Papers of John Adams, volume 17

From Christian Lotter, 4 October 1785 Lotter, Christian Adams, John
From Christian Lotter
May it please Your Excellency! Hage. October 4th: 1785

Seeing that the whole of mine endeavours either by Your Excely: or by those Gentlemen of Amsterdam, to Stay in the hotel, only for the time proper for removing, are of non effects; on the contrary 498Still more hurried and pushed on to depart as Speedy as hardly possible.—

With the greatest regreat I have read a paragraph in a favour from Messrs: van Staphorst of the 1th: of this month; which drew me into a dulfull Consideration; viz: that in case Your Excellency had absolutely desired to let You remain in the hotel, until the arrival of his Successor, it would have been very unneccessary to trouble us with it, So that the anchor of my hope is fairly lost.

The first courting my mind and cherishing my then pleasing Ideas of a firm Standing in the hotel, was a letter from Your Excely: of the 29 of Maÿ1 in which letter Your Excely: was graciously pleased to mention, that I Shall continue to live in the hotel, and take Care of it. &. &. and in my Joys Shewed the Same to my good and generous patron Mr: Maclaine2 and others of my welwishers, who took as much part of joy and Satisfaction in Your Excelys: Kind and generous dispositions and condescendings, as they now regreat my being So very ill treated by Messrs: Willinks and van Staphorsts, which treatments can only Serve to Such a person, who by unlawful means, might have incurred Your Excelys: displeasure upon him.—

Some weeks ago, I have taken the Liberty to apply to Your Excely: in behalf of a quarter of a year’s Salary from the 8th: of June. h: a: to the 8th: of last month, with 10 Guilders for the removing of my goods and a compensation for housrent till Maÿ next, but of which Your Excely: has not yet been pleased to give any declaration upon it, I hope Your Excely: will be generously pleased to grant and consent to my request, and empower me with a written consent for the Same to Messrs: Willinks & Comp: to receive it, from them, Since I think my request to be just, having only received my bare Salary, altho my engagements were for board and wages, and to remove to and fro too expensive for me, without mentioning the inconveniences and Spoiling of my goods; Your Excely: may be perfectly persuaded that my present petition is just and due, otherwise I would Scorn to mention it.3

I farther take the Liberty to assure Your Excellency that my first entering into Your Service, until this present day, was mixed with nothing but troubles and chagrins; Surrounded by deceitful Servants within, and Spiteful and wicked persons from without, constantly endeavouring to draw Stones in my way to fall, or nets to catch me in, which very often I have found out in time, because they Saw that my purpose was to Serve honestly. I most humbly beg to be remembered to Madame and Miss Adams and am with the 499 most dutiful respect / Your Excellency’s / most devoted and most humble / Servant

C: Lotter.

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excely: Mr: John Adams / Minister Plenpt. Grosvenor Square.— / Westminster.”; endorsed: “Mr Lotter 4. Oct. 1785.”


For this letter see JA’s 29 May letter to the consortium, note 2, above.


Rev. Archibald MacLaine, JA’s friend and pastor of the English Church at The Hague (vol. 12:248).


Lotter refers to his letter of 13 Sept., above. No reply by JA to that letter nor any instruction from him to the consortium to comply with Lotter’s request has been found.

To Richard O’Bryen, 6 October 1785 Adams, John O’Bryen, Richard
To Richard O’Bryen
Sir Grosvenor Square Westminster October 6 1785

your Letter addressed to the Consul of the United states was brought to me & as there was no Consul nor any other Person in any Public Character in England, but myself I thought it my right and Duty to open it.1 I most sincerely condole with you under your misfortune. Mr Lamb who Carries this Letter will do for you all the service in his power as well as for all the other unhappy Captives in Algiers.

you will please to present to Mr Logie my sincere thanks for his humane attention to you and your Fellow sufferers. I am very anxious to relieve you and to learn what may be the progress and Event of our Endeavours to promote Peace.— if you write me please to direct your Letters to me as Minister Plenipotentiary from the United states of America at the Court of Great Britain—

I am with much concern for your Liberty & wellfare &c

LbC in AA2’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Captn. Obrien”; APM Reel 111.


Addressed “To / The American Consull / General British Court / London,” this is O’Bryen’s letter of 16 Aug. (Adams Papers), for which see his letter of 27 Aug. written in company with Isaac Stephens and Zaccheus Coffin, note 1, above.

From James Warren, 6 October 1785 Warren, James Adams, John
From James Warren
Dear Sir Milton Octr 6th: 1785.

I wrote you very lately, & very largely, without any Interested views but what arise from the pleasure of Corresponding with a Man, whose Confidence, & Friendship, I have long Experienced and wish to Continue.1 The design of this is to Engage your Interest in a matter which I wish Exceedingly to Accomplish. Applications to great 500Men are Taxes which they must submit to. your rank & Influence, and the Claim I have on your Friendship, are the only Apologies I shall make I shall say nothing of the qualifications & Merits of my Son Winslow. you know him, & I flatter myself from some Circumstances that you have already formed a favourable Opinion of them. He went to Lisbon with great, & well founded Expectations of being Appointed the Consul there, & still remains there with such Expectations. Congress have delayed the Appointment untill a Commercial Treaty should be formed. by a Letter from my Friend Gerry Last Evening I am Informed they now have it in Contemplation & probably will Appoint the foreign Ministers Consuls General, & leave the Appointment to the several Ports with them, & that Lisbon will fall into the department of Mr Jefferson.2 will you write to him, & use your Influence to gratify me in the Acquisition of this small, favour.3 if the profits of the office s[hould n]ot be large, it will give him Consequence, and Assist him in his other Business. A disappointment would Mortify & Injure the feelings of a Young Man as well as give A Triumph to my Enemies after the matter has been so long talked off. I think I have done some services to my Country, & had a Considerable Share (I mean for an Individual) in the American Revolution. if Winslow succeeds, it will be the only reward to & the only place at present held or Expected by any of the Family. you will make my sincere regards to Mrs. Adams, & Love to Nabby: & beleive me to be as usual with great Esteem / Your Friend &c

J Warren—

Will you be so kind as to forward the Inclosed by some speedy & safe Conveyance. &c4

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency J. Ad[ams].” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.


Of 4 Sept., above.


Elbridge Gerry’s letter of 27 Sept. has not been found, but see Warren’s reply of 9 Oct., Warren-Adams Letters , 2:267–268. The information that Gerry provided Warren concerning the appointment of consuls was correct, but Congress had not yet acted and would not do so until 28 Oct. (to John Jay, 2 Sept., note 1, above). Warren indicated in his letter to Gerry that he had written to Thomas Jefferson, as Gerry had recommended, but he did not mention this letter to JA. For the letter to Jefferson of 9 Oct., see Jefferson, Papers , 8:599–600.


JA received this letter on 11 Dec. and re plied the following day (MB). There JA indicated that he had already written to John Jay regarding Winslow Warren (from Mercy Otis Warren, [ca. 4] Sept., note 3, above) and would write immediately to Jefferson. For JA’s 13 Dec. letter to Jefferson, see Jefferson, Papers , 9:97–98. Winslow Warren never received a consular appointment, for by the time of JA’s letters to Jay and Jefferson he had left Lisbon and was about to arrive in Massachusetts ( AFC , 6:474).


This was a letter to Winslow Warren, which JA, in his 12 Dec. letter, indicated he would forward to Lisbon.