why the Commo. was given away—When I say Reasons I mean that I think you will find Mr. J not to blame about it. In my own mind I am satisfied the persons you mention would have been preferable.3 I hope however this Affair will make no impression upon you. You may rely our Friend J. means well: And I am satisfied he has a very great esteem and respect for you: and which I think no difference in political Opinions or adoption of measures (which are only matters of opinion) will in the least Affect.
I find by Letters from England Mr L. will not be able to leave there before the Spring on account of his precarious state of health.4
It is very strange that V. has never yet communicated what R's business was in England. It is that kind of Reserve which begets distrust often and which at all times prevents a liberal communication: All Things do not go right here and I should not be surprized was there to be a change almost similar to the one in England. Quarrels are gotten to a pretty great height—Fleury has attacked the Minister of Marine on account of his Expences—V. rather sides with the Comptroller, The Queen with the Marine and so between them there will be a Struggle untill either one or the other goes and maybe the whole. Should such an event take place some talk of Choiseul and Neckar.5 The Oeconomy of the latter and the profu• { 538 } | view { 539 } sion of the former may however prevent such an Union. The Effects I see in all this business is that most probably that of Peace may be retarded by it. Spain hankers as much after Gibraltar and Jamaica as ever the Levites of old did after the Flesh pots of Egypt. She has Influence here and it is well if they do not overshoot the Mark. I cannot but view with contempt these petty Struggles about a Barren Rock and an Island (neither of which will probably be given up by the present Occupiers) when I see America, an extent of Country immense, with 1500 miles sea Coast liberated, nay torn from the Body of a vast and powerfull Empire by a number of People not forming one fifteenth part scarcely of the Subjects of France and Spain. Liberty and such a Country were prizes worth contending for. See the blessed Effects of Unanimity! In seven Years has this mighty Object been accomplished! When I think on this business I am struck with astonishment and feel my Imagination Carried, I know not whither. Excuse this digression and believe me with respect Sir Your most Obedient servant
[signed] Matt: Ridley
If the war Should continue the silver Boxes6 may be wanting. I think the one you propose them for is the best that could be thought of. I am glad to find your Loan gathers as it Rowls. That Money will be much wanting. There is a talk of opening a Loan here for Eighty Millions. You may be assured I am right about the amount of our debt here. I do not hear if they propose letting us have any more. If the war continues we shall want some.
There are Letters as late as the 10. of Septemr from Boston. The French fleet which was arrived wanted much repairs. Pigot they say was arrived at new York and it appears by the some of the Papers that orders had actually been given for the evacuation of Charles Town. The Inhabitants had proposed to ask time from General Green (which I suppose would not be granted). Leslie had informed such as chose to quit the Town that there were Vessells prepared to carry them to Augustin, of all places in the World.
Mr J. bids me tell you the Letter Mr B. left for you7 is still in his possession, as he expected to see You and such particular directions are given with it he has not cared to trust it by any opportunity hitherto offered.

[salute] Thus ends my Second Letter.

[signed] MR
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Ridley.”; in another hand: “October 21th. 1782.”
{ 540 }
1. Ridley delivered letters to John Jay from JA on 6 and 14 Oct. (MHi: Ridley Journal). They were probably those of 1 and 7 Oct., above. The first was presumably enclosed in JA's to Ridley of 29 Sept. and the second, as Ridley indicates, in that of 8 Oct., both above, but neither letter mentions an enclosure intended for John Jay.
2. In his journal (MHi) Ridley describes his move from the Hotel de Vauban to the Hotel de Clary, No. 60, Rue de Clary, and indicates that on 23 Oct. he was finally in his new apartments.
3. JA wrote first and secondtwo letters to Ridley on 29 Sept., both above, but the letter referred to here as the “first” is, as printed in the volume, the second because of its position in JA's Letterbook. The issue raised by Ridley is William Temple Franklin's appointment as secretary to the peace commission, an action that JA opposed.
4. Henry Laurens reached London on 24 Sept. (Laurens, Papers, 16:26). But instead of returning to America, he went to Paris to join the peace negotiations, arriving there on or about 29 Nov. (JA, D&A, 3:79).
5. Jean François Joly de Fleury had replaced Jacques Necker as minister of finances in May 1781. By Oct. 1782, like Necker before him, he was at odds with various officials, including the naval minister, the Marquis de Castries, over their expenditures. Fleury did not seek to reform the system fundamentally, but rather wanted accurate data on expenditures so that he could make it work. By so doing he hoped to gain some degree of control over the massive budget deficits that were partly a result of the American Revolution and that helped precipitate the French Revolution. Even that was too much of a threat to entrenched interests, and in 1783, having lost the support of Vergennes and others, Fleury was forced to resign (Murphy, Vergennes, p. 399–400; Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 297).
6. See JA's letter of 8 Oct., above.
7. Thomas Barclay's letter of 27 Sept., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0254

