Adams Papers

To John Adams from Joseph Barrell, 24 November 1787

From Joseph Barrell

Boston 24th: Novr. 1787


I request the Liberty (in behalf of those who are engaged in the enterprize) to present to your Excellency a Medal which was struck to be distributed amongst the Natives on the North West Coast of America, and to commemorate the first American Adventure to the Pacific Ocean1

We have been carefull to Equip these Vessells in the very best manner, and that every Person on board Forty in number, were Americans

We have also suffered no Coin but the Cents and half Cents of this State, and these Medals to go in the Vessells, none of which are to be parted with untill they have doubled Cape Horn this was done that it might be known that American Adventurers had been there

If the Medal is acceptable to your Excellency it will gratify the Gentlemen concerned and in particular

Your Most Obedt Servant

Joseph Barrell

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excelly John Adams Esqr”; notation: “Copy.”

1Joseph Barrell (1739–1804), a Boston merchant who invested in the Columbia Rediviva’s commercial voyage via the Pacific Northwest, commissioned the enclosed medal, for which see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 3, above (AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, Sara Martin, and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 9:92). Barrell’s next extant letter to JA was of 30 Oct. 1798, seeking assistance for the New England Mississippi Land Company’s claims in Georgia (Adams Papers).

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