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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-06-02-02-0042

Author: Macaulay, Catharine
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-11

From Catharine Macaulay

[salute] Dear Sr

A Very long and uninterrupted course of sickness has hitherto prevented me the pleasure of answering your Letters dated Boston June 28 and Dec. 11:1773,1 The Letter dated June 28 was long before it reached me and being pillaged of those papers relative to the proceedings of the Council which are mentioned in it I fear it fell into bad Hands.
In that Letter Dear Sir you desire me to inform you of what is meditating against you in England but had I received that Letter in time it would have been impossible for me to have given you any hint concerning the Boston Port Bill and the Bill for the better regulating the trials of the Soldiery and the Canada Bill. No Items were dropt of the intentions of the Ministry till they were ripe for execution nor did any person out of the secret and very few were in it conceive an idea that Government would venture such lengths.
If you have all the English News papers in America you will have seen how strenously and ever zealously my Brother Mr. Sawbridge2 defended the injured rights of America but the bands of the Ministry in both houses are so numerous that opposition serves to no other purpose than to publish the sentiments of individuals not in the smallest respict to obstruct the designs of Government.
The people of this country are so dead to any generous principle in policy that they regard the Quarrel of the Government with the Americans only as it may affect their own interest. They will snarl a litle if they meet with interruption in their commerce but I believe no evil short of the entire destruction of their property will produce an effectual opposition to the career of power.
I must now thank you Dear Sir for the pleasure you have given me in introducing me to so agreable a correspondent as Mrs Warren. I assure you their is no circumstance can flatter me more than the being a favorite of the Ladies in general and in particular of Women of equal sentiment to your fair friend.

[salute] I am, Dear Sir with Ardent wishes for the prosperity of the public and of your private happiness, Your much obliged And very Obed Servt,

[signed] Catharine Macaulay
PS I have just read the Bishop of St Asaphs speech on the affaires { 165 } of America and think it one of the most capital performances I have seen of modern times.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr at Boston New England.”
1. Neither has been found. The present letter was answered by AA probably before JA 's return from Philadelphia in Nov. 1774. AA 's undated draft is printed in Adams Family Correspondence , 1:177–179.
2. For Sawbridge, see Edward Dilly to JA , 4 March 1774, note 6, above.
3. Jonathan Shipley (1714–1788), Bishop of St. Asaph, was sympathetic to the American cause and a friend of Benjamin Franklin. In 1774 he published A Speech Intended to Have Been Spoken by the Bishop of St. Asaph, on the Bill for Altering the Charters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, in which he asserted that “I look upon North America as the only great nursery of freemen now left upon the face of the earth.” The speech was widely circulated in America; Evans lists no less than eleven printings in 1774 ( DNB ; Evans, Nos. 13615–13625). A recent reprinting is in Paul H. Smith, comp., English Defenders of American Freedoms, 1774–1778, Washington, 1972, p. 31–48; quotation on p. 41.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0050-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-28

C. W. F. Dumas to the Commissioners: A Translation

[salute] Gentlemen

I hope that you have received my letter of the 23d, which I had the honor to send you from Amsterdam, and in which is found your draft of the letter under consideration. Two of us here, and one in Amsterdam, are eagerly awaiting its return from you, in due form, so that I may present it, &c.1 We have agreed that I would add, verbally, the insinuation that, from what I have gathered from your other letters written to me, you had communicated in one way or another to those in Amsterdam the information regarding the demarche you are undertaking through my offices. The reason for this precaution is to prevent the man who will receive this letter from my hand, had he the desire to do so, to be agreeable to——2 or be in a position to either withhold or even delay transmitting this matter, first to the States of the Provinces, and then to Their High Mightinesses. I have a plan of attack ready for both occasions, which I shall unveil one after the other to overcome the opposition. And, as far as one can predict the course of human affairs, I am sure to be victorious, if not at first, at least by capitulation.
Nothing new from Germany. The Imperial and Prussian ministers have not yet left their respective courts: that leaves a glimmer of hope for settlement.3 But with such extensive preparations and the two monarchs warming to the contest between them, each at the head of 150 thousand men, one cannot rely too much on such a glimmer. No harm done. While they will be busy fighting, they will not stand in our way.
In the enclosed newspaper clippings, the articles between brackets— i.e. dated the 10th and 27th April—were provided by the Grand Facteur and that of the 22d by Chevalier Grand.4 The pamphlet, whose content was provided me by Mr. A. Lee, will be issued in a few days.5 It is essential that the public here be convinced that the congress will only make peace on equal terms, and in concert with its allies; in this respect, gentlemen, you would not believe the good these insertions and publications have already accomplished. Liars dare lie only in their own circles now and thus they mightily curse our friends the journalists from Leyden, Delft, and Haarlem, and especially their correspondent.
{ 66 }
Beware, gentlemen, of Mercklé.6
My good friends from Amsterdam have offered to take care of 100 to 200 thousand florins in the negotiation that you are planning in Holland, but since I know that Mr. Grand is in charge of that, I will send him the full details of their proposal tomorrow.7
On 6 May, N.B. the Provincial States will meet here. I am, with the utmost devotion, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] D
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “à Leurs Excellences Messieurs les Plénipotentiares des Etats Unis de L'Amerique à Paris.”; docketed in an unknown hand: “Dumas 28 April 78.” LbC (Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague, Dumas Papers, Microfilm).
1. That is, Dumas and La Vauguyon at The Hague and Englebert François van Berckel at Amsterdam were awaiting the return of the draft letter to Pieter van Bleiswyck that had been included in the Commissioners' letter to Dumas of 10 April (calendared above) and which Dumas approved and returned in his letter of 23 April (above). See the Commissioners' formal letter to van Bleiswyck of 28 April (above).
2. Almost certainly a reference to William V, the stadholder, or his adviser the Duke of Brunswick.
3. The dispute between Joseph II of Austria and Frederick the Great of Prussia concerned the succession to the Bavarian throne following the death of Maximilian Joseph, elector of Bavaria. When Austria sought to annex Bavaria, third largest state in Western Europe, the two nations mobilized their armies and spent the summer of 1778 in bloodless maneuvers in Bohemia. Ultimately, through the mediation of Catherine II of Russia, the dispute was resolved by the Treaty of Teschen of 13 May 1779. For an account of this affair and its possible impact on the Franco-American alliance, see Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution , p. 70–75.
4. The two sources were La Vauguyon and Sir George Grand, who had close ties to Vergennes. The newspaper clippings have not been found.
5. For this publication, see Dumas to the Commissioners, 19 May, and note 6 there (below).
6. On the LbC Dumas added: “Tout ce que j'en apprends, me fait craindre que ce ne soit un grand brouillon” (From all that I can learn I fear that he is a great blunderer).
7. Dumas' “bon amis d'Amsterdam” were probably Horneca, Fizeaux & Co. In the LbC , Dumas spelled out the name “Grand.”