Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
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Responding to Vergennes' letter of the 15th
(calendared above), Adams sent copies of commissions, but balked at furnishing copies
of his instructions, which he thought Vergennes expected him to provide (see JA, Diary and Autobiography
). He believed such an action to be inappropriate and would state only that the instructions
contained nothing inconsistent with the Franco-American treaties. Adams noted that
although he had confided the nature of his mission only to Vergennes and Franklin,
its character had been “notorious” in America and presumably was known in London.
Thus published reports should not be considered as proceeding from him.