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I had this morning the honour of your letter of the Thirtieth of June. It is very certain that the Representations from his Majesty, which may be made by his Minister the Chevalier De La Luzerne, will be attended to by Congress with all possible Respect, and its due weight will be given to every Fact and Argument that he may adduce, and I am well persuaded that Congress will be able to give...
As Your Excellency reads English perfectly well, my first Request is, that you would do me the Favour to read this, without a Translation after which I Submit it to your Excellency to make what Use of it, you shall think proper. I have hitherto avoided, in my Single Capacity, giving your Excellency, any trouble, by Letter, or Conversation: but the present Emergency demands that I should ask...
printed : JA, Diary and Autobiography Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. , 4:253–254 . Replying to Vergennes’ letter of the 24th (calendared above), John Adams expressed his appreciation for his upcoming presentation at the French court. He also agreed to avoid publicizing his peace commission before its announcement in the...
I have received the letter which you did me the honor to write me on the 10th. of this month. Altho’ the writer of the letter, an extract of which I had the honor to enclose to you, may be right in his conjecture that the British Administration wish to know more than they do at present of my sentiments upon the great subject of a pacification, yet I have had too long experience of their...
Paris, 12 February 1780. printed : JA, Diary and Autobiography Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. , 4:243–245 With this letter John Adams formally notified Vergennes of his mission. Stating that he had been appointed to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, he explained, so far as he knew it, the origins of...
I have received the Letter, Sir, which you did me the honour to write me of this Days Date: and I assure your Excellency I never had a Thought of appearing upon the Scaene, or of taking ministerially or otherwise any Step towards the two mediators. I must confess to your Excellency, that I have too many Jealousies of the motives, and too many Apprehensions of the Consequences of this...
Since my Letter of the nineteenth, Sir, another Point has occurred to me, upon which it seems necessary, that I Should Say Something to your Excellency, before my Departure for Holland, which will be on Monday Morning. An Idea has, I perceive been suggested, of the several States of America, choosing Agents seperately, to attend the Congress, at Vienna, in order to make Peace, with Great...
By the Treaty of Alliance of the sixth of February 1778, his Majesty and the United States agreed, in Case of War, to join their Councils and Efforts against the Enterprises of the common Enemy: to make it a common Cause, and aid each other mutually with their good Offices, their Councils and their Forces, according to the Exigences of Conjunctures, and each of the contracting Parties, in the...
In the letter which you did me the honour to write me the 24th. of February your Excellency proposed that the principal object of my Mission shou’d be inserted in the Gazette of France, when it shou’d make mention of my presentation to the King and Royal Family. In the answer to this letter which I had the honour write on the 25th. of February, I informed your Excellency that I shou’d not...
Certain The Some late Proceedings of the common Ennemy, are of a Nature so extraordinary, and may if not in some Way or other controuled, produce Consequences so disagreable injurious not only to all the belligerent Powers France and the United States , but by their Example to other Nations, that We have thought it our Duty, to Submit a few observations upon them, to the your Excellency’s...
I have just now received Some Newspapers and Journals, which I think it my Duty to inclose without Loss of Time to your Excellency. The Account from Charlestown in the Newspapers does not favour the Report of Clinton’s Defeat. The Journals of the ninth and twenty fifth of February, show what measures Congress have taken for raising and subsisting an Army of thirty five thousand Men. Your...
I have the honor to inclose a few Newspapers, recieved the last Post, from Boston by the Way of Bilbao. There is very little News. I have Letters as late as the twenty seventh of March. The remarkable thing in the Pensylvania Gazette is, that the Great Seal of the Province of Pensylvania, was brought into the House of Assembly, of that State, and by order of the House defaced and cut to Pieces...
I have the Honour to inclose, to your Excellency Some Remarks, upon the Articles to Serve as a Basis of the negotiation for the Re-establishment of Peace, which you did me the Honour to communicate to me. As I am unacquainted, whether you desired my Sentiments upon these Articles, merely for your own Government, or with a design to communicate them to the Imperial Courts I should be glad of...
I this day acknowledged the Receipt of the Letter which you did me the honor to write me on the 21st. by mistake I dated my Letter on the twenty third. I have the Honor to agree with your Excellency in Opinion that it is the Intention of Congress to redeem all their paper Bills which are extant at an Exchange of Forty for one; by which means the two hundred Millions of Dollars which are out,...
I have received the Letter, which your Excellency did me, the Honour, to write me, on the twenty first of this Month. This Testimony, from your Excellency, of those indulgent Sentiments with which his Majesty, is pleased to honour my Sincere Intentions, cannot fail to be preserved by me and my Posterity as a most precious Monument, and what, is of infinitely more importance, it cannot fail to...
