Adams Papers

From John Adams to the President of Congress, 14 July 1781

To the President of Congress


Paris July 14th. 1781


I have the honor to inclose Copy of a Letter to the Comte de Vergennes, and Copy of Articles and an Answer.2

Peace is so desirable an Object, that humanity as well as Policy demands of every Nation to hearken with Patience and Sincerity to every Proposition which has a tendency to it, even only in appearance. I cannot however see any symptoms of a sincere disposition to it in the English. They are endeavouring to administer soporificks to their Enemies: but they will not succeed. Peace however will never be made by the English while they make any Figure in the United States.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

J. Adams

RC and enclosures in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 375–407); endorsed: “Letter July 14. 1781 Paris J. Adams Read Octr. 3. Covering a Discussion of the Propositions of the mediating Powers”; “Paris July 14 1781. J. Adams.” A second copy of this letter and enclosure (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 291–312), written by JA at Paris, reached Philadelphia on 1 March 1782. For the enclosures that went with the two letters, see note 2.

1This word is in JA’s hand.

2The recipient’s copy is accompanied by JA’s letter to Vergennes of 13 July and its enclosed response, above, and also by JA’s letters to Vergennes of 16, 18, 19, and 21 July and Vergennes’ letter of 18 July, all below. The second copy, written at Paris, is accompanied only by copies of JA’s letter to Vergennes of 13 July and its enclosed response.

Index Entries