Adams Papers

From John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 27 May 1785

To Thomas Jefferson

London May 27. 1785

Dear Sir

I arrived Yesterday and have made my Visit to day, and been very politely recd, by the Marquis, but of this more hereafter. this is devoted to a smaller Subject.

Upon Enquiry I find, that I cannot, be exempted from paying duties upon my Wines, because no foreign Minister is. except for a less quantity than I have of the best qualities in my Cellar at the Hague.— so that I must stop all that I have in France if I can. to pay Six or Eight shillings sterling a Bottle upon the Small Wines I packed at Auteuil would be folly.— I must beg you then if possible to stop it all, except one Case of Madeira & Frontenac together. let me beg you too to write to Mr Garvey & stop the order for five hundred Bottles of Bourdeaux.1 all my other Things may be sent on to me, as proposed.

Coll Smith, has Letters for you, but waits a private Hand.— He sends his Respects to you & Coll Humphreys. if my Things are gone & cannot be stopped I must pay the Impost, heavy as it is. I am sorry to give you this Trouble but I beg you to take the Wine, at any Price you please let your own Maitre D’Hotel2 judge, or accept it as a present or sell it at Vendue, i.e let Petit3 dispose of it as he will give you an Acct of proceeds and give me Credit. and then order me to pay stockdale or any Body here for you to the Amount.

My Esteem, & Regards as due / yours affectionately

John Adams

RC (DLC:Jefferson Papers); internal address: “Mr Jefferson.”

1With this letter JA apparently enclosed one to Anthony Garvey that has not been found, for which see Jefferson’s reply of 2 June, below.

2This was Marc, whom Jefferson had hired as his valet de chambre on 20 Aug. 1784, but who actually served as his maître d’hôtel (Jefferson’s Memorandum Books description begins Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, ed. James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton (The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series), Princeton, N.J., 1997; 2 vols. description ends , 1:559).

3This was Adrian Petit, who had previously served as the Adamses’ maître d’hôtel at Auteuil. He entered Jefferson’s service on 22 May 1785, two days after the Adamses departed for London (same, p. 585).

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