Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 23 June 1786

To John Adams

Paris June 23. 1786.

Dear Sir

I hear of a conveyance which allows me but a moment to write to you. I inclose a copy of a letter from Mr. Lamb. I have written both to him and Mr. Randall agreeable to what we had jointly thought best. The Courier de l’Europe gives us strange news of armies marching from the U.S. to take the posts from the English. I have received no public letters and not above one or two private ones from America since I had the pleasure of seeing you, so I am in the dark as to all these matters. I have only time left to address heaven with my good wishes for Mrs. Adams and Miss Adams, and to assure you of the sincere esteem with which I have the honour to be Dear Sir your most obedt. & most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

RC (MHi: AMT); endorsed in part: “ansd. 3. July. 1786.” PrC (DLC). Enclosure: Copy of John Lamb to TJ, 5 June 1786.

The fact that TJ had last received a letter from America on 24 May no doubt caused him to overstate the case: actually he had received at least seven American letters since his return from London—those from William Temple Franklin, 18 Jan.; John Banister, Sr., 19 Jan.; Nathaniel Tracy, 22 Mch.; George Wythe, 10 Jan. and 10 Feb.; Francis Hopkinson, 28 Mch.; and Benjamin Franklin, 20 Mch. 1786. On the same day that the present letter was written, TJ received a substantial amount of mail from America containing letters from Madison, 22 Jan. and 18 Mch.; Walker, 4 Feb.; Sullivan, 4 Mch.; Hopkinson, 8 Mch. and 1 May; Thomson, 6 Apr.; Otto, 10 May; Monroe, 11 May; Lewis, 9 and 11 May; Duer, 11 May; and John Jay, 5 May (one public and one private). An entry in SJL under 23 June 1786 shows that the Conveyance was Thomas Elder.

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