Papers of John Adams, volume 15

358 From Charles Chauncy, 12 November 1783 Chauncy, Charles Adams, John
From Charles Chauncy
Honorable Sir, Boston Novr. 12th. 1783.

I heartily congratulate you upon the peace, and your instrumentality in order to its being so advantagious an one to these states. I trust, they will not be forgetful to honor and reward you for your eminent services, which have gained you the highest reputation both here and abroad.

The more special occasion of my now writing to you is, to bespeak your endeavours, so far as you may think proper, to serve the honorable John Temple, who is going to England. His view in going is, partly to render some assistance in forming a commercial treaty, (if not yet done) for wch he is well qualified, as he was for many years at the head of the custom office, and therefore knows more of our commercial affairs than perhaps any one else:1 But what he principally aims at is, to get ample and honorable reparation for the injustice done him heretofore by the then British Ministry.— It would be good policy to grant him this reparation, and might have a salutary effect in this Country, as his friends and connections here are neither few in number, nor inconsiderable in rank and consequence. So far as it may lay with you to assist him in his proposed designs, your exertions would be gratefully accepted by his connections, and by him, who, wth all due respect, is, wth thousands of individuals here, / your obliged humble Servt.

Charles Chauncy2

P. S. Mr Temple has been infamously persecuted by a party here, meerly fm Envy, or something worse; but hath at last come off victoriously, and now leaves the party in disgrace wth all honest men for their base and wicked attempt agt. him.

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Honble. John Adams.”


John Temple was a native Bostonian, son-in-law of James Bowdoin, former royal customs official, and member of the numerous Temple family in England. A controversy—in which JA was tangentially involved—over his motives and support for the American cause had erupted upon his return to America in 1781 and culminated in a notorious newspaper controversy with James Sullivan, for which see vol. 11:xiv, 452. Temple and his family departed for England on 21 Nov., but he returned to America in 1785 as the first British consul general to the United States ( AFC , 5:272).


Rev. Charles Chauncy was the minister of the First Church, Boston ( AFC , 7:111). JA did not reply to this letter until 27 April 1785 (LbC, APM Reel 107). There JA apologized for not replying earlier, noted that John Temple had been appointed the British consul general at New York, and indicated that the letter would be delivered by JQA who was returning home.