Papers of John Adams, volume 13

490 From Benjamin Lincoln, 25 September 1782 Lincoln, Benjamin JA


From Benjamin Lincoln, 25 September 1782 Lincoln, Benjamin Adams, John
From Benjamin Lincoln
War Office September 25. 1782 Sir

Congress, a few days since, received your letter of the 19 of April last1 which announced to them that you had been received by the States General of the United provinces in the quality of Minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America—an event interesting and important—besides a participation in the general joy occasioned hereby my private feelings are perfectly gratified that through your agency this interesting connexion has been so happily effected.

From the Secretary of foreign affairs you will receive the State of our public matters in this quarter. I cannot however refrain mentioning to you that we have now a better army in the field than ever before. The Troops are exceedingly well clothed and their discipline nearly perfect.

A few days since they turned out to receive Count Rochambeau, whose Army from Virginia is just joining ours at the Hudson.2 When the parade was over, he was pleased to say to His Excellency General Washington that he had “passed thro' a Prussian Army.”

Perfect harmony subsists between the Armies of the two Nations the Blood they spill together cements the Union, and there is no other contest between them, than who shall excell in the field and in acts of real friendship and generosity. Congress has ordered me to prepare and lay before them a State of the pay rations and subsistance of the Officers and Men in the Armies of the different powers in Europe. As these often vary, I have no means of procuring the necessary information with accuracy from any books I have seen, I am under the necessity therefore of requesting that your Excellency would be so good as to procure and forward to me the State of the pay rations and Subsistance of the Officers and Men in the Service of the States General, of Prussia, Russia and of the other Northern powers.3

I was in the Massachusetts last Spring. I had then the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Adams and your family well. My compliments to Mr. Thaxter, his father unfortunately a few months since broke one of his legs but is doing well. He has lost his young friend Thomas Barker and Couzin Joshua, the Doctor, his little Son.4

I have the Honour to be with great respect Yr. Excellencys mt. obed. Servant B Lincoln

RC (Adams Papers).

491 1.

The letter of 19 April (vol. 12:420–428) arrived on 11 Sept. (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 41), for which seeRobert R. Livingston's letter of 15 Sept., above.


Rochambeau reached Washington's headquarters at Verplanck's Point, N.Y., on 14 September. For an account of his reception, see The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 17451799, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, 39 vols., Washington, D.C., 1931–1944, 25:157–158.


On 6 Nov. JA wrote to Lincoln that the information would be difficult to obtain quickly, but that he would attend to it as soon as possible; on the 8th he requested C. W. F. Dumas to undertake the task (both LbC, Adams Papers).


Thomas Barker, brother of Dr. Joshua Barker of Hingham, Mass., died on 14 August. Dr. Barker's two-year-old son, Joshua Thomas Barker, died the previous day (History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols., Cambridge, 1893, 2:22, 23; Sibley's Harvard Graduates , 18:8–10).

From Robert Morris, 25 September 1782 Morris, Robert JA


From Robert Morris, 25 September 1782 Morris, Robert Adams, John
From Robert Morris
(Duplicate.) Office of Finance 25th September 1782 Sir

I do myself the Honor to enclose for your Perusal Acts of Congress of the twenty seventh of November and third of December 1781, and the fourteenth and twenty third Instant.1 In Consequence I have to request that all Bills hitherto drawn by Authority of Congress be paid, and the Accounts of those Transactions closed. After this is done, and I hope and beleive that while I am writing this Letter it may have been already accomplished, you will be freed from the Torment and Perplexity of attending to Money Matters. I am persuaded that this Consideration will be highly pleasing to you, as such Things must necessarily interfere with your more important Attentions.

I have long since requested the Secretary of foreign Affairs to desire you would appoint an Agent or Attorney here to receive and remit your Salary, which will be paid quarterly: in the mean Time it is paid to him for your Use.2 As to any contingent Expenses which may arise, I shall readily make the necessary Advances upon Mr Livingston's Application. These Arrangements will I hope be both useful and agreable to you.

I am, Sir, With perfect Respect Your Excellency's Most obedient & humble Servant Robt Morris

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Morris 25 Septr. 1782.”; enclosure endorsed: “Resolutions of Congress 27 Nov. 1781. Financeir to take all Loans.”


The enclosure was an extract from the minutes by Congress, attested to by its secretary Charles Thomson. The resolves of 27 Nov. and 3 Dec. 1781 gave the superintendent of finance the authority to manage and dispose of loans or other monies obtained in Europe for the use by the United States, subject to Congress' appropriation. The re-492solve of 14 Sept. informed Congress' diplomats in Europe that the superintendent of finance was responsible for the management and disbursement of money obtained in Europe, according to Congress' appropriations. The resolve of 23 Sept. consisted of additional instructions to Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul general in France, specifically directing him to desist from spending public money for clothing or other effects without the specific direction of Congress or the superintendent of finance ( JCC , 21:1142, 1149–1150; 23:576, 595).


For Robert R. Livingston's requests to JA that he appoint an agent, see his letters of 22 May, and note 5, and 29 Aug, both above.