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 9


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-06-06

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of June 2d., I have just now received that of 27. May I duely received and the other1 inclosing—the curious Mess from London I received—all safe, in time and untouched. I have never missed a Letter from you. They all come Safe—and the seals in good order. You may write freely I am persuaded.
It was, haste, or Inattention that I did not acknowledge them in the one of 28 ultimo.2 I am sometimes, so engaged, that I cant answer Letters, regularly by the Post. But I assure you I have no reason to think that one Letter to me, or from me has been stopped. I have written to London, Amsterdam, Hague, Nantes, L'Orient, Bourdeaux, Ostende, Lille, and Spain and received answers very punctually, so that I think you need not fear. I have 2 Letters from your neighbour Mr. Lee not yet answered3—and a great Bundle before me—from others. I really believe that Letters addressed directly to me, will come as safely as any Way.4 I wrote you on the 29th. again I think, and by that you will see that I had received all. The short Letter, inclosing the one from London, I sat down to answer, on the spot, and wrote a good deal—but was irresolute about sending it. I could not Satisfy myself what to say. I was very uneasy. Propagating such Distrust is the D—l if it is without foundation, as I verily believe it is. But if it has foundation what then. Why the hottest region in the hot country is too cool. Still I know not, whether I understand it.
1. For this letter of 22 May and its enclosure, see Jenings' letter of 27 May, and note 1 (above).
2. Not found, but see Jenings' letter of 2 June, and note 1 (above).
3. These are William Lee's letters of 10 May (above) and 31 May (Adams Papers), which JA answered on 6 June (below).
4. The remainder of this letter concerns JA 's answer of 29 May (above) to Jenings' letter of 22 May (Adams Papers).
{ 385 }

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1780-06-06

To William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I had duely your Favours of 10 May, and another Since Rodneys Account of the Action of the 17 April.1 But have not been able to answer before.
The Language which is held by the English both in and out of Parliament, is quite incomprehensible by me. Do they really believe what they say? Do they believe that America, will return to them? Well! next Winter, which approaches fast, there must be 22 millions more. Will it come easily? Will they easily get Men, to replace those who are dying in Georgia, Carolina and the West Indies? Will they easily get Seamen? How is it all to be done? What is to be done with Ireland? what with the maritime Confederacy? &c. I dont See, a Way out of the Labyrinth, for them. They are the best Judges of their own Interest. They must have their own Way. They have not yet taxed Experiments enough. They must Satisfy themselves. One Thing brings Consolation with it to me. The more thoroughly they exhaust themselves in this War, the longer it will be, before they will begin another with Us—and I am persuadd if Peace was made this year, they would make another War with Us, as soon as ever they should be able. Will, will not be wanting—nothing but Strength will be wanting.
I am told Several Vessells have arrived at Amsterdam from Boston and one from Philadelphia, if any News should be obliged for it. We must Soon hear from Clinton—and other quarters. The Gentlemans Correspondent I conclude from your hint was Mr. Dumas.2 <Adieu.> I had not any Correspondence with him, till since the Receipt of your Letter. I inclosed him Copy of Clintons Letter, and have received an Answer.

[salute] Adieu.

1. For this letter of 31 May (Adams Papers), in which Lee provided an account of the naval battle off Martinique on 17 April and thanked JA for sending the forged Clinton letter, see Thomas Digges' letter of 26 May, note 2; and Edmund Jenings' letter of 27 May, note 4 (both above).
2. Lee's reference to the “Correspondent” was in his letter of 10 May (above). The letters exchanged by JA and C. W. F. Dumas were of 21 and [ante 30] May respectively (both above).
{ 386 }