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-21

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We shall be glad to hear your Excellencys happy arrival in paris, at my being in the Hague Mr Dumas informed me of the receipt of the 1000 Obligations, whch. I recommended to his care till further disposal.
Said Gentleman informed me he could want some money one time or another whch. he'd be glad to dispose on us together whch. Should be approuved by your Excellency. We beg therefore to know what Sum you are pleased to order to his disposition.1

[salute] In the meanwhile we have the honour to remain with the most respectfull Consideration Sir Your Excellency's Most Obedient & Humble Servants

[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
1. JA received this letter on 1 Nov., and in his reply of 2 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers), he indicated that Dumas' expenses connected with the American legation should be paid, but that if Dumas needed additional funds, they should inform him, and he would advise them regarding payment.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0255

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-25

From Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Sir

Many Months have Elapsed, and many Great Events have taken place since I took up my pen to address you,1 among which few are more important to this Country than the Dutch Negotiation, and perhaps None have been attended with Greater Difficulties, and none more Replete with Honour to the prime actors than this. Yet I should not have Ventured to pass my Censure on Its opposers, or to Give sanction to the Measure, by a full approbation of the spirit and Dignity which has brought it to a Completion. Had it not been repeatedly Called upon in the Late Letters to your friend, a friend (who though now a private Gentleman) is not Less Attentive to the Intere[st] of the public, nor Less Attached to the Minister at the Hague than when you both stimulated by the Noblest Motives of patriotism, and bound by the strong ties of Mutual Friendship, Nursed the Embrio of opposition, Discussed the Nature of Government, and Formed the plans of Revolution by the social Fire side at Plimouth. But the Enthusiasm of poetry has Languished under the hand of Time: and the Muse Grown too Timid, amidst the Noise of War, to Attempt an Elogium on the Virtues of patience, perseverance, and patriotism. Though the sterling Worth of Those Capital Virtues have been tryed in the Fiery Furnace of Intrigue, Deception, and ingratitude.
But the Historian must be very Negligent of Fame who is not ambitious that all the Extraordinary transactions in the Diplomatic system, should stand Conspicuous in his Work. But when the poignancy of sarcasm is strongly felt by the too susceptable Heart, some Little thirst of revenge will arise in the most Good Natured of the Human Race—nor is any office so illustrious, or any Character so sacred, but he must submit (if he provokes the threatening) Even to the Menaces of a Woman. He will not find himself secure though hid in the pallaces of princes, or sheilded by the stronger Bulwark of his own integrity. Therefore Depend upon it, a Blank shall be Left (in Certain annals) for Your Dutch Negotiation, unless you Condescend to furnish with your own Hand, a few more Authentic Documents to Adorn the Interesting page.2
If the Refinements of the European World has Wroght the Divine Science of politics into a Mechanical System, Composed of all the Foperies of Life,3 be assured Sir, America is not a Century behind { 542 } them in Taste. You will not therfore be surprized when told, that the test of merit is Wealth, And that Every thing which is Lucrative is Honorable in this Country. But as Mankind in all ages are Governed Less by Reason than Opinion—it may again become Fashionable to be Virtuous, and the Man be more Respected for the probaty of his Heart, than for the Trapings of his Horses. But as the Morals of a people Depend more on the Genius of their Rulers than the Mode of Government, the Leading Characters among us do not at present promise such a Happy Revolution in Manners. And so little prospect of success is thier to the struggles of the uncorrupted few, that I do not find my self quite willing your much Esteemed friend, Mr Warren, who has but just retird from the public Walk, (sickned by the servility and weakness of Man, and wearied with the unremiting Vigalence of Near twenty years in the Field of politics) should again return to the Embarased Scene—yet Convinced of the Necessity of sending our best men to Congress, and knowing you deem it a point of the utmost importance, I dare not urge my Arguments against His repairing to philadelphia to you. Were it prudent to Transmit them beyond the Atlantic, some of them you would acknowledge Weighty, Others you might place to the score of Female Timidity, Delecacy, or perhaps pride.4
What a Many Headed Monster is a Republic Grafted on the principles of Despotism. Nor is a sovereign without a Crown a Less Dangerous Annimal than the Monarch Whose Brow is Graced with the splendor of a Diadem.5
If any Expression in this appears like a Decay of public Spirit in the Wane of Life, a line from your pen might Revive the Languid taper, though not as the Rescript of a Minister, but as the Admonishions of a Friend.6
I need say Little of your Family as Mrs Adams Neglects no opportunity of writing you. She with all her livly Children spent yesterday with us on Milton Hill.
