Richard Cranch to John Adams
Boston July 3d. 1784
I wrote you a few Lines1 by your most amiable Partner who sailed in a Ship commanded by Capt. Byfield Lyde, from Boston, the 20th. Ulto. I hope that before you receive this you will have had the inexpressible Happiness of meeting her and your dear Daughter in Europe. Our worthy Friend the Honble. Cotton Tufts Esqr. wrote you this Morning, since which the Secretary has deliver’d me the inclosed Act. As the Doctor intended it for you but was gone out of Town before I received it, I now enclose it to you by favour of the Honble. Mr. Tracy.2 Our Friend the Honble. James Lovell Esqr. was this Day chosen Naval Officer for the Port of Boston. I hope the Post will afford him a genteel Living. His Virtues and great Sufferings in the common Cause have entitul’d him to a much better Support than he has hitherto met with. Our Friends are all well. I am with the greatest Love and Esteem for you and your dear Connections, your affectionate Bror.
I long to hear of the safe arrival of our dear Friends.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Hague”; endorsed: “Mr Cranch July 3d. 1784. ansd. Dec. 13. 1784.” Enclosure not found.
2. The secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was John Avery Jr. (“A Register for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” p. 2, in A Pocket Almanack. . .1784, T. & J. Fleet, Boston). The bearer of this letter was probably not the Newburyport merchant Nathaniel Tracy, owner of and passenger on the Ceres, but Thomas Jefferson, who took passage on this ship and carried Cotton Tufts’ letter of 3 July to JA, above; see note 4 there, and Jefferson, Papers description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen (from vol. 21), John Catanzariti (from vol. 24), and others, Princeton, 1950-. description ends , 7:311, 321, 358.
Only one act passed by 3 July in the session of the Massachusetts legislature that began in late May would have profoundly interested JA—that designed to protect American commerce from the measures being taken by Great Britain. On 30 April, Congress had resolved to urge the states to grant to it, for fifteen years, the power “to prohibit any goods, wares or merchandize from being imported into or exported from any of the states” in ships owned or navigated by subjects of any country that had not signed a commercial treaty with the United States. Further, aliens were not to import into or export from the United States any goods not the products of their country of citizenship unless “authorised by treaty” signed with the United States. Massachusetts passed the appropriate legislation on 1 July, with the proviso that it would not be effective until every state had passed the same law (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 26:321–322; Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1784–1785, p. 41).