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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-11-02-0014
5. This and the two paragraphs dated 7 Jan. center on Lovell's anxiety over the failure of the Army's much needed clothing to arrive from France, which was heightened by the Pennsylvania Line's mutiny on 1 January. He raises a number of issues, most notably Arthur Lee's complicity in Pierre Landais' seizure of the frigate Alliance from John Paul Jones, but also the diligence and competence of American agents in Europe, specifically Jonathan Williams. While Lovell would absolve Lee from blame for the Alliance's failure to carry the needed clothing, Williams' letter of 25 July 1780 to the Committee for Foreign Affairs (PCC, No. 90, f. 603–606) lays the blame squarely on the events surrounding Landais' seizure of command and thus by implication on Lee. Jonathan Williams' letters of 3, 7, 21 March, and 6 April 1780 to the Committee, which also arrived on 7 Jan., describe his unsuccessful effort to obtain any means possible to transport the clothing and include invoices for the goods in his possession (same, f. 587– 602). The sloop Ariel, which John Paul Jones received as compensation for the loss of the Alliance, sailed on 7 Oct., was dismasted and forced back into port, and finally departed for America on 18 Dec., but was too small to carry much cargo (Samuel Eliot Morison, John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography, Boston, 1959, p. 301–307). Jones' testimony regarding the dispatch of the clothing to America largely corroborates that of Williams ( JCC , 19:316– 320). For additional comments on the obstacles to sending goods to America, see John Bondfield's letters of 12 April and 2 May 1780 (vol. 9:127–129, 259–260).