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From John Adams to Edward and Charles Dilly, 20 February 1780

To Edward and Charles Dilly

Paris Feb. 20. 1780

Gentlemen

You may possibly remember a Correspondent of yours, who had six or seven Years ago the Pleasure of Writing to you sometimes and of receiving Letters from you.1 He has occasion for the Monthly and critical Reviews: the Remembrancers and annual Registers as they come out: and the Parliamentary Registers, and any other political Pamphlets of any Character that may be published in London. He requests the favour of you, to send them always by private Hands, addressed to Monsieur Antonio Ares, Negotiant chez Monsieur Hochereau, Libraire Pont neuf a Paris. For the pay for them you may draw upon him to be paid here, or he will get some Banker here to pay you in London which you please. He requests an Answer, as soon as possible and to be informed whether you will undertake to supply him or not, at what Prices and where you choose to be paid.—He wishes to know of the Welfare of Mrs. Maccauley, and of Mr. Robinson. Mr. Burgh, unhappily is no more.2

Your obliged and obedient servant

Antonio Ares3

LbC (Adams Papers).

1At the bottom of the Letterbook copy is the notation: “Messrs. Edward and Charles Dilly, Booksellers in the Poultry, London.” The Dillys’ bookshop was at No. 22 on the Poultry, a street connecting Cheapside and Cornhill (Wheatley, London Past and Present description begins Henry B. Wheatley, London Past and Present: Its History, Associations, and Traditions, London, 1891; 3 vols. description ends , 3:116–117). JA and Edward Dilly had corresponded in 1774 and 1775; see vol. 2:18, 171, 211; 3:2, 72. No letters from JA to Dilly are known to be extant. For a sketch of the Dillys, see Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– description ends , 1:73–74; and for a letter of 22 May 1775 from AA to Edward Dilly, see p. 200–204. Edward Dilly had died on 11 May 1779 (London Chronicle, 11–13 May 1779). A letter from Charles Dilly to JA, dated 3 Feb. 1790, is in the Adams Papers, but the editors know of no reply to the present letter.

2Catharine Macauley, Matthew Robinson-Morris, and James Burgh were writers who favored the American cause. Burgh had died in 1775. For references to all three, see the indexes to previously published volumes of JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– description ends , and JA, Papers description begins Papers of John Adams, ed. Robert J. Taylor, Gregg L. Lint and others, Cambridge, 1977– description ends .

3This is apparently JA’s first and only use of this pseudonym, and his first known use of any pseudonym in any letter not intended for publication, since his occasional use of classical names in his courtship correspondence with AA in the 1760s (see Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– description ends , vol. 1). The name “Antonio Ares” may have been suggested by “Antonio Arecs” (or “Areca”), the Spanish mule driver who accompanied JA on his journey from La Coruña to Bilbao (see Lagoanere to JA, 26 Dec. 1779, and JA to Lagoanere, 16 Jan. 1780, both above).

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