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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0078

Author: Chapman, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-27

From Richard Chapman

[salute] Sir

I hope you will pardon the Liberty I have taken of Adressing my Self to you but haveing waited on Mr: Barttly1 Expecting Some Assistance from him, he Informd me it was not in his Line but that your Excellency was the only person to Apply too.
These lines will Inform your Excellency that I was Mate of a Con• { 133 } tinental Packet Call'd the Active Commanded by John Hodge Esqr: from Philadelphia Bound to the Havannah with Dispathes we Saild from the Capes of Dilaware the 10th: of March last and was Unfortunately taken the 25th: by the Proserpine Frigate the Brigg with the Capt: was Ordred to Jamiaca myself with the people was Brought home to Spit Head from which place I Soon made my Escape and by the Help of Friends at Portsmouth and London I have Safe Arrived here but have been Under the Docter's hands good part of the time I have been here till within this ten or twelve days. So that I hope your Excellency will Consider my Situation and Afford me as much Asistence as your Excellency may Judge Nessesery as I am determind to git home as Soon as poserble as I Belong to the Service and Have near five months wages due at Eighteen Dollars [per] month I Should take it as a great Favour if it is poserble, for it to be paid to me here, as it would be of Infinite Service to me at present; as I am Intirely Destitute of Cloths and Every other Nessesery I Shall want when I Come to go to Sea. Relying on your Excellency's Goodness I am with the Greatest Submission your Excellency's most Obet: Humbl: Servt:
[signed] Richard Chapman
NB Your Excellency will be So Kind as to Answer the Above as it will not lay in my power to See him personly If Nessesery till I Receive Some Asitstance.2
At Mrss' Mc:Graves Worm Street.
1. Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul to France, was in Amsterdam attending to the disposition of the goods left there by Alexander Gillon in 1781. See Barclay's letter of 28 June, below.
2. Chapman's account of the capture of the Active is accurate ( Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships ), but nothing further is known of him beyond what is in this letter. JA replied on 1 July ( LbC , Adams Papers), congratulating Chapman on his escape but noting that he was not authorized to pay him his wages. JA , however, proposed to lend him eight ducats—about four pounds—for which he was to sign a note payable to Congress.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0079

Author: Barclay, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-28

From Thomas Barclay

[salute] Sir

Captain Smedley will, I expect, Sail in about Six days, and if your Excellency has any Dispatches, or other Commands, he will be a good opportunity to Send them by.1 I Shall endeavour to wait upon you at the Hague previous to his Departure. Mr. Livingston wrote to { 134 } me Some time ago to Send him Such Pamphlets or Papers as Contain any thing of Consequence or Information, but I can lay my hands only on Some Registers which Shall go, and if you have got a few news papers or any thing of the Kind to Spare, they Shall be carefully forward'd.
Some time ago His Excellency Docter Franklin wrote to me that Mr. Morris had Sent and Estimate of Supplies to the amount of about Two Million of Livers, with Directions, that Mr. Ridley and myself Shou'd Compleat the Purchases, but that the funds Cou'd not be procured in France for its Execution. I beg leave to Submit to your Excellency the propriety of Employing any part of the Loan which you have negociated in Holland for the purposes of Sending those Supplies. My Instructions from Congress empower me to draw in Cases of absolute Necessity on any funds which I Shall Know to be procured for Congress in Europe, of this necessity you must in this Case be the Sole Judge, as you Know much better than I do the wants and the Situation of our Country, and Consequently by what application of the money those Wants Can be best removed. I have taken the liberty of mentioning this matter to you now, and when I have the honour of Seeing you at the Hague you can give me your Sentiments.2
Mr. Thaxter gets Something better, his friends have advised his Staying here a few days longer, and indeed it Seems to be absolutely necessary to the Reestablishment of his health.
I have the honour to be with the greatest Esteem and respect Dear Sir Your Most Obedt Servant.
[signed] Tho Barclay
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqre. at the Hague”; endorsed: “Mr Barclay”; by John Thaxter: “June 28th 1782.”
1. Samuel Smedley of Fairfield, Conn., was a former prisoner appointed by Barclay to command the General Sullivan, which he had chartered to carry to America some of the goods originally intended to go with the South Carolina. The vessel was renamed the Heer Adams between 25 and 29 April in honor of Dutch recognition of the United States (Louis F. Middlebrook, History of Maritime Connecticut During the American Revolution, 2 vols., Salem, Mass., 1925, 2:123, 325; Franklin, Papers , 37:213, 237).
2. Neither Franklin's letter to Barclay nor Robert Morris' letter of 9 March, to which it likely referred, has been found. But for the content of Morris' letter to Franklin, see his letter of 9 March to Congress (Morris, Papers , 4:376–378). JA apparently did not reply to this letter, presumably because, as Barclay intended, the two men discussed the matter at The Hague. Barclay gives an accurate summary of his 10 July 1781 instructions ( JCC , 20:736–737), but it is unlikely that he received the requested funds because JA had not yet received any significant return from his new loan and, in any case, was reluctant to make substantial disbursements without the direct orders of Congress (to Robert R. Livingston, 5 July, 2d letter, below).