Papers of John Adams, volume 17

To Thomas Jefferson

From James Grubb

To Thomas Jefferson, 23 May 1785 Adams, John Jefferson, Thomas
To Thomas Jefferson
Dear Sir Dessin’s1 Calais May 23. 1785. Monday.

We are just arrived, covered with Dust, and have hired, our Boat, to go over tomorrow at ten. no green Peas, no Sallad, no Vegetables 118to be had upon the Road, and the Sky is Still as clear dry and cold as ever. The Flocks of Sheep and herds of Cattle, through the Country Stalk about the Fields like Droves of Walking Skeletons. The Sheep are pastured chiefly I think in the plowed grounds, upon the Fibres as I suppose of the Roots of Grass turn’d up by the Plow.

From a motive of Humanity I wish that our Country may have plentifull Rains, and our Husbandmen Industry, that they may Supply the Wants of their Suffering Fellow Creatures in Europe. You See I have nothing so mean as a Selfish or even a patriotic Wish in all this. But from the Same regard to Europe and her worthy Colonists in the West Indies, I hope that these rainless, heatless Heavens will convince them that it is abundantly for their good that We should bring and carry freely, our Flour Wheat, Corn Rice Flesh & Fish for their Soulagement

Yours Affectionately

J. Adams

The Ladies Compts of course.

RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); internal address: “Mr Jefferson”; docketed: “Adams John.”


The Adamses were at the Hôtel d’Angleterre at Calais, which was owned by Pierre Quillacq, called M. Dessein ( AFC , 6:156, 162). JA and JQA lodged there on their way to London in Oct. 1783 (JQA, Diary , 1:195).