As I have touched on the Domestic feelings to which you are not insensible, I shall Mention a son,7 Dear to his parents, and amiable in the Eyes of his Friends, has any part of his Conduct since in Europe rendered him unworthy—that Mr Adams has Never once Named him in his Long absence. If he has, your tenderness will still impose silence. If not, the Flattering hopes of a Mother, will be strengthend in your Next Letter to one who subscribes with much Respect & unabating Esteem Your assured Friend & Humble servant
[signed] M Warren
{ 543 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mrs Warren Ansd Jany 29. 1783.” Some loss of text where the margin is worn. Tr (MHi: Mercy Warren Letterbook). The transcript is considerably longer than the recipient's copy and significant differences between the two are indicated below. For a description of the nature and content of the “Mercy Warren Letterbook,” which is not in Mercy Warren's hand and was done years later from copies not now extant, see AFC, 1:93–94.
1. Mercy Otis Warren's last extant letter to JA was of 28 Dec. 1780, to which no reply has been found (vol. 10:445–447).
2. In this paragraph, Mercy Warren is responding to JA's reference in his 19 Aug. letter to James Warren, above, to the treatment of his Dutch negotiations in her planned history of the Revolution. Her request for more documents presumably means in addition to those contained in JA's A Collection of State-Papers, which James Warren's letter to JA of 1 Nov. (Adams Papers) indicates was enclosed in the letter of 19 August.
3. In this paragraph, Mercy Warren is responding to JA's comments in his 17 June letter to James Warren, above, but see note 4.
4. In the transcript, the commentary in this paragraph was expanded and altered as follows:
“You observe in a corner of your letter, that the refinements of the European world had wrought up the divine science of politics, into a mechanical system, composed of all the fopperies of life. Be assured Sir, that America is not a century behind them in taste. We are a people remarkable for our aptitude of improvement; yet it may require time to ripen and digest the plans both of policy and pleasure. You will not however be surprized when I tell you that already the test of merit is wealth; and that every thing lucrative is deemed honourable in your country. But as the morals of the people depend more on the genius and character of their rulers, than on the mode of government, it may in some future day again become fashionable to be virtuous, when the man may be respected more for the probity of his heart, than the trappings of his horses;—but at present there is little prospect of such a happy revolution in manners.
“Mr. Warren will write you by this opportunity, but though chosen a delegate, he will not repair to Congress this year. He has retired from the public walks—fatigued with the unremitting vigilance of near twenty years in the field of politics:—he declines engaging again in the embarrassed scene, while there is so little prospect that the struggles of the uncorrupted few, will bring back the minds of others to the point from which they have wandered. Death, desertion, indifference, or foreign employment have left few of the first capital characters in Congress.
“Several other arguments I could urge in favour of his determination; was it prudent to transmit them beyond the Atlantic. Some of them you would acknowledge weighty; others you might place to the score of female timidity, delicacy, or perhaps pride. Yet I am so convinced of the necessity of sending men of the most impeccable characters to Congress, that I rather wish him to go on.”
James Warren wrote to JA on 1 Nov. (Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters, 2:181–183).
5. Likely a reference to John Hancock.
6. In the transcript, Mercy Warren's comments were expanded as follows:
“I cannot conclude this without observing, that, though I may have been the last of your correspondents who has congratulated you on the success of your late negotiation, I believe I am not the least sensible of its importance: nor among the multitude of your friends, have you many who enjoy in a higher degree, your compleat triumph over the British Minister.
“We are none of us insensible of the anxieties, the fatigue, and hazard, you must have surmounted in your peregrinations from Court to Court; nor of the firmness and integrity necessary to obtain success. Your success in Holland has secured the claims of America—on a basis that promises wealth and honour:—and if we support a national character of our own, and are not wanting to ourselves, I may add happiness to posterity.
“Have you lately seen a son of mine now in Europe: a son very dear to his parents and very amiable in the eyes of his friends?
“Your lady and family spent yesterday with us on the summit of Fremont. Do you think our friends in France and Holland made any part of the conversation? I will acknowledge we wished for their company, { 544 } and sure I am that were you to behold the varigated beauties exhibited to the eye of reason and gratitude in this pleasant Villa, though you are surrounded by the glare of greatness, and caressed in the Courts of Princes—you would breathe a sigh for the social hour of private friendship, and the sweet moments of contemplation in so delightful a retreat;—'Where the free soul looks down and pities Kings.'”
In the first and second paragraphs, Mercy Warren is apparently responding to JA's comments in his letter of 6 Sept. to James Warren, above.
7. For Winslow Warren, who had been in Europe since 1780, see vol. 11:75–76, 296. JA mentioned him in his letter to Mercy Warren of 9 Dec. 1780, the same day on which he also wrote to James Warren, but since the only extant copies of those letters are letterbook copies in the Adams Papers, they may not have been received (vol. 10:404–407).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0256

