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As I am about Settling my Accounts with M r Barclay who is impowered by Congress to settle them, I must beg the favour of you, Gentlemen, to Send me, an exact Account, in detail of every order I have drawn upon you, and of every Sum of Money you have paid upon my order, from the Beginning, and of all the Money I have received of you, jointly or Seperately, whether directly or by the Way of M r...
I have heard no News with more Pleasure than that of your design to go again to Congress, and nothing I hope has happened to divert you from your Purpose. I have lost all my Correspondents in Congress and know little what passes there. The Journals are not sent us, as I think they ought to be, regularly. By a letter from M r: A. Lee to my Wife, I am informed that the Committee had reported in...
France England Spain and America are all agreed, but M r: Hartley is Sanguine that the Treaty will not be signed, because he says the Comte de Vergennes dont mean to sign it. His Reasons for his opinion I know not. and I think he is mistaken. It is very certain however, that the French Minister is embarass’d and would not perhaps be sorry to find good Reasons for postponing the Signature for...
I have received your two favours of 7 May and 20 June. I had received no Letter from you for so long an Interval that these were really inestimable. I always learn more of Politicks from your Letters, than any others. I have lost all my Correspondents in Congress. I wrote to Mr. Jackson and Gen. Warren Supposing they were Members. Mr. Gerry is there now, to my Great Joy. Beg of him to write to...
I have received your affectionate letter of the 10th of May, with great pleasure, and another from your mother of the 28th and 29th of April, which by mistake I omitted to mention in my letter to her to-day. Your education and your welfare, my dear child, are very near my heart; and nothing in this life would contribute so much to my happiness, next to the company of your mother, as yours. I...
Yesterday, I went to Court with D r: Franklin, and presented to the Comte de Vergennes, our Project of a definitive Treaty, who told us he would examine it, and give us his sentiments upon it. It was Ambassadors day, and I had Conversation with a Number of Ministers, of which it is proper I should give you an Account. The Dutch Ambassador Berkenrode, told me, that last Saturday the Comte de...
Yesterday at Versailles the Baron de Waltersdorff came to me and told me, he had delivered to M r: Franklin, a Project of a Treaty between the Court of Denmark, and the United States, and asked me, if M r: Franklin had shewn it to me? I answered him, that I knew nothing of it.— He said he wondered at that, he presumed it was because of my Absence at the Hague, for that it had been shewn to M...
The Question before the French Cabinet, whether they shall involve themselves in a War against two Christian Empires, in order to support a Turkish one is of a Serious Nature on many Accounts—If the Turks should be driven out of Europe, France would lose some of the Levant Trade and some of the coasting Trade of Italy: and these commercial and Naval Considerations are reinforced by others...
LS : Public Record Office; copies: William L. Clements Library, Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society We have received the Letter which you did us the honour to write on the 12th. Inst. and shall take the first Opportunity of conveying to Congress the agreable Information contained in it. The Sentiments & Sensations which the Re-establishment of Peace between our two Countries,...
On the sixth I left the Hague, and last night arrived here; I had several Interviews, on some of the last days, at the Hague, which I had not time to give you an Account of as a great Part of my time, was taken up with visits, to take Leave of the Court, the President, the Grand Pensionary, Greffier &c. Ceremonies which must be repeated at every coming and going, and upon many other Occasions,...
The Fiscal Systems of the Powers of Europe, have such an ill Influence on Commerce, that they deserve the Serious attention of Congress and their Ministers whenever they have under Consideration a Treaty with any foreign Power. In Conversation yesterday with M r: D’Asp the Chargé des affaires of Sweeden, I enquired of him what Imposts were payable in their Ports upon the Importation and...
M r: Berenger the Secretary of the French Legation has this Moment left me He came in to inform me of the News. The Empress of Russia has communicated, to the King of Prussia, a Treaty of Alliance between the Emperor of Germany and her, defensive against the Christian Powers and offensive against the Turk. The King of Prussia has answered her “That he is very sensible, upon this Communication...
I had last evening some Conversation with D. Joas Theolonico de Almeida the envoy extraordinary of Portugal who desired to meet me to day at any hour at his House or mine. I promised to visit him at twelve, which I did. He said he had heard that the French Minister had proposed to the Duke of Manchester, at Versailles, to reduce the Duties upon French Wines in England, to the level of those...
