ALS, one page, 7.5 x 9.75, September 25, 1785. Letter to “Mr. Boylston,” written from "Grosvenor Square, Westminster." In part: “I received in due Season, your kind Congratulations on my Arrival in this Country…Our friends in Boston are racking their Inventions to encourage Manufactures among themselves, and to explore new Channells of Commerce, because Britain will not take in Payment for theirs such Remittances as our Country produces. In other Respects they are well and happy.” In very good condition, with repaired separations to intersecting folds, one fold passing through a single letter of the signature, a few repaired tears, and circular areas of toning from seals.
Adams writes from his new home in Grosvenor Square, Westminster, a few months after arriving in England as the first American minister to the Court of St. James. Just two years removed from the Revolutionary War, Adams faced the difficult and important task of restoring relations with Great Britain. King George III was surprisingly receptive to Adams’s mission, but other government ministers, the press, and the public at large reviled him and the United States. He was confronted with restrictive trade policies that undermined American business interests, including laws against American vessels carrying certain goods into British ports, prohibitive duties, and refusals to negotiate. He clearly recognized the futility of his efforts early on—this letter comes from just four months after his arrival—and saw fit to direct Americans to develop a self-sufficient economy because relying on exports to Britain seemed doomed. An excellent letter from the perceptive founder as he examined the state of international trade.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.