Author: Dalton, Tristram
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-26

From Tristram Dalton

[salute] Sir

I esteem myself greatly honor'd by the receipt of your Favor's of the 18th August last—and much obliged by the attention paid to my request respecting Capt Armstrong who, soon after my writing, returned from a severe confinement, having made his escape—of which I immediately advised to prevent any further trouble in that affair.1
You express yourself at a loss, Sir, to know, to what intelligence, thro' the war, I refer, in supposing the enemy to have been better informed of than her Friends.2 I did not mean such as Congress might have duly received, but such as the wellwishers of the cause we are engaged in seemed frequently to be without. The Decisions of Congress, thro' the contest, fully prove that their informations have been much better than those of the Court of Great Britain, whose insiduous designs and proposals have, thereby, in a great degree, been frustrated. But, Sir, it has been a frequent remark in this part of the Country, that any particular plans designs or movements of the enemy have been known to suspected Characters long before those of the opposite denomination have scarcely had a hint, which, I confess, might have been owing to the great vigilance and industry the former exercised, while the friends of our Country, putting the utmost confidence in the Persons to whom they had committed the management of their public concerns, neglected too much the means of informing themselves—a fault too common—and to a free Country, much more to one struggling for Freedom, often, if not always, proving in the end fatal to their Liberties.
Sensible of this in my private Sphere of Life, I felt doubly the obligation to procure all useful Intelligence when I had taken a Seat in the Legislative of this Commonwealth. This I plead in excuse for intruding on your important hours, so far as to ask the favor of any { 545 } advice you had time, or thought proper, to afford me. Permit me now to return thanks for the political intelligence You have honor'd me with, and for the pamphlet accompanying3—by that and other information it appears that the ancient spirit of freedom, which wrested the United Provinces from the hand of tyranny, but which has lain dormant a long time, revives, and promises to shine in its original Splendor.
The Success of these American States in the Cause of Liberty has been productive already of much good in the European World—and it is to be presumed the Effects of our Independence are scarcely visible yet. Ireland may, and ought to, thank us for the Blessings they have lately acquired, notwithstanding their Patriot, M Grattan, in his celebrated Speech, so insiduously contrasts the merit of the American Contest, with that of his Country.4
The People of the United Provinces will feel the happy influences by the revival of their ancient constitution, if they are as wisely conducted in future as they have been directed lately. They need only the Influence of the American Spirit and Firmness to lead them to wise measures. Their sluggish disposition may try the patience of Job, as I doubt not You have experienced—but that there is a latent spark of Freedom sufficient to kindle the Mass is evident from the great effects which your unremitted labours have caused. However easy it may be to obtain the favor of a Court, it appears to me far otherwise to rouse a whole People, who have been long buried under the influence of selfish pursuits, and a tyrannical Exercise of Government—to inspire them with new political life so as to see their public interest, and to feel their importance. This task was reserved for yourself. Your friends rejoyce in the important success that has crowned your Pursuits. The Alliance formed under your sole Endeavours, appears to me permanent, considering it proceeds from the united voice of a people—which, in such general concerns, tho' harder to obtain, is more to be depended upon, than the promises of Crowned Heads—as, in the one Case, a secret intrigue may escape the closest Notice, and alter the disposition of the Court, which Alteration can scarsely take place in a republick but in a slow progression, giving opportunity to counteract the designs of an Enemy.
The Assistance which the United Provinces can afford the Allied Powers is contemptuously spoken of by the British. It is true it may not appear so powerful as that of France, but when any one considers the difference their joyning G B would have made—the immense { 546 } extent of their trade, together with the similarity of many things between the Inhabitants of them and these States, as fully set forth in the first memorial presented to their H Ms5—it must be allowed, by all, that their friendship and Alliance were most desirable Objects—The Loss of which G B must lament.
Upon the first appearance of Affairs, after the Marquis of Rockingham's appointment in the British Ministry, We flatter'd ourselves an honorable Peace would soon have taken place—whatever just grounds there then was for such suggestions, our present opinion coincides with those you express, that the Court of G B. will be governed by the fate of their Armaments and of the fortress of Gibraltar.
The Situation of the different Governments in the Union you must have from various hands, much more able to acquaint you than is in my power. Thus much I am sure, that the Americans show no disposition to retreat. They seem as determined to push the war as when it began. It is true of this Commonwealth, that great are the wants of Money. The General Court are devising every means to revive public Credit, and to raise Money for current Charges, as well as to answer the demands of Congress. The People say they have not got the Cash nor can they raise it. Heretofore when pressed to what they, at the time, supposed the last extremity, the difficulties were overcome, I hope the new ones will meet the like good fortune. However, my dear Sir, it is to be sincerely wished that the Loan for the Use of Congress, solicited in Holland may be effected. I hear transiently that half a million is already negotiated—it would greatly releive at this time. The Enemy form high hopes from our apparent distresses on this account, not reflecting how often they have been the dupes of their own delusive dreams—which will again, in this instance, be their lot. New England has now more able bodied Men, more Cattle and Provisions than in 1775. Can such a Country give way—retaining the spirit of that memorable year. They do retain it. They cannot “look back—stop—or deviate.”
I note your observations on the Conduct of Denmark and Russia—and since hear that Sweden, more friendly, has proposed a treaty of Amity and Commerce with these States.6
I am sometimes of opinion that the Continuance of the war is beneficial to us, when I reflect on the intimacy and knowledge of their Trade Policy and Finances which every new Alliance with different Powers of Europe gives the Subjects of these States. Many years Peace might not furnish such opportunities. Would the Calm { 547 } of more tranquil times have afforded you the opportunity of lighting up anew the Batavian Spirit of Liberty thro' the U Provinces, and of causing the Body of People to unite in so serious and important an Affair?
But how am I, Sir, engrossing your time to look over what can be of no other Service than to convince you that I wish it my power to make the least Amend for the favors received. From the important business which calls your Attention I dare not promise myself frequent Intelligence. Give me leave to say, it is my sincere wish to hear from you when a leisure moment may permit.

