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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0179

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1781-12-18

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I send you a Volume of Politics. A Second Volume will be ready in 6 or 7 Weeks.—You will hear more about this Paper, in time.1
I have received several kind Letters from you. Pray continue to write me, altho you should be disappointed of my Answers. I have noted your Desire, in one of them and have taken such measures as I could, but fear you have received nothing as yet, although some have been sent.2 Little can be done in this Way. This Country begins to think seriously of Us but they must think a long time, you know.
There is no Prospect of Peace. Let our Country men look to their Trade and Privateers, for I suspect the English will strain every Nerve, to hurt them in this Way finding so many Caudine Forks in { 267 } the Land War. The English are amuzing the Dutch with insidious Proposals of a seperate Peace. But I am perswaded no such Thing can take Place. A Quadruple Alliance would be much more for the Honour and Interest of this Rep[ublic] but whether they will think so time must discover.
The Emperor has acceeded to the armed Neutrality: so that all the Powers of the World, are either at War with England or pledged to be Neutral. The King of Prussia acceeded sometime ago.
The Brit[ish] Ministry seem to give over the Ideas of Conquest. By their Speeches in Parliament, their Hopes are extinct. Yet perhaps this may be a feint. It is impossible however, that they should do much. The People are meeting and making a Bustle, but all will evaperate in a few frothy Speeches, and fruitless Remonstrances.
Our Allies have at last found the true Method of obtaining Tryumphs. If they pursue the Plan the War will be easy.
The British Navy will be much weaker next year than this. Their Army is not proposed to be stronger, and they will not find it in fact, near so strong.
Let Dr. Cooper read the Politique Hollandais, and tell him that I will send him his sermon and the Governors Speech and the Massachusetts Constitution, translated into Dutch, as soon as I can. The Translation is published with an elegant Comparison between the Mass[achusetts] Constitution and that of this Rep[ublic].3

[salute] Remember me to every Body.

[signed] Your affectionate Brother
RC (MHi: Washburn Collection); endorsed: “Letter from Bror. Adams Decr. 18th. 1781 (from Amsterdam).” For the accompanying “Volume” see note 1.
1. Evidently the “Volume” sent was the first volume of Le politique hollandais, issued at Amsterdam late in 1781 and mentioned by name in the last paragraph of this letter. The editor of this proFrench, pro-American, anti-Orangist weekly periodical was JA 's friend A. M. Cerisier, identified above in this volume; for a fuller account of him and his journal, see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:453–454.
2. See Cranch to JA , 22 June and 3 Nov., both above.
3. JA alludes to a collection of documents relative to the American Revolution translated and edited pseudonymously by the Patriot writer and clergyman Francis Adrian Van der Kemp (1752–1829), on whom see further, JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:456. Entitled Verzameling der Stukken tot de dertien Vereenigde Staeten van Noord-Amerika betrekkelijk, Leyden, 1781, it contained among other things (in part furnished by JA ) a text of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780; Rev. Samuel Cooper's Sermon Preached ... October 25, 1780, Boston, 1780; and Governor John Hancock's speech at the opening of the first session of the Massachusetts legislature under the new constitution, 31 Oct. 1780. JA 's copies are in MB ( Catalogue of JA 's Library , p. 255). See also Van der Kemp to JA , 26 Nov., and Jean Luzac to JA , 10 Dec. 1781, both in Adams Papers; and Van der Kemp, Autobiography , p. 44–45, 214.
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