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Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0203

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-19

To the President of Congress, No. 68

Paris, 19 May 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 53– 56). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 3:688–690.
In this letter, read in Congress on 11 Sept., John Adams provided the substance of Spain's response to the Russian declaration of an armed neutrality. After placing the blame for any violations of neutral rights on British actions, Spain promised to defer to those neutral nations that protected “their Flags,” but reiterated that its blockade of Gibraltar would be strictly enforced. See also Adams' letter of 8 May to the president of Congress (No. 62, calendared, above). Adams provided an account of the confrontation between the Dutch ambassador, Count Welderen, and the British secretary of state, Lord Stormont, over the seizure of van Bylandt's convoy. Adams then reviewed recent events in Ireland, arguing that Ireland, despite the Irish Parliament's postponement { 327 } of any further attack upon British parliamentary supremacy until September, had “not yet finished her Role upon the Stage.” He closed with an apology for the absence of British newspapers after 5 May due to the French capture of the London-Ostend packet.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 53– 56). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 3:688–690.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0204

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-19

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to inclose a few Newspapers, recieved the last Post, from Boston by the Way of Bilbao. There is very little News. I have Letters as late as the twenty seventh of March.
The remarkable thing in the Pensylvania Gazette is, that the Great Seal of the Province of Pensylvania, was brought into the House of Assembly, of that State, and by order of the House defaced and cut to Pieces1—which to be sure is no proof of a desire to go back to their old Government. I dont see how they could have expressed a stronger Contempt of it.
In the independent Chronicle of the ninth of March, is a list of Prizes made by the Privateers of the middle District of Massachusetts Bay only, since the last Session of the Court of Admiralty. They amount to nineteen Vessels, which shews that Privateering flourishes in those Seas, and also shews what Havock may and probably will be made, among the English Transports, Provision Vessels and Merchantmen, when the Superiority of the French and Spanish Fleets, comes to be as clear as it will soon be, perhaps as it is now, and has been since the Arrival of Mr. de Guichen.
In a private Letter of the twenty seventh of March2 I am told, that two Prizes had just then arrived, one with four hundred Hogsheads of Rum, and another with four thousand Barrels of Flour, Pork and Beef, Articles much wanted by the Enemy, and not at all amiss in Boston.
The Convention had gone through the Constitution of Government, and accepted the Report of the Committee, with some few unessential Amendments.
I have the honor to be, with great Respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12; endorsed: “reçu le 24 may.”)
1. This item regarding the great seal of Pennsylvania has not been found in the Pennsylvania Gazette, but it did appear in almost the same form as given here in the Pennsylvania Packet of 10 February.
2. Not found.
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