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Papers of John Adams, Volume 12: October 1781 – April 1782

Papers of John Adams, Volume 12: October 1781 – April 1782

John Adams

Edited by Gregg L. Lint, Richard Alan Ryerson, Anne Decker Cecere, C. James Taylor, Jennifer Shea, Celeste Walker, and Margaret A. Hogan

ISBN 9780674012813

Publication date: 06/30/2004

The American victory at Yorktown in October 1781 and the fall of Lord North’s ministry in March 1782 opened the possibility that John Adams might soon be involved in negotiations to end the war for American independence. To prepare for the occasion, Adams and Benjamin Franklin discussed in their letters the fundamentals for peace. Adams made it clear to the British government that there would be no negotiations without British recognition of the United States as independent and sovereign.

This volume chronicles Adams’s efforts, against great odds, to achieve formal recognition of the new United States. The documents include his vigorous response to criticism of his seemingly unorthodox methods by those who would have preferred that he pursue a different course, including Congress’s newly appointed secretary for foreign affairs, Robert R. Livingston.

In April 1782 the Netherlands recognized the United States and admitted John Adams as its minister. For Adams it was “the most Signal Epocha, in the History of a Century,” and he would forever see it as the foremost achievement of his diplomatic career. The volume ends with Adams, at long last a full-fledged member of the diplomatic corps, describing his reception by the States General and his audiences with the Prince and Princess of Orange.

Praise

  • The heart of the matter, quite simply, is John Adams—fussing, fuming, stretching his mind to its widest effort, using his eyes to detect everything visible and supposable about the human comedy and tragedy of which he is an event-making part.

    —Adrienne Koch, New York Times Book Review

Authors

  • Gregg L. Lint is Series Editor for the Papers of John Adams of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • C. James Taylor is former Editor in Chief of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Margaret A. Hogan is an independent scholar and former editor of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Book Details

  • 576 pages
  • 1-1/2 x 6-1/2 x 9-3/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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