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Thomas Boylston Adams to Joseph Pitcairn, 10 August 1798

Thomas Boylston Adams to Joseph Pitcairn

Berlin 10 August 1798.

Dear Sir.

Upon my return from a short excursion to Pottsdam, where we passed three very pleasant days, I received your obliging letter of the 4th: currt and thank you for the detail respecting the Hamburger’s accommodations.1 My voyage I rather think now, will be deferred until after the autumnal equinox say commencement of October or last of September, because possibly by that time a person may arrive to relieve me at my post— I would not however forego a good & safe opportunity, by this delay, though I think it would not be convenient or even practicable for me to take passage with Mr: S. much as I should esteem the pleasure of his & his lady’s company. A neutral ship I believe to be the safest conveyance for us at this time, & therefore shall thank you for particulars chiefly in that line—

The remarks of Mr: Thatcher & the reference of Mr: Harper respecting a conspiracy against the government, will I hope result in some discovery of consequence—a false alarm would be very hurtful in business of this nature—2 As to the existence of a traiterous correspondence with the french I have no doubt, nor have had for three years past, and I have thought the government culpable for not using all the means in its power to detect & expose it. If a few of our honest scruples are not got over, the enemies of our Country & Government may organize insurrection & rebellion in perfect security, fearless of discovery & in defiance of punishment.

Dr: L, who has lately been with you, is one of the damned— He has come over as a Jacobin Agent Plenipotentiary— he can have no authority from a majority of the Government—his character as a State Politician, I know something of—a man of some capacity— popular talents—a writer, famous in town & individual quarrels &ca: but supereminently a democrat—3 He is employed, depend upon it, for the worst of projects against our Government—Hichborn too— Where is the Livingston deputy— there should regularly be three.

Gerry, we are told, is gone— I have seen his letter to the President, by Gen Marshall, beseeching to be helped out of a scrape into which he had purposely fallen and from which he would be extricated only in his own way.4 He advises also a fresh appointment how often, in the name of God, would he have the experiment tried? There is here no news— Cobenzel is here, but for what?5

I am dear Sir, your’s

T B Adams—

RC (OCHP:Joseph Pitcairn Letters); internal address: “Mr: Pitcairn.”

1Not found. For TBA’s visit to Potsdam in company with JQA and LCA, see JQA to AA, 8 Oct., and note 3, below.

2For George Thatcher’s and Robert Goodloe Harper’s comments on an alleged conspiracy of French agents within the United States, see Francis Dana to AA, 23 June, and note 3, above.

3Dr. George Logan did not meet with Pitcairn during his unauthorized diplomatic mission to France, for which see JQA to AA, 14 Sept., and note 3, below.

4For Elbridge Gerry’s 16 April letter to JA explaining his response to the Directory’s refusal to allow him to leave France, see AA to William Smith, 26 June, and note 2, above.

5Austrian diplomat Count Johann Ludwig Josef von Cobenzl (1753–1808) was in Berlin on a mission to convince Prussia to cooperate with Austria and Russia in countering French ambitions. Prussia declined to do so and remained neutral (Cambridge Modern Hist. description begins The Cambridge Modern History, Cambridge, Eng., 1902–1911; repr. New York, 1969; 13 vols. description ends , 8:645; D/JQA/24, 4 Aug., APM Reel 27; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

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