Adams Papers
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The American Peace Commissioners to the Marquis de Lafayette, 25 November 1782

The American Peace Commissioners to the Marquis de Lafayette

[25] November 1782.1

Sir,

We have received the Letter you did us the honor to write on the 25th. Inst.2

Our Country has had early and repeated Proofs both of your Readiness and Abilities to do her Service. The Prospect of an inactive Campaign in America, induced us to adopt the Opinion, that you might be more useful here than there, especially in Case the Negotiation for Peace on the Part of France in England, should be committed to your Management; for your Knowledge of our affairs and Attachment to our Interest, might have been very advantageous to us on such an Occasion. But as an Opportunity now offers of your being instrumental in producing a Cooperation, which would probably put a glorious and speedy Termination to the War in America, we for our Part, perfectly approve of your going with Count d’Estaing in the manner proposed.3

We have the Honour to be, &c. &c.

LbC-Tr in Jean L’Air de Lamotte’s hand (Adams Papers); notation “Copy of a Letter from Messrs. Adams, Franklin & Jay / to the Marqs. dela Fayette”; APM Reel 103.

1The date is derived from John Jay’s letter to Franklin of the same date, requesting him to sign and return the commissioners’ reply (Franklin, Papers description begins The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, William B. Willcox, Claude A. Lopez, Barbara B. Oberg, Ellen R. Cohn, and others, New Haven, 1959–. description ends , 38:349). Note, however, that other printed versions of this letter are dated [27] and 28 Nov., respectively (same, 38:360–361; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. description begins The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, ed. Francis Wharton, Washington, 1889; 6 vols. description ends , 6:89).

3By 2 Dec. Lafayette was at Brest to join the Franco-Spanish expedition to the West Indies, but according to his 6 Dec. letter to Franklin he still had not received the commissioners’ letter (Franklin, Papers description begins The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, William B. Willcox, Claude A. Lopez, Barbara B. Oberg, Ellen R. Cohn, and others, New Haven, 1959–. description ends , 38:420–421).

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