Papers of John Adams, volume 10

To Jonathan Loring Austin, 13 November 1780 JA Austin, Jonathan Loring To Jonathan Loring Austin, 13 November 1780 Adams, John Austin, Jonathan Loring
To Jonathan Loring Austin
Sir Amsterdam 13 Novr. 1780

I have received your Letter,1 and very Sorry you have found So little Success in your affair for the Massachusetts. You have this Consolation, however that you have had as good Luck as any one else.


The Series of Events for the last twelve months, which the English represent so favourable to them, and so unfortunate for Us, Seems to have extinguished the little Remains of Credit that We had before. And I must confess my self as much in despair as you, of obtaining any Thing considerable.

Our Countrymen, will build upon Sandy foundations if they depend upon any Thing, but their own Industry and Resources.

I cannot advise you whether to return in the Mars or stay longer. I see no Prospect of Advantage, from remaining in Europe. We have no Reason to expect any News this year, that will make any considerable Change in our Credit. Even the Burgoining of Cornwallis would not. The Obstinacy of Great Britain terrifies Europe, tho it will make a contrary Impression on Americans.

I am perswaded you have done, as much as any one could have done. I have Seen your Industry and been made Acquainted with many of your Proceedings and I know not what further or better could have been done. And the best Way is to explain the whole to your Constituents with the Utmost Frankness and Simplicity.

I am sir, with great Regard, your humble sert.2

N.B. I have a Trunk, for Mrs. Adams either at L'orient or on board of Commodore Jones. I should be very glad to get it on board the Mars, if possible.3

LbC (Adams Papers).


Of 23 Oct. (above).


Austin acknowledged this letter on 30 Nov. (Adams Papers), but see also his letter of 23 Oct., note 1 (above).


For the history of the trunk on board the Ariel, see JA's letter of 6 March to James Moylan, and note 3 (above).

From Benjamin Franklin, 13 November 1780 Franklin, Benjamin JA From Benjamin Franklin, 13 November 1780 Franklin, Benjamin Adams, John
From Benjamin Franklin
Sir Passy Nov. 13. 1780

I am honour'd by your Excellency's Letter of the 4th Instant, relating to the Bills drawn on Mr. Laurens. I recommended their being presented to you, as I understood you supply'd his Place during his Absence, and I thought it more reputable to our Affairs, that they should be accepted by you for him, than that their Credit should depend on the Good Will of a Dutch Merchant, who, except a few of the first, does not accept them but as I guarrantee their Payment, and will perhaps besides making a great Merit of it, charge 5 P Cent 339Commission for his Service. I therefore still wish you would accept them, and if you should not before they become due be enabled otherwise to pay them, you can draw on me so as to be furnished in time with the Money.1 I have other Letters from your Excellency to answer, which I must at present postpone, as I continue ill with the Gout and write this in my Bed with Difficulty.2

With great Respect, I have the honour to be Sir, Your Excellency's most obedt & most humble Servant

B Franklin

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Ex. Dr Franklin 13 Nov. desiring me to accept the Bills”; in John Thaxter's hand: “1780.”


For JA's acceptance of the bills, see his reply of 24 Nov., and note 1 (below).


In a letter of 6 Nov. (Adams Papers), William Temple Franklin had informed JA that his grandfather's illness would delay his answers to JA's letters.