Front Page Titles (by Subject) COUNT DE VERGENNES TO JOHN ADAMS. ( Translation. ) - The Works of John Adams, vol. 7 (Letters and State Papers 1777-1782)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
COUNT DE VERGENNES TO JOHN ADAMS. ( Translation. ) - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
COUNT DE VERGENNES TO JOHN ADAMS.
Versailles, 18 July, 1781.
I have received the letter which you did me the honor to write to me on the 13th instant. It was owing to the confidence I placed in your information and in your zeal for your country, that I intrusted to you the propositions of the two Imperial Courts, and requested that you would make such observations as you might think them susceptible of. Things are not yet sufficiently advanced to admit of communicating them to the two mediating Courts. As you have seen in the sketch of our answer, there are preliminaries to be adjusted with respect to the United States, and, so long as they are not adjusted, you cannot appear, and, consequently, you cannot permit yourself the smallest ministerial act in the face of the two mediators. By so doing, you would expose yourself to the risk of compromising to no purpose (en pure perte) the character with which you are invested.
I have the honor to be, &c.
[1 ]This letter was addressed in these words:—“À Monsieur Adams, Agent des États Unis de l’Amérique Septentrionale, à l’Hôtel de Valois, Rue Richelieu, à Paris; (franked) de Vergennes,” all in the handwriting of the clerk who wrote the letter. The letter was signed by the Count de Vergennes. Whether the word agent was a blunder of the clerk, or the art and design of the Count, is of no consequence now. He knew I was minister plenipotentiary, both for peace and to the states of Holland; but what reason he had for avoiding to acknowledge it, I know not. It excited some reflections and suspicions at the time, because it seemed to be conformable to the views of the mediating courts, which the Court of France ought not to have countenanced.
Letters to the Boston Patriot, 1809.