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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 14

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0005

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-01

From James Warren

[salute] My dear Sir.

I made my Acknowlegdments of the rect. of your favours of June 17. & July the 2d. by Capt. Grinnall who sailed for Amsterdam about a fortnight ago,2 since which I have the pleasure of yours of Augt. 19th. with the Inclosed Pamphlet.3 Conveying a State of the origin & progress of the Treaty with Holland, an Event which will make a figure in History in Proportion to its Importance, when Justice must be done to the Integrity, & ability, the Zeal & Perseverance of him who Negotiaciated it, All the Honest part of America do that now equal to his Wishes. but there are others, & some of them in high Stations, & great Confidence who have been Stunnd. & mortified at this Success some of them perhaps Influenced by Envy & some by Interest. but you know all about it: I need not tell you that. Foreigners of high rank & Character would not beleive it possible. That The { 11 } Mighty of this part of the Globe, Condemned the Measures taken to Effect it. & at last beleived the Accounts of the success of them with reluctance. I wish I could know your Ideas of our present domestic Situation, of Men vested with Imperial powers, & what is as Bad furnished with Sources of Corruption equal to a King of Britain, of the Sagacity of that Congress which has found Abilities & Integrity where the Congress in 1775 & 76, &c would never have suspected they were to be found. but I quit a Subject I hate to reflect upon. I have Conceived a great Opinion of Mr Jay. he has Conducted if I am well Informed with great dignity. I dont beleive it will be your fault or his if matters do not Conclude well. if I was to give you two Instructions they should be very discretionary. I have some Conception what you & he & Mr Dana have Endured. I dont wonder if you are all weary. The Good Dr. is now Appointed to Negotiate with Sweden. no doubt he will Succeed, & Add a new Plume to his Cap4
I wish Mr. Jay may make an Advantageous Treaty with Spain. it will be no unfavourable Circumstance to have it done at Paris instead of Madrid, or any other place or places where he has danced Attendance on that Court.
Great Expectations & fears are formed here upon the fate of Gibralter if it falls we Expect a Peace. if it does not we Expect at least Another Campaign but I hope we shall be prepared for either
You have indeed a large Feild before you. The Questions to be decided are Numerous & Important. quite enough so without descending to the Trifling Consideration of the Tories. & can it be possible at this Time of day that the British Cabinet should Interest themselves in their favour what would they do for them, surely they would not wish them to have Neponset Hill. they deserve Nothing. but if they must have any thing they can Expect no more than the Money their Estates sold for. out of the respective Treasurys where it is lodged. & that I hope is more than they will ever get. at least till Britain pays for all the devastations made on the Estates of honest Men. Mrs. W. writes you by this Oppy. Great Events must find a place in her History especially when Impartiality & Friendship Combine to Insert them.5 That you may Enjoy Health & Happiness is the Prayer of your Friend.
[signed] J W
Not a Word about the dear Commonwealth of M. Yes The first Magistrate is—the Executive Council is—The Legislature is in the { 12 } Usual Stile sometimes makeing wise Laws, & sometimes not, however Constantly makeing New, or repealing old ones. The present Members of Congress Elected are Gerry Osgood, S. Higgison, Gorham Holton, & J W.6 I beleive the last must stay at Home, & Cultivate his Farm
Novr 24th.
The preceeding Letter was designed to go by the Firebrand, who slipd away unexpectedly & left that & many others for you behind. other owners might have been Complaisant enough at least to have taken Mrs. Adams.7 but even Fortune Cannot Change the spots of the Beast or alter the Skin of the Ethiopian.8 since She sailed Nothing worthy your Notice has taken place. The French Fleet are still here & not quite ready for Sea. The French Army is Expected soon in order to Embark on Board the Fleet Mr Gorham & Doctr. Holton set out for Congress in a few days. I suppose Higgison will refuse. & I am Uncertain whether Gerry will go
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Warren Nov. 1. 1782.”
1. JA probably received Warren's letter on 8 April 1783 as part of a packet of “Lettres Américaines” that C. W. F. Dumas received at The Hague by way of London and immediately forwarded to JA at Paris under cover of a letter dated 3 April, below. Then it is likely that this letter, with Warren's criticism of Congress’ conduct of foreign affairs and mention of his election as a Massachusetts member of Congress, provoked JA's most sustained, comprehensive, and critical analysis of American foreign policy. The critique centered on Congress’ incompetence, French influence, and the machinations of Benjamin Franklin, for which see JA's letter to Warren of 9 April 1783, and note 2, below.
3. The enclosure was JA's A Collection of State-Papers (same, p. 255–256).
4. Congress commissioned Franklin to negotiate a treaty with Sweden on 28 Sept., for which see Arthur Lee's letter of 1 Oct., and note 3 (same, p. 508–509, 510). The treaty was officially signed at Paris on 3 April 1783 (Miller, Treaties, 2:123). For reports of an earlier signing, on 5 Feb., see JA's 7 Feb. letter to Dumas, and note 2, below.
5. Mercy Otis Warren's letter of 25 Oct. (vol. 13:541–544).
6. The Massachusetts delegation to Congress consisted of Elbridge Gerry, Jonathan Jackson, John Lowell, Samuel Osgood, George Partridge, Increase Sumner, all elected in June 1782; and Nathaniel Gorham, Stephen Higginson, Samuel Holten, and James Warren, who were elected in October. At this time only Jackson and Osgood were in attendance, but Gorham reached Philadelphia in mid-December, and Higginson and Holten arrived in Feb. 1783. James Warren never served (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 19:xx–xxi).
7. AA's letters to JA and John Thaxter of 25 and 26 Oct. 1782, respectively, to which JA replied on 29 Jan. 1783 and Thaxter on the 30th (AFC, 5:21–28, 82–86).
8. Jeremiah, 18:23

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0006

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Holtzhey, Jean George
Date: 1782-11-02

To Jean George Holtzhey

[salute] Sir,

I have this Morning recd. the Letter, You did me the honor to write me on the 20th. of Octr. together with the Present of a Medal, in Commemoration of the great Event of the 19th. of April 1782.1 The Medal is ingeniously devised and is very beautiful. Permit me to beg your Acceptance of my Thanks for it.
I think You would find a Sale for many of them at Boston and Philadelphia. When I return to Holland, I shall be glad to purchase a few of them to give to my Friends.
The Influence of this Event upon many Nations, upon France, Spain Great Britain, America and all the Neutral Powers, has already been so great, and in the future Vicissitudes of things will be so much greater, that I confess every Essay of the fine Arts to commemorate and celebrate it, gives me pleasure.
I have the honor to be, Sir, / your obliged & obed. hble Servt.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Jean George Holtzhey / Medailleur—Amsterdam.”; APM Reel 108.
1. For Holtzhey's letter, as well as a reproduction of the medal commemorating Dutch recognition of the United States, see vol. 13:xiv–xv, 536–537, 538.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0007

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1782-11-02

To Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Gentlemen

I have recd your letters of 21. and 28 of October, last night.1 As to your furnishing Money to Mr Dumas.— Some Repairs have been done to the House of the United States at the Hague; Mr Dumas will transmit you all the Accounts of the House wrights, Masons, Glaziers, Painters &c with Receipts upon them. These you will be pleased to pay, and charge them in the Books of the Society, to the United States. I am indebted also for Some Books and the Binding of others. Mr Dumas will transmit you, the Accounts and Receipts for these, which you will be so good as to pay and charge to my private Account.— You will please to write me an Account of the Amount of all these Sums.— As to what I owe you, or Shall owe you upon my private Account I will give you an Order on the United States for it, whenever you desire it.
{ 14 }
If Mr Dumas desires more Money and for other Purposes, you will please to inform me of the Sums and the Purposes and I will give you my Sentiments upon them without delay.
With great Esteem I have the Honour to be, Gentlemen your Fried & humble sert
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs Wilhem and John Willink”; APM Reel 108.
1. For the letter of 21 Oct., see vol. 13:540; that of the 28th has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0008

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-02

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Sir,

I recd. the honour of your Excellency's last Letter of 12. August1 in Florence while I was preparing for my journey. Various impediments have retarded me so long, that I have been unfortunate enough as not to find you here. Two have been the principal objects of my coming to pay a visit to your Excelly. Remembering that you often complained in Paris about the difficulty of sending a Letter cross the Atlantic, I have imagined that you would consider the opportunity of my going to America a good one to send over any papers of importance. The other object has been, & is, my hope of being assisted by your Excellency, so far as to recommend me to some person, who on my own personal credit, or on the property I have in Virginia, or on the credit of the state, would Lend me some money, to enable me to return to our dear Country. In order to give your Excellency an autentick notion of my present situation, I include a copy of a Letter I have lately recd. from the Govt. of my State with my answer to it.2 My apology for troubling your Excellency, as I do, exist, Sir, in your mind & heart— Permit me, Sir, freely to say that I have had a perfect knowledge of you since the beginning of our glorious Revolution, ’though I had not then the honour of knowing you personally, & that I can't help flattering myself, that your Excellency will not be totally indifferent for me, even as a private & true citizen of America. Was I not to receive some immediate assistance, the honour of my State would be compromised as well as my own. I have thought proper to write the inclosed to the 3. Gentlemen, including your Excellency, the sealing & delivering of which, or the keeping of it, I leave to your wisdom & judgment.3 In regard to the security I could give for the required money, I have with me the Indentures of my { 15 } lands in Virginia, & the Certificates of 36,000. dollards, put by me in the Virginia Loan-Office when the exchange was 4, & 5. for one. What I could show in regard to a security on the State, is my Commission empowering me to borrow 900,000. pounds sterling at 5 %, & a letter of Governor Jefferson of the 31st. of May 1780, ordering me to draw, on account of the State, 300. Louis on Penet, d’Acosta, Freres, & Co:, & their protest in which they declare that they cannot discharge it ’though they have orders to pay by the Govr. & Council of Virginia.4 I shall not trouble your Excellency any longer for the present. I must defer to the time I shall have the honour to see you to inform you of several things, especially of a second & long conversation I had with the Grand-Duke on the subject of this Republick, in which he expressed himself more particularly than he had done before. If nothing more could be done for me than to recommend me to some Friend to the American Cause in Amsterdam, I hope that your Excellency will be so good as to do it soon, as my situation is very pressing. In expectation of a favorable answer, directed as mentioned in the inclosed, I have the honour to be with the greatest, & most sincere respect & esteem, / Sir, / your Excellency's most Humble / and most Obedient Servant
[signed] Philip Mazzei
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excelly. Joh Adams Esqre.”; endorsed: “Mr Mazzei. ansd. 26 / Nov. 1782.”
1. Vol. 13:234.
2. Mazzei is probably referring to Benjamin Harrison's letter of 31 Jan., which recalled Mazzei from his mission to raise a loan, and his own reply of 6 Sept. (Mazzei, Writings, 1:331–332, 378–379). No copies are present in the Adams Papers.
3. In this 2 Nov. letter, addressed to the three commissioners and containing much the same information as in his letter to JA, Mazzei requested the commissioners’ assistance in financing his return to America (Franklin, Papers, 38:261–263). Having received no reply to either of his 2 Nov. letters, Mazzei wrote again to JA on 21 Nov. (Adams Papers) to renew, in much the same terms, his appeal for funds. JA replied to the 2 Nov. letter on the 26th, indicating he had shown it to his colleagues but that Mazzei should not expect any assistance because neither he nor they had any funds at their disposal. JA, however, enclosed a letter, not found or further identified, that he hoped might assist Mazzei. In a 9 Dec. letter to Benjamin Harrison, Mazzei expressed his disappointment at JA's response and quoted from the 26 Nov. letter (Mazzei, Writings, 1:381–382, 383, 387–388).
4. Thomas Jefferson apparently wrote two letters to Mazzei on 31 May 1780. For the first, see same, 1:230–231. For the second, which has not been found but to which Mazzei repeatedly refers in his correspondence, and for the refusal of Penet, da Costa Frères & Co. of Nantes to supply the funds specified in that letter, see same, 1:268, 315, 316, 335, 341, 355, as well as Mazzei's 21 Nov. letter to JA (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0009

Author: Oswald, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-04

Richard Oswald to the American Peace Commissioners

[salute] Gentlemen,

You may remember, that from the very beginning of our Negociation for settling a Peace between Great Britain and America, I insisted that you should positively stipulate for a Restoration of the property of all those Persons, under the Denomination of Loyalists or Refugees, who have taken part with Great Britain in the present War. Or if the said property had been resold, and passed into such Variety of hands, as to render the Restoration impracticable, (which you asserted to be the case in many Instances,) you should stipulate for a compensation, or Indemnification to those Persons, adequate to their Losses.
To these propositions, you said you could not accede. Mr. Strachey since his arrival at Paris has most strenuously joined me in insisting upon the said Restitution, Compensation, or Indemnification, and in laying before you every Argument in favour of those demands, founded upon national Honour, and upon the true principles of Justice.
These demands you must have understood to extend not only to all persons of the above mentiond Description who have fled to Europe, but likewise to all those who may be now in any parts of North America, dwelling under the protection of his Majesty's Arms or otherwise.
We have also insisted upon a mutual Stipulation for a general Amnesty on both sides, comprehending thereby an Enlargement of all Persons, who on Account of Offences committed, or supposed to be committed, since the Commencement of Hostilities, may be now in Confinement; and for an immediate repossession of their Properties, and peaceable Enjoyment thereof, under the Government of the united States. To this you have not hitherto given a particular or direct Answer.
It is however incumbent upon me as Commissioner of the King of Great Britain, to repeat those several Demands; and without going over those Arguments upon paper, (which We have so often urged in Conversation,) to press your immediate Attention to these Subjects; and to urge you to enter into proper Stipulations, for the Restitution, Compensation and Amnesty above mention'd, before We { 17 } proceed further in this Negociation.1 I have the Honour to be / Gentlemen / Your most obedient / humble Servant
[signed] Richard Oswald.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To John Adams, Benjamin Franklin / an John Jay Esquires, Commissioners / from the Thirteen United States of America, / for treating of Peace between the said States / and the King of Great Britain.”; endorsed: “Mr. Oswald's Letter / to / J. Adams / B. Franklin & / J. Jay. / 4th. Novr. 1782.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.
1. This appeal on the loyalists’ behalf and Strachey's of 5 Nov., below, were written principally for the record, without any real expectation that the commissioners would comply with the demand. The preliminary articles agreed to in early October did not mention the loyalists, much less provide compensation for their losses. Pressure on the Shelburne ministry to do something for the loyalists led to new instructions to Oswald and the dispatching of Strachey to Paris to harden Oswald's resolve in dealing with the Americans (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 350, 351). However, the articles agreed to on [4 Nov.], below, did little more than the first set. The loyalists were mentioned, but there was no binding provision for compensation. For the commissioners’ position regarding compensation for loyalists, which remained essentially the same throughout the negotiations, see their reply to Oswald of 7 Nov., below. It should be noted that the French were also calling on the commissioners to provide some sort of a settlement for the loyalists, an issue that JA discussed at a 10 Nov. meeting with Vergennes and Rayneval, for which see JA's letter of 11 Nov. to Livingston, below, and JA, D&A, 3:48–49.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0010

Author: Oswald, Richard
Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-04

Draft Peace Treaty Agreed to by the American Peace Commissioners and Richard Oswald

Articles agreed upon by and between Richard Oswald Esquire the Commissioner of His Britannic Majesty, for treating of Peace with the Commissioners of the United States of America, on behalf of His said Majesty, on the one part. And Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams,2 three of the Commissioners of the said States for treating of Peace with the Commissioner of His said Majesty, on their behalf, on the other part. To be inserted in, and to constitute the Treaty of Peace, proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States. But which Treaty is not to be concluded untill His Britannic-Majesty shall have agreed to the terms of a Peace between France and Britain, proposed or accepted of, by His most Christian Majesty, and shall be ready to conclude with him, such Treaty accordingly; it being the duty and Intention of the United States not to desert their Ally, but faithfully, and in all things, to abide by and fulfill their Engagements with His most Christian Majesty.
{ 18 }
Whereas reciprocal advantages and mutual Convenience are found by experience to form the only permanent foundation of Peace and Friendship, between States, It is agreed to form the Articles of the proposed Treaty on such principles of liberal equality and reciprocity as that partial advantages, (those seeds of discord) being excluded, such a beneficial and satisfactory Intercourse between the two Countries may be established as to promise and Secure to both, perpetual Peace and Harmony.
His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States Viz New Hampshire, Masachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia—to be free, Sovereign and Independent States. That He treats with them as such; and for himself, his Heirs and Successors relinquishes all Claims to the Government Propriety and Territorial Rights of the Same, and every part thereof— And that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the Boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, It is hereby agreed and declared that the following are and shall remain to be their Boundaries. Viz—3
From the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia being that Angle which is formed by a Line drawn due North from the Source of St Croix River to the High Lands which divide the Rivers which empty themselves into the River St Laurence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, and along the said High Lands, to the Northwestern head of Connecticut River, thence down along the midle of that River to the Forty fifth Degree of North Latitude,4 following the said Latitude untill it strikes the River Missisippi: Thence by a Line to be drawn along the midle of said River Missisippi—untill it shall intersect the Northernmost part of the Thirty first Degree of Latitude North of the Equator. South, by a Line to be drawn due East from the Termination of the Line last mentioned in the Latitude of Thirty one Degrees, to the midle of the River Apalachicola or Catahouchi, thence along the midle thereof to its junction with the Flint River, thence Strait to the head of St Marys River, and thence down along the midle of St Marys River to the Atlantic Ocean. East by a Line from the Mouth of said St Marys River to the mouth of the River St Croix in the Bay of Fundy, and by a Line drawn through the midle of said River to its source, and from its source directly North to the aforesaid High Lands which divide the Rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which empty themselves into the River { 19 } St Laurence, Comprehending all Islands within twenty Leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying between Lines to be drawn due East from the points where the aforesaid Boundaries of St Croix River and St Marys River shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, <Excepting always Such Islands as now are or heretofore have belonged to the Colony of Nova Scotia or have been within the Limits thereof.>5
<Upon a farther Consideration of the just Limits and Boundaries of the Province of West Florida, it is agreed that its Northern Boundary shall extend from the Said Thirty first Degree of Latitude to a Line to be drawn due East from the place where the River Yasous falls into the River Missisippi, and along the Said Line due East to the River Apalachicola>6
It is agreed that all such Loyalists or Refugees as well as all such British Merchants or other Subjects as may be resident in any of the United States at the time of the Evacuation thereof by the Arms and Garrisons of His Britannic Majesty shall be allowed Six Months thereafter to remove to any part of the World And also at their election to dispose of within the said Term, or to carry with them, their Goods and Effects. And it is understood that the said States shall extend such farther favour to the said Merchants and such Amnesty and Clemency to the said Refugees as their respective Circumstances and the Dictates of Justice and humanity may render fit just and reasonable;7 and particularly that Amnesty & Indemnity be granted to all such of the said Refugees, as may be unaffected by Acts Judgements or Prosecutions actually pass'd or commenced a month previous to such Evacuation.8
That the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the People of the said United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested, the Right to take Fish of every kind on all the Banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph of St. Laurence, and all other places where the Inhabitants of both Countries used at any time heretofore to fish; and also to dry & cure their Fish on the Shores of the Isle of Sables, Cape Sables, and the Shores of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours or Creeks of Nova Scotia, and of the Magdalene Islands. And his Britannic Majesty, and the said United States will extend equal Priviledges & Hospitality to each others Fishermen as to their own.9
Whereas certain of the United States excited thereto by the unnecessary Destruction of private Property have confiscated all Debts due from their Citizens to British Subjects; and also in certain Instances Lands belonging to the latter.
{ 20 }
And whereas it is just that private Contracts made between Individuals of the two Countries before the War, should be faithfully executed; and as the Confiscation of the said Lands may have a Latitude not justifiable by the Law of Nations—It is agreed that British Creditors shall notwithstanding meet with no lawfull Impediment to recovering the full Value, or Sterling amount of such bona fide Debts as were contracted before the year 1775. And also that Congress will recommend to the said States so to correct (if necessary,) their said Acts respecting the Confiscation of Lands in America belonging to real British Subjects, as to render the said Acts consistent with perfect Justice & Equity.10 As to the Cession made of certain Lands in Georgia, by a number of Indians there, on the first June 1773, for the purpose of paying the Debts due from them to a number of Traders—The American Commissioners say, that the State of Georgia is alone competent to consider & decide on the same: for that it being a matter of internal Police, with which neither Congress nor their Commissioners are authorised to interfere, it must of necessity be referred to the Discretion, & Justice of that State, who without doubt will be disposed to do, what may be just & reasonable on the Subject.
Similar Reasons & Considerations constrain the Commissioners to give the like answer to the Case of Mr. Penn's Family.11
From, & immediately after the Conclusion of the proposed Treaty, there shall be a firm & perpetual Peace between his Majesty & the said States; & between the Subjects of the one, & the Citizens of the other. Wherefore, all Hostilities, both by Sea & Land shall then immediately cease: All Prisoners on both sides shall be set at Liberty: And his Britannic Majesty shall forthwith, and without causing any Destruction, withdraw all his Armies, Garrisons & Fleets from the said United States, and from every Port, Place, and Harbour within the same; leaving in all Fortifications the American Artillery that may be therein: And shall also order and cause all Archives, Records, Deeds and Papers, belonging to any of the said States, or their Citizens, which in the Course of the War may have fallen into the hands of his Officers, to be forthwith restored and deliver'd to the proper States & persons to whom they belong.12
That the Navigation of the River Missisippi from its Source to the Ocean, shall for ever remain free and open.13
Separate Article.
It is hereby understood & agreed that in case Great Britain at the Conclusion of the present War shall be or be put in possession of { 21 } West Florida, the Line of north Boundary, between the said province & the United States, shall be a Line drawn from the mouth of the River Yassous, where it unites with the Mississippi, due East to the River Appalachicola and hence along the middle of that River to its Junction with the Flint River &c.14
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Articles / of New Treaty / Compared with the Copy / Carried home by Mr Strachey / by him & RO 5th Novr / 1782.” Filmed at [5 Nov.]. LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.
1. The document printed here, with its additions and deletions, is the final product of the negotiations that took place on 3 and 4 November. In his Diary entry for 3 Nov., JA describes the discussions among the American Commissioners about the terms of the treaty and the nature of their response to the British negotiators. JA's Diary for 4 Nov. indicates that he “called on J. and went to Oswalds and spent with him and Stretchy from 11. to 3. in drawing up the Articles respecting Debts and Tories and Fishery” and also that he, and presumably Jay, were “in the Evening there again, untill near 11” (JA, D&A, 3:43–46). It was the basis for the text that Henry Strachey carried back to London for consideration by the Shelburne ministry. That seems evident from the revisions entered in the text and described in the notes since a comparison of the manuscript and JA's Letterbook copy shows that with the editorial changes it is identical to the copy sent off with Strachey. Indeed, a notation on the Letterbook copy states that “the above is a Copy of Articles carried home by Mr: Strachey. Novr: 5th. 1782.” For JA's comments on the negotiations that produced this second set of preliminary articles, particularly regarding debt repayment, the loyalists, and the fisheries, see his Diary entry of 4 Nov. (JA, D&A, 3:45–46) and his 6 Nov. letter to Robert R. Livingston, below.
2. In the Letterbook, the American Commissioners are listed as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay. This is the order in which they appeared in the preliminary treaty signed on 30 Nov., below, but it also reflects the order of names in the 15 June 1781 joint commission (vol. 11:373).
3. To this point the text is almost identical to that of the articles agreed to in October. Aside from substantive textual changes from this point on, the most apparent difference between the 8 Oct. and [4 Nov.] versions is that the second has no numbered articles (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:805–808).
4. With the exception of this passage establishing the northern boundary line as the 45th parallel from its intersection of the Connecticut River to the point at which it struck the Mississippi River, the provision establishing the boundaries of the United States is substantially the same as the corresponding passage in the 8 Oct. articles. The difference is that in the earlier version the passage from this point to the following colon reads, “to the northermost head of the Connecticut River; thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of north latitude, and thence due west in the latitude 45 degrees north from the equator, to the northwesternmost side of the river St. Lawrence or Cadaraqui; thence straight to the south end of the Lake Nipissing, and thence straight to the source of the river Mississippi” (same, p. 806). The provision in the 8 Oct. articles followed the instruction regarding boundaries originally given to JA in Oct. 1779 and renewed in the joint commission's instructions of June 1781. When that was rejected, the commissioners turned to the alternative proposal included in the instructions (JA, D&A, 4:181–182; vol. 11:376). The practical consequences of the two proposals were that under the 8 Oct. draft the United States would have included all of Ontario south of Lake Nipissing but excluded the upper peninsula of Michigan and the northeast portion of Minnesota; while under the [4 Nov.] version the new nation would have included Ontario south of the 45th parallel but excluded the northern portion of Michigan's lower peninsula and all of the upper peninsula, the northern half of Wisconsin, and a larger portion of northeastern Minnesota. However, JA indicates in his letter to Livingston of 6 Nov., below, that the commissioners had offered the British negotiators the alternative of running the northern boundary “thro’ the middle of all the { 22 } great lakes.” It was that solution to the boundary problem that was incorporated into the British draft of 25 Nov. and ultimately agreed to in the preliminary articles of 30 Nov., both below.
5. Although excluded here, this passage was largely restored at the end of Art. 2 of the preliminary articles signed on 30 Nov., below.
6. This provision would have moved the southern boundary northward. For its transformation into a separate article, see note 14.
7. The remainder of this paragraph was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
8. This paragraph was included because the 8 Oct. draft treaty did not mention the loyalists, and the Shelburne ministry could not agree to a treaty with such an omission. The conditional amnesty and restitution provided here was equally unacceptable, as was indicated by Richard Oswald in his letter of 4 Nov., above, and Henry Strachey in his of 5 Nov., below. In their response to Oswald of 7 Nov., below, the American Commissioners indicated that, insofar as the loyalists were concerned, they were unwilling to go further. For the Shelburne ministry's renewed effort to do something meaningful for the loyalists, see Arts. 5 and 6 of the draft treaty of 25 Nov. that Strachey brought from London. For the commissioners’ refusal to go significantly beyond the terms in this paragraph, see the draft article on the loyalists of [ca. 26 Nov.] and Arts. 5 and 6 of the preliminary treaty signed on 30 Nov., both below.
9. In his Diary JA indicates that he drafted this article on 4 Nov. (JA, D&A, 3:45–46). Except that it names specific locations, it is very similar to Art. 3 of the draft treaty of 8 Oct. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:807). For the evolution of this provision to its final form as Art. 3 of the 30 Nov. preliminary treaty and for the controversy over whether American access should be a “right” or a “liberty,” see the draft treaty of 25 Nov. and draft articles proposed on [28] and [29 Nov.], all below.
10. In his Diary JA indicates that the preceding paragraph and the present paragraph to this point were agreed to on the evening of 3 November. There JA describes the discussions earlier on the 3d between the American and British negotiators over the payment of debts, for which no provision had been included in the 8 Oct. draft, and their general agreement that there should be no obstacle to their payment (JA, D&A, 3:43–44, 46). For the evolution of the provision into Art. 4 of the 30 Nov. preliminary treaty, during which it grew progressively more succinct, see Art. 4 of the 25 Nov. draft and the draft article of [28 Nov.], all below.
11. The portions of the preceding paragraph referring to the cession of land by the Creeks and Cherokees of Georgia and this paragraph concerning the Penn lands in Pennsylvania are both exceptions to the article concerning the payment of debts. Neither appeared in the 8 Oct. draft or the draft of 25 November. For information regarding the 1773 Georgia land cession, see Kenneth Coleman, Colonial Georgia: A History, N.Y., 1976, p. 262; and for the Penn family's effort to ensure that it was adequately compensated for its lands, see Lady Juliana Fermor Penn's 24 Dec. letter, and note 1, below.
12. Virtually identical to Art. 2 of the 8 Oct. draft (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:807), this paragraph, with the omission of the words “From, & immediately after the Conclusion of the proposed Treaty,” was retained virtually verbatim as Art. 7 of both the 25 Nov. draft and the 30 Nov. preliminary treaty, both below.
13. Taken verbatim from the beginning of Art. 4 of the 8 Oct. draft (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:807), this sentence, with the addition of the words “to the Subjects of Great Britain and Citizens of the United States,” was retained as Art. 8 of both the 25 Nov. draft and the 30 Nov. preliminary treaty. In the 8 Oct. draft, however, Art. 4 was made much longer by the addition of text providing for virtually unlimited Anglo-American free trade. When the Shelburne cabinet considered the 8 Oct. draft, some objected that such a provision was too liberal a concession to the United States and that in any case such a provision would be more appropriate in a commercial treaty concluded following the peace. Although JA was not a party to the drafting of the article, its inclusion was in line with his view as expressed in numerous letters written after the signing of the preliminary treaty, that the best time to regularize Anglo-American trade was during the peace negotiations.
The possibility of some form of Anglo-American free trade did not die with the cabinet's decision. In March 1783 the substance of the draft's provision was included { 23 } in the abortive American Intercourse Bill, for which see Edmund Jenings’ letter of 14 March 1783, and note 1, below. More intriguing was its resurrection during the 1783 negotiations between David Hartley and the American Commissioners over the definitive treaty. On 21 May, Hartley offered to insert the provision, virtually unchanged from the 8 Oct. draft, in the definitive treaty. The commissioners agreed, with some modifications, on the following day (JA, D&A, 3:126–127, 131–132). British opposition to further concessions, however, precluded its inclusion in the definitive treaty of 3 Sept. 1783, with the result that eleven years passed before a formal Anglo-American commercial agreement was concluded, and then it was under the far more restrictive provisions of Jay's Treaty.
14. For the original form of this provision, see the canceled text at note 6. Not included in the 8 Oct. draft, this separate article reflected the preference of the commissioners in general and John Jay in particular for British control of West Florida due to their irritation at Spain's effort to limit the western boundaries of the United States and its failure to recognize the new nation (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 344). It was retained in both the 25 Nov. draft and the 30 Nov. preliminary treaty, both below, but Congress did not ratify it, fearing that it would antagonize France and Spain; and Britain's conclusion of preliminary peace treaties with France and Spain rendered the provision moot.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0011

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Date: 1782-11-05

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

[salute] Gentlemen

I have this day received by Captain Barney in a Short Passage from Philadelphia, the Ratifications of our Contracts, which are all here inclosed ten in Number,1 together with two Letters for you and one Packet and one Letter for Mr Dumas, which I pray you to transmit him with my Respects.2
Let me beg of you, Gentlemen to encourage and promote our Loan by all fair and reasonable Means, and transmit to Congress, and to me the State of it, as often as may be convenient.
Our new Connection has given great Pleasure in America, and the Time cannot be far off, when We Shall be in a Condition to pay all our Interests without Difficulty.
With great Regard, I have the Honour to be &c
I have taken out the Letters the Packet to Mr Dumas remains.
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs Wilhem and Jan Willink / Nicholas and Jacob Van Staphorst / and De la Lande and Fynje”; APM Reel 108.
1. That is, two ratified sets of five contracts, each contract for one million florins.
2. Congress ratified the Dutch loan on 14 Sept., and the ratified contracts were enclosed with Livingston's letter of 15 Sept. (vol. 13:465–468), to which JA replied on 6 Nov., below. The letters to the consortium likely included Livingston's of 15 Sept., which served as a cover letter for the contracts, and Robert Morris’ two letters of 24 Sept. (PCC, No. 118, f. 296–297; Morris, Papers, 6:427–428). For Morris’ letters, see the Willinks’ letter of 14 Nov. and the consortium's reply of the 15th, both below. The letters to Dumas probably were Livingston's of 5 and 12 Sept. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:698–699, 724–725).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0012

Author: Strachey, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-05

Henry Strachey to the American Peace Commissioners

[salute] Gentlemen.

Knowing the expectations of the Kings ministers that a full Indemnity shall be provided for the whole Body of Refugees, either by a restitution of their property, or by some stipulated compensation for their lossess, & being confident, as I have repeatedly assured you, that your refusal upon this point will be the great obstacle to a Conclusion and Ratification of that Peace which is meant as a solid, perfect, permanent Reconcilliation & Reunion between Great Britain and America I am unwilling to leave Paris without once more submitting the matter to your Consideration— It affects equally, in my opinion, the Honor and the humanity of your Country and of ours. How far you will be justified in risking every favorite object of America by contending against those Principles, is for you to determine— Independence and more than a reasonable Possession of Territory, seem to be within your reach— Will you suffer them to be outweighed by the Gratification of Resentment against Individuals I venture to assert that such a Conduct hath no parallel in the History of civilized Nations.1
I am Under the Necessity of setting out by two oClock to day; if the time is too short for your Reconsideration and final determination of this important point, I shall hope that you will enable Mr. Oswald to dispatch a Messenger after me—who may be with me before Morning at Chantilley, where I propose Sleeping to night, or who may overtake me before I arrive in London—with a satisfactory answer to this Letter2 I have the honour to be— / Gentlemen / Your most Obedt. & / most humble servt.
[signed] signed H. Strachey
FC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay / Esquires Commissioners from the United States of / America &c &c.”; endorsed: “Paris Novr. 5th. 1782— / H. Strachey Esqr. / to / Messrs: Adams, Franklin / & Jay.” LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
1. Strachey's position here on compensation for the loyalists is similar to that taken by the Comte de Vergennes and Gérard de Rayneval in a conversation with JA on 10 Nov. (to Robert R. Livingston, 11 Nov., and note 2, below), and should be compared with Richard Oswald's in his letter to the commissioners of the 4th, above.
2. Strachey likely received the American response on the road. In a letter dated 6 Nov., but presumably sent on the 7th (Franklin, Papers, 38:281–282), the commissioners referred him to their 7 Nov. letter to Oswald, below, a copy of which they enclosed.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0013

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Laurens, Henry
Date: 1782-11-06

To Henry Laurens

[salute] Dear Sir

I have the Honour to inclose a Resolution of Congress of the 17 of September, enjoining upon us all, Attendance on the Negotiations for Peace, and if it were not Presumption to Suppose, that any Thing could be added to So pressing a Desire of Congress, I would beg Leave to add my most earnest Entreaties that you would be so good as to join Us as soon as possible.1 It would give me the highest Pleasure, and be a constant Support to have your Judgment and Advice upon the great Questions which are under Consideration.
I know not how to mention, the melancholly Intelligence by this Vessell, which affects you so tenderly.— I feel for you, more than I can or ought to express.— Our Country has lost its most promising Character, in a manner however, that was worthy of her Cause.—2 I can Say nothing more to you, but that you have much greater Reason to Say in this Case, as a Duke of ormond said of an Earl of Ossory. “I would not exchange my son for any living Son in the World.”3
With the most affecting Sentiments, I have the Honour to be, dear Sir, your most obedient and humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (ScL [ScU]:Kendall Coll.); internal address: “His Excellency Henry Laurens Esq.”; endorsed: “His E. John Adams. Paris 6th Nov / Received & Answered the 12th.LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. For this resolution, which Robert R. Livingston enclosed in the letter that he began on 15 Sept. and completed on the 18th, see vol. 13:465–468.
2. This letter was the means by which Henry Laurens learned of the death of his son, Col. John Laurens, on 27 Aug., for which see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 1, above, and Laurens, Papers, 15:605.
3. JA refers to the comment by James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, on the death of his son Thomas, the Earl of Ossory, in 1680. When in his condolences an English nobleman asked how Ormande could bear the death of his son, the duke responded, “my loss, indeed, sits heavy on me, and nothing else in this world could affect me so much . . . yet I thank God, my case is not so deplorable as that Nobleman's; for I had much rather have my dead son, than his living one” (Thomas Carte, An History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormonde, 3 vols., London, 1735–1736, 2:507). A copy of vol. 3 of Carte's biography is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
{ 26 }

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0014

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lincoln, Benjamin
Date: 1782-11-06

To Benjamin Lincoln

[salute] Sir

I had Yesterday the Honour of your Letter of 25. September,1 and I beg leave to thank you, for your kind Congratulations on our little Success at the Hague.— I wish to have it in my Power to congratulate you Soon, upon a good Peace.— But, every Thing within my Observation, is disposing itself, both on the side of France and England for another Campaign So that I cannot give much Encouragement to hope for a good settlement of affairs before the Winter of 1784.
Your account of the excellent Condition of our Army does our Country great Honour.— We have so many Occupations, at present, that it will be difficult to Send you Soon, A State of the Pay, Rations and Subsistance of the officers and Men in the Service of the States General, of Prussia, Russia and the other Northern Powers.— At the Hague I could Soon inform my Self, of the greatest Part.— But I will do the whole as soon as I can.2
With great Regard I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Major General Lincoln, Secretary at War.”; notation by John Thaxter: “Delivered to Capt. Barney of the / Packet Washington, original & / duplicate, the former to go by himself / & the other by Capt. Hill in Cicero / Paris 113th. Novr. 1782”; APM Reel 108.
1. Vol. 13:490–491.
2. Lincoln asked JA to obtain information on the pay, rations, and subsistence of the Dutch, Prussian, Russian, Swedish, and Danish armies. In his letters to Francis Dana and C. W. F. Dumas of 8 Nov., both below, JA requested that they obtain the requested information. For Lincoln's acknowledgment of the April 1783 arrival of reports on the Dutch and Swedish armies, see Dumas’ 16 Jan. 1783 letter, note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0015

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-11-06

To Robert R. Livingston


[salute] Sir.

Two days ago arrived, by Capn: Barney, the letters you did me the honor to write me, the 22d. 29th. 30, Triplicate of May, 4th. July, 29th. Augst: & 15th. Septemr:2
I was unconditionally recd. in Holland & promised, upon record, Conferences and Audiences whenever I shd. demand them, before I entered into any Treaty; and without this I shd. never have entered { 28 } into any: And full Powers were given to the Committee for foreign affairs, before I entered into any Conference with them. I have ventured to act upon the same principle in the affair of Peace, & uniformly refused to come to Paris untill our Independence was unconditionally acknowledged by the K. of G. B. Mr: Jay has acted on the same principle with Spain & with G. Britain. The dignity of the united-States, being thus supported, has prevailed in Holland & G. Britain; not indeed as yet in Spain; but we are in a better situation, in relation to her, than we shd. have been if the principle had been departed from— The advice of the C. de Vergennes has been contrary; but, however great a Minister he may be in his own department, his knowledge is insufficient & his judgement too often erroneous in our affairs to be an American Minister—
Intelligence fm. Holland, thro’ France, is impossible: Events in Holland can seldom be foreseen one day.3 When they happen they are inserted in the Gazettes, transferred to the Courier de l’Europe, the English & French Gazettes & get to America before it is possible for me to transmit them directly. Besides Sir, I have sometimes thought, that my time was better employed in doing business that might produce other events, then in multiplying Copies & Conveyances of Dispatches, wh: cod contain nothing but wt. I knew the News-Papers wd. announce as soon. My reputation may not be so well husbanded by this method; but the Cause of my Country is served— I am not insensible to reputation, but I hope it has not been a principal object— perhaps it has not been eno’ an object—I see so much of the Omnipotence of Reputation, that I begin to think so. I know very well however, that, if mine cannot be supported by facts, it will not be by Trumpeters—
If it were in my power to do any thing for the honor of the department, or Minister of foreign Affairs, I would chearfully do it, because I am a friend to both; and to this end you will, I am sure, not take it amiss, if I say, that it is indispensably necessary for the service of Congress & the honor of the office, that it be kept impenetrably secret fm. the French Minister in many things. The Office will be an engine for the ruin of the reputation of your Ministers abroad, & for injuring our Cause in material points, the Fishery, the Western Lands & the Mississippi &c: if it is not.—
I thank you, Sir, for your hint abt. the English Language.4 I think with you that we ought to make a point of it; and after some time I hope it will be an instruction fm. Congress to all their Ministers—
{ 29 }
As to the Negotiations for Peace, we have been, night & day, employed in them, ever since my arrival on the 26th: October. Dr: Franklin, without saying any thing to me, obtained of Mr: Jay a promise of his vote for Mr: W. T. Franklin to be Secrey. to the Commission for Peace, and as the Dr. & his Secrey. are in the same house, & there are other Clerks eno: I suppose he will transmit to Congress details of the Negotiations. I shall be ready to lend them any assistance in my power; and I will endeavor, as soon as I can, to transmit them myself. But, after spending forenoon, afternoon & evening in discussions, it is impossible to transmit all the particulars. No man's Constitution is equal to it—
The English have sent Mr. Oswald, who is a wise & good man, & if, untrammeled, would soon settle all—& Mr. Strachy, who is a keen & subtle one, altho’ not deeply versed in such things—and a Mr: Roberts who is a Clerk in the Board of Trade— and Mr: Whithead,5 who is private Secry. to Mr. Oswald—These Gentlemen are very profuse in their professions of national friendship; of earnest desires to obliterate the remembrance of all unkindnesses, & to restore Peace, Harmony & Friendship, and make them perpetual, by removing every seed of discord. All this, on the part of Mr: Oswald personally, is very sincere—on the part of the nation it may be so, in some sense, at present; but I have my doubt whether it is a national dispostion, upon wh: we can have much dependence, and still more, whether it is the sincere intention of the Earl of Shelburne. He has been compelled to acknowledge American Independence, because the Rockingham Administration had resolved upon it, &, by Carleton's & Digby's letter to Gen. Washington,6 had make known that resolution to the world—because the nation demanded that Negotiations shd. be opened with the American Ministers, & they refused to speak or hear, untill their Independence was acknowledged, unequivocally & without Conditions—because Messrs: Fox & Burke had resigned their Offices, pointedly on account of the refusal of the K. & my Ld. Shelburne to make such an acknowledgement & these eloquent Senators were waiting only for the Session of Parliament to attack his Ld. ship on this point— it was therefore inevitable to acknowledge our Independence & no Minister cod. have stood his ground without it—7
But still I doubt whether his Ld. ship means to make a general Peace. To express my self more clearly, I fully believe he intends to try another Campaign, & that he will finally refuse to come to any { 30 } definitive agreement with us upon articles to be inserted in the general Peace.—
We have gone the utmost lengths in our power to favor the Negotiations— We have at last agreed to Boundaries with the greatest moderation. We have offered ’em the choice of a line thro’ the middle of all the great lakes, or the line of 45°. of N. latitude, the Mississippi, with a free navigation of it, at one end, & the River St. Croix, at the other—8 We have agreed that the Courts of Justice be open for the recovery of British Debts, due before the war— To a general amnesty for all the Royalists, agst. wm. there is no judgement rendered, or prosecution commenced. We have agreed that all Royalists, wh. may remain at the evacuation of the States shall have 6. mo. to sell their Effects & to remove with them. These are such immense advantages to the Minister, that one wd. think he cd. not refuse them. The agreement to pay British debts, will silence the Clamors of all the Body of Creditors & separate them fm. the Tories, with wm. they have hitherto made common Cause. The amnesty & the term of 6. mo. will silence all the Tories, except those who have been condemned, banished & confiscated— Yet I do not believe they will be accepted— I fear they will insist a little longer upon a compleat Indemnification to all the Refugees; a point, wh. without express instructions fm. all the States, neither we, nor Congress can give up, & how the States can ever agree to it, I know not, as it seems an implicit Concession of all the religion & morality of the war. They will also insist upon Penobscot as the Eastern boundary. I am not sure that the Tories, the Ministry & the nation are not secretly stimulated, by french Emissaries, to insist upon Penobscot, & a full Indemnification to the Tories. It is easy to see that the french Minister, the Spanish & Dutch ministers wd. not be very fond of having it known thro’ the world, that all points for a general Peace were settled betwn: G. B. & America, before all parties were ready. It is easy to comprehend how French, Spanish & Dutch Emissaries in London & in Paris & Versailles may insinuate, that the support of the Tories is a point of national & royal honor, and propagate so many popular arguments in favr. of it, as to embarrass the British Minister. It is easy to see that the French may naturally revive their old assertions, that Penobscot or Kennebec are the Boundary of Nova-Scotia, altho’ against the whole stream of British Authorities & the most authentic Acts of the Governors Shirley, Pownal, Bernard & Hutchinson. Mr: Fitzherbert, who is constantly at Versailles is very sanguine for the Refugees. Nevertheless, if my Ld. Shelburne { 31 } shd. not agree with us, these will be only ostensible points—he cares little for either. It will be to avoid giving any certain weapons against himself to the friends of Ld. North & the old Ministry.
The Negotiations at Versailles, betwn. the C. de Vergennes & Mr: Fitzherbert, are kept secret, not only fm. us, but fm. the Dutch Ministers & we hear nothing abt. Spain— In general I learn that the French insist upon a great many fish— I dined yesterday with Mr: Berkenrode, the Dutch Ambassador, & Mr: Brantzen, his Colleague. They were both very frank & familiar, and confessed to me, that nothing had been said to them, & that they cod. learn nothing as yet of the progress of the Negotiation. Berkenrode told me, as an honest man, that he had no faith in the sincerity of the English for peace as yet; on the contrary, he tho’t that a part of Ld. Howe's fleet was gone to America & that there was something meditated against the French West India Islands. I doubt this however; but we shall soon know, where my Ld. Howe is. That something is meditating against the French & Spaniards, & that they think of evacuating N. York for that end, I believe. Berkenrode seemed to fear the English & said, like a good man, that, in case any severe stroke shd. be struck against France, it wod. be necessary for Holland & America to discover a firmness. This observation had my heart on its side—But, without an evacuation of N York, they can strike no blow at all, nor any great one with it—
Mr: Oswald has made very striking overtures to us—To agree to the evacuation of N York—to write a letter to Gen. Washington & another to Congress, advising them to permit this evacuation—to agree that neither the people, nor the army shd. oppose this evacuation, or molest the British army in attempting it—nay further, that we shd. agree that the Americans shd. afford them all sorts of aid & even supplies of Provisions—These propositions he made to us, in obedience to an Instruction fm. the Minister—and he told us their army were going agst: W. Florida, to reconquer that fm. the Spaniards. Our answer was, that we cod. agree to no such things; that Gen. Washington cod. enter into a Convention with them, for the terms, upon wh: they shd. surrender the City of N York, & all its dependencies, as Long Island & Staten Island &c: to the arms of the U: S:— All we cod. agree to was, that the Effects & Persons of those, who shd. stay behind, shd. have 6. mo. to go off, nor cod. we agree to this, unless as an article to be inserted in the general Peace—
With great respect I have the honor to be, Sir, / Your humble: servant,
[signed] J. Adams.
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 234–237); internal address: “Robt. R. Livingston / Secretary of State, for foreign Affairs.”; endorsed: “6th Novr 1782 / Jno Adams—.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. A notation on the Letterbook copy indicates that this letter was “Delivered to Capt Barney original, 2.plicate & 3.plicate, the 1st. to go by him, the 2d. by Capt. Hill in the Cicero & 3d. by Capt. of Buccaneer Paris 10th Novr. 1782.”
3. In this and the following paragraph JA is responding to Livingston's letter of 29 Aug. (same, p. 406–408).
4. Here JA is responding to Livingston's reference in his letter of 15 Sept. (same, p. 465–468) to JA's memorial to the States General of 23 April 1782, the French text of which JA had included in his first letter to Livingston of that date (vol. 12:450–451).
5. Caleb Whitefoord (1734–1810), a noted wit and witness to the signing of the preliminary articles on 30 Nov., was likely sent as Oswald's secretary because of his relationship with Benjamin Franklin. Whitefoord had been Franklin's neighbor in London and introduced him to Oswald when the British negotiator made his first visit to Paris in the spring of 1782 (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 251, 357; DNB).
6. For the 2 Aug. letter from Gen. Sir Guy Carleton and Adm. Robert Digby to George Washington, see vol. 13:222.
7. For JA's earlier comments on the Earl of Shelburne's replacement of the Marquis of Rockingham, the subsequent resignations of Charles James Fox and others from the cabinet, and the effect of it all on the prospects for an Anglo-American peace settlement, see his letter of 17 July to Edmund Jenings, and notes, same, p. 180–185.
8. The second option was the basis for the northern boundary agreed to in the draft treaty of [4 Nov.], above. The first proposal formed the basis for the boundary in the draft treaty presented by Oswald on 25 Nov. and accepted in the preliminary treaty of 30 Nov., both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0016

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Morris, Robert
Date: 1782-11-06

To Robert Morris

[salute] Sir

Captain Barney, arrived here, on the fifth Instant with the Letters you did me the Honour to write me on the 23. 25. 27 September and 7 of October.—1 Captain Barney Shall have all the Attention due to his Character and Recommendation.— Mr Paulus,2 has not asked the Kind of Assistance you mention in my name, I hope.— in all Such Cases I mean only an Introduction and to ask the Hospitality, which you delight to Shew to Strangers.
I have transmitted from the Hague my Accounts, Some time ago, which I presume have arrived before now.—3 I have not transmitted the Account of the Bills I accepted in Holland, having transmitted them from time to time to Dr Franklin who paid them, and will consequently transmit them as his Vouchers and in his accounts.— I will however transmit them, upon my Return to the Hague, if it is necessary, but there is nobody now there who can do it and I cannot do it here.
your Arrangement by which I was to draw upon Dr Franklin for my Salary, I Suppose was made, upon a Supposition that I had { 33 } obtained no Money in Holland.— I cannot do this without an additional and unnecessary Commission, to the Drs Banker, and therefore would wish to recieve it from Messrs Willinks &c at Amsterdam. The Dr So far from having Cash to pay my Salary is calling upon me to pay the Interest of the French Loan of Ten Millions in Holland, and even to pay Bills you draw upon him.—4 I must however obey the Resolutions of Congress and have as little to do with Money as possible.
I am much obliged to you for the Copies of your Letters to Congress and to Dr Franklin.5 They are masterly Performances, and let us far into the State of our Affairs.— I have communicated them to the Marquis de la Fayette, and propose to consult with the Dr upon them immediately. I would return to Holland, and apply to the States if necessary: But I cannot rely upon any Influence of my own, nor what is much greater the Influence of our Cause, or the common Cause, enough to give you hopes of Success.— if you Suppose that my Loan of five Millions is full, you are mistaken. The Direction will inform you how much is obtained, not yet two Millions of guilders to be Sure. I fear not more than one and an half. There are so many Loans open, for France, Spain, England Russia and almost every other Power—for the States General the States of the Separate Provinces, the East and West India Companies, Several of which under the Warranty of the States, and these are pushed with such Art and Ardour, that I cannot promise you any Success. There is Scarcely a Guilder but what is promised before hand. France and Spain as well as England are so pressed for Money, that I know not what to hope for.6
The King of G. Britain has acknowledged the Sovereignty of the United States, but whether any Thing more will follow from it, than a few Efforts to get Something to excuse the further Prosecution of the War, and to Silence Clamours I know not.— It is to me, very clear that the British Ministry do not intend to make a Peace with France Spain and Holland this Year, and America will not make a Separate Peace, if England would come to her Terms, which in my present Opinion the present Minister does not intend.— The Probability is, that he intends to evacuate New York, but whether to go against the French or Spaniards is the Question.— If the French and Spaniards permit them to evacuate New York, a good Riddance for Us, but they will do Mischief or at least give Trouble and cause great Expence.— France might have taken them all Prisoners, with the Utmost Certainty and Ease, but choose to go against Jamaica { 34 } and Gibraltar, and met with the Success that every Man who knew those Places, and the Attachment of the English to them foresaw.
With great Esteem, I have the Honour to be
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Robert Morris Esqr. Minister of State / for the Department of Finances.”; notation by John Thaxter: “Delivered to Capt. Barney original / & Duplicate, the former to go by / himself & the latter by Capt Hill / of the Cicero Paris Novr. 13–1782”; APM Reel 108.
1. No letter of the 23d has been found, but there were twoletters of 25 September. For those letters, and that of 27 Sept., see vol. 13:491–492, 496–497. For Robert Morris’ letter of 7 Oct. (Adams Papers), see Morris, Papers, 6:522.
2. For Peter Paulus, a Dutch immigrant for whom JA had written letters of introduction, see vol. 12:443, 445.
3. JA's accounts were enclosed in his letter of 7 Sept. to Robert R. Livingston, which Congress received on 10 Feb. 1783 (vol. 13:442–447; PCC, No. 185, III, f. 54).
4. Robert Morris mentioned JA's salary in his first letter of 25 Sept. (vol. 13:491, 492, note 2), but the order to draw on Franklin for its payment was contained in Lewis R. Morris’ letter of 6 July (same, p. 165–166). In Franklin's letter of 15 Oct. (same, p. 531–532) he requested that JA pay the interest on the French loan, to which JA replied on 1 Nov., above.
5. These were enclosed in Robert Morris’ letter of 27 Sept. and included a copy of his letter to Benjamin Franklin of the same date (same, p. 497).
6. For the loan's progress through October, see the 15 Nov. letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0017

