Papers of John Adams, volume 17

From Joseph and Isaac Saportas

From Thomas Jefferson

To Elbridge Gerry, 6 July 1785 Adams, John Gerry, Elbridge
To Elbridge Gerry
My dear Friend Grosvenor Square Westminster July 6. 1785 1

The inclosed Letters I Sent to Mr Jay in Cypher, but as the Conversations with the King and Queen have been reported by Lord Carmarthen and the Lord and Ladies in waiting on the Queen, and are become generally known, there is no longer a Necessity of so much mystery, yet you must be Sensible of the Delicacy of the Subject, and therefore communicate them with Discretion and in Confidence.2 if Mr Jay Should not have recd the Originals in Cypher you may communicate deliver these to him when you see him but I make no doubt he will receive them.

The Dispositions of the Ministry, are either very deceitful or very good, but they are watched and embarrassed by oppositions of various Parties, that it will at least be long before they venture on any Thing decisive. They may do Something to the Purpose sooner than I expect, but I see no present hope. I am much afraid there will be a necessity that the People of all the States Should follow the Example at Faneuil Hall But it cannot be too earnestly recommended to them to consider Persons and Property as Sacred. There is no Necessity of violating either. Petitions of the People to their Assemblies and Instructions from them to Congress will be Sufficient for all good Purposes.

With great Esteem, your Friend & Servant

John Adams3

RC (NHi:Gilder Lehrman Coll., on deposit); internal address: “Mr Gerry.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 107.


JA had last written to Gerry on 26 June (PP:Rare Book Dept., William M. Elkins Coll., Jay Treaty Papers), enclosing a “Pamphlet concerning the Intercourse between North America & the Sugar Colonies,” possibly James Allen, Considerations on the Present State of the Intercourse between His Majesty’s Sugar Colonies & the Dominions of the United States of America, London, 1784. In that letter JA also requested Gerry to encourage Rufus King, about whom “I have heard a great Character of him and what is more a good one,” to correspond with him.


These are JA’s letters to John Jay of 2 and 10 June in which he described his audiences with George III and Queen Charlotte, both above. For the nature of the copies sent to Gerry and JA’s reasons for sending them, 220see the descriptive notes to both letters and note 2 to the letter of 2 June.


This was JA’s first letter sent from the new American legation’s fashionable address in central London, for which see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 6, above.