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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0203

Author: Heimenthal, Baron de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-05

From Baron de Heimenthal

[salute] Sir

I take the liberty, to address myself to your Excellency, about a project I have send to Mr. Franklin the 20. of Septr. last;2 which contains in short the following. I propose that if I could have the honour to be admitted into the Service of the United States, with the Commission of Major, to form a small Corps of Artillery, consisting in 300. Men, divided into 6. Companies; all the particulars concerning the formation of this Corps, I explain'd very large to Mr. Franklin: the Conditions I beg'd are, that it would be allow'd to me, to provide all the officers at the formation of the Corps; a great deal of them would be of my acquaintances, Subjects of a very good instruction: for this purpose I beg'd Mr. Franklin to send me a full Power, in order to legitimate my Commission; but till this moment, I have not been favour'd with any answer: for this reason I beg you to be so good, as to communicate to me your thoughts concerning this matter, or to procure me an answer from Mr. Franklin, in order to know, if the Project would be accepted, or upon what other conditions I could have the honour to enter into the service of the United States.
I assure your Excellency, that the formation of the said Corps, would be very usefull to the service; for besides, to serve as Artillery and Infantry, the officers could be employed as Ingeneers at the same time, being instructed in Mathematics and Fortification; which allways subsist, establishing into this Corps, an Academy of Mathematics, Artillery and Fortification (like the estabishements, made by Count de la Lippe in Portugal). For this purpose I should carry with me very able Mathematicians.
The letter I wrote to Mr. Franklin, was accompanied by an anonymous one, of a Gentlemen of his acquaintance, residing some times { 318 } ago in this country; who inform'd him of my Knowledge and capacity: the said Gentlemen is a Competent Judge in Military affairs.
I beg you to favour me with an answer, as soon as possible, and to believe that I am with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellencys most humble and most obedient Servant
[signed] Baron de Heimenthal
First Lieut. of Regt. of Artillery of
Porto, into the service of Portugal
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Baron de Heimenthal. 5. Feb. 1780. recd 6. decr. 1780.”
1. Valença do Minho is on Portugal's northern border with Spain, sixty miles north of Porto (Oporto), and fifteen miles south of the Spanish port of Vigo.
2. For the baron's letter to Benjamin Franklin, as well as its enclosure mentioned later in this letter, see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 2:142. There is no indication that either Franklin or JA responded to Heimenthal's proposal.

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0204

Author: Montgomery, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-05

From Robert Montgomery

[salute] Sir

When I was Advised of your Arrival at Corunia I had the Pleasing hopes that Your Destination Was the Court of Madrid and Accordingly porposed myself the happiness of Paying you my devoirs there in the month of Aprile. I Also Presumed on taking the Liberty of Writing My Banker in that City Messr. Peter Casamayor & Co. to Make you a Tender of their Services in my Behalf, and to Supply you with the Money you Might have Occation for in Case you Should Chuse to Accept of it for my Account, however Since I have been deprived of the Pleasure of Seing you this Spring I hope this Will Come to hand with My Sincerest Congratulations On your Safe Arrival at Paris.
You will no dout have Learn'd that the English have Thrown Suckers into Gibralter.1 It was unfortunet that Cordova had gone into porte befor those fell in with Langara's Squadron and is to be feard that this Blow will Prolonge the War At Least on this side the Atlantic. His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esqr. Will Probably have Informd you the Trouble I have Given him in My Particular.2 On the Declaration of the War the Kings Attorney And Governor's Asessor here Insisted I Should Retire With the English Merchants Who had been Established here Notwithstanding they had Always Considered And Acknowledged Me an American Since My first Coming to the Place being yearly Enrold on the List of foraign Merchants as Such, however those became Quiet on geting What they Wanted a little Money, And I have Since Partly by Means of Mr. Franklin and Partly { 319 } { 320 } by My freinds At Madrid Obtain'd an Order from his Majesty to the Governour of this Place to Consider and Protect me as a freind and Not to Cause Nor Suffer me Any farther Molestation Whatever. I Am under Infinit Obligations in this Perticular to Dr. Barnardo del Campo Secretary to the Counsil of State and Also to the Minister the Count de Florida Blanca.
Since I had the Pleasure of Seing you I have been Remarkably Successful in Comerce and Only Wish to have it in My Power to be of Service to you or Any freind in this Quarter and have the Honour to be With the Greatest Sincerity Sir Your Most Obedient Most humble Servent
[signed] Robt Montgomery
Since Writing the Above I have Advice that Mr. Jay is Arrived at Cadiz, as Plenipotentiary to this Court. I Am Not Aquaint With this Gentleman And Should Much Esteem the favour of your Giving Me A line to him. It Would Make Me Happy to be Able to Render him Any Service here.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Robt. Montgomery 5th. Feby. 1780.”
1. That is, gave succor to Gibraltar. On 16 Jan. 1780, Adm. Sir George Rodney soundly defeated a Spanish squadron commanded by Adm. Don Juan de Langara. In the action Langara was captured and seven of the eleven ships of the line under his command were either taken or destroyed. Despite the presence of a large fleet of French and Spanish ships of the line at Cadiz under the command of Adm. Cordoba, Rodney's victory gave him control of the approaches to Gibraltar, thus the beleaguered garrison received the food that it needed to withstand and prolong the seige (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence , p. 122–127).
2. For Montgomery's problems with the Spanish government and his applications to Benjamin Franklin, see his letter to JA of 6 July 1779 (above), and Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 2:101, 109, 129, 133, 165.