Papers of John Adams, volume 17

A Memorial to the Marquis of Carmarthen on the Frontier Posts, 30 November 1785 Adams, John
A Memorial to the Marquis of Carmarthen on the Frontier Posts
A Memorial
[ 30 November 1785 ]1

The Subscriber, Minister Plenipotentiary, from the United States of America, has the Honour, to represent to the Ministry, of his Britannic Majesty, that by the seventh Article of the Preliminary Treaty, of Peace, between his Majesty, and the United States of America, Signed at Paris, on the thirtieth day of November, one Thousand Seven hundred and eighty two, confirmed by the definitive Treaty of Peace, signed at Paris, on the third day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, it was Stipulated, that His Britannic Majesty Should, with all convenient Speed, and without causing any destruction or carrying away any 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, leaving in all Fortifications, the American Artillery, that may be therein.—

That, although a Period of three Years has elapsed Since the Signature of the Preliminary Treaty, and of more than two Years, Since that of the Definitive Treaty, the Posts of Oswegatchy, Oswego, Niagara, Presqu’ Isle, Sandusky, Detroit, Michilimachinac, with others not necessary to be particularly enumerated, and a considerable Territory round each of them, all within the incontestable Limits of the said United States, are Still held by British Garrisons, to the Loss and Injury of the said United States.

The Subscriber, therefore, in the Name, and behalf of the said United States, and in Obedience to their express Commands, has the Honour to require, of his Britannic Majestys Ministry, that all 625his Majesty’s Armies and Garrisons be forthwith withdrawn, from the said United States; from all and every of the Posts and Fortresses herein before enumerated, and from every other Port Place and Harbour within the Territory of the said United States, according to the true Intention of the Treaties aforesaid

Done at Westminster, this thirtieth Day of November, one thou sand Seven hundred, and eighty five

John Adams.

RC (PRO:FO 4, State Papers, vol. 3, f. 355–358); endorsed: “Memorial from / Mr. Adams. / R. 8th: Decr. 1785.”; notation: “Copies sent to / Lord Sydney & / Mr. Pitt:.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 111.


JA presented this memorial to Carmarthen at their meeting on 8 December. For his original intention to present a memorial on 1 Dec. and why he changed the timing of it, see his first letter of 24 Nov. to John Jay, above. In his second letter of 30 Nov., however, Carmarthen wrote to postpone the meeting until 8 Dec. (Adams Papers). For JA’s earlier discussion of the frontier posts with William Pitt, see his 25 Aug. letter to Jay, above.

From the Marquis of Carmarthen, 30 November 1785 Carmarthen, the Marquis of Adams, John
From the Marquis of Carmarthen
Sir, St James’s Novemr: 30th 1785.

The Commissioners for American Claims having notified to me, that, by Virtue of the Power given to them by the Act of Parliament now in force, they have appointed John Anstey of Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister at Law, to repair to the United States of America, to enquire into such Facts and Circumstances as may be material for the better ascertaining the several Claims which have been or shall be presented, under the Authority of the present, or former Act; and that they are of Opinion that the Countenance of the several States may tend to facilitate the Execution of this Employment: I am to request that You will communicate Mr Anstey’s Appointment to the Members of Congress, and recommend Him to their Protection and Countenance in the Execution of the Business with which He is charged.1

I have the Honour to be, / Sir, / Your most obedient / humble Servant.


RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 111.


JA wrote to John Jay on 2 Dec. concerning John Anstey’s appointment and enclosed copies of this letter and his 2 Dec. reply to Carmarthen ( Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 , 2:539–540). For more on the appointment, see AFC , 7:26–27.