Adams Papers

To John Adams from William Smallwood, 8 June 1787

Maryland Annapolis June 8th. 1787.


Permit me to address you on a subject extremely interesting to the State of Maryland—which is the Claim of the State for the[. . .]Stock—the Suit commenced in Chancery for the recovery by Mr. Char[. . .] the Agent, and the countenance given by you in support of the Measure are Circumstances which lead me to suppose that your Excellency [had] been made fully acquainted with the subject under this impression a farther detail would be unnecessary, allow me therefore to foll[ow] a countinuance of your good officees on behalf of the state in f[acili]tating a speedy decision of the Causes in Chancery.

I have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency an attested copy of an Act of the Legislature of [the] State of the last Session declaring the treaty of Peace between the United States of America and Great Britain the Supreme Law and as every obstruction to the recovery of british Debts is removed and the Courts of Justice open I must request the favor of your Excellency to Solicit the Ministry to direct the Attorney General to put in his Answer to the Agents Bill without further delay.

The General Assembly of this State have authorized a Compromise with the Trustees and other Claimants in the present Suit, and Mr. Chase the Agent is fully empowered to offer generous and liberal Terms to Mr. Russell one of the Trustees and a principal Claimant, and to the other Claimants who have no pretence more than any other british Subjects whose property had been confiscated, he is authorized in a discretionary manner [to] do what may be reasonable.

I flatter myself that I shall not tresspass too [. . .] on your Excellency, as it is an Object of such Importance and a [Na]tional Concern, to request the favor of you to communicate to the Minister of his Britanic Majesty that a Compromise is like to take place if the Crown will withdraw all Claim to the Stock and to [so]licit and obtain as assurance if a Compromise can be effected that the Crown will relinquish all Claim—Every impediment to the recovery of british Debts being removed in this Government the faith of Treaty complied with the National Honor Great Britain requires a reciprocal Conduct and that no O[. . .] delay should be given by the Crown to the just Claim [. . .] this State. I have the Honor to be / with high consideration and / Respect / Your Excellencys / Most Obedient and most humble Se[rvt].

W. Smallwood


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