Papers of John Adams, volume 18


From Nathaniel Barrett

128 From John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 28 January 1786 Adams, John Jefferson, Thomas
To Thomas Jefferson
Dear Sir Grosvenor Square Jan. 28. 1786

I have recd yours of the 12, but Yesterday, and wish it were in my Power to order the Interest due to the French Officers to be paid: but it is not.— They must remain unpaid, be the Consequence what it may untill Congress or the Board of Treasury order it. indeed, I dont know how your Subsistence & mine is to be paid after next month.— Mr Grand will be likely to advance yours, but from whence mine is to come I know not.

I am clearly for treating with the Emperors Ambassador immediately, and even for the Netherlands only, although it would be better to extend it to all the rest of his Dominions.— Why will not the Prussian Treaty answer for the Model. I pray you to proceed in the Business, as fast as you please. Treaties commercial with the two Imperial Courts cannot possibly do Us any harm that I can conceive.

This Letter goes by Mr Joy, whom I pray You to attend to a little. He wishes to go to the East Indies, with Views of promoting a Trade between the United States and that Country.1

in great Haste yours forever

John Adams

RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); internal address: “Mr Jefferson.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 112.


No definitive evidence has been found to identify “Mr Joy,” but from JA’s reference to his interest in East Indian trade, he may be the Newburyport merchant Benjamin Joy (1757–1829). Appointed first U.S. consul “at Calcutta, and other ports and places on the coast of India” in 1792, he was recognized only as commercial agent (Holden Furber, “The Beginnings of American Trade with India, 1784–1812,” NEQ , 11:248 [1938]; U.S. Senate, Exec. Jour. , 2d Cong., 6th sess., p. 126).