[salute] I am, with the most respectful Regard And Affection, Sir Your obliged Friend & most humble Servant

[signed] Tristram Dalton
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dalton Octr. [2]6 ansd Decr. 23. 1782.” JA's reply has not been found.
1. Not found, but for some indication of its content, see JA's letters of 19 Aug. to Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, and James Warren, all above. For Dalton's plea on behalf of Armstrong, see his letter of 25 May, and note 2, above.
2. JA's reference was to Dalton's comment in his letter of 25 May.
3. Probably JA's A Collection of State-Papers, The Hague, 1782. James Warren indicated in his letter to JA of 1 Nov. (Adams Papers) that JA had sent him the pamphlet with his letter of 19 Aug., above.
4. Dalton likely is referring to Henry Grattan's speech of 16 April before the Irish Parliament that was published in the Boston Independent Ledger of 26 August. There Grattan celebrated in general the Irish drive for legislative independence through the repeal of Poyning's Law and in particular the volunteer movement. In doing so he emphasized the differences between the Irish and American situations and, in particular, Irish loyalty to the British Crown.
5. JA's memorial to the States General of 19 April 1781 (vol. 11:272–282), which was included in A Collection of State-Papers.
6. See Arthur Lee's letter of 1 Oct., and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0257

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-26

From Francis Dana

(Secret and confidential)

