A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0021

Author: Williams, Jonathan III
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-05

From Jonathan Williams III

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Flattery has effectually ingaged me in your Correspondence, for when my Services in writing can at any time amuse or inform you, You may assure your self I shall most cordially become your Volentier.1
Commodore Manly as he is called is again taken in the Cumberland by the Pomona Frigate Capt. Waldergrave.2
Compte De Stang sailed the 12 of Jany from Martinique and Byron from St. Lucie. They both met, and after they saw each other they both returned again to Port.3 This is represented by Byron as a flight, { 25 } but I think the Count will have just as good grounds for His Story; tho perhaps there may not be that occasion for it, such Stories are necessary to keep up the Spirits of the People; but the French do not depend on such Bubbles. Count De Stang I hope will do something to retrieve his Name; he has been unfortunate.
Will you be so obliging Sir, as to let me know whether the Alliance, will sail directly from Brest, or come to Nantes, as Soon as it is determined.
I coud wish to perswade my Father to accompany You, and will if his engagements will admit off it.
If I do not see you again before you sail, most sincerely I wish you a pleasant, safe and short Passage.
When you arrive in America you shall constantly receive the [Stories of?] the day, thro' my Hands. My best Respects to Mrs. Adams.

[salute] I am with real Respect Yours most affectionately

[signed] Jon Williams trd
My Father and Cousin present their Compliments to you.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “a Monsieur Monsieur J Adams Ministre Plenipotentiare des Etats unis a <Brest>,” and, for clarity, in another hand, “a Nants M. Williams”; stamped: “NANT[ES]” and “BREST”; docketed: “Jon. Williams 3d,” and in another hand: “April 5th 1779.” The letter was received by JA after his return to Nantes, where he arrived circa 12 April (to Vergennes, 12 April, below).
1. Jonathan Williams III had written to JA on 28 March (Adams Papers). That letter contained essentially the same information as the letter from his cousin Jonathan Williams Jr. of the same date (above). In this paragraph Williams implies that he received an answer to his letter of the 28th; no letter from JA has been found.
2. John Manley had previously commanded the Continental frigate Hancock, which was taken by the British frigate Rainbow in July 1777 (from James Warren, 7 Sept. 1777, vol. 5:283–286). Following his exchange in March 1778, Manley commanded privateers and in Jan. 1779 was taken in the Cumberland off Barbados. Soon escaping, he was back in Boston by April (Isaac J. Greenwood, Captain John Manley, Boston, 1915, p. 103–108).
3. On 12 Jan., after learning that the newly arrived Adm. Byron had split his fleet between two harbors on St. Lucia, Estaing set out from Fort Royal on Martinique. Byron's quick action in bringing the two parts of his fleet together again caused Estaing to return to Martinique (W. M. James, British Navy in Adversity, London, 1926, p. 144).

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0022

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-08

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I did myself the honor of writing to you a few Days since.1 Last Night I received yours of the 31st past. I am glad to hear the Ship is so { 26 } far in order. As to the Discontents you find among the Officers and People, it is impossible for me at this Distance to judge of them, or of the means of removing them: I must therefore, as in my last, refer to your Judgment whatever you may think for the good of the Service, considering our Circumstances and Funds, and I desire you would give Orders accordingly. If the Officers are dissatisfied with the Purser who is now here, I fancy, but do not speak from Knowledge, that he is not sollicitous about continuing in his Place; and would have no objection to being permitted to stay as long as he pleases in Paris.
I can not at all interfere with regard to the Disposition of the Exchanged Prisoners, by ordering them to go on board one Ship or another. They are Freemen as soon as they land in France, and may inlist with which Captain they please.
I shall by this Post give the Orders you desire to Mr. Schweighauser and Capt. Landais,2 relating to your Passage and Sea Stores; tho' I did not think them necessary.
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedt and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Dr. Franklin Ap. 8. ansd. 13. 1779.”
1. 3 April (above).
2. The order to Landais, also dated 8 April, was enclosed with this letter and is in the Adams Papers (to Benjamin Franklin, 13 April, 2d letter, below). It required Landais “to receive on Board your Ship the Alliance, the Honourable John Adams Esq. with his Son and Servant, and give them a Passage therein to America.”