From John Jay
Bath 9 Decr. 1783 So. Parade No. 5
Last night I recd. your obliging Favor of the 7 Inst. & the Letters mentioned to be enclosed with it— The one for Mr Laurens was immediately sent to his Lodgings.
The Circumstances you mention are interesting, and will afford matter for Deliberation & Comments when we meet. My Return to London will depend on one of two Things Vizt. on being satisfied that I am to expect little or no Benefit from the Waters—or (in Case of their being useful) on my having reaped all the advantage they can afford me. They have I think done me some, but as yet not much good— My Physician tells me more Time is necessary—
I perfectly approve of your not having sent me Copies of any private Papers; which is probably of the less Importance as our Commission is not yet come to either of our Hands; tho’ perhaps it may, as you observe, be enclosed in the Packet directed to Doctr. Franklin— my Letters make no mention of it.
From what I heard you say at London I had flattered myself that you intended soon to visit this Place— it is worth your seeing, and you would find it agreable—1 Be pleased to make my Compts. to your Son, and believe me to be / Your Friend & Servt.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excelly. / John Adams Esqr. / minister plenipotentiary from the United / States of America &ca. / at Mr Stockdale’s Bookseller— / Piccadilly— / London”; internal address: “Mr Adams”; endorsed: “Bath 9. Dec 1783 / Mr Jay.”
1. In fact, JA and JQA did visit Jay at Bath. According to JQA the trip “was a pretty sudden Resolution of my Father’s.” The two left London on the morning of 22 Dec. and traveled to Oxford and then, on the 24th, went on to Bath. In his letters to Peter Jay Munro of 23 and 29 Dec. (NNMus), JQA describes in considerable detail the colleges at Oxford and the sights at Bath, including the Royal Crescent, which in 1787 AA would visit and describe in turn (AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 7:xvi–xvii, 447–448, 449). JQA reported seeing John Jay, Munro’s uncle, “several times. he looks better, than he did while in London and thinks the waters have done him some good.” JA apparently intended to emulate Jay and take advantage of the waters, but on the 27th he hurriedly returned to London, arriving there on the evening of the 28th. Five days later, on 2 Jan. 1784, he set off for the Netherlands (JQA to Munro, 13 Jan. 1784, NNMus). For what spurred JA’s abrupt departure, see Benjamin Franklin’s letter of 10 Dec. 1783, and note 3, below.