Adams Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 17 October 1784

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams
and Benjamin Franklin

Cul-de-sac Tetebout. Oct. 17. 1784.

Mr̃ Jefferson’s compliments to Mr. Adams & Dr. Franklin, and incloses to them the letter to the D. of Dorset on the separate articles.1 he also sends one on the general subject & in the general form as had been agreed when they parted last: but thinking that it might be better, by reciting what had been done with mr̃ Hartley to keep the ground we have gained, and not to admit that we misplaced our overtures, by taking no notice of them, he submits to the gentlemen a second draught, copied from the first as to the recital of the powers but varied in the latter paragraph. they will be so good as to take their choice of the two forms and having signed the one they prefer mr̃ J. will add his signature to the same.2

P. S. he is ready at any moment to concur in a letter or letters on the subject of the man in the inquisition3

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Messrs. Adams & Franklin.”; endorsed: “Mr Jefferson / Oct. 17th. 1784.”

1This is the commissioners’ second letter of 28 Oct. to the Duke of Dorset, below, in which they proposed adjustments to the provisions of the Anglo-American definitive peace treaty.

2This is the commissioners’ first letter of 28 Oct. to Dorset, below. JA and Franklin evidently approved Jefferson’s second draft with its references to the cordial communications between the commissioners and David Hartley. Jefferson’s first draft has not been found.

3Massachusetts merchant Jonas Hartwell had been arrested by the Inquisition at Bilbao, Spain. For the circumstances of his case and the action taken by the commissioners on his behalf, see the 25 Nov. letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink, and note 1, below.

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