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-06

From Robert R. Livingston

No: 12

[salute] sir,

The scene of Action is so entirely transfered to your side of the Atlantick that scarce any occurance among us at present is sufficiently interesting to furnish matter for a publick Letter. The Resolutions which have from time to time evinced the steady Determination of Congress in no event to Relinquish the great Object of the War or to think of Peace but in Connection with their Allies have been already transmitted you—1 the military force on both sides is perfectly Unactive by the enclosed extracts from Genl. Carlton & Genl— Washingtons Letters you will see that the first is so bent on peace that notwithstanding the opinion of his superiors he does not see, that the War has any longer an Object, it is high time that he disownes them for their Conduct is a Right Disownal of him.2
The clauses of the Commission to Mr. Fitzherbert which are designed to enclude us are Strong indications of the extream Reluctance of the British to give up their supposed Dominion over this Country you have great credit with me for the Judgment you have formed from time to time of the Court of Britain your opinions sometimes runs counter to those generally received.3
{ 35 }
Nothing can be more conformable to my Wishes than the Instructions you transmitted keep up that Spirit in—and we have nothing to fear from that Quarter [but]4 lengthy negotiations even after they shall Commence in earnest.
We have got no Accounts of the Evacuation of Charlestown,5 as that Event begins daily to grow more uncertain, such is the Inconstancy of the Enemy that one may as well predict what appeareance a cloud will put on two hours hence by our knowledge of the Wind as reduce their Conduct to any settled shape by knowing their professions— but the Troops have gone into Winter Quarters at West Point— The French have marched to the Eastward to be nearer their Fleet which lies at Boston— part of the British Fleet consisting of fourteen sail of the Line & Eight Frigates excluding a ship of 40 Guns Sail'd from New York the 26th: Inst. they have such a decided Superiority in the American Seas that if they had Correspondent Land Forces or knew how to apply those they keep koop'd up in America they might Render themselves very formidable in the West Indies This however is I hope an evil which will be e’er long Remedied— Bills for the Amount of your salary from Jany. last have been Regularly transmitted to Doctr: Franklin— You will Receive with this the Amount of the last Quarter ending the 1st. Octr. Morris my secretary will enclose you a state of your Account—6 I should be glad you would Acknowledge the Rect. of these monies as they come to hand— Since I [s]tand charged with them in the Treasury Books—The Enclosed Resolutions will shew you that Mr. Boudinott has succeeded Mr. Hanson president of Congress7
I have the honour to be Sir, / Your Most Ob Hum: Servt
[signed] Robt R Livingston
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “No. 12. / Mr. Secy. Livingston / 6th. Novr. 1782.”; by JA: “ansd. 23 Jan. 1783.” Dupl (Adams Papers). Dupl (MHi:John Adams, Embassy MSS). For the enclosures, see notes 1, 2, and 6.
1. This is Livingston's first letter to JA since 15 Sept. (vol. 13:465–468) and is a belated reply to JA's 18 Aug. letter (see note 3) that reached Congress on 17 Oct. (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 45). Livingston here refers to Congress’ resolutions of 3 and 4 Oct. (see vol. 13:509, 510), but if they were communicated earlier, the means by which JA received them is unknown. Livingston, however, likely enclosed additional copies, for with this letter in the Adams Papers are copies of both resolutions, together with another of 17 Oct. by which Congress instructed its diplomats in Europe to “transmit full and frequent communications as well of their proceedings with the courts at which they respectively reside as of those which relate to negotiations for peace” (JCC, 23:663).
2. Livingston refers to Washington's letter of 8 Sept. and Carleton's reply of the 12th, extracts from which are with this letter in the Adams Papers. In his letter, Washington asked Carleton whether his repeated assertion “that all hostilities stand suspended,” { 36 } included operations on land and sea, and particularly those in the Northwest Territory. Carleton replied that the suspension might be more accurately described as “partial,” but then wrote, “yet I must at the same time frankly declare to you that being no longer able to discern the object we contend for, I disapprove of all hostilities both by land & sea, as they only tend to multiply the miseries of Individuals, when the Public can reap no advantage by Success.” The inclusion of the extract of Washington's letter was presumably Livingston's decision, for the congressional order of 17 Oct. (a copy of which is in the Adams Papers), directed only that Carleton's letter be sent “to the ministers of the United States at Foreign Courts.”
3. In this and the following paragraph, Livingston specifically responds to JA's letter of 18 Aug. (vol. 13:243–250). In this paragraph he refers to the Latin text of Alleyne Fitzherbert's commission, included in the letter, and JA's comment that the commission was ambiguous regarding negotiations with the United States. The following paragraph refers to text of the Dutch instructions to its peace negotiator, Gerard Brantsen, that JA also included in his letter.
4. This was a copying error by Livingston's clerk. The missing word is supplied from the duplicate in the Adams Papers.
5. Charleston was not evacuated until 14 Dec. (John Richard Alden, The South in the Revolution 1763–1789, Baton Rouge, 1957, p. 267).
6. From Lewis R. Morris, 6 Nov., below.
7. By this resolution of 4 Nov. (JCC, 23:708), Elias Boudinot of New Jersey was elected president in place of John Hanson of Maryland. A copy is in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0018

Author: Morris, Lewis R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-06

From Lewis R. Morris

[salute] Sir

Since January last Bills drawn Quarterly for the amount of your Salary have been transmitted to Doctor Franklin by every Conveyance— I have now the honor of sending one drawn for the amount of the sum due you—from the United States from the first of July 1782. to the 30th: Septr: following, the amount of which draft is sixteen thousand, six hundred and sixty six Livres thirteen sols Tournois; this Bill has been purchased at the same price as those sent Doctor Franklin Vizt six shillings and three pence currency for five Livres—1
Duplicate Copies of the Letters I had the honor to address you on the subject of the Bills drawn for your Salary in favor of the Honorable Robt: R Livingston and endorsed over by him to Doctor Franklin you will find enclosed—the Bills being drawn in his name makes him accountable to the United States for their amount, and renders your receipt indispensably necessary for his security—2 you will be so obliging as to send an account of the Salary you allow your private Secretary and the contingent Expences of your Office3
I have the honor to be / with great Respect / your most obedt. humble servt.
[signed] L R Morris
State of Mr Adams's Account
Salary due from the first day of July to the thirtieth of September   }  
2777.68 Dolls.  
Exchange at 6/3 Currency for 5 Livres   16666₶.  13s.  
{ 37 } | view
{ 38 }
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Honorable John Adams—”; endorsed by Charles Storer: “Mr. L. R. Morris / 6th. Novr. 1782. / Amount of my Salary from 1st. July / to 30th. Septr. 1782.” Dupl (Adams Papers).
1. For the bill that Morris enclosed with this letter, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 2, above; and for the basis for his calculations converting Pennsylvania dollars into livres tournois, see vol. 13:166, note 1.
2. Morris presumably enclosed copies of one or more of his letters dated 6 July (vol. 13:165–166), 9 Aug., and 23 Oct. (both Adams Papers). There are multiple copies of each in the Adams Papers, but which of them may have been included with this letter cannot be determined. For JA's comments on the bills drawn on Franklin for his salary in response to Morris’ request here and Livingston's in his letter of this date, above, see JA's letter to Livingston of 23 Jan. 1783, below.
3. For these accounts, see JA's 6 Nov. letter to Robert Morris, and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0019

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Morris, Robert
Date: 1782-11-07

To Robert Morris

[salute] Sir

Yesterday Mr Le Couteulx, called upon me in order to communicate to me, the Contents of his Letters from you, concerning the Remittance of the Money from Holland. I told him he must write to Messrs Willinks &c the Directors of the Loan upon the Subject, and that the whole matter being under your Direction; you and the Bankers must negotiate it. He Said your Desires could easily be complied with and very advantageously for the United States.— He had written to the Dr and recd an Answer that he could not yet Say whether he could comply or not. Soon after Mr Grand came in to Shew me your Letter of Credit, upon Messrs Willinks &c and Shewed me a State of his Accounts by which he would be a Million of Livres in Advance, after paying the Interest of the Ten Millions of Livres borrowed by the King in Holland.1
This Morning I went out to Passy to consult with the Dr, about your Letters. He told me, he was preparing a Memorial to the King as Strong as he could pen, but could not foresee what would be his Success. There are great Complaints of Scarcity of Money here, and what there is, is Shut up.— The Kings Loans dont fill.— The War has lasted so long and Money has been Scattered with so much Profusion, that it is now very Scarce in France, Spain and England as well as Holland. If I could quit the Negotiations for Peace and return to the Hague, I have great doubts of Success with the States General.— And an Application to them which must be taken ad referendum, became the Subject of deliberations and drawn out into an unknown Length, and perhaps never obtain a Unanimity which is indispensible, would immediately cast a damp upon my Loan already opened, or any other that I might open in the Same Way, { 39 } perhaps put an entire stop to it. So that after reflecting upon the Subject as maturely as I can, it Seems to me Safest, to trust to the Loan already opened. The Influence of Such an Application to the States in a political View, upon England, and the Neutral Powers, would not be favourable.
The Measure you have taken, in drawing the Money out of Holland will have an unfavourable Effect.— a Principal Motive to lend Us, has been to incourage a Trade between Us and them, but when they find that none of the Money is to be laid out there in Goods, I fear We shall get little more.
If I were to lay a Memorial before their High Mightinesses, and had Authority to propose a Treaty to borrow a sum of Money and pay the Interest Annually in Tobacco Rice or other Produce of America deliverd at Amsterdam, and to pay the Capital off in the same manner I am not very clear in my Expectations of success. But I have no Instructions for this, nor do I know that Congress would approve it.
In Short Sir I can give you no hopes, nor make any Promises but to do as well as I can.
With the greatest Respect, &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “R. Morris Esqr. Minister of Finance.”; notation by John Thaxter: “Delivered to Capt. Barney / original & Duplicate—the former / to go by himself, & the latter by / Capt. Hill of the Cicero. / Paris 13.th. Novr. 1782.”; APM Reel 108.
1. The letters to Le Couteulx & Co. of Paris were dated 24 and 27 Sept., while the “Letter of Credit” to Ferdinand Grand was dated the 24th (Morris, Papers, 6:423–427, 452–453). Although it was never executed, Morris proposed that Le Couteulx & Co. receive funds raised by the loan consortium in Amsterdam and then negotiate bills of exchange on Cadiz through the firm's branch in that city. These would then to be sold at Havana, Cuba, to obtain specie for importation into the United States. Grand's concern was the payment of interest due on the French guaranteed loan opened in the Netherlands in 1781, for which see vol. 11:295–296. For the consortium's concerns over remittances to Le Couteulx & Co. and the Grands, which arose in response to letters from those firms as well as a 24 Sept. letter from Morris, see the consortium's letter of 15 Nov., and note 1, and JA's reply of the 19th, and note 2, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0020

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Rush, Benjamin
Date: 1782-11-07

To Benjamin Rush

[salute] Dear Sir,

Accept of my thanks for your favor of 28th. Septr.1 The Analogy of Religion & of Manners are undoubtedly not less advantages in the Connection with Holland, than those of Commerce and Republicanism.
The Influence of the Stadtholder & his Court, the Intrigues of the English; the Weight of a numerous, wealthy & powerful English { 40 } Party; the secret and open Negotiations of Neutral Powers, were not the only Obstacles I had to encounter. Secret dark Insinuations against my personal Character from a Quarter from whence they ought not to have come, embarrassed me more than all the rest. Patience & Perseverance, however, at last overcame them all.
My first Object was to hear the public Voice, and to discover the national Sense. I had soon Information from a Variety of Sources, which satisfied me beyond a doubt. I ventured to presume upon it, knowing a little of the Constitution of the Country. It is perhaps the only Country of much Consequence in Europe, where I should have hazarded so much. The Course I took would by no means succeed any where else
The Advantages arising from it are, 1st. a little Money for our able Financier— 2dly. the prevention of a separate Peace. 3dly. Occupation for a considerable Squadron of the British Navy for a considerable part of the Campaign. 4thly. A little less Dependence on France. 5thly. more Zeal & Necessity in England for Peace. 6thly. a little more Inclination in Spain to strike with us. 7thly. more Disposition in the Neutral Powers to a share in our Commerce and Confidence, and to admit us into the Neutral Confederation. 8thly. more Consideration to our Ministers in every Court. 9th. more Dignity to our Cause in the Eyes of all Nations.
You have been a little too busy in your Profession of late, and are getting Money too fast for my Comfort. I have read the Speculations on a Navy with vast pleasure.2 The Subject & the Author were enough to interest me, if the Execution had been less able.
I am, dear Sir, your's
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Dr. Benja. Rush.”; notation: “Deliv'd Capt Barney / 13th. Novr. 1782”; APM Reel 108.
1. Vol. 13:497–498.
2. JA refers to the series of essays published by Rush in the Pennsylvania Journal between 29 May and 14 Aug. under the pseudonym “Leonidas,” particularly that of 4 July, which dealt with naval affairs.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0021

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Oswald, Richard
Date: 1782-11-07

The American Peace Commissioners to Richard Oswald

[salute] Sir,

In answer to the letter you did us the honor to write on the 4th. inst. we beg leave to repeat what we often said in Conversation, viz. that the Restoration of such of the Estates of Refugees, as have { 41 } been confiscated, is impracticable; because they were confiscated by Laws of particular States, &, in many instances, have passed by legal titles through several hands— Besides, Sir, as this a matter evidently appertaining to the internal Polity of the separate States, the Congress, by the nature of our Constitution, have no authority to interfere with it—
As to your demand of Compensation to these Persons, we forbear enumerating our Reasons for thinking it ill founded. In the moment of conciliatory Overtures, it would not be proper to call certain Scenes into view, over which, a variety of Considerations should induce both Parties, at present to draw a veil. Permit us therefore only to repeat, that we cannot stipulate for such Compensation, unless, on your part, it be agreed to make retribution to our Citizens for the heavy Losses they have sustained by the unnecessary Destruction of their private Property—
We have already agreed to an Amnesty, more extensive than Justice required, and full as extensive as Humanity could demand— We can therefore only repeat, that it cannot be extended further—
We should be sorry if the absolute Impossibility of our complying further with your Propositions on this head, should induce Great-Britain to continue the War for the sake of those, who caused & prolonged it; but, if that should be the Case, we hope that the utmost Latitude will not be again given to its rigours—
Whatever may be the Issue of this Negotiation, be assured Sir, that we shall always acknowledge the liberal, manly, and candid manner, in which you have conducted it; and that We shall remain, with the warmest Sentiments of Esteem and Regard, / Your Most Obedt: / humbl: Servants.
[signed] John Adams.
[signed] B Franklin
[signed] John Jay
RC (PRO:CO 5, 8:319); internal address: “To Richard Oswald Esqr. / His Britannic Majesty's / Commissioner for treating of / Peace with the Commissioners / of the United-States of America—” Dft and FC (Adams Papers), both filmed at [5 Nov.]. LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0022

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-11-08

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

The King of G. Britain, by Patent under the Great Seal of his Kingdom has created Richard Oswald Esq, to be his Minister { 42 } Plenipotentiary to treat with the Ministers of the United States of America.1 Thus G. B. is the 3d Power in Europe, to acknowledge our Independence, She can no longer therefore contend that it is a Breach of the armed Neutrality or an Hostility against her to acknowledge American Independence.2 This is so essential a change in the State of Things that I think and Mr Jay thinks you will now have a reasonable Ground of expect Success. The K. of Sweeden has some time ago made some Advances to treat with Dr Franklin and Congress have sent him a Commission to treat with that Prince.— I See not why Neutral Vessells may not go freely to America now.— You will not mention my Name in these matters but in Confidence. Jay is as you would wish him, wise, and firm.
I am directed by an order of Congress Signified to me by their Secretary at War, to transmit them a State of the Pay Rations and subsistance of the Troops of the states General, of Russia Prussia and all the northern Powers. Will you be so good as to assist me in this? My Love to your Ward.—
Yours sincerely.
RC (MHi:Dana Family Papers); addressed by Charles Storer: “The Honble: Francis Dana Esqr. / St. Petersbourg”; internal address: “Mr Dana”; endorsed: “Mr: J. A—. Letter / Dated Novr: 8th. 1782. / Recd: Decr. 8/19—.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. This refers to Richard Oswald's commission of 21 Sept., which he received at Paris on the 27th (vol. 13:483–485) and of which JA was informed by John Jay's letter of 28 Sept. (Adams Papers). JA probably did not actually see the new commission until he arrived at Paris, and then it was likely a copy held by either Franklin or Jay. While JA cited the passage from Oswald's commission mentioned here in his Diary entry for 3 Nov., he indicated on the copy of the commission printed in vol. 13 that he did not receive a copy from Oswald until 9 Nov., but see JA's Diary entry for 11 Nov. (JA, D&A, 3:44, 51).
2. For JA's earlier discussion of this issue, see vol. 13:400–402, 513.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0023

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1782-11-08

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir,

The News that Mr. Brantzen wrote to our Friends before I left the Hague was true The King of Great Britain under the Great Seal of his Kingdom has by Patent constituted Richard Oswal Esqr. his Minister Plenipoy. to treat with the Ministers of the United States of America. Who would have thought that G. B. would be the 3d. Power in Europe to acknowledge the Independence of America— You may write this to Manson, but conceal me.1
G. Britain can no longer pretend that it is a Breach of the { 43 } Neutrality or an Hostility against her, to acknowledge the Independence of America or make Treaties with them.
I am directed by an Order of Congress, signified to me by their Secretary at War Genl. Lincoln, to procure them a State of the Pay, Rations and Subsistence of the Troops of the States General, of Prussia, Russia & all the northern Powers.2 Will You be so good as to procure that of the Republick & any other that You can & send it to me.
Respects to Made. & Mademoille. Dumas, & to all friends, particularly Mr. Gyselaer & Mr. Fisher—3
Yours sincerely.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Dumas.”; APM Reel 108.
1. Jean Manzon edited the Courier du Bas Rhin. Whether JA's announcement was published in Manzon's paper is unknown, but the Gazette d’Amsterdam for 26 Nov. contained the following item: “Le Cour d’Angleterre ne cache plus ses dispositions à reconnaître l’Independence de l’Amérique. Par des Lettres-Patentes, passées sous le Sceau de la Grande-Bretagne, Mr. Richal Oswald, Ecuyer, aû nommé par S. M. Britannique, son Ministre-Plénipotentiaire, pour traiter avec les Ministres des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique. Ainsi l’Angleterre est la troisseme Puissance qui reconnaître l’Independence Américaine.” The same passage, in English, appeared in the London Chronicle of 26–28 November.
2. See JA's letter to Francis Dana of this date, above.
3. Carel Wouter Visscher, pensionary of Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0024

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jackson, Jonathan
Date: 1782-11-08

To Jonathan Jackson

[salute] Sir

In one of your Letters you Suppose that I have an open avowed Contempt of all Rank, give me leave to say you are much mistaken in my sentiments.—2 There are Times, and I have seen many Such when a Man's Duty to his Country demands of him the Sacrifice of his Rank, as well as his Fortune and his Life, but this must be an Epocha, and for an Object worthy of the Sacrifice.— In ordinary Times the same Duty to his Country obliges him to contend for his Rank, as the only means indeed sometimes, by which he can do Service, and the Sacrifice would injure his Country more than himself.— When the World Sees a Man reduced to the Necessity of giving up his Rank merely to serve the Publick they will respect him and his Opinions will have the more Weight for it, but when the Same World sees a Man yeild his Rank for the sake of holding a Place, he becomes ridiculous.— This you may depend upon it will not be my Case—
{ 44 }
Rank and Titles and Ettiquette, and every Species of Punctilios even down to the Visits of Cards, are of infinitely more Importance in Europe than in America, and therefore Congress cannot be too tender of disgracing their Ministers abroad in any of these Things, nor too determined not to disgrace themselves.
Congress will Sooner or later find it necessary, to adjust the Ranks of all their Servants, with Relation to one another, as well as to the Magistrates and officers of the separate Governments.
For Example, if, when Congress abolished my Commission to the King of Great Britain and my Commission for Peace, and issued a new Commission for Peace in which they associated four other Gentlemen with me, they had placed any other at the Head of the Commission they would have thrown a Disgrace and Ridicule upon me in Europe, that I could not have withstood.— It would have injured me in the Minds of Friends and Ennemies, the French and Dutch as well as the English—
It is the Same Thing with States.— If Mr Jay and I, had yeilded the Punctilio of Rank and taken the advice of C. de Vergennes and Dr F. by treating with the English or Spaniards, before We were put upon the equal Footing that our Rank demanded, We should have Sunk in the Minds of the English French Spaniards Dutch and all the Neutral Powers. The C. de Vergennes certainly knows this. if he does not, he is not even an European statesman, if he knows it, what Inference can We draw but that he means to keep us down if he can.— to keep his Hand under our Chin, to prevent Us, from drowning, but not to lift our Heads out of Water.
The Injunctions upon Us to communicate, and to follow the Advice that is given Us, Seem to be too strong and too universal.— understood with reasonable Limitations and Restrictions they may do, very well.
For Example. I wrote a Speculation and caused it to be printed in the Courier du Bas Rhin, Shewing the Interest Policy and Humanity of the Neutral Confederation acknowledging American Independence and admitting the United states to subscribe to the Principles of their marine Treaty.3 This was reprinted in the Gazette of Leyden, the Politique Hollandois, the Courier de L’Europe, and all the Dutch Gazettes. at the Same Time I caused to be transmitted to England some Pieces upon the Same subject, and further shewing the Probability that the Neutral Powers might adopt this Measure, and the Impolicy of Great Britain in permitting all the Powers of Europe to get the start of her, and having more merit with America than she by { 45 } acknowledging her Independence first. These Pieces were printed in the English Papers, in the form of Letters to the Earl of shelburne, and can never be controverted because they are in Writing and in Print with their Dates.4 These Fears thus excited Added to our Refusal to treat on an unequal Footing, probably produced his Lordships Resolution to Advise the King to issue the Commission under the Great Seal to Mr Oswald, by which Great Britain has got the start and gone to windward of the other European Powers. No Man living but my self knew that all these Speculations, in various Parts of Europe came from me.— Would it do for me to communicate all this to the French Ministers? Is it possible for me to communicate all these Things to Congress. Believe me it is not. and give me Leave to Say, it will not do to communicate them to my Friend the Chevalier de la Luzzerne nor my Friend Mr Marbois.— if they should be, long Letters will lay all open to the C. de Vergennes, who I assure you I dont believe will assist me or any body else in such Methods of serving our Country. When the French Ministers in America or Europe communicate every Thing to Us, We may venture to be equally communicative with them.5 But when every Thing is concealed from Us more cautiously I believe than it is from England, We shall do ourselves Injustice if We are not upon our Guard.—
If We conduct ourselves with Caution, Prudence, Moderation and Firmness We shall Succeed in every great Point, but if Congress, or their Ministers abroad Suffer themselves to be intimidated, by Threats, slanders or Insinuations, We Shall be duped out of the Fishery the Missisippi much of the Western Lands, Compensation to the Tories and Penobscot at least if not to Kennebeck.— This is my solemn Opinion, and I will never be answerable to my Country Posterity or my own Mind, for the Consequences that might happen from concealing it.
It is for the determinate Purpose of carrying these Points that one Man, who is submission itself, is pressed up to the Top of Jacobs Ladder in the Clouds, and every other Man depressed to the Bottom of it in the Dust. this is my Opinion.— if it is a Crime to hold this Opinion let me be punished for it, for assuredly I am guilty.
With great Respect and Esteem I have the Honour to be sir your most obedient & humble / servant
[signed] J. Adams.
This was intended for another But I send it to you, as I do the Translation wh I have from Mr Jay who has sent two Copies of it before to Congress,6
{ 46 }
RC and enclosure (MHi:Misc. Bound Coll.); internal address: “<Secretary Livingston>.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. JA wrote this letter, had Charles Storer copy it into his Letterbook, and then, before the letter was sent off, decided it should go to Jonathan Jackson rather than Robert R. Livingston. This is indicated by the Letterbook copy's uncanceled internal address. At some point JA also sent a copy of this letter to Francis Dana (MHi:Dana Family Papers), adding a notation below the signature that “N.B. This letter was intended for the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr: Livingston, but sent to another Member of Congress, for particular reasons.” The letter's tone and content may explain why JA decided not to send it to Livingston, but they shed little light on JA's “particular reasons” for sending it at all, or to Jonathan Jackson rather than Livingston.
On 17 Nov. JA wrote to Jackson in a similar vein. That letter, below, clearly was meant for Jackson from the beginning and apparently intended as the means by which he would receive at least a portion of JA's “Peace Journal,” the nature and significance of which are discussed in note 6 to that letter, as well as in the Introduction, Part 1, above. However, JA's later explanation of his motives for sending the “Journal” to Jackson provides at least a partial explanation of his reasons for directing his letter of 8 Nov. to Jackson rather than Livingston. JA wrote that Jackson was related to AA—he was a cousin through the Quincy family—and that he had known Jackson's family for many years. Moreover, while many of Jackson's friends had been loyalists who sought to convert him to their cause, Jackson himself had remained “steadfast and immoveable in the principles of his country.” Therefore, “to this gentleman Mr. Adams determined to inclose his journal that Mr. Jackson might make a confidential use of it among confidential friends for the public good” (Boston Patriot, 7 Sept. 1811; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:56).
JA's principal concern in this letter and that of 17 Nov. was the commissioners’ decision to violate their instructions and the nature of the influence that produced instructions necessitating such a decision. By 8 Nov. JA was reasonably confident that an Anglo-American peace treaty would be concluded, but he feared that Congress would repudiate its commissioners for not having governed themselves by French advice during the negotiations. With some justification he believed that such a repudiation would be owing to the continuing influence of La Luzerne and Barbé-Marbois, the French minister and his secretary, over Congress in general and Livingston in particular. Thus JA needed a person whom he could trust, in this case Jackson, to show his letters to like-minded people in order to fundamentally change the apparent drift of American foreign policy into the French orbit.
Nor would this be the last time that JA would seek to go over the head of the secretary for foreign affairs and independently influence Congress. Early in April 1783, JA learned that Massachusetts had elected James Warren as one of its members of Congress. Mistakenly believing that Warren would take up his seat, JA wrote four letters to Warren dated 9, 12, 13, and 16 April to which he added two more—those of 20 and 21 March—that, like this one to Jackson, were originally intended for Livingston, all below. Those letters were unstinting in their criticism of the influence exercised by Franklin, Vergennes, and French agents in Europe and America over the conduct of foreign policy and the consequences that such influence would have on the survival of the United States. Fortunately for JA's diplomatic career, neither Jackson nor Warren was in Congress when the letters arrived, and they were forwarded to the two men in Massachusetts. For an additional example of JA's efforts to influence Congress at the expense of Livingston, see his 5 Feb. 1783 letter addressed to the president of Congress, below.
2. Livingston's comment was in his letter of 5 March, to which JA had already replied at length in letters of 4 and 6 Sept. (12:297; 13:415–426, 430–437).
3. This was JA's A Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, [ca. 5–8] July (vol. 13:160–164).
4. These are JA's twelve “Letters from a Distinguished American.” Ten were published in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer between 23 Aug. and 26 Dec. 1782. JA wrote the letters in the summer of 1780 and they are printed under the date of [ante 14–22 July] (vol. 9:531–588).
5. At least in JA's mind little had changed since his service in the 1st joint commission { 47 } in 1778 and 1779. Compare his statement here with his observation about the French government's “Diffidence” and “Reserve” with regard to communicating intelligence in a letter of 5 Dec. 1778 to Elbridge Gerry (vol. 7:248–251).
6. The enclosure is a copy of François de Barbé-Marbois’ 13 March 1782 letter to the Comte de Vergennes. In the letter Barbé-Marbois strongly opposed American claims to the Newfoundland fisheries and offered Vergennes arguments that might prove useful in opposing the American pretensions. It was intercepted by the British and supplied by them to John Jay, who enclosed a translation with his letter to Robert R. Livingston of 18 Sept. (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 324–325; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:238–241, 740). Henry Laurens’ account of a conversation with JA on 19 Dec., below, indicates that JA received a translation of the Barbé-Marbois letter from Jay.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0025

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1782-11-08

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

[salute] Gentlemen,

Great Britain has acknowledged the Independence of America. The King has given a Commission under the Great Seal, to Mr. Oswald to treat with the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. I mention this to You in Confidence for your Information, but You must not mention me as your Authority, nor make any Use of this Letter but for your own Government. There are prudential Considerations for concealing me & my Name. If You can make any Use of the Fact without mentioning your Authority, to encourage the Loan, it will be a public Service—but I must again press upon You the Necessity of concealing me. The Fact is certain & the full Powers are exchanged. It is remarkable that G. B. should so early have set the Example, as to be the 3d. Nation on Earth, in an unequivocal & unconditional Declaration of the Sovereignty of 13. States whom She has been so lately persecuting with unrelenting Bowels. I hope the Example will soon be followed by all the neutral Powers, that this Source of Discord may be finally closed.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs. Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicholas & Jacob Van Staphorst / & De la Lande & Fynje.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0026

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-08

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

J’ai été charmé de recevoir enfin la nouvelle de votre heureuse arrivée.— Je com̃ence par vous obéir, en rendant compte à V. Exce. de ce qui se passe ici. Pour cet effet, je crois ne pouvoir mieux faire que de soumettre à votre inspection ma Lettre ci-jointe No. 7 à Mr. { 48 } Livingston, laquelle vous voudrez bien, après l’avoir lue, & accompagnée des correctifs que vous paroîtront nécessaires, fermer & faire passer à Mrs. Barclay & Moylan à l’Orient, pour être expédiée delà à sa destination.1 Je n’ai presque rien à ajouter à cela, & à ce que la Gazette de Leide, que vous pouvez avoir à Paris, vous apprend successivement, sinon, que, très-probablement, le triomphe de Mr. De C——le du Pl. en O——l, va être suivi de celui de Mr. V——B——l à A——m, & qu’il reparoîtra le 20 ici à l’Asslée. plus radieux que jamais.2
En suivant littéralement les ordres de la Lettre de Mr. Thaxter du 30e. Oct,3 je crois devoir vous acheminer en même temps les Lettres arrivées pour vous depuis votre départ. J’ai répondu à celles que m’ont écrit ceux qui vous savoient absent, & qui ne contenoient rien de bien essentiel aux grandes affaires.
J’espere que vous avez reçu la Médaille & Lettre de Mr. Holtzhey d’Amst., que Son Exc. Mr. le D. de la Vauguion a bien voulu donner de ma part à un Courier qu’il a expédié il y a 15 jours.4
La personne de la part de laquelle vous aurez reçu une Lettre par le même Courier, languit fort de pouvoir aller, en toute liberté, vous entretenir, Monsieur, de choses importantes, & agir tout de suite en conséquence.5
Il me reste entre les mains un paquet reçu depuis peu de l’Orient, venant de l’Amérique, & qui a couté 17 florins de port. Com̃e vous m’aviez permis en partant d’ouvrir ces paquets d’Amérique, je l’ai fait. Il n’y a aucune Gazette; mais
o Trois Lettres pour V. Exce. de Mr. Livingston du 29 May 30 May & 4 Juillet, No. 7 & 8 triplicate, & No. 9 & une de Mr. L. R. Morris du 5e. Juillet.6 Com̃e j’ai lieu de présumer que vous avez déjà des copies de ces Lettres, elles m’ont paru devoir rester dans votre Secretaire ici, au moins jusqu’à nouvel ordre.
o Une Lettre à cachet volant de Mr. Livingston du 29 May, No. 5 Triplicate, accompagnée d’une de Mr. L. R. Morris, pour Mr. F. Dana à Petersbourg.—7 Une autre, plus grosse, cachetée, pour le même.— J’attends là-dessus aussi vos ordres, pour savoir s’il faut lui expédier l’une & l’autre, par quelle voie & sous quelle adresse.
Je ne vous parle aujourd’hui que d’affaires publiques. La poste va partir, & je differe les autres, qui ne pressent pas, pour la semaine prochaine. Il suffira donc de vous dire, que tout va bien dans la maison, que l’on a nettoyée depuis ces derniers jours, afin que vous retrouviez de l’ordre & de la proprété par-tout, & spécialement dans { 49 } votre appartement que nous tenons constam̃ent & soigneusement fermé. En attendant, nous nous y comparons, mon Epouse & moi, qui vous présente ses honneurs, com̃e le vox clamantis in deserto.8
Je suis avec le plus sincere respect, / Monsieur / Votre trèshumble & très / obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Vraisemblablement vous verrez bientôt L. Exc. Mr. l’Ambr. & Made. L’Ambassadrice.9


[salute] Sir

I was delighted to learn at last of your safe arrival. I begin, as you instructed, by informing your excellency of events taking place here. To this end I think it best to submit for your perusal my enclosed letter, no. 7, to Mr. Livingston; after you have read it and appended the corrections you deem necessary, please seal it and have it forwarded to Mr. Barclay and Mr. Moylan at Lorient, to be sent on.1 I have almost nothing to add to this and to what you can learn subsequently from the Gazette de Leyde, readily obtainable in Paris, except that in all probability Mr. Van der Capellen tot den Pol's victory in Overijssel will soon be followed by that of Mr. Van Berckel in Amsterdam, and that on 20 November he will reappear here in the assembly, more radiant than ever.2
If I am to follow literally the orders Mr. Thaxter gave me in his letter of 30 October,3 I think I must forward with the above all the letters that have come for you since your departure. I have answered those written me by people who knew you had left, and which contained nothing of major importance.
I hope you received the medal and letter from Mr. Holtzhey of Amsterdam, which his excellency the Duc de La Vauguyon was kind enough to send by way of the courier he dispatched fifteen days ago.4
The person who sent you a letter via the same courier longs to be able to come and talk to you freely about important concerns and to act at once accordingly.5
I still have a package, originally sent from America, that arrived recently from Lorient and cost seventeen florins in postage. Since you authorized me when you left to open these parcels from America, I did so. It contained no newspaper, but:
1. Three letters for your excellency from Mr. Livingston, dated 29 May, 30 May, and 4 July, Nos. 7 and 8 triplicate, and No. 9, and a letter from Mr. L. R. Morris dated 5 July.6 Since I have reason to suppose you already have copies of these letters, it seemed to me they should remain in your writing desk, at least until I hear otherwise.
2. A letter with a loose seal from Mr. Livingston, dated 29 May, No. 5 triplicate, accompanied by one from Mr. L. R. Morris for Mr. Dana in St. { 50 } Petersburg,7 and another larger letter, sealed, for the same person. Again, I await your instructions to know if I should send them both to him, by what path, and to what address.
Today I am only informing you of public business. The post is about to leave, and I am postponing news of other matters, which is not urgent, until next week. Suffice it to say that all is well with the house, which has been cleaned in the last few days, so that you will find everything in a state of order and cleanliness, especially your apartment, which we are careful to keep locked. Meanwhile my wife, who sends her respects, and I compare ourselves to the vox clamantis in deserto.8
With sincere respect, sir, I remain your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
It seems likely you will soon be seeing his excellency the ambassador and his wife.9
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. J. Adams, M. P. des E. U.”; endorsed: “Mr Dumas / 8 Nov. 1782.”
1. Dumas began his dispatch No. 7 to Livingston on 27 Sept., continued it serially through 24 Oct., and wrote an addition on 7 November. The dispatch likely also included a separate letter dated 25 Oct. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:776–778; PCC, No. 93, II, f. 90–97, 115–117, 119–121). The dispatch recounted events in the Netherlands, including the signing of the Dutch-American Treaty and JA's departure for Paris, but Dumas also requested more adequate compensation from Congress since he was acting as the U.S. chargé d’affaires at The Hague.
2. The States of Overijssel expelled Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol in 1778 because of his anti-Orangist and pro-Patriot activities, particularly his 1775 opposition to the British use of the Scots Brigade in the war against the Americans (vol. 10:381). On 1 Nov. the States readmitted Capellen “à la grande satisfaction de tous les vrais Patriotes,” that is, to the great satisfaction of all true Patriots (Gazette d’Amsterdam, 5 Nov.).
Engelbert François van Berckel had been stripped of his office of pensionary of Amsterdam in the wake of British protests over his role, and that of Amsterdam, in the 1778 negotiation of the Lee-Neufville Treaty. Britain's 20 Dec. 1780 manifesto declaring war on the Netherlands used as a pretext the Lee-Neufville Treaty and the failure of the Dutch to punish either Amsterdam or Van Berckel for its negotiation (vol. 10:307–308; 11:3, 44). The Gazette d’Amsterdam of 19 Nov. announced that the “Cour de Justice” of Holland had absolved Van Berckel and that he would resume his duties at the Amsterdam Regency's meeting on the following day.
3. PCC, No. 101, f. 281.
4. Holtzhey's letter was of 20 Oct. (vol. 13:536–537).
5. Dumas enclosed Holtzhey's letter and the medals with a cover letter dated 28 Oct. (Adams Papers). Thus he is likely referring to himself in this sentence.
6. For the letters from Livingston, see vol. 13:84–87, 155–156. The only extant July letter from Lewis R. Morris to JA was dated the 6th, same, p. 165–166.
7. For Livingston's 29 May letter to Dana, see Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:446–447; for Morris’ letter of 6 July, see MHi: Dana Family Papers.
8. A voice crying in the wilderness.
9. The Duc de La Vauguyon and his wife. JA saw the ambassador at Paris on 5 Dec. (JA, D&A, 3:90).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0027

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-09

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We beg Leave to acknowledge gratefully your Excellency's marks of Friendship, and thank you in the best manner for your confidence your Excellency'll permit us to Lay down before him that we'd be able to make a better employ of a news of such an importance, if we were acquainted with it before it was generally known, this makes us take the Liberty to pray you, if an important news happen'd either of the firm Agreement between all Parties to sign the Preliminaries of a general peace, or of an appointed Congress or Suspension of hostilities or if unhappily the Conferences were broke off that we get no peace but a continuance of war, your Excellency might be pleased to Shew us that kindness as to give us the information of it by an Extraordinary of whch. we'd with pleasure pay the Expence and we assure your Excellency beforehand, of our most sacred discretion and Secrecy
We were told that the preliminaries of peace between America france and England were signed, without either Spain or Holland were comprehended in it, we Can give no Credit to it the more as Mr Jay,1 who prays us to make Compliments to your Excellency, do assure us Such a thing to be impossible2
Many people Seem yet in opinion that we are not yet so near a general peace, as the multitude and appearence give reason to hope.
We recommend our selves to your valuable remembrance and have the honour to remain with respectfull consideration.
Sir Your Excellency most Humble / and most Obedient Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
1. Sir James Jay.
2. The Willinks renewed their request for information about the progress of the peace negotiations in a letter of 12 Nov. (Adams Papers), but see JA's letter of 8 Nov., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0028

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-11-11

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir,

On my first arrival at Paris I found my Colleagues engaged in Conferences with Mr: Oswald. They had been before chiefly conducted by Mr: Jay, Mr: Franklin having been mostly confined for 3. { 52 } mo. by a long & painful illness: At this time, however, he was so much better, altho’ still weak & lame, as to join us in most of the subsequent Conferences; and we were so constantly engaged, forenoon, afternoon & evening, that I had not been out to Versailles, nor anywhere else. On Saturday last the Marqs. de la Fayette called upon me, & told me he had been to Versailles, & the C. de Vergennes had sd. to him, that he had been informed, by the returns of the Police, that I was in Paris, but not officially, & he shd. take it well if I wod. come to see him. I went to dine with Mr: Franklin the same day, who had just returned fm. delivering his memorial & repeated to me the same message. I sd. to both, I wd. go the next morning, & accordingly on Sunday, 9th.2 I went to make my Court to his Excellency. He recd. me politely & asked me questions abt. our progress. I answd. him, that the English Minister appeared to me to divide with us upon ostensible points; that I still doubted of his intentions to make an universal Peace; that the cry of the Nation was, for something to be done or sd. with the American Ministers, & to satisfy this, the K. of G. B. had been advised to be the 3d. Power in Europe to acknowledge our Independence. As this was a Royal act, under the great Seal of his Kingdom, it cod. never be denied, or revoked; but still it did not render the nation unanimous, & to avoid finally disgusting any great party, the Minister wd. still pursue his usual studied obscurity of Policy: Points must be conceded to the Americans before a compleat agreement cod. be made with them, even on terms to be inserted in the universal peace, wh. wd. open the full cry of a powerfull party upon him, among wh. were the Refugees. It cod. not be supposed that the Refugees & Penobscot were such points with the nation, or Minister that they wd. continue the war for them only, if they were ready to strike with France, Spain & Holland.—
The C. then asked me some questions respecting Sagadahoc, wh. I answd. by shewg. him the records, wh. I had in my pocket, particularly that of Govr. Pownal's solemn act of possession in 1759; the Grants & settlements of Mount Desert, Mechias & all other townships East of Penobscot River: the orig: Grant, of James 1st. to Sir Wm. Alexander, of Nova-Scotia, in wh. it is bounded on St. Croix River; (This grant I had in Latin, French & English;) the dissertations of Govr. Shirley & Hutchinson, & the authority of Govr. Bernard, all shewg. the Right of the Massa: to this tract to be incontestible. I added, that I did not think any British Minister wd. ever put { 53 } his hand to a written Claim of that, tract of land, their own national Acts were so numerous & so clear against them.—3
The C. said, Mr: Fitzherbert had told him that it was for the Masts that a point was made of that tract; but the C. said Canada was an immense resource for masts. I said there were so few masts there, that this cod. not be the motive; that the Refugees were still at the bottom of this. Several of them had pretensions to lands in Sagadahoc, & the rest hoped for Grants there.—
The C. said, it was not at all surprizing that the B. Ministry shd. insist upon Compensation to the Tories, for that all the Precedents were in their favor: in the case of the united Provinces with Spain, all were restored to their possessions; & that there never had been an example of such an affair, terminated by treaty, but all were restored. He said, it was a point well-settled by Precedents. I begged his Excells. pardon for this, & tho’t there was no precedent in point—a restitution of an Estate, not alienated, altho’ confiscated to a Crown, or State, cod. not be a precedent in point; because, in our case, these estates had not only been confiscated, but alienated by the State, so that it was no longer in the power of the State to restore them. And when you come to the Question of Compensation, there is every argument of national honor, dignity of the State, public & private Justice & Humanity, for us to insist upon a Compensation for all the Plate, Negroes, Rice, Tobacco, stole, and Houses & Substance consumed, as there is for them to demand Compensation to the Tories; and this was so much the stronger in our favor, as our Sufferers were innocent people, and theirs guilty ones.—
Mr: Rayneval; who was present, said something about the K. & Nation being bound to support their adherents. I answd. that I cod. not comprehend this doctrine. Here was a set of People whose bad faith & misrepresentations had deceived the K. & deluded the nation to follow their all-devouring ambition, untill they had totally failed of their object; had bro’t an indelible reproach on the British name & almost irretrievable ruin on the nation, and yet that nation is bound to support their deceivers and ruiners: If the national honor was bound at all, it was bound still to follow their ambition, to conquer America, & to plant the Refugees there in pomp & power; and, in such Case, we all know whose estates wd. be confiscated and what Compensation would be obtained. All this Mr: Rayneval said was very true—
The Compte asked me to dine, which I accepted, and was treated { 54 } with more attention & Complaisance than ever, both by him and the Comtess.—4
As it is our duty to penetrate, if we can, the motives & views of our Allies, as well as our enemies, it is worth while for Congress to consider what may be the true motives of these intimations in favor of the Tories. History shews that Nations have generally had as much difficulty to arrange their affairs with their Allies, as with their Enemies— France has had as much, this war, with Spain, as with England. Holland & England, whenever they have been Allies, have always found many difficulties; and, from the nature of things, it must ever be an intricate task to reconcile the Notions, Prejudices, Principles &c. of two Nations, in one Concert of Councils and Operations.—
We may well think, that the French would be very glad to have the Americans join with them in a future war. Suppose for example, they should think the Tories, men of Monarchical principles, or men of more ambition than principle, or men corrupted & of no principle, and should therefore think them more easily seduced to their purposes, than virtuous Republicans, is it not easy to see the policy of a French Minister in wishing them Amnesty and Compensation? Suppose a French Minister foresees, that the presence of the Tories in America will keep up perpetually two parties, a french & an english party, and that this will compell the patriotic & independant men to join the french side, is it not natural for him to wish them restored? Is it not easy too to see, that a french Minister cannot wish to have the English & Americans perfectly agreed upon all points, before they themselves, the Spaniards & Dutch, are agreed too? Can they be sorry then to see us split upon such a point as the Tories? What can be their motives to become the advocates of the Tories? It seems the french Minister at Philadelphia has made some representations to Congress in favor of a Compensation to the Royalists, and that the Comte de Vergennes’ Conversation with me was much in favor of it. The Comte probably knows, that we are instructed against it, & that Congress are instructed against it, or rather have not a constitutional authority to make it; that we can only write about it to Congress, & they to the States, who may, and probably will deliberate upon it a year, or 18. months, before they all decide, and then every one of them will determine against it. In this way, there is an insuperable obstacle to any agreement between the English & Americans, even upon terms to be inserted in the general Peace, before all are ready, and indeed after.— It has { 55 } been, upon former occasions, the constant practice of the French to have some of their Subjects in London, and the English, some of theirs in Paris, during Conferences for Peace, in order to propagate such sentiments as they wished to prevail. I doubt not there are such there now. Mr: Rayneval has certainly been there. It is reported, I know not how truly, that Mr: Gerard5 has been there, and probably others are there, who can easily prompt the Tories to clamor, and to cry that the King's dignity and Nation's honor are compromised to support their demands—
America has been long enough involved in the Wars of Europe. She has been a football between contending Nations from the Beginning, and it is easy to foresee, that France & England both will endeavor to involve us in their future wars. It is our Interest and Duty to avoid them as much as possible, and to be compleatly independent, and have nothing to do with either of them but in Commerce— My poor tho’ts & feeble efforts have been, from the beginning, constantly employed to arrange all our European Connections to this end, and will continue to be so employed, whether they succeed or not. My hopes of Success are stronger now than ever they have been, because I find Mr: Jay precisely in the same sentiments, after all the Observations & Reflections he has made in Europe, and Mr: Franklin, at last, appears to coincide with us.—6
We are all three perfectly united in the affair of the Tories, and of Sagadahoc, the only points, in which the British Minister pretends to differ from us—
The enclosed Papers will show Congress the substance of the Negotiations.— The treaty, as first projected between Mr: Oswald, on one side, and Mr: Franklin & Mr: Jay, on the other, before my arrival.— The Treaty, as projected, after my arrival, between Mr: Oswald, & the three American Ministers, my Lord Shelburne having disagreed to the first.— Mr: Oswalds letter and our answer— Mr: Strachey's letter & our answer—7 Mr: Strachey is gone to London with the whole, and we are waiting his return, or the arrival of some other, with further Instructions—
If Congress should wish to know my conjecture, it is, that the Ministry will still insist upon Compensations to the Tories, and thus involve the nation, every month of the war, in an expence, sufficient to make a full Compensation to all the Tories in Question. They would not do this, however, if they were ready wth France & Spain.—
With great respect I have the honor to be, Sir, / Your most Obedt. / huml: servant.
[signed] J. Adams—
{ 56 }
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 238–241); internal address: “Robert. R. Livingston Esqr. / Secretary of State for the Department / of Foreign Affairs.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. On the Letterbook copy are notations by John Thaxter stating that “this Letter incloses. 1st. set of articles, & 2d. set of articles Mr. Oswald's Letter. Answer to it, Answer to Mr Strachey's Letter, & original of No. 2.” and “Delivered Capt. Barney Commander of Packet Washington original, 2.plicate & Triplicate—the 1st. to go by himself, 2d. by Capt. Hill of Cicero, & 3d. by Capt. of Buccaneer Paris 13th. Novr. 1782.” The reference to the “original of No. 2” is to JA's 6 Nov. letter to Livingston, above.
2. An inadvertence by JA in his Letterbook that was repeated by Thaxter. The account of how he came to visit Vergennes forms the substance of JA's Diary entry for 9 Nov., while the remainder of this paragraph and the five that follow mirror JA's Diary entry for Sunday, 10 Nov. (JA, D&A, 3:47–49).
3. JA apparently brought most if not all of the documentation to his meeting with Vergennes that he had taken previously to discussions with the British negotiators, for which see his 31 Oct. letter to Livingston, and note 6, above.
4. JA's account of dining with the Comte and Comtesse de Vergennes is much more detailed in his Diary entry and includes a comment by one of his fellow diners that he was “le Washington de la Negotiation.” For JA that was “the finishing Stroke. It is impossible to exceed this.” For this passage and JA's other comments on dinner with the Vergennes, as well as their effect when read before Congress as part of his “Peace Journal,” see JA, D&A, 3:49–51.
5. Conrad Alexandre Gérard, former French minister to the United States.
6. This and the preceding paragraph are taken more or less verbatim from JA's Diary entry for 11 November. There it constitutes JA's account of what he said in the course of a conversation with Richard Oswald's secretary, Caleb Whitefoord, who had brought him an attested copy of Oswald's commission (same, p. 51–53).
7. These are the articles agreed to on 8 Oct. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:805–808); the second set approved on [4 Nov.]; Oswald's letter of 4 Nov. and the commissioners’ reply of the 7th; and Henry Strachey's letter of 5 Nov., all above, to which the commissioners replied on the 6th (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:859). The notation on the Letterbook copy seems to indicate that only the 6 Nov. reply to Strachey was sent, and there is no copy of Stratchey's letter of the 5th in the PCC.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0029

Author: Laurens, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-12

From Henry Laurens

[salute] Dear Sir,

An untoward Circumstance had hurried me from Bath, where I had been about a Month in the progress of health; I was waiting the Determination of this Court, whether I might, upon terms consistent with my honor, return & continue in the same pursuit during the Winter Months, or be obliged at all hazards to withdraw immediately from the Kingdom. In this dilemma, I had this afternoon the honor of recieving your letter of the 6th. Instant, accompanied by an Act of Congress of the 17th. of September.
My Country enjoins & condescends to desire, I must therefore, also at all hazards to myself obey & comply. Diffident as I am of my own Abilities, I shall as speedily as possible proceed & join my Colleagues.
For the rest, the Wound is deep, but I apply to myself the { 57 } consolation which I administered to the Father, of the Brave Colonel Parker. “Thank God I had a Son who dared to die in defence of his Country.”1
My Dear freind / Adieu.
[signed] Henry Laurens.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esquire / at Paris.”
1. Laurens refers to his condolences to Richard Parker of Virginia upon the death of his son Col. Richard Parker in 1780 at the siege of Charleston (Laurens, Papers, 15:246–247).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0030

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-14

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We have before us your Excellency's esteem'd favour of 2 inst, we shall when Mr Dumas furnishes the accts. you are pleased to mention of, pay and charge the same in conformity of your order and write the amount to your Excellency.
We have received with pleasure the dispatches from Congress, we are but sorry not to be so much advanced as his Excellency Mr. Morris Seems to Suppose, and as we'd be much afflicted to be without Stocks at the drafts of Said Gentleman, we considered your Excellency at Leisure to regulate with Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. & Mr Grand (reserving a Sum for Said purpose), the amount we are to pay out at their disposal of the object in cash for Congress, to each of said houses.1
We want to Observe to your Excellency we dare not flatter ourselves with such an encouraging succes we heartily wish, because the scarciety of money, and concurrency of other Loans, put an hindrance to it, in the Meanwhile we shall employ our best endeavours to promote the succes as much as possible, a happy turn in political affairs Should be conducive to it and by the Paragraph of your Excellency's favour we guess to be approaching of that desirable moment, if we may beg without indiscretion some informations from time to time, your Excellency'll augment the obligations already due to your goodness.
We inclose the Copy of the goods invoice Send to Milady Adams, of whch. the Amount is charged to your Excellency's Acct.2
the different inclosed packets are carrefully forwarded.
We have the honour to be with the greatest respect / Sir / Your Excellency's Most / Humble & Obedient Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
{ 58 }
The letter to your Excellency of the three Houses not being to be dispatched this night Shall be sent without fault with the Extraordinary to morrow.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / Esqr. Minister plenipotentiary / of the united States of America / in / Paris.”; internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr. Paris.”; endorsed by Charles Storer: “Messs. Willinks / 14th. Nov. 1782 / inclosing Invoice of Goods / shipped in Capt. Coffin.”
1. For the amount of money available from the loan, as well as the remittances made by the loan consortium to Le Couteulx & Co. and the Grands, see the 15 Nov. letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, and note 1, below.
2. The enclosure, endorsed “Invoice of Goods shipped / in Capt. Coffin from / Amsterdam,” was an invoice for a large quantity of millinery goods destined for AA, the cost of which, including packing, was 994 florins. The shipment included white and black gauze, handkerchiefs, aprons, white and black thread, and a variety of ribbons and tapes. Also sent was a quantity of cloth, including tammies, calamancos, linens, and calicos. Unfortunately for AA, Capt. Alexander Coffin and the Hero reached Boston on 20 Feb. 1783, “after a tedious Passage of 80 days,” just as news arrived that the preliminary peace treaty had been signed (Boston Evening Post, 22 Feb.). AA never specifically reported Coffin's arrival, an omission that JA noted in his letter to her of 7 April, but on 7 May she did write to request items for her family, not for speculation. According to AA, her “last adventure from Holland was most unfortunate. The Length of the passage was such, that the News of peace arrived a few days before; Goods fell and are now sold much below the sterling coast; many are lower than ever I knew them; Some persons are obliged to sell, and I believe the peace, will ruin more merchants and traders than the War” (AFC, 5:119, 152). For additional merchandise brought by Coffin from Amsterdam, see the Boston Evening Post of 8 March. For the glut of European merchandise, particularly textiles, see newspaper advertisements by Boston merchants in February and March 1783.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0031

Author: Bridgen, Edward
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-15

From Edward Bridgen

The last post I had the honour to forward to your Excellency a letter from our very distressed Friend who desires I would inform you that he hopes to be able to attend his Duty soon and to set out for that purpose next week.1
His health was somewhat better for Bath but the loss of his son has been a most severe stroke indeed and I fear much that his proposed Journey to Paris will not assist in his recovery: as to his spirits they are, this day, more Calm and I am in hopes that his entering on buisness again, may help to divert his thoughts, but if much hurry he must enter upon, on his arrival, I am certain it will greatly hurt him. This Sir I take the liberty to hint, not from Mr L, I assure you, but from my observations while in the Tower & since his Liberation, which you Sir and the rest of the Gentlemen employ'd I fear that ye will be witnesses to.
{ 59 }
I flatter my self that your Excellency will pardon this freedom in behalf of my Worthy distressed friend and do me the honour to present me Affectionately to the Good Dr F: and respectfully to Mr Jay & believe me to be Sir with great regard & esteem / Yr: Excellency's / most Obedt: Hum: Servt:
[signed] Edwd: Bridgen
Since writing the above I am just informed that Mr L: has receiv'd a Large packett but I know nothing more—than that it contained little more than the American news papers with the particulrs of the unfortunate event.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency Jno Adams Esqr.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0032