The last Evening, at Court, in the House in the Grove, where all the foreign Ministers supped, the Comte Montagnini de Mirabel, the Minister Plenipotentiary from the King of Sardinia, took an opportunity to enter largely into Conversation with me. As he and I were at a Party of Politicks while the greatest Part of the Company were at Cards, for two or three hours, We ran over all the World,...
I have been the more particular in my letters to you, concerning that extensive Manufacture and Commerce of refined Sugars, in this Country because the Proximity of all the Sugar Colonies to us, renders a share in it naturally usefull and convenient both to us and them. Fifty Thousand Hogsheads of raw Sugars are annually wrought in this Republick and exported at a great Profit to Germany,...
I find upon Inquiry, that there are in this Republick at Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Dort, near 130 Sugar Houses. The whole of the raw Sugars produced, in Surrinam, Berbice Essequibo & Demarary, were wrought in these houses. and besides, raw Sugars were purchased in Bourdeaux & Nantes, after being imported from the French Islands in French Bottoms: raw Sugars were also purchased in London, which...
Upon Enquiry of those who best know, I see no probability of Success from any Application to Authority in this Country, for Reasons which I have explained to our Minister of foreign Affairs. Our only Resource is in the public Opinion, & the favor of the Nation. I know of nothing, which would operate so favorably upon the Publick, as the Arrival of a few Vessels with Cargoes of American...
LS : National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society The Definitive Treaties between the late beligerent Powers are none of them yet compleated. Ours has gone on slowly, owing partly to the Necessity Mr. Hartley (Successor of Mr Oswald) thinks himself under of sending every Proposition, either his own or ours, to his Court for their Approbation; and their Delay...
Last Saturday, I left Paris, and on Tuesday arrived, at the Hague. To Day I am come to this Town. I Shall return to Paris in a Fortnight. So as to make my whole Absence about three Weeks. Soon after my Return I expect the definitive Treaty will be Signed, but in this I may be mistaken. My Son is with me in good health. I had a tender Meeting with the dear Companion of my Voages and Journeys,...
It is the general opinion here both among the Members of the States, and the Hotel de la France, that the Delays of the definitive Pacification, are contrived by the Court of London, in order to set all their Instruments at work, in this Republic, to induce it to renew its ancient connections with Great-Britain, particularly their Alliance offensive and Defensive, by which each Power was bound...
On Saturday last, I left Paris, and arrived here last night. This Morning, I sent M r: Dumas to M r. Van Berckel and M r Gyselaer to inform them of my arrival and to desire a Conversation with them upon the Subject of the Commerce, between the United States and the Dutch Establishments in the West Indies. M r: Van Berckel told M r Dumas “That S t: Eustatius and Curacao were open to the Vessels...
(Project for) the definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, concluded at    the    Day of    1783. In the name of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, & Holy Ghost. So be it. Be it known to all those, to whom it shall or may, in any Manner, belong. It has pleased the most high to diffuse the Spirit of Union & Concord among the...
There is cause to be solicitous about the State of things in England. The present Ministry swerve more & more from the true System for the prosperity of their Country & ours. M r: Hartley, whose Sentiments are at bottom just, is probably kept here, (if he was not sent at first) merely to amuse us, & to keep him out of the way of embarrassing the Coalition, in Parliament We need not fear that...
LS : National Archives; press copy of LS : Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society, Yale University Library; transcript: National Archives We have had the honour of receiving by Capt. Barney your two Letters of the 25th. of March & 21st of April, with the Papers referred to in them. We are happy to find that the Provisional Articles have...
No Letter from you, yet. I believe I shall Set off Tomorrow or next day, for the Hague, and Shall bring John with me back to Paris in about 3 Weeks. There will be an Interval, before the Signature of the definitive Treaty, and Several publick Concerns oblige me to go to the Hague for a Short time. When I get my Son with me, I shall be ready to go to any Place, where I may embark for home, as...
