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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6


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Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0019

Author: Coffyn, Francis
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-13

Francis Coffyn to the Commissioners

[salute] Hond. Gentlemen

Craving your referrence to the letter I had the honnor of writing to you yesterday, I take the liberty to inclose a Copy of an other of same date which I address'd to Mr. Silas Dean,1 as I have this day learn'd from M. Nesbitt2 that said Gentleman has left Paris; I humbly beg you would be pleased to give me your Sentiments on the contents, and confirm the orders which Mr. Dean has formerly given me in your name, to provide for the american prisonners and Seamen which may in future arrive here, and likewise mention wether I may continue to value on Mr. Grand the money I have allready disburs'd and may advance hereafter. Interim give me leave to congratulate your Hble. Colleague Mr. Adams on his Safe arrival in France, hopeing that he will be pleased to favour me with the Same confidence you have honnor'd me with, which I shall ever Strive to merit by the respectfull Sentiments with which I have the honnor to remain Hond. Gentlemen Your most obedt. and most devoted Humble Servant
[signed] Frans. Coffyn
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “To the Hble. Dr. Benj. Franklin, Arthur Lee, & Adams Esqrs. at Passy”; docketed: “Coffyn Frans. 13. April 1778.”
1. The letter from Coffyn to the Commissioners has not been found, but the copy of his letter to Silas Deane, which he enclosed, is in the Franklin Papers ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 4:255).
Francis Coffyn, merchant and American agent at Dunkirk, was described by Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Jay dated 14 Nov. 1788, as “an American, and good man, appointed by Doctr. Franklin” (Jefferson, Papers , 14:60). JA may have dined with Coffyn on 10 May, for although JA does not name him in his Diary entry for that day, William Greene, whom JA does mention, records in his travel journal Coffyn's presence ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:311; MHS, Procs. , 54 [1920–1921]: 104).
2. Very likely Jonathan Nesbitt, banker at Lorient and associate of Silas Deane, who had landed at Dunkirk in 1775 (Wyoming Historical and Geological Society [Penna.], Proceedings and Collections, 8 [1902–1903]:221, note 100).

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0020

Author: Champagne, J. C.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-14

From J. C. Champagne

[salute] Sir

Beg leave to Congratulate you on your Safe Arrival to Paris and on the Satisfactory Reception you must have met-with at our Court. I hope you Enjoy good health Such as I Sincerely wish you and your Dear Chield my particullar Attachment for you and to all the Noble Heads of your Cawse is Inexplicable, Shall { 32 } Never Cease my Vows to the Lord for the Preservation of your Healths and the Success of the United States Arms. God Send us all Peace and Tranquillity. I remain with the most Respectfull Sentiments, sir Your Assured & most Devowed huml Servant
[signed] J. C. Champagne Ainé
P.S. Mr. John Bonfield and two houses More are doing all they Can to depraive me of American Buisness down here, no Man Certainly is fitter for it or Can be a more faithfull Wellwisher of their Cawse than the Writer, (but who is he that has not his troubles) however I have hitherto transacted all what has offer'd and hope that my Principles and Abillitys will Spake for it Self. Some take Great Peans to make me Out an English man others an Irish man, the fact is that I am a french man from Generation to Generation my Rank here is as a Magistrat of this town Voted by a patent of his Magesty Louis the 15th. dated 16. October 1773. &c. Beg leave to present you the Above for Your Government. Captain Tucker is for Employing me Comming Down. Mr. Bonfield to the Contrary is Using all means possible he should not,1 one word from you to Captain Tucker would Settle it.2
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Jean Adams Deputé des Etats Unis de Lamerique Dans Son hotel A Paris”; stamped: “BLAYE”; docketed: “Mr. J. C. Champagnes Letter to me. Ap. 14. 1778”; in another hand: “J C Champayne Blaye 14 Apl.” The first “Monsieur” has a large “W” written across it, perhaps an effort at deletion.
1. That is, Bondfield is endeavoring to see that Tucker does not employ Champagne, a ship broker. Comma editorially supplied. JA met Champagne on 1 April when he came aboard the Boston, which on its arrival in French waters had notified the castle at Blaye, a town a short distance northeast of Bordeaux on the Gironde (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:293; 4:34).
2. Apparently JA took no action on this letter, but Champagne wrote again on 2 May (below).