[salute] My Dear Sir

Soon after my arrival here I intimated to you that I had discovered something which I thought a clew to account for the advice given me by a certain person, and which you and I then were of opinion, was calculated to throw an obstruction in my way, and of course that I ought not to follow it.2 I told you I wou'd communicate it to you by the first good opportunity. None has offered till now. Here then you have it. In the project of a Treaty of Commerce which ||France|| had proposed to ||the Empress|| there is an article to this effect. When the Subjects of ||France|| shall carry in their own vessels, goods, wares, or merchandises, of the growth, produce, or { 548 } manufacture of ||France||, into the dominions of ||the Empress|| and shall receive in exchange for them, goods, wares, and merchandises, of the growth, production, or manufacture of ||the Empress|| that in such cases, there shall be a drawback of the Duties both of Importation and of Exportation paid by the Subjects of ||France|| upon all such articles imported, or received in exchange by them as aforesaid.
Now in order to induce ||the Empress|| to grant this most advantageous privilege to ||France||||France|| alleges that it will be for the interest of ||the Empress|| to do it; because ||France|| will have a demand for great quantities of the Commodities of ||the Empress|| which she will nevertheless not be under a necessity of purchasing of ||the Empress||after the war; for these reasons, that she can then obtain the same from ||America|| and altho' perhaps not at so cheap a rate, yet it will be for her interest, if||the Empress||shall refuse to grant this priviledge, to pay ||America|| from 15 to 20. pr: Cent: more for the same articles, as by taking those articles from ||America||||France|| wou'd enable her to take off a greater quantity of the commodities of ||France|| and the more easily to discharge the debts she may contract for them in ||France||.
The foregoing project, and the reasons urged in support of it were somewhat more detailed than I have given them to you above. As I cou'd not obtain a copy of them, I read them over with care, and in the time of it, reduced them to writing from my memory. The above is a copy of that memorandum and I believe I have not made any material mistake in it. Hemp, the article of which ||the Empress|| is most jealous of a Rivalry, is particularly mention'd by ||France||. Thus I found both Friends and Foes working against us here for their own private purposes; if to support and maintain a Rivalry between the two Countries can be said to be working against our Interests. However different their views may be, the effect is the same and equally prejudicial to us let it proceed from whom it may; and this junction in their systems rendered my task of clearing away such errors, much more difficult. The immense profit which ||France|| wou'd derive from such a priviledge must have made her consider it as an object of great consequence to herself. She cou'd not therefore wish to open any communication, which might possibly bring on an eclaireissement that wou'd render her project abortive. Is it unnatural to suppose that the pendency of such a negotiation might have been a sufficient ground for the advice above alluded to, or for others to prevent my forming any connections { 549 } | view { 550 } with persons in Government here? I view it indeed in this light, but perhaps I may view it with too suspicious an eye. It has had no tendency to convince me that it is an erroneous principle in our policy. That we ought to take care of our own Interests in Foreign Courts. This is in some places an unfashionable if not an unpardonable sentiment. Shou'd you think proper to write me upon this subject, I must beg you to do it in so disguised a manner as cannot be penetrated. For I have good reasons to apprehend that it is next to impossible to avoid a detection of my correspondence thro' the posts. I this day received a second letter which had been opened at the office, from Paris. They will open every letter bro't by their post, to discover any correspondence they wish to discover, without the least hesitation. For this reason I desire you wou'd never send me a copy of any dispatches you may know I have received, but instead of it, to