|My dear Sir||Philadelphia June 2. 1797|
I know not whether I may not have incommoded you and disappointed your Plans, by the Alteration I have made in your destination. The Mission to Portugal appeared to me, to be less important to the United States, than a Mission to Prussia. The North of Europe at present is more interesting to Us, than the South. The Neutral Powers of Denmark Sweden, and Prussia Seem to be naturally more allied by Sympathy at least with Us neutrals, than others, and I thought your Talents, Sagacity and Industry, might be more profitably exerted in collecting and transmitting Intelligence of the Views and designs, of those Courts and Nations, than they could be in Lisbon where, there will be little to do, that I can foresee, besides Sleeping Sestas. The Treaty with Prussia is to be renewed—and after you shall have compleated that, you will inform me, whether you choose to remain at Berlin or go to Sweeden or Denmark I would not advise you to make any permanent Establishment at Berlin, but keep yourself in a Posture to remove to some other Court, when you shall have renewed the Treaty.
I hope your new Commission will reach you before you leave holland or England: but if unfortunately you shall be at Lisbon there is no Remedy and you must submit to the trouble of removing again to Prussia.
The Part which the King of Prussia, means to take either during the War, or at and after the Peace, and what his Relations are to be in future, towards France and England will be important for Us to know. The Emperor of all the Russias too, and the Emperor of Germany, are important Luminaries for the political Telescopes to observe in short what is to be the future system of Europe, and how We can best preserve friendship with them all, and be most Usefull to them all, are speculations and Inquiries worthy of your head and heart. You have wisely taken all Europe for your Theater, and I hope will continue to do as you have done Send Us all the information you can collect I wish you to continue your Practice of writing freely to me, and cautiously to the Office of State. My Love to your / Brother. Your affectionate Father