Adams Papers

To John Adams from John Jay, 31 July 1787

New York Office for foreign Affairs 31st. July 1787

Dr Sir

Since my last to you of the 4th. Instant I have been honored with yours of the 8th. 14th. & 23d. of May last, which have been communicated to Congress.—

I have now the Honor of transmitting to you herewith enclosed certified copies of sundry Acts of Congress, Vizt. of the 21st. March and 13th. April last relative to our Treaty with Britain; also an Act of the 20th. July Instant containing certain Instructions to you on the same Subject. This latter Act as it now stands differs materially from the one reported by me, especially in the Plan and Extent of the proposed Convention.

It give me Pleasure to inform you that several of the States have removed all Obstacles to the full and fair Operation of the Treaty—and there is great Reason to expect that certain others of them will do the like at the ensuing Sessions of their Legislatures; but whether every State without Exception will adopt the Measure in its proper Latitude and Extent is not quite certain, especially considering the Conveniences which many of their Citizens have derived from...Shelter against their british Creditors.

In the Act of Congress of the 23rd. Instant also enclosed, you will find a Copy of a Letter to his Catholic Majesty, that Letter has been sent from hence to Spain in a spanish Vessel—also a Copy of a Letter to Emperor of Morocco—that Letter was sent to Mr. Jefferson by the French Packet which sailed last Week, the Ratification of the Morocco Treaty was also sen to him by the same Opportunity. Measures respecting the other African hostile States are under Consideration.

On the 24th. Instant Congress was pleased to pass an Act of which a Copy is herewith enclosed, relative to the House at the Hague.

Your Letters respecting the new Loan &c: were referred to the Board of Treasury. Your Attention and Efforts on that Occasion merit Commendation.—

I have taken much Pains to obtain a Decision on the Question of your Return &ca: but as yet without Success. I am not without Hopes that it will be done to Day, and as the Mail will not be closed before Tomorrow, I shall in that Case write you another letter.—

It seems that the Convention at Philadelphia have agree on the leading Principles or great Outlines of their Plan and appointed a Committee to put it into Form; but we know not what it is, and I believe it is best that we should not.—

I have the Honor to be with great and Sincere Esteem and Regard Dr. Sir / Your most Obt. & Hble: Servt.

John Jay

P.S. For your more particular Information I herewith enclose certain Papers containing Copies of Acts and Letter, numbered from 1 to 7 inclusive, which shew in what States, and how for the Treaty of Peace is at present operating without Constraint.

I learn this Afternoon that Congress rose without having passed any Act or Resolution relative to your Return.—I herewith enclose an Ordinance of Congress of the 13th. Inst. for governing the western Country, and a Copy of the Ratification of the Morocco Treaty, together with a Parcel of the latest Newspapers.—


The Secretary of the United States for the Department of foreign Affairs, to whom were referred the Letters of Mr. Dumas respecting the House of the United States at the Hague, having reported—

“That by Mr. Dumas Letter of 17th. November 1786 Congress are informed that the House is in a suffering Condition—that it is charged with a Tax of 167 Florins per Annum—that the Care of its causes some Expenses, that it should in his Opinion be either repaired and inhabited or sold, and that he (Mr. Dumas) cannot occupy it without a formal Order. That as any Change of Measures, not dictated by a Change of Circumstances, seems to argue either Want of Consideration in adopting them, or Want of Constancy to adhere to them, and as United States have, thought proper to purchase the House in Question for the Residence of their Minister, in his Opinion it would not be expedient to order it to be sold, as well for the Reasons abovementioned, as because such Order if in other Respects proper would be unseasonable at present; for it would look as if the United States intended either to have no resident Minister there in future, or as if the present Troubles of the Republic, or the present State of their own Finances had in some Degree influenced the Measure—That it would be adviseable to put Mr. Dumas into the House, as thereby the Expense of taking Care of it will be avoided and that Gentleman obliged.”—Whereupon,

Resolved, that Mr. Dumas be permitted to occupy and reside in the House of the United States at the Hague, until a Minister of the United States shall arrive there, or until the further Order of Congress; and that Mr. Adams do direct such Repairs to be made, at the expense of the United States, to the said House as may be really necessary to render it tenantable.—

The Secretary having further reported, that the repeated Mention which Mr. Dumas makes of his Accounts and of the arrearages due to him, induces him to take the Liberty of hinting, whether it would not be best to direct that his Accounts be settled, and that his little Stipend be regularly paid to him.—

Ordered, that this part of the Report be referred to the Board of Treasury to take Order.—

Cha Thomson Secy.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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