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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0057

Author: Tufts, Cotton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-08-05

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

The News of your Arrival at Paris gave us great Joy. Before your Letters reached America, the first Intelligence of your Arrival was obtain'd from an English Paper taken in a Prize. Previous to this in a New York Paper was inserted the Capture of the Boston by a 60 Gun Ship but no mention being made of her Contents more especially of a very valuable Article too important to have been passed over in Silence We made ourselves pretty easy being assured that they would have publickly gloried in the Acquisition of it.
Our Season was very fine untill the 24th. June having been favoured with moderate Heat and frequent Showers which gave us large Crops of English Hay and Pasturage. The Eclipse of that Day brought on a Change of Air to extreme Heat which encreased for 12 or 15 Days to a Degree greater than ever was known amongst us so early in the Year, it then became more cool for a few Days, afterwards the Heat returnd and continued to this Time, very little Rain having fallen untill Three or Four Days past, [so] that we have sufferd much in our Gardens and the Indian Corn will by the Drought be lessend greatly. Our English Grain much blasted—a very good Crop of Flax. A very plentiful Rain this Day and for 4 Days past in different Places will I trust give a new Appearance to the Earth. On the 28th. June the Heat was violent at the Southward, on which Day a Battle was fought at Monmouth in the Jerseys between Clintons Army passing from Philadelphia (which they deserted the 18th. preceding) and our Army, after a long Struggle the Enemy gave way. Night coming on prevented in all Probability their entire Destruction. They left 245 of their best Troops dead on the Field of Battle, some they had buried. Near 50 too badly wounded to be removed were left in an House, how many wounded they carried { 69 } of is uncertain.—The Second in Command is under Arrest, chargeable with some malconduct on that Day. Had he never been in the Enemy's Hands perhaps he never would have been suspected. He is now under Tryall the Result of which will be made publick. I must therefore suspend my Judgment untill that Time, but am pretty well satisfied that neither the Scholar nor the General will save him if he should be found Culpable in a high Degree.—In this Battle we lost 50 killed, upwards of an 100 wounded—a more full Accountt youll receive from other Hands. I saw a Letter from the Adjutant Generall in which He speaks in the highest Terms of the Bravery of our Troops—it is agreed that they never fought better. Genll. Knox acquired immortal Honour.—The french Fleet arrived in the Delaware about the 8th. July—had they reached it about 3 Weeks sooner they would have securd the Enemys Shipping, both Fleet and Army must have fallen into our Hands. Some Intelligence they got of the near Approach of Mons. De Estang thought fit to sail and march off in Season.—This Fleet has taken many valuable Prizes from the Enemy among which is a Vessel loaded with military Stores having among other Things Six large Mortars with Shells suitable for them. These came very seasonably for the purpose of driving out of their Holes those Pests of Mankind that have so long plagued America for which Preparations are now making and if the French Fleet in Conjunction with that of the united States should prove superior to the British I flatter myself that it will be shortly effected.
I have only time to add that your Family is well and other Connections.—Remember me to your Son, and accept of my best Wishes for your Health, Usefulness and Happiness.

[salute] I am yours,

[signed] C.T.
<Your Bro[the]r this day sets off at the Head of a C[ompan]y on the [ . . . ]1 Expedition to R[hode] Island.>2
The Commissioners who arrived here in June wrote to Congress (being denied by Genl. Washington a Pass to York Town, untill the Pleasure of Congress should be known). Their Letter and the answer of Congress, You must have received before this Time. Least you should not have received them, it may not be amiss to say, that they acquainted Congress with their Power, the End of their Coming and proposed some Matters as the Basis for Settlement and desird an Interview.—The Answer from Congress was short. That whenever the King of Gt. Bn. discoverd a sincere Disposition for Peace they were ready to attend. The Evidence Congress expected was an explicit { 70 } Declaration of our Independance or the Removal of their Fleets and Armies. (I give You the Sense tho not the identical Words.) About the Middle of July Congress received a Second Letter, and as it did not contain an explicit Declaration of Independance and the Troops still continuing in New York and Rhode Island with their Fleets, Congress resolved not to return any Answer to said Letter. Govr. Johnston has wrote great Numbers of private Letters—many to Members of Congress, many to others. By order of Congress all Letters from the Commissioners and People in Great Britain to Members of Congress are to be laid before that Body, examined and made publick, some of which we have had in our Papers.—Gen. Read has had the offer of 10,000 Guineas to interest himself in the Affair of Reconciliation—Govr. Johnston the Agent, and a Lady of [first?] Character in Philadelphia connected with the British Gentry the Medium. Reed rejected, by answering that he [was not]3 worth purchasing, but supposing he was, The King of Gt. Britain was not rich enough to do it.4
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams Esqr. Ambassador at the Court of France for the United States of America At Paris”; endorsed: “Dr. Tufts. August 5th 1778.”
1. Illegible; possibly “Present.”
2. This passage is heavily scratched out in MS. Evidently Peter Boylston Adams did not go on the expedition against Rhode Island, concerning which see AA to John Thaxter, 19 Aug., below, and references there.
3. MS torn by seal.
4. All the news in Tufts' postscript was from recent Boston newspapers. On the attempt to bribe Joseph Reed, currently a Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress, see a letter in the Boston Gazette, 10 Aug. 1778. The intermediary, not named there, was Elizabeth (Graeme) Ferguson, a literary light of Philadelphia whose husband, Henry Hugh Ferguson, a Scottish tory, was serving as a British commissary of prisoners. It was he who involved his wife in the Commissioners' underhanded efforts to make a quick peace. See Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:177–179; Van Doren, Secret History, p. 100–104.

