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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

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).
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.