Papers of John Adams, volume 11

To C. W. F. Dumas

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

To Prince Dmitri A. Gallitzin, 8 March 1781 JA Gallitzin, Prince Dmitri Alexeivitch To Prince Dmitri A. Gallitzin, 8 March 1781 Adams, John Gallitzin, Prince Dmitri Alexeivitch
To Prince Dmitri A. Gallitzin
Sir Leyden March 8. 17811

I have lately received from Congress, as one of their ministers plenipotentiary, their resolution of the fifth of October last, relative to the rights of neutral vessels, a Copy of which, I do myself the 184Honour, to inclose to your Excellency, as the Representative of one of the high contracting Parties, to the marine Treaty, lately concluded, concerning this Subject.

As I am fixed by my duty for the present, to this part of Europe, I have no other Way of communicating this measure of Congress to the northern Courts, but by the favour of their Ministers in this Republic: I must therefore, request of your Excellency, if there is no impropriety in it, to transmit the Resolution to the Minister of foreign Affairs, of her Imperial Majesty.

Your Excellency will permit me to add, that I should esteem myself, very fortunate, to be the instrument of pledging, in form, the faith of the United States of America, to a reformation, in the maritime Law of nations, which does So much honour to the present Age.

I have the honour to be, with the greatest Respect and consideration, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

John Adams

RC (AVPR, Moscow, f. Snosheniia Rossii s Gollandiei, op. 50/6, d. 218, l. 24–25); endorsed: “à la Lettre du Pce. Gallitzin à la Hage au Vice Chancelier, en datée du 13 Mars 1781.”


This letter is virtually identical to those JA sent to Baron Gustaf Johan Ehrensvärd, Swedish minister to the Netherlands, and to Armand François Louis de Mestral de Saint Saphorin, the Danish minister to the Netherlands (both LbC's, Adams Papers). Russia, Sweden, and Denmark did not recognize the U.S. and thus their representatives, in their official capacities, could neither accept JA's letter nor reply to it. However, this did not prevent them from sending the letters received from JA to their respective foreign ministries (The United States and Russia: The Beginning of Relations, 1765–1815, ed. Nina N. Bashkina and others, Washington, 1980, p. 109).