A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
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 9

Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
DateRange: 1780-06-06 - 1780-06-07

To Thomas Digges

Yours of 26 ultimo is before me. That of 9th.2 have received. I have received the Box of Books &c—but nothing since. Pray drop all the Papers, I will get the Courant the Same way, that I have the General Advertiser and Morning post. I wish to have a Poem that is advertised, in which some American Characters are Said to be drawn3—good or bad—let it come. I want also that Volume of the Remembrancer,4 the Prior documents, which contains the History of the rise and progress of the present disputes with America. The Volume you sent me is not the right. Whenever any news arrives from Charlestown I will send it. A Vessell is arrived at Cadiz from Boston. She Says that the English have burned their barracks at Long Island and Kingsbridge, and { 380 } evacuated Several of their out posts, and embarked almost all their Troops, Supposed for Charlestown. She adds that the Troops, Tories and Refugees, treat the People of New York much better than usual. I will send the report of the Constitution of Mass. as soon as I can get a compleat Copy, News of great Importance is expected every moment from various quarters. It is much admired, that the English dont see, that the unanimous Voice of Mankind is against them. Humankind think them embarked in an unjust Cause, against the rest of the World, as well as against America. All the World think they have a right to a share in American trade—and that it would be ruinous to all the rest of the World, if England should monopolise it. Why should Men contend us Providence and quarall with the destinies?
Pray what do the Wise ones think of the new Plan of Congress for their Paper money? is it not advantageous for the american public? is it not a dead doing blow to the Hopes of old England?
LbC (Adams Papers); directed to: “Mr Diggs.” Although the Letterbook refers to Thomas Digges by name, the recipient's copy was probably addressed to W. S. Church or one of Digges' other pseudonyms.
1. In the Letterbook this letter is undated, but follows one of 6 June and precedes another of the 7th. It may have been written as late as 9 June, for JA 's endorsement on Digges' letter of 26 May, to which this is clearly a reply, indicates that he answered it on 9 June, but no letter of that date has been found (from Thomas Digges, 26 May, descriptive note, above).
2. Although Digges notes in his letter of 8 June (below) that he had written on 9 May, no letter of that date has been found.
3. This was probably The American Times: A Satire (London, 1780) in which most of the major figures of the revolution, including JA , were satirized. Later in 1780 the poem was reprinted by James Rivington at New York (T. R. Adams, American Controversy , 2:688– 690; Evans, No. 16697).
4. JA 's reference to The Remembrancer indicates that the box that he had received was probably that sent by Digges on 25 April. For its contents, see Digges' letter of 28 April (above), and the list enclosed with his letter of 8 June (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1780-06-06

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I thank you, for y[our Letter1 in an]swer to mine of 21. May, and for your kind con[gratulations on my] arrival here.
Mr. Brown, with whom [you took] your Walks in the Neighbourhood of Paris, has been [gone from] hence, Some Weeks, on his Way home. I Should have had much Pleasure, if I had been one of the Party. I have rambled, in most of the Scenes round this City, and find them very pleasant, but much more in debted to Art than to Nature. { 381 } Philadelphia, in the Purlieus of which, as well as those of Baltimore, and York Town, I have often sought Health and Pleasure, in the same [way] in Company with our venerable Secretary Charles Thompson, [wi]ll in future Times, when the Arts shall have established their Empire in the new World, exhibit scenes much more Striking. But Boston above all, around which I have much oftener wandered in Company with another venerable Character,2 little known in Europe, but to whose Virtues and public Merit in the Cause of Mankind, History will do Justice, will one day exhibit Scenes of Grandeur and Beauty, Superiour to any other Place I have ever yet seen.
The Letter of G. Clinton, [when I transmitted it] to you, was not suspected to be an Imposition. [There are some Circum]stances, which are sufficient to raise a question, but I th[ink, none of them] are conclusive, and upon the whole I have little [doubt of its Authenticity.] I shall be much mortified if it proves a fiction. Not [on account of the i]mportance of the Letter, but the Stain that a Practice [So disingenuous, will] bring upon America. When I first left America such a fict[ion with all its] Ingenuity, would have ruined the Reputation of the author of [it, if discov]ered, and I think that both he and the Printer would have been punished. With all the freedom of our Presses I really think that not only the Government, but the Populace would have resented it. I have had opportunities of an extensive Acquaintance, with Americans, and I must Say in Justice to my Country men, that I know not a Man that I think capable of a Trick at once So able and so base. Truth is indeed respected in America, and So gross an affront to her I hope will not, and I think cannot go un[punis]hed.
Whether it is genuine or not, I have [no] doubt of the Truth of the Facts, in general. And I have reasons to believe, that if the Secret Correspondences of Bernard, Hutchinson, Gage, How, and Clinton, could all be brought to light the World would be equally surprized at the whole Thread of it. The British Administration and their servants have carried on from the beginning a System of Duplicity, in the Conduct of American Affairs that will appear shocking to the Public, whenever it shall be known.
You have seen A. Rodneys account of the Battle of the 17th. of April. The Scepter of the ocean, is not to be maintained, by such Actions as this, and Birons and Keppells. They must make themselves more terrible upon the ocean to preserve its dominion. Their E[mpire there] is founded only in fear—no nation loves it. We have [no other News.]
{ 382 } | view { 383 } | view { 384 }
I have the Honour [to be . . .] 3 most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Hoar Autograph Collection). LbC (Adams Papers). The recipient's copy is heavily damaged, with the loss of a significant amount of text which has been supplied from the Letterbook.
1. Of [ante 30 May] (above).
2. In the Letterbook this person was identified as “Mr. Thatcher,” probably Oxenbridge Thacher Jr., who had died in 1765 and whom JA ranked second only to James Otis in the early movement toward revolution (vol. 1:98).
3. Because JA abbreviated the closing paragraph in the Letterbook, it has been impossible to supply the two or three words missing at this point.