Papers of John Adams, volume 16

John Adams to Baron von Thulemeier, 27 March 1784 Adams, John Thulemeier, Friedrich Wilhelm, Baron von
To the Baron von Thulemeier
Monsieur le Baron The Hague March 27: 1784.

I have received the Letter you did me the Honour to write me, the twenty fifth of this Month, and the Note included in it, both of which I have copied and transmitted to Congress, for their Instructions. As the Note relates to a private Affair, perhaps the Congress 104 may refer it to the Delegates of Georgia, but I should think it most prudent for the Interested, to send a Procuration to some Person in that State, to act in her Behalf and demand her Rights, as every Thing of this sort must be determined by the Law.— I should be obliged to you, Sir, if you would please to inform me as soon as convenient, whether you have any Objection to any Article in the Treaty with Sweeden, or any additional ones to propose.

I should be glad to know too, if there is any Objection to allowing both Embden and Stettin to be Freeports for American Merchandizes, and all other Things relative to the proposed Treaty, as I am very happy to have the Honour of conducting with you the Negotiation of a Treaty, with one of the greatest Kings that ever existed.

With great Respect I have the Honour to be, / Sir, / Your most obedient, and, most humble / Servant.

LbC in JQA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Baron De Thulemeier, / Envoy Extraordinary, of the King of Prussia.”; APM Reel 107.

John Adams to Marquis de Lafayette, 28 March 1784 Adams, John Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de
To the Marquis de Lafayette
Sir The Hague March 28. 1784

I did not receive your Letter of the 8th, untill the day before yesterday.— That I have not Seen with Pleasure, Approbation or Indifference, the Introduction into America, of So great an Innovation, as an order of Chivalry, or any Thing like One, or that has a Tendency to one, is very true. that I have been violent against it, is not So. I am not a violent Man. I have disapproved of this measure, with as much Tranquility and Self Recollection, and Phlegm, if you will, as if I had been a native fullblooded Dutchman. it is not more than two or three times, that I have had Occasion to Say any Thing about it, and then it was not I who introduced the Subject and then I Said very little.

It is not my Intention to discuss the question. it is too ample a Field. But it is not done by the Sovereigns of our Country. What would be Said, in any Nation of Europe, if a new order, was instituted by private Gentlemen, without consulting the Sovereign? it is against our Confederation and against the Constitutions of Several States as it appears to me. it is against the Spirit of our Governments and the Genius of our People. Well may our Government be weak, if the Sovereign, the Confederation and Constitutions are thus neglected. it has and will unavoidably introduce Contests and 105 Dissentions, than which nothing is more injurious to Republican States, especially new ones. I Sincerely hope our officers, whose Merits, no Man is more willing to acknowledge and reward than I am, in any Way consistent with our Principles, will voluntarily, after a little reflection lay it aside. I have written nothing to America upon the subject.

I See no motive of Reason or Prudence, for making a Mystery of our Sentiments upon this subject in Europe or America, or for reserving them for America. it is a publick Thing about which every Man has a right to think for himself and express his Thoughts.

As to your going to America, Surely I have no Objection against it. being asked whether you was going to America I answered that you talked of it, but I questioned whether you would go, as the War was over, and I knew of no particular Motive you might have to go. if you go I wish you a pleasant Voyage, and an happy Sight of your Friends.

With much respect

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Monsieur le Marquis / de la Fayette.”; APM Reel 107.