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-15

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

[salute] Sir

We duly received the honour of your Excellencies favour dated the 5th. of this Month, with the Ratification of the bonds by Congres. We immediately have given it to the Interpreter, to procure us a Translation in Dutch, and will then show it to the Undertakers for their approbation. By which means we will be able to pay out the money.
Your Excellency desire to know what Sum is now in cash? We wrote some days past to Mr. Livingston and the notice of what we
advised him amounts to   ƒ 1678.000—1  
of this must be deducted the charges &c.    
which we calculate, about   "  78 000—  
Thus the Sum actually to disposition of Congres is   ƒ 1600.000—  
This sum is quit ready. But Sir, we are in the necessity to ask your advice and direction, before we begin to pay it. Your Exce. will please to observe by the inclosed copy of a letter from the Treasurer Mr. Robert Morris, that he desires to keep a considerable part of the Loan in favour of Mr. Grand, and Mess Le Couteulx & Compe. at Paris, without mentioning the Limits of those credits.2 Besides he was looking out for opportunities to draw Bills upon us, again without saying for what Sum. And we remember that your Exce. advised to Congres that you was willing to dispose of part of the Loan for { 60 } payment of the Drafts upon Mr. Laurens, and that you presumed this object could go till about ƒ 200.000—3
Now Sir, Mess. Le Couteulx & Co. by their Letter received at the same time, are speaking of two Millions of florins, and Mr. Grand desires that we should remit him about £[₶]4 400.000— and says further that his disbursement, which we are to supply, could go to a million.
Your Excellency will observe that it is impossible for us to make face with the Sum, which is now in cash, and which we may expect in a short time, to all the Said objects. It seems necessary to reserve a Sum for the Drafts on Mr. Laurens, and those which Mr. Morris may draw upon us, since certainly by no means those Drafts must be exposed. But how much shall we reserve for it. Your Exce. will oblige us to give us your directions about this point, and further how we are to devide the remainder between the two houses of Mess Grand & Le Couteulx. Since the order of Mr. Morris is so unlimited this is the only way for us to be sure that we act to the Satisfaction of our Principals, and therefore we are determined to follow your Excellencies most esteemd orders, and we will advise you further what Sums we shall receive. We beg to be assured that we will employ our best endeavours, to encourage and to promote this Loan as much as lay in our power. However it is not necessary to tell you that probably this will for the present not answer our wishes, since you are informed of the multitude of Loans, which are now in course, and money becomes every day scarser.
The Letters for Mr. Dumas shall be forwarded this evening to the Hague.5
It gives us a great pleasure to observe that the news of the connexion between our Republic, and the United States was received there with Joy and Satisfaction. We wish that it may ever prove to the benefit of both parties, and that the many obstacles, which now hinder the Trade, to be so brisk, and so regular as would be necessary, may soon be removed, and then the Public and private connexions may be extended. We shall always esteem it our duty to contribute to these views as much as will be in our power. And to execute the business, which Congres and your Excellency may trust to our care with Zeal and Candour.
We have the honour to be most respectfully / of Your Excellency / the most humble & most ob. Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
{ 61 }
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr Paris”; endorsed: “M. Willinks & Co. 15. Nov. / ansd 19. 1782.”
1. The consortium wrote to Livingston on 12 Nov. and included a copy of its letter to him of 16 Aug. (PCC, No. 145, f. 175–177). The consortium there indicated the monthly sums received since the opening of the loan: June, ƒ 1,314,000; July, ƒ 170,000; Aug., ƒ 93,000; Sept., ƒ 71,000; Oct., ƒ 30,000; for a total, as stated in this letter to JA, of ƒ 1,678,000. The steady monthly decline in the amounts being invested explains the consortium's pessimism about the loan's progress, its anxiety over being able to meet the demands of Le Couteulx & Co. and the Grands, and its request for JA's intervention and guidance. For JA's response, see his letter of 19 Nov., below.
2. It is unclear what letter from Robert Morris was enclosed, because in his reply of 19 Nov., below, JA indicated that he had not received an enclosure. The consortium may have intended to send Morris’ second letter of 24 Sept., which does mention Grand but also directs with regard to Le Couteulx & Co. “that Bills drawn by that House to whatever Amount be punctually honored and paid on Account of the United States.” However, with this letter in the Adams Papers is a copy of Morris’ second letter of 28 Sept., in which he indicated that he had “disposed of a considerable Part of it [the Dutch loan] in Favor of Mr. Grand and of Messrs. Le Couteulx and Co. of Paris” (Morris, Papers, 6:427–428, 458–459).
3. JA's 11 Aug. letter to the consortium (vol. 13:228–229).
4. That is, 400,000 livres tournois. In this and other letters to JA where the consortium uses only the pound sign to indicate livre tournois, the editors have followed it with the livre tournois symbol (₶) in brackets.
5. For the letters to Dumas, see JA's 5 Nov. letter to the consortium, and note 2, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0033

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jackson, Jonathan
Date: 1782-11-17

To Jonathan Jackson

[salute] Sir

Upon my Arrival here, I found, Mr Jay, in very delicate Health, in the midst of great affairs and without a Clerk. He told me, he had Scarcely Strength to draw up a State of the Negotiation hitherto, but that he must do it, for Congress. I offered him the Assistance which Mr Thaxter could afford him, in Copying, which he accepted.1
Mr Jay as well as Dr Franklin and myself, are exceedingly embarrassed by some of our Instructions. The other Gentlemen will Speak for themselves.2
No Man has an higher Sense than I have of the obligation of Instructions given by the Principal to a Deputy. it is a Point of Duty to observe them.
A French Minister has only to ascend a Pair of Stairs, to propose a doubt, to offer reasons, to lay open Facts, for the advice or orders of his Master and his Council. A Spanish, Dutch, or English Ambassador, has only to send a Courier, and receive an Answer in a few days. But We are at a vast distance. Dispatches are opened—Vessells are taken, and the difficulties of Communication are innumerable. Facts unknown, when Instructions were given turn up.— whole Systems of Policy appear in a striking Light, which were not Suspected. { 62 } Yet the Time presses, all Europe waits and We must Act.— In such a Case I know of no other Rule, than to construe Instructions, as We do all other Precepts and Maxims, by Such Limitations, Restrictions and Exceptions as Reason, Necessity & the Nature of Things point out.
When I Speak of this Court, I know not, that any other Minister is included, but that of foreign affairs. A whole System of Policy is now, as glaring as they3 day, which perhaps, Congress and the People of America, have little suspicion of. The Evidence now results from a large View of all our European Negotiations. The Same Principle, and the Same System has been uniformly pursued, from the Beginning of my Knowledge of our Affairs in Europe in April 1778, to this hour.— It has been pursued in France, in Spain, in Holland, in Russia, and even in England. In substance it has been this, in Assistance afforded Us in Naval Force and in Money, to keep Us from Succumbing and nothing more. To prevent us from ridding ourselves wholly of our Ennemies, and from growing rich and powerfull.— to prevent Us from obtaining Acknowledgments of our Independence, by other foreign Powers, and from acquiring Consideration in Europe, or any Advantage in the Peace, but what is expressly Stipulated in the Treaties.—to deprive Us of the Grand Fishery, the Missisippi River the Western Lands, and to Saddle Us with the Tories. To these Ends, by all I have learned of Mr Dana's Negotiations in Russia, Mr Jays in Spain, and my own in Holland, it is evident to me, that the Comte de Montmorin, the Marquis de Verac, and the Duke de la Vauguion, have been governed by the Same Instructions vizt. instead of favouring to prevent, if possible, our Success. In Holland I can Speak with Knowledge, and I declare, that he did every Thing in his Power, to prevent me, and that I verily believe he had Instructions so to do, perhaps only from the Minister, untill I had declared to him, that no Advice of his, or the C de Vergennes nor even a Requisition from the King Should restrain me. and when he found that I was a Man not to be managed: that I was determined, and was as good as my Word, and further thought I should Succeed, he fell in with me, in order to give the Air of French Influence to Measures which French Influence never could have accomplished, and which he thought would be carried even if he opposed it. This instance is the stranger, as the Duke is an excellent Character and the Man I wish to meet every where in the Affairs of France and America.4
I must go further and Say, that the least Appearance of an { 63 } independent Spirit in any American Minister, has been uniformly cause enough, to have his Character attacked.— Luckily, Mr Deane out of the Question, every American Minister in Europe, except Dr Franklin, has discovered, a Judgment, a Conscience and a Resolution of his own. and of Consequence every Minister, who has ever been here, has been frowned upon. on the Contrary Dr Franklin who has been plyant and Submissive in every Thing has been constantly cryed up to the Stars without doing any Thing to deserve it.
These Facts may allarm Congress more than they ought.— There is nothing to fear but the Want of Firmness in Congress. French Policy is So subtle, so penetrating and encroaching a Thing, that the only Way to oppose it, is to be steady, patient and determined. Poland and Sweeden, as well as Corsica and Geneva, exhibit horrid Effects of this Policy, because it was yielded to, whereas Switzerland, who never were afraid of France, and were always firm, has found her an excellent Ally for 150 Years. If We are Steadily supported by Congress, We shall go clearly to Windward of them but if Congress wavers and gives Way, the United States will receive a Blow that they will not recover in fifty Years.
The Affair of the Refugees, I think will divide Us, from the English at present, and precisely because the English are encouraged to insist upon a Compensation by this Court. if it depended upon my Vote, I would cut this Knot, at once. I would compensate the Wretches, how little Soever, they deserve it, nay how much soever they deserve the Contrary.—5 I foresee, We shall be prevented by it, from agreeing with Britain now, and be intrigued into the Measure at last, and that by this Court.
We have nothing to fear, from this Court, but in the particulars abovementioned. The Alliance is too necessary to them, We are too essential to them, for them to violate the Treaties, or to finally disgust and alienate Us.— But they have not known any more than England, the Men with whom they have to do.— a Man and his office was never better united, than Mr Jay and the Commission for Peace. had he been detained in Madrid as I was in Holland, and all left to Dr Franklin as was wished, all would have been lost.— if he is not Supported in Congress, We will both come home together and see, if We cannot have better Luck by Word of Mouth, than We have had by Letter to convince our Countrymen. The Thanks of Congress, in sound Policy and in perfect Justice ought to be given to Mr Jay for his Able and faithfull Execution of his Trust both in Spain and for Peace.
{ 64 }
When We see the French intriguing with the English against Us, We have no Way to oppose it, but by Reasoning with the English to shew that they are intended to be the Dupes. inclosed are a few broken Minutes of Conversations, which were much more extended and particular, than they appear upon Paper. I submit them to your Discretion.6
I am amazed to see New Hampshire and Rhode Island and Delaware, where I find them sometimes in the Yeas and Nays. These Gentlemen and their States mean well but are deceived.
With great Esteem, I am, dear sir, your humble sert
[signed] J. Adams
RC (MHi:Misc. Bound Coll.); internal address: “Mr Jackson.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 110.
1. JA refers to John Jay's 121-page letter to Robert R. Livingston dated 17 Nov. (PCC, No. 110, II, f. 142–263; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:11–49). In this letter, more accurately described as a journal, Jay recounted the progress, or lack thereof, of his negotiations with France, Spain, and Great Britain since his arrival at Paris on 23 June. Near the end of his letter Jay noted that “on the 26th of October Mr. Adams arrived here, and in him I have found a very able and agreeable coadjutor.” A copy of Jay's letter in JA's hand is in the Adams Papers and his Diary entry for 17 Nov. begins with the sentence “have spent several Days in copying Mr. Jays dispatches” (JA, D&A, 3:54). For the likely effect of this exercise, see note 6.
2. At this point in the negotiations the issue was less the nature of commissioners’ instructions than their violation of them. Both JA and Jay were very apprehensive over what Congress’ reaction would be when it learned what had transpired, leading Jay to write in the next-to-last paragraph of his 17 Nov. letter that “I have written many disagreeable things in this letter, but I thought it my duty. I have also deviated from my instructions, which, though not to be justified, will, I hope, be excused on account of the singular and unforeseen circumstances which occasioned it” (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:49). But compare JA's comments on the instructions in this letter with those in his 18 Nov. letter to Livingston, below.
3. An inadvertence. In the Letterbook JA wrote “as the day.”
4. JA believed with some reason that France had opposed his mission to the Netherlands from the beginning and continued to obstruct his efforts throughout the two years he spent at Amsterdam and The Hague. He is referring specifically to La Vauguyon's opposition to the presentation of his 19 April 1781 memorial to the States General and to the conversations between the two men on 19 and 20 April 1781 (vol. 11:263–265).
5. JA's position as stated here was in contrast to that of Benjamin Franklin, for which see the draft article on loyalists, [ca. 26 Nov.], and note 1, below.
6. The “broken Minutes” were the first installment of what became JA's “Peace Journal,” but they were not enclosed with this letter. In its totality the version of the “Journal” referred to here consisted of extensive extracts from JA's Diary between 2 Nov. and 13 Dec. (JA, D&A, 3:41–96). JA likely was motivated to create such a document by the examples of John Jay (see note 1) and Franklin (Franklin, Papers, 37:291–292), both of whom produced journals of the negotiations and sent them to Congress. The decision by his colleagues to minutely inform Congress regarding the course of the negotiations and their roles in them almost certainly led JA to reconsider sending even a portion of his “Peace Journal” to Jackson. Instead he enclosed the entire journal with his 14 Dec. letter to Robert R. Livingston, below. Clearly the three men, by sending their journals to Congress, sought to deflect criticism for violating their instructions. For a detailed account of the history of JA's “Peace Journal,” two versions of which exist, see the Introduction, Part 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0034

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Morris, Robert
Date: 1782-11-17

To Robert Morris

[salute] Sir

A few days Since, at Passy, in Conversation with Dr Franklin, concerning the Clerkship of our offices, I asked him, what Sum he had allowed to his for a Salary.
He told me that with regard to his Grandson, he had been at a Loss, untill he Saw in the Proceedings of Congress that they had allowed Mr stockton 300£ st. a year, upon which he had allowed to his Grandson that Sum. I told him, that I had been at a Loss, what Sum to allow Mr Thaxter, upon which the Dr Said, he thought he ought to be allowed as much.1
Mr Thaxters Age Family, Education, Profession, having been bred to the Law and begun the Practice, his Industry and Fidelity, would suffer by no Comparison that could be made in this Case, and therefore I rely upon it, that the Same allowance will be made to him.
No Clerk or Under secretary what ever, in the service of Congress, has had more Drudgery to do, or has done it with more Patience and Perseverance.
I have paid Mr Thaxter only an 100 a year, but have always Supposed that this dificiency would be made up to him by Congress.
In my Accounts transmitted to Congress from the Hague, I have submitted to them to allow to me the 100£ I have paid, each year for 3 years, ending the 13 of this Month, and have recommended Mr Thaxter to Congress for their favour2
I beg leave to propose to you, Sir, further, that Six hundred Pounds should be allowed to Mr Thaxter, in Addition to what I have paid him, for the 3 years that are past, and, if it is necessary to take the further sense of Congress upon it, that you would do me the favour to lay this Letter before them.
young Mr Franklin is now secretary to the Commission for Peace by the Appointment of Mr Franklin, with the Consent of Mr Jay, obtained by Letter to Madrid, with out asking my Consent, or even giving me the least notice. considering the Character in which I came out, and Mr Thaxters Connections with me in it, his Pretentions to this Honourable and Lucrative Appointment, I think would have been better, than those of the present Incumbant, tho the Pretentions of neither are equal to the just ones of Some others, particularly of Mr Jennings of Maryland.3 But I have made no difficulty, { 66 } about it, and Shall Say no more of it, than to make use of it as an illustration of the just Claims of Mr Thaxter.
With the greatest Respect &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Morris”; APM Reel 110.
1. Samuel Witham Stockton of New Jersey had been William Lee's secretary during Lee's service as American Commissioner to Prussia and Austria between 1777 and 1779. On 24 May 1780 Congress resolved to allow Stockton £300 sterling per year for the period of his service. Although Morris submitted JA's letter to Congress upon its arrival in March 1783, not until 2 May 1786 did Congress vote to allow John Thaxter the same salary for the three years that he served as JA's secretary (JCC, 17:454; 30:227; Morris, Papers, 7:57; 8:129).
2. Vol. 13:444.
3. For previous comments by JA on William Temple Franklin's appointment as secretary to the joint peace commission and his recommendations of Jenings, Thaxter, and others for the post, see vol. 13:241, 502–503.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0035

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-11-18

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

The Instruction from Congress, which directs Us to pay So Strict an Attention to the French Ministry, and to follow their Advice is conceived in Terms So universall and unlimited, as to give a great deal of Anxiety to My Mind.
There is no Man more impressed with the Obligation of Obedience to Instructions. But in ordinary Cases, the Principal is so near the Deputy, as to be able to attend to the whole Progress of the Business, and to be informed of every new Fact and of every Sudden Thought. Ambassadors in Europe can Send Expresses to their Courts, and give and receive Intelligence, in a few days, with the Utmost Certainty. In Such Cases, there is no Room for Mistake, Misunderstanding or Surprize. But in our Case, it is very different. We are at an immense distance.— Dispatches are lyable to foul Play, and Vessells are Subject to accidents.— New Scenes open, the Time presses, various Nations are in Suspence and, Necessity forces Us to act.
What can We do? If a french Minister advises Us, to ceede to the Spaniards, the whole River of Missisippi, and five hundred miles of Territory to the Eastward of it are We bound by our Instruction to put our Signature to the Cession, when the English themselves are willing We should extend to the River, and enjoy our natural Right to its Navigation? If We Should be councilled to relinquish our Right to the Fishery, on the grand Bank of Newfoundland, when the British Ministry are ready by Treaty to acknowledge our Right to it, are We obliged to relinquish it? If We are advised to restore and { 67 } compensate the Tories, are We to comply?— If We know or have Reason to believe that Things which will have Weight upon The Minds of the British Ministry, against Us upon Some Points, will be communicated to them in Some Way or other Secret or open, if We communicate it to this Court, are We bound to do it.?
I can not think, that a Construction So litteral and Severe was ever intended to be put upon it. and therefore I see no Way, of doing my Duty to Congress but to interpret the Instruction, as We do all general, Precepts and Maxims, by Such Restrictions and Limitations as Reason, Necessity and the Nature of Things demand.
It may Sometimes be known to a deputy, that an Instruction from his Principal was given upon Information of mistaken Facts. What is he to do.— When he knows, that if the Truth had been known, his Principal would have given a direct Contrary order, is he to follow that which issued upon Mistake.? When he knows, or has only good reason to believe that if his Principal were upon the Spot, and fully informed of the present State of Facts, he would give Contrary directions, is he bound by Such as were given before?
It cannot be denied that Instructions are binding, that it is a Duty to obey them, and that a departure from them cannot be justified.—
But I think it cannot be denied on the other hand, that in our peculiar Situation Cases may happen in which it will might become our Duty, to depend upon being excused, or if you will pardoned, for presuming that if Congress were upon the Spot they would judge as We do.—
I presume not to dictate, nor to advise, but I may venture to give my opinion as I do freely and with much real Concern for the Public, that it would be better if every Instruction in being were totally repealed, which enjoins upon any American Minister to follow the Advice, or ask the Advice, or even to communicate with any French or other Minister or Ambassador in the World. it is an inextricable Embarrassment every where.— Advice would not be more seldom asked, nor Communication less frequent.— it would be more freely given. a Communication of Information or a request of Council would then be recd as a Compliment and a mark of Respect. it is now considered as a Duty and a Right. Your Ministers would have more Weight and be the more respected through the World.— Congress cannot do too much to give Weight to their own Ministers, for they may depend upon it great and unjustifiable Pains are taken to prevent them from acquiring Reputation, and even to prevent an Idea taking root in any Part of Europe, that any Thing has been or { 68 } can be done by them.— and there is nothing that humbles and depresses, nothing that shackles and confines, in Short nothing that renders totally useless all your Ministers in Europe, So much as these Positive Injunctions to consult, and communicate, with French Ministers upon all occasions, and to follow their Advice.— And I really think it would be better, to constitute the Count de Vergennes our Sole Minister, and give him full Powers to make Peace and treat with all Europe, then to continue any of Us in the service under the Instructions in being if they are to be understood in that unlimited sense which Some Persons contend for.
I hope, that nothing indecent, has escaped me upon this Occasion. if any Expressions, appear too Strong, the great importance of the Subject and the deep Impression it has made on my Mind and Heart, must be my opology.
With great Respect and Esteem I have &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Secretary Livingston”; APM Reel 108.
1. Congress’ dispatch books indicate that this letter was received on “14 & 15” March 1783 and it is there described as containing “Observations on the instructions of 15 June [1781],” but there is no copy among Congress’ papers (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 56).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0036

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-18

From Robert R. Livingston

No: 13

[salute] Sir—

Since my Letter of the 6th, Congress have been pleased to appoint Mr Jefferson, one of their Ministers plenipotentiary for negociating peace— I have not yet received an answer to my Letter informing him of this event, tho’ I have some reason to believe he will accept the appointment—2 I believe I mentioned to you that Congress had refused to accept Mr Laurens's resignation— Many members have since seen with great pain the petition published in the parlimentary debates as his— I Sincerely wish that it may appear to be a forgery since the language it Speaks does not consist with the dignified character he holds— He has since informed Congress that he purposes to return to England & come out to this Country by the way of New York I hope the determination of Congress will reach him before he leaves France, as it will have an awkward appearance to send to England for an American Minister3
All the contracts we have received of you have been sent back with the ratifications endorsed— some of them have I hope reached { 69 } you—before this, so that the last hand may be put to the important business of the Loan
So much has been said of Captain Asgyl, upon whom, as you have been informed, the lot fell when it was determined to avenge the death of Captain Huddy, that I should let you know the issue of this business, which you may in part collect from the enclosed resolve— Tho’ you may be ignorant of the reasons which induced Congress to pass it, & again render abortive their determination to punish the unexampled cruelty of the Enemy— Mrs Asgyl, the mother of this unfortunate young man, had Sufficient influence at the Court of France to obtain its interposition in his favor. A Letter was written on the subject by Count de Vergennes to General Washington, enclosing one from Mrs Asgyl to the Count, which was extremely pathetic— The Minister of France had orders from his master to support this application, it was thought adviseable that this should not be formally done— But that the discharge of Asgyl should be grounded upon the reasons expressed in the preamble of the resolution— Congress the more readily acquiesced in this measure, as there is ground to hope from the late conduct of the enemy that they have determined to adopt a more civilized mode of carrying on the war in future—4 They have called off the Savages, & a large number of prisoners have been returned on parole from Canada—
We have yet no certain account of the evacuation of Charles Town, tho’ we know that the first division of the Troops & a considerable number of inhabitants Sailed the 19th: ulto: as it is said, for Augustine— It is probably evacuated by this time.
It would give me pleasure to receive from you an accurate account of the differences which have arisen between the Court of Denmark & the United Provinces, & the effects they may probably produce— We are imperfectly acquainted with facts here, and still less with the politicks of the Northern Courts; you will sometimes extend your observations to them—5 I confide too much in the wisdom of the States general, to believe that they will omit every honorable means to prevent an accession of strength to Great Britain at this Critical moment.
I have the honor to be, Sir / With great respect & esteem / Your most obedt: humble servant
[signed] Robt R Livingston
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “Honble: John Adams—”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “No. 13. / Mr. Secy. Livingston / 18th. Novr: 1782.” Dupl (MHi:John Adams, Embassy MSS). Tripl (Adams Papers).
{ 70 }
1. JA replied to this letter and that of 6 Nov. on 23 Jan. 1783, below.
2. Livingston enclosed a copy of Congress’ 12 Nov. resolution renewing Thomas Jefferson's 15 July 1781 appointment and commission as a member of the joint peace commission (JCC, 23:720–721). Livingston informed Jefferson of Congress’ action in a letter of 13 Nov., to which Jefferson replied accepting the appointment, on the 26th. By 14 Feb. 1783, however, news from Europe led Congress to ask Jefferson to delay his departure and on 1 April to inform him that his mission was no longer necessary. Jefferson's European mission remained in abeyance until 7 May 1784, when Congress named him to join JA and Benjamin Franklin in the joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties in Europe. He ultimately sailed from Boston on 5 July and reached Paris on 6 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, 6:202, 206; 7:363–364; JCC, 24:132, 226; 26:356).
3. Livingston had not specifically mentioned Congress’ refusal of Laurens’ resignation on 17 Sept. in any of his previous letters. In his letter of 15 Sept., however, he had enclosed a copy of Congress’ 17 Sept. resolution requiring the four peace commissioners in Europe to participate in the peace negotiations (vol. 13:465–468). For the controversy over Laurens’ resignation, stemming largely from concerns over Edmund Burke's Dec. 1781 petition to Parliament on his behalf, see same, p. 509–510.
4. For the plight of Capt. Charles Asgill, who had been selected for execution in retaliation for the murder of an American prisoner, Capt. Josiah Huddy, by a loyalist officer, Capt. Richard Lippincott, see same, p. 85. Livingston enclosed copies of Congress’ resolutions of 7 Nov., freeing Asgill, and 8 Nov., requiring George Washington to demand that the British commander, Gen. Sir Guy Carleton, take decisive action with regard to Huddy's murder (JCC, 23:715, 716–717). For the 18 July letter from Lady Asgill to the Comte de Vergennes on her son's behalf and Vergennes’ letter to Washington of 29 July requesting Asgill's release on humanitarian grounds and as a favor to the French Crown, see Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:634–636.
5. For JA's comments on the dispute between Denmark and the Netherlands as well as the Armed Neutrality, see his reply of 23 Jan., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0037

Author: McKean, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-18

From Thomas McKean

[salute] Sir

This will be handed to you by Mr: Randell, a merchant formerly of New-York; he is recommended to me by His Excellency the present President of Congress as a friend to his Country: As such permit me to introduce him to your acquaintance, which he has warmly sollicited.
I have little news to communicate, and the sudden departure of the Bearer prevents your knowing what there is from me, but I shall refer you to him. You have no doubt learnt that the Enemy long since evacuated Savannah in Georgia; you may believe they have done the same by Charlestown about the Beginning of this month, tho’ we as yet have no official or certain account of it. New-York is still in their possession, but we have just heard they are at present in great consternation there; the cause we can scarce form a conjecture about. Our army is better cloathed, better disciplined, in better spirits and more effective than at any period of the war; Congress is still composed of virtuous men; and the people in general are such { 71 } as you wish them to be. Money seems to be our greatest want, and salutary steps are prosecuting concerning it; I flatter myself funds will soon be established sufficiently productive for the public exigences, but if this should in part fail, we must rely somewhat on our Allies, our industry, œconomy & integrity.—
We long to hear from you, having received no official Accounts from Europe since the 5th. Septemr.— The last was from Mr. Laurens—1 His most amiable son, Lieutt. Colo: Laurens, was killed in a battle near Charlestown. You may expect soon our old friend Mr: Jefferson of Virginia at Paris, as a Commissioner of Peace.
I am, Sir, with every possible regard / Your Excellency's / most obedient humble servant
[signed] Tho M:Kean
P.S. The army is gone into Winter Quarters.—
1. Laurens’ letter largely concerned his health, efforts to return to America through England, and his possible exchange for Cornwallis (Laurens, Papers, 16:7–10). But Laurens also enclosed a copy of Alleyne Fitzherbert's commission, which JA had sent him on 18 Aug. (vol. 13:242–243).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0038

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Date: 1782-11-19

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

[salute] Gentlemen

Your Favour of 15th. Instant is this moment come to Hand. Mr Le Couteulx & Mr Grand called upon me last Evening upon the Same subject.— I told them both what I now repeat to you “That I have no Right, Power or Authority, whatsoever to give any orders, Directions or Advice in this Matter, Mr Morris alone, having the Authority of Congress to dispose of the Money.”—1 But if my opinion as a Man and a private Citizen would give them any Satisfaction it was, that Mr Le Couteulx should draw upon you at present, only for one Million of Florins, and leave the rest after Mr Grand Shall have drawn out the 400,000 Livres for the Interest of the Money borrowed by the King of France, in Holland, to pay the Draughts of Mr Morris as they may arrive, or to be paid hereafter to Mr Le Couteulx or Mr Grand, according as Necessities may appear.2
There was no Copy of Mr Morris's Letter inclosed in yours to me. I Should be glad if Mr Dumas would hasten in all the Accounts of Repairs to the House, and let them be paid off.
I know not, when the Obstructions to Trade will all be removed { 72 } by a Peace.— But if the Nations of the armed Neutrality Should all follow the Example of the King of Great Britain, in acknowledging our Independence, and protect their own Ships in going and coming to and from our Ports, I think the Impediments to Trade between Holland and America, would be lessened. I have the Honour to be, with much Esteem, Gentlemen, your most obedient and humble Servant
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs Wilhem and Jan Willink, Nicholas and Jacob / Van Staphorst and De la Lande and Fynje.”; APM Reel 108.
1. Closing quotation marks supplied.
2. JA refers to Congress’ resolutions of 27 Nov. and 3 Dec. 1781, and 14 Sept. 1782, copies of which Morris enclosed with his letter of 25 Sept. (vol. 13:491–492). They gave Morris full power to dispose of all money raised in Europe. Despite his lack of formal authority, JA's recommendation may have had some effect. Beginning with a remittance on 28 Nov. and continuing with additional ones on 5, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, and 30 Dec. 1782 and 2 and 16 Jan. 1783, the consortium sent Le Couteulx & Co. ƒ 958,083.16.8 that, with the addition of the agio of 4 3 / 8 percent (the premium for bank money over current money), equaled one million florins. In addition, in Feb. and March 1783 two payments were made to Grand totaling ƒ 373,499 (DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 63, 293).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0039

Author: Brush, Eliphalet
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-19

From Eliphalet Brush

[salute] Sir

An apology, I think, wou'd be Unnessary for addressing you; and I shall make no other than the regard I have for you. The time since I left America put's it out of my power to give You any late inteligence from that Country.— I left Boston last May, & have been approaching Europe by degrees ever since, by the way of the west Indies & Spain.— I took the Earliest Oppy: on my Arrival in Ameracca, Last year, to send your despatches to Congress, which (was done thro’ the Medium of Gov Hancock) and to call Mrs. Adams; I had the pleasure of seeing her frequently at your friend Genl Warren's.1
I most sincerely Congratulate you on your Successful Negociations at the Dutch Court; it Affords me sensible pleasure, not only for the Advantage it may be to our Country, but particularly for your Sake, as I know your Efforts were great, & am happy they are crown'd with Sucess.—
I have here the Minerva Capt. Hallet, Movg 16 Six pounders & 40 men, will Sail in the Course of 4 or 5 weeks for Boston.2 In Case I can Oblige you by forwdg: your letters, or any Matters to your family or friends, by the above Vessel, you have only to Command me. my address is to the Care of Mess. V. P. French & Nephew Merchts. here.
{ 73 }
I have forwd: by this post, to the Marquis De Castries at Versailles, a pacquet from Mr. LEscallier the Kings Intendent & ordonnateur at Demerary, with whom I have had Considerable business, & have Contracted to build a Ship & load with provisions for the kings Garrison at that place &c in a manner there made it necessary to write him on the Subject; & shou'd he Enquire of you Respg. me You’l oblige me much to tell him simply What you know of me; being from America, on business of our house there, that is I'm in Compy with Mr Saml Broome, who your are Acquainted with.3 I shall be very happy in hearing from you at any time it may Suit your Conveniance.—
I am with Real Esteem & Attachment / Sir / Your Most. Obt. Humb Set
[signed] Eliphalet Brush
1. Eliphalet Brush, a New York merchant, was an acquaintance from JA's residence in Amsterdam. Brush arrived in Massachusetts in Sept. 1781 and brought news to AA and others that JQA had gone to Russia with Francis Dana and that CA was returning to America on the frigate South Carolina (AFC, 4:218, 219, 229).
2. The ship Minerva, Capt. John Allen Hallet, was a Massachusetts privateer, probably the same vessel that carried goods to AA in 1781, under Capt. Moses Brown (Allen, Mass. Privateers, p. 222; vol. 13:123; AFC, 4:239).
3. Samuel Broome was a merchant in New York before moving to New Haven in 1775. Broome and his brother-in-law Jeremiah Platt continued to operate the firm of Samuel Broome & Co. in New Haven, there joined by Eliphalet Brush, until the original partners resumed operations on their own in 1785 (JQA, Diary, 1:307; AFC, 6:256; Connecticut Journal, 14 Sept. 1785).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0040

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-19

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured and Dear Sir,

Yr. Excy. will see by the inclosed Letter for Mr. Livingston, what we are doing here.2 After having perused it you will be so Kind as to close and send it under cover to our worthy friend, Mr. Barclay at l’Orient, to be forwarded from thence by the 1st. opportunity.— The other Letter, from Nantes, I've found at my return here from Dort.3
I am just now confidently told, that the business of peace goes backward at Paris, because the British won't consent in the absolute Liberty of Navigation.4
Respect and honour, Sir, due to your private and personal As well as public character, and our own conscience, com̃and us, tho’ repugnantly, to tell you roundly between us, that Yr. servant Jb. is a very bad and dangerous one.5 Mrs. Dumas, under whose watchfull eye the conduct of yr. servants passes every day, found him out very { 74 } early; and her just Suspicions about him have turned successively into compleat proofs, which we have in our hands from people that no more either to fear or to hope from him. Rough and awkward in appearence, he is a conceited hypocrite, Sly and subtle to get what he aims at. He is a cunning fellow, a true Knave, Knowing perfectly well when it is proper for him to creep, and when to be daring and impudent. He has whored in every corner of yr. house with yr. female servants, and swilled with Jn: and others, not only for his lust, but also to make them subservient to his Knaveries— He has pretexted yr. respectable name and orders, Sir, to get horses for carrying yr. dispatches to Delft, run as far as Rotterdam, and came back with the horse nearly Killed. What he did there is unknown.— To extort if possible from the owner of yr. horses 6 Ducats, he threatened him to witness against him before the Magistrate for having unlawfully let his horses to yr. Excy.— These are facts of which we have signed and witnessed Depositions, and after which we think it needless to quote a great many of others daily observed by Mrs. Dumas.— In short, there is not the least doubt with us, that he will be ready to do every thing for money, of which he is passionately fond, and of which he has but lately been observed to have a great deal; and being asked by Mrs. Dumas how he came at, he answered that he had got it and much more (800 gilders was his saying) in the service of his late Master. We are sorry to trouble yr. Excy. with such disagreeable stuff; but we must be utterly undeserving yr. trust & esteem, if we did conceal from you the danger, as great at least abroad as here (where he was and would be continually busy to spoil every right measure of Mrs. Dumas for keeping all your servants and household in good & decent order) of Keeping and trusting such a corrupt & bad fellow. He has been observed dictating to one of his acquaintances here a memorial of several old pretended expences, amounting to a considerable sum, which he intends to present to yr. Excy. for paiment, opportuns tempore captando.6
I have but a moment left, to profess myself with great respect Sir Yr. Exc. / most humble & obedt. servt.
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J. Adams, M. P.”; endorsed: “Mr Dumas Nov. 19 / 1782.”
1. This letter is notable for being the only English-language letter written by Dumas to JA during his service as a member of the first joint commission in 1778 and 1779 or since his return to Europe for his second mission. The subject of the third paragraph may explain Dumas’ decision to write in English.
2. This is Dumas’ serial letter of 15 through 18 November. The copy in the PCC (No. 93, II, f. 128–130; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:4–5), however, contains a postscript dated the 22d, indicating that either the { 75 } version sent to JA did not contain the postscript or this letter was not sent until the 22d. Note that Wharton includes only a portion of the postscript.
3. This letter has not been identified.
4. Presumably Dumas means the Anglo-Dutch peace negotiations. Articles 3 and 4 of the instructions to the Dutch negotiators required that they obtain British recognition of free navigation as defined by the Armed Neutrality (vol. 13:246–247).
5. The remainder of this letter concerns the misbehavior of one of JA's servants, not identified, at the U.S. legation at The Hague. No reply by JA has been found and there is no indication as to what action if any JA took in response to Dumas’ account.
6. At the opportune moment.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0041

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-11-21

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

We live in critical Moments. Parliament is to meet and the Kings Speech will be delivered on the 26.— if the Speech announces Mr Oswalds Commission, and the two Houses in their Answers, thank him for issuing it, and there Should be no Change in the Ministry, the Prospect of Peace will be flattering. Or if there Should be a Change in the Ministry, and the Duke of Portland with Mr Fox and Mr Burke Should come in, it will be Still more so. But if Richmond, Cambden, Keppell and Townsend Should retire, and my Lord North and Company, come in, with or without the Earl of Shelburne the appearances of Peace will be very unpromising. My Lord North indeed cannot revoke the Acknowledgment of our Independance, and would not probably renounce the Negotiations for Peace, but ill Will to Us is so habitual to him and his Master, that he would fall in earnestly with the Wing-clipping System; join in attempts to deprive Us of the Fisheries & the Missisippi, and to fasten upon Us, the Tories, and in every other measure to cramp, Stint, impoverish and enfeeble Us. Shelburne is not So orthodox as he should be, but North is a much greater Heretick in American Politicks.
It deserves much Consideration, what Course We should take in Case the old Ministry Should come in, in whole or in Part. It is certain at present, that to be obnoxious to the Americans, and their Ministers is a very formidable popular Cry, against any Minister or Candidate for the Ministry in England, for the Nation is more generally for recovering the good Will of the Americans then they ever have been.— Nothing would Strike Such a Blow to any Ministry as to break off the Negotiations for Peace. if the old Ministry come in, they will demand Terms of Us, at first, probably that We can never agree to.
It is now 11 or 12 days Since the last Result of our Conferences were laid before the Ministry in London. Mr Vaughan went off, on { 76 } Sunday noon the 17. So that he is no doubt, before this Time with my Lord Shelburne.— He is possessed of an ample Budget of Arguments to convince his Lordship, that he ought to give up, all the remaining Points between Us.2 Mr Oswalds Letters will Suggest the Same Arguments in a different Light;3 and Mr Stratchey, if he is disposed to do it is able to enlarge upon them all in Conversation.
The fundamental Point of the Sovereignty of the United States being Settled in England the only Question now is, whether they Shall pursue, a contracted or a liberal, a good natured or an ill natured Plan towards Us. If they are generous, and allow Us all We ask, it will be the better for them. if Stingy, the worse. That France dont wish them to be very noble to Us, may be true. But We Should be Dupes indeed, if We did not make Use of every Argument with them to shew them, that it is their Interest to be so. And they will be the greatest Bubbles of all, if they Should Suffer themselves to be deceived by their Passions, or by any Arts to adopt an opposite Tenor of Conduct.
With great Esteem I have the Honour / to be, Sir your most obedient and / most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 297–299); internal address: “Mr Secretary Livingston.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. With the exception of the third paragraph, this letter is a summary, with some phrasing included verbatim, of JA's very long Diary entry for 20 Nov., which is devoted to accounts of that day's conversations with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay (JA, D&A, 3:63–68).
2. The arguments that Benjamin Vaughan was taking to London to use in discussions with Lord Shelburne likely were derived, at least in JA's mind, from a conversation between JA and Vaughan on 16 Nov. that centered on what should or should not be done regarding the loyalists in the peace treaty (same, 3:57–58).
3. JA's confidence about the tenor of Richard Oswald's letters likely is owing to conversations that JA had with Oswald on 15 and 18 Nov. concerning the loyalists and the future of Anglo-American and Franco-American relations (same, 3:54–57, 59–61).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0042

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-21

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We in particular gratefully acknowledge your Excellency's marks of Confidence, on our Strickest secrecy you may always depend, and be assured of our utmost endeavours of taking advantage of every favourable circumstance for the benefit of the Loan.1
We take a most heartily Share in this happy event and congratulate your Excellency with it, desirous to See the Other European { 77 } powers embrace this opportunity to do justice and homage to the protectors & defenders of liberty, who may in Short enjoi the fruits of their Laudable dealings in peace and happiness
We shall be obliged to your Excellency to be informed, if merchandises utensils &c of English fabriks can now be imported Safe in America, as Several Comodities, to whch. your Country is used, can be brought on better terms, and so as we suppose be more to the Taste of the Nation, than of other Fabricks.
We suppose that it would not be prudent to Send for as yet ships or goods to Charles town, before the English troops are retired, and we Shall always esteem to receive your Excellency's advice on this head.
We have the honour to remain with great esteem / Sir / Your most Humble and most / Obedient servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr. / Paris.”
1. This is a reply to JA's 8 Nov. letter to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, and particularly to JA's announcement that Britain had finally acknowledged American independence, above; but see also their letter of 25 Nov., below. The consortium itself sent a separate 21 Nov. reply, in which it too promised to make confidential use of the information provided in order to promote the loan (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0043

Author: Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-21

The Marquis de Lafayette to the American Peace Commissioners

[salute] Gentlemen

Since the Early Period When I Had the Happiness to Be Adopted Among the Sons of America, I ever Made it My Point to do that Which I thought Would prove Useful to Her Cause or Agreable to Her Citizens— After We Had Long Stood By ourselves, France did join in our Quarrell, and So Soon as Count d’Estaing's departure Made My Presence Unnecessary, I Had a Permission to Return to France Where, Among other things, I Endeavoured to Impress this Court With the Propriety to Send a Naval force, and An Auxiliary Army to Serve Under the orders of General Washington— the plan of a Descent in England Lengthened My Negotiation, the Succour Was at Last Sent, and Arrived at a Critical Period— it Prevented Evils, But did not Produce Any Great Immediate Good Untill That Naval Superiority Which Had Been Promised Was Sent to Cooperate With us, and Helped us in the Capture of Lord Cornwallis
{ 78 }
This Event Ended the Campaign in Virginia, and the Army I Had Commanded Was of Course Separated— Congress Gave me Leave to Go to France, and to Return at Such time as I should think Proper— I Had it in Command to Make Some Representations at this Court, and the General's Particular Instructions Were By all Means to Bring a Naval and Land Assistance to Operate in our America
Count de Grasse's defeat Having Ruined our plans, I Now Was Despairing to fulfill the Intentions of Congress and the orders of My General, When it Was Proposed to me to Serve in the Army Under the direction of Count d’Estaing— this Has Appeared to me the only Way I Had to Serve My Views, I Had the Honor to Consult you About it, and Upon Your Approbation of the Measure, I Consented to Accompagny Count d’Estaing in His Expeditions, Provided it Was in My Capacity, and Even Under the Uniform of an American officer, Who Being for a time Borrowed from the United States, Will obey the first order or take the first Opportunity to Rejoin His Colours
Had I not Been detained By You, Gentlemen, Upon Political Accounts Which You Have Been pleased to Communicate to Congress, I Would Have Long Ago Returned to America— But I Was With You of Opinion, that My Presence Here Might Be Useful, and Since it Appears Matters are not Ripe for a treaty, My first Wish is Now to Return to America With Such force as May Expell the Ennemy from the United States, Serve the Views of Congress, and Assist Your Political Operations— When, or How this May Be Effected I Am Not Yet Able to determine, or I Would not Be at Liberty to Mention, But, However Certain I Have Been of Your Opinion, I think it A Mark of Respect to Congress not to depart Untill I Have Your Official Approbation of the Measure1
With the Highest Respect I / Have the Honor to Be, Gentlemen, / Your Obedient Humble / Servant
[signed] Lafayette
RC (ICN:Herbert R. Strauss Coll.); internal address: “Their Excellencies Ms Franklin, Adams”; endorsed by JA: “Marq. Fayette to Comrs / 21 Nov 1782.”
1. In his Diary entry for 23 Nov. JA indicated that the commissioners received this letter during a conference with Lafayette at Passy on 23 Nov. (JA, D&A, 3:71). There he indicated that Franklin and Jay denied asking Lafayette to remain at Paris to advise the commissioners and were irritated by Lafayette's assertion. JA attributed Lafayette's apparent pretense to “unlimited Ambition,” which would “obstruct his Rise.” See the commissioners reply of [25] Nov., below. For additional comments by JA concerning Lafayette's “unbounded Ambition,” see his 16 April 1783 letter to James Warren, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0044

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Barclay, Thomas
Date: 1782-11-25

To Thomas Barclay

[salute] My dear sir,

Your favr: of the 17th. & the letters accompanying it are come safe to hand. I recd. too a letter at the Hague, but had not time before my departure to answer it—another here, but have been so much occupied as not to answ: that. Thus you have a Confession of my Sins of Omission—1
Congress has given to Mr: Morris so entire an Authority over all monies, that I am fully Rilieved fm. all deliberations on that subject— At this I rejoice, because it is the root of all evil in my mind, whatever others may think of it— Perhaps I might think better of it, if I knew how, cleverly, to get a good deal of it—
Make my Compts. to Grinnell & desire him to let me know, if he is going to Amsterdam before he returns, & if he will not take a Dutch Gouda Pipe with me at Paris, before he goes fm. you—2
They have lately struck in Amsterdam, an elegant Medal in Commemot. of the great event of 19th. April. 1782. America & Holland are represented by 2. fine figures of warlike Amazons, embracing each other. Their swords & Spears & Cap of liberty are not forgotten & America is treading on the head of the Leopard— On the reverse, is an Unicorn rushing head long agst: a monstrous Rock—his horn snaps short off to his head, & he falls stunned & confounded— Tyrannis libertati repulsa—3
One wd. think that, the horn being broken & the head crushed, it were time for the leopard & Unicorn to think of Peace; but I can't give you any strong hopes of this: On the contrary, dispositions seem to be making on all sides for another Campaign, with too much ardor, to admit of much doubt that we shall have one—
Mr: Van Berckell & Van der Capellan de Poll are restored to their places & it is said Pinto has disappeared in Consequence of the Capture of a Packett-boat.4 If war continues, our dearly-beloved Mynheers will do something next year—
Compts: to yr: family &c: &c:—
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Barclay.”; APM Reel 108.
1. No letter of 17 Nov. from Barclay, the U.S. consul to France, has been found. The last extant letter from Barclay is that of 27 Sept (vol. 13:495–496). This may be the letter that JA refers to as having been received at The Hague, for no reply has been found.
{ 80 }
2. Capt. Moses Grinnel (misidentified as Richard in vol. 12) of the Sukey, who had carried letters and merchandise from and to JA in the Netherlands and provided useful advice during the early stages of JA's effort to raise a loan in 1782. On his current voyage to Europe, Grinnel carried a note from AA2 to John Thaxter and letters to JA from AA, Isaac Smith Sr., and Richard Cranch of 8, 9, and 10 Oct., respectively (vol. 12:71, 72, 434–435; 13:137, 138, 225, 520–522; AFC, 5:4–8, 10–11).
3. For a reproduction of Jean George Holtzhey's medal as described by JA, see vol. 13:538.
4. JA does not mention it, but he likely enclosed C. W. F. Dumas’ serial letters of 27 Sept.–7 Nov. and 15–18 Nov. to Robert R. Livingston for Barclay to forward to America by the first opportunity, as he had been instructed in Dumas’ letters of 8 and 19 Nov., both above. From those two letters to Livingston, JA learned about the political rehabilitation of Baron van der Capellen tot den Pol and Engelbert François van Berckel. The captured packet may have been the Dolphin, Capt. Flynn, bound from Hellevoetsluis to Harwich and taken on 4 Nov. by the Dutch privateer Goede Verwagting, Capt. John Sextron. Both Dutch and English newspapers carried reports about the capture and fate of the mail on board, but no mention of the missing “Pinto” has been found (Gazette d’Amsterdam, 5, 8, 22 Nov.; London Chronicle, 9–12 Nov.; Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 13 Nov.).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0045

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de
Date: 1782-11-25

The American Peace Commissioners to the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] Sir,

We have received the Letter you did us the honor to write on the 25th. Inst.2
Our Country has had early and repeated Proofs both of your Readiness and Abilities to do her Service. The Prospect of an inactive Campaign in America, induced us to adopt the Opinion, that you might be more useful here than there, especially in Case the Negotiation for Peace on the Part of France in England, should be committed to your Management; for your Knowledge of our affairs and Attachment to our Interest, might have been very advantageous to us on such an Occasion. But as an Opportunity now offers of your being instrumental in producing a Cooperation, which would probably put a glorious and speedy Termination to the War in America, we for our Part, perfectly approve of your going with Count d’Estaing in the manner proposed.3
We have the Honour to be, &c. &c.
LbC-Tr in Jean L’Air de Lamotte's hand (Adams Papers); notation “Copy of a Letter from Messrs. Adams, Franklin & Jay / to the Marqs. dela Fayette”; APM Reel 103.
1. The date is derived from John Jay's letter to Franklin of the same date, requesting him to sign and return the commissioners’ reply (Franklin, Papers, 38:349). Note, however, that other printed versions of this letter are dated [27] and 28 Nov., respectively (same, 38:360–361; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:89).
3. By 2 Dec. Lafayette was at Brest to join the Franco-Spanish expedition to the West Indies, but according to his 6 Dec. letter to Franklin he still had not received the commissioners’ letter (Franklin, Papers, 38:420–421).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0046

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-25

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

By the time this comes to your hands I hope you will have received a letter from your Son from Stockholm, as I charged him to write you without fail from thence. I had one from him dated Helsingfors Novr: 8th. N. Stile advising me of his arrival there the day before, and that he shou'd set off on the 9th. for Abo the Town in Finland from whence they embark to cross the Haf for Stockholm. I have written to him three times since his departure to press upon him an attention to the cautions & instructions I had given him verbally.1 I believe he will not meet with any difficulties on his way. I presume this Northern tour tho’ not attended with all the advantages we had promised ourselves, will not be unprofitable to him, especially if he goes without loss of time to his old Instructor at Leyden, for whom he seems to have a regard & respect.2
By this time you must have perceived whether the parties to the present negotiations have brought proper dispositions with them to treat of Peace in good faith. I entreat you as my only friend, that you wou'd not leave me ignorant of the prospect which is before you in general: & particularly whether you meet with any difficulty touching the matter about which I transmitted you a copy of a certain State-Paper from here in my letter of the 11/22 of July last, or that spoken of in the letter of our friend Geary to me, which I sent you enclosed in mine to Mr: Thaxter of the 10/21. of Octr: last.3 Shou'd you happily conclude upon preliminary articles, pray furnish me with a copy of them by the same Courier which in such a case will bring one to the Marqus: de Verac. But according to the rumour your negotiations are like to fail for the present; and we shall see, it is said, another Campaign. I confess I am not wholly of this opinion: if it is well founded let me know it; because I shall form my conduct accordingly. I will not stay here for the issue of another campaign: nothing but the hope of a peace in the course of this Winter, determined me to spend it in this Country.
The following is a paragraph of a late letter of mine to Mr: Livingston “If the present negotiations for a peace shoud happily succeed, I shall have occasion for the money mentioned in my letter No: 5. before I can expect an answer from Congress upon that subject, and shall apply to Doctr: Franklin & Mr: Adams to advance it between them. It may not be amiss again to inform you that by the { 82 } express allowance & order of Her Majesty, there are to be paid by every Power entering into any Treaty with her, Six Thousand Roubles to each of her Ministers who shall sign the same. And it is now understood that there shall be Four signatures on the part of Her Majesty viz that of Count Osterman the Vice Chancellor, Count Worrontzow President of the College of Commerce. Mr: Bakounin Vice President of the College of Finances, and Mr: Besborodko Secretary for the private affairs or particular Cabinet of Her Majesty. Matters of this sort were formerly secret and gratuitous. They have now changed their nature, become public, and are demanded as of right: at least no Treaty can be otherwise obtained. And care is taken to make it the Interest of most Powers to form a commercial Treaty with this Empire, by declaring in the new Tarif which is just published, that all Nations not having such a Treaty shall pay the duties, one half in Rix Dollars at 125 Copeaks, and the other in the money of the Country. This has heretofore under the old Tarif, been the rule for all Nations except the British who by their Treaty obtained the privilege of paying all the duties in the money of the Country. This privilege is extended to Denmark by their late Treaty, and will doubtless be made common to all Nations which chuse to enter into a commercial Treaty with Her Majesty: and thus the British will loose the principal benefit of their Treaty before it expires, viz 1786.”—4 I thought it adviseable to give you the above paragraph entire that you might be informed fully of the grounds upon which I make the application mentioned in it to you, to advance the moiety of the sum necessary (if the supposed case shou'd happen.) which will be from Twenty Three to Twenty five hundred pounds sterlg: as the Course of Exchange may be. You will doubtless consult Doctr: Franklin upon this matter (to whom I shall make the same application by this or the next post)5 as it will be necessary that both of you shou'd determine upon it. Perhaps the course of events may give time for me to receive the answer of Congress. You will not think this application amiss I presume, as I ought to be prepared to meet all events, as far as possible. I have thought it my duty to make it. You will judge whether in the Case supposed, it is consistent with your's to grant it. I shall hope for your answer as soon as may be convenient to you
I am, my dear Sir, Your much obliged Friend and / Obedient humble Servant
[signed] FRA DANA
{ 83 }
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J. Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c”; endorsed: “Mr Dana. Nov. 14/25. 1782 / ansd Decr 22d.
1. Regarding the correspondence mentioned by Dana: JQA's first extant letter to JA is dated 1 Feb. 1783 (AFC, 5:86–87); JQA's 8 Nov. letter to Dana has not been found; and of the three written by Dana to JQA during the period, only those of [1 Nov.] and 21 Nov. have been found (Adams Papers).
2. Likely a reference to JQA's language tutor at Leyden, named Wensing or Wenshing (JQA, Diary, 1:75).
3. In his letterbook copy of this letter (MHi:Francis Dana Letterbooks, Private, 1782–1784), Dana inserted the letter “A” at this point in reference to a note written in the right margin: “The Eastern Limits between Nova Scotia & Massachusetts, & the Fishery are alluded to in this paragraph.” For Dana's 22 July letter and the Elbridge Gerry letter enclosed in Dana's of 18 Oct., see vol. 13:195–197, 533–536. For the letter to Thaxter mentioned here, see Dana's letterbook.
4. This passage constitutes the final paragraph of Dana's [18 Nov.] letter to Livingston (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:54–56).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0047

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-25

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

We beg leave to confirm reverently our Letter of 21 Inst. when we were So Joifull of the happy event, that it prevented us to reflect on the date of your Excs. favour, whch. to our astonishment we Observed Since to be 8 Nov. whilst we only received the Same by the mail of 15 Nov:.
We have enquired if any omission at the Posthouse was Committed, from which this neglect proceeded, but not being able to discover any, we think it necessary to inform your Excellency of it, that you may graciously be pleased in future, to order the expedition to be better attended, that we may enjoy that benifit by the Early knowing of Similar news Which our particular affairs may offer; in this we were now frustrated by the delaying receipt in finding other people also informed of it by the Mail of 15 inst
We flatter our selves your Goodness will not find fault, we Permit ourselves the liberty to advice it to your Excellency, as we are Convinced this is fallen out much against your kind intention; we nevertheless do assure you Sir, we Value your benevolence as if we had enjoyed the benifit, we could have done if arrived in due time.
We Submit our selves to your Orders, and have the honour to remain most respectfully / Of Your Excellency / the most Humb and most / Obedient Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr / Paris.”; endorsed: “M Willinks 25 Nov / 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0048

Author: Oswald, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-25

Draft Peace Treaty Presented by Richard Oswald to the American Peace Commissioners

The Three Commissioners Adams, Franklin and Jay, met at Mr Oswalds Lodgings at the Hotel de Muscovie, and after Some Conferences, Mr Oswald delivered them the following Articles, as fresh Proposals of the British Ministry, Sent by Mr Stratchey. vizt.
Articles agreed upon, by and between Richard Oswald Esquire, the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty, for treating of Peace, with the Commissioners of the United States of America, in behalf of his Said Majesty, on the one Part, and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, three of the Commissioners of the Said States, for treating of Peace, with the Commissioner of his Said Majesty, on their Behalf, on the other Part. To be inserted in, and to constitute the Treaty of Peace, proposed to be concluded, between the Crown of Great Britain, and the Said United States, but which Treaty is not to be concluded, untill the Terms of a Peace, Shall be agreed upon between Great Britain and France, and his Britannic Majesty shall be ready to conclude Such Treaty accordingly.
Whereas reciprocal Advantages and mutual Convenience, are found by Experience, to form the only permanent foundation of Peace and Friend Ship between States, it is agreed to form the Articles of the proposed Treaty on Such Principles of liberal Equity and Reciprocity, as that partial Advantages (those Seeds of Discord) being excluded, Such a beneficial and Satisfactory Intercourse, between the two Countries may be established, as to promise and Secure to both, perpetual Peace and Harmony.

Article 1st.

His Britannic Majesty acknowledges, the Said United States, vizt New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to be free, Sovereign, and independent States, that he treats with them as Such, and for himself, his Heirs and Successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, Propriety and territorial Rights of the Same, and every Part thereof, and that all Disputes which might arise in future on the Subject of the Boundaries of the Said United States may be prevented; it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their Boundaries. vizt2
{ 85 }

Article 2.

