GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE AND OTHER PAPERS OF THE ADAMS STATESMEN
Cover: Papers of John Adams, Volumes 9 and 10 in HARDCOVER

Papers of John Adams, Volumes 9 and 10

March–December 1780

On the last day of December 1780, John Adams wrote that he had just spent “the most anxious and mortifying Year of my whole Life.” He had resided first at Paris, then at Amsterdam, attempting, without success, to open Anglo–American peace negotiations and to raise a Dutch loan. In volumes 9 and 10 of the Papers of John Adams, over 600 letters and documents that Adams sent to and received from numerous correspondents in Europe and America provide an unparalleled view of Adams’s diplomacy and a wealth of detail on the world in which he lived.

These volumes chronicle Adams’s efforts to convince the British people and their leaders that Britain’s economic survival demanded an immediate peace; his “snarling growling” debate with the French foreign minister, the Comte de Vergennes, over the proper Franco–American relationship; and his struggle to obtain a loan in the Netherlands, where policies were dictated by Mammon rather than republican virtue. Adams’s writings, diplomatic dispatches, and personal correspondence all make clear the scope of his intelligence gathering and his propaganda efforts in the British, French, and Dutch press. The letters reflect his interest in Bordeaux wines, the fate of Massachusetts Constitution that he had drafted in 1779, and political developments in Philadelphia, Boston, London, and St. Petersburg. The volumes leave no doubt as to John Adams’s unwavering commitment to the American cause. Even in this most difficult year, he believed the revolution in America to be “the greatest that ever took Place among Men.” He felt honored to serve a new nation where “the Wisdom and not the Man is attended to,” whose citizens were fighting a “People’s War” from which the United States would inevitably emerge victorious to take its rightful place on the world stage.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack, from Harvard University Press

Book Club Spotlight: The Privileged Poor

As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.