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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8

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Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0031

Author: Izard, Ralph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-18

From Ralph Izard

[salute] Dear Sir

I am favoured with your Letter of 12th,1 and am sorry to find that you have had so much trouble about the Frigate. The accounts which we had of the small number of hands she had, made it probable that she would not sail soon. Perhaps this detention may prove to be “all for the best.” Some wise people are of opinion that this is always the case; and though the maxim has undergone the criticism of M. de Voltaire, and passed the fiery Ordeal of his ridicule, it very often proves true. The arrival of the first dispatches from Congress will probably add another example of the truth of it.
I have no news to send you, except the common report of Paris, that Spain is at last determined to declare in favour of France. England expects such an event, and affects to look at it with indifference; should it take place, I hope she will be soon convinced of her mistake.
We can not, I think, be much longer without having News from Congress. Should any Letters arrive for me at Nantes, while you are there, I should be obliged to you if you would send them to me. Frequent accidents have happened to our dispatches; and I very much fear that what has happened, may happen again. My Wife, and family thank you for your kind remembrance of them, and offer their Compliments. As for the Two Abbés they speak for themselves on the other side of the paper. I am Dr. Sr. Your most obt. hble Servt.
[signed] Ra. Izard
P.S. If there should be any arrivals from America, or any News from thence while you stay at Nantes, I should be obliged to you if you would let me know. It is said that some American Prisoners are arrived at Nantes from England. If so, why are they not taken on board of the Alliance?
Les abbés de Chalut et Arnoux font leurs amitiés à Monsieur Adams, il[s] embrassent Son cher fils, ils lui souhaitent une heureuse navigation, et ils le prîent de leur donner de Ses nouvelles.2
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Izzard. Ap. 12 recd & ansd 23d. 1779.”
1. Not found.
2. Translation: The Abbés Chalut and Arnoux send their regards to Mr. Adams and love to his dear son, wish them a { 39 } happy voyage and hope that they will keep them informed. This passage, in the hand of one of the Abbés, appears on the final page of the letter, with a wide gap between it and the postscript.

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0032

Author: Schweighauser, John Daniel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-19

From J. D. Schweighauser

[salute] Sir

The Officers of the Alliance having express'd some discontent at my offering them two Months advance out of which they were to furnish themselves the Cloaths they would think fit, and his Excellency B Franklin having directed me in any such difficulties to apply to you I will take it as a particular favor if you will be kind enough to let me know your opinion on that subject that I may act in consequence and will also be obliged to you for confirming the approbation you have given this morning to the Cloathing of the Marines.1

[salute] I have the honor to be most respectfully sir Your most humble & mo obt. Servant

[signed] J. Dl. Schweighauser2
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Schweighauser 19. Ap. 1779.”
1. No reply to this letter has been found.
2. A card, possibly a playing card because it has eight red hearts on its reverse, is attached with sealing wax and glue to the third page of the letter and is dated 19 April. On it Schweighauser wrote: “Monsieur Adams est prié de faire l'honneur a Monsr. et a Made. Schweighauser de venir diner chés Eux Me[r]credi prochain 21 Avril.”
JA could not accept the invitation because on 18 April, Capt. Pierre Landais arrived to inform him that the Alliance was at St. Nazaire, a town 40 miles from Nantes at the mouth of the Loire River, and on the the morning of the 21st JA set out to join the frigate. Arriving there the next day, he oversaw the dispatch of the British prisoners carried by the Alliance to the cartel ship that had brought the American prisoners from England. Having successfully executed the task, he returned to Nantes on 28 April (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:359–360, 363).

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0033

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Middleton, Arthur
Date: 1779-04-24

To Arthur Middleton

[salute] Sir

Your Favour, of the 4 July 1778,2 I had not the Honour to receive, untill yesterday, which I very much lament because I fear I have lost an opportunity of rendering Some little service to the Commodore in his laudable Enterprise, at least of shewing every Respect in my Power to your Recommendation.
In a Letter, which he did me the Honour to write me, I find he has made several able Propositions to the Ministry in which I heartily wish him success: and in my Answer to him, I have taken the Liberty to { 40 } hint to him some proper Persons to apply to for Assistance in his Negociations.3
The Face of Things at present may not be so favourable to him as We could wish, but as I am well persuaded that the Constancy and Perseverance of the French Court may be depended on, I hope he will be able to convince them that one at least of his Plans, is a wise one, and promises much Utility to the common Cause. I have the Honour to be, with Sincere Respect and Esteem, sir, your obedient humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (NjP: de Coppet Coll.); docketed: “John Adams April 24th. 1779.”
1. Presumably an error for St. Nazaire, see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:359.
2. Middleton's letter (Adams Papers) has not been printed, but Edward Rutledge's letter recommending Alexander Gillon dated 16 July 1778 is in vol. 6:294–295. JA 's docketing on the Rutledge letter indicates that he replied on 24 April, but that letter has not been found.
3. JA 's reply to Gillon's letter of 17 April (above), has not been found; this brief statement is the only indication of its content.