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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0145

Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jones, John Paul
Date: 1778-06-10

The Commissioners to John Paul Jones

Passy, 10 June 1778. printed: JA, Diary and Autobiography , 4:135. The Commissioners requested a list of Jones' prisoners for a possible exchange and noted the arrival of Jones' account of his differences with the Ranger's crew, about which he would soon receive their opinion.
The request for a list of Jones' prisoners, together with a similar demand to Abraham Whipple on 23 June ( Diary and Autobiography , 4:140), stemmed from David Hartley's letter to Benjamin Franklin of 5 June announcing a prisoner exchange and requesting a list of those held by the Americans (Edward E. Hale and Edward E. Hale Jr., Franklin in { 198 } France, 2 vols., Boston, 1887–1888, 1:203). Franklin, in a reply of 16 June on behalf of the Commissioners, promised to procure the lists and suggested procedures to be followed (same, 1:203–204). Adams copied Franklin's reply into his Letterbook and later included it, with some alterations, in his Autobiography, where Adams mistakenly gives himself and Lee as cosigners (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 92; Diary and Autobiography , 4:138–139; compare JA 's two versions with Arthur Lee's copy in PCC, No. 102, IV).
It is, however, unlikely that Jones received the present letter. On or about 10 June, the date on which he paroled Thomas Simpson, Jones left Brest for Passy, arriving there on or about the 18th (Simpson to the Commissioners, 3 July, below; Jones to James Gooch, 18 June; and to Rev. Father John, 18 June, both in ViU: Lee Papers).
Jones' report of troubles with his crew was contained in those portions of his letter to Franklin of 1 June ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 1:433), shown to JA and Arthur Lee, and to which Franklin replied on the 10th, giving there additional information on the proposed prisoner exchange (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 2:610).