Last evening M r. Hartley spent two hours with me, and appeared much chagrined at the Proclamation, which had never been communicated to him by his Principals. He has too much contempt of the commercial abilities of the French—and consequently said that the French could derive but little benefit from this step of his Court, but thought the Dutch would make a great advantage by it. I...
LS : Public Record Office; AL (drafts): American Philosophical Society, Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: William L. Clements Library, Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives We have the honour to inform you that we have just received from Congress their Ratification in due Form of the Provisional Articles of the 30th. of November 1782, and we are ready...
Yesterday we waited on the Comte de Vergennes at Versailles, and shew him the Project of a Letter to the Ministers of the two Imperial Courts, which he read and approved. We told him, that we were at a loss what might be the effect of the Mediation—possibly we might be involved in difficulties by it—possibly the British Ministers might persuade the Mediators to offer Us their Advice upon some...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society Around July 13, the American commissioners had been given to understand that mediation by the imperial courts was “a mere formality—a mere Compliment, consisting wholly in the Imperial Ministers putting their names & Seals to the parchment, & can have no ill effect.” On that basis, and believing that Vergennes was in favor of it, Adams drafted the...
Inclosed are Copies of Papers, which have passed between M r. Hartley and the American Ministers. We have not thought it prudent to enter into any written Controversy with him, upon any of these Papers. We have recieved whatever he has offered us.— But he has offered nothing in the Name of his Court, has signed nothing, and upon Enquiry of him, we have found that he has never had Authority to...
The United States of America have propagated far & wide in Europe the Ideas of the Liberty of Navigation and Commerce. The Powers of Europe, however, cannot agree as yet, in adopting them in their full extent. Each one desires to maintain the exclusive dominion of some particular Sea, or River, and yet to enjoy the liberty of navigating all others. Great Britain wishes to preserve the...
A Jealousy of American Ships, Seamen, Carrying Trade, and naval Power, appears every day more & more conspicuous. This Jealousy, which has been all along discovered by the French Minister, is at length communicated to the English. The following Proclamation, which will not increase British Ships and Seamen, in any proportion as it will diminish those of the United States, will contribute...
We have had for a Fortnight or Three Weeks a Succession of Hot Weather, attended with an unusual Fog, that has been worse for me to bear than were ever the extreamest heats of Philadelphia. My Scorbutic Habit is very ill fitted to bear it. But all this is not so tedious as the mournfull Silence of every Body in America. Not a Line from you or any Body near you Since Christmas. Congress have...
Yesterday Coll o: Ogden arrived with the originals, of what we had before received in Duplicates by Cap n: Barney. The Ratification of the Dutch Treaty had been before rec d. & exchanged. The Ratification of Their High-Mightinesses is in the safe Custody of M r: Dumas at present, at the Hague.— I believe we shall accept of the mediation of the two Imperial Courts at the Definitive Treaty, as...
Last Night I received your Favour of 25. Ult. The Box I had received a few days before, and had delivered to M r Jay and the Comte de Moustier, the Articles addressed to them. The Spectacles fit my Eye very well, and I thank you Sir for your Care in procuring them. As soon as I shall have the Pleasure to See you, I will pay you the Cost of them according to the Receipt which came with them. I...
Reports have been spread, that the Regency of Algiers has been employed in fitting Ships to cruise for American Vessels. There are reports too, that Spain has an Armament prepared to attack their Town. How much truth there may be in either, I cannot pretend to say. Whether Congress will take any Measures for treating with these piratical States must be submitted to them. The Custom of these...
As there are certain particulars, in which it has appeared to me that the friendship of a French Minister has been problematical at least, or rather not to exist at all, I have freely mentioned them to Congress; because I hold it to be the first duty of a public Minister in my Situation, to conceal no important Truth of this kind from his Masters. But Ingratitude is an odious Vice, & ought to...
In my Letter to you of Yesterday, I hinted in Confidence at an Application to the House of Hope. This is a very delicate Measure. I was induced to think of it merely by a Conversation which M r Van Berkel who will be Soon with you as he Sailed the 26 June from the Texel, had with M r Dumas.— it would be better to be Steady to the three houses already employed, if that is possible. You will now...
