Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Farewell Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2016 Election Documents
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2017 Transition
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 

Limit by Year

To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents

You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
John Adams: Special Message
John Adams
Special Message
January 21, 1801
Messages and Papers of the Presidents
John Adams
John Adams
Font Size:
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

Gentlemen of the Senate:

In compliance with your request, signified in your resolution of the 20th day of this month, I transmit you a report made to me by the Secretary of State on the same day, a letter of our late envoys to him of the 4th of October last, an extract of a letter from our minister plenipotentiary in London to him of the 22d of November last, and an extract of another letter from the minister to the Secretary of the 31st of October last.

The reasoning in the letter of our late envoys to France is so fully supported by the writers on the law of nations, particularly by Vattel, as well as by his great masters, Grotius and Puffendorf, that nothing is left to be desired to settle the point that if there be a collision between two treaties made with two different powers the more ancient has the advantage, for no engagement contrary to it can be entered into in the treaty afterwards made; and if this last be found in any case incompatible with the more ancient one its execution is considered as impossible, because the person promising had not the power of acting contrary to his antecedent engagement. Although our fight is very clear to negotiate treaties according to our own ideas of right and justice, honor and good faith, yet it must always be a satisfaction to know that the judgment of other nations with whom we have connection coincides with ours, and that we have no reason to apprehend that any disagreeable questions and discussions are likely to arise. The letters from Mr. King will therefore be read by the Senate with particular satisfaction.

The inconveniences to public officers and the mischiefs to the public arising from the publication of the dispatches of ministers abroad are so numerous and so obvious that I request of the Senate that these papers, especially the letters from Mr. King, be considered in close confidence.


Citation: John Adams: "Special Message," January 21, 1801. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=65699.
© 1999-2017 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project ™
Locations of visitors to this page