James Lovell to Abigail Adams
20th Aug. 81
I am too ill to write much. Your Ease of Mind is what I wish to promote by confirming what I have before said vizt. That Mr. A[dams] was greatly esteemed here tho’ we have an odd way of discovering it sometimes. He is sole Minister Plenipo to form a triple Alliance between Holland, France and these United States with Discretion to make it Quadruple by joining Spain—for the Purpose of our Independ[ence] and finishing the War.1
Should a french Fleet be on this Coast, I shall have Opportunity to send your Things by Water.
A Cold Scrawl for a Man in a Fever. I have quite forgot what Word I may use. What I may not is at my Pen’s End.
RC (Adams Papers).
1. This project, which in the end had no material result, was set in motion by La Luzerne, no doubt under direction from Paris. The original of JA’s commission, endorsed by him “Commission of 16. August 1781.—to negotiate a triple or quadruple Alliance,” is in Adams Papers, together with his instructions, endorsed “Instructions of Aug. 16. Holland.” For the background and printed texts see JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 21:846–848, 859, 876–880; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. description begins Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, Washington, 1889; 6 vols. description ends , 4:636–638. See also Elbridge Gerry’s comment in his letter to AA, 31 Aug., below.