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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0179

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-03

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it please Yoúr Excellency; to receive with the assúrance of oúr most respectfúll regard, the compliments of Mr. Ch. H Themmen of Groninqúe, who charged ús there with in a Letter; and promises to procúre ús by his frend a packet for Yoúr Excellency, which Mr. Francis Dana from Paris charged ús to forward;1 whe shall comply there with the moment we receive it; it hath been left as Mr. Themmen writes at Valenciennes, by a mistake, from whence he hath Claimed it, and refers to Mr. Hazlehúrst, who should in Short be here, for fúrther information.
We begg leave to remember to Yoúr Excellency the 7 Bills we had the honoúr to inclose last week,2 and though we have not received any Accoúnt aboút them, we can not persuade oúr Selfs they can have miscarried.
As to the Loan, we hope Yoúr Excellency won't take it Amiss that we could not conclude úpon anything as yett; we observed already, that withoút the Captúre of St. Eústacia we should have placed the whole on some terms of different payments, we should even have sacrificed oúr Comission, we wish some happy event may bring ús soon so farr again for oúr undertakers wont come to Any proposalls at present; We found oút one however, who offerd to assist ús, and to dispose from time to time of as many obligations as he Could, with an allowance of 2 p Ct. butt he insisted úpon a Credit of a month for what he should take, even with the bonds in his hands, if it would remain a trifling matter, as it should be, in the beginning, we should not mention a word aboút it for would trúst it to him, bútt it would directly go higher then oúr Comission would Amoúnt to, this offer then we are obliged again to lay before yoúr Excellency for her Contemplation; we have a great prospect with this man of going farr if we could agree to such terms as would make it sufficiently his intrest, for he himself should take the half p Ct. brokerage and allow the 2 p Ct. to others he employd, for which reason he refúses to pay directly withoút Some other Complication, and be it even small there is always risk in giving credit. This we thought it our duty to acquaint Yoúr Excellency with; she may depend upon that oúr own glory will not permitt ús to leave any thing unattempted to obey her orders in the most effectúall manner as we have the honoúr to be most devot• { 245 } edly Honorable Sir Yoúr Excellencys most Obedient and most humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. From Dana, 16 March, above.
2. In their letter of 28 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0180

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-04

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

By a London Newspaper receivd this Day by the way of Margate (for the two last posts are not Arrivd) I find that Tarlton has been defeated by Genl. Morgan near 96.1 The Congress has published an Account of it, which I suppose the English Ministry will secrete, but it appears by private Letters, that a number of men have been Killed or taken Prisoners. That Tarletons own regiment is almost entirely cut to peices—that He was near being taken Prisoner Himself and that his Baggage is destroyed. Rivington endeavours to make light of the Action, but shews at the same time, it was a serious One—when the Vessel left N York, which was the 25th. of Febry Genl. Philips was preparing to embark with 5000 Men,2 supposd for Virginia.
By the same Paper we have an Account that a french Vessel with Dispatches from the Mauritius is taken and carried to England, but by some papers found in her it appears that Hyder Ally having collected an Army of 80000 Horse had laid Siege to Arcot, that the Colonels Baillie and Fletcher attempting to go to its relief were totally defeated with the Loss of 400 Europeans and 4000 Seapoys, that Arcot was taken together with Pondicheri and that the whole Province of Arcot was in the Hands of Hyder Ally, Col. Munro having with Difficulty got back to Madras.3
I have the Honor of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 22d. Ultimo and shall Carefully attend to the political Rule laid down therein.
What a pleasant trouble has your Excellency had in writing your Name 29 Thousand times for such a purpose—give me leave to beg your Excellency would send me some Copies of your proposals in Dutch—I have been spoken to on the Subject.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt
[signed] Edm: Jenings
P.S. I send a duplicate of this to Leyden.4
{ 246 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jennings 4th. April 1781.” Dupl (Adams Papers). Jenings sent one copy of this letter to Amsterdam and another to Leyden. Because JA was in Amsterdam 5–7 April, it is likely that he received the copy sent to Amsterdam first. The editors have designated the copy sent to Leyden as the duplicate.
1. The Battle of Cowpens took place approximately fifty miles north of Ninety Six, S.C. On the morning of 17 Jan., Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, commanding a force of 1,100 infantry and cavalry, attacked 800 regulars and militia commanded by Gen. Daniel Morgan. The Americans decisively defeated Tarleton, inflicting over 800 casualties and driving him from the field. This victory was notable not only for being “one of the few tactical defeats suffered by British regulars during the war,” but also for the attrition of the forces available to Cornwallis (Middlekauff, Glorious Cause , p. 470–476; Mackesy, War for America , p. 405; The Toll of Independence: The Engagements and Battle Casualties of the American Revolution, ed. Howard H. Peckham, Chicago, 1974, p. 79). The report on the battle that Jenings read and commented on appeared in the 27 March editions of the London newspapers and was taken from Rivington's Royal Gazette of 23 Feb. (London Chronicle, 27–29 March). It was intended to counteract the “Exaggerated accounts ... published by the rebels.” In fact, the first accounts in American papers were taken from a letter of 24 Jan. from Daniel Morgan to Nathanael Greene in which Morgan accurately described the battle and the magnitude of his victory (Pennsylvania Gazette, 14 Feb.; Boston Independent Chronicle, 22 Feb.). By 31 March accounts of the battle more accurate than that in Rivington's paper reached England in the form of letters from Lord Cornwallis and Lt. Col. Nisbet Balfour, commandant of Charleston (London Chronicle, 31 March – 3 April).
2. In the duplicate, Jenings omitted the remainder of this sentence.
3. On 29 March London newspapers, including the London Courant, Morning Herald, and London Chronicle, carried the first detailed accounts of the defeats suffered by the British East India Company and its military forces at the beginning of the Second Mysore War. These accounts were accurate and form the basis for Jenings' report here and in the duplicate, where the phrasing was slightly different. Hyder Ali continued to occupy the Carnatic—the area along the southeastern coast of India centered on Arcot and Madras—and the British forces remained confined to the East India Company's base at Madras (B. Sheikh Ali, British Relations with Haidar Ali, 1760– 1782, Mysore, India, 1963, p. 225–257).
4. The postscript to the duplicate reads: “I send a duplicate of this to Amsterdam. I have desird Msrs. De Neufville to send me some of the Proposals.”