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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

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.
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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,

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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.
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.