Papers of John Adams, volume 16

Christian Lotter to John Adams, 30 March 1785 Lotter, Christian Adams, John
From Christian Lotter
May it please Your Excellency! Hague the 30 March 1785.

The orders I have lately reicived from Your Son Mr: J: Q: Adams for packing up his goods, on purpose to be Shipped to another End 583 of the World, gave me very great concern, I rather like to unpack, then to pack up, especially for Such for whom I maintain the greatest Esteem and am proud to Serve; I am in this point alike the Hollander, all under een dak van’t huÿs,1 but changes will and must happen; I only beg and intreat the mercies of heaven to conduct him Safe and in good health, to his beloved Country.

Your Excellency’s Advise I have to beg, how to act with the Arms of the 13 united States of independent America, which was Some weeks ago brought to Your hotel from the painters, whether You chuse to have the Same Set up immediately, You may assure Yourself of my integrity and utmost dilligence to have every thing performed to Your entire Satisfaction; I don’t know if it is by Your Excellencys Command, that the Motto, which the Eagle holds in its bill, e pluribus unum, was to be painted with the Same Colour as the rest, except the 13 Stripes which are red and white, with a blue one across at the top, the reason for this bold question is, that I think the letters will not be legible, nor distinguishable when erected.

This inclosed Letter is come with last Monday’s post, and I have a Small parcel, Seemingly containing a book, I have besides to deliver an Exemplarium from the drawing Academy, with a bill for two Ducats, but not knowing whether You are pleased to continue the Subscription or not, I thought proper to Set it off for a fortnight, or Such time I Shall have received instructions, all which I Shall have the honor to convey to You, with the first opportunity I can meet with:2

I am with all due respect and Submission / Your Excellency’s / most devoted and humble Servant—

C: Lotter.

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To His Excelcy: Mr: John Adams / Minister Plenipotentiaire. &c. &c. &c.


That is, all under one roof.


JA replied on 8 April, indicating to Lotter that JQA would depart for America in May to complete his education, that Lotter should mount the arms and have the motto repainted if necessary, and that he should retain the parcel until it could be sent by “a Private Hand,” but making no mention of the letter enclosed by Lotter (LbC, APM Reel 107).

John Jay to John Adams, 31 March 1785 Jay, John Adams, John
From John Jay
Dear Sir, Office for foreign Affairs 31st. March 1785.

I have the Honor of transmitting to you herewith enclosed, a certified Copy of an Act of Congress of the 21st. Instant, instructing you 584 to communicate to Mr. St. Saphorin, the high Sense, the United States in Congress assembled, entertain of the liberal Decision made by his Danish Majesty, on the Question proposed to his Minister by You, respecting the Ordination of american Candidates for holy orders in the episcopal Church, commonly called the Church of England.

Congress has been pleased to order me to transmit copies of your Letter, and the other papers on this Subject, to the Executives of the different States; and I am persuaded they will receive with pleasure this mark of your Attention, and of his Danish Majesty’s friendly Disposition.1

I have the Honor to be, with great Respect and / Esteem, / Dear Sir, / Your most obedient, and / very humble servant,

John Jay

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “The Honorable John Adams Esquire / Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States / at the Court of London.”


For the resolution of 21 March, see JCC , 28:187. For JA’s intercession with Armand François Louis de Mestral de Saint Saphorin, Danish minister to the Netherlands, on behalf of Mason Locke Weems in his quest for ordination, see JA’s 22 April 1784 letter to the president of Congress, and note 2, above.