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0058

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cranch, Richard
Date: 1778-08-06

John Adams to Richard Cranch

[salute] My dear Brother

I have long wished for an Opportunity to write to you but the thousand things that have surrounded me have prevented. Mr. Williams has promised me to write you concerning your Affairs and I suppose he has done it. I am not able to inform you of anything concerning them.1
There is a Society here resembling the Society of Arts &c. in London. It is called “Le Societe libre d'emulation.” It gives Rewards to every Inventor of Improvement in Mechanicks and other Arts. I will send you by another Opportunity the Regulations of it. They have { 71 } | view done me the Honor to elect me a Member as well as Doctor Franklin and Dr. Lee. In my Case it was a meer Compliment, because my Avocations having been very different I have never turned my Thoughts much to such Speculations. If they had chosen you, the Consequence would have been Honor to the Society and Benefit to Mankind. I have thought however that if I could not gratify my Vanity upon this Occasion I might possibly become accidentally an Instrument of some good to my Fellow Men by introducing some of your Discoveries to the Society. I therefore beg of you to send me a Draught upon paper or a Model2 in Wood of your Card Machine and Spermacaeti Machine with Explanations in Words of the various parts, or any other of your Speculations that you may think fit. I will engage to introduce them to the Notice of the Society and possibly they may grant Rewards. At least you will do good. It will be for the Reputation of our Country here. It will strengthen the Connection between the two Nations and be in other Respects usefull to the World. It shall be known that I am not the Author, and it shall be known who is. The Reputation and the Benefit shall be yours, and I shall think myself very happy in being the Channell of Conveyance. Remember me with the tenderest Affection to my Sister and the Children and to all our Connections and believe me with the utmost Esteem & Affection,

[salute] Your Brother

PS I have paid Mr. Williams of Nantes 141 Livres 9 Sols for you, which you may if you please repay to my Wife. He has sent the things you wrote for to you.3
Memoire des Fournitures faites par le Roy Horloger du Roy a Monsieur Williams.
1 Grosse de clef de Cuivre en couleur prix   22    
6 douzaines & demi de ressorts de montres conformes aux echantillons a 10  10s. la douzaine   68   5  
2 Grosse de Crestaux [pour?] montre a 6  6s.   12   12  
2 douzaines de pendant de Montre & une doze: de Boucles en argent   38    
pour la Caisse & tembalage     12  
  £141   9  
Payé par Monsieur Adams
[signed] signé J Williams Jr.
RC (MHi:Cranch Family Papers); unsigned; text and appended “Memoire” in the hand of Jonathan Loring Austin, currently serving as JA's secretary; endorsed: “Letter from the Hon. John Adams Esqr. at Passi Augt. 16th. [sic] 1778.”LbC (Adams Papers); lacks “Memoire.”
{ 72 }
1. Doubtless Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin and an American commercial agent at Nantes; he has been identified earlier in the present series and appears frequently in JA's Diary and Autobiography.
2. This word is taken from LbC text. Austin miscopied it in RC as “Mould.”
3. This letter was acknowledged by Cranch in a reply dated 11 June 1779, below, but without mention of the watchmaker's supplies listed in the mémoire which follows; these were captured at sea, as JA reported to AA, 6 Nov. 1778, below.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/