From John Adams
LS:8 Historical Society of Pennsylvania; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society
Amsterdam March 10th. 1782.
Should the British Forces now in New York and Charlestown evacuate those Places and go to the West India Islands, they might give a good deal of Trouble to the French and Spanish Possessions there. It would cost those Powers many Men and Ships and a great deal of Money and Time perhaps to manage them: whereas a Fleet and a Sum of Money now well directed would infallibly make Prisoners of the whole.
After the Address and Resolutions of the Commons,9 can it be thought they will be so stupid as to keep those Armies inactive in New York and Charlestown? If they do it will be merely to protect Commissioners whom they may send to propose Terms of a seperate Peace to Congress. In this Case the short and easy Method with the Dissenters is to take Warriors and Peacemakers altogether Prisoners in New York.
With great Respect I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant
His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esq
Endorsed: answd March 31
Notation: J. Adams, March 10. 1782.
8. In Thaxter’s hand except for the complimentary close and the name of the addressee, which are in JA’s hand.
9. The successful motion of Feb. 27–28 in the House of Commons opposing further prosecution of the American war and the attendant address presenting it to the King were reported in the March 8 issue (sup.) of the Gaz. de Leyde.