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Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 5 June 1798

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch

Philadelphia June 5th 1798

My dear sister

I write you this Morning just to say that there are dispatches from our Envoys up to April by which it appears that they have had several conferences with Tallyrand, the subject of which was obtaining Money— they are just decupherd and will be communicated. no Reception from the directory, nor like to be any— I cannot but say to you, what will strike every one, that every hour they remain in France, degrades their Country, and embarrasses our counsels beyond conception—1

yours &c

A Adams

RC (MWA:Abigail Adams Letters); addressed by Samuel Bayard Malcom: “The Honorable Richard Cranch / Quincy / near / Boston”; endorsed by Richard Cranch: “Letter from Mrs / A Adams (Pha:) / June 5th. 1798”; notation by JA: “J. Adams.”

1On 5 June JA delivered to Congress a dispatch dated 9 March from the American commissioners to France enclosing a lengthy report on two recent meetings with Talleyrand. At these meetings Talleyrand insisted that the United States prove its friendly disposition toward France by providing a loan, which he assured them would be payable after the war and kept secret from Great Britain so as to maintain the appearance of American neutrality. The commissioners reiterated that agreeing to a loan violated their instructions and exceeded their powers. The commissioners, with the Directory’s permission, decided that John Marshall and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney would return to the United States for further instructions and Elbridge Gerry would remain behind in France (Amer. State Papers, Foreign Relations description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–1861; 38 vols. description ends , 2:185–188). The dispatch and the enclosure were printed in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States, 6 June. The next official dispatch from the commissioners, dated 3 April, did not arrive until 14 June, for which see AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 19 June, and note 3, below.

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