To James Searle
Amsterdam September 23 1780
I received, by the Hand of Mr. Dana, the Letters and Dispatches, which you brought for me, from Congress.1
I should have been very happy, to have been at Paris, at your Arrival; and to have had the Honour to do what ever might have been in my Power, to render your Residence in that Capital agreable, or to assist you in the Purpose of your Mission; But I am not able to foresee, when I shall return.2 If you should come this Way, I Shall have the Honour to pay you my Respects, without Loss of Time.
Your Relation of the State of Things in our Country, as repeated to me by Mr. Dana, is very pleasing and promises much good.
I shall obey the Commands of Congress with great Pleasure: but with what success Time only can discover. I have the Honour to be, with very great Esteem & Respect &c.
LbC (Adams Papers.)
2. This and another letter of 23 Sept. to John Thaxter (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 3:423–424) indicate that in the week since Francis Dana’s arrival with the dispatches, JA had decided to remain at Amsterdam for the foreseeable future, rather than return to Paris. JA ordered Thaxter to proceed to Amsterdam with his “Letters, Letter Books, Account books and papers,” exercising particular care with “the most valuable Papers, which you will easily distinguish.” Thaxter wrote to his father on 1 Nov. that he left Paris on 30 Sept., and on 12 Oct. arrived at Amsterdam “where I believe I am to spend the Winter” (MHi: Thaxter Family Papers). For JA’s concern over his papers and other property at Paris, and Thaxter’s safe arrival at Amsterdam, see his letter to Benjamin Franklin of 29 Sept., and Francis Dana’s letter of 9 Oct. (both below).