Diary of John Adams, volume 3

1782 Nov. 27. Wednesday. JA


1782 Nov. 27. Wednesday. Adams, John
1782 Nov. 27. Wednesday.

Mr. Benjamin Vaughan came in, returned from London where he had seen Lord Shelburne.


He says he finds the Ministry much embarrassed with the Tories, and exceedingly desirous of saving their Honour and Reputation in this Point. That it is Reputation more than Money &c.

Dined with Mr. Jay and spent some time before Dinner with him and Dr. Franklin, and all the Afternoon and Evening with them and Mr. Oswald, endeavouring to come together, concerning the Fisheries and Tories.1


“Wednesday Novr. 27h. Dined at Mr. Jay's. Mr. Franklin Mr. Adams and many others there. Mr. Vaughan is returned from England. At the same time another Courier came from there supposed to bring more conciliating propositions with respect to the Tories. It is said the French Negotiation is in great forwardness.—Called upon Vaughan in the Evening—says there are no signs of a change of Ministry. ... It is said the French Negotiation is not so forward as reported. The Dutch Minister knows not of it. Mr. Strachey pretends it is very nigh—says that if America will consent to give liberty to the Refugees to purchase in their property at the last sum sold at it would be assented to, but that something was necessary to save the Kings Honor in respect to those who had adhered to him. His former language was, nothing short of a restoration of property would do—and had even said the King would admit of exceptions to six or Seven of the most Obnoxious.—He is working to do all he can but our principal will not be departed from” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Nov. 28. Thursday. JA


Nov. 28. Thursday. Adams, John
Nov. 28. Thursday.

This Morning I have drawn up, the following Project―

Art. 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 Sables, and of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours or Creeks of Nova Scotia, or 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, for Terms of Years, of the legal Proprietors in any of the Dominions of his said Majesty, whereon to erect the necessary Stages and Buildings and to cure and dry their Fish.1


Compare the earlier draft in the entry of 4 Nov., above; also Article III in the “third set” of propositions (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 6:75–76); and that in the Preliminary Articles as signed on 30 Nov. (Miller, ed., Treaties , 2:98).

“Thursday Novemr. 28h.... In the Evening called again on Mr. Adams. He had dined at Passy, was to meet the Commrs. again this Evening, desired to see us at 1/2 past Nine.... He said he had laid down a line and beyond that he would not go let who would be 79ready.—At 1/2 past Nine he returned from the meeting—was in Spirits and said all was going well—but some difficulties had been started which he was sure had been in Consequence of Renevals going to England. Had a pretty long Conversation with him. He says Dr. F is the most Violent of the three for not admitting the Tories—but speaks very well of him in the course of the Negotiation” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).