Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To John Jay

To Thomas Jefferson

From John Adams to John Jay, 25 January 1787 Adams, John Jay, John
To John Jay
Private My Dear Friend London Jan. 25. 1787.

I wrote you Yesterday, in your Ministerial Capacity as well as mine, my ulltimate Determination to revisit my Country, this time twelve months.— I now write you this private Letter to intreat you as a Friend, to promote in every Way in your Power, an Arrangement as early as possible, by which I may be permitted to return, with Decorum.— It is not from a desire to stimulate any Body to vote for a new Commission to be sent me to this Court, which may for what I know be Suspected by Some, but from a sincere and unalterable Resolution to come home in all Events, that I have taken this measure thus early.— It would hurt me to come home in disobedience 557 but in all Events I will come home. if Congress should send me a new Commission I shall certainly return it, unaccepted.— this is between you and me, and not intended to offend the Feelings of any Man whatever.— My Northern Friends, may wish me to remain longer in Europe, but I must be excused.1

I Shall compleat, with submission to Providence, my ten Years in Europe, and then go home.

My Family joins with me, in affectionate Compliments to you and yours. a Year will soon come about, and then or soon after, I may have to Pleasure of kissing your hand. meantime I am / with every sentiment of Esteem and / Regard your Friend & humble Servant

John Adams.

RC (NNC:John Jay Papers); internal address: “Mr Jay”; endorsed: “Mr. Adams / 25 Jany. 1787 / and. 25 July 1787.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 113.


On the same day, JA wrote a “Private” letter to the Massachusetts delegates informing them of his “fixed resolution to return” to the United States and asking them to support the plan in Congress. “To be explicit,” he wrote, “I am determined to come home, though I should be compelled to do it in an ungracious manner; but I hope this will not be made necessary” (JA, Works , 8:425).