Adams Papers

From John Adams to the Comte de Vergennes, 13 July 1781

To the Comte de Vergennes

Paris July 13. 1781


I have the Honour to inclose, to your Excellency Some Remarks, upon the Articles to Serve as a Basis of the negotiation for the Re-establishment of Peace, which you did me the Honour to communicate to me.

As I am unacquainted, whether you desired my Sentiments upon these Articles, merely for your own Government, or with a design to communicate them to the Imperial Courts I should be glad of your Excellencies Advice concerning them. If you are of Opinion there is any Thing exceptionable, or which ought to be altered, I should be glad to correct it. Or if I have not perceived the Points or Questions, upon which you desired my Opinion, I shall be ready to give any farther Answers.

I have the Honour to be, with great Respect your Excellencys most obedient and most hum Servant

John Adams

RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 17:380); endorsed: “M. Adams Sa observations Sur les articles qui doivent Servir de base à la negociation sur la paix.” Enclosure (LbC’s, Adams Papers). In the French archives only a French translation of JA’s observations has been found. The text of the enclosure, therefore, is taken from JA’s second and final Letterbook copy. In the second Letterbook copy, JA wrote the proposed preliminary articles for mediation (see [11 July] , above) in French in the left-hand side of the page and his comments opposite them on the right-hand side. Significant differences between the two Letterbook copies, the first of which JA dated 11 July and canceled, are indicated in the annotation.

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