Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To Thomas Jefferson

From Stephen Higginson

From John Adams to John Lamb, 31 July 1786 Adams, John Lamb, John
To John Lamb
Sir— London july 31st 1786

Mr Randall who proposes to Sail in a few Days for N York, will deliver you this Letter.1 If, I have not Overlookd any Article in your Account you have drawn Bills upon me which have been accepted & paid to the amount of 32 hundred and 12 Pounds 12 shillings Sterling for the Expenditure of which you will Account with Congress and pay the Ballance into their Treasury after paying Mr Randall his Salery. The Articles of Extra Expence for Cloathing I think Should be allowed to Mr Randall exclusive of his Salary2

If it Should not be the intention of Congress to treat farther with the Algerines every Man of Humanity must feel for our unfortunate Countrymen in Captivity and at Least it ought to be publickly known whether Congress mean to make any provision for their Comfort in the Articles of Subsistance & Cloathing that their Relations and Friends may do the Best in their Power. You will do well to represent this matter to Government, that they may give Instructions to their Ministers what to do in it— I am fully of your opinion of the Policy of treating with the Barbary Powers: but if Congress Should determine against it, they will I presume prepare a Naval 408 Force to give some Protection to their Commerce and Portugal at least will Cooperate with us perhaps Naples will do so too—

I am Sir yours &c &c—

LbC in AA2’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Lamb—”; APM Reel 113.


In both this letter and the one to John Jay of 31 July, above, JA assumed that Lamb would reach America before Paul R. Randall or shortly thereafter. But it was not until 5 Aug. 1787 that Lamb reached Boston, announcing his arrival in a letter to Jay of that date. Jay enclosed Lamb’s letter with his to Congress of 17 Aug. 1787, which Congress read on 20 Sept. (PCC, No. 91, f. 539–540; JCC , 33:506).


For Randall’s salary, see JA’s 31 July 1786 letter to Jay, and note 2, above. With regard to Lamb’s accounts, he wrote to Jay on 10 April 1788 indicating that he had arrived in New York and was ready to resolve any issues remaining from his mission. Jay recommended to Congress that the letter be referred to the Board of Treasury, but nothing further has been found regarding it ( JCC , 34:129, 132).