Papers of John Adams, volume 13

From the Trustees of Dartmouth College, 24 September 1782 Dartmouth College, Trustees of JA From the Trustees of Dartmouth College, 24 September 1782 Dartmouth College, Trustees of Adams, John
From the Trustees of Dartmouth College
University of Dartmouth September 24th. 1782 Sir

Though we have not the honor to be personally acquainted with you, yet, from your extensive character, we have the happiness to know your Excellency to be a friend to knowledge, as well as freedom.

Your abelities being so adequate to the gratefication of your benevolence, is a consideration attended with a very sensable pleasure, while we address you on a subject, that comprehends much of the happiness of the human species.

We beg leave, Sir, to recommend to your friendly notice, attention, and patronage, the honorable John Wheelock Esquire, the 489worthy President of this Institution; (accompanied by Mr. James Wheelock) and the very liberal design, which is, by our particular request, the object of his attention.1 You will perceive, Sir, the measure is favored by all the influence of the first characters now in America. And permit us to refer you for the further particulars of it to our agent, and to the articles, contained in the recommendation.

We have the honor to be with highest sentements of respect, Sir, Your Excellencys most obliged, obedient, and humble Servants, Signed by order of the board of Trustees, Beza Woodward Secretary

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Trustees of Dartmouth Colledge Septr. 24. 1783. ansd. Feb. 25.”; in another hand: “1783.”


John Wheelock (1754–1817) succeeded his father, Eleazar, Dartmouth's founder, as president in 1779. He and his brother James were embarking on a trip to raise funds, a venture that achieved only limited success ( DAB ). In his reply of 25 Feb. 1783, JA informed the trustees he had met Wheelock at Paris and had provided him with letters of introduction to individuals at The Hague and Amsterdam (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works , 8:44). The trustees sent a similar letter to Benjamin Franklin (Franklin, Papers , vol. 38).

From Edmund Jenings, 25 September 1782 Jenings, Edmund JA From Edmund Jenings, 25 September 1782 Jenings, Edmund Adams, John
From Edmund Jenings
Brussels Septr. 25th 1782 Sir

I did not receive any Slips by the two last Posts.

I am particularly obliged to your Excellency for your Favor of the 16th. Instant. The Dutchman Compliment was really polite the Sentiments of certain public Characters relative to the American Independance lead to something Substantial.

I find it is the wish of some to see the letters now publishing in the news papers collected in a Pamphlet. If you, Sir, approve it, is there any corrections and alterations that you may be inclined to make, if you chuse to transmit them to me, they shall be conveyed to the Amateurs.1

Give me leave to beg of your Excellency to send the inclosed by the first Opportunity.2

I have the Honour of being Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt. Edm: Jenings

RC (Adams Papers).


JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American,” then appearing in Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, were never collected and published in a pamphlet, but see JA's reply of 27 Sept., below.


In his reply, JA indicated that the enclosures were letters, but they have not been identified.