Papers of John Adams, volume 14

From Félix Vicq d'Azyr, 3 February 1783 d'Azyr, Félix Vicq Adams, John
From Félix Vicq d'Azyr
Monsieur. 3 fevr. 1783

La Socièté Royale de Medecine après S’être Empresseé de Contracter une association de Correspondance avec le Collegè de Boston, association qui la flatte infiniment, m’a Chargé de Vous adresser le Diplôme qui Constate l’union de Ces deux Compagnies. Elle Vous prie de Vouloir bien le faire parvenir aux Membres illustres qui composent le Collegè de Boston;1

Parmi le petit Nombre d’exemplaires, du Journal de Medecine Militaire, dont elle peut disposer, elle en a Reservé un pour La Bibliothéque du Collegè de Boston;2 elle a desiré que je Vous l’adresse pour cette Compagnie, et elle la prie de l’agréer Comme une marque de sa déférence et de son attachement. Je le joins ici. cet Exemplaire est le 1er. Cahier pour l’année 1783; Les 4 premiers Cahiers pour 1782. n’ont été donnés à la Société qu’en nombre a peine Suffisant pour ses membres Residens à Paris.

J’ai L’honneur d’etre avec Respect / Monsieur / Votre très humble et très / obeissant Serviteur

Vicq d’azyr 233
Sir 3 February 1783

The Royal Society of Medicine, after eagerly forming an association by correspondence with the college of Boston, a connection it finds most flattering, has instructed me to send you the diploma recording the union of these two bodies. It asks if you would please see that it reaches the illustrious members who constitute the college of Boston.1

Among the small numbers of copies of the Journal de médecine militaire at its disposal, the Royal Society has reserved one for the library of the college of Boston.2 It has asked me to send it to you, so that you might pass it on to that institution, as a mark of its deference and attachment. I am enclosing the first issue for the year 1783. The four first issues for 1782 were given to our society in quantities that scarcely sufficed for those of its members who live in Paris.

I have the honor to be, with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

Vicq d’azyr

RC and enclosure (MBCo:Bowditch Book); internal address: “M John Adams” endorsed: “M. Vicq. d’Azyr / 3. Feb. 7 1783.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 110. LbC-Tr (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.


For more on Félix Vicq d’Azyr and the Royal Society of Medicine, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above. JA sent copies of this letter and the diploma to the newly formed Massachusetts Medical Society enclosed in his 10 June letter to its president, Edward Augustus Holyoke (MBCo: Bowditch Book).


The location of the number of the Journal de médecine militaire mentioned here is unknown. Though JA states in his 28 Feb. response to Vicq d’Azyr, below, that he would forward it to the society, the 10 June letter to Holyoke does not list it as an enclosure. A history of the society suggests the journal was received from JA, but it does not include the journal in a 1788 catalog of the society library (Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Norwood, Mass., 1923, p. 47, 390, 394). The society collection at MBCo includes a copy, but it bears a stamp that states it was acquired in 1890. The journal is not in JA's library at MB ( Catalogue of JA's Library ).

Passport for British Merchant Ships, [ca. 3 February 1783] Adams, John Franklin, Benjamin Jay, John
Passport for British Merchant Ships
[ca. 3 February 1783]1

We John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, three of the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America for making Peace with Great Britain.

To all Captains or Commanders of Ships of War, Privateers or armed Vessels belonging to the said States, or to either of them, or to any of the Citizens of the same—And to all others whom these Presents may concern send Greeting.

Whereas Peace and Amity are agreed upon between the said United States and his Britannic Majesty, & a Suspension of 235Hostilities to take place at different Periods in different Places hath also been agreed upon by their respective Plenipotentiaries. And Whereas it hath been further agreed by the said Plenipotentiaries, to exchange one hundred Passports for Merchant Vessels— To the End that such as shall be provided with them shall be exempted from Capture, altho’ found in Latitudes at a Time prior to the taking place of the said Suspension of Hostilities therein Now Therefore Know Ye, that free Passport, Licence and Permission is hereby given to the NB Commander now lying at the Port of and bound from thence to

And we do earnestly enjoin upon and recommend to You to let and suffer the said Vessel to pass unmolested to her destined Port, and if need be, to afford her all such Succours and Aid as Circumstances and Humanity may require.

Given under our Hands and Seals at Paris on the day of in the Year of our Lord 1783.

MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Passport to Ships / given by the / Commissos. for making Peace.” and “Copy.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 109.


For the reciprocal British passport for American vessels, see Alleyne Fitzherbert's 18 Feb. letter to the commissioners, below. The passports, American and British, were intended to provide safe passage for the vessels of each country should they sail into areas where the terms of the declarations setting down the conditions governing the cessation of hostilities had not yet taken effect, for which see the British and American proclamations of 14 and 20 Feb., respectively, below.