Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Adams, 29 June 1786

From John Adams

London June 29. 1786

Dear Sir

Inclosed is a Letter to Mr. Lamb and another to Mr. Randall: if you approve them please to Sign them and send them on. Why those Gentlemen have lingered in Spain I know not. I have long expected to hear of their Arrival in Paris. Possibly they wait for orders. If so, the inclosed will answer the End.

The Chev. De Pinto told me on Wednesday that he had orders from his Court to inform me, that the Queen had sent a Squadron to cruise in the Mouth of the Streights, and had given them orders to protect all Vessells belonging to the United States of America, against the Algerines equally with Vessells of her own Subjects. With much Affection yours,

John Adams

RC (DLC). FC (MHi: AMT); in Smith’s hand. Noted in SJL as received 5 July 1786, “by Dr. Bancroft.” Enclosures: (1) Letter to P. R. Randall (DLC); in the hand of John Adams, signed and dated by Adams 29 June 1786, authorizing Randall to go directly to America with Lamb if he prefers, but adding: “our Desire is rather that you should come first to Paris and London that we may avail ourselves of an opportunity of conversing with you more particularly upon the affairs of the United States with those of Affrica.” This letter was not sent by TJ because Randall arrived in Paris on 2 July (see TJ to Adams, 9 July 1786). (2) Letter to John Lamb, q.v. under 7 July 1786, the date TJ signed and sent it on to Lamb.

The gesture of the Queen of Portugal in offering protection to vessels flying the American flag was reported to Congress by Adams in a letter of 27 June. When this was read in Congress, the Rhode Island delegates reported to the governor of their state that it was “An instance of Magnanimity … worthy of imitation, and demands our grateful acknowledgm’ts, as we have nothing better to offer her in payment” (Adams to Congress, 27 June 1786, DNA: PCC, No. 84, vi; Rhode Island Delegates to John Collins, 28 Sep. 1786, Burnett, Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress description ends , viii, No. 506.

Index Entries