Papers of John Adams, volume 15

To Isaac Smith Jr., 4 December 1783 Adams, John Smith, Isaac Jr.
To Isaac Smith Jr.
Dear Sir. London December 4. 1783.

Your Favour of Novr: 19th did not find me, till yesterday, which I regret, because I should have had an earlier opportunity to thank you for your kind Congratulations.

It is indeed to me the highest Satisfaction to see my Country at Peace after so Long and so distressing a War, and much more to see her in a Situation which places her Liberties and Prosperity out of Danger— nothing which can happen will ever make me regret the Part I have taken, because it was taken upon full Deliberation, and upon the Principle of Duty as a Man and a Citizen, not only without any Prospect of bettering my private Interest but with the Sure and certain Expectation of injuring it very considerably.

I hope Sir and believe that after some Time there will be no Objection to your returning to America, if you chuse it.


The News of the Death of my Father Smith notwithstanding his Advanced Age, affected me much and makes me anxious to hear from my Mrs: Adams who must be affected more tenderly.

I hope Soon to hear of the Arrival of this Lady and her Daughter in Europe, either in France England or Holland, most probably the last as that is my Home, where I should be glad to see you if I should not be so lucky as to meet you in England before I leave it.— Your Brother I hope soon to see here on his Return from Paris.

with much Esteem and Affection I am your / Fd: and Sert:

LbC in JQA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Reverend Isaac Smith.”; APM Reel 107.

To Benjamin Franklin, 5 December 1783 Adams, John Franklin, Benjamin
To Benjamin Franklin
Sir London Dec. 5. 1783.

Commodore Jones is just arrived from Philadelphia with Dispatches.1 Those directed to the Ministers I opened. one contained nothing but Newspapers and Proclamations. The other contained a Letter to “the Commissioners” and a Sett of Instructions. The Letter bears Date the 1. of November the Instructions the 29 of Octr.— a remaining Packet is directed to you alone, but probably contains a Commission to Us all to treat of Commerce with Great Britain.2

Mr Jay and Mr Laurens are at Bath and the bearer is inclined to go on to Paris. I shall Send on the Dispatches and depend upon your Sending Us, the earliest Intelligence, if you find a Commission (in the Packet to you,) in Pursuance of the Resolution of the first of May last, because that Parliament must do Something before they rise respecting the Trade, and their Proceedings may probably be Somewhat the less evil, for knowing beforehand that there is in Europe a Power to treat.

I Shall wait with Some Impatience to hear from you because, if there is no Commission under Cover to you, in which I am named, I Shall go to the Hague, and there take up my abode for sometime. I have just recd a Letter from Willink &Co which Shews that Money is exhausted & Credit too. He incloses me his Letter to you, but I fear you will not be able to assist him.3 With great respect &c

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Dr Franklin”; APM Reel 107.


John Paul Jones had sailed from Philadelphia on 10 Nov. on the packet General Washington, Capt. Joshua Barney, which was bound for Hâvre de Grace, France. On 1 Dec., against Barney’s protests that the British might imprison him, Jones was 388put ashore near Plymouth, England, and proceeded to London (Morison, John Paul Jones , p. 337–338). In a somewhat garbled report, the London Chronicle of 6–9 Dec. noted that “on Friday Evening [5 Dec.], about nine o’clock, the celebrated Paul Jones arrived in town from Paris, with dispatches from the American Congress for his Excellency John Adams, Esq; Mr. Jones was only twenty-two days on his passage from Philadelphia to France; and after delivering his dispatches on Friday evening, he set out the next morning at three o’clock for Paris, to proceed from thence to America.” For Jones’ mission to Europe, see the instructions to the commissioners of 29 Oct., above.


The president of Congress’ letters to JA and the commissioners are both at 1 Nov., above. But see also his letters of that date to Francis Dana, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens in Smith, Letters of Delegates , 21:130–132, 134–135. For the content of the packet sent on to Franklin, see Franklin’s reply of 10 Dec., below. JA forwarded the letters to Jay and Laurens, then at Bath, with his letter to Jay of 7 Dec., below.


The consortium’s letter of 2 Dec., above.