Papers of John Adams, volume 11

From the President of Congress, 20 June 1781 President of Congress Huntington, Samuel JA From the President of Congress, 20 June 1781 President of Congress Huntington, Samuel Adams, John
From the President of Congress
Sir Philadelphia June 20th: 1781

You will receive herewith enclosed a letter addressed to his most Christian Majesty; with a Copy of the Same for your information.1

Also a Commission constituting the four gentlemen therein named in addition to yourself our Ministers for negotiating peace. Also another commission and duplicate Authorizing them to accept the Mediation of the Emperor of Germany and Empress of Russia, in one of which you will observe the Emperor is first named, and in the other the Empress. These are to be made use of as circumstances shall render expedient.


I have also enclosed Instructions (in cypher) for your government in addition to those formerly given for negociating peace with Great-Brittain.2

No additional Instructions to your former are yet given relative to a treaty of Commerce with Great-Brittain.3

You will immediately communicate the receipt of these dispatches to Docr. Franklin and Mr. Jay to whom duplicates are also forwarded with Similar directions.

I have the honour to be with perfect Respect your humble servant

Saml. Huntington Presid.

P.S. Since writing the foregoing, for want of another conveyance, I have determind to Send this by the Same Conveyance that carries the Duplicates to Docr. Franklin, have therefore taken out, the letter to the King of France, and Copy mentioned in the foregoing.

S. H.

RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble J. Adams Esq”; endorsed: “Prest. Huntington June 20. 1781.”


Congress' letter of 13 June to Louis XVI thanked him for the renewed military and financial support he promised the U.S. ( JCC , 20:638–639). See also Huntington's postscript.


For the enclosures, see Commissions and Instructions for Mediation and Peace, 15 June, above.


For Congress' 12 July revocation of JA's commission and instructions to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty, dated 29 Sept. and 16 Oct. 1779 respectively, see the letter of 21 July from the Committee for Foreign Affairs, below.

To F. & A. Dubbeldemuts, 21 June 1781 JA Dubbeldemuts, F. & A. (business) To F. & A. Dubbeldemuts, 21 June 1781 Adams, John Dubbeldemuts, F. & A. (business)
To F. & A. Dubbeldemuts
Gentlemen Amsterdam June 21. 1781

I had, this morning, the Honour of your Letter of the Seventeenth of June, and have read over, attentively, the Papers enclosed.1

It does not appear, by the Record of the Tryal that any Person claimed the Vessel, or any Part of the Cargo, on behalf, of the owners; although it appears, by the Protest of the Master that his Mate was Sent, in the Sloop to Charlestown. Nor do I See, in the Papers any Evidence to determine to whom the Cargo belonged, whether to Dutch or English Merchants.

It appears, that the Privateers and their owners, belonged to Charlestown, which is now under the Domination of the English.

From all these Considerations together, I am apprehensive you will find it difficult to obtain a Remedy, as So long a time has elapsed, Since the Transaction.

However, if I can be of any Service to you in this Business, or in 381the other which you mention, relative to the Vessels recaptured by M. De la Motte Piquet, it will give me particular Pleasure. Your Friend, when ever he Shall be pleased to call upon me, I Shall be very glad to See, and to consult with him, concerning any further Particulars.2

I have the Honour to be &c.

LbC (Adams Papers).


The documents enclosed with the letter of 17 June have not been found, but JA's comments in the following three paragraphs refer to the Dutch sloop Chester. According to the deposition of William Bray, captain of the Chester, the South Carolina privateers Experiment and Fair American took the sloop off Bermuda on 14 June 1777. Bray contended that the vessel and its cargo were Dutch and as such were not liable to capture. The case of the Chester, condemned on 14 July 1777 at Charleston, dragged on until 1787, when the U.S. Court of Appeals decided in favor of the captors. Since the real owner of the sloop, although Dutch, was a permanent resident in British territory the court ruled that the vessel and its cargo were a good prize ( Naval Docs. Amer. Rev. , 10:950–952). For additional information on the case of the Chester brought before the U.S. Commissioners at Paris in 1777 and 1778, see vol. 7:288–289.


In their reply of 27 June (Adams Papers), the Dubbeldemutses noted that Mr. Rocqùette, a Rotterdam merchant, wished to meet with JA at Amsterdam concerning “some goods of his frinds in America” on board the vessels from St. Eustatius that La Motte-Picquet captured and sent into Brest. Rocqùette's friends were probably Samuel Curson and Isaac Gouverneur Jr. (Franklin, Papers , 35:181). For JA's meeting with Rocqùette, see J. Rocqùette, Th. A. Elsevier, & P. Th. Rocqùette's letter of 3 July, below.