In your Excellency’s letter to me of the Twenty Fourth of February last, I was honored with your opinion in the following Words. Quant au plein pouvoir, que vous autorise à negocier un Traité de Commerce avec la Cour de Londres, Je pense qu’il sera prudent de n’en donner Communication a qui que se soit, et de prendre toutes les precautions possibles pour que le Ministere Anglois n’en ait pas...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères We beg your Excellency’s Permission to make an appeal from the Judgment of the Admiralty at Nantes which ordains a confiscation of two Prizes (British Westindia Ships) taken legally on the high seas by two American Privateers, and that Your Excellency will be pleased to request his Majesty to suspend the Departure of those Prizes, and their...
I have recieved the letter which your Excellency did me the honor to write me the twenty fifth of this month. The sincere respect I entertain for your Excellency’s Sentiments would have determined me, upon the least intimation, to have communicated my letter and your Excellency’s answer to Congress, and to suspend, until I should recieve orders on their part, all measures towards the British...
As your Excellency reads English perfectly well, my first Request is that you would not communicate this Letter, even to a Translator. I have hitherto avoided, in my single Capacity, giving your Excellency, any Trouble at all either by Letter or by Conversation. But the present Crisis Emergency demands that I should ask the Favour of your Excellency to explain my Sentiments to you, either by...
I have the honor to inclose a Boston News Paper of the first of May, containing an Account of the Arrival of the Marquiss de la Fayette; an Extract of a Letter from London; and another of a Letter from Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, once a member of Congress, and a Gentleman of very good Intelligence. He speaks the French Language very well, was about ten Years ago in Paris, and a...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, November 12, 1778: In view of the magnitude of the alliance between France and the United States, we conceive it would be highly pleasing to our constituents to have a portrait of His Majesty to be kept where Congress sits; if you are of opinion this would give no offense, we request your kind offices to...
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...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères <Passy, April 10, 1778: Mr. Adams, appointed by Congress to replace Mr. Deane, has arrived and will wait on you as soon as he recovers from his voyage. He came on a continental frigate, which took a prize with a cargo valued at £70,000. Congress is detaining Gen. Burgoyne and his army for a breach of the convention, and has more than 10,000...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives (two); translation: American Philosophical Society <Paris, February 9, 1779: For nearly six months Captain Mc-Neill of the privateer General Mifflin has been embarrassed with a lawsuit concerning a French ship he recaptured from the British after it...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, September 26, 1778: Last evening we received your letter of the 24th and shall observe the rules prescribed by M. Necker. We also received your letter of the 25th; article 16 of the treaty of commerce applies to Mr. Izard’s goods as they were shipped before...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (drafts): Harvard University Library, Massachusetts Historical Society (two); two copies and two transcripts: National Archives The commissioners, particularly Lee and Adams, devoted substantial effort to the drafting of this memorandum asking that a powerful French fleet be sent to American waters. Their efforts were doomed to failure, at...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, October 29, 1778: We are ready to execute and exchange the declarations concerning the omission of the 11th and 12th articles of the treaty of commerce, and ask you to appoint a day for us to wait on you.> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VII . In the hand...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, August 28, 1778: We have several subjects that we must lay before you. One, unfortunately, is money. The nature of the war has necessitated far more emissions of paper currency than would ordinarily have been wise; to limit them Congress has borrowed...
The Alliance between this Kingdom, and the United States of America, is an Event of such Magnitude in their History, that We conceive it would be highly pleasing to our Constituents, to have the Picture of their his Majesty their illustrious Friend and Ally, to be kept in some Public Place where the Congress sits. We would carefully avoid every Thing which would be disagreable to the King and...
Since my Letter of the thirteenth, upon further Reflection I have thought it necessary to explain myself a little more particularly in some Points to your Excellency. If I comprehend the Facts, the British Court first proposed to the Imperial Courts, a Congress, and a Mediation, upon two Conditions 1. The Dissolution of the Treaties between France and the United States. 2. The Return of the...
I have the Honour to inform your Excellency, that I expect to imbarque and Sail for America, in fifteen days that if your Excellency or any of his Majestys other Ministers, have Occasion to Send any fresh Dispatches to any Part of the united States, So good an Opportunity may not be omitted. The season promisses a short Passage, and I shall be happy in this opportunity, and in every other, of...
We have the Honour to inform your Excellency that we are ready to execute and exchange the Declarations, concerning the Omission of the eleventh and twelfth Articles of the Treaty of Commerce, and to request your Excellency to appoint a Day to wait on your Excellency for that Purpose. We have the Honour to be with the most respectful Consideration Your Excellency’s most obedient and most...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives We communicated to Dr Smith, the Letter which your Excellency did Us the Honour to write to Us concerning his Goods. Since which he has inclosed to Us, the Certificate, of Mr Anthy Paine, which We have the Honour to inclose to your Excellency.— If there are two offices, one in which are deposited, Goods Seized, the...
In my Letter, Sir, of the Eighteenth, I had the Honour to mention Some Things which lay upon my Mind: but am Still apprehensive that in a former Letter, I have not conveyed my full meaning to your Excellency. In my Letter of the Sixteenth, I Submitted to your Excellencys Opinion and Advice, whether an American Minister, could appear at the Congress at Vienna, without having his Character...
