Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To Edward Augustus Holyoke

To the Marquis de Lafayette

From John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 26 June 1786 Adams, John Jefferson, Thomas
To Thomas Jefferson
Dear sir Grosvenor Square June 26. 1786

Sometime Since I received from Gov. Bowdoin some Papers relating to Alexander Gross, with an earnest desire that I would communicate them to the French Ambassador here. I did so and his Excellency was so good as to transmit them to the Comte De Vergennes.— Mr Bartholomy however advised me to write to you upon the Subject, that you might prevent it from being forgotten.

inclosed is a Letter, which I received Yesterday from Griffin Green at Rotterdam, with a Paper inclosed dated Dunkirk 15. June. 1786. relating to this unhappy Man. What can be done for his Relief I know not. Neither the Ransom Money nor the other Charges I Suppose can ever be paid. for Government never is expected to redeem Such Hostages and his Relations are not able. If this is the Truth as I Suppose it is, it would be better for the French Government and for the Persons interested, to set him at Liberty, than to keep him a Prisoner at Expence.

Let me pray you to minute this affair among your Memorandums to talk of, with the Comte De Vergennes & Mr Rayneval, when you are at Versailles.— They will shew you the Papers, which have been transmitted them through the Comte D’Adhemar.1

I wrote you on the 23d. of May ulto—and on the 6th. inst.—which Letters I hope you have received.


John Adams

RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers). LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 112.


For Jefferson’s efforts on behalf of Alexander Gross, see his reply of 9 July, and note 5, below.