Papers of John Adams, volume 16

From Benjamin Franklin

From James Warren

John Adams to Benjamin Franklin, 29 June 1784 Adams, John Franklin, Benjamin
To Benjamin Franklin
Sir The Hague June 29. 1784

The Baron de Reishack, has several times said to me that his Court expected that Congress would announce formally their Independence, and asked me, if any Step of that Sort had been taken. that I may be able to give him an Answer, I must request of your Excellency to inform me whether you have made the Annunciation directed in the first Article of the Instructions of the 29 of October 1783 and what is the answer.1

I have the Pleasure to learn, by report only however that Mr Jay is appointed Minister of foreign Affairs and that Mr Jefferson is appointed to Madrid, and that Mr Johnson has received and transmitted to your Excellency, a Packet which probably contains an authentic Account, as it Seems to be posteriour to the Appointment, by being addressed only to your Excellency and to me.2 I Should be glad to know whether there is any Thing else of Consequence, and whether it appears to be the design and Expectation of Congress that I should join you, where you are.

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


The first of the 29 Oct. 1783 instructions to the commissioners required them to inform Joseph II or his ministers of “the high Sense which the United States in Congress assembled entertain of his exalted Character and eminent virtues, and their earnest desire to Cultivate his Friendship, and to enter into a Treaty of Amity and Commerce” with Austria (vol. 15:329, 331). See JA’s first letter of 30 June 1784 to the Baron Franz von Reischach, Austrian minister to the Netherlands, and Franklin’s reply to JA of 4 July, both below.


The reports regarding John Jay and 255 Thomas Jefferson probably were derived from William Bingham’s 26 June letter, above. The source of the report indicating that “Mr Johnson”—probably Joshua Johnson of London—had forwarded a packet to Franklin has not been found.