John Quincy Adams to John Adams
Copenhagen Feby. 20th. 1783
I arrived here about a week agone, and expected to leave this place in a vessel for Kiel, (which I found here,) two days afterwards, but I have been waiting for a wind here ever since.1 I rather preferred going from hence to Hamborough by water; than thro’ Holstein because the roads are extremely bad and it would be a Journey of atleast eight or ten days; whereas, with a good wind we can run over in 24 hours from hence to Kiel, and besides it will not be near so expensive by water.
I went yesterday to see the Baron de la Houze the French Minister here. He shew me a letter from the Duke de la Vauguyon,2 which mentions your having been anxious on my account; but I suppose you have receiv’d before this time my letter from Gottenbourg.
The Baron de la Houze tells me of a piece of news to be found in the Leiden Gazette, I mean, of a treaty of commerce said to be concluded between the american comissioners and the Ambassador of the King of Sweden in Paris.3 I should expect it is true; for of all men the King of Sweden knows the best how to seize upon opportunity, and I think we might have a considerable commerce with Sweden. As to this country, I cannot tell what sort of trade we shall be able to carry on, with it; however there is already a person design’d to be as the minister of this court, in our country, and every body here say they never doubted of the Independance of America; but things have greatly changed here within these three months.
I am your dutiful Son.
J. Q. Adams
RC (Adams Papers).
1. JQA had arrived in Copenhagen on 15 Feb., and finally departed for Hamburg, by land, on 5 March (JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981-. description ends , 1:171–174; JQA to JA, 12 March, below).
3. Gustav Philip, Comte de Creutz, and Benjamin Franklin signed the treaty on 5 March, although the treaty is dated 3 April (Miller, ed., Treaties description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, Washington, 1931–1948; 8 vols. description ends , 2:149). JA, however, in a letter of 14 Feb. to Edmund Jenings, says he had just attended a dinner at the Swedish ambassador’s, “upon occasion of the Signature of the Treaty, between his Master and Congress, which was done the 5. instant” (Adams Papers). JA may have been referring to a preliminary signing, and this would account for the story in a February gazette. For JA’s reaction to Franklin’s role in negotiating this treaty, see AA to JA, 25 Oct. 1782, note 5, above.