1. This was John Steele Tyler (d. 1813), older brother of Royall Tyler the (future) playwright whose tangled relations a few years later with the Adams family have been fully set forth in
The Earliest Diary of John Adams
. John Steele had served in the Continental Army, resigning as major in 1779, and thereafter in the ill-fated Massachusetts expedition against Penobscot, in which he held a commission as lieutenant colonel. A fellow passenger on his voyage from New London to Nantes in 1780 was the aspiring artist John Trumbull, and the two young men made their way, apparently without difficulty even though they were both former Continental officers, to London via Paris, where Tyler called on JA late in June; see note 6
On Tyler and his career see
Grandmother Tyler's Book
, p. 257 and passim
Mass. Soldiers and Sailors
; John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953
, p. 58–59, 64–66; G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler
, Cambridge, 1967, passim.
In the early 1930's, while investigating Trumbull's sojourn in London during the Revolution, Lewis Einstein brought to light in the Public Record Office a letter written by Tyler to Lord George Germain from Bordeaux, 6 Aug. 1781, in which the writer offered to serve in the British forces, asking only £1,000 in compensation for the property he would thus forfeit in America (Einstein, Divided Loyalties
. . ., Boston and New York, 1933, p. 365–366, 447). The offer was not taken up, and Tyler later returned to Boston without known damage to his reputation.