Recd Decr 14. 1781.

St. Petersbourg Aug 28th 1781 O.S. [8 September 1781 N.S.]

My Dear Sir

It is not thro' want want of attention that I have
omitted to this time, to acquaint you of our arrival in this City.
We reached it, after some perils, on the 27th: of Augt. N.S. sufficiently
fatigued I assure you. For from Leipsic I began to travel day
and night, and continued this practise all along the remaining
distance. At Berlin we rested, or were rather stopped, nine days by
the unfortunate accident of our voiture’s being overthrown and
broken into peices, between Leipsic & Berlin, the first time I attempt
=ed to travel in the night. I there bo't a new one, which was warrantd
to carry us to St: Petersbourg & back again, in the utmost safety. This
however failed in essential parts, and required many repairs on the
way. Notwithstanding the above accident, I found our advance so
slow, thro' the abominable defects of Germans Posts, that I resolved
to risk all again, & persist in travelling in the night; fortunately
nothing of the like kind happened to us. We rested afterwards a day
or two, at the following places, Dantzick, Konigsberg, Memel,
Riga, and Narva, at most of which stages our voiture demanded
repairs. This gave me an opportunity, perhaps not wholly unprofi-
-table to our Country, to make enquiries into the commerce of these
Towns; for they are all of them Ports. On the whole from Amsterdam
to this City, we were fifty one days. Mr: Jennings gave me all Augt:

to get in; but for the first accident to my first voiture, and some de-
tentions for the repairs of my second, I wou’d have accomplished my
journey 12 or 14 days sooner with equal fatigue. After all, you will
not be surprised to learn I am told, in effect that I am here too
--that the proper time is not yet come. In the name of common
sense, I was about to ask you, what this Gentry can mean; but I believe
we are at no loss to answer this question. I am promised however
on the most flattering terms, every assistance in matters touching the
joint or common interests of the two Houses, yet I am told not to
expect it in matters that may be injurious to one, without being advan
-tageous to the other. Such frivolous reasons appeared to me to have
been assigned to show the time is not yet come, that I have presumed
to question them. This I imagine may give offence, when I wou’d not
wish to do it. But must an implicit faith be put in all things wh:
may come from a certain quarter? Happily all our communica-
tions have hitherto been in writing: so that they, whose right it is
to judge each of us, may do it understandingly. I am not disappointd
in this difference of sentiments upon my main business, yet I am
somewhat shocked that I have been here 12 days, since he knew in
a proper way, of my being in Town, and have not received the least mark
of attention from our friend, except what may be contained in civil
words only. The reason of this, we may conjecture, and perhaps we
shall not be far from the Truth. I suspect Ishmael may have been a [appears below the line] little instrumental in this conduct. It cannot be without design, I think.
I have candidly, & I believe decently given my own sentiments upon
the subject, and told our friend, what measures I intended to pursue,
to endeavour at least to come at the end in view. He received my
letter on the evening of the 25th. but I have yet had no answer. It was a
long one, it is true, & he not understanding English, must have it trans-
lated; so that I do not absolutely conclude that he will not answer it.
He communicated to me in confidence, what had been commu-
nicated to me before in the same way, touching a proposal made,
to speak in plain English, by the Mediators, agreeable to our
outmost wishes: He did not tell me, as the other person had done,
that the Mediation was rejected on account of that proposition
by the Court of London. This I suppose to be the truth, tho' not
a lisp of it is to be heard yet without doors here. I wish soon to
receive a confirmation of it from your hand: when I can make
that use of it I now want exceedingly to make of it. I take it to
be a matter of great consequence to our Interests, and I build
many hopes upon it in aid of my business. It seems to open
the real good disposition of those Sovereigns for our Cause. I
have made use of an argument of this sort to our friend in my last--
Do not withhold from me a moment, any information which you
think can be improved to our advantage. Let no supposition that
I may be otherwise informed of it, stay your hand. What comes from you,
I shall think myself at liberty to make use of, at my discretion. You
must have gained informations on your late tour, which will be of importance
to me.

Your Son is still with me at the Hotel de Paris. He is desirous
of my procuring him a private Instructor. I shou’d like this very well,
as I shou’d be fond of having him with me, but I cannot yet obtain proper
information upon this head--I shall endeavour to do the best with
him. Your sentiments on this point may not be amiss--I beg you
to write to me under cover to Messieurs Stahlborn & Wolff
Banquiers à St. Petersbourg. I had like to have forgot our
news of the Action between the Dutch & English. The former it is
agreed here acquitted themselves most nobly: but why were they sent
out so feeble upon so important a business?

My best regards to Mr: Thaxter, & all our Amsterdam friends,
pray tell him he must write me all the publick news, especially from
our Country--This is the finest City I have seen in Europe, & far
surpasses all my expectations: Alone, it is sufficient to immortalize
the memory of Peter the first. More of the real grandure of this
City and Empire hereafter. In the mean time I beg to assure you of
the continuance of that high respect and warm affection I have
entertained for you long since

Your Friend & much obliged
Humble Servant

[Subscription (recipient's name at foot of page)] His Excellency John Adams
Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States etc etc


[Right-hand margin towards top of page:] Augt 28th. 1781.