Papers of John Adams, volume 17

To the Marquis of Carmarthen, 20 June 1785 Adams, John Carmarthen, the Marquis of
To the Marquis of Carmarthen
My Lord Bath Hotel June 20. 1785:1

By the Seventh Article of the provisional Treaty of Peace, signed on the thirtieth of November, One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty two, confirmed by the definitive Treaty of September one thousand, Seven hundred and Eighty three, it was Stipulated, that his Britannic Majesty should, with all convenient Speed withdraw all his Armies and Garrisons from the United States of America and from every Port and Place, within the same.2 But, although a Space of near two Years, has elapsed, Since the Signature of the definitive Treaty, there is a number of Posts and a considerable Territory Still held by British Garrisons. as this is an Object in every Point of View, very interresting to the United States and concerning which I have particular Instructions I must ask the favour of your Lordship to inform me, whether any Orders are gone to the Governor of Canada or to the Commanding Officer of his Majestys Forces in America, to 195withdraw his Garrisons from all the Posts and Places in the United States and if Such Orders are not yet gone, whether his Majestys Ministers have come to any Resolution, or have fixed any time, for Such Evacuation.

I hope for the Honour of your Lordships Answer, as soon as may be convenient, that I may be able to transmit it to Congress.

With great Respect, I have the Honour to be, / my Lord, your Lordships most / obedient and most humble / Servant

John Adams.—

RC (PRO:FO 4, State Papers, vol. 3, f. 385); internal address: “The Right Honourable / The Marquis of Carmarthen / Secretary of State for foreign / Affairs.”; notation: “[Co]py sent to / [Lo]rd Sydney.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 111. Some loss of text due to a tight binding.


This letter responds to Carmarthen’s request during his meeting with JA on 17 June that the American put his “Enquiries” about the evacuation of the frontier posts into writing (to John Jay, 17 June, at note 7, above). Carmarthen sent a copy of the letter to Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, the home secretary ( DNB ).

WSS noted in the Letterbook: “Copy to Mr. Jay—.” WSS copied this letter into his to John Jay of 20 June (PCC, No. 92, f. 13–15). There WSS also indicated that enclosed with his letter were JA’s letters to Jay of 2 June, which was encoded, and of 17 June, both above. Jay submitted WSS’s letter and the two from JA to Congress on 26 Aug. ( JCC , 29:663).


JA quotes only the portion of Art. 7 relevant to the evacuation of the frontier posts. The entire passage reads, “his Britannic Majesty shall with all convenient Speed, and without causing any Destruction, or carrying away an Negroes or other Property of the American Inhabitants, withdraw all his Armies, Garrisons and Fleets from the Said United States, and from every Port, Place and Harbour, within the Same” (vol. 15:249).