Papers of John Adams, volume 10

337 To Alexander Gillon, 12 November 1780 JA Gillon, Alexander To Alexander Gillon, 12 November 1780 Adams, John Gillon, Alexander
To Alexander Gillon
Sir Amsterdam Novr. 12 1780

I have received the Letter which you did me the Honour to write me the 12 of Novr.

It would give me great Pleasure to do any thing in my Power consistant with the duty I owe to my Constituents to assist you. But the Advices you allude to are as great an Obstruction to you as to me.

I have left no Measure unattempted, that Prudence could justify: but have neither procured any Money nor obtained the least Hope of obtaining any.

I have heretofore entertained hopes of obtaining something. But these hopes are all at an End.

There are Bills of Exchange already here, that must I fear be protested, and others on their Way that must share the Same Fate, as Mr. Franklin cannot accept them and no one else has any Prospect.

In this Situation, I should be criminal, to comply with the request in your Letter.

Indeed, if there was Money of the United States here at my disposal, and more than enough to answer the Bills drawn, and to be drawn, I could not justify lending it to any particular state, without express Instructions. There are Commissioners now in Europe from Virginia Pensilvania and the Massachusetts, who would have similar Reasons for requesting my Aid. But a President of this sort should never be set, without the highest Authority for it. If there could be any State for which I should hazard such an Irregularity, it would be S. Carolina, on Account of her suffering Situation.

I have the Honour to be with great Esteem and Respect, sir your most obedient & humble sert.

LbC (Adams Papers).

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).