Papers of John Adams, volume 11

From the Committee for Foreign Affairs

To Benjamin Franklin

Enclosure: A Resolution on a Treaty of Commerce, 12 July 1781 Continental Congress JA Enclosure: A Resolution on a Treaty of Commerce, 12 July 1781 Continental Congress Adams, John
Enclosure: A Resolution on a Treaty of Commerce
July 12. 1781

By the United states in Congress assembled

Resolved That the commission and instructions for negotiating a treaty of Commerce between these United states and Great Britain given to the honorable John Adams on the twenty ninth day of Sep-435tember one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine be and they are hereby revoked.1

Extract from the minutes

Cha Thomson secy.

The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Holland or”; notation: “Forwarded by Yr. most hble Servt J Nesbitt”; endorsed: “Mr Lovels Letter July 21 1781”; notation on the second page of the letter: “Mr. J.A.”


See JCC , 20:746–747. The resolution to revoke JA's commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty proceeded directly from Congress' revision of the peace ultimata in its instructions of 15 June to the expanded peace commission. Under the new instructions a western border on the Mississippi River was no longer the sine qua non for any Anglo-American peace treaty, while the preservation of Newfoundland fishing rights remained a requirement for the Anglo-American commercial treaty. For the new peace instructions, their relationship to the resolution of 12 July, and Congress' effort to resolve the resulting sectional conflict, see Commissions and Instructions for Mediation and Peace, 15 June, No. III, and note 9, above. Regarding Congress' 12 July resolution, JA would write to the president of Congress on 5 Feb. 1783 that he had never received any “explanation of the motives to it, or the reasons on which it was founded” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 6:242–247).