From the North West Angle of Nova Scotia, vizt. that Angle which is formed by a Line drawn due North from the Source of St Croix River to the High Lands, along the Said High Lands, which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the River St Laurens from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the North Western most Head of Connecticut River, thence down along the Middle of that River, to the 45 Degree of North Latitude; from thence by a Line due West on Said Latitude untill it Strikes the River Iroquois or Cataroquy; thence along the middle of Said River into Lake ontario, through the middle of Said Lake untill it Strikes the Communication by Water between that Lake and Lake Erie, thence along the middle of Said Communication, into Lake Erie, through the Middle of Said Lake, untill it arrives at the Water Communication between that Lake and the Lake Huron; thence along the Middle of Said Water Communication into the Lake Huron; thence through the Middle of Said Lake to the Water Communication between that Lake and Lake Superiour; thence through Lake Superiour northward of the Isles Royal and Philipeaux to the Long Lake; thence through the middle of Said long Lake, and the Water Communication between it, and the Lake of the Woods, to the Said Lake of the Woods; thence through the Said Lake to the most Northwestern Point thereof, and from thence on a due western course to the River Missisippi, thence by a Line to be drawn along the middle of the Said River Missisippi untill it Shall intersect the Northern most Part of 31st. Degree of North Latitude.
South by a Line to be drawn due East from the Determination of the Line last mentioned, in the Latitude of 31 Degrees north of the Equator to the Middle of the River Apalachicola, or Catahouchi; thence along the middle thereof to its Junction with the Flynt River, thence Strait to the Head of St Marys River; and thence down along the middle of St Marys River to the Atlantic Ocean.
East, by a Line to be drawn along the middle of the River St Croix from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its Source; and from its Source directly north to the aforesaid High Lands, which divide the Rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which fall into the River St Laurens; comprehending all Islands within twenty Leagues of any Part of the Shores of the United States, and lying between Lines to be drawn due East from the Points where the aforesaid Boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one Part and East Florida on the other Shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and { 86 } the Atlantic Ocean; excepting Such Islands as now are or heretofore have been, within the Limits of the Said Province of Nova Scotia.3

Article 3.

The Citizens of the Said United States Shall have the Liberty4 of taking Fish of every Kind on all the Banks of Newfoundland, and also in the Gulph of St. Laurence; and also to dry and cure their Fish on the Shores of the Isle of Sables and on the Shores of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours, and Creeks of the Magdalene Islands, in the Gulph of St Laurence, So long as Such Bays, Harbours and Creeks Shall continue and remain unsettled; on Condition that the Citizens of the Said United States do not exercise the Fishery, but at the Distance of three Leagues from all the Coasts, belonging to Great Britain, as well those of the Continent as those of the Islands Situated in the Gulph of st Laurence. And as to what relates to the Fishery on the Coasts of the Island of Cape Breton out of the Said Gulph, the Citizens of the Said United States, Shall not be permitted to exercise the Said Fishery, but at the Distance of fifteen Leagues from the Coasts of the Island of Cape Breton.5

Article 4.

It is agreed that the British Creditors Shall meet with no lawful Impediment to the Recovery of the full Value in Sterling Money of Such bona fide Debts as were contracted by any Persons who are Citizens of the Said United States before the Year 1775.6

Article 5.7

It is agreed that Restitution Shall be made of all Estates, Rights and Properties in America, which have been confiscated during the War.

Article 6.

There Shall be a full and entire Amnesty of all Acts and offences, which have been or may be Supposed to have been committed on either Side by reason of the War, and in the Course thereof; and no one Shall hereafter Suffer in Life or Person, or be deprived of his Property, for the Part he may have taken therein. All Persons, in Confinement on that Account, Shall immediately on the Ratification of the Treaty in America, be Set at Liberty: all Prosecutions which may be depending in Consequence of any of the Said Offences, Shall cease, and no fresh Prosecutions Shall at any time hereafter be commenced thereupon.
{ 87 }

Article 7.

There Shall be a firm and perpetual Peace, between his Britannic Majesty and the Said States, and between the Subjects of the one, and the Citizens of the other.; Wherefore all Hostilities both by Sea and Land Shall then immediately cease: All Prisoners on both Sides Shall be Set at Liberty; And his Britannic Majesty Shall with all convenient Speed, and without causing any Destruction,8 withdraw all his Armies Garrisons and Fleets from the Said United States, and from every Port, Place, and Harbour within the Same, leaving in all Fortifications the American Artillery, that may be, therein. And Shall also order and cause all Archives, Records, Deeds and Papers, belonging to any of the Said States or their Citizens, which in the Course of the War, may have fallen into the Hands of his Officers to be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper States and Persons to whom they belong.

Article 8.9

The Navigation of the Missisippi, from its Source to the Ocean, Shall forever remain free and open to the Subjects of Great Britain and Citizens of the United States.

Seperate Article.

It is hereby understood and agreed, that in Case, Great Britain, at the End of the present War, Shall be, or be put, in Possession of West Florida the Line of North Boundary, between the Said Province and the United States, Shall be a Line drawn from the Mouth of the River Yassous, where it unites with the River Missisippi, due East to the River Apalachicola.
LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.
1. JA's Diary indicates that on the evening of 23 Nov. he was with John Jay when Jay received a request from Richard Oswald for a meeting at either Jay's or Oswald's residence. Oswald's purpose was to arrange a meeting between himself and the American Commissioners to present the proposed treaty, which was newly approved by the Shelburne ministry and had reached Paris earlier in the day in the care of Henry Strachey. Matthew Ridley's diary recorded Strachey's return on the 23d and indicated that Oswald and his colleague, Alleyne Fitzherbert, were “very doubtful about Peace” and “of Ld. Shelburne keeping his Ground.” Their apprehensions, which were well founded and shared by their American counterparts, largely concerned Arts. 3, 5, and 6 dealing with the fisheries and the loyalists (see notes 4, 5, and 7). For JA's account of the negotiations, which centered on those two issues and concluded successfully on the 29th, see JA, D&A, 3:72–81.
2. The preamble and Art. 1 are essentially the same as their counterparts in the draft treaty of [4 Nov.], above, that Strachey had carried to London. They were incorporated virtually unchanged into the preliminary treaty signed on 30 Nov., below. The only significant difference between this and the { 88 } earlier draft was that the first paragraph of the preamble is here less specific and more implicit regarding the American obligation not to sign a separate peace under the terms of the Franco-American alliance of 1778.
3. Article 2 was also incorporated into the preliminary treaty, differing significantly from the corresponding passage in the [4 Nov.] draft, above, only in that it ran the northern boundary through the middle of the Great Lakes. For the alternatives considered before this solution was devised, see the [4 Nov.] draft, and note 4; and JA's 6 Nov. letter to Robert R. Livingston, and note 8, both above. In his Diary JA noted that the Shelburne ministry “did not approve” the boundary as set down in Art. 2, thinking “it too extended, too vast a Country, but they would not make a difficulty” (JA, D&A, 3:72).
4. JA underlined these two words because “Liberty” was unacceptable to the American Commissioners, who insisted that the ability of Americans to fish on the Grand Banks should be a right. “Right” was the word used in the [4 Nov.] treaty, above, that Strachey carried to London, but it was replaced with “Liberty” in the course of the cabinet's deliberations. The original word was restored in drafts of the article on [28 Nov.] and [29 Nov.] and in the treaty signed on 30 Nov., all below. In his Diary entry for 29 Nov., JA wrote that “Mr. Stratchey proposed to leave out the Word Right of Fishing and make it Liberty. Mr. Fitsherbert said the Word Right was an obnoxious Expression” (JA, D&A, 3:79).
5. JA believed that, as revised in London, this article was an effort to reconcile American access to the Newfoundland fisheries with any corresponding stipulation to be made in an Anglo-French peace treaty, writing in his Diary that he “could not help observing that the Ideas respecting the Fishery appeared to me to come piping hot from Versailles.” The practical effect of the change in language would have been to prohibit the Americans from fishing closer than three leagues, or nine miles, from the coast. During a long and detailed explanation of the minutiae of the cod and haddock fisheries and American participation by tradition and treaty, JA noted that the proposed change would have placed American fishermen at a severe disadvantage without securing any benefit for English fishermen. JA explained that in the springtime cod and haddock came very close to shore, even into the harbors and streams. While American fishermen could get to the fishing grounds early enough to take advantage of this phenomenon, English fishermen could not. Therefore, if Americans were not permitted to operate unrestricted along the coast, no fish would be taken by anyone. On 25 Nov., during the opening stages of his defense of American fishing rights, which continued intermittently on 26, 28, and 29 Nov., JA noted that “we have a saying at Boston that when the Blossoms fall the Haddock begin to crawl,” that is, to move out into deep water (same, 3:72–81). For the evolution of this article with regard to the access of American fishermen to the inshore fishery and their ability to dry and cure their catch, see the drafts of [28 Nov.] and [29 Nov.], all below.
6. As it appears here this article was considerably shorter than the version in the [4 Nov.] treaty, above, carried to London by Strachey. In the treaty signed on 30 Nov., below, it was even shorter and had been made reciprocal. For the evolution of the article see the draft at [28 Nov.], below.
7. Neither this nor the following article, which together require restitution and amnesty for the loyalists, appear in the treaty signed on 30 November. Nevertheless, they illustrate the gulf dividing the British and American negotiators. What to do about the loyalists was the most contentious issue of the negotiations. As Benjamin Vaughan observed in a 27 Nov. letter to Benjamin Franklin, “if you wanted to break off your treaty, I am perfectly sensible that you could not do it on grounds in which America would more join with you, than this of the refugees. On the other hand, if England wanted to break, she could not wish for better ground on her side” (Franklin, Papers, 38:368–369). The American Commissioners’ problem was that Arts. 5 and 6 were less conditional and went further than the provisions in the draft treaty of [4 Nov.], above. Indeed, their inclusion as they appear here indicates the pressure on the Shelburne ministry to do something tangible for the loyalists. This is particularly so in view of the commissioners’ 7 Nov. letter to Richard Oswald, above, in which they declared that, despite Oswald's warning that the ministry in London would consider the [4 Nov.] draft's provisions regarding the loyalists inadequate, anything beyond what was granted to the loyalists there was { 89 } unacceptable to them and impossible for Congress to implement.
Despite the importance of the loyalist issue and its potential to render a peace settlement impossible, JA's Diary has relatively little to say about the negotiations over the loyalists. On 26 Nov. he noted that there had been “endless Discussions about the Tories” and on the 27th that Oswald and the commissioners were “endeavouring to come together, concerning the Fisheries and Tories.” Only on the 29th does he comment extensively regarding the final British capitulation to the inevitable and the acceptance of the articles appearing in the treaty of 30 Nov., below. JA's reticence probably stems from his more active role and interest in the negotiations over the fisheries; it probably also reflects his deference to Benjamin Franklin, who was “very staunch against the Tories, more decided a great deal on this Point than Mr. Jay or my self.” Indeed, in his Diary entry for 29 Nov., JA quotes extensively from the paper that Franklin presented during that day's negotiating session, a copy of which is in the Adams Papers (JA, D&A, 3:77, 78, 80–81; Franklin, Papers, 38:375–377). Franklin threatened that should the British insist on compensation for the loyalist losses in America, the commissioners would require that American citizens be compensated for the destruction and losses caused by British wartime operations. For the evolution of the articles concerning the loyalists, see the draft article at [ca. 26 Nov.], and the preliminary treaty signed on 30 Nov., both below.
8. This article was included virtually verbatim in the treaty of 30 Nov., below, except that at this point the negotiators inserted additional text specifically prohibiting British forces from taking slaves or other American property with them when they evacuated the United States. The addition reflected the arrival of Henry Laurens at Paris on or about 29 Nov. and was Laurens’ main contribution to the treaty (JA, D&A, 3:80).
9. This and the separate article were little changed from the [4 Nov.] draft, above, and were incorporated virtually verbatim into the preliminary treaty of 30 Nov., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0049

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Brush, Eliphalet
Date: 1782-11-26

To Eliphalet Brush

[salute] Sir,

Your favor from Bourdeaux of the 19th., I have had the pleasure to recieve, & congratulate You on your successful Voyages. I thank You too for your Care of my Dispatches and kind Attention to me.
The Dutch have been induced to make common Cause with Us, but have not yet exerted themselves in it with so much Unanimity & Zeal as might be wished for their own sakes as well as ours— Yet it makes a material Odds to have them for Us, rather than against Us. Your Friends in Holland are all well, as are those at Boston, from whence we have Letters to the 10th. of October.
If any Questions should be asked me on the part of M. de Castries or others, relative to your Affairs, I shall not fail to give all the Light in my Power. Mr. Broom I know very well & have a great Esteem for him. If I can find a safe Conveyance to Bourdeaux, I shall be glad to send a few Letters by your Vessel.— My Respects if You please to Mr. Bondfield, Mr. Price, and any other Acquaintance at Bourdeaux.
I have the honor to be, Sir, &c
{ 90 }
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Brush / Chez Messs. V. P. French & Neven / negociants à Bourdeaux”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0050

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-26

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

J’espere que Vous avez reçu toute mes précédentes, que j’ai adressées selon les directions que Mr. Thaxter m’a données de votre part; & qu’il a aussi reçu les siennes que j’ai envoyées à lui-même pour lui & pour Mr. Storer. Je suppose aussi que vous avez reçu la Médaille de Mr. Holtzhey, dont un Exprès de Mr. le Duc de la V. étoit chargé de ma part pour vous, pendant que vous étiez encore en route.
Ma derniere renfermoit une Lettre pour Mr. Livingston.1
La semaine derniere s’est passée ici à refaire Mr. le Gd. Pensre. pour un 3e. quinquennium.2
Nos amis ici, à qui j’ai fait vos complimens, & qui vous les retournent cordialement, me chargent de vous dire, qu’ils s’attendent que vous ne vous montrerez pas trop facile dans les concessions à exiger de l’ennemi, & à lui accorder. Ils vous prient aussi de me mander, si vous êtes sur le pied d’une bonne & cordiale Intelligence avec Mr. Brantzen; S’il est com̃unicatif, com̃e le lui enjoignent ses Instructions; quelles sont ses allures; si vous en êtes content?— Ils insistent à présent fortement, pour faire arranger & résoudre la nomination & l’envoi d’un Ministre de la Rep. en Amérique, afin qu’il puisse y aller le printemps prochain.3
La poste, qui va partir, me laisse à peine le temps de vous assurer du respectueux attachement avec lequel je suis, Monsieur / Votre très-humble & très / obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas


[salute] Sir

I hope you have received all my previous letters, which I addressed according to Mr. Thaxter's instructions; and that he has also received his own correspondence, which I sent on for him and Mr. Storer. I suppose too that you have by now received Mr. Holtzhey's medal, which the Duc de La Vauguyon included in an express sent off while you were still en route.
My last communication contained a letter for Mr. Livingston.1
Last week was taken up with creating a third five-year term for the grand pensionary.2
Our friends here, to whom I gave your greetings, respond cordially in { 91 } kind. I am to tell you that they expect you not to appear too accommodating in the concessions you exact from the enemy, or in those you grant. They would like you to inform them whether you are on good terms with Mr. Brantsen and if you have a cordial understanding; if he is communicative, as instructed; how he conducts himself; and whether you are satisfied with him. They strongly insist that arrangements be made to appoint and dispatch a minister of the republic to America, to arrive there next spring.3
The post, being about to depart, scarcely leaves me time to assure you of my respectful attachment; I remain, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams, Esqr. Min. plenipo: des E. U.”
1. For the letter to Livingston, see Dumas’ 19 Nov. letter to JA, note 2, above.
2. For the proceedings of the States of Holland and West Friesland regarding another term for Pieter van Bleiswyck, see the Gazette d’Amsterdam for 15 and 26 November.
3. No reply to this letter has been found, but for JA's view of Brantsen, see his letter to Dumas of 1 Jan. 1783; for the appointment of a Dutch minister to the United States, see Dumas’ letter of 28 Feb., both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0051

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-26

Draft Article on Loyalists

Congress will recommend to the Legislature of each of the thirteen States to appoint Commissioners to be under Oath to appraise at a just Value, at this Time the Estates that have been confiscated, and to make Provision, in a reasonable Time, not exceeding two Years for <the> a Compensation, to those of the Refugees who have not taken an active Part in the War against the United states, and of those who having taken an active Part have conducted themselves like civilized Ennemies, and have governed themselves by the Law of Nations.
And to extend Amnesty to all excepting Such as were the most culpable & Instrumental in bringing on the War, and Such as shall appear, to have been guilty of Cruelties, Devasations Depredations and other <Crimes> Excesses, in the Prosecution of the War, not warrantable nor excuseable by the Laws of War.
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Project / of an Article for Refugees.” Filmed at [Nov. 1782].
1. This draft is wholly in JA's hand and was likely done early in the commissioners’ discussions of the loyalist issue and never offered to the British negotiators as an alternative to the terms of the draft treaty of 25 Nov., above. The proposal offered here reworks the articles in the 25 Nov. draft, making them conditional on the behavior of the loyalists, and may to some degree be an effort to conform to Henry Strachey's comment about “excepting a few by Name of the most obnoxious of the Refugees” (JA, D&A, { 92 } 3:72). However, there was no more likelihood of its being effective than the corresponding article in the treaty signed on 30 Nov., below, since the proposed remedies were to be nonbinding recommendations of Congress, which could not be forced on the states. This draft, however, was more in line with the views of JA, who “pitied those People too much to be willing to aggravate their Sorrows and Sufferings, even of those who had deserved the Worst” (same, 3:57), than those of Franklin, for which see the draft treaty of 25 Nov., note 7, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0052

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-28

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Quoique je n’aie pas réussi jusqu’ici à me procurer rien de satisfaisant, pour la demande qui vous a été faite pour le Département de la guerre, je n’en continuerai pas moins mes recherches à cet égard, & vous en rendrai compte.
On vient de m’assurer positivement, qu’il S’agira la semaine prochaine sérieusement de désigner & pourvoir un Ministre pour l’envoyer après l’hyver aux Etats-Unis de la part de cette Rep.— Celui qui jusqu’ici a le plus d’apparence d’avoir ce poste, est le fils (entre nous) d’un Ambr. actuellement tout près de vous.1
Je com̃ence, Monsieur, à être à sec, pour ne pas dire en détresse, quant aux finances, non seulement, parce que le temps approche où l’on va nous apporter les comptes, mais aussi parce que s’en ai déjà payé quelques-uns qui ne souffroient pas de délai, & que je Suis d’ailleurs en avance de 6 semaines pour le courant de votre Ménage ici, qui Se tient avec une Economie scrupuleuse dont vous serez content, quand vous en aurez vu le compte, Soit que vous vouliez en différer l’examen jusqu’au retour de Votre Exce. ici, soit que vous jugiez à propos que nous vous l’envoyions à Paris. En attendant, je vous supplie, Monsieur, de m’établir préalablement un crédit auprès de vos Messieurs à Amsterdam, afin que je puisse tirer des à compte sur eux à mesure que le besoin urgent l’exige.2 Ce qui l’augmente actuellement, c’est que (entre nous) une Traite que j’ai tirée au com̃encement d’Oct. sur Passy, de 112 ½ Louis d’or, pour les derniers 6 mois de mon petit salaire de cette année, tarde pour la premiere fois d’être payée, parce que, dit le Banquier, on garde là souvent les Traites quelques semaines en poche avant d’y faire honneur. Cela m’incom̃ode et me désole en attendant.
Mr. Jay3 est allé faire un tour à Amst. en attendant des nouvelles de Paris.
Tous vos Livres donnés à relier, le sont; & vous les verrez à leur place dans leur sanctuaire, où personne ne met le pied que pour { 93 } l’airer de temps en temps. Revenez y bientôt, Monsieur, jouir des prémices que l’Aurore vous présente tous les jours à votre Lever. Quant à la paix, nous ne la croyons ici ni prochaine ni desirable encore. Je Suis avec un sincere respect, Monsieur, / Votre très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
On vient de me faire esperer quelque chose sur la subsistce. de l’Armée Suedoise.4


[salute] Sir

Although I have not yet succeeded in obtaining any satisfaction concerning the request you have made on behalf of the department of war, I shall nonetheless pursue my inquiries and keep you informed.
I have just received assurance that next week significant progress will be made in choosing and formally appointing a minister to the United States, to be sent at winter's end to represent this republic. The most likely appointee (between us) is the son of an ambassador who is currently quite close to you.1
Concerning finances, I am beginning, sir, to be short of cash—in dire straits even—not only because the time is fast approaching for various bills to be presented, but also because I have already paid several of the most urgent. I am, moreover, six weeks in advance for your household here, which is being run with scrupulous thriftiness; indeed, you will be pleased when you see the accounts, whether your excellency prefers to put off examining them until your return or deems it more appropriate for us to send them to Paris. In the meantime, I must beg you, sir, to establish a line of credit with your bankers in Amsterdam so that I can draw advances as urgent needs dictate.2 The need is exacerbated by the fact that (between us) the bank has for the first time been slow to honor a withdrawal I made in early October against the account in Passy, of 112 ½ Louis d’Or, to cover the last six months of my modest salary this year. The banker says this is because drafts are often held back for several weeks before being honored. Meanwhile, I find this most inconvenient and distressing.
Mr. Jay3 has gone on a trip to Amsterdam while awaiting news from Paris.
All the books in need of binding have been bound and you will find them in their proper place in their sanctuary, where nobody sets foot except to give it an occasional airing. Return here soon, sir, to enjoy the promise presented you each new day when you arise. As for peace, we here think it neither imminent nor desirable as yet. With sincere respect I remain, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
I have just been told that I may expect to learn something on the subsistence of the Swedish Army.4
{ 94 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence / Monsieur Adams Esqr, Minre. / Plénipo: des Etats-Unis / d’Ame. / à Paris.”; internal address: “Paris á Son Exce. Mr. J. Adams M. P.”; endorsed: “Mr Dumas 28 Nov / 1782.”
1. Assuming that Dumas is using the title “ambassador” in its real rather than generic sense, he is likely referring to a son of Mattheus Lestevenon van Berkenrode, the Dutch ambassador to France. There were two other Dutch diplomats at Paris: Gerard Brantsen, minister plenipotentiary, who was to negotiate the peace in company with Van Berkenrode; and Baron Dirk Wolter de Lynden van Blitterswyck, former Dutch envoy to Sweden and future minister to Great Britain, who had conferred with JA several times (Repertorium; JA, D&A, 3:53, 62, 68–69). The rumor was unfounded, but see Dumas’ letter of 14 Jan. 1783, below.
2. In his letter of 19 Nov., above, JA had already advised the loan consortium to pay Dumas’ bills. See the consortium's reply of 4 Dec., below.
3. Sir James Jay.
4. Possibly from a book lent to Dumas by Per Olof von Asp, the Swedish chargé d’affaires at The Hague, for which see Dumas’ letter of 16 Jan. 1783, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0053

Author: Guild, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-28

From Benjamin Guild

Since my arrival in America no events of any great importance have taken place.2 Our affairs in general wear a favorable aspect, and the people of this country are waiting with tranquility to know the event of the conference at Paris, or of the Congress elswhere. Soon after I landed I took a journey into the States of New-York and Connecticut. I found the Western part of this State much more cultivated & fertile than I had imagined, and was pleased to find it such a magazine of provisions.— The army I found at Verplanks point and was happy in seeing them reviewed upon the anniversary of the capture of Lord Cornwallis. They made a most respectable appearance and were never upon so respectable a footing as at this day. Nothing seems wanting unless it be sufficient funds for supplying and paying them; and nothing perhaps has happened more opportunely than the loan obtained in Holland. We have sufficient resources within ourselves, could they be called into use at the time wanted. The Contractor for the army told me he could easily supply half a dozen such armies, if he had cash at command. Our main body were estimated at about 10,000 and it is said the Massachusetts line contain near one half.
A spirit of œconomy and discipline pervaded the whole army, and such a thirst of emulation has prevailed among all ranks thro’ the last season, as to obtain the highest encomiums of their General, as well as of the French officers who have visited them.3
Upon my return from the country I had many pleasing reflections. I found that altho’ the season had been uncommonly dry, yet { 95 } plenty abounded; and that altho’ we are in the midst of war, yet internal tranquility prevails universally. I am strongly persuaded that this country is not only encreasing in numbers, but in wealth.
I have it from judicious authority that the farmers in the state of Connecticut have built more new barns & granaries in the course of one year past than in any seven years before the war. And in many parts of this state as large, or a larger proportion of new buildings have been erected than before the war.
Many parts of our frontiers are settling very fast notwithstanding the threats and the opposition of the enemy. Vermont is growing more respectable as well as more compliable.
Our civil affairs appear in a good channel. The springs of government appear strong, and the movements regular. The Congress have lately chosen for their President the Hon. Elias Boudenot Esq. of New Jersey.— This state has lately chosen for their Delegates, Messrs. Warren, Higginson, Holten & Gorham in addition to Mr Osgood, the only member now at Congress from Massachusetts. I am told Mr Dickinson is elected President or Governer of Pensylvania.—4
A few days ago our General court adjourned to the latter end of Jany. Several acts of importance were passed the last session: Such as a heavy import & excise act for the payment of the interest of government Securities—an act for admitting all kinds of goods from the port of an Enemy to Great Britain, if properly cleared out—and another for raising £400,000 pounds by tax—5 As far as I am able to judge there appears a good disposition in the people to pay taxes; and if any system is adopted to prevent the whole burden falling upon them at once, I think all expences may be defrayed without complaint.
The continuance of the French army & navy so long among us, I think of essential service. It makes a market for our redundant produce; circulates hard cash and at the same time assists the merchant by furnishing bills on France. It also rivets more strongly the interests and the connexions of the two powers.
Genl Rochambeau's army is now at Providence; and it is reported will winter at Newport if Charlstown is not evacuated; which however is daily expected. If not evacuated, report embarks them for the West Indies on board the fleet now in port & to sail in all next month, consisting of twelve sail of the line & three frigates.6
It is not expected New York will be evacuated this winter; and our army went into winter-quarters about four weeks ago.
{ 96 }
The enemy have collected some force upon the lakes, but I am apprehensive with a view of defence only.
By the first opportunity to Holland I shall take the liberty of sending your Excellency the Massachusett's Register;—the observations of Common Sense upon Abbé Raynal's Revolution and whatever else may appear amusing.—7
I had the pleasure of spending last evening in company with Mrs and Miss Adams—was happy to find them well. They expect to be at the Hague the next season, should there be no prospect of Peace.—8
Our newspapers contain nothing very interesting for some time past. They have been too much filled with private disputes.—
The business of the town is not without life; the streets are repairing—the plan of the long wharf is enlarged and a considerable part of it finished, and when entirely compleated I think it will be one of the finest peers in the world. The Old South, once a riding school for the British, is elegantly repairing, and will resume more than its ancient beauty. The church in the mean time intermingle with the people of the Stone chapel,9 and worship in union with them, each alternately hearing the preacher of the other. This, and a variety of simular instances afford an agreeable proof, not only of the Catholicism, but of the real harmony reigning among us.
And I am clearly of opinion that a general spirit of union prevails thro’ the continent. This will be a most pleasing reflection to every American; as it has a direct tendency not only to make us great, but to make us happy. It certainly gives pleasure to him who is, with much respect and / esteem, your Excellency's most / obedient and most / humble servant
[signed] Benj. Guild
Compliments to Messrs Thaxter and Storer, and to Mr Dumas & family.—
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr / at the Hague.—”
1. Although JA does not indicate it, this letter probably arrived on 8 April 1783 with Guild's letters of 3 Dec., below, and 7 Dec. (see note 7), and another of 1 Nov. from James Warren, above. For the likely effect of Guild's reference in the sixth paragraph to James Warren's election as a member of Congress, see JA's letter to Warren of 9 April 1783, and note 2, below.
2. Guild sailed from Amsterdam in August and arrived at Boston in early October (vol. 13:255).
3. Guild is probably referring to accounts of Rochambeau's arrival at Washington's headquarters at Verplanck's Point, N.Y., on 14 Sept. and to the French commander's comment following his review of the army that turned out for his reception (vol. 13:490–491).
4. John Dickinson was elected president of Pennsylvania on 7 Nov. (Pennsylvania Gazette, 13 Nov.).
5. For the acts levying an excise tax and regulating the importation of British goods, { 97 } see Mass., Acts and Laws, 2:84–105. No act specifically intended to raise £400,000 has been found.
6. For the movements of Rochambeau and his army, see Guild's letter of 3 Dec., and note 1, below.
7. Under cover of a letter dated 7 Dec. (Adams Papers), Guild sent JA copies of Thomas Paine's A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North-America. In which the Mistakes in the Abbe's Account of the Revolution of America Are Corrected and Cleared Up, Boston, 1782; Thomas and John Fleet's A Pocket Almanack for 1783. Together with a Register for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, 1782; and Harvard College, Catalogus eorum qui in Universitate Harvardiana, Cantabrigiæ, in republica Massachusettensi, ab anno MDCXLII, ad annum MCDDLXXXII, alicujus gradûs laureâ donati sunt, Boston, 1782; but see also Guild's letter of 3 Dec., below. For their arrival, see Dumas’ 3 April 1783 letter to JA, and JA's 9 April reply to Guild, both below.
8. For the ongoing correspondence between AA and JA over her coming to join him in Europe, see the indexes to vols. 4 and 6 of AFC. With the signing of the preliminary peace treaty on 30 Nov. and his expectation that a definitive treaty would be concluded soon after, JA presumably thought such a journey unnecessary. This was particularly so in view of his determination to resign his commissions, which he did in a 4 Dec. letter to Robert R. Livingston, below, informing AA of his action in a letter of the same date (AFC, 5:46–47). For AA's most recent comments about joining JA in Europe, see her letters to JA of 25 Oct. and 13 Nov.; and to John Thaxter of 26 Oct. (same, 5:21–28, 35–37).
9. King's Chapel, Boston.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0054

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-28

Draft Articles on the Fisheries and Creditors

Article 3.

That the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the People of the Said United States Shall continue to enjoy, unmolested, the Right to take Fish of every Kind, on the Grand Bank and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland: also in the Gulph of St Laurence, and in all other Places, where the Inhabitants of both Countries, used at any time heretofore to fish; and the Citizens of the Said United States Shall have Liberty to cure and dry their Fish, on the Shores of Cape Sable, and of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours or Creeks of Nova Scotia, on any of the Shores of the Magdalene Islands, and of the Labradore Coast: And they shall be permitted in Time of Peace, to hire Pieces of Land of the legal Proprietors in any of the Dominions of his Said Majesty in America for Terms of Years, whereon to erect the necessary Stages and Buildings, and to cure and dry their Fish.1

Art 4.

It is agreed that <the British> Creditors on either Side shall meet with no lawful Impediment to the Recovery of the full Value <of> in sterling Money of2 Such bona fide debts as were contracted by any { 98 } Persons <who are Citizens of the Said United states>, before the Year 1775 <and reciprocally that American Creditors, Shall recover their Debts of British subjects>
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Project of an Article / respecting the Fisheries.” Filmed at [29 Nov.].
1. This article is virtually identical to that drafted by JA on the morning of 28 Nov. and included in his Diary entry for that date, but he there says nothing about Art. 4 (JA, D&A, 3:78). The new article is notable because it revised the provision in the draft treaty submitted by Oswald on 25 Nov., above, by removing any restriction on the distance from the coast where Americans would be allowed to fish and making American access to the fisheries a “Right” as opposed to a “Liberty.” The revision was a return to the language of the articles agreed to on [4 Nov.], above, even reprising the reciprocal reference to “the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the People of the Said United States” as opposed to the reference only to the “Citizens of the Said United States” in the 25 Nov. draft. For the further evolution of this article, see the two additional drafts at [29 Nov.] and the treaty signed on 30 Nov., both below.
2. To this point, as revised, this article is identical to Art. 4 in the treaty signed on 30 Nov., below, but see the article there for additions and deletions beyond those made here.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0055

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Date: 1782-11-29

Draft Articles on the Fisheries



That the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the People of the Said United States, Shall continue to enjoy unmolested, the Right to take Fish of every kind on <the gr> all the Banks of Newfoundland, in the Gulph of St Lawrence, and all other Places, where the Inhabitants of both Countries used <formerly> at any Time heretofore, to fish; and also to dry and cure the Same, at the accustomed Places, whether belonging to his Said Majesty, or to the United States— And his britannic majesty and the Said united States will extend equal Priviledges and Hospitality to each others Fisherman as to his own.2


That the People of the united States Shall continue to enjoy unmolested the Right to take Fish of every kind on the Grand Bank of And on all the other Banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulph of St Laurence and at all other Places in the Sea, where the { 99 } Inhabitants of both Countries used at any Time heretofore to fish. And also that the Inhabitants of the United States Shall have Liberty to take Fish of every kind, on Such Part of the Coast of Newfoundland as British Fishermen Shall Use, but not to dry or cure the Same on that Island, and also on the Coasts, Bays, and Creeks of all other of his Britannic Majestys Dominions in America. And that the American Fishermen Shall have Liberty to dry and cure Fish in any of the Unsettled Bays, Harbours and Creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalene Islands and Labradore, so long as the Same Shall remain unsettled, but So soon as the Same, or either of them shall be Settled, it Shall not be lawfull for the Said Fishermen to dry or cure Fish at such Settlement without a previous Agreement for that purpose with the Inhabitants, Proprietors or Possessor of the Ground.3
MSS (Adams Papers); respectively endorsed: “Project / of an Article respecting / the Fisheries.” and “Project of an / Article respecting the / Fisheries.”
1. The two draft articles on the fisheries presented here were intended to be inserted into the treaty as Art. 3. According to JA's Diary entry for 29 Nov., they were the product of an entire day of discussions between the British and American negotiators “about the Fishery and Tories. I proposed a new Article concerning the Fishery. It was discussed and turned in every Light, and multitudes of Amendments proposed on each Side, and at last the Article drawn as it was finally agreed to” (JA, D&A, 3:79). The initial discussions likely centered on the article JA had drafted on the 28th, above, but for the progress of the negotiations and their conclusion, see notes 2 and 3, below.
2. This is likely the “new Article” proposed by JA on the 29th. From its language it would appear that a principal point of contention was precisely where the American fishermen could dry and cure their fish. In drafting the article, JA appears to have attempted to finesse that issue by introducing an element of ambiguity through the use of the words “at the accustomed Places.” When that solution proved unacceptable, JA proposed two other formulations, both written below the body of the article. The first read “<on convenient Places to be assigned>, on the Shores of Nova Scotia” and was likely unacceptable because with or without the canceled passage the article retained the original ambiguity. The second proposal, “in on the Shores of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours, or Creeks of Nova Scotia,” was acceptable because it incorporated the language of the [4 Nov.] and 25 Nov. draft treaties as well as JA's draft of the 28th, all above.
3. As drafted, this article is virtually the same as that in the treaty signed on 30 Nov., below, lacking only the first three words: “It is agreed.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0056

Author: Gordon, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-30

From William Gordon

[salute] My dear Sir

In answer to yours of July 2d, sent You, Sept 19, under cover to Messrs De Neufville's by a vessel,—Buffington Master—bound from Salem to France, a very long letter, in which I wrote freely: afterwards I thought, that should French curiosity peep into it, you might possibly fail of receiving it.1 I keep no copies, & therefore { 100 } cannot transmit a duplicate. But I told You that I neither knew the writer nor the character of the Boston history of the war, & imagined it to be a piece of booksellers business.2 Item, that silver tongue Sam3 was excessively fond of the French, & therefore caution was to be used in communications to him. Item that I approved highly of your Independent Spirit. Hope it will not fail you, & that if C in their instructions betray their constituents, you will prove instrumental in saving the liberties of your Country. You will be safe though you break orders that would break your owners. I am a Protestant in politics as well as in Divinity, & hate the doctrine of pinning our Faith on other sleeves. I doubt that implicit faith & foolish complaisance of which I have heard much of late will backen our affairs & encourage the prolongation of the war. Consistent Independence from late leakages (writers will now & then affix new ideas to old words) begin to fear that the united Deputies do not preserve their own Independency. My sentiments are, & which I am circulating, that our Negotiators are not to be cyphers, that they should sit at the round table & talk as the agents of sovereign Powers, the same as a British French Spanish or Dutch ambassadour. I might carry my jealousy too far was I to suspect that France has a separate game to play, & that therefore the full acknowledgment of our Independency will not, with all the appendages belonging to it, induce them to close the war. What I have heard of their being very high in their terms with Sr Joseph looks that way; & I wish that instead of a solid & lasting peace, we have not the next year a general war, & then we must allow two or three years at least for the new racers to run themselves out of breath.4 By what I have learnt I have imagined, that France meant that we should receive no favour or public honour from any other power but through their interference, that so we might be the more dependent upon themselves. Your New England pol[itics have] broken the spell; I wish Dana may do likewise & prove equally successful. O that I had but [. . .] the British ministry, & they would hearken to me as an Oracle! I would tell them, withdraw your troops, [&] oblige the United States by acknowledging in a parliamy. way the full & absolute Independency thereof, don't suffer France to possess the appearance of wrenching it from you, but so far as it can be under present circumstances let it look like a boon freely granted, & fight them no longer. The Atlantic will keep them from fighting You. These may be pronounced the arts of a Fox, but if they are accompanied with no treachery, are { 101 } honestly adopted & acted upon, Britain may recover the trade of America, renew her strength, & find that friendship after a while from Independent States, which can never be gained by the point of the sword, should it conquer ever so.5
I have been to Boston, there heard of the present conveyance from Nantucket, write by candle light without spectacles, & must correspond with some others before the morrow, proposing to take the letters to town with me where I shall go to hold forth at the kings chapel upon an exchange. Question whether your family knows of the opportunity, but believe they are all well, or should probably have heard, for I saw Genl Warren in town. He is chosen one of our delegates to Cong, I urge him to go, he means it, can he get his affairs so arranged, as that he can comply with the choice without ruining his family. It is said a governmental party in this State are hunting poor Temple under the pretext of his being a British emissary. I think he is cruelly used, & wish if innocent his innocency could be attested to by your Excellency.6 I have heard that the same inclination wrought in You & your Lady at the same time, that while you was hurrying on dispatches for her to remove to Holland with her family, She was assuring You in black & white that she could live no longer in that manner without you & meant to come over; but as there was a condition on your part, I wish it may take place & that peace may give you a pleasing opportunity of returning next summer to Braintree.7 May You come & possess the chair, for the present occupier is rather too small for it.8 The gentleman who told me that Dr Franklin & Mr Jay met with Sr Joseph &c spoke contemptably of them & as unfit for the business; I apprehend he went upon information he recd from France. I was pleased to hear him utter himself the reverse, of You. He is not personally acquainted with either of you, but has pritty good correspondents abroad, & has been a great traveller, & is my own dear countryman. Dr Waterhouse came to Boston to settle. The College mean to choose a Professor of Physic to read lectures & be paid by the students under him. I judge it probable he will be chosen.9 If by my long letters I give you too much interruption, you know ho[w to le]ssen them for the future. I remain with great esteem & / have the honour to be &c
[signed] Blank
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr / Holland”; endorsed: “Dr Gordon, 30, Nov. 1782 / ansd 15 April 1783 / recd 14.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.
{ 102 }
1. JA's letter to Gordon of 2 July has not been found, but its content likely was similar to his letters of that date to Elbridge Gerry and James Warren (vol. 13:146–150). Gordon's reply, which is summarized accurately here, was of 7 Sept., with postscripts dated 9 and 19 Sept. (vol. 13:447–453).
2. The subject of this reference has not been identified.
3. Samuel Cooper.
4. Gordon likely refers here and in the following paragraph to Sir Joseph Yorke, the British minister to the Netherlands at the outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch War in 1780, though Yorke did not participate in Great Britain's peace negotiations with the United States or the other belligerents. Gordon's informant remains unidentified, but reports in the Boston Evening Post of 23 Nov. and the Boston Independent Chronicle of the 29th indicated Yorke's presence at Paris, probably reflecting similar reports in London newspapers, such as the London Chronicle of 20–22 August. For Dutch concerns that Yorke might be reappointed as ambassador at The Hague, see Dumas’ letter of 23 May 1783, and note 4, below.
5. Before and after his resignation from the Shelburne ministry, Charles James Fox advocated negotiations with a fully independent and sovereign United States as being more likely to bring about a satisfactory Anglo-American peace than the policies of Lord Shelburne. That JA shared this view is evident from his letters to Edmund Jenings of 17 and 20 July (vol. 13:180–185, 188–190).
6. For the controversy over John Temple's return to Massachusetts and the part played by JA in it, see JA's letter of 16 Aug. 1781 to the president of Congress (vol. 11:449–452). At the time that Gordon wrote this letter a newspaper war was raging between Temple and James Sullivan.
7. This was also JA's intention. See his 4 Dec. letter to Robert R. Livingston, in which he resigned his commissions, below.
8. That is, JA should return to Massachusetts and replace John Hancock, the “present occupier,” as governor.
9. For Benjamin Waterhouse's late Dec. 1782 appointment as the first Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic, see his letter to AA of 7 Jan. 1783, and note 1 (AFC, 5:65–66).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0057

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-30

From James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

I have not to this day Information that you comprehend the Cypher wch. I have very often used in my Letters.1 You certainly can recollect the Name of that Family2 where you and I spent our last Evening with your Lady before we sat out on our Journey hither. Make regular Alphabets in Number equal to the first Sixth part of that Family Name, beginning and regularlarly placing your Alphabets according to the Letters and the Arrangement of them in that Sixth. Then look alternately into those Alphabets, & opposite to my Figure. You will find your proper Elements for spelling.
most affectionately Yours
[signed] James Lovell
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Lovel Nov. 30. / 1782.”
1. For the Lovell Cipher and Lovell's most complete explanation of it, see vol. 11:381–383. JA had last written to Lovell on 25 Feb. 1782, while Lovell's last extant letter to JA is of 26 Dec. 1781, and that too was an attempt to explain the cipher (vol. 12:165, 266–270). What sparked this new effort to resolve JA's continuing difficulties with the cipher, most notably his failure to decipher completely the [June 1781] instructions to the American Commissioners, is unknown (vol. 11:374–377).
2. Cranch.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0058

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Author: Oswald, Richard
Date: 1782-11-30

Preliminary Peace Treaty between the United States and Great Britain

Articles agreed upon by and between Richard Oswald Esquire, the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty for treating of Peace with the Commissioners of the United States of America, in behalf of his Said Majesty, on the one Part, and John Adams Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens, four of the Commissioners of the Said States for treating of Peace with the Commissioner of his Said Majesty on their behalf, on the other Part, to be inserted in and to constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded, between the Crown of Great Britain, and the Said united States, but which Treaty is not to be concluded, untill terms of a Peace Shall be agreed upon between Great Britain and France, and his Britannic Majesty Shall be ready to conclude Such a Treaty, accordingly.2
Whereas reciprocal Advantages, and mutual Convenience, are found by Experience to form the only permanent Foundation of Peace and Friend Ship, between States, it is agreed to form the Articles of the proposed Treaty, on Such Principles of liberal Equity and Reciprocity, as that partial Advantages, those Seeds of discord, being excluded, Such a beneficial and Satisfactory Intercourse, between the two Countries may be established, as to promise and Secure to both, perpetual Peace and Harmony.

Article 1.

His Britannic Majesty acknowledges, the Said United States, vizt. New Hampshire Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia, to be free, Sovereign and independent States; that he treats with them as Such, and for himself, his Heirs and Successors, relinquishes all Claims to the Government, Propriety and territorial Rights of the Same, and every Part thereof; and that all disputes, which might arise, in future on the Subject of the Boundaries of the Said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared that the following are and Shall be their Boundaries. vizt:

Article 2.

From the northwest Angle of Nova Scotia, vizt that Angle, which is formed by a Line drawn due north from the Source of Saint Croix { 104 } { 105 } River, to the Highlands, along the Said highlands, which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the River Saint Laurens, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwestermost head of Connecticut River; thence down along the middle of that River to the forty fifth degree of North Latitude; from thence by a Line due West, on Said Latitude, Untill it Strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraqui, thence along the middle of Said River, into Lake Ontario, through the middle of Said Lake, untill it Strikes the Communication by Water, between that Lake and Lake Erie, thence along the middle of Said Communication, into Lake Erie, through the middle of Said Lake, untill it arrives, at the Water Communication between that Lake and Lake Huron; thence along the middle of Said Water Communication, into the Lake Huron, thence through the middle of Said Lake, to the Water Communication between that Lake and Lake Superiour, thence through Lake Superiour, northward of the Isles Royal and Phillipeaux, to the long Lake, thence through the middle of Said long Lake, and the Water Communication, between it, and the Lake of the Woods, to the Said Lake of the Woods, thence through the Said Lake, to the most northwestern Point thereof, and from thence, on a due West Course to the River Missisippi: thence by a Line to be drawn, along the middle of the Said River Missisippi, untill it Shall intersect the Northernmost Part of the thirty first degree of North Latitude.
South by a Line to be drawn due East, from the Determination of the Line last mentioned, in the Latitude of Thirty one degrees north of the Equator, to the middle of the River Apalachicola, or Catahouchi, thence along the middle thereof to its Junction with the Flynt River, thence Straight to the head of St Marys River; and thence down along the middle of St. Marys River to the Atlantic Ocean.
East, by a Line to be drawn along the Middle of the River Saint Croix from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy, to its Source, and from its Source directly north to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the Rivers, that fall into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which fall into the River st Laurens; comprehending all Islands, within twenty Leagues of any Part of the Shores of the United States, and lying between Lines to be drawn due East from the Points where the aforesaid Boundaries between Nova scotia on the one part, and East Florida, on the other, Shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting Such Islands, as now are, or heretofore have been within the Limits of the Said Province of Nova Scotia.
{ 106 }

Article 3.

It is agreed, that the People of the Said United States, Shall continue to enjoy unmolested the Right to take Fish of every Kind, on the Grand Bank, and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph of St. Laurence and at all other Places in the Sea, where the Inhabitants of both Countries used, at any time heretofore to fish. and also that the Inhabitants of the United States, Shall have Liberty to take fish of every kind, on Such part of the Coast of Newfoundland, as British Fishermen Shall Use, but not to dry or cure the Same on that Island, and also on the Coasts, Bays and Creeks of all other of his Britannic Majestys Dominions in America, and that the American Fishermen Shall have Liberty to dry and cure Fish, in any of the Unsettled Bays, Harbours and Creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalene Islands and Labradore So long as the Same Shall remain unsettled, but So soon as the Same or either of them, Shall be Settled, it Shall not be lawfull for the Said Fishermen to dry or cure Fish, at Such Settlement, without a previous Agreement for that purpose, with the Inhabitants, Proprietors or Possessors of the Ground.

Article 4.

It is agreed that Creditors, on either Side, Shall meet with no lawfull Impediment to the Recovery of the full Value in Sterling Money, of all bona fide Debts, heretofore contracted.

Article 5.

It is agreed that the Congress Shall earnestly recommend it, to the Legislatures of the respective States to provide for the Restitution of all Estates, Rights and Properties, which have been confiscated, belonging to real British Subjects; and also of the Estates Rights and Properties of Persons resident in Districts in the Possession of his Majestys Arms, and who have not born Arms against the Said United States; and that Persons of any other Description, Shall have free Liberty to go to any Part or Parts of any of the thirteen United states and therein to remain twelve months, unmolested in their Endeavours to obtain the Restitution of Such of their Estates, Rights and Properties as may have been confiscated, and that Congress Shall also earnestly recommend to the Several States a Reconsideration and Revision of all Acts or Laws, regarding the Premisses, So as to render the Said Acts or Laws, perfectly consistent, not only with Justice and Equity, but with that Spirit of Conciliation, which, on the Return of the Blessings of Peace, { 107 } Should universally prevail. And that Congress Shall also earnestly recommend to the Several States, that the Estates, Rights and Properties of such last mentioned Persons Shall be restored to them, they refunding to any Persons who may be now in Possession, the bona fide Price, where any has been given which Such Persons may have paid on purchasing any of the Said Lands Rights or Properties Since the Confiscation. And it is agreed, that all Persons who have any Interest, in confiscated Lands, either by Debts, Marriage settlements or otherwise, shall meet with no lawfull Impediment in the Prosecution of their just Rights.

Article 6.

That there Shall be no future Confiscations made, nor any Prosecutions commenced, against any Person or Persons, for, or by Reason of, the Part, which he or they may have taken in the present War, and that no Person shall on that Account, Suffer any future Loss or Damage, either in his Person, Liberty or Property, and that those who may be, in Confinement on Such Charges at the Time of the Ratification of the Treaty in America, Shall be, immediately set at Liberty, and the Prosecutions So commenced be discontinued.

Article 7.

There Shall be a firm and perpetual Peace, between his Britannic Majesty and the Said States, and between the Subjects of the one, and the Citizens of the other; wherefore all Hostilities both by Sea and Land Shall then immediately cease; all Prisoners, on both Sides Shall be Set at Liberty, and his Britannic Majesty, Shall with all convenient Speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any Negroes or other Property of the American Inhabitants, withdraw all his Armies, Garrisons and Fleets from the Said United States and from every Port, Place and Harbour, within the Same; leaving in all Fortifications the American Artillery, that may be therein. And shall also order and cause, all Archives, Records, Deeds and Papers belonging to any of the Said States or their Citizens, which, in the Course of the War, may have fallen into the hands of his officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper States and Persons to whom they belong.

Article 8.

The Navigation of the River Missisippi from its Source to the Ocean, Shall forever remain free and open to the Subjects of Great Britain, and the Citizens of the United States.
{ 108 }

Article 9.

