Papers of John Adams, volume 16

John Adams to Samuel Adams, 13 May 1784 Adams, John Adams, Samuel
To Samuel Adams
Dear Sir The Hague May 13. 1784

I have received your Letters by Mr Jackson and Mr Appleton. The former I answered Some days ago.—1 My Son who is going to London in hopes of meeting his Mother and Sister will convey this from thence.—2 I shall probably be fixed here, out of the reach of that Envy, which you prophecy whose Power I never felt or dreaded untill I Saw Europe.—

There are little Fermentations in the Courts of Europe, and Some Appearances of Jealousies between the two Imperial Courts and the House of Bourbon which Some People apprehend will disturb the publick Tranquility but I hope otherwise.

I was received in London very politely by Governor Pownal, who talked much of visiting America. If he comes I hope he will be received with Respect. He has done good service to our Cause, by Some of his Writings.

Let me hear from you as often as you can.

Yours Affectionately

John Adams.

RC (NN:George Bancroft Coll.); internal address: “Hon. Samuel Adams”; endorsed: “John Adams— / At the Hague May 13. 1784.”


The letter carried by Jonathan Jackson was of 4 Nov. 1783 (vol. 15:341–344), which JA had answered with two letters dated 1 and 4 May 1784, both above. The letter carried by “Mr Appleton” was probably that of 4 Feb. (Adams Papers), wherein Samuel Adams introduced “the Son of Mr Nathl Appleton,” probably John Appleton whom AA saw in London in July ( AFC , 5:372, 384).


JQA wrote to his friend Peter Jay Munro at Paris on “Friday May: 14th 1784. Noon” that “I am going in about two hour’s to set out for London … to wait the arrival of my Mother and Sister who I Expect will arrive there soon” (NNMus). JQA went first to Hellevoetsluis, from which he sailed on 15 May, reaching London on the 17th ( AFC , 5:327). The journey to London led JA to write to Richard & Charles Puller on 14 May, requesting them to furnish funds to “the Bearer of this Letter, Mr. John Quincy Adams …, who will be in London about a 210 month or Six Weeks” (LbC, APM Reel 107). JQA reported his arrival in his 18 May letter to JA, but, as the editors indicate there, it is unclear why JA expected the imminent arrival in England of AA and AA2 on the Gloucester Packet, Capt. John Callahan ( AFC , 5:327–328). In any case, JQA wrote to JA on 1 June that “Callahan has arrived; has had a delightful passage, but in lieu of our ladies, has only brought some letters” ( AFC , 5:335–337). JQA returned to The Hague on 28 or 29 June in company with Winslow Warren, who had arrived on Callahan’s vessel with letters from Tristram Dalton of 6 April, above, and AA of 12 April ( AFC , 5:317–320), which JQA had forwarded with his 1 June letter (to James Warren, 30 June, below).