My letters from members of Congress render it doubtful, whether they would not rather that full time should be given for the present disposition of America to mature itself, and to produce a permanent improvement in the federal constitution, rather than, by removing the incentive, to prevent the improvement. It is certain that our commerce is in agonies at present, and that these would be relieved by opening the British ports in the West Indies. It remains to consider, whether a temporary continuance under these sufferings would be paid for, by the amendment it is likely to produce. However, I believe there is no fear that Great Britain will puzzle us, by leaving it in our choice to hasten or delay a treaty.
Is insurance made on Houdon’s life? I am uneasy about it, lest we should hear of any accident. As yet there is no reason to doubt their safe passage. If the insurance is not made, I will pray you to have it done immediately.
As I have not received any London newspapers as yet, I am obliged to ask you what is done as to them, lest the delay should proceed from some obstacle to be removed.
There is a Mr. Thompson at Dover, who has proposed to me a method of getting them post-free: but I have declined resorting to it, till I should know in what train the matter is at present.
I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem, Dear Sir,
your friend and servant,
LETTER CXII.—TO JOHN ADAMS, September 24,1785
TO JOHN ADAMS.
Paris, September 24,1785.
My letter of September the 19th, written the morning after Mr. Lambe’s arrival here, will inform you of that circumstance. I transmit you herewith, copies of the papers he brought to us on the subject of the Barbary treaties. You will see by them, that Congress have adopted the very plan which we were proposing to pursue. It will now go on with less danger of objection from the other parties. The receipt of these new papers, therefore, has rendered necessary no change, in matter of substance, in the despatches we had prepared. But they render some formal changes necessary. For instance, in our letter of credence for Mr. Barclay to the Emperor of Morocco, it becomes improper to enter into those explanations which seemed proper when that letter was drawn; because Congress in their letter enter into those explanations. In the letter to the Count de Vergennes, it became proper to mention the new full powers received from Congress, and which, in some measure, accord with the idea communicated by him to us, from the Marechal de Castries. These and other formal alterations, which appeared necessary to me, I have made, leaving so much of the original draughts, approved and amended by you, as were not inconsistent with these alterations. I have therefore had these prepared fair, to save you the trouble of copying; yet, wherever you choose to make alterations, you will be so good as to make them; taking, in that case, the trouble of having new fair copies made out.