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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

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.