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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 15


Docno: ADMS-06-15-02-0127

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cooper, Samuel
Date: 1783-09-10

To Samuel Cooper

[salute] Dear Sir,

I congratulate you upon the Ratification of the Provisional & the Signature of the definitive Treaty. You enjoy in America a pleasure, { 274 } which we in Europe are deprived of, that of seeing our Country at Peace, after all the cruel Cares of the War. If we can but get the Fisheries agoing and the West India Trade properly opened, we shall soon see our Country wear the face of Joy, and abound in plenty & prosperity— I hope too in Tranquility & Liberty.
The Articles respecting the Refugees, however, will be an unpleasant subject of Controversy for some time. The stipulations ought to be sacredly fulfilled, & the Recommendations at least decently treated and calmly considered. Errors on the side of forgiveness & Indulgence will be of the safest kind.
But the greatest difficulty remaining is, to perfect the Union of the States without endangering their Liberties. This is a knotty Problem— Yet I think the dangers greater from Disunion than too strict an Union at present. It is a great question too, how the Trade of the Continent shall be regulated, I mean their foreign Commerce. Can we maintain our Union? Can we treat with foreign Nations? Can we oblige them to any thing like Equity and Reciprocity in our Communication with them, unless our foreign Commerce is under one Direction—unless all the States lay on the same & no other Duties, & make the same and no other Prohibitions?
With great Regard, dear Sir, I am / your Friend & Servant
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Dr Cooper”; APM Reel 106.
1. JA wrote similar letters on this date to Richard Cranch and Cotton Tufts (AFC, 5:239–242).

Docno: ADMS-06-15-02-0128

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, C. W. F.
Date: 1783-09-10

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

It has ever been my intention to come in Person to the Hague, and take Leave of their High Mightinesses, with all the Respect in my Power, before my departure for America. it is still my design. If it is the usage of their High Mightinesses, as you Say it is, to make a Present of a Chain upon the occasion, it will be very agreable to me to accept it, and in the Language of my Countrymen I hope it will prove the Chain of perpetual Peace and invariable Friendship, and brighten more and more with Time.
We have recd this Week a Resolution of Congress by which it appears that Your Servant, Dr Franklin & Mr Jay, are to be associated in a new Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great { 275 } Britain, which will be a Work of Some time and oblige Us all perhaps to go to London. I cannot expect therefore to embark for America this Year, perhaps not before next sum[er,] This is a little Triste, to me, but I must make the [best] of it.—
I Shall probably be continued in my Pos[t at] the Hague, untill there is a general settlement in Co[ngress,] of our foreign Affairs.— Perhaps We may have all [Liberty] to return home next Year, afte[r W]e shall have finished off, a few Things which remain, but as it is unsettled as yet, I may be still destined to remain at the Hague.— I can take no Resolution nor form any Plan while Things remain at home so loose. I could do more in America in a Month towards settling Things than I can do here in four Years. Yet I cannot go home without orders or rather against orders, when Things of so much Importance remain in Europe to be finished entrusted in Part to my Care.— I may yet bring my Family to the Hague and become a Dutchman for what I know, or I may go home in the Month of March. I can form no Guess.—
I congratulate you, on the final Conclusion of the Peace and I think I may congratulate our Friends too.— They have gained in their domestic Liberties, they have gained in their national Independence among the Powers of Europe, and they have opened to themselves American Commerce, although they have lost a little Territory and a Point or two by the War.1 The Damages done to their Trade, and all their Expences, make [a] small figure in Comparison of those of France & England. [So] that I think We may say they are the better for the War [alt]hough not so much so as they might and ought to [ha]ve been.
Let me beg of you, to make all the Inquiries concerning [ou]r Loan, which you can in Prudence, and write to Congress or Mr Morris upon the subject.—2 You would do well to turn the most of your Though[ts this] Way for there is nothing now of so much Importance to Us.
I am Surprized that the late Proceedings of the Army and the difference of Sentiment between Congress and the states instead of lessening the Credit of America, do not increase it. Are there not the manifest symptoms of a brave, enlightened and high Spirited People, jealous of every danger to their Liberties, and determined to support them against every Error in Judgment, even of their own Army their own General and their own Congress. dont you see that all these are obliged to give Way before the superiour Understanding of the Body of the People.?
{ 276 }
My Respects to your good Family, and believe me your / Friend and humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (DLC:Dumas Papers); addressed: “Monsieur / Monsieur C. W. F Dumas / à l’hotel des Etats Unis de l’Amerique / La Haye”; endorsed: “Paris 10e. 7ber. 1783 / E. Mr. J. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 106. Text lost due to a torn manuscript has been supplied from the LbC.
1. JA likely had not seen the text of the Anglo-Dutch preliminary peace treaty, which he received as an enclosure in a 12 Sept. letter from Gerard Brantsen (to the president of Congress, 13 Sept., calendared, below). But he knew generally of its provisions, most notably the loss of the Dutch East India Company’s establishment at Negapatam (now Nagapattinam) on India’s Coromandel Coast. The Dutch blamed lack of French support for the loss (vol. 14:235–238).
2. For Dumas’ efforts regarding the loan, see his letter of 18 Sept., and note 2, below.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/