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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1778-12-06

To James Lovell

[salute] Dear sir

Yours of 12 Oct.1 We have received, by which We learn that foreign affairs were under Consideration. Mr. D. had wrote on 14 Sept.2 that they were then under Consideration. From the Time taken We have reason to Expect they will be well digested. There are great Expectations here among the interested. Mr. D and others have written in a manner which makes it expected that one will be left alone here. But what is to be done with the other two is left to conjecture. If I am recalled, I Shall have nothing to do but get home if I can. If appointed to another Court, I shall be in Some Perplexity, because I see no Probability of being received at present. However I can digest nothing, till I know the Premisses.
If the Plan of having only one here is adopted, it will be in my opinion absolutely necessary that maritime and commercial affairs should be put into other Hands, and the public Money too. The one who will be left here, is not sufficiently attentive to Business, to have So large a Field of it, nor Sufficiently parcimonious to have the Disposition of so much Money, in our <pernurious> necessitous Circumstances. This is not said from any unfriendly Motive for I have none: but it is impartial Truth, and such as the public Interest demands of me that I should tell.
The K's Speech, I have already Sent to Congress by Several opportu• { 253 } nities, you will see that he dreads the great Armaments of other Powers in the plural. He must mean Holland and Spain. You will see also that the opposition is more Strong than it ever was before, in both Houses. I will omit no opportunity of sending the other Papers, with the debates as they come, and I pray they may go safe, but immense Numbers of our Dispatches are Sunk in the Sea. I beg of you to write as often as possible to
[signed] J. A.
1. A brief letter informing the Commissioners of the congress' deliberations and enclosing newspapers (PPAmP: Franklin Papers).
2. JA meant Silas Deane's letter of 15 Sept. ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 1:496).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0173

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Rush, Benjamin
Date: 1778-12-06

To Benjamin Rush

[salute] Dr Sir

I had the Pleasure of a Letter from you,1 a few days before I Sailed from Boston, which I have never been able to answer.
I think I find more to do here; more Difficulty to do right and at the Same Time give Satisfaction, than I did, you know where.2
We Suffer here extreamly for Want of Intelligence from America, as We did there, and as I fear you do still for Want of it from Europe.
We have very imperfect Information concerning the State of the Army especially its Health, which you used to have the Goodness to inform me of sometimes. I hope it is better than it was heretofore.
I should be very happy to hear from you as often as you can, and to know the state of the Hospital as well as Army in General, and every Thing that relates to Government or War. There is a periodical Pamphlet in French under the Title of the <Courier de L'Europe> 3 Affairs D'Angleterre & De L'Amerique, in which Intelligence and Letters from America are published, for the Information of the People in Europe.
I have a Strong Curiosity to know, the Artifices, and Subterfuges, with which the Tories still keep alive each others Hopes. When England has not and cannot get an ally, and many Nations are preparing to league themselves against her. When her Merchants are breaking, her Manufacturers Starving, and they are obliged to take them into public Pay, under the Name of Militia, to prevent their Picking Pocketts, robbing on the High Ways, and plundering in Companies all before them.
I have but one Peace of Advice to give. I never had any other. “Be not deceived.” Tho B. is in a deplorable Situation, the Administration { 254 } will neither Acknowledge our Independance nor withdraw their Troops. You must kill, Starve or take them all.4 Your Frid & sert.
[signed] John Adams
RC (CtY: Franklin Papers). LbC (Adams Papers).
1. JA 's reference is probably to Rush's letter of 22 Jan, which was received on 6 Feb., rather than to Rush's letter of 8 Feb. The letter of the 8th could not have arrived before JA sailed for France, and there is no evidence that AA forwarded it. JA , however, had answered the letter of 22 Jan. on 8 Feb., thus making his statement in the present letter confusing (Benjamin Rush, Letters , 1:190–192, 199–200; vol. 5:402–404). It is possible that JA forgot that he had replied on 8 Feb.
2. Presumably in the congress.
3. This cancellation does not appear in the Letterbook copy, indicating that it was made from the recipient's copy and was not a draft as was often the case.
4. Through Rush's efforts this final paragraph, with minor changes, was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, 25 March 1779, as an “Extract of a letter from an American Gentleman in a high position at the Court of France, dated Passy (near Paris) Dec. 6th” (Rush to JA , 19 Aug. 1779, below). It was widely reprinted, see for example the Virginia Gazette (Dixon and Nicholson), 9 April; the Connecticut Courant, 20 April; and the Boston Gazette, 26 April 1779.