I wish you may be rightly informed that the property of Mr. Sprowle is yet unsold. It was advertised so long ago, as to found a presumption that the sale has taken place. In any event, you may safely go to Virginia. It is in the London newspapers only, that exist those mobs and riots, which are fabricated to deter strangers from going to America. Your person will be sacredly safe, and free from insult. You can best judge from the character and qualities of your son, whether he may be an useful co-adjutor to you there. I suppose him to have taken side with the British, before our Declaration of Independence; and, if this was the case, I respect the candor of the measure, though I do not its wisdom. A right to take the side which every man’s conscience approves in a civil contest, is too precious a right, and too favorable to the preservation of liberty, not to be protected by all its well informed friends. The Assembly of Virginia have given sanction to this right in several of their laws, discriminating honorably those who took side against us before the Declaration of Independence, from those who remained among us, and strove to injure us by their treacheries. I sincerely wish that you, and every other to whom this distinction applies favorably, may find, in the Assembly of Virginia, the good effects of that justice and generosity, which have dictated to them this discrimination. It is a sentiment which will gain strength in their breasts, in proportion as they can forget the savage cruelties committed on them, and will, I hope, in the end, reduce them to restore the property itself, wherever it is unsold, and the price received for it, where it has been actually sold.
I am, Madam,
your very humble servant,
LETTER LXX.—TO JOHN ADAMS, July 7, 1785
TO JOHN ADAMS.
Paris, July 7, 1785.
This will accompany a joint letter enclosing the draft of a treaty? and my private letter of June 23rd, which has waited so long for a private conveyance. We daily expect from the Baron Thulemeyer the French column for our treaty with his sovereign. In the mean while, two copies are preparing with the English column, which Dr. Franklin wishes to sign before his departure, which will be within four or five days. The French, when received, will be inserted in the blank columns of each copy. As the measure of signing at separate times and places is new, we think it necessary to omit no other circumstance of ceremony which can be observed. That of sending it by a person of confidence, and invested with a character relative to the object, who shall attest our signature, yours in London, and Baron Thulemeyer’s at the Hague, and who shall make the actual exchanges, we think will contribute to supply the departure from the original form, in other instances. For this reason, we have agreed to send Mr. Short on this business,