give me notice when you receive any such, and I will write you what to do with them. By this same opportunity you will receive a letter for Mr: L——.3 Please to open it, read it, and beg Mr: T. whom we may safely confide in, to be so kind as to make out two or three copies of it, and to forward them by careful hands. I am unable to do this myself at present, and I dare not send a letter of that sort by the Post. Desire Mr: T. not to put up either of them, with any of your or my other letters, but to send them unconnected with any thing which, in Case of Capture, might discover from whence they came. You will pardon the trouble I give you in these matters, and be assured I shall never be unmindful of the obligations I am under to you. Since the above one of my Bankers has called upon me, and tells me all my letters which came under cover to them directly will certainly be opened at the office—that it will be necessary therefore to send them all by the way of Riga. I am my dear Sir your much obliged Friend & obedient humble Servant
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Letter by my Son. Secret & confidential.” Filmed at 15 Oct., Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 358. In this letter Dana used the code that he sent to JA in Sept. 1781 to encode several names, and they have been decoded from that source (vol. 11:480–481).
1. Francis Dana entrusted this letter to JQA, who departed from St. Petersburg for the Netherlands on 30 Oct. and reached The Hague on 21 April 1783 (JQA, Diary, 1:153, 174). On the following dayJQA wrote to his father, informing him of his arrival and the letter in his possession that Dana had absolutely forbidden him to send by the post (AFC, 5:130–131). Not mentioned in this letter or by JQA but presumably also carried by him on his journey was a code and cipher key dated 18 Oct. [29 Oct. N.S.] (Adams Papers; filmed with Ciphers and Cipher Keys, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 602; see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. Cipher, Francis Dana, 18 October 29 October N.S. 1782 54911, above). There, after a lengthy explanation of enciphering and deciphering, Dana wrote, “I do not expect you will ever write me in { 551 } cyphers, unless upon the most urgent occasions: nor shall I trouble you or myself in that way upon slight ones. 'Tis best to be armed at all points if possible. With this view alone, having a safe opportunity by your Son, I send you these Cyphers. We may occasionally make use of these for words at large, and when you receive these you will throw aside my former Cyphers.” For the code that Dana sent to JA in Sept. 1781 and which is used in this letter, see vol. 11:478–482.
2. It is impossible to identify the specific letter to which Dana refers because several written since his arrival at St. Petersburg hinted at information that he had obtained but could not communicate because he had no secure way of doing so. See, for example, his letters of 17 Dec. 1781 and 11 Jan. 1782 (vol. 12:145–148, 178–184). Presumably, given the content of this letter, the “certain person” was Vergennes, with whom Dana had had an interview before his departure for Russia. For Dana's March 1781 conversation with the foreign minister, as well as with Benjamin Franklin, and JA's comments on them and his advice to Dana regarding his mission, see vol. 11:266–270266–267, 267–270.
3. Dana's letter of 14 Oct. [25 Oct. N.S.] to Robert R. Livingston (PCC, No. 89, f. 650–656), which is printed at the former date in Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:812–814. Dana indicates in his letterbook that it went “By Mr. J: Q: Adams” (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook, Official Letters, 1781 to 1782). JQA wrote in his letter of 22 April 1783 that Dana initially wanted him to hand deliver the letter to JA, but since then he had instructed him to give it to Duncan Ingraham, an American merchant at Amsterdam, to be forwarded to America (AFC, 5:130–131). Dana's concern over its transmission may be explained by the fact that it referred, somewhat obscurely, to the proposed Franco-Russian treaty mentioned in this letter, but also because he may have enclosed a cipher key similar to that sent to JA.
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.