In Case it Should So happen, that any Place or Territory belonging to Great Britain, or to the United States, Should be conquered by the Arms of either from the other before the Arrival of these Articles in America, it is agreed that the Same shall be restored, without difficulty, and without requiring any Compensation.
Done at Paris November 30. 1782.
Richard Oswald   L.S.  
John Adams   L.S.  
B. Franklin   L.S.  
John Jay   L.S.  
Henry Laurens.   L.S.  
MS (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
1. The preliminary treaty reached Congress on 12 March 1783 (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 56), enclosed with the commissioners’ 14 Dec. letter to Robert R. Livingston, in which they described the negotiations and commented on specific articles, below. The treaty was ratified on 15 April 1783 (JCC, 24:241–252). For Livingston's views on the negotiations and the treaty's content, see his letters to the commissioners of 25 March and 21 April 1783, both below. For details of the signing of the preliminary treaty, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 3, above.
2. The remainder of this sentence was intended to satisfy the requirements of Art. 8 of the 6 Feb. 1778 Franco-American Treaty of Alliance whereby “neither of the two Parties shall conclude either Truce or Peace with Great Britain, without the formal consent of the other first obtain'd” (Miller, Treaties, 2:38). The preliminary treaty, including the separate article of [30 Nov.], below, was considered formally concluded on 20 Jan. 1783, when ratifications of the preliminary Anglo-French peace treaty were exchanged and at which time the American and British negotiators issued reciprocal declarations of the cessation of hostilities (calendared, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0059

Date: 1782-11-30

Separate Article to the Preliminary Peace Treaty between the United States and Great Britain

Separate Article.
It is hereby understood and agreed that in Case Great Britain at the Conclusion of the present War shall recover or be put in Possession of West Florida, the Line of North Boundary between the said Province and the United States, shall be a Line drawn from the Mouth of the River Yassous, where it Unites with the Missisippi, due East to the River Apalachicola.
Done at Paris the thirtieth Day of November, one thousand seven hundred & eighty two.
Richard Oswald   L.S.  
John Adams   L.S.  
{ 109 }
B. Franklin   L.S.  
John Jay   L.S.  
Henry Laurens.   L.S.  
attest   Caleb Whiteford, Secretary to the British Commission  
attest.   W. T. Franklin, Secy to the American Commission  
MS in a clerk's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Separate Article.” This is page thirteen of a longer document, which almost certainly included the treaty proper also signed this day, above. At the top of the page, immediately preceeding the title “Separate Article” and in the same hand, are the names of Caleb Whitefoord and William Temple Franklin as witnesses to the full treaty, as they were to the separate article. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
1. For the arrival of this article and the remainder of the treaty at Congress on 12 March 1783, see the Preliminary Peace Treaty of 30 Nov., and note 1, above. For the failure of Congress to ratify this article, see Robert R. Livingston's 21 April 1783 letter to the commissioners, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0060

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Date: 1782-12-01

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

[salute] Gentlemen,

The Preliminaries, to be inserted, in the definitive Treaty of Peace, when the other belligerent Powers shall be ready, were yesterday signed & sealed by the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty on the one part, & the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States on the other.
This Fact I communicate to You in Confidence, that You may make the best Use of it You can, for the Interest and Honor of the United States. I leave You, Gentlemen, to make your own Reflections, and draw your own Inferences, only requesting You to be as secret as the Nature of the Thing requires—
I have the Honor to be, with great Esteem, / Gentlemen &c
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs. Willinks, / Van Staphorsts & / De la Lande & Fynjé.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0061

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-12-03

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

The Moments we live in, are critical and may be improved, perhaps to advantage, for which purpose I beg Leave to propose to your { 110 } Consideration, whether it is not proper for Us to write to Mr Dana at Petersbourg, acquaint him with the Signature of the Preliminaries, inclose to him an authentic Copy of them and advise him to communicate it to the Ministers of the Empress, and to all the Ministers of the neutral Powers at her Court, together with a Copy of his Commission to Subscribe to the Principles of the armed Neutrality. The present Seems to me, the most proper Time for this Step.
The United States are as much interested in the Marine Treaty as any Power, and if We take this Step We may with Propriety, propose, if not insist upon an Article in the definitive Treaty respecting this matter, which will be as agreable to France And Spain as to the United Provinces.
I have heretofore mentioned to Mr Jay a Similar proposal, who approved, it, and I will propose it again to day to him and Mr Laurens. If you approve the measure, you will be so good as to order an authentic Copy to be made of the Preliminary Treaty, that We may prepare a Letter the first Time We meet.1
I have the Honour to be, Sir, your / most obedient
[signed] J. Adams
RC (DLC:Franklin Papers); internal address: “His Exy. B. Franklin Esqr.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. After writing this and a similar letter to Henry Laurens of the same date (ScL [ScU]: Kendall Coll.), JA indicated in his Diary that he visited Gerard Brantsen, the Dutch peace negotiator. The two men discussed at length the preliminary peace treaty and the prospects for Francis Dana's proposed negotiations with Russia and the other neutral powers. JA told Brantsen that should Dana be successful “we could then make common Cause with Holland, and insist on an Article to secure the Freedom of Navigation,” which is essentially the same position JA took in the second paragraph of this letter. JA then raised the subject of the letter to Dana with John Jay and Henry Laurens, his conversations with them apparently similar to that with Brantsen (JA, D&A, 3:85–88). Franklin replied affirmatively later on the 3d, as did Laurens on the 4th (both Adams Papers). The commissioners’ letter to Dana is dated 12 Dec., but see also JA's 6 Dec. letter to Dana, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0062

Author: Guild, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-03

From Benjamin Guild

I had the honor of writing your Excellency a few days past, via France. Nothing important has taken place since. The French troops are embarking on board the fleet in this port, but I apprehend they will not sail before next month. It is said Genl Rochambeau is gone to Philadelphia to embark from thence for Europe: and that the fleet now here consisting of 12 ships of the line & 3 frigates will proceed direct to the West-Indies.1
{ 111 }
Our American affairs, as I hinted in my last, wear a favorable aspect. The army is respectable, and gives great satisfaction to its commander; goverment is regular, and as far as I have been able to observe, is as nervous as ever. Many parts of the country are encreasing in population, and wealth. It is true that many places in this neighborhood bear the marks of war and devastation. In Charlestown we see many remaining footsteps of British cruelty; but at the same time we see agreeable evidences of American activity & exertion. A number of elegant buildings are already erected, and many more intended. The present place of worship was a British Blockhouse, but a convenient edifice is soon to be built.
In Cambridge many fields & groves have been laid waste. The University is stripped of many surrounding ornaments. But the sciences I am told, are as closely and as advantageously pursued as ever. The publick commencement this year gave great satisfaction.—2 The French language is taught— Dr Warren has been lately chosen professor of physic:3 and I am persuaded that in process of time that University will assume more than its ancient lustre.—
I was so particular in my last as to supercede the necessaty of enlarging upon several subjects.— Our frontiers have been molested in some instances by the enemy which has occasined some complaints from Genl Washington to Sr Guy Carlton; this it seems has produced an answer declaring the pacific disposition of himself & his master the King, and in such strong terms as to appear a little extraordinary. He expresses his disapprobation of all encroachments & his expectations of peace.—
We are waiting in this part of the world to know the issue of the present campaign and of political movements in Europe.—
The people however appear to be less anxious than I have ever yet known them: and their ability as well as determination to carry on the war, should necessaty require it, is an agreeable reflection.—
I am your Excellency's most / obliged and most humble / Servant.
[signed] Benj. Guild
Compliments to Mess’rs Thaxter & Storer—to Mr Dumas & family—
I wrote Mr Thaxter per last opportunity.
B G.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr / at the Hague,”; endorsed: “Mr Guild 3. Decr. 1782 / ansd April 9. Recd 8. / 1783.”
1. The French fleet departed from Boston for the West Indies on 24 Dec. (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 333), and the Pennsylvania Gazette of 22 Jan. 1783 { 112 } reported that Rochambeau had sailed from Annapolis on the 8th aboard the frigate Le Emeralde.
2. On 17 July Harvard held a public commencement for only the second time since 1773. AA called it “Brilliant” and CA, who attended it, returned “much gratified with the exhibitions” (AFC, 4:344, 348, 350).
3. John Warren was appointed Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery on 22 Nov. (Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 168–169).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0063

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-12-04

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir,

It is with much pleasure that I transmit to you the Preliminary Treaty, between the King of Great-Britain and the United-States of America.1 The Mississippi, the Western Lands, Sagadahoc, & the Fisheries are secured, as well as we could, and I hope what is done for the Refugees will be pardoned—
As the Objects, for which I ever abandoned my family & Country, are thus far accomplished. I now beg leave to resign all my Employments in Europe.2 They are soon enumerated; the first is the Commission to borrow money in Holland, and the second is my Credence to their High-Mightinesses. These two should be filled up immediately; and as Mr: Laurens was originally designed to that Country, and my Mission there was merely owing to his misfortune, I hope that Congress will send him a full Power for that Court—
The Commission for Peace I hope will be fully executed before this reaches you; but if it should not, as the Terms are fixed, I should not choose to stay in Europe merely for the honor of affixing my signature to the definitive Treaty, and I see no necessity for filling up my place; but, if Congress should think otherwise, I hope they will think Mr: Dana the best intituled to it—
With great respect & esteem I have the honor to be, Sir / Your / Most Obedt: & humle: servt.
[signed] John Adams
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel 1, f. 740–742); internal address: “Robert. R. Livingston Esqr. / Secrey. of State for the department / of Foreign Affairs.—”; endorsed: “John Adams / November 14. 1782.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. The copy of the preliminary treaty enclosed by JA is not with this letter in the PCC, Misc. Papers, but is with a duplicate of this letter in PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 301–308.
2. This letter and others from Henry Laurens, Thomas Jefferson, and Francis Dana were referred to a congressional committee that reported on 1 April 1783. The committee offered resolutions to accept the resignations of JA and Laurens, notify Jefferson that his mission to France was no longer necessary, and approve Dana's return to America. Congress adopted the resolutions concerning Laurens, Jefferson, and Dana, but, according to James Madison's notes, “the Eastern delegates were averse to doing any thing as to Mr. Adams, untill further advices sd. be recd.” (JCC, 24:225–227; Madison, Papers, Congressional Series, 6:425). JA informed AA of his decision to resign in a letter also dated { 113 } 4 Dec., and Arthur Lee wrote her on 23 April 1783 to advise her that “you may rely upon it, that leave will be given as he requests,” but Congress took no further notice of JA's resignation (AFC, 5:46–47, 131). For Livingston's view of the matter, see his letter of 14 April 1783, below. Writing also to AA2 on 4 Dec., JA wrote that he would return home rather than have her come to Europe and encounter “the follies and depravities of the old world, which is quite as bad as that before the Flood” (same, p. 47).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0064

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-04

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

[salute] Sir

We duely receiv'd the Letter with which your Excellency pleased to favour us the 19th. of Novembr. past, by which we observe Messs. Le Couteulx and Mr. Grand Call'd upon Yoúr Excellency, to Conferr, about the Subject on Which we beg'd yoúr approbation. The Opinion of Yoúr Excellency, tho given as a private Citisen is of more Consideration to ús, then that we Should go forward by Interpreting the Ideas of Mr. Morris. We Submit then entirely to Yoúr Excellency's Opinion till such time We Can receive the Necessary dispositions of Said Gentleman. Moreover it gives us allways a great Satisfaction, to be ruled by Yoúr Excellency's advice, in all Matters Wherein the Intrest of the United States is Concern'd—.
We'll Write this Evening to Mr. Dumas at the Hague, to advise him Yoúr Excellency's pleasure, in having as Soon as possible, all the Accounts, of Repairs to the House, to have them paid off.
We must again Crave yoúr Excellency's advice, about a Bill of Exchange of £2458.10. Tourns. Drawn by Mr. Morris the 24th. Septr. 1782. at 60 days Sight to the Order of Mr. Jan Vander Wertf, Value reciev'd, on Messs. Fizeaux Grand & Co. of this City, which they have protested the 16 Novr. past, for want of advise, and as he is falling due the 15th. Janny. to Come.! Should we interfere in Case he was not paid? We don't Comprehend their mentioning not to have any advise, as it is the Same date by which we received our Letter, a word of Yoúr Excellency there about will greatly Oblige those who have the Honour to remain with respectfull regard—.1
Sir / Yoúr Excellency's most / Obedt. humbe Servants.
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “John. Adams Esqr. / at Paris.”
1. For JA's advice regarding the protested bill, see his reply of 19 Dec., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0065

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-12-06

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

You may easily guess from your own Feelings, what mine may be in communicating to you, the Intelligence that the Preliminary Treaty, to be inserted in the diffinitive Treaty was Signed on the 30 Decr.1 by the Plenipotentiaries on each Side.— We have tolerable Satisfaction in the Missisippi the Boundaries, & the Fisheries and I hope not much to regret with regard to the Tories or any Thing else.
Mr Franklin, Mr Jay, Mr Laurens as well as my Self are of Opinion, that this is a proper Time for you to communicate to the Ministry where you are, your Mission. But I believe We shall write you a joint Letter upon this Subject.2
Mean time, I have the Honour to be / with great Esteem and Affection, as well as / Respect, dear sir, your most humble and / most obedient Servant
[signed] John Adams.
RC (NNPM); internal address: “Mr Dana.”; endorsed: “Mr: Adams's Letter / Dated Paris Decr: 6th. 1782 / Recd.—Decr: 29th.—O.S. / Preliminaries sign'd.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. An inadvertence by JA. On the recipient's copy Dana underlined “Decr.” and wrote “Novr:” in the left margin. When John Thaxter copied the letter into the Letterbook, he corrected it to “30th. Novemr:.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0066

Author: Brush, Eliphalet
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-08

From Eliphalet Brush

[salute] Sir

I have Receiv'd your much Esteemed favour of the 26 Ulto: for which I thank you most sincerely. In Consequence of a report of the preliminary Articles of peace being Sign'd, I take the Liberty to ask your Influence, that the duplicates may be sent in the Minerva, which I'll have ready to send to Phila: the moment I Receive your Orders for that purpose.—
I shall be Infinitely oblig'd to you (if the Sd Report is true) to furnish me with two Certificates, as soon as you possibly can with propriety, these may Enable me to Send two Vessels to America under the advantages of peace without their be Subject to Stop'd.— I shall be truly happy in being able To Oblige you, by Conveying your publick or Private Letters to America.
{ 115 }
I am / sir, / with the Most profound Respect / & Esteem Your Most Obt Set
[signed] E Brush

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0067

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-09

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

[salute] Sir,

We've received, by your most esteem'd favour of the 1st. of this month, the important news that the preliminaries of peace between England and the United States were signed the day before. We thank your Excellency for the confidence, which you are pleased to trust us with, of this fact, which however seems to be no secret, since it was publicly reported in the newspapers, the very Same day. when we received your esteemd letter. However without your Excs. advice we would have had no authority for it, and therefore like others have doubted of its authenticity. We congratulate your Excellency, and the other Ministers with this happy event, and heartily wish that it may soon be followed, by a general and permanent Peace, by which also the Rights and Intrests of our Republic may be Secured against our present Enemies.
We beg leave to assure your Excellency, that we will endeavour to make the best use of every favourable circumstance, that will offer for the promotion of the Loan, trusted to our care. And there is all reason to expect, that the present events will greatly contribute to it. The English stocks are already raised to a price that only leaves about 4 ½ per Co. Intrest. Undoubtedly some People will Sell part of their Stocks, and we hope Some will then put the money in the American Loan.
We have the honour to be with a sincere and great Esteem / Sir / Your Excells. most humble & obedt. Servts.
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
We have already remitted to Mr Grand the 400/m £[₶] to Messr. Le Couteulx 850/m £[₶] to Whom we Continue till one million of Guilders
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr / in paris.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0068

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-10

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

J’ai une Lettre de Mr. J. W. Van Arp d’Amsterdam, où il me demande en Hollandois ce qui suit.
“Nous avons ici dans notre port le Vaisseau Fearnot, Capne. Steph. Crac de Boston. Ce vaisseau a été acheté ici par Mr. G. P. Salis Marchd. dans cette Ville, lequel l’equipera pour compte du Susdit Capitaine; & il vous prie avec moi d’avoir la bonté de procurer de la part de Son Exce. Mr. Adams un Passeport pour le dit Vaisseau, afin que ce bâtiment puisse Sûrement faire le voyage pour là. Le port du Vaisseau peut être d’environ 30 à 35 Last (c’est-à-dire 60 à 70 tonneaux); & ira ainsi sous Pavillon Américain.”1
Il se passe ici des choses surprenantes.2 Il ne s’agit pas de moins, depuis mercredi dernier, que d’un complot pour exciter une émeute ici, au moyen de la populace, & d’une 30e. au 40e. d’yvrognes, garçons Imprimeurs de G—— le Gazier.,3 & fondeurs de la fonderie de Canons, à qui l’on fit faire des bachanales & autres désordres pendant les nuits de Jeudi & Vendredi. La populace fut sage, & hua les noctambules. Les Pensionaires, de leur côté, intrepides, allerent Samedi au soir obliger le Gd. Pe. de convoquer l’Assemblée extraordinairement pour le Lundi matin suivant, pendant que l’on faisoit encore des tentatives, mais inutiles, pour ameuter les porteurs de tourbes.4 Hier Lundi matin, les Etats assembles prirent & arrêterent cordialement, sans résomption, une Résolution, qui sera incessam̃ent publique, dans laquelle, après de très fortes prémisses, ils chargent la cour de Justice de poursuivre criminellement l’affaire, & les Com̃ittees de Raden de passer un Acte & prendre toute autre mesure, pour que pareilles tentatives ne puissent plus avoir lieu. On dit que l’intention étoit, en faisant arborer au peuple certaine cocarde, à l’exemple des yvrognes, de faire massacrer les Pensres., rappeller le D—— de Br., conclure une paix particuliere avec les Anglois, chevaucher la nation &c.
La confidence, Monsieur, que vous aviez faite à Mr. Brantzen des préliminaires signés entre vous & l’Angle, & qui contredisoit si victorieusement le bruit semé ici, pour favoriser la sédition, com̃e si les intérêts de cette rep. étoient abandonnés à Paris; cette confidence, dis-je, qui n’auroit plus dû l’être ici après que L. H. P. en auroient été instruites, on ne l’a com̃uniquée aux Membres des Et. d’Holl., qu’après avoir exigé d’eux sous serment le plus rigoureux secret, afin { 117 } de les mettre hors d’état de pouvoir détromper le peuple à qui l’on faisoit accroire le contraire, pour favoriser sa sédition5
Présentement tout a tourné à la confusion des Moteurs de ce complot.
4 Villes de Frise, ont déja suivi l’exemple de celles d’hollde., pour faire à l’avenir eux-même l’Election de leurs Emplois; & d’autres les suivront.6
J’espere avoir fini de copier cette semaine ce que je vous ai promis7
Je suis avec le plus respectueux attachement, Monsieur / De Votre Exce. / le très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] D
La Gaz. G—— a décampé.


[salute] Sir

I have here a letter from Mr. J. W. van Arp of Amsterdam, in which he makes the following request, in Dutch:
“We have in port the ship Fearnot, Capt. Stephen Crack of Boston. This vessel was purchased here by Mr. G. P. Salis, a merchant of this town, who will fit it for the said captain. He and I ask if you would kindly obtain from his excellency Mr. Adams a passport for the said vessel, so that it can set sail. The ship's burden is about 30 to 35 last (that is, 60 to 70 tons) and it will sail under the American flag.”1
Strange things are happening here.2 I speak of nothing less than a conspiracy, beginning last Wednesday, to incite a riot, using the riff-raff and thirty or forty drunkards, printers’ apprentices of Gosse the gazetteer,3 and smelters from the cannon foundry, who were stirred into bacchanalia and other disorders during Thursday and Friday nights. The populace behaved sensibly and jeered at the night owls. For their part the pensionaries went boldly to see the grand pensionary on Saturday evening, forcing him to convene an extraordinary session of the assembly the following Monday morning, while attempts were still being made, uselessly as it turned out, to mobilize the peat-bearers.4 Yesterday morning, Monday, the assembled states requested and then cordially adopted, without opposition, a resolution that will immediately be made public. It begins with very strong arguments enjoining the court of justice to pursue the matter criminally and urging the committees of that body to pass a special act and take all necessary measures to forestall such uprisings in the future. They say the underlying intent in making the populace sport rosettes, as the drunkards had done, was to have all the pensionaries murdered, recall the Duke of Brunswick, conclude a separate peace with the English, take charge of the nation, and so on.
{ 118 }
What you told Mr. Brantsen confidentially about the preliminaries signed between you and the English, which contradicted so triumphantly the seditious rumor sown here that the republic's interests had been abandoned in Paris, should not, to my mind, have been any longer confidential after it was disclosed to their High Mightinesses. The members of the States of Holland were informed of it only after they had been sworn to the strictest secrecy and were thus prevented from enlightening the people, who were being told precisely the contrary to encourage their sedition.5
Now everything is turning against the instigators of this plot.
Four towns in Friesland have already followed the example of cities in Holland, taking it upon themselves to make their own appointments; and others will follow suit.6
This week I hope to finish copying the information I promised you.7
With great respect, sir, I remain your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] D
Gosse the gazetteer has fled.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence / Monsieur Adams, Mine / plenipo: des Etats-Unis / d’Am. / Paris.”; internal address: “Paris, à Son Exce. Mr. Adams,”; endorsed: “Mr Dumas 10. Decr / 1782.”
1. Jan W. van Arp was an Amsterdam merchant. For a renewal of his request for a passport when the vessel's captain changed, see Dumas’ letter of 12 Dec., below.
2. In his letter of 12 Dec., below, Dumas referred to these events as “la Conjuration des Cocardes,” or the Cockade Conspiracy, because of the orange cockades defiantly worn by the rioters. The demonstrations broke out at The Hague on 6 Dec. and continued the following day. They stemmed from a speech by William V, in which he decried efforts to limit his rights and prerogatives. He was particularly critical of the States of Holland for its role in undermining his office, including its prohibition against demonstrations in support of the stadholder and the House of Orange. If William V and his advocates believed that their efforts would rehabilitate the House of Orange and the office of stadholder, they were disappointed. In fact the events put the Patriot Party and the States of Holland on guard and marked a waypoint on the path of the Patriots’ ascendancy to power that ended only with the stadholder's restoration in 1787 in the wake of the Prussian occupation of the Netherlands (Schama, Patriots and Liberators, p. 87–132; Rowen, Princes of Orange, p. 215–228). For newspaper accounts of the disorders, see the Gazette d’Amsterdam, 10, 13 December.
3. Pierre Gosse, the publisher of the Dutch language Gravenhaagse Na-Courant and its French equivalent the Gazette de la Haye. Gosse was identified by name in the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 13 December. In a letter to Robert R. Livingston of 1 Jan. 1783, Dumas reported that publication of the Gazette de la Haye had been provisionally suspended for six weeks (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 208–210).
4. In a letter to Livingston of 12 Dec., Dumas wrote that efforts to recruit the peat-carriers, who had played an active role in the 1748 disorders in support of the stadholder, failed because they had learned from past experience to be wiser in the future (same, f. 141–143).
5. A courier sent by Brantsen with news of the signing of the preliminaries reached The Hague on the night of 6 Dec. (Gazette d’Amsterdam, 10 Dec.), but there is no indication as to how Dumas learned of JA's lengthy discussion with Brantsen on 3 Dec. concerning the preliminary treaty and its implications for the Netherlands (JA, D&A, 3:85–88). The rumor was presumably that the United States, by signing a preliminary peace treaty with England, had abandoned the war and its cobelligerent the { 119 } Netherlands. This made the Patriot Party and its supporters in the States General and the States of Holland responsible for the consequences to Dutch interests because, in opposition to the stadholder, their support for the American cause had brought on the Anglo-Dutch war. JA's assurances to Brantsen that the treaty was preliminary and would become effective only when Britain made peace with France satisfied Dumas and his Patriot friends. For the moment, the rumor had been quashed and efforts to restore the power and influence of the stadholder at the expense of the Patriots had been effectively countered. This explains Dumas’ consternation over JA's assertions not being made public and his view that the failure to do so contributed to the disorders at The Hague (see note 4). The failure to conclude a peace treaty on 20 Jan. 1783, when Britain signed agreements with France and Spain, gave substance to the rumored betrayal of the Netherlands by its ostensible allies. For the initial reaction of the shocked and angry Patriots, see Dumas’ letters of 24 and 28 Jan., both below.
6. These decisions by towns in Friesland and Holland are evidence of the Patriot Party's success in promoting democracy in the municipalities at the expense of the stadholder prerogatives. See, for example, a report dated 30 Nov. from Dokkum in Friesland that appeared in the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 6 Dec. and is mentioned by Dumas in his 12 Dec. letter, below.
7. This may be the data on European armies that JA requested in his 8 Nov. letter, above. If so, Dumas experienced additional delays, for he was unable to comply with the request, and then only partially, until 16 Jan. 1783, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0069

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Oswald, Richard
DateRange: 1782-12-10 - 1782-12-13

Proposed Articles for the Definitive Peace Treaty

Articles to be proposed in the definitive Treaty.
  • Freedom of Navigation, according to the Principles of the late marine Treaty between the Neutral Powers.2
  • Dr Franklin desired to draw an Article respecting exempting Husbandmen Fishermen and Merchants as much as possible from the Calamities of War, in any future War.3
  • Article respecting the Barbary Powers.4
  • Bermudas.—to be farther considered.
  • The Isle of Sables.5
  • Fortifications on the Frontiers. not to be mentioned.
  • The concession of Canada & Nova scotia, to join the Confederation. Reciprocity. Warranty to W. India Islands.
  • No armed Vessells on the Lakes on either Side.—6
  • Ballance of the Account of Prisoners.7
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Minutes of Articles to be / proposed in the definitive / Treaty.” Filmed at [Dec. 1782 – June 1783].
1. These dates are derived from JA's Diary entries for 10, 12, and 13 Dec. (JA, D&A, 3:94–96). In the first, JA indicated that Franklin “was for beginning early to think about the Articles of the difinitive Treaty” and then listed the five items that comprise Nos. 1, 6, 4, 5, and 9 in this document. On the 12th the commissioners “consulted about Articles to be inserted in the definitive Treaty” and on the 13th Franklin showed JA the article regarding noncombatants that is alluded to in No. 2. The preparation of these proposals reflected the commissioners’ expectation that negotiations, preferably with { 120 } Richard Oswald, would begin soon. In fact substantive discussions began only after David Hartley arrived at Paris in late April. It should also be noted that the first three proposals were more suited to a commercial treaty and reflected the expectation that some sort of Anglo-American commercial agreement would be signed along with a definitive peace treaty. In the end, however, none of the proposals were included in the definitive treaty and there was no commercial agreement. The articles listed here should be compared with Franklin's longer “Sketch,” which notably proposed “that the Subjects of the United States and those of the King of Great Britain shall not be deemed Aliens in the Dominions of either, but enjoy the same Rights of Citizenship” (Franklin, Papers, 38:433–435). For JA's acceptance of this proposal, see his draft articles for a supplemental treaty, [ca. 27 April 1783], below.
2. This refers to the conventions between Russia, Denmark, and Sweden by which the three nations established an Armed Neutrality based on the principles enunciated by Catherine II in her declaration of 10 March 1780. For those conventions, as well as the declarations of other nations acceding to those principles and other relevant documents, see Scott, Armed Neutralities, p. 273–436. For the principles contained in Catherine's declaration and their importance for JA and the United States, see vol. 9:121–126. That the principles of the Armed Neutrality should be included in a peace or commercial settlement with Great Britain had a substantive basis, for although the commissioners’ June 1781 instructions said nothing about it, Congress had resolved on 5 Oct. 1780 to direct its ministers in Europe to seek admission to the confederation of neutrals (JCC, 18:905–906). This led JA to make a concerted effort in early March 1781 to achieve Congress’ objective (vol. 11:182–185), while accession to the Armed Neutrality was the principal purpose of Francis Dana's mission to Russia. Indeed, the proposal here was included verbatim in the commissioners’ 12 Dec. letter to Dana, below.
3. This proposal reflected beliefs long held by Franklin that included, although not stated here, the abolition of privateering. For his reasons for such a proposal and the text of his proposed article, see Franklin, Papers, 37:609–610, 618–620; 38:444–445. For the later implementation of these principles, at least regarding “Cultivators of the earth, artizans, manufacturers, and fishermen,” see Art. 23 of the 1785 Prussian-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Miller, Treaties, 2:178–179).
4. This proposal reflected the inclusion of such an article in the French and Dutch treaties of amity and commerce of 1778 and 1782, Arts. 8 and 23, respectively (Miller, Treaties, 2:8–9, 78).
5. This concerned the right of American fishermen to dry and cure fish on Sable Island, which is located 100 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. JA had asserted during the negotiations that it was a traditional right of American fishermen (JA, D&A, 3:45–46, 74). The stipulation was specifically mentioned in Art. 3 of the proposed treaty that Richard Oswald presented to the commissioners on 25 Nov., above, but was not explicitly acknowledged in either the preliminary or definitive treaties.
6. This proposal was not adopted until the Treaty of Washington of 1871 (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 416).
7. This proposal was intended to promote the humane treatment of prisoners of war by ensuring that the captors would receive compensation to cover their expenses at the conclusion of peace. For the implementation of this principle and other matters concerning the treatment of prisoners, see Art. 24 of the 1785 Prussian-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Miller, Treaties, 2:179–181).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0070

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-12-12

The American Peace Commissioners to Francis Dana

[salute] Sir

We have the Honour to congratulate you, on the Signature of the preliminary Treaty of Peace, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, to be inserted in the definitive Treaty, { 121 } when2 France and Britain Shall have agreed upon their Terms. The Articles, of which We do ourselves the honour to inclose you a Copy,3 were compleated, on the thirtieth of last Month.
To Us, at this Distance, the present opportunity, appears to be the most favourable,4 for you to communicate your mission to the Ministers of the Empress of Russia, and to the Ministers of the other neutral Powers residing at her Court, and if5 you have no objections, We presume you will wish to be furnished with the inclosed Paper,6 to communicate at the Same Time.
We heartily wish you Success, and if you Should inform Us of a fair prospect of it, We Shall propose7 an Article in the definitive Treaty, to Secure the8 Freedom of Navigation according to the Principles of the late marine Treaty between the neutral Powers
With great Respect, We have the Honour to be, / Sir, your most obedient and most humble / Servants
[signed] John Adams
[signed] B Franklin
[signed] John Jay
[signed] Henry Laurens
RC (MHi:Dana Family Papers); internal address: “The Honourable Francis Dana Esq.”; endorsed: “Letters from J. Adams & others / Commissioners of the U. States / Dated Paris Decr: 12th. 1782 / Recd. Jany: 1st. 1783—O. Stile.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
1. The copy in the Letterbook is clearly a draft and is dated 6 Dec., the date of JA's letter to Dana indicating the commissioners’ intention to write him concerning the preliminary treaty. In his Diary entry for 12 Dec. JA wrote that the commissioners “met at Mr. Laurens's, and signed the Letter, I had drawn up” (JA, D&A, 3:95).
2. In the Letterbook the remainder of this paragraph initially read “the other belligerent Powers Shall have adjusted the Terms of a general Peace. This great Work, of which We do ourselves the Honour to inclose you a Copy, was compleated on the thirtyeth of November.”
3. Not found.
4. The Letterbook at this point reads “favourable opportunity,” but “opportunity” is canceled and inserted in the previous line to follow “present.”
5. In the Letterbook the passage from this point to the following comma initially read “there are no Objections to it, unknown to Us.”
6. In the Letterbook at this point is the canceled passage “for that Purpose.”
7. In the Letterbook “propose” is inserted in place of “insist on.”
8. Note that the remainder of this paragraph is a verbatim rendering of the first item in the commissioners’ proposed articles to be included in the definitive peace treaty of [ca. 10–13 Dec.], above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0071

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-12

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Une seconde Lettre reçue ce matin de Mr. Van Arp, d’Amst. m’engage à écrire tout de suite;1 voici ce qu’il me dit en Hollandois.
{ 122 }
“Je vous suis obligé de votre prompitude à écrire à S. E. Mr. Adams. Je suis seulement mortifié de devoir vous donner une nouvelle peine à ce sujet: c’est que le Capne. Steph. Crack a dû renoncer au com̃andement du Vaisseau le Fearnot Brig à 2 ponts du port com̃e dans ma précedente, lequel sera com̃andé par le Capne. Raphaël Simpson de Boston, pour faire voile au plutôt pour Boston, monté de 10 Canons, Equipage & munitions de guerre en conséquence, selon l’affiche ci-jointe. C’est donc sous le nom du Cap. Raphaël Simpson de Boston que S. E. aura la bonté de mettre le Passeport demandé.”
Je crois qu’il s’est agi ce matin du Ministre que cette rep. enverra au Congrès. L’affaire de la Conjuration des Cocardes, & plusieurs autres qui étoient déjà sur le tapis, fait que par discrétion je me suis abstenu d’importuner nos amis, fort occupés, & que je patiente jusqu’à Dimanche, pour savoir ce qui se sera passé. En attendant, Made. Dumas, qui avec ma fille, vous présente ses honneurs, non contente des Serrures & Verroux qui assurent la porte de l’hôtel, l’a fait fortifier en dedans d’une chaîne, que l’on tend toutes les nuits.
Une cinquiême Ville, Hindelopen, en Frise, a suivi l’exemple de Dokkum & des 3 autres dont j’ai déjà fait mention.
Je Suis toujours avec le respectueux attachement qui vous est voué, Monsieur, / De V. Exce. / le très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur,
[signed] Dumas
S’il n’y a pas de forte raison, qui empêchent les préliminaires signés d’être publiés; il seroit à souhaiter qu’ils le fussent dans ce pays, où l’on abuse du serment extorqué avant de les com̃uniquer, pour laisser la nation dans l’erreur, malgré ce que nous pouvons dire pour la rassurer, dans des doutes qui l’inquietent encore.2


[salute] Sir

A second letter, received this morning from Mr. Van Arp in Amsterdam obliges me to write to you at once.1 Here is what he says in Dutch:
“I am obliged to you for writing so promptly to his excellency Mr. Adams. However, I am mortified at having to trouble you again on this subject: Capt. Stephen Crack has had to resign his command of the ship Fear-not, a brig of two decks and the burden as previously described. It will now be commanded by Capt. Raphael Simpson of Boston. It is to sail as soon as possible for Boston, mounting ten cannons, with the requisite crew and ammunition, as detailed in the attached manifest. His excellency should therefore please make out the passport we requested in the name of Capt. Raphael Simpson of Boston.”
{ 123 }
I believe that this morning the question of who the republic will send to Congress as its minister was raised. Because of the Cockade Conspiracy and several other matters already on the agenda, I discreetly refrained from bothering our friends, who are extremely busy, and I am waiting until Sunday to see what transpires. Meanwhile Madame Dumas, not content with the locks and bolts protecting the door to the house, has had it additionally fortified with a chain on the inside, which we attach every night. She and my daughter send you their respects.
A fifth town, Hindelopen in Friesland, has followed the examples of Dokkum and the three others I already mentioned.
With continuing respect and devotion I remain, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
If there is no compelling reason to prevent the preliminaries from being made public, it would be a good idea for them to be published in this country, where the oath of secrecy is being abused, leaving the nation misinformed and, despite all we can say to reassure it, in a state of worried uncertainty.2
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams.”
1. For Van Arp's first letter as well as the other matters mentioned by Dumas here, see Dumas’ letter of 10 Dec., above; but see also JA's reply of 19 Dec., below.
2. For JA's initial reaction to Dumas’ proposal to print the preliminary treaty, see his reply of 19 Dec.; and for his later opinion, see his 7 Feb. 1783 letter to Dumas, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0072

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-12

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

[salute] Sir

We had the Honour to write yoúr Excellency the 9th. of this month, to which we beg Leave to refer. Since none of Yoúr Esteemed favours Shall this Serve Principaly to advice yoúr Excellency that Mr. Dúmas of the Hague has Send ús a General account of Repairs to the House whereof the Amount is ƒ 1714.6— and as We have Seen Yoúr Excellency's pleasure in having them immediatly paid off., we begg'd Mr. Dumas to assign Said Sum directely on us, in order to Conform ús to Yoúr Excellency's desire1
As we are Writting to his Excellency Robert Morris Esqr. we give him notice that during the month of November past the Obligations by ús distributed amounts to a Sum of ƒ 98000:—2
We have the honoúr to remain with the Sincerest regard. / Sir. / Your Excellency's most / Obedt. most humb Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr. / at Paris.”
1. For the consortium's reimbursement of Dumas, see their letter of [ca. 23 Dec.], below.
2. Probably their letter of 9 Dec., which Morris acknowledged in his 8 May 1783 letter to the consortium but which has not been found (Morris, Papers, 8:17–18).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0073

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1782-12-13

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir,

Dr: Franklin I suppose has written to London & consented to exchange Sir J. Jay, for Lt: Collo: Dundas— He recd. a letter fm. the late Advocate of Scotland, proposing such an Exchange—which he communicated to his Colleagues & we advised him to agree to it—1
Mr: Brantzen is greatly & justly respected here, and is as friendly & communicative to me as I desire—
You have known a little of my anxiety abt: the fisheries, & some other points— It is pretty well removed— We have obtained satisfaction upon these points, by convincing the English Ministers, by fair & candid Arguments, that it was their Interest to give it us—
Respects to Madame & Mademoiselle—&c:
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Dumas.”; APM Reel 108.
1. See Sir James Jay's 27 Oct. request for an exchange, above. On 26 Nov., Richard Oswald wrote to Franklin and indicated that Henry Dundas, former Lord Advocate of Scotland, had written to request the exchange of his nephew, Capt. Francis Dundas, who had been captured at Yorktown. On the 27th Franklin approved Dundas’ exchange for Sir James Jay, and in a letter of the following day he notified Jay of his action (Franklin, Papers, 38:358–359, 361–362, 371–372).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0074

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1782-12-14

To Elbridge Gerry

Thanks be to God, my dear Gerry, that our Tom Cod are Safe, in Spight of the Malice of Ennemies the Finesse of Allies and the Mistakes of Congress.—
The Fisheries were attacked through my Sides, but they have not been wounded. We have obtained an explicit Acknowledgment of our Right to all the Fisheries, and the most unlimited Liberty to catch Fish, and Liberty to dry them on Nova scotia, Magdalene Islands, and Labradore— We are only restrained from drying on Newfoundland. This Article cost Us all the Industry all the Skill and Address, that We were masters of, We omitted no Argument to { 125 } convince the English Ministry that it was their Interest to Secure it to Us. But the Argument that depriving Us of it would be a certain source of another War, was Strengthened a great deal by the Evidence there is that the French Minister was very willing that this Bone of Contention should be left.
Sagadahock is Safe too, as far as st Croix. The Navigation of the Missisippi, and the Western Lands as far as the Great Lakes, is ours too, unless Spain should defeat Us, which I hope will not be.
Was it perceived in America, that I was attacked as Standing in the Way of certain Views upon the Western Lands and the Fishery? and Was I given up.?— Was my Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with the King of Great Britain, attacked because of my Instruction not to make Such a Treaty, without an express Article in the Treaty of Peace, acknowledging our Right to the Fishery?1 And were Congress either So incapable of penetrating into a little Finenesse, or so indifferent about the Fishery? and in the Name of God was there a New England man or a New England State in this predicament? British Finesse did not Use to impose upon any Americans much less Yankees.— French Finesse has been more successfull, for a Time, but in the End has been defeated, very fairly and honestly defeated.— undisciplined Marines as we were we were better Tacticians than was imagined.2
I congratulate you, upon the Event and shall ever be your Friend
RC (CtY:Franklin Coll.); internal address: “Mr Gerry.”; endorsed: “82 / J Adams / 1782 / <no 2.> no 3.” Gerry presumably means that this is the third letter that he had received from JA in 1782. The others were of 2 July and 19 Aug. (vol. 13:146–148, 254–255).
1. The 12 July 1781 revocation of JA's 29 Sept. 1779 commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty proceeded directly from the creation of the joint peace commission in June 1781 (vol. 11:434–435). JA's instructions made American access to the fisheries on the Grand Banks a sine qua non for such a treaty, but that, and to some degree the commission to negotiate a commercial treaty itself, was owing to Congress’ decision not to make fishing rights a peace objective for fear that doing so would delay or obstruct a peace settlement (JA, D&A, 4:181–185). For JA's more detailed comments on the decision to revoke his commission, see his 5 Feb. 1783 letter to the president of Congress, below.
2. Compare JA's comment here about American diplomats as “undisciplined Marines” with the description of them in his 21 Feb. letter to Robert R. Livingston as “a kind of Militia” (vol. 12:254).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0075

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-12-14

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

There is more matter than time to write at present. The King of Sweden has done the United-States great honor, in his Commission { 126 } to his Minister here to treat with them, by inserting, that he had a great desire to form a Connexion with States, which had so fully established their Independence, and, by the wise & gallant Conduct, so well deserved it; and his Minister desired it might be remembered, that his Sovreign was the first who had voluntarily proposed a Treaty with us—2
Mr: Secretary Townsend announced, on the 3d. of December, in a letter to the Ld. Mayor, the Signature of our Preliminaries.3 On the 5th. his Majesty announced it, in his Speech to both Houses— Addresses of Thanks, in both houses, passed without a division—.4
There is a note in the Courier de l’Europe, of the 6th. inst. worth transcribing—vizt. “Nous distinguons ces trois Lignes avec des Caracteres italiques, a fin de prendre date d’aujourd’hui de l’assertion sur laquelle nous nous étendrons davantage par la suite; que ce n’est a aucune des Causes indiguèes jusqu’a present même dans les deux Chambres du Parlement que nous devons la Paix, les Benedictions de cette Paix que nous regardons com̃e certaine— mais a la Neutralitè armèe. Elle sera durable cette Paix”—5
I have transcribed this note, because it falls in with an opinion that I have long entertained. The armed-Neutrality, & even Mr: Dana's Mission to it, has had greater Effects than the world is yet informed of—and would have had much greater, if his hands had not been tied—
On the 4th. inst: I wrote a resignation of all my Employments in Europe, which I have now the honor to confirm, & to request that the acceptance of it may be transmitted to me several ways, by the first Ships—
I have the honor to be, Sir, / Yr: Most Obedt: / humle: servt
[signed] John Adams
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 317–318); internal address: “Robert. R. Livingston Esqr. / Secretary of State for foreign Affairs.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. JA wrote a second letter to Livingston on this date (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 309–314) enclosing a proposal from the London mercantile firm of Bridgen & Waller to provide Congress with copper blanks to make coins, as well as other services attendant to such an undertaking. The proposal was first made to Henry Laurens in May and was considered but not accepted by Congress. For a more detailed account, see Laurens, Papers, 15:512. On 20 Dec. the commissioners sent the same proposal to Livingston as an enclosure to their letter of that date (PCC, No. 85, f. 290–299). Two copies of the proposal were sent because, according to a 19 Dec. postscript to Laurens’ 18 Dec. letter to Edward Bridgen, JA believed that Franklin would not agree to a joint letter from the commissioners. For Laurens’ account of his ultimately successful efforts to obtain a joint letter, see his postscripts of 19, 20, and 21 Dec. to his letter to Bridgen (Laurens, Papers, 16:88–90). JA first learned of Bridgen's desire to sell copper blanks to Congress in Aug. 1781 from { 127 } Bridgen's letter to Edmund Jenings of 17 Aug. 1781, which Jenings enclosed in his letter to JA of 22 August. For Jenings’ letter and Bridgen's 1781 proposal, see vol. 11:465–466.
2. This is JA's English translation of a passage from the commission of Count Gustav Philip de Creutz that Benjamin Franklin had presumably shown to him. Franklin provided a similar translation in the 14 Dec. postscript to his letter of 5 Dec. to Livingston (Franklin, Papers, 38:415).
3. News that the preliminary Anglo-American treaty had been signed reached London on the morning of 3 Dec. (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 5 Dec.). The first official notice of the event appeared in a letter that Thomas Townshend, secretary of state for home affairs, immediately wrote to the Lord Mayor of London, Nathaniel Newnham, announcing “that a messenger is this moment arrived from Paris with an account of provisional articles having been signed the 30th of November by his Majesty's commissioners and the commissioners of the United States of America, to be inserted in and to constitute a treaty of peace, which is to be concluded, when terms of a peace shall be agreed upon between Great Britain and France.” Townshend's letter fulfilled a promise made in a 23 Nov. letter to the lord mayor meant to curb speculation in the market. There the secretary wrote “that the negociations, now carrying on at Paris, are brought so far to a point, as to promise a decisive conclusion whether for war or peace, before the meeting of parliament, which will, on that account, be prorogued from Tuesday, the 26th instant, to Thursday, December 5. I have his Majesty's commands to assure your lordship, that you will receive immediate notice of the issue.” For the letters and the Commons debate concerning them, during which Charles James Fox questioned the ministry's motives and timing in sending them, see Parliamentary Hist., 23:279–292.
4. In his speech, George III declared, “I have pointed all My Views and Measures, as well in Europe as in North America, to an entire and cordial Reconciliation with those Colonies.
“FINDING it indispensible to the Attainment of this Object, I did not hesitate to go the full Length of the Powers vested in Me, and offered to declare them Free and Independent States, by an Article to be inserted in the Treaty of Peace. Provisional Articles are agreed upon, to take effect whenever Terms of Peace shall be finally settled with the Court of France.
“IN thus admitting their Separation from the Crown of these Kingdoms, I have sacrificed every Consideration of My own, to the Wishes and Opinion of My People. I make it My humble and earnest Prayer to Almighty God, that Great Britain may not feel the Evils which might result from so great a Dismemberment of the Empire; and, that America may be free from those Calamities, which have formerly proved in the Mother Country how essential Monarchy is to the Enjoyment of Constitutional Liberty.— Religion—Language—Interest—Affections may, and I hope will yet prove a Bond of permanent Union between the Two Countries: To this End, neither Attention nor Disposition shall be wanting on My Part” (His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to Both Houses of Parliament, on Thursday, December 5, 1782, London, 1782).
JA likely got his information from London newspapers, which reported on the king's speech and the debates in both houses over the address of thanks in their issues of 6 and 7 December. Perhaps thinking it irrelevant, JA did not mention that, in contrast to Townshend's letter of 3 Dec. (see note 3), the king did not refer to the “United States of America.” Moreover, while the addresses from the Lords and the Commons both passed unanimously, without division or vote, there was considerable debate about the nature of an acceptable Anglo-American peace and the ministry's motives in granting independence. The political discord presaged the later parliamentary divisions over the treaty and the Shelburne ministry's replacement by the Fox-North coalition in April 1783 (Parliamentary Hist., 23:203–279).
5. We distinguish these three lines with italics for the purpose of asserting what we grow more convinced of with the passage of time; that we owe the peace, the blessings of which we regard as certain, to none of the causes indicated so far in the two houses of Parliament, but to the Armed Neutrality. It will be a lasting peace.
The Courier de l’Europe's note and JA's comment refer specifically to George III's request that “you [Parliament] will take therein proper Measures to give all Foreign Nations, in Matters of Foreign Commerce, an entire and perfect Confidence in the Probity, Punctuality, and good Order of Our Government.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0076

Author: Adams, John
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-12-14

The American Peace Commissioners to Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir,

We have the honour to congratulate Congress on the Signature of the Preliminaries of a Peace between the Crown of Great Britain & the United States of America, to be inserted in a definitive Treaty so soon as the Terms between the Crowns of France & Great Britain shall be agreed on. A Copy of the Articles is here inclosed,2 and we cannot but flatter ourselves; that they will appear to Congress as they do to all of us, to be consistent with the honour and Interest of the United States, and we are persuaded Congress would be more fully of that Opinion if they were apprized of all the Circumstances and Reasons which have influenc'd the Negotiation. Although it is impossible for us to go into that Detail, we think it necessary nevertheless to make a few Remarks on such of the Articles, as appear most to require Elucidation.
Remarks on Article 2d: relative to Boundaries.
The Court of Great Britain, insisted on retaining all the Territories comprehended within the Province of Quebec, by the Act of Parliament respecting it. They contended that Nova Scotia should extend to the River Kennebeck; and they claimed not only all the Lands in the Western Country, and on the Missisippi, which were not expressly included in our Charters and Governments, but also all such Lands within them as remained ungranted by the King of Great Britain: It would be endless to enumerate all the Discussions and Arguments, on the Subject. We knew this Court and Spain to be against our Claims to the Western Country, and having no Reason to think that Lines more favourable could ever have been obtained, we finally agreed to those described in this Article: indeed they appear to leave us little to complain of, and not much to desire. Congress will observe that although our Northern Line, is in a certain Part below the Latitude of Forty five, yet in others it extends above it, divides the Lake Superior, and gives us Access to its Western & Southern Waters, from which a Line in that Latitude would have excluded us.
Remarks on the Article 4th: respecting Creditors.
We had been informed that some of the States, had confiscated British Debts, but although each State has a Right to bind its own { 129 } Citizens, yet in our Opinion, it appertains solely to Congress, in whom exclusively are vested the Rights of making War and Peace, to pass Acts against the Subjects of a Power with which the Confederacy may be at War. It therefore only remained for us to consider, whether this article is founded in Justice & good Policy.
In our Opinion no Acts of Government could dissolve the Obligations of Good Faith, resulting from lawfull Contracts between Individuals of the two Countries, prior to the War. We knew that some of the British Creditors were making common Cause with the Refugees, and other Adversaries of our Independence,3 besides, sacrificing private Justice to Reasons of State and political Convenience, is always an odious Measure, and the Purity of our Reputation in this Respect in all foreign Commercial Countries, is of infinitely more Importance to us, than all the Sums in question. It may also be remarked, that American and British Creditors, are placed on an equal footing.
Remarks on Articles 5 & 6: respecting Refugees.
These Articles were among the first discussed, and the last agreed to. And had not the Conclusion of this Business, at the Time of its Date, been particularly important to the British Administration, the Respect, which both in London and Versailles, is supposed to be due to the honour, Dignity and Interests of Royalty, would probably have for ever prevented our bringing this Article so near to the Views of Congress and the sovereign Rights of the States, as it now stands. When it is consider'd, that it was utterly impossible to render this Article perfectly consistent, both with American and British Ideas of Honour, we presume that the middle Line adopted by this Article, is as little unfavourable to the former, as any that could in Reason be expected.
As to the Separate Article,4 We beg leave to observe, that it was our Policy to render the Navigation of the River Missisippi so important to Britain, as that their Views might correspond with ours on that Subject. Their possessing the Country on the River, North of the Line from the Lake of the Woods, affords a Foundation for their claiming such Navigation: and as the Importance of West Florida to Britain was for the same Reason rather to be strengthen'd than otherwise, we thought it adviseable to allow them the Extent contained in the Separate Article, especially as before the War it had been annex'd by Britain to W. Florida, and would operate as an [a]dditional Inducement to their joining with us in agreeing, that { 130 } the Navigation of the River should forever remain open to both.— The Map used in the Course of our Negotiations was Mitchells.
As we had reason to imagine that the Articles respecting the Boundaries, the Refugees & Fisheries, did not correspond with the Policy of this Court, we did not Communicate the Preliminaries to the Minister, until after they were signed; and not even then the Separate Article. We hope that these Considerations will excuse our having so far deviated from the Spirit of our Instructions. The Count de Vergennes, on perusing the Articles appear'd surprized, but not displeased, at their being so favourable to us.5
We beg leave to add our Advice that Copies be sent us of the Accounts directed to be taken by the different States, of the unnecessary Devastations and Sufferings sustained by them from the Enemy in the Course of the War.— should they Arrive before the Signature of the definitive Treaty they might possibly answer very good purposes.—6
With great Respect, We have the honour to be, / Sir, / Your most obedient, & / most humble Servants.
[signed] John Adams
[signed] B Franklin
[signed] John Jay
[signed] Henry Laurens.
Enter'd on the Minutes.
W. T. Franklin Secy:
RC and enclosure (PCC, No. 85, f. 254–270); internal address: “The Honble: Robert R. Livingston Esqr. / Secretary for Foreign Affairs.” Dft (Adams Papers). LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103.
1. On 12 Dec. the commissioners met at Henry Laurens’ residence to sign their letter of that date to Francis Dana, above, and decided that JA and John Jay would draft their joint letter to Robert R. Livingston. That evening the two men drew up the letter and on the following day JA circulated the draft, dated 13 Dec., to his colleagues for their “Corrections and Additions.” The final letter, together with the enclosed preliminary treaty and other dispatches from the commissioners as individuals, was sent on board the packet General Washington, Capt. Joshua Barney, which left Lorient on 17 Jan. 1783 and reached Philadelphia on 12 March (JA, D&A, 3:42, 54, 58, 95–96; Pennsylvania Gazette, 19 March 1783; from Barney, 18 Dec., below). Livingston replied on 25 March, below. In his 12 April letter to James Warren, below, JA noted the delay in Barney's departure and judged it “partly accidental and partly designed.”
2. Congress’ dispatch book indicates that this letter arrived with four enclosures, but only the copy of the preliminary treaty is with the letter in the PCC. According to the dispatch book, the three missing enclosures were copies of the preliminary treaty proposed by the American and British commissioners, respectively, and an unidentified article offered by the Americans (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 56).
3. At this point in the draft is the canceled passage: “it was our Policy to render that opposition as insignificant as possible, and it was easy to foresee that by Satisfying these Creditors, they would be among the first to clamour for Peace and the Return of Commerce.”
4. The draft contains neither this { 131 } paragraph concerning the separate article nor the reference to the article in the next paragraph.
5. This paragraph is in John Jay's hand in the draft.
6. In the draft, this paragraph reads: “We beg Leave to add our Advice, that Congress should take Measures to obtain, as soon as possible an Account of the Losses Sustained and Cruelties suffered by the Citizens of the respective States of America, by Plunder Burnings, Robberies and Exportations of Negroes, Plate and other Property, by the British Forces, and transmit them to Us, and preserve them for their own Use, as soon as possible— Should Such an Account arrive before the Signature of the definitive Treaty, it may Serve as a Ground Work for demanding Satisfaction.”
Immediately above that paragraph is an alternative passage in Henry Lauren's hand, perhaps intended for insertion after the words “We beg Leave”: “to urge Congress to obtain the most ample Account of Losses sustained by the Citizens & respective States of America by Plunder, Robbery, burnings—exportation of Negroes &c &c by the British Troops & to a transmission as early as possible.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0077

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Smith, Isaac Sr.
Date: 1782-12-15

To Isaac Smith Sr.

