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John Adams to William Greene

9 Sep. 1785

Sir, Grosvr: Square. 9th. Sepr: 1785.

The letter you did me the honor to write me on the 25th. of July was delivered to me yesterday—It is but a few days since I recd. from Congress their instructions relative to the same person, Mr: Richd. Low, & I shall accordingly present to Court a requisition for the release of all such American Soldiers, Seamen & Citizens as, having been captured in the late war, may yet be detained in his Britannic Majesty’s prisons, garrisons, armies & ships, and particularly of Mr. Low.— Upon this occasion I cannot but express my wish that some method could be found to prevent those valuable Citizens of the U: States, the Whalemen, from deserting their Country, coming to England, & engaging in the British Whale fishery. At a time when Acts of Parliament are passing, forbidding, under severe penalties, the exportation of tools & the emigration of Workmen, it ought to be very humiliating to us to see the facility & levity with which these our fellow Citizens abandon their native Country & engage in the service of the British Merchants in the Whale Trade—A Gentleman has lately arrived here in a ship lately built in Nantucket—He brings to market a Cargo of American produce with nine Endsmen & Oarsmen. These he sends in his Ship, with the addition of some English Sailors, to the Brazils. There is an understanding no doubt, and a Connivance, else his American-built ship could not be priviledged. There is an indifference to their Country, & a profligacy in this which disgraces us, and if we look indolently on & suffer it we shall deservedly be the losers.—

I hope you will pardon this digression, Sir, & believe me to be, / Yr. Excellency’s &c: &c.

(MHi: Adams Papers).
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