Papers of John Adams, volume 17

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.