By some of the last Ships from America, we received from Congress certain Powers and Instructions, which we think it necessary to lay before your Excellency, and which we have the Honor to do in this Letter. We have the Honor to enclose to your Excellency a Copy of the Contract made between the Committee and Mr. Francy, a Copy of Mr. Francy’s Powers, and a Copy of the list of Articles to be...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society Messieurs Franklin, Lee and Adams present their respectful Compliments to his Excellency le Comte de Vergennes, are extreamly sensible of his good Offices in obtaining the King’s Orders relating to the Presentation of Mr. Adams to his Majesty on Friday next, and will do themselves the Honour of waiting on his Excellency on that Day agreable to his...
We had this Morning the Honour of receiving your Excellency’s Letter of the 13. Instant relative to the Boston Frigate. We beg leave to assure your Excellency that the Frigate called the Boston, now at Bourdeaux, is a Ship of War belonging to the 13 United States of North America, built and maintained at their Expence, by the Honourable Congress. We therefore, humbly presume that his Majestys...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères We have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency that we have just receiv’d an Express from Boston, in 30 Days, with Advice of the total Reduction of the Force under General Burgoyne, himself and his whole Army having surrendered themselves Prisoners. General Gates was about to send Reinforcements to Gen. Washington, who was near Philadelphia...
We had the honor of receiving your Excellency’s Letter of the 20th. enclosing M. de Sartine’s Answer, relative to the Convoy which we requested of your Excellency, for the Ships now assembled at Nantes. We are totally at a loss to understand what Mr. de Sartine writes of four Vessels mentioned by us, as ready to sail and a Convoy having sailed with two of them. We never mentioned any thing...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: National Archives (two), Library of Congress We have the Honour of your Excellency’s Letter of the 9th of this Month, requesting to be informed of the Port where those Vessels are which have occasion for a Convoy to America. These Vessels are at Nantes where they wait for the Convoy, which...
Last Evening I received the Letter, an Extract of which I have the honour to inclose. It is from Mr. Gerry, a Member of Congress who has been a Member of their Treasury Board from the beginning of the year 1776. It is much to be regretted that the Congress did not publish their Resolution to pay off the Loan Office Certificates, according to the value of Money, at the time of their being...
We had last Evening the Honour of your Excellencys Letter of the twenty fourth of this Month, in Answer to ours of the twenty Eighth ultimo relative to the Liberty for Americains to pass through this Kingdom with their Effects, in their Way home, Duty free, inclosing Copy of a Letter from Mr. Necker to your Excellency, upon the same subject. We shall take the Liberty to pursue the Rules...
To His Excellency Count de Vergennes, Minister & Secretary of State for foreign Affairs: At the time the American War began there was very little real Money in that Country, the same having been constantly drawn out as fast as it came in to pay for British Manufactures and Importations of foreign Goods by the British Merchants, with the Duties and other Expences occasioned by their Monopoly....
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copy: National Archives <Passy, June 4, 1778: We enclose the copy of a letter from Capt. Whipple, which contains all the intelligence he brought.> Published in Butterfield, John Adams Diary , IV , 127. In Arthur Lee’s hand, signed by him and Adams. To BF above, May 31.
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; three copies and transcript: National Archives <Passy, October 1, 1778: We have received your letter of September 27 and its enclosure. Our instructions from Congress do not empower us to conclude treaties with the Barbary states but we request your help in obtaining passes from them for American...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; two copies: Archivo Historico Nacional The Commissioners from the Congress of the United States of America, beg leave to represent to your Excellency, that it is near a year since they had the Honour of putting into your Hands the Propositions of the Congress for a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with this Kingdom, to which, with sundry other...
Copy: American Philosophical Society We think it necessary to inform your Excellency that there is announced in the Courier de l’Europe a Translation of a Letter signed Silas Deane, & to appear in the next number. This Letter is printed in the English Papers from the New York Gazette, and whether it is genuine or false, it is not in our Power to determine: But as it contains a discovery of the...
There are several Subjects, which we find it necessary to lay before your Excellency; to which we have the Honour to request your Attention. At a time when the Circumstances of the War may demand the Attention of Gouvernment, and without doubt call for great Expence, we are very sorry to be obliged to request your Excellency’s Advice respecting the Subject of Money but the Nature of the War in...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, September 10, 1778: On April 13 Congress resolved that the commissioners should settle with Roderigue Hortalez & Cie. on a compensation for the supplies they provided. The commerce committee sent us the contract made with Beaumarchais’ agent Théveneau de...
We have the honour to enclose an extract of a letter from the Commissioners of the United States of America to Your Excellency dated Aug st. 28 th. 1778. Copy of Your Excellency’s ans r dated 27. Sept r. 1778. & Copy of M. de Sartine’s letter to Your Excellency of the 21 st of Sept r. 1778 all relative to a proposed negotiation with the States of Barbary. Not having any particular authority or...