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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


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Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0077-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-07

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

J’ay reçu Monsieur La lettre que vous m’avez fait L’honneur de m’ecrire, et la copie que vous avez bien voulu m’addresser des resolutions prises le 16 aoust dernier par le congrés des etats unis de l’amerique septentrionale. Je me flatte Monsieur que vous ne doutez pas de mon empressement a concerter avec vous Les mesures ulterieures qu’elles pourront exiger; Des que Le Roy m’y aura authorisé; mais jusques a ce que Sa Majesté m’ait fait parvenir Ses ordres a cet egard, je ne puis que vous renouveller l’assurance de mon zéle pour tout ce qui interesse la cause commune de la france et de l’amerique Septentrionale, ainsi que celle de la Satisfaction particuliere que me procureront dans toutes Les circonstances mes relations avec vous.
{ 118 }

[salute] J’ay L’honneur d’etre Monsieur avec Les Sentiments inviolables de la Consideration la plus distinguée Votre tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur

[signed] Le Duc De La vauguyon

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0077-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-07

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I have received, sir, the letter which you have done me the honor to write me, and the copy which you have been so good as to address to me, of the resolutions taken on the 16th of last August by the congress of the United States of North America.
I flatter myself, sir, that you have no doubt of my earnestness to concert with you such ulterior measures as those resolutions may require, as soon as the king shall have authorized me; but until his majesty shall have transmitted to me his orders in this respect, I can only reiterate to you the assurance of my zeal for everything that interests the common cause of France and the United States of North America, as well as that of the particular satisfaction, which my relations with you will in all circumstances afford me.

[salute] I have the honor to be sir, with the inviolable sentiments of the most distinguished consideration, your most humble and most obedient servant

[signed] Le Duc De La vauguyon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Le Duc de la Vauguion 7 Decr. 1781.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-12-08

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

This morning were brought me four Bills of Exchange drawn on Mr. Laurens on the 6th. of July 1780 for 550 Guilders each. I have desired time to write to your Excellency, and obtained it. But as there is a large Number of these Bills not yet arrived, and as they come in sometimes by single Bills, and generally in small Numbers at a time, it will be giving your Excellency much Trouble as well me, to write a Letter and an Answer upon every such Occasion. I should therefore be glad to have the honor of your Excellency’s general directions concerning these Bills of the 6th. of July 1780 drawn upon Mr. Laurens. It is not probable that any other Bills will ever be drawn upon me, or any one else in this department, until there is a Treaty, and an House appointed to be drawn upon with Funds ready to pay, that is in other words (notwithstanding any thing I can see to the contrary) until Doomsday.
I have delivered your Excellency’s Letter to Mr. de Neufville, { 119 } which has alarmed him very much. He has been very importunate with me to write to your Excellency in his favor. I have advised him to write himself, and have given him no Encouragement. However I ought to say that by all I can learn he has not the commanding Interest in the Vessels: that the other Owners have it in their power to overrule him; and that it will not be his fault if your Excellency’s proposals are not complied with: and I presume that your sentiments of the Equity of with holding payment of the Bills were founded on the supposition, that Mr. de Neufville had the ruling Interest in the Concern. I am much afraid that protesting these Bills would be fatal to the House, and should be very loth that such a Misfortune should be attributed to an American Affair. The Bills being accepted must sooner or later be paid, and if protested for non-payment with large additions for Interest and Damages.2 As the Bills are accepted, an Action at Law might no doubt be supported against the Acceptor, unless he should avail himself of the Prerogative of a public Minister. This I cannot but think too delicate and sacred a thing to be made use of, but in very clear Cases, and therefore upon the whole I beg leave to submit to your Excellency my humble Advice, that the Bills should be paid, at the Expiration of their Term, at all Events.
I have offered Mr. de Neufville the Goods. He says in answer that he cannot take them: that he acted only on Commission: had delivered them on board of C Gillon according to his Contract, and cannot now take them again.
To sell the Goods here would be attended with a loss of forty per Cent—such is the stagnation of business here as I am informed by disinterested Persons, and that the same Goods could not be again purchased in France without another very great loss. But to send them from hence in slow Vessels would be little better than giving them to the Enemy.
Inclosed are Copies of Mr. de Neufville’s Letter to the other Owners, their Answer, and his Letter to me accompanying them.3

[salute] I have the honor to be4 Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “Adams Dec. 8. 1781.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. The dateline is supplied from the endorsement and the Letterbook.
2. In the Letterbook the remainder of this paragraph was written following the closing and marked for insertion here.
3. The copies enclosed by JA with this letter are in the Franklin Papers at PPAmP ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. 4:325). Neither { 120 } the original documents sent to JA by Jean de Neufville & Fils nor the letter of this date in which they were enclosed has been found. See JA to Jean de Neufville & Fils, 10 Dec., below.
4. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA ’s hand.