Papers of John Adams, volume 11

From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe, 4 February 1781 Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de JA From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe, 4 February 1781 Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de Adams, John
From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe
Condé, haynaut Feby. 4th. 1781 Sir

I have answer'd, three days ago, at Paris the Letter I have been honour'd from your Excellency by the honourable James Searle Esqer.1 My heart is full of gratitude and desires nothing more than to deserve to be instructed with your Excellency's absolute confidence.


I shall be at Paris Saturday next. Will sett out for Brest at the End of the following week from whence I hope to sail towards Phyladelphia and Boston, as soon as winds will permit it. I beg your Excellency to send me his Commands at Paris directely and take the Liberty to remind, I have promises of letters for Madam Adam's, honorable Samuel Adam, doctor Cooper &c. Any thing wich your Excellency will prescribe me to do or to say in America, you my depend upon, I shall omit none being desirous to give proofs by facts of all the sentiments of attachement and Respect with which I am Yours Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant

De Létombe

P.S. honorable Laurens2 and colonel Palfrey Consul général were expected every moment and there was no News of them.

Your Excellency may direct his Letters to me Either at M. Dana, or to myself at Paris, but I begg it to be done without any delay.

RC (Adams Papers).


Neither JA's earlier letter to Létombe, who was going to the U.S. as French consul at Boston, nor Létombe's reply of 1 Feb. has been found.


Col. John Laurens.

To Edmund Jenings, 5 February 1781 JA Jenings, Edmund To Edmund Jenings, 5 February 1781 Adams, John Jenings, Edmund
To Edmund Jenings
Amsterdam Feb. 5. 1781 Dear Sir

Yours of 31. Jan. is arrived. A Courier is arrived from Petersburg, who carried the Notice of Sir Yorkes leaving the Hague. All's well in the north.

The Courtiers in England, who indeed compose the nation, flatter themselves they shall raise the Devil in Holland. They may raise a Spirit but it will be a good one. The Symptems are very Strong. If popular Rage gets loose it will not dewitt,1 John Adams, John De Neuville and Van berkel as the Anglomans hoped, but the Anglomans themselves. However, I think there will be no Commotions but all will go well.

The Translator, is very willing that any Notes and Additions may be made. If you get one of the Books pray send it by the Post. The Translator, has circulated many Things here, the Memoire, Hows Narrative and Burgoines, &c. These have had a wonderfull Effect here. And there are so many Wits at Work, that good Sentiments will prevail here in time.2


RC (Adams Papers).

108 1.

For Johan de Witt, see vol. 9:96; 10:355; and for JA's apprehension that he might share de Witt's fate, see vol. 10:438.


In this paragraph JA refers to himself as the translator of Thomas Pownall's Memorial. The “Memoire” is probably the French version of JA's translation, Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amerique-Unie, for which see JA's letter to Luzac of 22 Jan., note 1, above. The works by Gens. William Howe and John Burgoyne were The Narrative of Lieut. Gen. Sir William Howe, ..., London, 1780; and A State of the Expedition from Canada, ..., London, 1780. JA had used both works extensively in his replies to Hendrik Calkoen in Oct. 1780 (vol. 10:196–252). For JA's role in the translation and publication of the Narrative in the Netherlands in 1781, see his letter of 9 March 1823 to François Adriaan Van der Kemp (JA, Works , 10:407–408) and vol. 10:208 , and references there.