[salute] Sr:

I have the Pleasure to congratulate you, upon the provisional Arrangement of our Affairs with England. The Terms are as good as we could obtain, and much better, considering all the Difficulties and Dangers we were in, than could have been expected.
The Fishery I think is so well secured, that we have no cause to complain, and as soon as Peace is concluded you may revive your long neglected Acquaintance at Cape-Ann, and take a ride there as often as your Health or Inclination shall require.
For the rest of my Days I shall consider my self as a Marblehead or Cape-Ann Man, and I think they ought to vote me the Freedom of their Cities in a Box of Heart of Oak, or at least to send my Wife a Quintal of Dumb Fish once a Year; for their Fisheries have cost me all my Happiness for these three Years, and very nearly cost me my Life, and her her Husband.1
My best Respects &c
FC in Richard Cranch's hand (MHi:Cranch Family Papers); internal address: “(To Isaac Smith Esqr., Boston.)”; docketed: “Copy of a Lettr. / from his Exy. J: A / to I: Smith Esqr / Decr. 15th. 1782.”
1. JA also wrote to Richard Cranch on 15 Dec. (AFC, 5:47–48). In his reply of 26 June 1783, Cranch wrote that he had seen several of JA's letters, noting particularly that to Isaac Smith Sr. “about the Fishery.” It also had been seen by members of the General Court from the “Fishing Towns,” and Cranch believed “that something higher than the ‘Freedom of their Cities in a Box of Heart of Oak, or a Quintal of dumb Fish’ . . . is very seriously tho’t of by them; and, as I think, by the People at large. I think it is the general Wish that He whose great Talents in Negotiation (under God) have given us Peace, and whose unshaken Firmness has caused our ‘Independance to be Independant,’ should be our first Magistrate” (AFC, 5:185–188). On 16 March 1789 after JA returned to America, the town of Marblehead voted, in return for JA's support of the fisheries, “to { 132 } furnish your Table with a Small Share of the fruits of your good Services.” On 25 Oct. 1789 AA told JA that “I have received the fish in four Boxes & tried some of it, which proves very fine” (AFC, 8:340, 429–430).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1782-12-15

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

This goes with the Preliminary Treaty between the Crown of G. Britain and the United States of America—it is not to be in force untill France and Great Britain Shall agree and sign. When this will be is not yet known, it is Supposed that the principal Points remaining are Spanish or Dutch.
The great Interests of our Country in the West and in the East are Secured as well as her Independence. St Croix is the Boundary against Nova Scotia. The Fisheries are very Safe. the Missisippi and Western Lands to the middle of the great Lakes, are as well secured to Us as they could be by England.— All these Advantages would not have been obtained if We had litterally pursued our Instructions, the Necessity of departing from which in some degree will I hope be our Excuse. The King of Sweeden is the first Power in Europe who has invited Us to an alliance— the Commissioners are Arrived here, and the Treaty will be soon made. The other neutral Powers may possibly acknowledge our Independence all together.— it is possible, that England herself may advise it, but this is no more than Conjecture. The K. of Sweeden has inserted in his Commission an handsome Compliment to Us. Says that he had a great desire to form a Connection with a People who had So well established their Independence, and by their Wisdom and Bravery So well deserved it.
England has been wise to be the third Power in Europe to acknowledge Us. Is it my Vanity which makes me believe that the Dutch Negotiation has wrought this mighty Reverse, and carried Us tryumphantly to the End of all our Wishes? without this, the War would have continued for years, and the House of Bourbon so pressed for Peace and We so dependent on them that We should have lost the Western Country and the Fisheries. and very probably been left in a Truce, in a state of Poverty and Weakness, which would have made Us long the miserable satellites of some great European Planet.
It is the Providence of God, not the good Will of England of France, nor yet the Wisdom and Firmness of Congress that has done this.— To that Providence let us with humble Gratitude and { 133 } Adoration ascribe it.— Without making an ostentation of Piety upon the occasion however, let Us turn our Thoughts to what is future. The Union of the states, an Affectionate Respect and Attachment among all their Members, the Education of the rising Generation, the Formation of a national system of Œconomy Policy, and Manners are the great Concerns which still lye before us.— We must guard as much as Prudence will permit against the Contagion of European Manners, and that excessive Influx of Commerce Luxury and Inhabitants from abroad, which will soon embarrass Us.
with great Esteem, your Fnd.
RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); internal address: “Gen. Warren”; endorsed: “Mr J. Adams / Decr 82.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0079

Author: Grand, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-15

From Henry Grand

[salute] Monsieur

Messieurs Willem & Jan Willinck Nicolas & Jacob van Staphorst & De La Lande & Fynje en me remettant Quatre cens mille Livres m’en faisoient espèrer autant, mais par une Suivante ces Espérances Se Sont évanouies:1 Je n’ai pas cru, Monsieur, devoir insister, mais seulement me borner à leur représenter que la privation de ces fonds pourroit gêner les opérations de Monsieur Morris.— En effet, j’ai fait dresser un nouvel Etat de Situation, Suivant lequel pour pouvoir accueillir les Traittes connues à ce jour, de Monsieur Morris Sur moi, il me faut plus d’un million & demi.— Je l’ai porte ce matin à Monsieur Franklin que j’ai prévenu depuis longtems de mes besoins: Il doit écrire aujourdhui à Monsieur De Vergennes en conséquence;2 mais dans l’incertitude de la réponse, & en l’attendant; Son Opinion étoit de faire servir à mes besoins les fonds qui peuvent rester de votre Emprunt en Hollande— Si vous pensés de même, Monsieur, il conviendroit d’écrire en conséquence à ces Messieurs de Hollande, qui sans cela continueront de garder les fonds, ou d’en disposer autrement,3 & dans ce cas, je me trouverai dans l’alternative cruelle, ou de manquer à mes propres Engagemens, ou à ceux de Monsieur Morris.—
Je vous prie, Monsieur, de vouloir bien me faire savoir vos Intentions, afin que j’écrire ce Soir en Hollande en conséquence.
Je Suis avec Respect / Monsieur / votre très humble & très / obéissant Serviteur
[signed] Grand
{ 134 }


[salute] Sir

Messrs. Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, in remitting me 400,000 livres, led me to expect a further, equivalent sum, but by a subsequent letter these hopes have faded.1 I did not believe, sir, that I should insist, so I simply explained that the absence of these funds would hinder Mr. Morris in his dealings. Indeed, I had a new account of the situation drawn up, which shows that I shall need more than 1,500,000 if I am to honor Mr. Morris’ bills known to date. This morning I took it to Mr. Franklin, whom I had informed of my needs long ago, and in consequence he is to write to Mr. Vergennes today.2 In the meantime, as we await the uncertain reply, Mr. Franklin's opinion is that you should make available to me such funds as may remain from your Dutch loan. If you agree, it would be a good idea to write a letter to this effect to the Dutch bankers, who otherwise might continue to hold on to the funds, or find some other use for them,3 and in that case I would find myself faced with the cruel alternative of either failing to meet my own commitments or those of Mr. Morris.
I pray, sir, that you will inform me of your intentions so that I can write this evening to Holland in consequence.
I am with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Grand
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Grand 15. Decr / 1782.”
1. For the dispatch of the 400,000 livres to Grand and the concurrent demands for funds from elsewhere, see the consortium's letter of 9 Dec., above.
2. No letter from Franklin to Vergennes specifically dealing with the banker's concerns has been found.
3. See JA's reply to Grand of 19 Dec. and his letter to the consortium of the same day, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0080

Author: Barney, Joshua
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-18

From Joshua Barney

[salute] Dr Sir

According to Your request I have to inform You, that the letters intrusted to my care to go by the Ships Cicero & Buccaneer I have Deliver'd to the Captns. Hill & Phearson, I should have wrote You before but the Captns. having both been at Nantz for Some time and not chusing to deliver them to any other Person, prevented me, their Sailing is still Very uncertain,— I am waiting with the Greatest Impatience for your final Dispatches, and hope to have them in a few days, what an amasing change Mr. Adams since I had the pleasure of Seeing You, And with what pleasure Shall I carry the News to America of freedom, Oh how I long to congratulate You in { 135 } Person, on the Occasion for it is Owing to Your Wisdom, and a few others that this Mighty change has been Brought about—1 hoping Soon to hear from You I am Sir with / the Greatest Esteem / Your Most Obt. / Servt.
Joshua Barney
Two Days ago a Ship Arrived from Phila. but nothing New she left it the 20 Novr.
My respectfull compliments to the Gentls
[signed] JB.
1. Capt. Joshua Barney of the packet General Washington had been at Paris in mid-November. Among the original and/or copied letters to be carried to America by Barney or the Massachusetts privateers Cicero and Buccaneer, Capts. Hugh Hill and Jesse Fearson, respectively, were those of 6 Nov. to Benjamin Lincoln, 6 and 11 Nov. to Robert R. Livingston, 6 and 7 Nov. to Robert Morris, and 7 Nov. to Benjamin Rush (all above). Also carried was an 8 Nov. letter to AA. The Cicero may also have conveyed letters from John Thaxter to AA of 10 and 14 Nov. (AFC, 5:28–30, 33–35, 40–41). See also the commissioners’ letter to Livingston, 14 Dec., note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0081

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1782-12-19

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir,

The Preliminary Articles are only to take place, when France & G. Britain shall have agreed: but as they are not yet published by the British Ministry, it is not proper that We should publish them as yet— Your Dispatch to Mr Livingston, which I recd. Yesterday, I gave to Mr. Franklin who sends it off to day.2
I don't know what to say about Mr. Van Arp's Passport—it is not necessary, if the Vessel carries nothing improper. I will send him one however, depending upon it, that there is no design to send British Manufactures.3
There are curious Transactions passing at the Hague—but I hope they will go no further. If Peace should take place, I suppose they will stop. Whether we shall have Peace or not, I cannot say— By some Intimations that are given out, it looks probable—but one can never be certain of such an Event until it happens.
The King of Sweden has done himself the Honor to be the first Crowned Head, indeed the first Power, who has proposed to the United States a Treaty with them. This however must not be published nor communicated but in Confidence to Friends. You may make my Compliments to Mr. D’Asp, & tell him, that We shall take Care to remember, that his master has been the first to do Us this Honor.4
{ 136 }
My best Respects to Mr. Van Berckel, Mr. Gyselaer & Mr. Vischer as well as to your good Family.—
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Dumas.”; APM Reel 108.
1. This letter is a reply to Dumas’ letters of 10 and 12 Dec., both above.
2. Probably Dumas’ letter to Livingston of 12 Dec. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:128–130).
3. Although the passport promised by JA has not been found, in early Jan. 1783 Dumas wrote to J. W. van Arp to state that in consequence of the letter he had received from Van Arp the previous day assuring him that the vessel would carry no English manufactures, he would send the passport (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 479–480).
4. For Asp's reaction to JA's comments on the Swedish-American Treaty, see Dumas’ first letter of 31 Dec., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0082

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Grand, Henry
Date: 1782-12-19

To Henry Grand

[salute] Sir

In Answer to your Letter,1 give me Leave to inform you that I have written this day to Messrs Willinks, Van staphorsts and De la Lande and Fynje, my Advice to remit you the four hundred Thousand Livres more, as you desire. I run a Risque in this, because Mr Morris has informed them of Bills which he has drawn upon them, which there is danger that they will not have Funds to Satisfy. if it should happen that those Bills should arrive and the Gentlemen be out of Cash, they must call upon you again, or do worse.— God grant Us Peace, that We may no longer be plagued with so many Demands for Money.
With much Respect and Esteem I have the / Honour to be, Sir your most obedient and / most humble servant
[signed] J. Adams.
RC (NHi:Gilder Lehrman Coll.); internal address: “Mr Grand.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Of 15 Dec., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0083

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Date: 1782-12-19

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

[salute] Gentlemen,

Your several Letters I have recd.— The protested Bill ought to be accepted for the Honor of the Drawer.1
Altho’ I have no Authority over the Money in your Hands as You know, yet considering the Circumstances, I should advise You to remit Mr. Grand four hundred thousands of french Livres Tournois, { 137 } besides the four hundred thousands already remitted, for the Interest of the Loan in Holland.2
It would give me great pleasure to communicate to You any Intelligence which might be of use to You, but You know I am connected with several Colleagues, & all of Us with the Ministers of four other Nations, so that it would be improper for me to communicate any thing until others concur, because the Communication of Intelligence may have serious Consequences, which one cannot always foresee—
With great Esteem, I have the Honor to be, / Gentlemen, &c
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs. Wilhem & Jan Willink / Nicholas & Jacob Van Staphorst / & / De la Lande & Fynje”; APM Reel 108.
1. The reference to the protested bill in this paragraph indicates that JA had received the consortium's letter of 4 Dec., but he had probably also received those of 9 and 12 Dec., all above.
2. That is, for the interest on the loan guaranteed by France, not that raised by the consortium. See JA's letter to Grand of this date, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0084

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-19

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I give you a thousand thanks for your short letter of the 8th. of last month which I recd. this morning. I had before received a Copy of the State Paper you mention; the consequences you draw from it relative to the Neutral Powers are clear & beyond all question. I had view'd the matter in the same light which you & Mr: J. view it in, so far as can respect myself. You will see my sentiments on the subject in the enclosed letter, which, after presenting my regards to Mr: J. you are at liberty to show to him.1 You will please to close it and forward it by the first opportunity. As to the matter which has been produced by the advances you speak of, I consider it an oblique measure, and the fruit of the old System. It belonged to another apartment properly, and might have been executed by this day perhaps in that course, and wou'd have been probably an irresistable stimulus, and cleared away all obstacles in another quarter. Having your liberty to mention your name in confidence, I have gone no further than to mention the matter in confidence without your name. and anew to consult my correspondent about a certain step.2 but without any effect: thus one of those occasions whh: shou'd be seized upon in the moment, is gone forever.— I will attend to the business of the order you mention. We have a rumour here that you { 138 } have already adjusted affairs on our part. I beleive it premature because I have no advice of so important a measure from you. May Heaven grant us all reasonable successes. Yours very sincerely
The letter abovementioned goes thrô other hands—
P.S. I have this day recd. two letters from my ward at Stockholm one dated Novr: 28th. the other Decr: 6th. He was then well. He had a fine passage across the Bothnie Gulph, the most difficult part of his route.3 Thô I have not yet recd. an account of his departure ftom Stockholm, yet he is probably by this time much farther advanced on his way.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur / Monsieur Adams / Ministre Plenipotentiaire des / Etats-Unis &c / à / Paris”; endorsed: “Mr Dana / 8. Dec. 1782.” Filmed at 8 December.
1. The “State Paper” was Richard Oswald's commission of 21 Sept., for which see vol. 13:483–485. Dana commented at length on the consequences of Oswald being granted the power to negotiate with the “commissioners of the United States” in his letter of [18 Nov.] to Robert R. Livingston, a triplicate of which he enclosed with this letter to JA (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:54–56; MHi:Francis Dana Letterbooks, Official, 1781–1782).
2. Charles Olivier de Saint Georges Vérac, the French minister to Russia. In his letter to Livingston of [18 Nov.], Dana wrote at length about his consultations with Vérac over the formal presentation of his credentials to the Russian court. Vérac opposed the undertaking with such intensity that Dana concluded it would be futile to make the attempt until peace was officially concluded.
3. Both are dated new style, but neither has been found. The London Chronicle of 24–26 Dec. printed a report from Stockholm, dated 3 Dec., that JQA had arrived a few days previously, noting that the “young American” did “not appear to be charged with any political commission” but had “come to purchase iron cannon.” It was likely from that report, or virtually identical ones printed in other London papers, that JA learned of JQA's progress. Writing to JQA on 18 Feb. 1783, JA informed his son that until receiving JQA's letter of 1 Feb. he “had heard nothing of you Since the Beginning of December when you was in Stockholm, and then only by the public Papers” (AFC, 5:97).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0085

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-19

From Robert R. Livingston

No: 14:

[salute] Sir

The enclosed Letter for Mr Dana you will open & peruse—it may possibly contain information that may be of use to you which it will be unnecessary to repeat here—1 I mentioned in my last Mr Jefferson's appointment, I have the pleasure of adding now that I have received an account from him of his acceptance of the place—2 He will be here in the course of ten or twelve days & sail with Count de Rochambeau, who proposes to return to France— The French Troops have embarked with the Marquis de Vaudreuil, & are to sail { 139 } for the West Indies, unless they Should receive counter orders by a frigate which is now in the river— Her Letters are not yet come up, as She unfortunately run on shore at Dover it is yet uncertain whether She will be saved—3 The great political question which at present engages the attention of Congress, is the means of providing for the payment of the public debts, or at least establishing such funds for the regular discharge of the interest as may set their creditors at ease as to their capitals— It was imagined that a duty of five per cent upon all imports would afford a fund adequate to this— Congress accordingly recommended it to the several states to impose the duty They have all complied except Rhode Island, her refusal renders the other laws nugatory, as they contain clauses suspending their operation till the measure is generally adopted— Congress are about to send down a Committee to endeavour to prevail upon Rhode Island to comply with a measure that they deem so essential to public credit—4 It is extremely difficult in a Country So little used to taxes as ours is, to lay them directly—& almost impossible to impose them so equally as not to render them too oppressive on some members of the community, while others contribute little or nothing— This difficulty is encreased by the continual change of property in this Country, & by the small proportion the income bears to the value of lands.
By a short Letter just received from Mr Jay, it appears that England has at length Swallowed the bitter pill, & agreed to treat with the “thirteen United states of America”— I am still at a loss to account for this commission's being directed to Mr Oswald, while Mr Fitzherbert's continues in force, or is that revoked? I will not trouble myself with guesses as I must receive dispatches to day which will explain the mystery, if either Mr Franklin or Mr Jay have kept their words with me.5
I have the honor to be, sir / with great regard & esteem / Your most obedient / & most humble servant
[signed] RR Livingston
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “Honble. John Adams—”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “No. 14. / Secy. Livingston / 19. Decr. 1782.” For the enclosures, see note 1. Dupl (Adams Papers).
1. This is likely Livingston's letter of 17 Dec. in which he, because of the “difficulty of conveying letters” to Dana, provided a lengthy summary of events over the past year, but no copy has been found in the Adams Papers (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:144–149). However, filed with Livingston's 19 Dec. letter in the Adams Papers are four documents: (1) Livingston's letter of 29 May to Dana concerning the Asgill affair; (2) Congress’ 27 May resolution instructing Dana not to present his letters of credence until he had been recognized in his official capacity; (3) Congress’ 18 Nov. resolution appointing Thomas Barclay to settle accounts in Europe; and (4) Congress’ 3 Dec. { 140 } resolution to accept Livingston's resignation but continue him in office until 19 Dec. when a new secretary was to be chosen (same, 5:446–447; JCC, 22:301; 23:728–730, 759). The first two documents were more likely enclosed with Livingston's letter to JA of 29 May (vol. 13:84–85). There is no indication of how or when the third and fourth documents were received.
2. Livingston's last was of 18 Nov., above. For Jefferson's mission, see note 2 to that letter.
3. The 26-gun French frigate Danaé, which sailed from Rochefort on 8 Nov., was saved after running aground during a snowstorm (Smith, Letters of Delegates, 19:494; Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 356).
4. On 3 Feb. 1781, Congress adopted a 5 percent impost on goods imported into the United States. Support for the tax grew as the financial situation of the nation declined; by the end of 1782 all states but Rhode Island had approved the levy, the revenue from which would have significantly strengthened the power of the government in Philadelphia. As a result, on 6 Dec. Congress resolved to send a delegation to Rhode Island to urge upon the state the “absolute necessity” of complying with the tax. The delegation, composed of Samuel Osgood, Thomas Mifflin, and Abner Nash, set off but returned when it learned that Virginia had reconsidered and now rejected the tax. Virginia's defection sounded the death knell for the impost of 1781 (JCC, 19:110–113, 23:770–772; E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1961, p. 116–117, 152–153).
5. The difference was that Alleyne Fitzherbert's commission of 24 July authorized him to negotiate with France, the Netherlands, and “all Princes and states whom it may concern,” while Richard Oswald's commission of 21 Sept. permitted him to negotiate with the “United States of America” (vol. 13:243–244, 249, 483–485). Since neither Benjamin Franklin nor John Jay would negotiate with a British representative not specifically authorized to deal with the United States, Oswald was the only person with whom they would negotiate. See, for example, the letters to Livingston from Jay and Franklin of 13 and 14 Oct., respectively, which reached Congress on 23 Dec. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:809, 811–812; PCC, No. 185, III, f. 50).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0086

Author: Laurens, Henry
Date: 1782-12-19

Henry Laurens’ Account of a Conversation with John Adams on the Peace Negotiations

Waited on Mr. Adams this Morning & after our conversation on Mr. Bridgen's affair as related in P. S. of a Letter to him.1 We entered upon the topic of our late preliminaries, I repeated my apprehensions of our having done wrong. Mr. Adams persevered in his old opinion & in censuring Count de Vergennes upon whom he said the whole blame would fall, he had been a greater Enemy to the United States than even the British Ministry that if his conduct was explained to the Court of France he was sure, the Count could not possibly hold his place
I replied “that maybe for aught I know but tis certain our Instructions have been broken & so far he has an advantage over us” Mr. A. replied, “they were very foolish & unfortunate Instructions I dare say of his procuring by a small majority in Congress.”—2 then grew very warm & a little inconsistent, said the Court of France in his real belief never wished for our Independce they had never asked as { 141 } if they did they had assisted America only from hand to mouth as it were but never as if they wished her to be Independt. & much more in the same strain chiefly angry repetition— “But that's not the whole said I Congress have pledged themselves to the World in their Resolve of the 4th. October last, in which they solemnly promise not even to discuss propositions from the Court of London without the confidence & concurrence of France, this has been published in Philadelphia, in New York & in many of the London News Papers—Mr. A. said he not seen it. I promised to send it to him.—3 I asked Mr. A. pray Sir how came we by that Letter of Monsr. Marbois? I had it said he from Mr Jay— this being an indirect & unsatisfactory answer, I asked again— You can tell me Sir how Mr. Jay came by it—he paused a moment & replied Mr. Jay can best answer that question here a profound silence ensued, in about a minute Mr. Adams said, I suppose he got it from the English Commissioners, they intercepted the Letter.4
these indirect answers shew a want of confidence on the part of Mr. Adams who is not ignorant of a tittle. I took my leave.
MS (ScL [ScU]:Kendall Coll.).
1. Laurens is presumably referring to his postscript of 19 Dec. to his 18 Dec. letter to Edward Bridgen (Laurens, Papers, 16:88–90.). At issue was JA's decision to write separately to Robert R. Livingston on 14 Dec. concerning Bridgen's proposal to supply Congress with copper blanks for coins rather than to send the proposal as an enclosure to a joint letter from the commissioners. For JA's second letter of the 14 Dec. and the commissioners’ letter of 20 Dec., both enclosing Bridgen's proposal but neither of them printed here, see JA's first letter of 14 Dec. to Livingston, note 1, above.
2. From this point to the following dash, Laurens’ comment is written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
3. On 4 Oct. Congress resolved that the United States would “inviolably adhere to the treaty of alliance with his Most Christian Majesty, and conclude neither a seperate peace or truce with Great Britain” and that it would “not enter into the discussion of any overtures for pacification, but in confidence and in concert with his Most Christian Majesty.” Congress ordered that the resolutions be sent to Benjamin Franklin and its other ministers in Europe and that they be published, which it itself did as a broadside (JCC, 23:637–639, 887; Evans, No. 17761).
The resolutions were also published in virtually all American newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette of 9 Oct. and the Boston Independent Chronicle of 24 October. In London they appeared on 19 Nov. in the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser and Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser and on the following day in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer. Elsewhere, it appeared in the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 19 Nov. and in the Gazette de France of 29 November. Copies of the 4 Oct. resolutions are in MHi:John Adams, Embassy MSS, but there is no indication as to when or how JA received them.
4. This is François de Barbé-Marbois’ letter of 13 March 1782 to the Comte de Vergennes, in which the secretary of the French legation at Philadelphia criticized American efforts to obtain fishing rights off Newfoundland in an Anglo-American peace settlement. Barbé-Marbois offered arguments for Vergennes’ use in combating the American pretensions and censured Samuel Adams as the leader of the group supporting American access to the fisheries (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:238–241). The British intercepted the letter, deciphered it, and supplied it to John Jay, { 142 } who enclosed a copy with his letter of 18 Sept. to Robert R. Livingston. Jay's letter reached Congress on 24 Dec., leading to an unsuccessful effort to rescind the portion of the commissioners’ instructions requiring them to follow the advice of France in the peace negotiations (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 324–325; JCC, 23:870–874).
JA also sent a copy of the Barbé-Marbois letter to Congress, enclosing it with the 8 Nov. letter he originally intended for Livingston but instead sent to Jonathan Jackson, above. For Jay and JA the letter reinforced their view of the competing American and French interests over the exact terms of an Anglo-American peace settlement and justified their determination to negotiate separately from France.
Although Laurens in this account indicates doubts about the authenticity of the intercepted letter, JA had none, citing it as clear evidence of French duplicity in letters to Thomas McKean, James Warren, and Robert R. Livingston of 6 Feb., 20 March, and 25 May 1783, respectively, all below. In addition, he printed Barbé-Marbois’ letter and devoted considerable space to a commentary on it in his contributions to the Boston Patriot, 17–24 Aug. 1811, a portion of which was reprinted by CFA in JA, Works, 1:669–674.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0087

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Geoffroy, Etienne Louis
Date: 1782-12-20

To Etienne Louis Geoffroy

[salute] Monsieur

Je viens d’ecrire à M. de Lassonne1 que Je m’etois adressé à la societé Royale de Medecine par la voye de M. Vicq d’Asir son secretaire perpetuel, pour etablir une correspondence entrè la Societé Royale et le College de Medecine de Boston dans la nouvelle Angleterre. M. Vicq d’Asir m’a fait l’honneur de venir me voir et de m’apporter une reponse très flateuse.2
Permettez moi, Monsieur, de vous prier de renouveller mes remercimens à votre Compagnie, en attendant que le College de Medecine de Boston les lui fasse lui meme.
Je suis avec respect, / Monsieur / votre très humble / & très obeissant Serviteur.
[signed] John Adams.


[salute] sir

I have just written to Mr. Lassonne1 informing him I had approached the Royal Society of Medicine through its permanent secretary, Mr. Vicq d’Azyr, with a view to establishing a correspondence between that society and the Boston college of medicine in New England. Mr. Vicq d’Azyr paid me the honor of a visit and brought a very pleasing reply.2
Please thank your society again for me, sir, pending the time when the Boston college of medicine does so itself.
I am respectfully, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] John Adams.
{ 143 }
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Bibliothèque de l’Académie Nationale de Médecine); internal address in JA's hand: “Monsieur Geofroy Docteur Regent / de la Faculté de Medicine de Paris.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 110.
1. Joseph Marie François de Lassone was a noted French surgeon, personal physician to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and founder of the Royal Society of Medicine (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). JA's letter to Lassone was virtually identical to this one (Bibliothèque de l’Académie Nationale de Médecine; LbC, APM Reel 110).
2. JA's effort to form a connection between the Royal Society and the newly established Massachusetts Medical Society was owing to Cotton Tufts’ request in a letter of 26 Sept. (AFC, 4:386). For the results of JA's effort, see Geoffroy's reply of 22 Dec., and the 3 Feb. 1783 letter from Félix Vicq d’Azyr, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0088

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-12-22

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir,

Your Letter of Novr. 14/25 I recieved the night before last, & went out with it yesterday to Passy. Dr. Franklin & I agreed to desire Mr. Grand to give Orders to the Banker his Correspondent at St. Petersbourg to furnish You with the Sum of Money You may have occasion for, so that your Treaty may be made as soon as You please. I should not be surprized, if the English Minister to the Empress should negotiate for You. The four Ministers for Peace have written You their Advice, that now is the Time for You to apply.1
Penobscot and the Fisheries are very safe. But it is the most curious History in the World, that of our Preliminaries.
The King of Sweden, by his Ambassador at Versailles, has been the first Power in Europe to propose a Treaty with the United States. He has given his Ambassador here full Power to treat & Dr. Franklin has recd. from Congress full Power to treat with him. They are now in Negotiation, & the Treaty will probably be finished in a few days.2
With great Esteem, I have the honor / to be, / Sir, / your most obedient & / most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MHi:Dana Family Papers); addressed: “Honorable / Francis Dana Esqr / at / St. Petersbourg”; internal address: “Mr. Dana.”; endorsed: “Mr: Adams's Letter. / Dated Decr: 22d. 1782 / Recd. Jany: 15th—O.S.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. On 12 Dec., above.
2. Benjamin Franklin's letter to Livingston of 7 March 1783 indicates that the treaty was signed on 5 March, although the document, with its attendant separate articles, is dated 3 April (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:276; Miller, Treaties, 2:144, 145, 149).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0089

Author: Geoffroy, Etienne Louis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-22

From Etienne Louis Geoffroy

[salute] Monsieur

J’ay fait part de la letter que vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’ecrire1 a la derniere assemblée de la Société Royale de Medecine, qui m’a chargé de Vous en faire Ses remerciemens. Nous Sommes très flattés, Monsieur, de la correspondance, que Messieurs du College de Medecine de Boston Veulent bien etablir avec nous, correspondance qui ne peut être que très avantageuse aux progrès de l’art, et utile à l’humanité, et qui a ces titres nous devient très prescieuse.
Je Suis avec une respectueuse Consideration / Monsieur / Votre très humble et très / Obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Geoffroy


[salute] Sir

I shared the letter with which you honored me1 with the most recent assembly of the Royal Society of Medicine. The society instructed me to give you its thanks. We are most flattered, sir, by the correspondence that the gentlemen of the Boston college of medicine would like to establish with us—a correspondence that can only benefit the art of medicine and prove useful to humanity and thus for these reasons becomes very precious to us.
With deep respect I am, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Geoffroy
RC (MBCo:Bowditch Book); endorsed by Charles Storer: “Mr. Geoffroy / 22d Decr. 1782.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 110.
1. Of 20 Dec., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0090

Author: Boylston, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-23

From Thomas Boylston

[salute] Sr

The happy moment is now arrived, the strugle is at an end. America is recognizsed free & independent States: I congratulate you on this important period— I feel myself riseing from that state of dejection, wch always attends uncertain prospects, of great & very interesting events—so far, so well—but all is not completed, tho’ all in a fair way— Its with pleasure I feel myself unshackel'd, & may write an innocent line to a Friend, without hazarding a suspicion or being chargeable with criminal intentions; I've often resolved, & as often { 145 } been deterd from this consideration to write you. the obstruction is now removed
This is a very fine Country, it wanted nothing to complete its happiness, or rather for the continuation of it but political wisdom. <O pity! pity!>
What an excellent School is Europe! from hence America, without centuries of dear bought experiences, & gropeing in the dark, may at once learn how to direct her riseing empire— I am anxious to know the result of the present negatiation, whether peace or more war, & shall be happy to have a line from you, & if its proper to be favord wh your Opinion, you're near the light, & your Opinion is of great weight with me— My health every since I've been here, has been very indifferent—but like the times its now mending
I am Dear Sr wh much esteem / Your Hume Serv
[signed] Tho Boylston1
ps Please to direct to me to Mess. Lane Son & Fraser Merchs London. as soon as you possible can & you'll Oblige / Your HS
Tho Boylston
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To / John Adams Eqr.”
1. Thomas Boylston (1721–1798), first cousin of JA's mother, was a wealthy former Bostonian who had gone to London in 1779, probably more for mercantile than political reasons. The correspondence that he began with this letter likely was owing to his desire to be involved in the renewal of Anglo-American trade. Boylston lost his fortune in 1793 and served time in prison as a bankrupt due to the failure of Lane, Son, & Frazer, the firm to whom JA was to address any reply. For a lengthy sketch of Boylston, see AFC, 4:342–343.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0091

Author: Holtzhey, Jean George
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-23

From Jean George Holtzhey

[salute] Monsieúr

Je me troùve honorée de la Votre du 2e. du Passé, Sensible aúx Louange que vous me faite, de mon travail, m’ont engagés d’un faire un autre, que je prend la liberté de vous l’envoÿer, ci jointe dans la ferme attente qu’il ne voús faira pas moin de satisfaction que la presedente, au reste monsieur, comme née dans cette ville dans la quelle de meúre toút de braves Gens, qui ont Vivement desire l’union de Vos Etats avec les notres m’ont inspirée a la faire Connoitre pour la posterité
Aú reste Monsieúr, je recommande les Medailles a votre bonte poúr L’amerique quand l’accosioner le presentera, et suis avec un profond respect / Monsieur / Votre tres humble et / tres obeisant Serviteúr
[signed] Jean George Holtzhey.
{ 146 }


[salute] Sir

I am honored by your letter of the second of last month and by the praise you bestow upon me and my work. I am charged with making another medal, which I take the liberty of sending, in the firm hope that it will please you no less than the previous one. Moreover, sir, having been born in this town where so many good people live, all desirous of a union between your states and ours, I am inspired to make that union known for posterity.
In addition, sir, I commend the medals to your care to be presented to America when the occasion arises and am with profound respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Jean George Holtzhey.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “a son Excell. Monsr. Adams / a paris.”

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0092

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-23

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Sir,

I am obliged to trouble your Excellency about a letter Mr. Lynch writes me to have sent me from Nantes the 10th. of October last,1 under cover to your Excellency as well as the two preceding, which were delivered to me unsealed by Mr. Dumas. I don't recollect which motive Mr. Dumas told me had been the occasion of it; and as the same, or any other motive, may have occasioned the abovesaid letter being mislead, I beg the favour of your Excellency to desire that it may be searched, & delivered to me. Your Excellency would do me a favour to order that it may be likewise delivered to me Baretti's dictionary, which was sent to your direction, by Mr. Lynch, along with the dictionary of Crusca.2 I am sorry to find that I am still in a great need of an English dictionary. Had I succeeded to explain myself with clearness, in the letters I sent to your Excellency, where I meant to signify that I was a perfect stranger in this Country, I should not perhaps have had the mortification to read, in the answer you did me the honour to write me the 26. ulto.,3 that I must have been introduced to some of the Houses in Holland who have most connections with America. In expectation of the honour of your Excellency's commands, I am with profound respect, / Sir, / Your Excellency's most Obet / & most Humble Servant
[signed] Philip Mazzei
{ 147 }
1. Mazzei wrote again on 26 Dec., in the meantime having received a copy of the 10 Oct. letter mentioned here from Mark Lynch, a Nantes merchant. On 26 Dec. Mazzei reiterated his request that the documents enclosed in Lynch's letter be forwarded to him (Adams Papers).
2. Probably Giuseppe Marco Antonio Baretti, A Dictionary of the English and Italian Languages, London, 1771, and Accademia della Crusca, Florence, Compendio del vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca, 5 vols., Florence, 1739, but see Mazzei's letter of 2 Feb. 1783, below. Copies of both works are in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
3. For JA's letter of 26 Nov., see Mazzei's of 2 Nov., note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0093

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-23

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

[salute] Sir

Being without any of your favours, we take the liberty to addres you these few lines, on occasion that we are informed by Mr. Grand, that Mr. Morris has again furnish'd some drafts on him, to the amount of about £400,000— tourns., for which Mr. Grand desires our remittances.2
We did not receive from Mr. Morris any information nor disposition about those drafts. however it seems to us very possible, that it may be the same, which he intended to draw upon us, and that this alteration may be occasioned by a demand for bills on Paris, and perhaps the Cours of change is not quite regulated upon Holland. We suppose your Excellency will know better than we, how far our suppositions are founded. And since you informed us that it was your intention not to charge your self with the direction of this business, we take however the liberty to ask your Excellencys advice in a matter of so much importance, in which we should wish to have proper directions. But since we know you don't chuse to give them, we will act in consequence of what your Excellency will be pleased to advise us as a private Man. And therefore we beg to favour us with an answer upon this letter.
Mr. Dumas has made some small additions to the note he furnished before, of the Expences at the house of the united states, which now amount to ƒ 1838:14:— Currt. & which we've paid, and charged upon the Account of said states.3
We hope that the general Peace will soon be concluded, and after that the Loan in our hands entirely subscribed, for which purpose we will continue our endeavours. We beg to give us intelligence of { 148 } that desired work, when it happens, and have the honour to be most sincerely / of Your Excellency / The most humble & obedt. Servts.
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fÿnje
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “to his Excellency John Adams Esqr. / Paris.” Filmed at [post 12 Dec.].
1. This date is derived from the consortium's assertion in the next-to-last paragraph that it had reimbursed Dumas for his expenditures on the legation at The Hague. It did so on 23 Dec. (DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 80).
2. The consortium is referring to a letter from Ferdinand Grand, probably written on or about 15 Dec., for which see Henry Grand's letter to JA of that date and JA's reply of the 19th, both above.
3. For Dumas’ expenditures on the U.S. legation, see his letters to the consortium of 9, 14, and 18 Dec. (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 475, 476).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0094

Author: Penn, Lady Juliana Fermor
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-24

From Lady Juliana Fermor Penn

[salute] Sir,

When I address'd the rest of the Commissioners by Letters last Month, I was not inform'd you was at Paris; or I should not have been so wanting to my interest, as not to have entreated your assistance and Protection, as I did theirs, in the support of the cause of an Innocent and suffering Family. I know the afflictions consequent to War have ever been horrid; But as I hope we are near a happier Period, let me beseech You to give us reason, from the support I trust you will grant our Cause, to rejoyce in the completion of so great a Blessing, as Peace: and that thô now oppress'd and Afflicted, we may again, from the Wisdom, justice, & uprightness of those in Power, enjoy the Comforts we have been so long deprived of.1
I have the honor to be Sir, / Your Excellencies Oblig'd & Obedient / Hble. Servt.
[signed] Juliana Penn.
1. Lady Juliana Fermor Penn (1729–1801) was the daughter of Thomas Fermor, 1st Earl of Pomfret, and widow of Thomas Penn, son and heir of William Penn, founder and proprietor of Pennsylvania. Her son John, the current proprietor, held a 75 percent interest in the estate. Under its Divestment Act of 1779 Pennsylvania took 24 million acres of unsold land from the Penn family for a settlement of £130,000 while permitting the Penns to retain private estates and proprietary manors surveyed prior to 4 July 1776 and income from that property. Lady Penn wrote to Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens on 23 Nov. to seek their assistance in obtaining a more equitable settlement (Franklin, Papers, 38:343–344; Jay, Unpublished Papers, 2:424–425; Laurens, Papers, 16:67). When that was not forthcoming, the family filed a claim with the British Loyalist Commission and was awarded £4,000 annually in perpetuity (Lorett Treese, The Storm Gathering: The Penn Family and the American Revolution, University Park, Penn., 1992, { 149 } p. 17, 187–191, 195–200, 205). The issue of the Penn family's claims had already been raised during the peace negotiations, for which see the articles agreed to by the commissioners and Richard Oswald on [4 Nov.], above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0095

Author: Allen, Jeremiah
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-26

From Jeremiah Allen

[salute] Dear sir

On my arrivel here—I enquir'd if any person was going for L’orient that might be depended on—but no such opportunity offer'd—Therefore agreable to your orders—I sent an Express with the packet under cover to Mr Barclay, who Wrote me, that he should forward them as deser'd—
The charge of the Express I have paid—(ten Louis) The Vessells at L’orient and here, which Were to sail for Boston—remain in suspence relative to peace or War, and when the Matter will be determin'd We Know not, But when it is certain peace or War & the Vessells takes freight—I shall send the things for Mrs. Adams with the Letters, as you deser'd—1 If Mr Thaxter is well enough—and any news arrives at Paris—I should take it as a faver if would inform me— please to present him & Mr Storer my regards— Compliments to the Gentlemen who honor'd me with their acquaintance— While here, if I can render you any service, I shall think myself happy—
I have the Honor to be / your Excellencys most / Obedient Humble servant
[signed] Jeremiah Allen2
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams / Paris.”
1. For the shipment of items to AA, see Jeremiah Allen's letter of 7 Jan. 1783, below.
2. Allen, a young Boston merchant, had gone to Europe with JA on La Sensible in 1779 and returned to America in 1781. In Sept. 1782 he sailed again for Europe and went to Paris, where he visited JA on 27 Oct. and apparently remained throughout the peace negotiations (vol. 13:448, 451, 452; JA, D&A, 3:38–39, 58, 83).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0096

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-26

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

L’incluse, que vous voudrez bien avoir la bonté de fermer & acheminer par la voie de Mr. Barclai à l’Orient, vous paroîtra bien interessante. Mr. De Berer., qui vient de me quitter a été bien aise de profiter de toutes ces anecdotes, pour sa dépeche de demain.1
Nos amis vous prient, Monsieur, d’appuyer de tous vos bons Offices possibles la Négociation de mrs. les Plenipo: de cette rep., surtout quant aux dédom̃agemens qu’ils demandent, ainsi que pour la liberté parfaite & illimitée de leur Navigation; afin que ces { 150 } Messieurs aient lieu de faire mention dans leurs dépeches ici de ces bons Offices, & que nos amis puissent s’en prévaloir non seulement pour confondre les Anglomanes, mais pour exalter à leurs peuples respectifs les effets de l’amitié fraternelle des Américains pour cette nation. Un petit mot de réponse là-dessus, que je puisse leur répéter de la part de Vre. Exce., leur fera grand plaisir.2 En attendant je suis chargé de vous présenter leurs respects, & ceux de mon Epouse & fille, & à Mrs Thaxter & Storer bien nos complimens. J’espere le premier rétabli de son rhume, & le second toujours fraix & gai.
Mr. Holtzhey m’a envoyé une seconde Médaille pour vous, charmante. Je vous l’enverrai Monsieur par premiere occasion. En attendant, voici sa Lettre, & Description.3 L’emblême du Coq m’a rappellé un trait, si je ne me trompe, des Mémoires de Vargas. L’Ambassadr. de France au Concile de Trente parlant d’une maniere qui déplaisoit au Minre. du Pape, celui-ci l’interrompit en criant Gallus cantat. L’Ambassadr., sans se déconcerter, repliqua Utinam Petrus fleret.4
Je suis, Monsieur, avec tous les sentimens de respect & de dévouement sincere que vous connoissez, de votre Excellence / le trèshumble & très-obéissant / serviteur
[signed] Dumas
P.S. Vous aurez vu Sir J. Jay avant que celle-ci vous parvienne; & j’espere d’apprendre qu’il est tout-à-fait libre. Ce que vous me dites dans la vôtre du 13 de Mr. Brantzen, a fait grand plaisir à nos amis. Ce que vous avez la bonté de m’apprendre de la pêche, & ce que je devine com̃e je puis des autres points, m’en fait un que je sens mieux que je ne puis l’exprimer


[salute] Sir

Would you be so kind as to seal and send the enclosed letter to Lorient, via Mr. Barclay? You will find it very interesting. Mr. Bérenger, who has just been to see me, was happy to use the material in his dispatch for tomorrow.1
Our friends are asking, sir, if you can make every possible effort to support the negotiations of the Dutch plenipotentiaries, especially in regard to the compensations they are seeking, and to the total freedom of the seas. It would be very helpful if these gentlemen had cause to mention your good offices in their dispatches, and if our friends could take advantage of such mentions—not only to thwart the Anglomanes but to better extol to their constituents the benefits of America's fraternal friendship toward this nation. A brief answer from your excellency to this effect would greatly please { 151 } them.2 Meanwhile, I am to present you their respects, and those of my wife and daughter, and to offer our compliments to Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Storer. I trust Mr. Thaxter has recovered from his cold and that Mr. Storer is as lively and cheerful as ever.
Mr. Holtzhey sent me a second medal for you, which is utterly delightful. I shall send it to you at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile I enclose his letter and description.3 The emblem of the cock reminded me of a witty sally, if I recall correctly, in the memoirs of Vargas. The French ambassador to the Council of Trent was speaking in a manner that displeased the papal envoy, who interrupted him loudly with the words Gallus cantat. The ambassador, without turning a hair, replied Utinam Petrus fleret.4
I remain, sir, with all the respect and sincere devotion you already know, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
P.S. You will have seen Sir James Jay before this reaches you, and I hope to learn he is entirely free. What you said about Mr. Brantsen in your letter of 13 December was most gratifying to our friends. What you so kindly informed me of concerning the fisheries, and my own best guesses as to the other points, caused me a pleasure I can better feel than express.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à son Exce. Mr. Adams, Mine. Plenipo: des Et. Un.”
1. Dumas refers to his letter to Robert R. Livingston begun on 17 Dec. and completed on the 26th, which contained additional information about the riots at The Hague (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 161–173). His visitor was Laurent Bérenger, secretary to the French ambassador at The Hague.
2. See JA's letter of 19 Jan., below.
4. Dumas refers to Francisco de Vargas Mejia (1484–1560), a Spanish jurisconsult present at the Council of Trent, and specifically to his Lettres et memoires . . . touchant le concile de Trente, Amsterdam, 1699 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). In the exchange referred to by Dumas, the papal envoy declared “the cock crows,” to which the French ambassador retorted “if only Peter would weep.” Both men refer to the Vulgate, Mark 14:72, “Prius quam gallus cantet bis, ter me negabis. Et [Petrus] coepit flere” (Before the cock should crow twice, you will deny me thrice. And Peter began to weep).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0097

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-27

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

With the Compliments of the Season permit me to add the justly acquired Congratulations on the conducting executing and concluding the Great Buissness of your Special Commission the greatest that was ever invested with Powers of equal Consiquence we may emediately expect to learn the progress of Mr Dana's Mission which the acknowledgement of Great Britain will greatly accelerate— pray give a friendly Eye to young Vernon his Father is making a handsome provission for him in my hands I am affraid his residence in { 152 } Paris may engage his contracting habits of Disipation and divert the Views of an affectionate Parent1
With the greatest respect I have the honor to be / Sir / your most Obed H servant
[signed] John Bondfield
1. For William Vernon Jr., who was disowned by his father William Vernon Sr., see Princetonians, 3:120–126.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0098

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-27

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Je n’ai que quelques minutes pour vous accuser l’honorée votre du 19e. reçue il y a deux heures seulement. Je n’ai fait usage de la confidence qu’avec les amis, qui m’ont promis le secret. Je verrai ce soir Mr. D’Asp. Ces Messieurs avec mes femelles vous prient d’agréer leurs respects. They will neither go too far nor stop for peace & all that. La semaine prochaine je vous marquerai, Monsieur, la besogne d’aujourd’hui & de demain, qui est bonne.
Dans ma Lettre d’hier, qui est en chemin, je crois avoir oublié la note ci-jointe, que Vous voudrez avoir la bonté de mettre dans ma Lettre à Mr. Livingston.1
Je suis avec la plus respectueuse sincerité / Monsieur / Votre trèshumble & très / obeissant servit
[signed] Dumas


[salute] sir

I have only a few moments to thank you for your honored letter of 19 December, which I received just two hours ago. I have only confided in our friends, who promised the utmost discretion. This evening I shall see Mr. Asp. These gentlemen and my ladies send you their best regards. They will neither go too far nor stop for peace and all that. Next week I will tell you about the business of today and tomorrow, which is satisfactory.
In yesterday's letter, now on its way, I think I forgot to add the enclosed note, which I wonder if you would kindly include with my letter to Mr. Livingston.1
With sincerest respect I remain, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Excellence Mr. Adams M. P. d. E. U.”
{ 153 }
1. This is likely the 26 Dec. “Note” concerning the capture of the English vessel Amitié by the American privateer Fortune, Capt. Bellings, that was enclosed with Dumas’ letter to Livingston of 17–26 December. Writing as the U.S. chargé d’affaires at The Hague, Dumas authorized the freeing of three English sailors in recognition of the assistance they had provided in bringing the prize into port (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 161–173).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0099

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Mazzei, Philip
Date: 1782-12-28

To Philip Mazzei

[salute] Sir

I have this moment received your Letter of the 23 of December. I have recd but one Letter for you, Since my Arrival in Paris, and that was inclosed with mine to you of the 26. Ult.1
I am not able to Say why the Letters were delivered to you at the Hague unsealed. I never unsealed any of your Letters, most certainly, and if you have recd any in that State, which had passed through my hands, they came to them in the Same State.
Mr Dumas will be So good as to deliver to you or your order, the Dictionary of Crusca as well as that of Baretti.2
I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most / humble servant
[signed] J. Adams.
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Mazzei”; APM Reel 108.
1. For JA's 26 Nov. letter, see Mazzei's letter of 2 Nov., note 3, above.
2. JA wrote Dumas on 28 Dec. and directed him to give Mazzei the books (DLC:Dumas Papers), but see also Mazzei's reply of 2 Feb. 1783, below. Although JA does not mention it, he also wrote a letter to the loan consortium on this date, introducing Mazzei and thanking the firms “for any Civilities you may shew him” (LbC, APM Reel 108).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0100

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-30

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

[salute] Sir,

We refer to what we had the honour to write you the[] Inst.1 Since we received your much esteem'd favour of 19th. of this month, by which you are pleased to advise us to remit again to Mr. Grand, for account of the United states, 400,000 french Livs. In consequence of this advise, we remit this very day part of that Sum, and we'll continue to do so, till the whole sum will be compleated.
We will also pay the Bill, which Mr. Morris has drawn, for account of said States, on Mr. fizeaux Grand & Co. and put it to their account.
{ 154 }
Last week we've paid a bill of ƒ 1100—Bco. drawn on Mr. Laurens, and which was accepted by your Excellency the 24th. Juny at Six month sight, and likewise charged it to the account of the United States.2 We hope Sir, that you'll have taken notice of the bills of the same nature, which you accepted, and beg the favour to send us a note there about, in order that we may pay them in due time.
We observe that your Excellency makes difficulty to communicate to us any intelligence about politicks, because this communication might have serious consequences. We thank your Exce. for the Inclination, which you give us to understand, to do it in case this did not retain you. We take the liberty to assure you that whatever you'll trust us, in recommanding the secret, you may depend that it will not go farther. However we Intend not to blame your delicacy, and only recommand our selves for that purpose as far as your Excellency will think convenient.
We further take the Liberty to make your Excellency our compliments to the beginning of a new year. May your Excellencies Person, and dear relations enjoy in the Course of it every blessing and prosperity, which can be wished, May the great work of peace be brought to a happy conclusion, and the new Republick ever more flourish. We beg to continue us your most esteemd friend ship and favour and have the honour to be most respectfully / Sir / Your Excellencies Most humble & Obedt. Servts
[signed] Willhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr. / Paris.”
2. For this bill, presented by “Mr. Moliere at the Hague,” see “An Account of Negotiations of Bills of Exchange in Holland in Behalf of the United States by John Adams,” M/JA/18, APM Reel 192, p. 72.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0101

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-31

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Je ne vois rien a ajouter à ce que vous apprendra l’incluse, sinon, que les Etats d’Holl. sont ajournés à Vendredi 3e. du prochain, & que je vous souhaite avec toutes les autres prospérités que votre coeur peut desirer, celle de mettre dans la nouvelle année où nous allons entrer, la derniere à la paix la plus glorieuse & la plus { 155 } avantageuse pour les Etats-Unis.— Ma famille partage ces voeux, & présente avec moi nos complimens du jour aussi à Mr. Thaxter & à Mr. Storer.
J’ai lu à Mr. d’Asp ce dont vous m’avez chargé pour lui.2 Il m’a demandé copie de tout l’Article en question, pour l’envoyer au R. son Mre., à qui cela feroit plaisir; & je la lui ai laissé prendre sans difficulté. Il m’a paru, du reste, ne pas tout à fait ignorer l’affaire; & se glorifiant de n’y avoir pas nui, m’a lu partie d’une Dépeche de 7be. dernier, où effectivement il donnoit de bons & sages avis à cet égard. Je suis chargé de vous témoigner, Monsieur, qu’il est très sensible à l’honneur de votre souvenir, & a la maniere, précieuse pour lui, dont vous le lui témoignez.— Du reste nous som̃es convenus, qu’excepté les hotels de Dt. Amst. & France, le secret sera gardé par-tout ailleurs ici.
Je suis avec le plus respectueux devouement / Monsieur, de Vre. Exce. / le très humble & très-obéis- / sant serviteur
[signed] Dumas


[salute] Sir

I see nothing to add to what you will learn from the enclosed letter, except that the States of Holland have adjourned until Friday, 3 January, and I wish you, together with all the other blessings your heart may desire, a new year that brings the most glorious and advantageous peace for the United States. My family shares these wishes, and we also offer New Year's greetings to Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Storer.
I read to Mr. Asp what you instructed me to convey.2 He asked me for a copy of the whole text to send to the king, his master, who would appreciate it, and I made no objection to his taking one. He seemed, moreover, not wholly ignorant of the affair. He boasted of not having impeded it and read me part of a September dispatch in which he offered sound and sensible opinions on the matter. I am requested to inform you, sir, that he is very sensible of the honor of your remembrance and of the manner, precious to him, by which you did so. In addition we agreed that, apart from the houses of Dordrecht, Amsterdam, and France, the affair will be kept secret.
With great respect and devotion, sir, I remain your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams, Esqr. Min. Plenipo: des Et. Unis.” Filmed at 30 December.
1. This date can be read as “30,” thus explaining the original dating of the letter, but the second letter of 31 Dec., below, clearly establishes the correct date.
2. See JA's 19 Dec. letter to Dumas, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0102

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-31

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

Ma Lettre de ce jour étôit à la poste, lorsque j’ai appris de source, que, conformement aux desirs des principaux membres, présens ici, des Et. d’holle. Mr. Snelle Député de la part de Dort aux gecom̃it, leerde Raaden, ayant proposé à ses Collegues, pour prévenir tout tumulte pendant la nuit prochaine, & pour veiller à la sûreté des dits Membres, de donner aux-mêmes aujourd’hui les ordres aux Troupes en garnison ici; & ces derniers ayant refusé de concourir à cette mesure, il va y avoir là-dessus dès aujourd’hui une Assemblée extraordinaire des dits Membres présents, afin de maintenir cet Acte de Souveraineté, & n’en avoir pas le démenti; à défaut de quoi & s’ils se trouvient mal secondés ils m’ont paru déterminés à aller chez eux, pour faire tenir les Etats ailleurs qu’à Lahaie.1
J’écris ceci encore avant dîner. Je vais m’informer du suivi. En attendant ceci partira dans le paquet de l’hôtel de france.
Je suis avec grand respect, Monsieur, / Votre très-humble & très / obéissant serviteur
[signed] D
Les Etats d’Hollde. sont certainement en droit de prendre le Com̃andement de la Garnison de Lahaie. Il y a une Résolution expresse là-dessus de l’an 1672. Ceci est fort interessant


[salute] Sir

My letter of today was already in the mail when I learned on good authority that, in accordance with the wishes of the principal members present of the States of Holland, an extraordinary session of those same members would be held this very day. It seems that Mr. Snelle, deputy from Dordrecht to that body, suggested to his colleagues that they themselves give orders to the troops stationed here to prevent further disturbances that night and guarantee their own safety. The troops, however, refused to agree to this measure, and so the assembly decided to convene in order to sustain rather than relinquish their sovereignty in this instance and, should this fail and the members not receive adequate protection, they struck me as determined to return home and hold the States elsewhere than at The Hague.1
It is not yet dinnertime even as I write. I shall find out what happens next, and in the meantime this letter will go in the packet from the Hôtel de France.
I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] D
{ 157 }
The States of Holland are certainly within their rights to take command of the garrison of The Hague. This is expressly stated in a resolution of 1672. All this is most interesting.
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams.”
1. In fact, the meeting did not take place, for which see Dumas' letter of 2 Jan. 1783, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-01-01

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dr Sir

returning this Evening from Versailles, where I had been to make the Compliments of the Season,1 I found your favours of 26 and 27. of Decr. The Letters inclosed Shall be forwarded as you desire.
The Dutch Ministers here have no Occasion for my Assistance. Non tali Auxilio &c—2 I have the Honour to be more particularly acquainted with Mr Brantzen, who is certainly a very able Man, and universally acknowledged to be So by all who know him.— The arguments which I know he has used with the British Minister, are Such as can never be answered, both upon the Liberty of Navigation and the Compensation for Damages.—3 He is an entire Master of his Subject, and has urged it with a Degree of Perspicuity and Eloquence that I know has much Struck his Antagonists. unnecessary however as any Exertions of mine have been, I have not omitted any opportunity of throwing in any friendly Suggestions, in my Power, where there was a Possibility of doing any good to our good Friends the Dutch.— I have made Such Suggestions to Mr Fitzherbert. But with Mr Oswald I have had Several very serious Conversations upon the Subject. So I have also with Mr Vaughan and Mr Whiteford.—4 To Mr Oswald, I urged the Necessity, of Great Britains, agreeing with the Dutch upon the Unlimited Freedom of Navigation, from a Variety of Topicks, Some of which <it would not be prudent at present to expl> I may explain to you more particularly hereafter.— Thus much I may Say at present, that I told him it was impossible for G. Britain to avoid it. it would probably be insisted upon by all the other Powers. France & Spain as well as Russia Sweeden Denmark, Prussia, the Emperor & Portugal, as well as Holland had already Signed the armed Neutrality. The United states of America had declared themselves ready to Sign, and were ready, <and if they should be admitted to.> The Combination being thus powerfull, G. Britain could not resist it.— But if She should refuse to agree to it with Holland and the other Powers should acquiesce, and { 158 } Holland should make Peace without it, (which would never however be the Case) yet all would be ineffectual for Holland would forever be able to make Use of other Neutral Bottom's, and would thus enjoy the Benefit of this Liberty in Reality, tho denied it by Treaty and in Appearance.— it would therefore be more for the Honour and Interest of G. Britain, to agree to it with a good Grace, in the Treaty with Holland.— Nay the wisest Part she could Act would be to Set on foot a negotiation immediately for Signing her self the Treaty of armed Neutrality and then admitting it into the Treaty with Holland would be a Thing of Course.— at one of these Conversations Mr Franklin was present who Supported me with all his Weight—at another Mr Jay seconded me with all his Abilities and Ingenuity. Mr Oswald has Several Times assured me that he had written these Arguments and his own Opinion in conformity with them to the Kings Ministers in London, and I doubt not they will be adopted.
With Respect to the Compensation for Damages, it is impossible to add any Thing to the Arguments Mr Brantzen has urged to shew the Justice of it. and if Britain is realy wise, She will think it her Policy to do every Thing in her Power to soften the Resentments of the Dutch, and regain their good Will and good Humour.
The Rage of G. Britain however has carried her Such extravagant Lengths in a Cause unjust from Beginning to End, that she is Scarcely able to repair the Injuries she has done. America has a just Claim to Compensation for all her burnt Towns and plundered Property, and indeed for all her slaughtered Sons if that were possible.— I Shall continue to embrace every Opportunity that presents of doing all the little Service in my Power to our good Friends the Dutch, whose Friendship for Us, I shall not soon forget.
This must be communicated, with great Discretion, if at all.— My best Respects to all.—
With great Esteem &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Dumas.”; APM Reel 108.
1. For JA's account of his visit to Versailles, where he presented Vergennes with copies of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Convention on Recaptures, later dined with him, and attended a ceremony of the Ordre du St. Esprit, see JA, D&A, 3:101.
2. Virgil, Aeneid, Book II, line 521: “Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis tempus egit” (“He does not now need either my assistance or defense”).
4. For JA's conversations regarding the Anglo-Dutch peace negotiations with Brantsen on 19 Nov. and 3 and 26 Dec.; Richard Oswald on 10 Dec.; and Benjamin Vaughan on 1 Jan., see JA, D&A, 3:62, 85–88, 94–95, 99–100, 101. JA's Diary records no conversation with Caleb Whitefoord on the subject.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0104

Author: Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-01

From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe

[salute] Monsieur,

Je profite, avec bien de l’Empressement, de l’occasion d’écrire à votre Excellence et de me rappeller à Son Souvenir.1 Mon attachement pour Vous, Monsieur, n’est pas diminué Le moins du monde par l’Eloignement et par l’absence: il ne L’est pas même par votre Silence. J’ai l’honneur de faire quelque fois ma Cour à Madame adam's à Braintrée et à Boston. Notre Refrein chéri est toujours de parler de Votre Excellence; Madame adams en connoit Les bonnes qualités, Elles Les chérit, et je Les admire.
Je Suis ici, Monsieur, aussi heureux qu’on peut l’Etre dans un paÿs où la Vertu, les bonnes Moeurs, les bonnes gens Sont en très grande considération. La famille de Votre excellence y Jouit de toute celle qu’Elle mérite et J’y Joins bien volontiers, et pour Elle Et pour Vous, Monsieur, Les assurances du Dévouement et du Respect avec Les quels Je suis / de Votre Excellence / Le très-humble et très / obéissant Serviteur
[signed] De Letombe


[salute] Sir

I eagerly embrace this opportunity of writing your excellency and remembering myself to you.1 Distance, absence, and even silence on your part have in no way lessened my attachment. Sometimes I have the honor of paying my respects to Mrs. Adams in Braintree and in Boston. Our favorite topic of conversation is your excellency: Mrs. Adams knows all your good qualities and cherishes them, while I admire them.
I am, sir, as happy here as one may be in a country where virtue, good morals, and good people are held in high regard. Your excellency's family enjoys all the esteem it deserves, and I am happy to assure you and Mrs. Adams of the devotion and respect with which I am your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] De Letombe
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Son Excellence, Monsieur adams Ambassadeur / des Etats-unis de l’amerique près des Etats de hollande.”
1. Létombe was the French consul at Boston, arriving there in Oct. 1781. He exchanged several letters with JA in 1781 and visited AA soon after his arrival to deliver a letter from her husband (vol. 11:106–107, 166–167, 193–194; 12:52–53; AFC, 4:230).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0105

Author: Lowell, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-01

From John Lowell

[salute] My dear Sir

The Bearer of this the Hoñble John Wheelock Esqr. President of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire visits Europe with the Design of promoting Learning Virtue & Religion by procuring Encouragement to his Seminary from the Friends of America in France & Holland the important Light in which his Embassy is considered by the many respectable Characters whose Testimonials accompany him makes any Observations of mine on that Subject unnecessary, he requests an Introduction to you, I have not hesitated to undertake that Office, from the Character he universally bears I dare say you will have Pleasure in his acquaintance & your own Desire to advance the same Cause he is endeavouring to promote will lead you to give him all the Aid in your Power—1 I am a wretched Correspondent or I should long since have given you an Account of many Things which have occurred here & which when my own Mind received the Impression of them I thought it my Duty to mention to you, but I have suffered myself to be too busy properly to do even my own Business—2 however I am at no Time so much engaged as not have a Sense of your Friendship & a sincere Wish for the successfull Execution of your Designs— I am / with much Esteem your sincere / Friend & hb̃le Servant
[signed] J Lowell
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr Lowell / 1. Jany. 1783. / rec. Dr. Weelock.”
1. For John Wheelock and his European mission, see the 24 Sept. 1782 letter to JA from the Trustees of Dartmouth College (vol. 13:488–489); for the assistance provided by JA, see his 25 Feb. reply to the trustees and his 18 Feb. letter to François Adriaan Van der Kemp, both below.
2. John Lowell's last letter to JA was 12 Oct. 1779, to which JA replied on 4 Nov. 1779, a few days before he embarked on his second mission to Europe (vol. 8:199, 278–279).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0106

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Allen, Jeremiah
Date: 1783-01-02

To Jeremiah Allen

[salute] Dear Sir,

Your favor of 26. Decr. is come safe to hand, & I thank you for your Care of my dispatches. Mr. Storer will write to Mr. Williams to pay You the ten Louis for the Expence of the Express which You sent, and I shall pay the Money to Mr. Storer.
It is not in my Power to give you any Information, whether there will be Peace or War.— I am afraid the English will be again { 161 } overseen, so far as to continue the War another Year, which cannot be attended with any Advantage to them— Nevertheless the long Continuance of the Negociation gives room to presume that both Parties have still hopes of coming together, and to hope for their Success, before the opening of another Campaign.
I wish it may happen with all my heart, & that You & I might go home together in the Spring, as We came three years ago, in the same Ship.—
I have the honor to be &c.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Jeremiah Allen.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0107

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Holtzhey, Jean George
Date: 1783-01-02

To Jean George Holtzhey

[salute] Sir

I have recd. the Letter, which You did me the honor to write me on the 23d. Decr. together with the Explication of your new Medal, in Commemoration of the Signature of the Treaty of Commerce, which is equally ingenious with that which celebrates the Acknowledgment of American Independence. These Events are worthy of your Ingenuity, Sir, and deserve to be remembered by Posterity, not only for the Blessings which will be derived to the two Nations, but by the Influence they have had in accelerating the Disposition of G. Britain for a general Peace: for whether such a Peace shall take place this Year or not, there is great Reason to believe it will happen some Years the sooner, for those Events which You are labouring to immortalize.
Please to accept of my thanks for this fresh Instance of your obliging Attention to me, & believe me to be, with great Respect, Sir / your most obedient / & most humble Servant
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr. Joan George Holtzhey.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0108

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-02

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

L’Assemblée dont j’ai parlé dans ma derne. de 31e. n’a pas eu lieu. Le G. Pe. a tant assuré les Pes. de Dt. & d’Amst que le Pce. de concert avec le Conseil Député avoit pris les mesures les plus efficaces { 162 } pour prévenir touts désordres, qu’ils se sont laissés persuader de ne pas aller plus loin.
Effectivement, jamais on n’a vu à la Haie une veille de Janvr. si tranquille. Le passé paroît nous avoir rendus sages; si ce n’est le doublement des gardes, & sur-tout la précaution de faire fermer à certaine heure du soir toutes les Gargotes. Sans cela Nous n’aurions peut-être pas manqué d’avoir un peu de tapage; car nox & amor vinumque nihil moderabile Suadent.1
Ce tapage, au reste, quand il y en auroit eu, auroit fait plus de mal, par ses suites, aux mal intentionnés, que de peur aux autres.
L’honorée vôtre du 24 m’est parvenue après l’espédition des deux miennes du 31; Com̃e vous paroissez pressé, Monsieur, des Pensees sur la Revolut. & que j’ai fait demander en vain s’il y a quelque occasion, je prends le parti de vous l’envoyer tout de suite par la poste, selon que vous le mandez2
Nous n’avons aucune nouvelle de Mr. Votre fils, qui sera reçu à bras ouv̀erts s’il vient.
Nous voyons avec bien du plaisir, Monsieur, qu’il vous tarde de revenir auprès de nous. Je le dis hier au Gd. Pre., qui me demandoit de vos nouvelles.
J’ai fait hier, malgré un violent mal de reins, les visites d’usage chez le Presidt. de L. h. P., le Gr. Pre., le Greffier, le Presidt. du Conseil d’Etat, & le Grd. Bailli de Lahaie; il ne restoit plus que d’aller à la Cour, lorsqu’il m’a pris une foiblesse à l’appartement de Mr. De Berenger, avec qui je me proposois d’aller, & qui m’a ramené chez moi, où je suis confiné depuis.
Ma famille, avec moi, vous honore, & partage les sentimens du respect sincere avec lequel je suis, Monsieur, De Votre Exce. / le très-humble & très- / obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
La Prov. d’Hollde. a pris la Résolution d’entreprendre sérieusement la Réduction du H. Cons. de Guerre.
En apprenant à l’ami de Dt.,3 que vous n’aviez pas grande opinion de la paix, il m’a dit tant mieux.


