Papers of John Adams, volume 15

From Samuel Osgood

From William Carmichael

The President of Congress to the American Peace Commissioners, 14 January 1784 President of Congress Mifflin, Thomas American Peace Commissioners
The President of Congress to the American Peace Commissioners
Gentlemen, Annapolis 14th. Jany. 1784.1

This Day, nine States being represented in Congress, Vizt: Massachussetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 456Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina & South Carolina, together with one Member from New Hampshire and one Member from New-Jersey, The Treaty of Peace was ratified by the Unanimous Vote of the Members; This being done, the Congress by an unanimous Vote, ordered a Proclamation to be issued, enjoyning the strict and faithful Observance thereof; and published an earnest Recommendation to the several States in the very Words of the 5th Article— They have likewise resolved, that the Ratification of the Definitive Treaty of Peace between the United States & Great Britain be transmitted, with all possible Dispatch, under the Care of a faithful Person, to our Ministers in France, who have negotiated the Treaty; to be exchanged; & have appointed Colonel Josiah Harmar to that Service. He will have the Honor of delivering to you the Ratification; together with Copies of the Proclamation of Congress2 and of their Recommendation to the States conformably to the 5th. Article.3

I take the Liberty of recommending Colonel Harmar to you as a brave and deserving officer, and am, with the highest Respect and Esteem, / Gentlemen, / Your obedient, and / most humble Servant

(signed) Thomas Mifflin.

RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “To the honourable / John Adams / Benja Franklin / John Jay, & / Henry Laurens / Esquires—”; endorsed: “President Mifflins / Letter / Jan. 14. 1784.”


Charles Thomson, the secretary of Congress, had written to the commissioners on 5 Jan. to announce that the definitive treaty had arrived. He noted, however, that the difficulty in assembling a quorum of nine states, owing in part to the weather, was delaying its ratification (Smith, Letters of Delegates , 21:262).


For Congress’ 14 Jan. proclamation of the treaty, see JCC , 26:29–30.


For Congress’ unanimous 14 Jan. resolution recommending that the states conform to the terms of Art. 5 relating to loyalists and their property, the language of which is quoted in the resolution, see JCC , 26:30–31.