Benjamin Franklin Papers
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John Adams to Franklin and John Jay, 10 April 1784

John Adams to Franklin and John Jay

AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society

The Hague April 10. 1784


Inclosed is Copy of a Letter from the Baron de Thulemeier and Copy of a Project of a Treaty transmitted to me by order of the King of Prussia:6 I should be glad if your Excellencies would examine it, and write me your objections, and proposals of alterations, which I shall immediately communicate to his Majesty through his Minister. I presume too that your Excellencies will transmit it to Congress that when they send a Commission to conclude, they may Send their Instructions concerning any Changes to be made in the Project.7 Your Excellencies I flatter myself will think with me, that We Should execute the Treaty in our own, as well as in the French or German.

I am Gentn, your

Their Excellencies Benjamin Franklin Esq and John Jay Esq. Ministers Plenipotentiary.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Thulemeier’s letter, dated April 9, enclosed the original draft treaty he had received from Frederick II, and asked JA to copy and return it to him as soon as possible: Adams Papers, XVI, 130–1. JA himself made a copy, which he retained; it is published in Adams Papers, XVI, 132–56, document (I). The copy enclosed in the present letter was made by JQA and docketed by him, in French, as having been copied from the original at The Hague on April 13. BF and Jay returned the copy with their comments under cover of their April 29 letter, below. As it was forwarded to Congress, that version is at the National Archives; JQA’s notation is quoted in Adams Papers, XVI, 162n.

7After finishing the present letter, (judging by the order of the drafts in JA’s letterbook), JA himself wrote to President of Congress Mifflin enclosing a copy of the Prussian draft treaty, asking for instructions regarding any desired changes, and reiterating, for the third time since March 9, his suggestion that Congress send the commissioners powers to conclude the treaty: Adams Papers, XVI, 79, 102–3, 161–2.

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