Papers of John Adams, volume 8

From Robert Montgomery

To Alexander Gillon

To Edward and Charles Dilly, 20 February 1780 JA Dilly, Edward Dilly, Charles


To Edward and Charles Dilly, 20 February 1780 Adams, John Dilly, Edward Dilly, Charles
To Edward and Charles Dilly
Gentlemen Paris Feb. 20. 1780

You may possibly remember a Correspondent of yours, who had six or seven Years ago the Pleasure of Writing to you sometimes and of receiving Letters from you.1 He has occasion for the Monthly and critical Reviews: the Remembrancers and annual Registers as they come out: and the Parliamentary Registers, and any other political Pamphlets of any Character that may be published in London. He requests the favour of you, to send them always by private Hands, addressed to Monsieur Antonio Ares, Negotiant chez Monsieur Hochereau, Libraire Pont neuf a Paris. For the pay for them you may draw upon him to be paid here, or he will get some Banker here to pay you in London which you please. He requests an Answer, as soon as possible and to be informed whether you will undertake to supply him or not, at what Prices and where you choose to be paid.—He wishes to know of the Welfare of Mrs. Maccauley, and of Mr. Robinson. Mr. Burgh, unhappily is no more.2

Your obliged and obedient servant Antonio Ares3

LbC (Adams Papers).


At the bottom of the Letterbook copy is the notation: “Messrs. Edward and Charles Dilly, Booksellers in the Poultry, London.” The Dillys' bookshop was at No. 22 on the Poultry, a street connecting Cheapside and Cornhill (Wheatley, London Past and Present , 3:116–117). JA and Edward Dilly had corresponded in 1774 and 1775; see vol. 2:18, 171, 211; 3:2, 72. No letters from JA to Dilly are known to be extant. For a sketch of the Dillys, see Adams Family Correspondence , 1:73–74; and for a letter of 22 May 1775 from AA to Edward Dilly, see p. 200–204. Edward Dilly had died on 11 May 1779 (London Chronicle, 11–13 May 1779). A letter from Charles Dilly to JA, dated 3 Feb. 1790, is in the Adams Papers, but the editors know of no reply to the present letter.


Catharine Macauley, Matthew Robinson-Morris, and James Burgh were writers who favored the American cause. Burgh had died in 1775. For references to all three, see the indexes to previously published volumes of JA, Diary and Autobiography , Adams Family Correspondence , and JA, Papers .


This is apparently JA's first and only use of this pseudonym, and his first known use of any pseudonym in any letter not intended for publication, since his occasional use of classical names in his courtship correspondence with AA in the 1760s (see Adams Family Correspondence , vol. 1). The name “Antonio Ares” may have been suggested by “Antonio Arecs” (or “Areca”), the Spanish mule driver who accompanied JA on his journey from La Coruña to Bilbao (see Lagoanere to JA, 26 Dec. 1779, and JA to Lagoanere, 16 Jan. 1780, both above).