In the present violent heat of the Weather, and feverish state of my own health, I cannot pretend to sit long at my Pen, and must pray you to accept of a few short hints only. To talk, in a general stile, of Confidence in the French Court & ca. is to use a general language, which may mean almost any thing, or almost nothing.— To a certain degree, and as far as the Treaties and Engagements...
Upon the receipt of the Dispatches by Barney, I sent off your Letters for Mess s. Willinks & C o. and I rec d. last Night an Answer to the Letter I wrote them upon the Occasion. They have engaged to remit M r. Grand a Million & an half of Livres in a Month, which has relieved M r. Grand from his Anxiety. This Court has refused to D r. Franklin any more Money. They are apprehensive of being...
AL : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères Messieurs Adams, Franklin & Jay, Ministers of the United States for treating of Peace, present their Respects to Mr le Comte de Vergennes, & request he would be pleased to favour them with a Copy of the Offer made by the two Imperial Courts of their Mediation. Notations: juillet 10 / rep. le 31 Juillet 1783. Written by BF . At Versailles on...
Not a Line from you since December. Congress has not cutt off our heads for making Peace, and that is some Comfort. I am not in health and dont expect to be, untill I can get home. But when will this be? We are all at as great Uncertainty as We have been these six Months. Yet one should think it cannot be long before the Treaty is finished. You must not cease to write to me, untill I arrive at...
I have rec d the Letter you Yesterday did me the Honour to write me, and will lay before you, all the Accounts I have, which are little more than Sums of Money rec d. for my Salary as Soon as I can get at my Books and Papers, which are at the Hague. M r Grand will be able to furnish you with the Account of the Monies paid by him or by the House of Horneca Fizeaux & Grand at Amsterdam for the...
Since the dangerous fever I had in Amsterdam, 2. years ago, I have never enjoyed my health: Thro’ the whole of the last Winter & Spring I have suffered under weaknesses & pains, w h: have scarcely permitted me to do business: The excessive heats of the last week or two have bro’t on me a fever again, which exhausts one in such a manner as to be very discouraging & incapacitates one for every...
We cannot as yet obtain from M r: Hartley or his Principals an explicit consent to any one proposition whatever: Yet England & France, & England & Spain are probably agreed, and Holland I suppose must comply. Our last resource must be to say we are ready to sign the Provisional Treaty, totidem verbis, as the Definitive Treaty. I think it is plain that the British Ministry do not intend to sign...
Your two Favours of the 12 and 29 of May, were delivered me on the third of this Month by Captain Barney. Every Assistance, in my Power, shall be given to Mr Barclay, M r Grand will write you, the Amount of all the Bills which have been paid in holland which were accepted by me. You may banish your fears of a double Payment of any one Bill.— I never accepted a Bill without taking down in...
I have signed & M r Grand will this day forward, the two thousand & three Obligations you sent me, which compleats the 5003. Inclosed is a Copy of M r. Morris’s Letter to you of 30. of April 1783, & M r. Grand’s original Letter to me of this day’s date. The Circumstances are such as to make it necessary you should comply with M r. Morris’s Orders as soon as possible by furnishing to M r. Grand...
I can tell you nothing with Certainty when the Peace will be finished. I hope it will not be long. You may purchase a Suetonius, provided you intend to make a good Use of it. I long to See you, but can as yet form no Judgment when I shall have that Pleasure. We have no News from Congress, a Neglect which is to the last degree astonishing and inexplicable. Do you find any Society at the Hague?...
On the last Ambassador’s day, w h: was last Tuesday, D r: Franklin, M r: Jay & myself, waited on Mons r: de Vergennes, who told us he tho’t he had agreed with the Duke of Manchester, but that his Grace had not yet rec d. the positive approbation of his Court— The Comte advised us to make a visit, all together, to the Ambassadors of the two Imperial Courts. Accordingly yesterday morn g: we...
Retranslation: reprinted from Nina N. Bashkina et al. , eds., The United States and Russia: the Beginning of Relations, 1765–1815 ([Washington, D.C., 1980]), p. 199. On Tuesday, July 1, at the weekly gathering of ministers at Versailles, Vergennes informed the American peace commissioners that the Anglo-French treaty had been settled, pending British approval, and the time had come for them to...