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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10


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Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0213

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-30

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I did myself the Honor of writing to your Excellency the 20th of this Month and inclosing some Papers from Mr. Amory of Boston. I now take the Liberty of sending you a Letter, receivd this Day from Mr. L. for your Excellency's Perusal—give me leave to beg that your Excellency would return it and the former one from the same Gentleman, if your Excellency has no further Occasion for them.1
There have been reports at Paris that a Part of Monsr. De Ternays Squadron is burnt at Rhode Island. Perhaps there is no foundation for them; but I trust there is great reason to Imagine that General Gates Troops have had several succesful Skirmishes at Carolina against the Ennemy. The English Resident here seems to credit them.
I Hope your Excellency takes good Care of your Health. The Damp Climate of Holland requires much Additional Cloathing—it is Experience that makes Dutchmen wear six Waistcoats, and I Know not how many pair of Breeches.
I have expected particular Advices from England, but one of the Packets is taken.
I see the Translation is published in Holland.2 Has your Excellency seen the Letters of Monsr. Joly?3 I beg to know your Excellencys { 389 } Opinion of them. They are I believe just published in Holland. Does the Subject regard Us?
I beg to be rememberd to my young Friends.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. These letters have not been found, making it impossible to positively identify “Mr. L.,” but he may have been Arthur Lee, with whom Jenings corresponded while Lee was in Europe. See JA 's reply of 6 Dec. (below).
2. JA 's Pensées.
3. This person cannot be positively identified, but may be Joly de Saint Valier, author of Mémoire du Sieur Joly de St. Valier, lieutenant colonel d'infantrie, ou Exposé de sa conduite avant et depuis qu'il a quitté la France pour venir offrir ses services à sa Majesté le roy d'Angleterre, London, [1780]. No reference to a Dutch edition has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0214

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-12-01

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear sir

I thank You for your favour of the 20th. of November.
I am really weary of reading such Follies as Motions to address the King for Peace. They are only delusions to the People of England, the People of America, and all the other Nations of the Earth. The Case of Mr. Laurens, and those of Mr. Trumbull and Tyler, among Millions of other Incidents shew, with whom We have to do.
The States General have acceeded to the Armed Neutrality, and disavowed the Conduct of Amsterdam, which I suppose is intended to trim between the two Parties in the Republick, and between the belligerent and Neutral Powers. Whether they will keep themselves in Peace by it, Time will shew.
I dont see the practicability of the British Ministry seizing upon the Dutch Money in their Funds. How can they distinguish it?
Arnold's Desertion is no loss to Us nor Gain to our Enemies. I am shocked and grieved however, as well as You, that such an Example should be exhibited to the World, of so much Bravery and so much Baseness, in the Character of a Native of America. He had forfeited the Esteem of his Country: he had incurred her Displeasure and her Censure, and then he sold himself to her Enemy, wounded, maimed and mutilated as he is. Much good may do them. I wish to God, that every such Plunderer, would go over after him. I expect that several others will. We shall be purified and strengthened by it.
Mr. Amory's Packet I have sent by the Way of St. Eustatius: the Duplicate I will send by a better Opportunity.
I think We must prepare our Minds and Hearts for another Scene { 390 } of Exultation and Triumph among our Enemies. We shall soon have the News, I fear, that they have taken Post at Portsmouth in Virginia—and by this means the Nation will be thrown into a fermentation of Joy—they will believe that all the Trade of Cheseapeak Bay, will be their's—that Virginia and Maryland will be theirs in addition to Georgia and the two Carolinas &c. &c. &c.
This will be delivered You by my Friend Mr. Dana,1 whom You will [find] 2 worthy of your Friendship.
Affectionately your's
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency John Adams Dcr. 1. 1780.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. On this day JA also wrote to William Lee at Brussels to introduce Francis Dana ( LbC , Adams Papers).
2. A copying omission, supplied from the Letterbook.