715.John Adams to John Jay
Grosvenor Square, London, 14 February 1788 (excerpt)1

… At the last conferences at Whitehall which were last Thursday, Lord Carmarthen thought proper to express a Wish that this Country had Some Sort of Treaty of Commerce with the United States of America, that it might be no longer necessary to take new Measures from time to time, which looked hard. This observation his Lordship made alluding to Mr Grenvilles Motion in the House of Commons, for making the Regulation of the Intercourse between America and the West India Islands, perpetual. His Lordship then, immediately Said “I presume Mr Adams that the States will all immediately adopt the new Constitution. I have read it with Pleasure. it is very well drawn up.” All this oracular Utterance, was to Signify to me what has all along been insinuated, that there is not as yet any national Government; but that as soon as there shall be one, the British Court will vouchsafe to treat with it.—You will see, by the Morning Chronicle of the 12 of Feb. inclosed that Mr Grenville’s Speech is in the Same Strain: so that We may conclude it to be the concerted Language of the Cabinet.—it is unnecessary for me to make any Reflections upon it. The Argument that arises out of it, in favour of the new Constitution and a prompt Acceptance of it is but one among many.—France and Holland furnish as many Reasons as England. Mr Jefferson must soon follow my Example and return to America, if that Constitution is not accepted by all the States: and what will be the Consequence of the Clamours of all the officers in France, who are creditors; of all the Notables who may be pleased to cast Reflections; and of all our Creditors in Holland; for Want of Payment of Interest and Principal as they become due, must be left to every American Citizen Seriously to consider. …

1. RC, Record Group 360, Papers of the Continental Congress, Item 84, Letters From John Adams, 1777–1788, Vol. VI, pp. 595–98, DNA. Printed: The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States … (3 vols., Washington, D.C., 1837), II, 826–27.