Papers of John Adams, volume 17

From Arthur Lee

From Thomas Jefferson

277 From William Carmichael, 28 July 1785 Carmichael, William Adams, John
From William Carmichael
Sir Madrid 28th. July 1785

I did not receive until the 26th Inst. the Letter you did me the honor to address me the 3d of June announcing your presentation & audience at St. James.1 Permit me to congratulate you on the favorable Auspices with which you commence your mission & to express my hopes that it will continue to be as agreable to you as I presume it will be useful to our Country. I this day write to Mr Jefferson & have taken the Liberty of requesting him to transmit you copies of Sundry papers which regard the situation of our Affairs here & in Barbary.2 I have also desired that Gentleman to concert with you a safer mode of correspondence than the Present. Altho’ I have not the honor to be known to your Lady & Family I hope they will excuse the Liberty their Countryman takes, in praying you to present compliments on his part.

I have the honor to be / with great Respect / Your Excys / Most Obedt. Humble Sert.

Wm. Carmichael

RC (Adams Papers).


This is JA’s circular letter of 3 June, above, that he also sent to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and C. W. F. Dumas.


For the full list of Carmichael’s enclosures regarding the Barbary States and the liberation of the Betsy’s crew, see Jefferson, Papers , 8:320–322. Carmichael requested that Jefferson “communicate to Mr. Adams these papers.” Of those documents, copies of the following are at their dates in the Adams Papers: Louis Goublot to Carmichael, 25 June; the Conde de Floridablanca to Carmichael, 24 July; and Carmichael to Floridablanca, 25 July. The first indicated that the emperor of Morocco had freed the captain and crew of the Betsy and had released the vessel itself. The second, based on the report of the Spanish envoy extraordinary to Morocco, confirmed Goublot’s report. In the third, Carmichael thanked Floridablanca for the information and expressed the gratitude of the United States for Spain’s efforts on its behalf.