Arthur Lee to Abigail Adams
In Congress April 23d. 1783
I arrived in Philadelphia this day1 and had the honor of receiving your Commands of the 9th.2 Tho’ we were exceedingly desirous of the assistance of Mr. Adams in what yet remains to be done in Europe; yet his Letters were so pressing, that the Committee to whom they were referrd coud not resist reporting in favor of his resignation.3 Congress have not yet considerd that report; but I think Madam, you may rely upon it, that leave will be given as he requests.
I shall participate with you in the pleasure of his return, after so long a sacrifise as he has made to the peace and prosperity of this Country. Her gratitude will I hope never forget, the essential services he has renderd. A french frigate, that left France, the beginning of March, arrivd here two days since;4 but did not bring one line for Congress. We learn however, that the general Treaty was not then settled.
I have the honor to be with the truest sentiments of respect & esteem, Dear Madam, Yr. most Obedt. & most humbl. Servt.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Abigail Adams. Braintree near Boston”; franked: “Free A. Lee”; postmarked: “23 AP”; stamped: “FREE.”
1. Lee, serving in Congress since his election in Dec. 1781, had taken a brief trip to Virginia on 2 April (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Washington, 1921–1936; 8 vols. description ends , 7:lxxvii, 121).
2. Not found. In her letter to JA of 7 April, above, AA noted receiving JA’s letters of 4 Dec. 1782, and 29 Jan., both above; JA’s announcement in those letters of his request to Congress to resign his post apparently prompted AA to ask Lee whether Congress would honor JA’s request. JA had directed AA on 4 Feb., above, to make such an enquiry, but AA did not receive this letter until 6 May (AA to JA, 7 May, below). AA probably wrote to Lee, whom she had met in Sept. 1780 (vol. 3:406), because James Lovell had left Congress and Elbridge Gerry had not yet arrived there (see AA to JA, 28 April, below).