[salute] Sir

The assembly of which I spoke in my second of 31 December never convened. The grand pensionary so vigorously assured the pensionaries of Dordrecht and Amsterdam that the prince, in concert with the council of { 163 } state, had taken such effective measures to prevent all such disorders in the future that the pensionaries were persuaded to take no further action.
Indeed, there has never been so peaceful a New Year's Eve at The Hague. The past has rendered us wise—or perhaps it is the doubling of the guard, and particularly the precaution of closing all the taverns at a certain hour each evening. Otherwise we would probably have had some rowdiness; for nox et amor vinumque nihil moderabile suadent.1
Besides, had this disturbance occurred, its consequences would have been more harmful to the ill-intentioned than to be dreaded by anyone else.
Your honored letter of 24 December arrived after my two letters of 31 December had been sent. Since you seemed in a hurry for Pensées sur la révolution, sir, and wondering in vain whether it was for some particular occasion, I have decided to send it at once through the mail as you requested.2
We have no news of your son, who will be welcomed with open arms if he comes.
We note with much pleasure, sir, that you seem anxious to be back among us. I said as much yesterday to the grand pensionary, who was asking after you.
Yesterday, despite a violent attack of lumbago, I paid the customary calls on the president of their High Mightinesses, the grand pensionary, the secretary, the president of the council of state, and the grand bailiff of The Hague. It remained only to visit the court, when I was overcome with weakness in the apartment of Mr. Bérenger, with whom I had intended to go. Instead he brought me home, where I have been confined ever since.
My family, as I do, sends its regards and shares the sincere respect with which I am, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
The Province of Holland has resolved to undertake, in earnest, the reduction of the council of war.
When I told our friend from Dordrecht3 that you did not think too highly of the peace, he replied, "so much the better."
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exc. Mr. Adams, Min. Plen. des E. U.”
1. Ovid, Amores, Book I, poem 6, line 59: “Night and love and wine counsel nothing in moderation.”
2. In his letter of 24 Dec. (NHi:Gilder Lehrman Coll.), JA requested that Dumas send him a copy of Pensées sur la révolution de l’Amérique-Unie, extraits de l’ouvrage anglois, intitulé mémoire, addressé aux souverains de l’Europe, sur l’état présent des affaires de l’ancien and du nouveau-monde, Amsterdam, 1780, which is a French translation 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 the text of the Translation, as well as an account of its drafting, importance, and publication, see vol. 9:157–221. The copy was for an unidentified “Gentleman” who was “very desirous of one.”
3. Presumably Cornelis de Gyselaar.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0109

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1783-01-03

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I return you, with great Sincerity, the Compliments of the Season and thank you for your Congratulations on the Signature of the Preliminaries.
I had upon my Mind, when I had the Pleasure to See you, three Years ago, at Bourdeaux, when I was Single in the Commission for Peace, a Strong Presage, that the Peace, must be negotiated in Holland, and consequently, I had more Dependance upon the Negotiations of Mr Laurens who was then destined to that Country than upon my own. Accordingly about the Time he was expected to arrive, vizt in July 1780, I Sat off from Paris on a Journey to the Hague and Amsterdam in hopes of meeting and consulting with him there. But unfortunately instead of receiving my Friend, I had the Mortification Soon to receive the News of his Captivity. about the Same Time I received from Congress a Provisional Commission to borrow Money there. and as soon as Congress received the News of Mr Laurens's Captivity they Sent me a Lettre of Credence as Minister Plenipotentiary to their High Mightinesses, another to the Prince, and a Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with the Republick.1
The Detail of the Negotiation there is Sufficiently public, and the Part which the Dutch have taken in the War, has influenced the Change of Men and Measures in England, has turned the ballance of military operations and political Negotiations, and wholly changed the Reputation of the United States of America in all Europe. It has done more it has produced the British Acknowledgment of our Independence, and has enabled Us to insist on and obtain, Satisfaction respecting the Missisippi the Western Lands, Sagadehoc and the Fisheries. Mr Danas Mission too as you observe will probably Soon Succeed, in Consequence of the same System.
You see I think We are under great obligations to the Dutch, and I hope We shall be too wise to deny or conceal it.
With great Esteem I have the Honour to be, sir
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Bondfield.”; APM Reel 108.
1. For the circumstances of JA's departure from Paris on 27 July and his arrival at Amsterdam on 10 Aug. 1780, see vol. 9:518;10:51. For Henry Laurens' capture in Sept. 1780 and Congress' subsequent decision to issue JA a commission and instructions for negotiating a Dutch-American commercial treaty and letters of credence as the American minister to the Netherlands, all of which he received in early April 1781, see vol. 10:195, 447–458; 11:1–2, 248–249.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0110

Author: Allen, Jeremiah
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-07

From Jeremiah Allen

[salute] Dear sir

This day your Esteem'd Favor of 2d Instant came to hand— think myself Honor'd by the Communication, and wish a peace may take place soon, or the War be continu'd for one year with such success as to bring England to Reason— The Box in which, the triffles for Mrs Adams are, shipt on board the Hety Capt. Roberts for Boston, to sail in 14 Days— an American Went Express & I paid his agent the 10 Louis. but Mr. Williams, thinks more than Common price—if that be true, shall make him refund the overplus—and take the just price—agreable to Mr Storer's direction— should have Wrote him & Mr Thaxter but their letters were handed me, this Day. & have not time— do me the favor of presenting my Respects to all friends—
I am Dr Sir / with every sentiment / of Esteem your / Excellencys most / Obedient servant
[signed] Jeremiah Allen
PS This Day We send the news of the arrival of the Brest Fleet at Cadiz—with 6000 Troops on board
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams / Paris.” Filmed at 1 January.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0001

Editorial Note

John Adams had long contemplated the manner in which the history of the American Revolution, and his role in it, should be presented to his own and succeeding generations. Adams' care in preserving his papers and keeping Letterbooks attests to his concern that an accurate record be { 166 } preserved for future historians. Since his return to Europe in late 1779, Adams frequently acted at least as a quasi-historian to educate English and European audiences about the origins and progress of the Revolution. See, for example, his “A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial,” rebuttals of speeches by Henry Seymour Conway and Lord George Germain, “Letters from a Distinguished American,” and 26 letters in reply to Hendrik Calkoen, all of 1780; his 19 April 1781 Memorial to the States General; and four unpublished letters criticizing the Abbé Raynal's Révolution de l’Amérique, written in early 1782 (9:157–221, 321–324, 350–358, 531–588; 10:196–252; 11:272–282; 12:204–213).
Not until January 1783 did Adams systematically set down precisely what a historian needed to do in order to produce an accurate and definitive history of the American Revolution. Adams dined with the Abbé de Mably on 19 December 1782 and again on 5 January 1783. At both meetings the two men discussed Mably's De la manière d’écrire l’histoire (Paris, 1783); at the second meeting, the French author's contemplated history of the American Revolution (JA, D&A, 3:97, 101–102). In that conversation Adams expressed his opinion about such an undertaking, but Mably's inability to understand English and presumably Adams' inability to express himself in French led the Abbé to request Adams to commit his thoughts to writing. Adams likely gave the matter considerable thought, but he apparently did nothing to honor Mably's request until he received a similar appeal from Antoine Marie Cerisier (No. I, below). Cerisier's letter arrived on or about 14 January and Adams immediately replied. In so doing he provided his friend with a guide to the sources that a historian should consult to write an adequate history of the American Revolution as well as the parameters for such a project (No. II, below). The following day, Adams sat down to honor Mably's request and, after copying most of his letter to Cerisier, added an additional three pages to guide the historian (No. III, below). On the 17th Adams again wrote to Mably, there listing his revolutionary writings; however, thinking that it displayed too much vanity, he did not send it (No. V, below). Replies by the Abbé and Jean François Marmontel (Nos. IV, VI, below), who had seen a copy of the 15 January letter, led Adams on 10 March to send Cerisier a copy of his first letter to Mably for publication in Le politique hollandais, below.
Mably and Cerisier caught Adams at an opportune time. He had signed the preliminary peace treaty and expected the definitive treaty to be completed very soon. This meant that American independence had been achieved and it was now time to consider in totality how the Revolution had come about and, perhaps more importantly, how it should be perceived and remembered. Completion of the preliminaries also left Adams with few official tasks to accomplish and the time and inclination to consider the subject in detail. In the process, he could provide his correspondents with as complete an appreciation of the bibliographical and documentary resources as was available anywhere at the time.
If Adams' intention was to discourage Cerisier and Mably—and { 167 } Europeans in general—from attempting histories of the Revolution when they lacked essential documentation available only in America, he succeeded. Neither man undertook the task and Mably wrote to Adams that he had never seriously contemplated it (No. IV, below). But Mably remained interested in America and its institutions and soon produced his Observations sur le gouvernement et les loix des États-Unis d’Amérique, Amsterdam, 1784. Adams felt honored by the work, which took the form of four letters to him, and obtained its publication in Amsterdam, writing to Cerisier for that purpose on 16 October (LbC, APM Reel 107). There he noted that the Observations “is like to be to me, in Particular a distinguished Mark of Respect with Posterity.”
Adams' interest in the historical treatment of the Revolution in general and himself in particular did not diminish over time. This is clear from his publication of the 15 January letter to the Abbé de Mably as a postscript to the first volume of his Defence of the Constitutions in 1787 and as part of a letter written in 1816 to the North American Review. In fact, as the years passed, Adams became increasingly obsessed with using the documents he possessed to correct the historical record. This was the purpose of his autobiography, begun in 1802; the massive and very critical response to Mercy Otis Warren's History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (3 vols., Boston, 1805) that he wrote in 1807 (MHS, Colls., 5th ser., 4:321–491 [1878]); and the 137 letters he published in the Boston Patriot between April 1809 and May 1812 in which he defended himself against Alexander Hamilton's criticism of his Revolutionary-era diplomacy.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0002

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Date: 1783-01-09

I. From Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Monsieur

Actuellement vous êtes entierement livré au grand interêt des nations. Vous travaillez à rendre à l’univers le-repos que vous n’avez pas pu contribué à lui ôter; les avantages que la liberté Américaine va rendre désormais & pour tous les siecles à l’humanité, compenseront Sans doute les maux éphemeres qu’elle a causés: un philosophe plus subtil que moi vous prouverait peut-être que ces maux sont même actuellement balancés par d’autres biens; nos ardens Républicains lui fourniraient des preuves; & il faut avouer que Si les choses continuent sur le même pied, nous Serons redevables du l’accouvrement de notre liberté, à la valeur des Americains qui ont fait la premiere leveé de boucher contre les ambitieux. Vous ne vous douteriez guere où ce préambule va Se terminer. J’ai pris la liberté d’interrompre les augustes occupations de votre Excellence pour la prier de jeter un regard favorable Sur un Républicain de Hollande { 168 } qui vous avez quelquefois daigné honorer de marques de confiance & d’amitié. Je Suis dans la résolution d’écrire l’histoire de toute cette guerre Américaine. Je crois vous avoir fait part de cette idée; j’ai la plus grande partie des documens qui me Sont nécessaires, quand je parlerai des affaires de France, d’Angleterre & de ce pays: Mr le Duc de la Vauguyon a même daigné me prévenir Sur ce point, en me promettant plusieurs pieces interéssantes, dans les quelles il m’a enjoint de ne pas écrire. Mais les documens les plus importans me doivent arriver de l’Amérique. Vous m’obligeriez infiniment & ce Serait une bonté à ajouter à toutes celles dont je vous Suis déjà redevable, Si vous vouliez me communiquer tout ce qu’il est en votre pouvoir Sur cet article; & m’indiquer les titres des imprimés ou je pourrais trouver des éclaircissemens. Je vous remerci beaucoup pour l’ouvrage de Mr Paine. Je vais le publier en français.1 J’ai fini tous les morceaux où l’on refute The cool Thoughts on American independance.2
En vous Souhaitant tous les Succès que vous avez droit de désirer pour l’avantage de la nation que vous représentez & pour votre bonheur particulier, je prend la liberté de me dire avec le plus profond Respect / Monsieur votre très / humble & / très obeissant / Serviteur
[signed] A. M. Cerisier
Vous m’obligeriez beaucoup de m’envoyer au plutôt quelque réponse.


[salute] Sir

At present all your efforts are devoted to the greater good of nations. You are working to restore to the universe a peace you did nothing to deprive it of; the advantages that American freedom will henceforth and for all time bestow upon humanity will no doubt compensate for the fleeting ills it has caused. A subtler philosopher than I might claim that these ills are even balanced out by other, more positive effects; our ardent republicans would furnish him with proof. It must be admitted that if things go on as they are, we shall owe the birth of our freedom to the Americans who first rose up against the arrogant. You can scarcely suspect where this preamble will lead. I have taken the liberty of interrupting your excellency's august preoccupations to beg you to look favorably on a Dutch republican whom you have sometimes deigned to honor with tokens of confidence and friendship. I am resolved to write the history of this entire American war. I believe that I already apprised you of this idea. I have most of the documents I need, as far as France, England, and this country are concerned; the Duc { 169 } de La Vauguyon has kindly anticipated my needs on this point, promising me several interesting papers, which he instructed me not to mark. But the most important documents will have to come from America. I should be infinitely obliged—and it would be yet another favor to add to all those I already owe you—if you could send me all the information in your power on this subject and suggest titles of books that might enlighten me. Thank you so much for Mr. Paine's work, I will publish it in French.1 I have finished all the pieces refuting The Cool Thoughts on American Independence.2
Wishing you all the success you rightfully desire for the nation you represent, and for your own happiness, I take the liberty of pronouncing myself, with the most profound respect, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] A. M. Cerisier
I would be greatly indebted for a speedy reply.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. A M. Cerisier / 9 Jan. 1783. ansd. 14.”
1. Presumably this is Thomas Paine's A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North-America. In Which the Mistakes in the Abbe's Account of the Revolution of America Are Corrected and Cleared Up (Phila., 1782). Cerisier published extracts from the pamphlet in his Le politique hollandais and later in a 1783 edition at Amsterdam with his own preface and notes (from Cerisier, 26 Feb., note 4, below).
2. Between 14 Oct. 1782 and 20 Jan. 1783 Cerisier translated and printed selected portions of JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American,” which were originally published in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer from 23 Aug. to 26 Dec. 1782. For the origin, publication, and text of the “Letters” as JA's response to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts (London, 1780 [i.e. 1779]), see vol. 9:531–588. For Cerisier's publication of additional numbers of the “Letters,” see his letter of 26 Feb., note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0003

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Date: 1783-01-14

II. To Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Sir

Your kind favour of the 9th, I recd, this day, and will give you, the best answer, which indifferent health and, various Avocations will admit of.
I am pleased with your Resolution, to write the History of the whole American War, because I know you will produce Something both entertaining and instructive, whatever Subject you undertake to write upon. But I hope you will not think me guilty of Presumption or Affectation of Singularity, if I venture to give you my opinion, that it is too Soon to write Such an History, and that there is no Man living, neither in Europe nor in America, who is qualified for it and furnished with the necessary Materials.
It would require the whole of the longest Life, to begin at Twenty Years of Age, to assemble from all the Nations and Parts of the Globe in which they are deposited, the Documents requisite to form { 170 } a compleat History of the American War, because it is nearly the History of Mankind for the whole Epocha of it.— The History of France, Spain, England Holland, and the neutral Powers, as well as America are at least comprized in it. You must collect Materials from all these Nations, and the most important Documents of all, Such as shew the true Characters of Actors, and the Secret Springs of Action, are yet locked up in Cabinets, and in Cyphers.
Give me leave to Say further that in order, to comprehend the History of the American War, one Should know the State and History of all the Colonies before the War broke out, even from the Year 1620. in order to this one must read all the Charters, to Colonies and Commissions and Instructions to Governors, all the Law Books of the Several Colonies; (and thirteen folio Volumes of dry Statutes, are not So amuzing as so many Iliads)— besides this one should read over the Records of the Legislature of every Colony, which are only to be found in Manuscript, and by travelling in Person from New Hampshire to Georgia— one should also have access to the Records of the Board of Trade and Plantations in Great Britain, from its Institution to its Dissolution as well as to the Papers in the offices of Some of the secretaries of State.
There is another Branch of reading which is indispensable, I mean of those Writings which have appeared in America from Time to Time, some of which I will hint at, although I pretend not, in this Place, absent from all Books and Papers, to recollect them all. The Writings of Governors Wintrop1 and Winslow,2—of Dr. Mather,3 of Dr Prince,4 Neals History of New England,5 Douglas Sumary of the first Planting, progressive Improvements and present State of the British Colonies,6 Hutchinsons History of the Massachusetts Bay,7 Smiths History of New York,8 Smiths History of New Jersey.9 William Penns Works.10 Dummers Defence of the New England Charters.11 All these are previous to the present Dispute which began in 1761. Since that Period, the Writings are more numerous, and more difficult to obtain. There are extant in Print, Writings of great Importance in this Controversy, of the followings Persons. of the Governors Pownal, Bernard, and Hutchinson of Lt Governor Oliver, of Mr Sewal, Judge of Admiralty for Hallifax, of James Otis, Oxenbridge Thatcher, Dr Mayhew, Samuel Adams, Josiah Quincy, Joseph Warren—and perhaps of equal Importance to any are the Writings of Mr Dickenson of Philadelphia, of Mr Wilson of Philadelphia, of Dr Rush, of Coll Bland of Virginia.
The Records of the Town of Boston and especially of its { 171 } Committee of Correspondence, of the Board of Commissioners of the Customs and of the House of Representatives and the Council Board of the Massachusetts Bay. Besides all these the Gazettes of the Town of Boston ought to be collected and examined from the Year 1761. All this is necessary, to write the History of the Controversy, before Hostilities commenced, comprehending the Period from 1761 to the 19. of April 1775.
From the Battle of Lexington, the Records Gazittes & Writing of all the thirteen States ought to be collected, together with the Journals of Congress.— next to the Journals of Congress, part of which are yet Secret the whole Series of General Washingtons Correspondence with Congress from 1775 to this Day ought to be had.— This has never been yet published and cannot be untill Congress shall order it, and I must Say untill this vast Source of Information shall be opened, it will be to little Purpose for any Body to attempt an History of the American War. There are other Papers of Importance in the offices of the Secret Committee, the Committee of Commerce, the Committee of foreign Affairs, the Committee on the Treasury and the Board of War, and the Marine Committee, while those Committees subsisted, and of the offices of War, Finances and foreign Affairs, Since their Erection.
There are also Letters from American Ministers in France Spain Holland and other Parts of Europe.
The most material Documents being yet Secret, one would think it best to wait for Sometime, before you write, although you cannot begin too soon nor be too industrious in collecting Materials.
Lett me close this Letter by giving you a Clue to the whole Mistery. There is a general Analogy, in the governments and Characters of all the thirteen States. But as the Controversy and the War begain in the Massachusetts Bay the Principal Province of New England, their Institutions had the first operation. Four of those Institutions produced the Effect. 1. Their Schools. 2. Their Militia. 3. Their Clergy. 4. Their Town meetings.— All these Establishments were made by our Ancestors in the first Settlement of the Country, And have been uninterruptedly preserved to this day, and have produced the merveillous Events with which the last 20 Years have been crouded, and let me intreat you never to attempt Writing the History which you meditate, without making your self Master of these four Subjects.12
inclosed are Some slips and a Line from a Friend who desired me to send it you.13
{ 172 }
With great Respect and Esteem I have the Honour to be / Sir your most obedient and most humble servant
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr A. M. Cerisier, Sur le Cingle / vis à vis la tour de la Monnoye. / Amsterdam.”; APM Reel 108.
1. Possibly John Winthrop's A Journal of the Transactions and Occurrences in the Settlement of Massachusetts and Other New-England Colonies, from the Year 1630 to 1644, Hartford, Conn., 1790. This work was not published until 1790, but JA may have known of the manuscript from his earlier researches, for which see note 4. A copy of the 1790 edition is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. Possibly Edward Winslow's Good News from New England; or, A True Relation of Things Very Remarkable at the Plantation of Plimouth in New-England, London, 1624. A copy is in JA's library at MB (same).
3. Probably Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical History of New England, from Its First Planting in the Year 1620 unto the Year of Our Lord 1698: in Seven Books, London, 1702. A copy is in JA's library at MB (same).
4. Probably Thomas Prince, A Chronological History of New-England in the Form of Annals, 2 vols., Boston, 1736, 1755. Note that much of JA's knowledge of the sources for New England history was derived from his 1774 browsings through the libraries of Thomas Prince (then at the Old South Meeting House, now at the Boston Public Library), Samuel Mather, and John Moffat. He used the libraries in the preparation of his report on Massachusetts boundaries for the Massachusetts General Court (vol. 2:27, 28).
5. Daniel Neal, The History of New England Containing an Impartial Account of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Affairs . . . to the Year of Our Lord, 1700, 2 vols., London, 1720. A copy of the first volume is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
6. William Douglass, A Summary, Historical and Political, of the First Planting, Progressive Improvements and Present State of the British Settlements in North America, 2 vols., London, 1760. Both volumes are in JA's library at MB (same).
7. Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, from the Charter of King William and Mary, in 1691, until the Year 1750, Boston, 1767. A copy is in JA's library at MB (same).
8. William Smith, The History of the Province of New-York, from the First Discovery to the Year 1732, London, 1757.
9. Samuel Smith, The History of the Colony of Nova-Caesaria, or New-Jersey: Containing an Account of Its First Settlement, Progressive Improvements, the Original and Present Constitution, and Other Events, to the Year 1721: With Some Particulars Since; and a Short View of Its Present State, Burlington, N.J., 1765.
10. William Penn wrote extensively on the establishment of Pennsylvania and other matters dealing with the British colonies; there is no indication of which specific works JA is referring to, and no copies of Penn's writings are found in JA's library at MB.
11. Jeremiah Dummer, A Defence of New-England Charters, Boston, 1721.
12. For JA's much expanded comments on these subjects, see No. III, below.
13. Neither the “Friend” nor the enclosures have been identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-15

III. To the Abbé de Mably

[salute] Sir

It was with Pleasure, that I learn'd your Design of Writing upon the American Revolution, because your other Writings which are much admired by the Americans, contain Principles of Legislation, Polity and Negotiation perfectly conformable to theirs: so that it is impossible for you to write upon the Subject without producing a { 173 } Work which will be entertaining an instructive to the Public, and especially to America. But I hope you will not think me guilty of Presumption nor Affectation of Singularity, if I venture to give you my Opinion that it is too Soon to attempt a compleat History, of this great Event and that there is no Man in Europe or America, who is as yet qualified for it, and furnished with the necessary Materials.
To accomplish Such a Work a Writer Should divide the History of North America into Several Periods 1. From the first Settlement of the Colonies in 1600, to the Commencement of the Controversy between them and Great Britain in 1761.— 2. From this Commencement, which was by an order of the Board of Trade and Plantations in Great Britain to the Custom house officers in America, to carry into a more rigorous Execution the Acts of Trade, and to apply to the Courts of Justice for Writs of Assistance for that Purpose, to the Commencement of Hostilities on the 19 of April 1775. during this Period of 14 Years, it was a Controversy upon Paper. 3. From the Battle of Lexington, to the Signature of the Treaty with France on the 6 of February 1778, during which Period, of 3 Years the War was carried on Singly between Great Britain and the United States. 4. From the Treaty with France to the Hostilities between Great Britain and France, first & then Spain, then to the Completion of the neutral Confederation and the War against Holland, all of which Movements at last Unravelled themselves in the present Negotiations for Peace.
Without a distinct Knowledge of the History of the Colonies, in the first Period a Writer will find himself constantly puzzled, through his whole Work to account for Events and Characters which will occur to him in every step of his Progress through the Second, third and fourth.
To acquire a competent Knowledge of the first Period, one must read all the Charters to Colonies, and the Commissions and Instructions to Governors, all the Law Books of the Several Colonies, and thirteen folio Volumes of dry Statutes are not perused with Pleasure, nor in a short time; all the Records of the Legislatures of the Several Colonies, which are only to be found in Manuscript, and by travelling in Person from New Hampshire to Georgia; the Records of the Board of Trade and Plantations in Great Britain, from its Institution to its dissolution, as well as the Papers in the offices of some of the Secretaries of State.
There is another Branch of Reading too, which cannot be dispensed with, if the former might, I mean of those Writings which { 174 } have appeared in America, from time to time, Some of which may be hinted at though I pretend not in this Place, absent from all Books and Papers to recollect them all. The Writings of the ancient Governors Winthrop and Winslow, Dr Mather, Mr Prince, Neals History of New England Douglas's Summary of the first planting progressive Improvement & present State of the British Colonies, Hutchinsons History of the Massachusetts Bay, Smiths History of New York, Smiths History of New Jersey William Penns Works, Dummers Defence of the New England Charters The History of Virginia, and many others. all these are previous to the present dispute which began in 1761.
During the Second Period, the Writings are more numerous and more difficult to obtain.— There are extant in print, Writings of great Importance in this Controversy, of the following Persons, who were all of them living Actors in the Scæne at the times when they wrote, and Persons of great Consideration. These were the Royal Governors Pounal, Bernard and Hutchinson, Lieutenant Governor Oliver, Mr Sewal Judge of Admiralty for Halifax, Jonathan Mayhew D. D. James Otis, Oxenbridge Thatcher Samuel Adams, Josiah Quincy, Joseph Warren Esqrs. and perhaps of equal Importance to any are the Writings of Mr Dickinson Mr Wilson and Dr Rush of Philadelphia, Mr Livingston and McDougal of New York, Coll Bland and Arthur Lee of Virginia and many others. The Records of the Town of Boston, and especially of its Committee of Correspondence, of the Board of Commissioners of the Customs, of the House of Representatives, and Council Board of the Massachusetts Bay Besides all these the Gazettes of the Town of Boston, at least if not of New York and Philadelphia, ought to be collected and examined from the Year 1760. All this is necessary, in order to write, with Precision and in detail the History of the Controversy, before Hostilities commenced, comprehending the Period from 1761 to the 19 of April 1775.
During the 3d and 4th Periods, the Records, Pamphlets and Gazettes of the thirteen States ought to be collected together with the Journals of Congress, part of which however are yet Secret and the Collection of the new Constitutions of the Several States.—2 The Remembrancer,3 and annual Registers, periodical Papers published in England Les Affaires de L’Angleterre et de L’Amerique, and the Mercure de France, published in Paris4 and Le Politique Hollandais printed at Amsterdam.—5 The whole Series of General Washingtons Correspondence with Congress, from the Month of July 1775 to this { 175 } { 176 } Day, which has not yet been published and cannot be, untill Congress Shall order or permit it. And I beg Leave to Say, that untill this vast Source of Information Shall be opened, it will be to little Purpose for any body to attempt an History of the American War. There are other Papers of Importance in the offices of the Secret Committee, the commercial Committee the Committee of foreign Affairs, the Committee on the Treasury the Marine Committee and the Board of War, while they Subsisted, and of the Offices of War, Marine, Finances and foreign Affairs Since their Institution. There are also Letters from American Ministers in France, Spain, Holland and other Parts of Europe.
The most material Documents being yet Secret, it is too early to attempt any Thing like a general History of the American Revolution, but nobody can begin too Soon or be too industrious in collecting Materials.— There have however been already two or three general Histories of the American War and Revolution published in London and two or three others in Paris. Those in English are masses of Party Billingsgate and those in English and those in French both mere Monuments of the total Ignorance of their Authors of their Subject.6
It would require the whole of the longest Life, to begin at Twenty Years of Age, to assemble from all the Nations and Parts of the Globe in which they are deposited, the Documents to form a compleat History of the American War, because it is nearly the History of Mankind for the whole Epocha of it. The History of France Spain Holland, England and the Neutral Powers, as well as America are at least comprized in it. Materials must be collected from all these Nations, and the most important Documents of all, Such as Shew the Characters of Actors and the Secret Springs of Action, are yet locked up in Cabinets and in Cyphers.
Whether you Sir, however, Shall undertake to give a general History, or only Remarks and observations like those upon the Greeks and Romans,7 you will produce a Work highly interesting and instructive both in Morals, Politicks and Legislation, and I should esteem it an Honour as well as a Pleasure to furnish you with any little Helps in my Power in your Researches.— I am not able to Say however, whether the Government of this Country would wish to See any Thing very profoundly written, and by any Author of Great Name, in the French Tongue.— Principles and Systems of Religion and Government, must be laid open, So different from any Thing which is to be found in Europe, especially in France, that perhaps it { 177 } would be Seen with a Jealous Eye.— of this however, I am no competent Judge.
Let me close this Letter, Sir, by giving you a Clue to the whole Mistery. There is a general Analogy, in the Governments and Characters of all the thirteen States: But as the Controversy and the War, began in the Massachusetts Bay, the principal Province of New England, their Institutions had the first operation. Four of those Institutions, Should be Studied and fully examined by any one, who would write with any Intelligence upon the Subject because they produced the decisive Effect, not only by the first decisions of the Controversy in publick Councils, and the first determinations to resist in Arms, but by Influencing the Minds of the other Colonies to follow their Example and to adopt, in a greater or less degree the Same Institutions and Similar Measures.
The four Institutions intended are, 1. the Towns. 2. The Churches. 3. The Schools. and 4. the Militia.8
1. The Towns are certain Pieces of Land or Districts of Territory, into which the Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are divided.— Each Town contains upon an Average Six miles or two Leagues Square. The Inhabitants who live within its Limits are erected by Law into a Corporation or Body Politick and are vested with certain Powers and Priviledges, Such as repairing the Roads, maintaining the Poor, choosing the Select Men Constables Collectors of Taxes, and other Officers, and above all their Representatives in the Legislature; and that of Assembling, whenever warned to it by their select Men, in Town Meeting to deliberate upon the publick affairs of the Town, or to instruct their Representatives. The Consequence of this Institution has been, that all the Inhabitants have acquired from their Infancy, an Habit of debating, deliberating and judging of public Affairs. it was in these Town Meetings that the Sentiments of the People were first formed, and their Resolutions taken from the Beginning to the End of this Controvesy and War.
2. The Churches are the religious Societies, which comprehend the whole People. each Town composes one Parish and one Church at least. most of them have more than one, and many of them Several. Each Parish has a Meeting house and a Minister, Supported at its own Expence. The Constitutions of the Churches are extreamly popular and the Clergy have little Authority or Influence, except such as their own Piety, Virtues and Learning naturally give them. They are chosen by the People of the Parish and ordained by the { 178 } neighbouring Clergy. They all marry and have families, and live with their Parishes in mutual Friendship and good Offices. They visit the sick are charitable to the Poor, attend all Marriages & Funerals and preach, twice on every sunday. The least Reproach to their moral Character, ruins their Influence and forfeits their Livings, so that they are a wise virtuous and pious set of Men. Their sentiments are generally popular and they are zealous Friends of Liberty.
3. The Schools are in every Town. By an early Law of the Colony, evey Town consisting of Sixty Families, is obliged, under a Penalty to maintain constantly a School House and a school Master, who teaches Reading, Writing Arithmetick and the Rudiments of Latin and Greek. To this public school the Children of all the Inhabitants poor as well as rich, have a Right to go. In these Schools are formed schollars for the Colleges at Cambridge New Haven, Warwick9 and Dartmouth, and in those Colledges are educated, Masters for the schools, Ministers for the Churches, Practitioners in Law and Physick, and Magistrates and officers for the Government of the Country.
4. The Militia comprehends the whole People.— By the Law of the Land every Male Inhabitant between Sixteen and Sixty Years of Age is enrolled in a Company and a Regiment of Militia, compleatly organized with all its officers, is obliged to keep at his own Expence constantly in his House, a Firelock in good order, a Powder Horn with a Pound of Powder, twelve Flynts four and Twenty Bullets, a Cartouch Box and an Havresack.—so that the whole Country is ready to march for their Defence at a short Warning. The Companies and Regiments are obliged to assemble certain Times of the Year, at the Command of their Officers, for the View of their Arms and Ammunition and to go through the military Exercises.
Thus, Sir you have a Brief Sketch of the four Principal Sources of that Wisdom in Council, and that skill and Bravery in War, which have produced the American Revolution and which I hope will be Sacredly preserved as the foundations of a free, happy and prosperous People.
If there is any other Particular in which I can give you any Information, you will do me a favour to mention it.
With very great Esteem I have the Honour to be, sir your most obedient and most humble servant
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Monsieur L’Abbé de Mably.”; APM Reel 108.
{ 179 }
1. The importance that JA placed on this letter and the advice that it contained is clear from the fact that he published it no fewer than three times during his lifetime. On 10 March he wrote to Antoine Marie Cerisier to seek its publication in Le politique hollandais, below. In 1787, again in French, he published the letter as a postscript to vol. 1 of his Defence of the Const. (p. 384–392). In 1816 it appeared in English, likely copied from the Letterbook, in the North American Review (4:48–57 [Nov. 1816]). In each case JA described the circumstances that led him to write the letter—briefly in his letter to Cerisier, at more length in his postscript to the Defence, and with the most detail in his account in the North American Review.
In the North American Review, JA (speaking of himself in the third person) explained that “some of those publications, which in France, as you very well know, are called foreign Gazettes and Journals, announced to the world, in 1782, that the Congress of the United States of America, had directed Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams to request the Abbe de Mably, to furnish them with a plan of a code of laws for their future government. By whom so ridiculous a fiction was imagined, and how it found its way into those publick prints, I never knew, and always thought it idle to inquire. But if you recollect the ambition of the French Philosophers, and their ardent desire to be distinguished by foreign States and Princes; the examples of J. J. Rousseau, Abbe Condillac, D’Alembert, Diderot, La Harpe, &c.; you will not be surprised that the report of such glory to De Mably, as to be the Legislator of the New World and of hundreds of millions of future people, became a ‘scandal to philosophy,’ and spread jealousy and envy through the whole Coterie, of which Grimm was a principle member, both at the baron D’Holbach's and at Mr. Necker's.
“The Abbe de Mably himself, in his observations on our Constitutions, has said that ‘Mr. Adams desired his sentiments.’ This is true. But the meaning and the circumstances of that ‘desire,’ ought to be known, that those who think it of any consequence, may understand in what sense it is true.
“Upon Mr. Adams' arrival in Paris from the Hague, upon the business of the Peace, in 1782, the Abbe de Mably's work, ‘on the manner of Writing History’ was put into his hand. At the conclusion of that publication, the learned and ingenious Abbe declared ‘his intention of writing on the American Revolution.’
“Meeting the Abbe de Mably soon afterwards at dinner, at the country seat of Monsieur de Chalut, the Farmer-General, the Abbes De Chalut and Arnou, who were of the party, and to whom Mr. Adams had been somewhat familiarly known in 1778, 1779, and 1780,: informed him, that their friend the Abbe de Mably, was about writing ‘THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION!’ and would be obliged to Mr. Adams, for any facts or memorials, that might be in his possession or within his power.
“Mr. Adams asked ‘what part of the Revolution, was intended to be written?[’] The answer was ‘THE WHOLE!’ Adams asked, ‘Where had the Abbe obtained the materials?’ the answer was, ‘It is supposed they might be obtained from the publick papers and inquiry of individuals.’ In reply to this, many difficulties were started by Mr. Adams, and the conversation was long and lively. Neither of the three Abbes' understood the American language. Adams' French was miserably bad. At last the gentlemen requested Adams' sentiments in writing, said they would get them translated into French, and consider them more maturely. Accordingly, in a few days, Adams wrote to the Abbe de Mably, the following letter; by which you will see that the invitation to the Abbe to write was a mere compliment, and rather a civil admonition not to expose his reputation by attempting a history for which he was wholly unqualified, than any formal or serious request that he would write at all.”
While JA's memory of his conversation with the abbés that motivated him to write this letter to Mably is likely accurate, his recollection of the time and place of the conversation is not. JA's Diary mentions three evenings spent with Mably and the abbés Chalut and Arnoux. At the first, on 19 Dec. 1782, JA noted the recent publication of De la manière d’écrire l’histoire and described the author as being “74 or 75 Years old” and “very agreable in Conversation, polite, good humoured and sensible.” At the second meeting, on 5 Jan. 1783, JA “had more conversation with De Mably than at any Time before” and indicated that the Frenchman was contemplating “a Work upon our American Constitutions.” It was likely at this meeting that JA received the request to write to { 180 } Mably, for the encounter described in the North American Review apparently occurred, according to the Diary, on 27 Feb. (JA, D&A, 3:97, 101–102, 109). For more on Mably, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 4, above.
2. Presumably The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; the Declaration of Independence; the Articles of Confederation between the Said States, published by Congress at Philadelphia in 1781. For JA's role in its publication and his use of it in Europe, see vol. 11:477; 12:125–127, 219–220; 13:xii.
3. John Almon, The Remembrancer; or, Impartial Repository of Public Events, 17 vols., London, 1775–1784, but see also the 24 Jan. letter from Addenet de Maison Rouge, and note 1, below.
4. Affaires de l’Angleterre et de l’Amérique, which appeared from early 1776 through late 1779, and its successor Mercure de France were clandestine publications of the French foreign ministry (vol. 6:192; 9:98). For JA's contributions to both publications, see the indexes to vols. 6, 8, and 10.
5. For Cerisier's Le politique hollandais and JA's contributions to it, see the index to this volume and those to vols. 10 through 13.
6. The histories to which JA refers cannot be identified with certainty, but one of them was likely the Abbé Raynal's Révolution de l’Amérique, London, 1781. For JA's four unpublished letters of Jan. 1782 criticizing Raynal's work, see vol. 12:204–213.
7. JA refers to Mably's Observations sur les Grecs, Geneva, 1749, and Observations sur les Romains, Geneva, 1751. JA's library at MB contains a 1770 English translation of the former and the 1767 second edition of the latter (Catalogue of JA's Library).
8. JA's observations on the role played by Massachusetts institutions in the origin and progress of the American Revolution are not unique to this letter. He had repeatedly expressed them in letters and in print since 1778 as part of his effort to educate otherwise uninformed Europeans about what was happening in America. They should be compared with JA's 1780 rebuttals to speeches in Parliament by Henry Seymour Conway and Lord George Germain that were published in both the Mercure de France and the London General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (vol. 9:321–324, 350–358, 504–506).
9. This is likely an inadvertence. Since the other three schools are all in New England, JA probably meant to refer to Brown University, or Rhode Island College as it was called before it moved to Providence in 1770 and was renamed in 1804. However, Rhode Island College was founded in 1764 at Warren, not Warwick, Rhode Island. It is worth noting that while the reference to Warwick was retained in the versions of the letter published by Cerisier and in Defence of the Const., in the North American Review either JA or the editor changed the word, and thus the institution, to Princeton.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0005

Author: Mably, Abbé de
DateRange: 1783-01 - 1783-02

IV. From the Abbé de Mably

L’ABBE DE MABLY est bien faché de ne s’etre pas trouvé chez lui quand Monsieur Adams lui a fait l’honneur d’y passer. Il a celui de lui remettre l’ecrit qu’il a addresse: jamais l’Abbé de Mably ne s’est proposé d’écrire l’histoire de la revolution d’Amerique, il seroit mort avant que d’avoir rassemblé la moitié des materiaux d’ún si important ouvrage. Il sera tres obligé à Monsieur Adams s’il veut avoir la bonté de lui faire tirer une copie de la derniere partie de cet ecrit, en y joignant quelques remarques sur le genie et les interets de quelques unes des premiers confederés, et surtout sur l’etat actuel des richesses ou fortunes des particuliers, et sur la nature du luxe connu en Amerique.
{ 181 }


The Abbé de Mably deeply regrets not having been at home when Mr. Adams paid him the honor of a visit. He has however the honor of returning the text addressed to him: the Abbé de Mably never intended to write a history of the American Revolution, for he would be dead long before he had collected even half the material needed for so large a work. He would be much obliged if Mr. Adams could kindly obtain for him a copy of the last part of this text, adding a few remarks about the genius and interests of the first confederates, and especially about the current state of wealth or fortunes of private individuals and the degree of luxury found in America.
RC not found. Printed from North American Review, 4:57 (Nov. 1816).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-17

V. To the Abbé de Mably

[salute] Sir,

In the letter which I did myself the honor to write you, on the 15th. I did not think proper to mention myself, or any writings of mine, while I was enumerating those original Documents for history, which are already in print. But as I have been constantly an Actor, in the American Controversy & Revolution, in some Capacity or other, fm. the year 1761. and, altho’ constantly much oppressed with business, public or private, have frequently been obliged to write & publish sentiments upon public Affairs, generally, however, without my name, I think it now an honor to communicate to you, in Confidence, what I have written that has been published— I do this, with design, that, in case any Accident shd. happen to me,1 which from the present ill State of my health I have reason to apprehend there shd. be extant some authentic Account from my self of what I have written, that my memory may not be loaded by Posterity with a multitude of base writings, of which I am incapable, nor honor'd with the imputation of superior writings, beyond the reach of my Capacity— If life shd. be spared me, it is my intention to collect them all together, & print them, as they are numerous eno: to form several volumes. They are valuable only as rude Documents of history.
The first in order is in the year—
1761— A report of the argument of the Case of “Writs of Assistants,” before the superior Court at Boston. At this time I was young at the bar, and took some imperfect minutes of the arguments of { 182 } Mr: Gridley, Mr: Otis, & Mr: Thatcher & of the Judges— This argument opened to view a system of facts & of Principles, wh: shewed that G:B: entertained Sentiments & Designs, concerning the Colonies, wh: every native, unbiassed American knew & felt that they never would finally submit to—2
1763. Three fugitive Peices in the Boston Gazette, subscribed U, in answr. to a Tory-Writer, who subscribed himself J—3
1765. An Essay on the Canon & feudal Law;4 the Instructions of the Town of Braintree to their Representative, respectg: the Stamp-Act,5 and 3 fugitive Peices under the title of Clarendon to Pym.—6
1766. Three fugitive Peices, under the Title of Governor Winthrop to Govr: Bradford—7
1768. The Instructions of the Town of Boston to their Representatives—8
1769. The Instructions of Do. ——— to Do. ———9
1770— The tryal of Capn: Preston & a Party of British Soldiers, for firing on a number of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Kings-Street, in the Evening of the 5th. March 1770— Give me leave to observe that this Event & this Tryal form an epocha in American history, & contributed more than any other event which ever happened to convince the People of America that they cod. ultimately have no dependence upon any resource for the defence of their Liberties, but upon an union of the Colonies, & a Continental Army—10
1772. or 3. Eight fugitive Peices, under the Title of Letters to Gen: Brattle on the Independency of the Judges, upon the occasion of G:B:'s taking the pay of the Judges into his own hands, out of those of the People's Representatives—11
177<2>4 & <3>5. <Eight> A series of12 fugitive peices, under the Signature of Novanglus, containg: an extensive view of the American Controversy, concerng: the Author: of Parliament, & a laborious Research into Precedents of Similar Cases—such as the Cases of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Chester, Durham, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, & Man, Garscoigne, Guienne and Wight— An Extract from these writings was printed in London in 1775, or 6— in the Remembrancer, under the Title of an “history of the Rise & progress of the present disputes in America”—13
1776— Tho’ts on Government, in a letter fm. a Gent. to his friend. This pamphlet was written in the beginning of the year, 1776. when we first began in Congress to see & feel the necessity of instituting new Governments— It was the first pamphlet that was published on { 183 } the occasion & was dispersed thro’ the several States, in order to put the People into a right Tract of thinking— It contained a sketch of that idea, which I was afterwards called, in the Convention of Massa. in 1779. to extend and improve, in the formation of the Constitution of that Commonwealth—14
These, with 2 or 3. fugitive peices written in the 1762. or 3. under the Signature of Humphrey Ploughjogger,15 not worth mentioning, are all that I recollect to have even written in America, excepting in a public Character, as a Member of the Legislature of Massachusetts or of Congress, which it is unnecessary to mention here—
These are mean Writings of a man, little versed in Letters, & constantly loaded with business—done in great haste—never corrected, & rendered interresting only by the times in which they were written, and the events to which they had relation— But, as they enter into the very essence of this Revolution fm. the very beginning of it, they will be, sooner or later, more or less, attended to—
I am with great esteem & Respect, Sir, / &c: &c.—
LbC in Charles Storer's hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Monsr: l’Abbè Mably—”; notation: “This Letter was never Sent, but the original was burned by me. It may remain here, without Imputation of Vanity.”; APM Reel 108.
1. The following fourteen words are interlined in JA's hand.
2. The Writs of Assistance case was argued on 24 Feb. 1761. For JA's notes on it and in particular the role played by James Otis, one of JA's legal and political heroes, see JA, Legal Papers, 2:106–147.
3. The four letters signed “U” appeared in the Boston Gazette on 18 July, 1 and 29 Aug., and 5 Sept. 1763, partly in response to Jonathan Sewall's letters signed “J” in the Boston Evening Post. For the letters and an analysis of JA's motives in writing them, see vol. 1:59, 61, 66–81, 84–90.
4. For “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” published in the Boston Gazette on 12 and 19 Aug., 30 Sept., and 21 Oct. 1765, together with JA's notes and a draft, see vol. 1:103–128. The “Dissertation” was later published in the London Chronicle on 23 and 28 Nov., and 3 and 26 Dec. 1765; and by Thomas Hollis as part of a pamphlet entitled The True Sentiments of America, London, 1768. Moreover, in 1782 JA had published at London A Collection of State-Papers . . . to Which Is Prefixed the Political Character of John Adams, Ambassador . . . to . . . the Netherlands. By an American [Edmund Jenings]. Likewise an Essay on Canon and Feudal Law by J. Adams, Esq. (vol. 1:104–105). For additional information on the “Dissertation” and JA's view of its importance, see vol. 9:192–193, 221–222; 11:485–490; 12:8.
5. For the “Instructions to Braintree's Representative concerning the Stamp Act” as drafted by JA, adopted by the town meeting on 24 Sept., and printed in the Massachusetts Gazette on 10 Oct. 1765, see vol. 1:129–144.
6. The letters from “Clarendon to William Pym” appeared in the Boston Gazette on 13, 20, and 27 Jan. 1766 (vol. 1:155–170).
7. The pieces entitled “Governor Winthrop to Governor Bradford” appeared in the Boston Gazette on 26 Jan. and 9 and 16 Feb. 1767, but an essay of the same title and fragments of another were unpublished. All were part of JA's response to Jonathan Sewall, who wrote as Philanthrop in defense of Gov. Francis Bernard. JA's response included one unsigned essay, three done as Humphrey Ploughjogger, and two as Misanthrop. Of those, only two of the Ploughjogger essays were published, appearing in the Boston Gazette on 5 and 19 Jan. 1767 (vol. 1:174–211).
8. These are the instructions of 17 June 1768 protesting the seizure of John { 184 } Hancock's sloop Liberty by the customs commissioners. JA's service on the committee to draft the instructions was his first participation in Boston town government since his move to Boston earlier in the year. JA served as Hancock's attorney in the subsequent legal proceedings (vol. 1:216–221).
9. Likely a reference, in particular, to the instructions of 8 May 1769 protesting the royal government's efforts to quarter troops in Boston, raise revenue, and try Americans in vice-admiralty courts; and, in general, to all efforts to strengthen British administration of the colony (vol. 1:224–230).
10. For the Boston Massacre trials, Rex v. Preston and Rex v. Wemms, and JA's participation as defense counsel for the British soldiers, see JA, Legal Papers, vol. 3.
11. This paragraph was written below the closing and marked for insertion at this point. The seven essays appeared in the Boston Gazette between 11 Jan. and 22 Feb. 1773. All were signed by JA and were intended to counter arguments, advanced most notably by William Brattle, advocating the payment of judicial salaries by the Crown rather than the province of Massachusetts (vol. 1:252–309).
12. The canceled numbers and words and their replacements are in JA's hand.
13. The Novanglus essays were written in response to a series of pieces by Daniel Leonard, writing as Massachusettensis, although at the time JA thought his opponent was Jonathan Sewall. As Novanglus, JA argued that the American colonies were not part of the realm and thus not subject to the authority of Parliament. For the twelve essays that appeared in the Boston Gazette between 23 Jan. and 17 April 1775 and a thirteenth that was not published, as well as an analysis of the arguments posed by JA and Leonard, see vol. 2:216–387. Edited portions of essays 2–6 were published by John Almon under the title “History of the Dispute with America; from Its Origin in 1754” in his Remembrancer; or, Impartial Repository of Public Events, London, 1775, p. 24–32, 45–54. JA does not mention the 1782 publication of a Dutch translation of the text taken from Almon's Remembrancer in which he likely played a role (vol. 13:458).
14. For Thoughts on Government in its original form as March 1776 letters to North Carolina congressmen William Hooper and John Penn and as later published in Philadelphia and Boston, together with an analysis of its influence on early state constitutions, see vol. 4:65–93.
15. Humphrey Ploughjogger was JA's favorite literary pseudonym. In fact, it was the name that he used in the first newspaper contribution that can be verifiably identified as his own, an essay in the Boston Evening Post of 3 March 1763, which was followed by two others in the same paper on 20 June and 5 September. JA used the name again on 14 Oct. 1765 in a piece in the Boston Gazette that questioned Parliament's right to tax the colonies (vol. 1:58–62, 63–66, 90–94, 146–148) and finally in 1767 during his exchange with Philanthrop, for which see note 7. In a letter of 3 April 1782 to Edmund Jenings, in which he commented on the impending Dutch recognition of the United States, JA wrote that “you know Some of the Ploughing and hoeing and harrowing, which has prepared the Ground you know Some of the seed that has been sown, and that it was Humphry Ploughjogger who sowed it. But the Crop has exceeded Humphrys most Sanguine Expectations” (vol. 12:382–383).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0111-0007

