Papers of John Adams, volume 7

To Arthur Lee, 12 February 1779 JA Lee, Arthur To Arthur Lee, 12 February 1779 Adams, John Lee, Arthur
To Arthur Lee
Sir Passy Feb. 12. 1779

We duly received the Letter which you did us the honor of writing on the 9th. of Feb.1 accompanyed with a Letter from Mr. Pringle, herewith you have the Draught of an Answer to that Gentleman,2 which you are requested, if you approve of it to subscribe and forward. As 405Mr. Lee is best acquainted with the Places, Persons and Officers to which Mr. Pringle must apply—it is requested of Mr. Lee to make a Draught of Instructions, for Mr. Pringle, which Mr. Adams will subscribe, if he approves them, as he doubts not he shall.3

I have the honor to be &ca.

(signed) John Adams4

LbC in William Temple Franklin's hand (Adams Papers). This is the last letter to be recorded in Lb/JA/4, which contains letters written by the Commissioners during JA's first mission.


Not printed here, but see Pringle's letter of the 9th (above).


Lee and JA to Pringle, 12 Feb. (below).


No instructions to Pringle have been found, but see the letter to Pringle immediately following.


Although this letter was signed only by JA, it is clear that he was speaking also for Benjamin Franklin. Franklin probably was unwilling to sign because of Lee's severe criticism of the original appointment of Edward Bancroft in his letter of 7 Feb. to Franklin and JA (above). That neither JA nor Franklin was pleased by the appointment of Pringle in place of Edward Bancroft can be surmised from both the tone of the letter and the implication that Pringle's instructions would be the work of Arthur Lee, not Franklin or JA.