Adams Papers

Auteuil May [9 or 16] 1785.
[from the Diary of John Adams]

Auteuil May [9 or 16] 1785.

Monday. The Posts within the Limits of the United States, not yet surrendered by the English, are

Oswegatchy in the River St. Lawrence

Oswego Lake Ontario

Niagara and its dependencies

Presqu’Isle East Side of Lake Erie.

Sandusky Ditto.



St. Mary’s. South Side of the Streight between Lakes Superiour

and Huron.

Bottom of the Bay des Puantz

St. Joseph. bottom of Lake Michigan.



1This memorandum, the last entry in D/JA/43 and the last written by JA in his Diary for a period of more than ten months, must have been made on either 9 or 16 May, since it was written at Auteuil on a Monday and follows an entry dated there on 3 May, and since on 20 May JA set out with his wife and daughter for London (JA to Jefferson, 22 May, NNP; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd and others, Princeton, 1950– . description ends , 8:159–160). Congress’ instructions of 7 March required JA to “insist, that the United States be put without further delay in possession of all the posts and territories within their limits which are now held by British Garrisons” (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 28:123). On 1 May JA had a conversation with Daniel Hailes, secretary of the British embassy in Paris, and he had another with Dorset on the same subject, apparently on 10 May (AA to Cotton Tufts, 2 May, Adams Papers; JA to Jay, 13 May, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 description begins [William A. Weaver, ed.,] The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from ... 1783, to ... 1789, Washington, 1837 [actually 1855]; 3 vols. description ends , 1: 495–498). He was to make the question of British occupation of posts on the northern lakes the first and indeed a standing order of business during his London mission, but, for reasons that were hinted at by David Hartley two years earlier and that have been very fully set forth by Mr. Bemis, the British did not evacuate them for a decade; see entry of 3 May 1783, above, and Samuel F. Bemis, Jay’s Treaty, N.Y., 1923, ch. 1.

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