Author: Marmontel, Jean François
Date: 1783-03-08

VI. From Jean François Marmontel

Mr. Marmontel1 a l’honneur de faire mille complimens a Monsieur Adams, et de lui renvoyer l’excellente lettre qu’il a eu la bonté de lui confier’. Elle lui fait sentir plus que jamais l’extreme besoin qu’il a de ses secours et de ses lumieres pour etre en etat d’écrire passablement l’histoire de la grande revolution, qui fait la gloire de l’Amerique septentrionale et qui assure son bonheur.
{ 185 }


Mr. Marmontel1 is honored to present his compliments to Mr. Adams, and to return the excellent letter he so kindly entrusted to him. More than ever, this letter makes him realize how greatly he needs Mr. Adams' help and insight to compose a reasonable account of the great revolution that constitutes the glory of North America and guarantees its happiness.
RC not found. Printed from North American Review, 4:57 (Nov. 1816).
1. Novelist, poet, dramatist, and historian, Jean François Marmontel (1723–1799) had served as historiographer of France since 1771 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0112

Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-09

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

[salute] Sir

We had the honour to write yoúr Excellency the 30th. December past. advising that in Consequence of your Opinion we had already Remitted part of the £[₶]400/m. to Mr. Grand. we also notified to yoúr Excellency a Bill of Bco. ƒ 1100 which we had paid drawn on Mr. Laurens and accepted by yoúr Excellency the 24th. June at 6/m Sight.
This we have the Pleasure to Confirm your Excellency. and being deprived Since of yoúr Esteemed favoúrs. we have to acquaint Yoúr Excellency that the Sum of 400/m. desired by Mr. Grand is Since Compleated by Our further Remittances.
We have again paid four Bills drawn On Mr. Laurens, and accepted by Yoúr Excellency. vizt.1
Bo   ƒ 550.—   }   On the 4th. July at 6/mo. sight  
“ 550.—  
“ 550.—   }   On the 8th. July. at 6/m Sight  
“ 550.—    
      which will be carried to the account of the united States—.  
As we are Writing to his Excellency Robert Morris Esqr., we acquaint him that during the month of December past, the Obligations by ús distribúted Amounts to a Sum of ƒ 24000.—2
{ 186 }
We have the honoúr to Remain with the Sincerest Regard. / Sir / Yoúr Excellency's most obedt. / most humble Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
We have received the Pacquet with the duplicates of the obligations ratifyed in Congress, with the Letter to Mr. dane whch. Mr Fynje 'll forward, So as we have done that to Mr. Dumas.3
We shall forward by Frazier Capn. of the Firebrand the Letter to MiLady Adams, bound for boston to Sail in a few days,4 we remain always / Your Excellency's Most Humb Servant
[signed] W & J Wlk
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency. John Adams Esqr. / at Paris”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mess Willinks & Co. / 9. Jany. 1783.”
1. For these bills, presented by the Amsterdam bankers John Hodshon on 4 July 1782 and Jean de Neufville & Fils on the 8th of the same month, see M/JA/18, p. 72, APM Reel 192.
2. The consortium's letter to Robert Morris of 9 Jan. has not been found, but Morris acknowledged it in his letter of 8 May (Morris, Papers, 8:17–18).
3. The letter to Francis Dana was likely Livingston's of 18 Sept. 1782 (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:741–742). For the letter or letters to Dumas, see JA's 5 Nov. 1782 letter to the consortium, note 2, above.
4. This letter cannot be identified with certainty, but since AA replied to JA's letters of 4 Dec. 1782 and 29 Jan. on 7 April, this is likely his letter of 28 Dec., with which he enclosed a copy of his “Peace Journal.” The Firebrand sailed on or about 7 March, the Boston Evening Post of 12 April reporting its arrival on the 9th, 34 days out of Amsterdam. AA refers to the journal in her letter to JA of 28 April (AFC, 5:60, 116–119, 141–145).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0113

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-10

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I was yesterday favoured with your's of the 6th. inst: from Paris, which has been 34 days on its rout here. Ten of them might have been saved if you had thought of delivering it to Mr: G——d1 to be forwarded under cover to his friend in this City. From the time we had the first intelligence of the preliminaries being signed, viz. the 15th. of this Month O.S. I have been most impatiently expecting advice of it from you. Before the receipt of your letter we had receiv'd the King's speech, by which it appears the preliminaries were signed conditionally on our part. You have not said whether the state of things was such as you cou'd be assured they wou'd take effect by the performance of the conditions. I shall hope to be favoured with { 187 } a copy of the preliminaries as soon as possible.2 I am now much at ease about them since you tell me, “we have tolerable satisfaction” upon the three capital points. As to the fourth which you mention, do what you may, it must rest with others. I most sincerely congratulate with you upon this great event.
I am much obliged by the opinion of Dr: Franklin, Mr: Jay, Mr: Laurens, & of yourself. I beg you all to accept my thanks for your attention to this quarter. I shall give you the earliest notice when I take any step here. Your and Dr: F's answer to the proposition which I made to you in my letter of the 14/25 Novr: is much wanted. Nothing can be done without your compliance. If you have decided against it, let me beseech you to reconsider it, and to consult the whole fraternity upon it. You may rely upon it, it is indispensably necessary; and that our Interests will suffer by delays.
If I am satisfied I can obtain essential services & advantages for our Country by it, what do you think of my undertaking to naturalise an Individual in this City, who is no subject of Her Imperial Majesty or his Britannic Majesty, by the simple act of administering an Oath of Allegiance to him, after I shall have been received at this Court? His residence will be fixed here. No office or appointment will be expected, nor any other advantages than such as will result from his being considered here as a subject of the United-States. The measure will not give any offence to any one in this Government, I am persuaded. I am very sensible we hold not the keys of the United-States in our hands, but we do their Interests in a great measure. I recollect some instances of this sort. If you have no objections upon your mind, you wou'd much oblige me by your sentiments upon this subject, and especially if you wou'd also take the opinions of Dr: Franklin Mr: Jay, and Mr: Laurens, and acquaint me with the result without any loss of time.
I have not received any letter from your son, since the 13th. Decr: N.S. at Stockholm, when he wrote he expected to quit that city the next week. We have not since had any post from thence. He is probably in Holland by this time. I hope he has wrote you from Stockholm as I charged him to do, & advised you from time to time of his progress.
I cannot close this letter without praying you to present my particular regards to Mr: Laurens, and sincere condolence for the loss of his most worthy Son.
I am, my dear Sir, with the greatest esteem & respect / Your most obedient humble Servant
[signed] FRA DANA
{ 188 }
P.S. Please to acquaint Mr: Thaxter that I have received his letter of the 24th. of Novr: and sent an answer to the one inclosed to the care of Mr: Grand not knowing the particular address of the Gentn3 My Complts to our Friends the two Abbés.4
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Exy: Mr: Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c.”; endorsed: “Mr Dana 30. Dec. 1782 / ansd 5. Feb. 1783.” Filmed at 30 Dec. 1782.
1. Presumably one of the Grands. See the postscript to this letter.
3. John Thaxter's letter of 24 Nov. 1782 enclosed a letter from “our friend Allen,” presumably Jeremiah Allen, who wanted information about doing business “at the North Pole,” i.e., Russia (MHi:Dana Family Papers). No copy of Dana's reply has been found, but see his advice against Allen's coming to Russia in his letter of [31 Jan.], below. In any event, Allen sailed from Amsterdam for Riga on 4 May (AFC, 5:151). In his letter to Dana, Thaxter also wrote, regarding the peace negotiations, that “I am not altogether in the Secret— I catch a Drop now & then— But the Plenipos. are not very leaky— I ask no Questions—for I am not very curious— You know our Countrymen are a little Inquisitive, and if they once get Scent that any body has got a Spice of what is going forward, they charge him with being misterious, if he does not out with the whole matter at once—that he affects Mystery & Secrecy about Trifles— If I hear nothing, I can roundly sound the negative, when questioned.— I can't avoid knowing something about the matter—but my Lips are carefully stiched up.—”
4. The abbés Arnoux and Chalut, old friends of JA and Dana at Paris.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0114

Author: Vauguyon, the Duc de La
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-12

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

J’aurois vivement desiré monsieur d’avoir l’honneur de vous voir avant mon depart de Paris et je me Suis a cet effet presenté chés vous inutilement Je m’etois chargé dans l’esperance de Vous y trouver de vous remettre moy même des lettres que M. James Jay m’avoit recommandées et que je m’empresse de vous faire passer ci jointes.1 Recevés monsieur tous mes regrets de n’avoir pû vous demander vos commissions2 pour la haye et vous renouveller l’assurance des Sentiments inviolables de consideration très distinguée avec lesquels j’ai l’honneur d’être, Monsieur, votre très humble & très obéissant Serviteur
[signed] Le duc De La vauguyon


I very much hoped, sir, to have the honor of seeing you before I left Paris and called on you with this in mind, but in vain. Hoping to find you at home, I intended to deliver the letters Sir James Jay entrusted to me and { 189 } which I hasten to enclose.1 Please accept my regrets at being unable to request your commissions2 for The Hague, and to assure you of the inviolable sentiments and most distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Le duc De La vauguyon
RC (MHi:Adams-Hull Coll.); internal address: “M. Adams.”; endorsed by Charles Storer: “D. de la Vauguyon / 12th. Jany. 1783.”
1. Only one letter from Sir James Jay, that of 21 Nov. (Adams Papers), can be identified as having been carried by La Vauguyon from the Netherlands. In that letter, to which no extant reply from JA has been found, Jay referred JA to La Vauguyon as a person who could allay any doubts about Jay's support for the American cause. For the basis of the suspicions regarding Jay, see vol. 13:187–188; AFC, 3:14–15.
2. That is, JA's requests to carry letters or other items to The Hague.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0115

Author: Barclay, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-13

From Thomas Barclay

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 25th. November, and was so well pleased to find you had not intirely forgot Me, that I did Not recollect you had passed so long a time in silence— The truth is that I know you have so Many Matters of Consequence to think and write about, that I shou'd be very sorry you wou'd ever Endeavour at any kind of punctuality with Me
I am sure I need not tell you that it will give me great pleasure to hear every Now and then that you are well, and to receive and forward your Commands on All occasions
I Congratulate you on your relief from that Source of Plague, vexation, and Torment the Money, and I heartily wish you were not so singular on that subject,—1 I do not wish your sentiments alterd, but that there were More people like you in that respect. The Heer Adams arrived last Evening in four weeks from the Delaware, and brought the Inclosed Dispatches for you and Mr. Dana, I thought it proper to send those for Mr. Dana to you, as you perhaps will incline to put them under an other Cover, and know the best Manner of forwarding them—2
The subjects of Peace and War have Engross'd the attention of every person here for some weeks, and we are still in suspence Concerning the Issue of your Negociations— I am forwarding the public supplies as fast as in My power, this seeming to be the properest step I Can take— If any thing Definitive is done, you or My friend Mr. Thaxter will oblige Me much by Informing me of it, as soon as it Can be done with propriety, as My knowing it as earlie as my { 190 } Neighbours may be of great use in the Government of myself respecting the public Matters under my Care— God bless and prosper you My Dear Sir, is the True wish of Your affectionate
[signed] Thos Barclay
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excy: Jno. Adams Esqr.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Barclay / 13th. Jany. 1783.”
1. That is, JA's relief at Robert Morris' assumption of responsibility for the disbursement of the money obtained from the Dutch loan, for which see JA's 25 Nov. letter to Barclay, above.
2. The dispatches for JA likely included letters from Lewis R. Morris of 6 Nov. and from Robert R. Livingston of 6 and 18 Nov., all above. For the Livingston letters, see JA's reply of 23 Jan., below. The dispatches for Dana likely included letters of 7 Nov. from Lewis R. Morris and Livingston, for which see Dana's reply to Livingston of [7 March] (MHi:Francis Dana Letterbooks, Official, 1782–1784). If JA forwarded the letters to Dana, it was probably with his letter of 5 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0116

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-13

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I have read your preliminary treaty with some attention and much satisfaction. You will suffer me however to suggest whether it might not be expedient in the definitive Treaty, to ascertain more particularly the property of all the Islands in the Lakes, but especially those situated in, or near the entrance of, their several water communications; as also the right of navigating on either side of the imaginary line drawn thrô the middle of the Lakes, and of their communications, as shall be necessary and most convenient for the full enjoyment of a free navigation from one of them to the other. Suppose it shou'd be alleged as it may be with some plausibility, that this imaginary line passes thrô the communications at an equal distance from their main shores—and suppose there are two passages formed by an Island lying on one side of such a Line, the one fit for canoes or small boats only, and the other for large Battoes or vessels. Wou'd there not be room for one party to claim an exclusive right of passage thro the great channel? You will at once see the effect of such a pretension upon the Interests of the other, if persisted in. The intention of both parties may be that this imaginary line thrô the communications, shoud pass along the middle of the best and largest channels, and that the property in the Islands lying within them shou'd be settled accordingly. Yet if this shou'd be clearly explained in the definitive Treaty, may it not be advisable to secure a right of passage up and down any of the water passes; as those may become { 191 } more or less convenient according to the changes they may undergoe in the several seasons, as well as the size of the boats or vessel which may pass them. It is sometimes necessary in those routes to transport effects over carrying places, which may not only be in fact made, but be feasible on one shore of the communication—and to land from time to time for drawing boats and vessels up and down the communication—as well as to put into places for shelter from storms, and for other necessary purposes. Without mutual liberty in those respects (in time of peace) a communication from Lake to Lake may be absolutely impracticable for one or both of the parties.— As the Indians on the North of the Lakes frequently pass them to trade on the South, might it not be expedient to secure a free passage for them, and liberty to trade with either party as they may think proper— The exception at the end of the second article may be a source of continual contests, as there has been repugnant claims subsisting between those Neighbours. The Line is certain, the exception leaves all at loose— I submit these reflections to your candour and friendship. You will pay what attention to them you may think they deserve.1 I had at first intended to have addressed them to all the Commissioners, but I thought it wou'd be rather too formal a mode; and that every beneficial purpose might as well be answered in this private Course. I make no apology for this liberty, knowing that we are embarked in the same cause, and wish to promote its success by all means in our power—
I am, my dear Sir, with the most perfect esteem & sincere regard / your much obliged Friend, & most obedient humble Servant
[signed] FRA DANA
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J. Adams / Minister Plenipotentiary &c.”; endorsed: “Mr Dana. Jan. 13. / 1783.”
1. The exception referred to by Dana was to “Such Islands, as now are, or heretofore have been within the Limits of the Said Province of Nova Scotia” (Preliminary Peace Treaty, 30 Nov. 1782, above). However, no response by JA to either that observation or those on the passages through and between the lakes has been found in any of his later letters to Dana.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Penn, Lady Juliana Fermor
Date: 1783-01-14

To Lady Juliana Fermor Penn

[salute] My Lady.

I received Yesterday the Letter, your Ladyship did me the Honour to write me, on the twenty fourth of December, and am obliged to you for your polite Attention to me.
{ 192 }
The Subject of the Letter is as I Suppose in Pensylvania and must ultimately be decided by the Government of that Commonwealth So that probably no question concerning it, will ever come under my Consideration in any publick Character, if however it Should happen otherwise I Shall ever be disposed to do you all the service, which may be consistent with my duty.
But whether in a publick or private Capacity, I shall ever have a just Respect for the Family, and be desirous to do them Justice in all Things, as far as may be in my Power
I have the Honour to be very respectfully, your Ladyships / most obedient and most humble servant
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Lady Juliana Penn, Spring Garden / London.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0118

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-14

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur,

L’Incluse pour Philade. vous mettra au fait du courant ici.1 L’honorée vôtre du ler. Janv. est pour moi une vraie & précieuse Etrenne de nouvel an. J’ai fait confidence verbale du contenu à Mrs. De G——, V. B., & V. sous le sceau du secret, & à personne autre. Ils en ont été charmés. Du reste, ils étoient bien sûrs d’avance de vos bonnes dispositions & de celle de Mrs. vos Collegues pour cette Rep. Ce qui leur tient à coeur, c’est que, com̃e Mr. Brantzen écrit constam̃ent dans ses Dépeches ici, de la part de Mr. le C—— de V——, le soin qu’il a des intérêts de la rep., vous l’autorisassiez demême ministériellement à apprendre à L. H. P., que vous les avez également à coeur.2
Ces Messieurs ici S’appliquent à cet égard le vers de l’Ecole: Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.3 En un mot, ils souhaitteroient, que les dites Dépeches rendissent ici la justice qui est due à chacun.
Mr. De Gr. a écrit à Mr. Brantzen, pour qu’il pressât de sa part Mr. le Baron de Linden (ci-devt. Envoyé de la rep. en Suede) de revenir au plutôt de Paris où il est depuis quelques mois. Mais il n’a pas fait ouverture à Mr. Brantzen de son plan, parce qu’il ne voudroit pas que celui-ci en com̃uniquât quelque chose prématurément à quelque relation en ce pays. Mr. Gr. vous prie donc, Monsieur, d’avoir un Entretien avec Mr. De Linde Mr. De Linde étoit logé en { 193 } Novembre à l’Hôtel des Etats-Unis rue Gallion & je suppose qu’il y est encore,4 & de lui confier de sa part, sous le secret, que son plan est de faire ensorte, que Mr. De Linde soit nom̃é Ministre de cette Rep. auprès des Etats-Unis; & que, pour cet effet, il faut qu’il revienne incessam̃ent ici, pour battre ensemble la fer pendant qu’il est chaud. Mr. V. Bl. de son côté n’a rien contre ce plan.
La poste, qui va partir, ne me laisse que le moment de finir, avec mon respectueux attachement, Monsieur, De V. Exce. / le très humble & très obéisst. / serviteur
[signed] Dumas5


[salute] Sir

The enclosed for Philadelphia will inform you of current events here.1 Your distinguished letter of 1 January was a true and precious New Year's gift. I imparted its contents orally to Mr. Gyselaar, Mr. Van Berckel, and Mr. Visscher, in the strictest confidence, and to no one else. They were delighted. Moreover, they were already certain of your goodwill and that of your colleagues toward this republic. Given that Mr. Brantsen is always writing dispatches about the Comte de Vergennes' concern for Dutch interests, their heartfelt wish is for you to authorize him to inform their High Mightinesses officially that you have them equally in mind.2
In this connection, the gentlemen here apply the old school maxim to themselves: Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.3 In a word, they would like the said dispatches to render to each his just deserts.
Mr. Gyselaar has written to Mr. Brantsen telling him to urge the Baron De Lynden (former envoy of the republic to Sweden) to return forthwith from Paris, where he has been for several months. But he has not fully apprised Mr. Brantsen of his plan because he did not want the latter to communicate any of it prematurely to one of his connections in this country. Mr. Gyselaar thus asks you, sir, to talk to Mr. De Lynden, who was staying at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis in the rue Gallion last November—and must, I suppose, still be there4—and tell him confidentially that his plan is to arrange for Mr. De Lynden to be appointed this republic's minister to the United States. To this end, he must necessarily return here, so that both may strike while the iron is hot. Mr. Van Berckel, for his part, has nothing against this plan.
The post is about to depart and leaves me but a moment to conclude, with my respectful esteem, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas5
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams Esqr., M. P. D. E. U.” For the enclosure, see note 5.
{ 194 }
1. Probably Dumas' serial letter of 1–11 Jan. to Robert R. Livingston (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 208–210). There Dumas provided a digest of events in the Netherlands, including various resolutions taken by the States of Holland and West Friesland and the States General on a variety of matters, including the December disorders at The Hague. Also mentioned was Frederick II's effort to mediate the ongoing dispute between William V and the States General, the progress of efforts to name a Dutch minister to the United States, and the arrival of dispatches from Paris containing an exchange between the British and Dutch peace negotiators. For the last, see JA's 22 Jan. letter to Robert R. Livingston, and note 4, below.
2. This paragraph ended at the midpoint of the first page of the letter with the remainder of the page blank. Dumas wrote, “Ce blanc est resté par abus,” which translates to “This space was left by mistake,” and drew a line to indicate that the letter continued on the following page.
3. Persius, Satires, Satire I, line 27: “Your knowledge is nothing unless others know that you possess it.”
4. From the second mention of De Lynden's name to this point, this passage was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
5. Not mentioned by Dumas but enclosed with this letter was an undated exchange of letters between Philip Mazzei and Dumas concerning a missing packet of letters from Philadelphia. Mazzei had first taken the matter up with JA in a letter of 23 Dec. 1782, to which JA had replied on the 28th, both above. In his answer to Mazzei, Dumas echoed JA, indicating that he had no knowledge of the missing packet and had conveyed to Mazzei all of the letters that had passed through his hands.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0119

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1783-01-14

Francis Dana to the American Peace Commissioners

[salute] Gentlemen

I was honoured with your favour of the 12th. of Decr: by the last post, enclosing a Copy of the preliminary Treaty of Peace between his Britannic Majesty and the United States. I most heartily congratulate with you upon this great event, in which you have had the honour of so distinguished a part. I think that we ought to be, and shall be satisfied with the terms of peace. But we are here wholly at a loss whether the other belligerant parties will be able to adjust their several pretensions, and of Course whether our Treaty will take effect. The prevailing opinion here among the best informed, is that we shall have a general peace. However this may be, we shall see a war break out on the other side of Europe. Some of the Powers which will be engaged in it, do not wish to see all the present belligerant Powers at peace, for reasons which will readily occur to you.
I thank you, Gentlemen, for your opinions respecting the communication of my Mission to the Ministers of Her Imperial Majesty, and of the other Neutral Powers, residing at this Court. But, “absolute certainty of success” are strong words, and will bind me down to a state of inaction till the conclusion of the present War; unless I shou'd receive positive assurances that things are prepared for my { 195 } reception; of which I have no expectation. I have yesterday consulted the French Minister upon this matter, and acquainted him at the same time with your opinions, as well as communicated to him the preliminary Treaty. He thinks that thô in this moment I might not meet with a refusal, yet my admission wou'd be upon various pretences, postponed, till advice shou'd be received here, whether we are to have peace or war: a question which it is expected will be decided at furthest in the course of a fortn’night, and that if the War shou'd be continued, I shou'd not be received. Thus I am doubly bound down as above, during the War. If unfortunately the negotiations shou'd be broken off, it is my present determination to retire from this Court, without communicating my Mission, and to return by the first opportunity to America. I cannot think it for the honour or interest of the United-States, after what has already taken place between them and his Britannic Majesty, that I shou'd wait the issue of another campaign. I am persuaded we have nothing to fear from this quarter in any event. If they will not improve a fair occasion which is presented to them, to promote the mutual Interests of both Empires, they may hereafter repent it.1
I am, Gentlemen, with the greatest respect and esteem, / Your most obedient & most humble Servant.
FC (MHi:Francis Dana Letterbooks, Official, 1782–1784); internal address: “The Commissioners of the / United States, at Paris”; notation: “By the post of the same day thrô Mr: W. to Mr: G. / under cover to Mr:A.” The notation presumably refers to Mr. Wolff of the St. Petersburg banking firm of Strahlborn & Wolff and to one of the Grands at Paris.
1. On 15 Jan. Dana wrote to Robert R. Livingston (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:213–214). There he included the information in this letter to the commissioners but did not mention Russia's procrastination as a reason for returning to America. He then noted the possibility of a new war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia as a result of an Austro-Russian agreement to partition the Crimea, first discussed in his letter to Livingston of 30 March 1782 (same, 5:280–283). However, in the file copy of the 15 Jan. letter in Dana's letterbook, in the midst of his analysis of the Crimea, is a long passage that he omitted from the letter as sent to Livingston. There, commenting on the impending war's effect on French policy toward the peace negotiations then ongoing, he wrote that “it does not seem to be the interest of the House of Bourbon to put an end to the present war, with an almost certain prospect of being speedily under the necessity of entering into a new and general one in Europe. As by such a measure G: Britain being freed from that Mill Stone about her Neck, the American War, might be enabled to take a more active part in the new one. And She surely will not fail to seize upon the earliest occasion to satisfy her malice against that House.” Since the United States was a French ally, the outbreak of a war between France on the one side and Russia and Great Britain on the other would require his immediate departure (MHi:Francis Dana Letterbooks, Official, 1782–1784).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0120

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-16

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Voici enfin l’Etat militaire Suédois. Je l’ai extrait d’un Livre que Mr. D’Asp m’a prêté, & duquel j’ai ordonné à un Libraire de faire venir 2 Exemplaires d’Allemagne, où il est imprimé. Sir J. Jay vous aura remis, Monsieur, un petit Livret Hollandois sur la même matiere quant à cette rep., & dont j’en voie demain un second Exemplaire de votre part dans un paquet à Mr. Livingston.1
J’écrirai à Berlin, pour me procurer un pareil Etat delà, s’il y a moyen.2
Voici une Lettre pour Mr. De Linde, que vous voudrez bien, Monsieur, cacheter d’un oubli, & faire rendre.3
Me. Dumas, en priant Son Exce. d’agréer ses respects & ceux de sa fille, trouve les Anglois plus lambins encore que les Hollandois. “Si elle étoit Mr. Adam, elle leur demanderoit une réponse cathégorique, qu’elle iroit attendre à Lahaie.”4
Votre Lettre du ler. Janv. me laisse un violent appétit pour les Topicks que vous m’y promettez de m’expliquer plus particulierement.
Je Suis avec un très-grand respect, Monsieur / De V. Exce. le très humble & très obeissant / serviteur
[signed] Dumas


[salute] Sir

Here at last is the state of the Swedish military. I took it from a book that Mr. Asp lent me and have instructed a bookseller to order two copies from Germany, where it is printed. Sir James Jay will have given you, sir, a small Dutch booklet on the same subject regarding this republic, and I'm sending a second copy on your behalf in a packet to Mr. Livingston.1
I shall write to Berlin to obtain a similar account if possible.2
Here is a letter for Mr. De Lynden, sir, which you should please seal and deliver.3
Mme. Dumas, who begs your excellency to accept her greetings and those of her daughter, finds the English even more inclined to drag their feet than the Dutch. “If she were Mr. Adams, she would ask them for a categorical response, which she would go and wait for at The Hague.”4
Your letter of 1 January has given me a fierce appetite for the Topics you promise to explain in greater detail.
I am with very great respect, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Excellence Mr. Adams, M. P. des E. U.”
{ 197 }
1. Neither Dumas' sources for his accounts of the Dutch and Swedish armies, nor the accounts themselves, have been found. However, Benjamin Lincoln acknowledged receiving them in a letter of 29 April (Adams Papers), indicating that they had arrived in a packet from Thomas Barclay. According to Lincoln, Barclay ascribed the absence of a cover letter from JA to its being lost when it fell into the water.
2. In Dumas' letterbook (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 483–484), immediately following his letter to JA is an undated one to Count Ewald Friedrich von Hertzberg, the chief minister of Prussia, requesting information on the Prussian army.
3. In Dumas' letterbook (same, f. 481–482), immediately preceding Dumas' letter to JA, is one of 16 Jan. to Baron de Lynden van Blitterswyck expressing concern over events at Paris.
4. Marie Dumas is referring to JA's decision to address the States General on 9 Jan. 1782 and demand a categorical or unequivocal response to his memorial of 19 April 1781. She, as well as JA, believed that it forced the Dutch to recognize the United States as independent and JA as its minister to the Netherlands in April 1782 (vol. 12:108–110).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0121

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Boylston, Thomas
Date: 1783-01-17

To Thomas Boylston

[salute] Sir

Your Favour of the 23 of December never reached me, till to day. The Souvereignty of the United States of America, is indeed recognized by Great Britain, Holland and France explicitly, and will probably be So Soon by all the Nations of the Earth. Much remains however to be done, I agree with you. To remove all Causes of Disunion and cement the Affections and Confederation of the States, to give Stability and Authority to the Laws, to extend our Commerce and regulate our Finances, to preserve Intelligence and Virtues in the People and at the Same time a martial Spirit and military Establishments So that our Liberties may neither be in danger at home nor from abroad; to regulate the system of foreign Affairs So that We may be as Usefull to Europe, and derive as much benefit from it as our natural Situation and Circumstances will admit, without being duped by its Artifices or infested with its faults; is Occupation Sufficient for all the Talents and Virtues which our Country affords.
Europe is indeed as you observe an excellent School, but it is a detestible one at the Same time, and I confess to you, I Sometimes fear We shall be better Schollars at learning its Vices and Follies than its usefull Institutions and commendable Qualities.
I am not able to give you any Information respecting Peace or War. my private opinion is, that there will not be another Campain though the Peace may not be determined on, long before the Time for opening one.— But this opinion is founded upon Reasons so uncertain even in my own mind that I cannot depend much upon it, nor pretend to advise you.— I am, sir your humble servant
[signed] John Adams
{ 198 }
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Thomas Boylston, under Cover to Messrs / Lane Son and Fraser, London.”; APM Reel 108.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0122

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-01-19

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I have yet to acknowledge the Receipt of your Favours of the 26. 27. 30. & 31 of Decr. and 2 of January. Your Dispatches are sent along as you desire.— I hope you are, quite recovered from your Indisposition.
I can give you no Information concerning Peace. it is given out that the point will be decided here to day or Tomorrow: others Say that the Duke de la Vauguion is to make the Peace at the Hague.
inclosed is a Copy of our Preliminaries, but I must intreat you not to permit them to be published or Copied, without further Information from me.1 You may communicate them in Confidence to our Friends, but it is thought best, to let the British Ministry lay them first before Parliament, and take their own Time for it.
The great Points of Independance, the Fisheries, the Missisippi and the Boundaries are Settled to our Satisfaction. But in Point of Compensation for Damages, We must put our Hands in our own Pockets.
With great Regard, I have the Honour to be &c
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Dumas.”; APM Reel 108.
1. See JA's letter of 7 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0123

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de & Fils (business)
Date: 1783-01-19

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

You favour of the 30 of December, I have recd, as well as the Letter mentioned in it.—1
I am obliged to you Gentlemen, for paying the Interest you mention, which if you please Messrs Willinks Van staphorsts and De la Lande and Fynje will repay you, on Account of the United States.
In order to Save you the Trouble for the future would it not be best to desire the Holders of those Seven obligations, to deliver them to Messrs Willinks &c and take others in stead of them from them.? or at least you may refer them in future to those Houses to receive the Interest.2
I have the Honour to be, very respectfully, Gentlemen your most / obedient &c
{ 199 }
LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs John De Neufville & son / Amsterdam.”; APM Reel 108.
1. The Neufville firm's letter of 30 Dec. (Adams Papers) referred to a letter of 29 Nov. sent to JA under cover of a letter to Benjamin Franklin. Neither the letter intended for JA nor that to Franklin has been identified.
2. Neufville & Fils reported in its 30 Dec. letter that it had paid a half year's interest on seven outstanding obligations from its failed loan of March 1781. For the result of JA's recommendation, see the letters exchanged by JA with the loan consortium on 17 and 23 Feb., and 3 March, all below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0124

Author: Morris, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-19

From Robert Morris

[salute] Sir

Altho’ I have not yet been honored with any Letters from your Excellency I cannot omit the Occasion of Writing which offers itself by Mr. Jefferson.1 Having already congratulated you on the Acknowlegement of our Independence by the States General, and on the rapid Successes of your Labors equally splendid and useful. I hope when this Letter shall have reached your Hands I may have the additional Cause of Congratulation that the Loan you have opened in Holland shall have been compleated, this is a Circumstance of great Importance to our Country and most particularly so to the Department which I have the Honor to fill— Whatever may be the Success of it whether general or partial I pray your Excellency to favor me by every Conveyance with every minute Detail which can tend to form my Judgment or enlighten my Mind. For the more perfect Security of our Correspondence, I do myself the Honor to enclose the Counterpart of a Cypher to the Use of which you will soon become familiarized and I hope you will be convinced that any Confidence with which you may honor me shall be safely reposed and usefully employed for the public Benefit—
I have the Honor to be / with perfect Respect / Sir / your Excellency's / most Obedient / & / humble Servant
[signed] Robt Morris
Mr. Jefferson will charge himself with the Delivery of the Cypher mentd—.2
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr. / Minister Plenipotentiary / of the United States / of America”; endorsed: “Mr Morris / 19. Jan. 1783 / recd & / ansd 21 May 1783.” Dupl (Adams Papers).
1. In anticipation of his departure for Europe, Morris delivered this and other letters to Thomas Jefferson on 24 January. On 7 April, following his decision not to go, Jefferson returned the letters to Morris, who in turn gave them to John Vaughan, brother of Benjamin. John Vaughan presumably forwarded this letter from London when he { 200 } arrived there in early May (Morris, Papers, 7:360, 673, 697–698).
2. The cipher that Morris intended for JA has not been found, and JA does not mention it in his reply of 21 May, below. Jefferson likely returned it with the letter on 7 April, and Morris may have decided not to entrust it to John Vaughan.
Mentioned neither by Morris in this letter nor by JA in his reply are copies of two congressional resolutions that are with this letter in the Adams Papers and may have been enclosed with it. The first, adopted on 27 Dec. 1782, approved JA's purchase of the legation at The Hague. The second, voted on 31 Dec., instructed the joint peace commissioners “to obtain for the citizens and inhabitants of the United States a direct commerce to all parts of the British dominions and possessions” in any commercial agreement with Great Britain (JCC, 23:832, 838).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-20

This is a summary of a document and does not contain a transcription. If it is available elsewhere in this digital edition, a page number link will be provided below in the paragraph beginning "Printed."

Declarations of the Suspension of Arms and the Cessation of Hostilities between the United States and Great Britain

Versailles, 20 January 1783. MS of declarations in French; English translation by John Pintard (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 323–330). FC's of declarations and Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary peace treaty in French (Adams Papers). LbC's of declarations in French and Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary peace treaty in French (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109. LbC-Tr's of declarations in French and English and Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary peace treaty in French (Adams Papers); APM Reel 103. PRINTED (French and English): Miller, Treaties, 2:108–110. On 18 January the Comte de Vergennes wrote to Benjamin Franklin to request that he and John Adams come to Versailles on the morning of 20 January to attend the signing of the preliminary peace treaties concluded by Great Britain with France and Spain. Two purposes were served by the presence of the Americans and by declarations that they and Alleyne Fitzherbert signed at the ceremony. First, the documents signified that the preliminary Anglo-American peace treaty was in effect pursuant to the statement in its preamble that it would not be considered as concluded until peace was established between France and Great Britain. Second, because the Anglo-American preliminary treaty did not establish the conditions governing a cessation of hostilities, the declarations made it clear that it would be implemented according to the treaties signed with France and Spain, with the specific examples being Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French treaty. For the formal implementation of the armistice by Great Britain and the United States, see the proclamations by George III and the American Peace Commissioners of 14 and 20 Feb., respectively, both below. For a detailed examination of the documents, see Miller, Treaties, 2:111–112. For John Adams' account of the signing of the declarations, his dispatch of them to America, and Congress' resulting action, see his 22 January letter to Robert R. Livingston, and notes, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0126

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1783-01-22

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir,

Upon a sudden notification from the Comte de Vergennes, Mr. Franklin and myself, in the Absence of Mr. Jay and Mr. Laurens, went to Versailles, and arrived at the Comte's Office at 10. oClock on Monday, the twentieth of this Month1 At eleven arrived the Comte d’Aranda & Mr. Fitzherbert. The Ministers of the three Crowns signed & sealed the Preliminaries of Peace, and an Armistice, in presence of Mr. Franklin and myself, who also signed and sealed a Declaration of an Armistice, between the Crown of Great Britain and the United States of America, and recieved a Counter-Declaration from Mr. Fitzherbert—2 Copies of these Declarations are inclosed.—3 The King of Great Britain has made a Declaration concerning the Terms that he will allow to the Dutch, but they are not such as will give Satisfaction to that unfortunate Nation, for whom, on Account of their Friendship for Us, and the important Benefits We have recieved from it, I feel very sensibly and sincerely.—4 Yesterday we went to Versailles again to make our Court to the King and Royal Family, and recieved the Compliments of the foreign Ministers.
The Comte d’Aranda invited me to dine with him on Sunday next, and said he hoped, that the Affair of Spain and the United States would be soon adjusted à l’amiable— I answered, that I wished it with all my Heart.— The two Floridas and Minorca are more than a quantum meruit5 for what this Power has done, and the Dutch unfortunately are to suffer for it.
It is not in my power to say, when the definitive Treaty will be signed.— I hope not before the Dutch are ready.— In six Weeks or two Months at farthest, I suppose.
It is no longer necessary for Congress to appoint another Person in my Place in the Commission for Peace, because it will be executed before this reaches America— But I beg Leave to renew my Resignation of the Credence to the States General and the Commission for borrowing Money in Holland, and to request that no Time may be lost in transmitting the Acceptance of this Resignation, and another Person to take that Station, that I may be able to go home in the Spring Ships.6
I have the honor to be, with great / Respect, / Sir, / your most obedient & / most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams.—7
{ 202 }
RC and enclosure in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 321–322, 327–328); internal address: “Honble. Robert R. Livingston Esqr / Secretary of State for the Department / of foreign Affairs.—”; endorsed: “Mr. Adams— / 22d Jany 1783.” For the enclosure, see note 3. LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. Vergennes wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 18 January. Franklin replied on the same day that he, JA, and William Temple Franklin would be at Versailles at the specified time but that Henry Laurens and John Jay were at Bath, England, and Normandy, respectively (Franklin, Papers, 38:595–596).
2. To this point, JA includes a close rendering of the first paragraph of his Diary entry for 20 January. There, after noting that the American, British, French, and Spanish ministers had all displayed their commissions to each other, JA wrote that “thus was this mighty System terminated with as little Ceremony, and in as short a Time as a Marriage Settlement” (JA, D&A, 3:106). JA was more expansive in his letter to AA of this date, writing that “thus drops the Curtain upon this mighty Trajedy. It has unravelled itself happily for Us. And Heaven be praised. Some of our dearest Interests have been saved, thro many dangers” (AFC, 5:74).
3. JA enclosed the French text of the declarations that he and Franklin had exchanged with Alleyne Fitzherbert on 20 Jan., calendared above. Franklin wrote to Livingston on 21 Jan. and enclosed the declarations, as well as Arts. 1 and 22 of the Anglo-French preliminary treaty setting down the conditions governing the armistice (for the letter, see Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:225; for the letter and enclosures, see PCC, No. 82, II, f. 341–360). Both letters reached Congress on 10 April (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 61), but it was upon Franklin's letter and its enclosures that Congress acted on the 11th. This was likely because he included the articles from the Anglo-French treaty, the terms of which were incorporated into Congress' proclamation of the 11th “Declaring the cessation of arms, as well by sea as by land, agreed upon between the United States of America and his Britannic Majesty; and enjoining the observance thereof” (JCC, 24:238–240).
4. If JA was surprised by the signing of the Anglo-French and Anglo-Spanish preliminary treaties on 20 Jan., the Dutch were even more so, as is evident from Dumas' letter of 24 Jan., below. Owing to assurances from the Duc de La Vauguyon at The Hague, Dutch peace negotiators Gerard Brantsen and Mattheus Lestevenon van Berkenrode had been instructed to allow the Comte de Vergennes to negotiate with the British on behalf of the Netherlands, with the expectation that Vergennes would safeguard and promote Dutch interests (vol. 13:246). The Dutch apparently had received no intimation from the French foreign ministry that any progress had been made in negotiations on their behalf with Britain, much less that negotiations were almost complete between Britain, France, and Spain.
The Dutch consternation was even more pronounced because the signings came on the heels of Fitzherbert's memorial to the Dutch negotiators of 31 Dec. 1782, which, together with the Dutch response of 5 Jan., was widely printed in Dutch and British newspapers. See for example, the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 21 Jan., the London Chronicle of 23–25 Jan., and part 1 of John Almon's Remembrancer for 1783, p. 168–170. Fitzherbert was responding to a Dutch memorial of 6 Dec. in which Brantsen and Berkenrode presented the Dutch peace ultimata as contained in their instructions, notably that Britain formally recognize Dutch neutral rights as defined by Catherine II's 1780 Declaration of Armed Neutrality, restore all conquered territories, and indemnify the Dutch for their losses (vol. 13:246–248). Fitzherbert's discouraging counter-proposal categorically rejected the Dutch ultimata. This was particularly true of Dutch rights to free navigation as a neutral in time of war. Britain proposed to treat the Netherlands as it did any nation with which it had no treaties; that is, in accordance with the general principles of the law of nations, which did not recognize the principles of the Armed Neutrality as settled law. The Dutch memorial supported the demand for British recognition of the right of Dutch ships to navigate freely by referring to Charles James Fox's offer of just such recognition in March 1782. Fitzherbert rejected that precedent, stating that Fox's purpose had been to procure a separate Anglo-Dutch peace, a rationale that was no longer valid in Dec. 1782. With regard to the other points, the British proposed to return captured Dutch possessions with the { 203 } exception of Trincomalee on Ceylon and rejected absolutely any indemnification of Dutch losses.
On 5 Jan. the Dutch diplomats responded to Fitzherbert's statement by declaring that it offered virtually no basis for negotiation. In their reply, Brantsen and Berkenrode were true to their instructions, but their steadfastness proved of little consequence. Fitzherbert told JA that Britain's harsh treatment of the Dutch was owing to Spain's hard-line stance on Minorca and the Floridas (JA, D&A, 3:107). In reality, however, economic losses and the Dutch Navy's inability to successfully challenge the Royal Navy left the Netherlands with virtually no bargaining power in its negotiations with England. For an abortive proposal to finesse the obstacle posed by the British refusal to recognize Dutch maritime rights in an Anglo-Dutch peace treaty involving JA and his colleagues as well as the Dutch view of the law of nations and the Armed Neutrality, see Dumas' letter of 24 Jan., and note 2, below.
JA was concerned about the Dutch situation for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the Dutch decision to allow Vergennes to negotiate with the British on their behalf. In his Diary JA indicates that he spoke with Vergennes prior to the 20 Jan. signing of the French and Spanish preliminaries: “I asked the C. de Vergennes what was to become of Holland. He smiled and said, that We had nothing to do with that. I answered, with a Smile too, it was very true We had nothing to do with it, but that I interested myself very much, in the Welfare and Safety of that People. He then assumed an affected Air of Seriousness and said he interested himself in it too a good deal” (JA, D&A, 3:106–107). From this Diary entry it appears that JA believed, as the Dutch ultimately did themselves, that Vergennes was subordinating Dutch interests to those of France. JA had no argument with Vergennes' devotion to French interests, but the Diary entry and his comments in later letters, such as that to Livingston of 23 Jan., below, indicate that JA saw the Dutch predicament as an object lesson in what would have happened to the United States if the American Peace Commissioners had followed their instructions to be guided by France in negotiations with Great Britain.
5. More than it deserves.
6. In his letter to AA, JA used nearly the same language regarding his resignation and return home, but at the end he wrote, “if I were to stay in Europe another Year I would insist upon your coming with your daughter but this is not to be and I will come home to you” (AFC, 5:74, 76).
7. In JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0127

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1783-01-23

To Robert R. Livingston


[salute] Sir,

The letters you did me the honor to write me on the 6th. & 18th. of November, are come to hands—
You do me honor, Sir, in applauding the Judgement I have formed, from time to time, of the Court of Britain, and future Ages will give me Credit for the Judgement I have formed of some other Courts. The true designs of a Minister of State are not difficult to be penetrated, by an honest man of common Sense, who is in a situation to know any thing of the Secret of Affairs, and to observe constantly the Chain of public Events; for, whatever ostensible appearances may be put on, whatever Obliquities may be imagined, however the Web may be woven, or the Thread doubled and twisted, enough will be seen to unravel the whole.—
{ 204 }
My opinions, as you observe, sometimes run Counter to those generally received; but the reason of this has generally been, that I have had Evidence earlier than the generality. and I have the satisfaction to find, that others have formed the same judgement, when they have had the same Intelligence. I do not affect Singularity, nor love to be in a minority, tho’ Truth and Justice have sometimes obliged me to be so—1
You say that nothing can be more comformable to your wishes than the Instructions I transmitted. I am not surprized at this. It is very natural— Had I never been on this side the Atlantic, I believe I should have been of your mind in this particular. At present I cannot be— and I believe, by this time, the Dutch regret having given them. You will hear enough of the reason of it— I have lived long enough and had experience enough, of the Conduct of Governments, and People, Nations & Courts, to be convinced, that Gratitude, Friendship unsuspecting Confidence, and all the most amiable passions in human-nature, are the most dangerous Guides in Policies— I assure you, Sir, if we had not been more cautious than the Dutch, we should have been worse off than they, and our Country would have suffured much more—
Mr: Laurens has been here, and has behaved with great Caution, Firmness & Wisdom. He arrived so late, as only to attend the two last days of the Conferences, the 29th & 30: Novemr:— But, for the short time he was with us, he was of great service to the Cause— He has done great Service to America, in England where his Conversation has been such, as the purest & firmest American would wish it, and has made many Converts. He is gone again to Bath, and his Journey will do as much good to his Country, as to his health.— He will return to the Signature of the Definitive Treaty.—
The Ratifications of my Contracts have been received—
The release of Captain Asgyll was so exquisite a Relief to my feelings, that I have not much cared what Interposition it was owing to— It would have been an horrid damp to the joys of Peace, if we had heard a disagreable account of him.
The differences between Denmark & Holland is of no serious nature. The Clue to the whole is, the Queen Dowager is Sister to the Duke of Brunswic— But there is nothing to fear from Denmark.—2
As to the Northern Powers, we have nothing to fear from any of them. All of them & all the Neutral Powers would have acnowledged our Independence before now, by receiving Mr: Dana to sign the Principles of the Armed Neutrality, if he had not been restrained { 205 } from acting. The unlimited Confidence of Congress has been grossly abused, and we should have been irreparably injured, if we had not been upon our Guard— As our Liberties and most important Interests are now secured, as far as they can be against Great Britain, it would be my wish to say as little as possible of the Policy of any Minister of our first Ally—(which has not been as we could desire—) and to retain forever a grateful remembrance of the friendly assistance we have received.— But we have evidence enough to warn us against unlimited Confidence in any European Minister of State.—
I have never drawn on Dr: Franklin for any Money, since the end of my two & an half year's Salary, and he tells me he has made no use of the bills— I had recd. money for my Subsistance of Messrs: Willinks, &, as it will be but a few months more, at farthest, that I shall have to subsist in Europe. I beg leave to proceed to the end in the same way— I shall receive only the amo: of my Salary, & settle the Acco’t: with Congress on my return— I hope to be safely landed on my native shore in the month of June, &, to this end, I beg that an appointment may be made to the Dutch Mission, & the acceptance of my Resignation be transmitted to me by the first Ships.—
With great respect & esteem, I have the honour to / be, Sir, / Your humble servant,
[signed] John Adams.3
RC in Charles Storer's hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 331–332, 337–338); internal address: “Mr Secretary Livingstone.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.
1. See JA's 22 Jan. letter to Livingston, and note 4, above.
2. That is, Maria Juliana, widow of Frederick V, King of Denmark. Maria Juliana was the sister of Louis Ernst, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, William V's longtime advisor and confidant who was forced to leave the Netherlands in 1784. For JA's comments on the controversy between the States General and the stadholder over Brunswick's continued role, see his 26 June 1781 letter to the president of Congress, and note 3 (vol. 11:394–396). For additional comment by JA on the controversy involving the dowager queen and Brunswick, see vol. 13:422, 424.
3. In JA's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0128

Author: Dumas, C. W. F.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-23

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Je remis hier à Mr. Ph. Massey, allant à Paris, un petit paquet, contenant la seconde Médaille de Mr. Holtzhey.1
Vous recevrez aussi, par cet Ordinaire, toute une Cargaison de Lettres arrivées ici pour V. E. d’Amérique, je suppose. J’espere qu’elles vous donneront de bonnes nouvelles de Votre chere famille.
{ 206 }
Mr. De Gr. aoui dire que le fameux Ecrit Aan't Volk, a été traduit en françois.2 Si cela est, & si l’on peut l’avoir à Paris, il voudroit bien, & V. S. aussi, en avoir un exemplaire par occasion, ou quand vous reviendrez.
J’espere de le voir dans une heure d’ici. En attendant, voici ce qui S’est passé ici depuis quelques jours. Nous verrons com̃ent nos Messieurs prendront le radotage.
L’Envoi du Bn. de H. paroît calculé pour rendre, s’il est possible, adieux certain Ministre, qui a trop bien servi son Maître au gré de certaines gens. Ce Mine. me paroît n’avoir rien à craindre d’un Négociateur de cette trempe.3 Je suis avec grand respect, Monsieur, De V. Exce. / le très-humble & très ob. serviteur
[signed] D


[salute] Sir

Yesterday I gave Mr. Philip Mazzei, who was leaving for Paris, a small parcel containing Mr. Holtzhey's second medal.1
You will also receive, via this mail, a batch of letters that came for your excellency from, I suppose, America. I hope they contain good news of your dear family.
Mr. Gyselaar has heard that the famous Aan't Volk has been translated into French.2 If that is true, and it is available in Paris, he and I, your servant, would like to have a copy now, or whenever you return.
I hope to see him in an hour's time. Meanwhile, this is what has taken place here during the past few days. We shall see how our gentlemen react to this drivel.
The dispatch of the Baron de H. appears calculated, if it is possible, to be rid of a certain minister, who has served his master rather too well for some men's liking. This minister seems to me to have nothing to fear from a negotiator of this stripe.3 I am with great respect, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] D
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams M. P.”
1. Although Dumas spells the name “Massey,” he clearly means “Mazzei.” He had used the same spelling in a letter of 21 Jan. (Adams Papers), which also indicates that Mazzei was to carry the medal, but see Mazzei's letter of 2 Feb., below; and, for the medal, Holtzhey's letter of 23 Dec., above.
2. For Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's 1781 anonymously and incendiary pamphlet, Aan het Volk van Nederland, see vol. 12:6–7. The French translation referred to by Dumas has not been found.
3. “Bn. du H.” may be the person identified in the 7 March Gazette d’Amsterdam as the “Count Heyden de Reynestein,” William V's chamberlain, who had been dispatched on an undisclosed mission to Paris, for which see also Dumas' letter of 15 Feb., and note 3, below. Considering Dumas' previous letters concerning Dutch displeasure with France, the “certain Ministre” may be the Duc de La Vauguyon.

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0129

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-23

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I take the Liberty to inform your Excellency that I arrivd here Safe last Friday after having had a tolerable good Journey.
I have seen a Gentleman in this Town twice since my Arrival— He has said nothing in particular to me, but his Reception has been somewhat Cool.—1 if He Continues his Silence, I propose to go, where your Excellency recommended to me.2 but I do it with some Anxiety, being fearful, after what has happened, to bring on myself fresh troubles if you Excellency has therefore any Commands to give me, I beg to have them as soon as possible
Permit me to intreat your Excellency to let me have the Original Letter, which has done so much Mischief— I have examind some that I have by me, and I think I have thereby a clue to discover the Author. if I am right in my present Idea, of Him, Your Excellency has not been mistaken.3
I am with the greatest Respect / Sir / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient / Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. Jenings had returned from Paris where he had been since early Dec. 1782 (JA, D&A, 3:91). His likely purpose for going, at least in part, was to make an effort to resolve his conflict with Henry Laurens. Laurens believed Jenings to be the author of a series of anonymous letters that were intended to divide American diplomats in Europe (vol. 13:63–65). For Jenings' correspondence and meetings with Laurens while at Paris, see Laurens, Papers, 16:294–295, 303–324. The “Gentleman” whom Jenings had seen since his return to Brussels was almost certainly William Lee, whom, according to Edward Bridgen, Jenings had accused of being the author. Laurens wrote to Lee on 21 Dec. 1782 to inform him of the accusation, but he did not name Jenings as the source. In his replies of 24 and 25 Dec., Lee emphatically denied authorship and demanded the name of his accuser. Laurens did not comply with Lee's request in his reply of 8 Jan. 1783, but Lee likely deduced from Laurens' letters that it was Jenings (same, p. 92–93, 125–126, 299).
2. Presumably to London, where Jenings arrived toward the end of February (from Jenings, 14 March, below).
3. That is, the anonymous letter of 3 May 1782, which Jenings had enclosed with his of 6 June 1782. JA believed it to be the work of someone associated with an Amsterdam banking house disappointed at being denied participation in JA's 1782 Dutch loan (vol. 13:98–101).

Docno: ADMS-06-14-02-0130

Author: Rouge, Addenet de Maison
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-24

From Addenet de Maison Rouge

[salute] Monsieur

je me propose d’aller à Versailles dans Le Cours de la semaine prochaine. je Chercherai de nouveau la traduction des Prior Documents que je n’ai point trouvée chés Mr Pissot.1 je m’émpresserai de { 208 } vous La remettre aussitôt que je me la serai procurée. je vous Prie d’être persuadé du desir que j’aurai toujours de Concourir à vos vues; et je m’éstimerai heureux de pouvoir par là meriter votre Confiance.
Je Suis avec un Profond respect / Monsieur / Votre très humble et / très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Addenet D M R


[salute] Sir

I propose going to Versailles at some point next week. I shall