Papers of John Adams, volume 13

From Robert Morris, 27 September 1782 Morris, Robert JA


From Robert Morris, 27 September 1782 Morris, Robert Adams, John
From Robert Morris
3d. Office of Finance 27th Septem 1782 Sir

I do myself the Pleasure to congratulate you on the Success of your patriotic Labors in Holland. The general Tribute paid to your Abilities on this Occasion will so well dispense with the Addition of my feeble Voice that I shall spare your Delicacy the Pain of expressing my Sentiments.

The enclosed Resolutions and Copies of Letters will convey to 497you so fully the Views of Congress, and explain so clearly my Conceptions on the Subject, that very little need to be added.1 If the Application to France should fail of Success, which I cannot permit myself to believe, you will then have a new Opportunity of shewing the Influence you have acquired over the Minds of Men in the Country where you reside, and of exerting it in the Manner most beneficial to our Country.

Before I conclude this Letter I must congratulate your Excellency on the Success of the Loan you have already opened, and which I consider as being by this Time compleated.

With perfect Respect I have the Honor to be Sir Your Excellency's most obedient & humble Servant Robt Morris

RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Morris Letter to me 27. Sept. 1782.”


The enclosure included three items. The first was Robert Morris' letter of 30 July to the president of Congress in which he presented his estimate that nine million dollars would be needed for expenditures in 1783 and that four million of that total should be borrowed (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:636–638). The second, attested to by Congress' secretary Charles Thomson, contained the text of three resolutions adopted on 14 Sept. and of another adopted on the 23d. The resolutions of the 14th authorized and directed Benjamin Franklin to obtain a loan of four million dollars from France, while that of the 23d directed him to do so despite the reservations expressed in his letters of 25 June to Livingston and Morris ( JCC , 23:578–579, 595–596; Franklin, Papers , 37:535–544). The last enclosure was a copy of Morris' letter of 27 Sept. to Franklin informing him of Congress' actions and directing him to proceed with the loan (Franklin, Papers , vol. 38).

From Benjamin Rush, 28 September 1782 Rush, Benjamin JA


From Benjamin Rush, 28 September 1782 Rush, Benjamin Adams, John
From Benjamin Rush
Philada: Septemr 28. 1782 My dear friend

Accept of my congratulations upon the Success of your negociations at the Hague. Your countrymen are not insensible of your Zeal and industry in effecting the important event of a connection with the States of Holland. Our hearts vibrate with the hearts of those honest republicans whose petitions and memorials opened the eyes of their rulers to acknowledge our independance. The tories themselves express a Satisfaction in a Union with a nation of a religion, and of manners similar to those of the Americans. Blessed Union! founded in wisdom—policy—and interest! May it continue (to use an Indian phrase) while the Sun shines and the rivers flow.

Liberty and independance thrive in our country, and we every day become more and more unbritished in our laws—manners and ideas of every thing. Our habits are already those of old republicans, and 498we talk of our constitutions as if they had been the legacies of our ancestors. The Order and tranquility which prevail every where among us would make a stranger beleive that he was in one of the best established governments in Europe. O! liberty—liberty who would follow thee blindfold!

The depradations upon our trade during the last year have prevented our paying the Sum demanded by congress last year in taxes. Philada has however paid its quota with a degree of punctuality and chearfulness that does honor the republican Spirit.

You will see in some of our papers published last Summer some essays upon a navy under the Signature of Leonidas that have been ascribed to me.1

The wealth—the Sense and the Virtue of Pensylvania have all come forth at last in favor of the revolution. The faction that usurped the power of the state in 1776 have become as contemptible as they were weak and wicked.2

With great respect I am my dear friend yours most sincerely Benjn Rush

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Rush. Sept. 28. 1782 ansd. 7 Nov.”


Rush refers to his seven essays signed “Leonidas” that were published in the Pennsylvania Journal on 29 May; 19 June; 4, 10, 17, 31 July; and 14 August. The essay appearing on 4 July dealt specifically with the navy (Rush, Letters , 1:273–377).


Rush refers to the radical faction led by James Cannon, Timothy Matlack, and Dr. Thomas Young that produced the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution with its unicameral legislature. Both Rush and JA were highly critical of that document and those who produced it. On 19 May 1777 Rush wrote to Anthony Wayne that “Cannon, Matlack, and Dr. Young still hold back the strength of the state by urging the execution of their rascally government in preference to supporting measures for repelling the common enemy”; he took much the same line in a letter to JA on 24 Feb. 1790 (Rush, Letters , 1:107, 148–149, 532–536).