Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To John Jay

To Thomas Jefferson

From John Adams to John Jay, 31 July 1786 Adams, John Jay, John
To John Jay
Dear Sir London July 31. 17861

Paul Randall Esqr, who has been with Mr Lamb to Algiers will have the Honour to deliver this Letter. in order to lay before Congress the earliest Information of all that has come to his Knowledge, in the Course of his Journeys and Voyages he proposes to return, without loss of Time to New-York. He has conducted, as far as I can judge, with Prudence and Fidelity, and has merited a Recommendation to Congress.

His Salary, will be paid him by Mr Lamb if arrived in New York, out of the Monies remaining in his Hands. Mr Lamb has drawn upon me for Three Thousand two hundred and twelve Pounds twelve Shillings Sterling, and his Bills for that sum have been accepted and paid. He will account with Congress for the Expenditure of it, and pay the Ballance into their Treasury. Mr Randal was at some Small Expence for Cloathing, which it will be but reasonable to allow him.2

There are, it Seems, at Algiers, one and twenty Prisoners taken on board the two American Vessells. Mr Lamb has left Some Money for their Benefit, but however anxious they may be to be redeemed from Captivity, there is reason to fear, that all that Money will be expended before they obtain their Liberty, in which Case they will probably write to me for more. I should therefore be happy to receive the Instructions of Congress, whether I may be permitted to relieve them and how far, or whether they must be left to the Care and Expence of their Friends in America. if the last Should be the 405 Determination of Congress, I should think it will be necessary that Some publick Advertisement Should be made that those Friends may know their Duty according to their Abilities. The Provision that is made, for the Subsistence and Cloathing of Captives either by the Government or their Masters is Said to be very inadequate to their Comfort and Necessities.

With great Respect and regard I have the / Honour to be, dear Sir your most obedient / and most humble Servant

John Adams.

RC (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 347–350); internal address: “His Excellency John Jay, Secretary of State / for the Department of foreign Affairs.”; endorsed: “Letter 31 July 1786 / Mr Adams / Read 18 Sept 1786.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 112.


On this date Thomas Barclay wrote to JA, enclosing a copy of his 30 July letter to Jay (both Adams Papers). In his letter to Jay, Barclay announced the completion of his treaty with Morocco; in his letter to JA, Barclay indicated that he had spent $3,500 since his arrival in Morocco and was about to depart Mogador (now Essaouria) for Tangier. WSS enclosed copies of both letters in his 18 Sept. letters to Jay and Thomas Jefferson ( Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 , 3:48–49; Jefferson, Papers , 10:393).


Paul R. Randall reached New York on or about 18 Sept., for on that date Jay wrote to Congress, enclosing this letter carried by Randall (PCC, No. 80, III, f. 73–74). Randall’s salary remained unpaid in Sept. 1788 when Congress received his memorial, which it referred to the Board of Treasury. The board authorized the payment of $700 to Randall on 2 June 1789, which was finally resolved on 23 Jan. 1790 with a warrant drawn on the U.S. Treasury ( JCC , 34:506, 507; Hamilton, Papers , 13:42).