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John Quincy Adams to William Smith

13 Sep. 1797

Dear Sir. London 13 September 1797.

I have received your obliging favour of the 27th: of last month, and beg leave to congratulate you upon your arrival at Lisbon.

I had, before I was informed of the change in my destination, agreed to take the House, which Coll. Humphreys had occupied at Lisbon, and the part of his furniture which he could not with convenience remove. After hearing of the change, I wrote to Coll: Humphrey’s to inform him of it, and of the consequent necessity for altering my arrangements. But as you mention that he had left Lisbon a month before your arrival, it is doubtful whether he received there my last letter, which I directed under cover to Messrs: Krochman & Jacobsen, at Lisbon, and which was dated here July 21.

I wrote at the same time to those Gentlemen, that I had countermanded the sailing of my bagage from Amsterdam, which had been directed to their care, and that it would not of course probably arrive. But from your letter I apprehend that my correspondent at Amsterdam did not receive my orders in season to prevent the departure of my trunks and that they went on to Lisbon.

I am very happy to find that the house and furniture was such as suited you and that you have taken them, and I feel much obliged to you for the offer to take such articles as might be among the bagage, which I had sent from Amsterdam, and as you should have occasion for. But in fact, the trunks and boxes that were thus forwarded, contain nothing but books and cloaths; of the former, I had picked up a pretty large collection during my residence in Holland, and almost all the boxes are filled with them. I am indeed at present a little embarassed what to do with them, but think to leave them where they are, at least until I get to some more permanent station than where I am now.

We are in daily expectation to hear of the arrival of the Commissioners joined to Genl: Pinckney to go to France. I hope they will be well received, and will be able to make some arrangement that will preserve our peace. The recent convulsion in France has removed all the men distinguished for moderation and talents, and to appearance will restore the reins, which were slipping from the hands of the Conventional leaders. In every point of view excepting one, it is to be considered as an unfavourable catastrophe. The point of view from which some hopes may be derived in the case, is, that an agitation so considerable, must be followed by consequences, which will command the exertions and the force of the Revolutionary leaders to be used internally, and will operate as a conductor to their pernicious blasts. The policy pursued by Robespierre towards foreign powers, during his domination, gives some countenance to this conjecture.

I return my best thanks for the information of the health of my parents, and remain with great respect, Dear Sir, your very humble and obedt: Servt

PS. Should you have occasion, or find it agreeable to write me again, I shall thank you to forward the letters for the present, under cover to Mr: King, who will either deliver them to me here, or forward them in case they should arrive after I go away. Mr: Johnson with his family embarked and sailed a few days ago for America. I know not when I shall leave this Country, but am waiting only for my necessary papers. Whether here, or in the North, I shall be much flatered with the favour of your correspondence whenever it may suit your convenience.

LbC (MHi: Adams Papers).
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