Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN JAY. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 7 (Letters and State Papers 1777-1782)
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TO JOHN JAY. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 7 (Letters and State Papers 1777-1782) 
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 7.
Part of: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
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TO JOHN JAY.
Paris, 13 May, 1780.
I had two days ago the pleasure of yours of the 26th of April, and am very happy to have at last received from your hand an account of your safe arrival in Madrid.
The Count de Florida Blanca is allowed to be a man of abilities, but, somehow or other, there is something in the European understanding different from those we have been used to. Men of the greatest abilities and the most experience are, with great difficulty, brought to see what appears to us as clear as day. It is habit, it is education, prejudice, what you will, but so it is.
I can state a very short argument, that appears to me a demonstration upon French and Spanish principles alone, that it is more for their interest to employ their naval force in America than in Europe; yet it is in vain that you state this to a minister of state. He cannot see it or feel it, at least in its full force, until the proper point of time is past and it is too late. So I think it may be demonstrated that it is the interest of France and Spain to furnish America with a handsome loan of money, or even to grant her subsidies; because a sum of money thus expended would advance the common cause and even their particular interests, by enabling the Americans to make greater exertions than the same sums employed in any other way. But it is in vain to reason in this manner with a European minister of state. He cannot understand you. It is not within the compass of those ideas which he has been accustomed to.
I am happy, however, that at length we have a minister at Madrid; I am persuaded that this will contribute vastly to opening the eyes both of France and Spain. I shall be always obliged to you for intelligence, especially concerning your progress in your affair.
I am, with much esteem, dear sir, your servant,