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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 5


Docno: ADMS-06-05-02-0200

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-28

From James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

I shall not in my great hurry repeat to you any of the matters which I have written to Mr. S. Adams as you can have them, on sight of him.
I expected Brother Geary would have written to you but he has just requested me to inclose two Letters1 which he opened in consequence of your orders; and to give his Compliments to you begging your excuse of his further silence as he is preparing to go on a Committee to Camp in the morning with Robt. Morris and Mr. Jones to have a confidential Conference with the General, which I hope will put an end to the Idea of retiring into winter quarters, an Idea too much entertained by our military Officers. { 338 } The Conference is to be with the General only.2 I hope every exertion will be made in New England to lessen complaints about Cloathing. A rascally improvement is made of the charming appearance which some of our lately-arrived troops make in comparison of others. It is said that now it may be seen where the cloathing is that came in the Amphitrite.3 I mention this en passant to you. I shall write about it to camp as the malice of it deserves.
I am charged by all those who are truly anxious here for the best prosperity of our affairs in France to press your acceptance of the Commission which has this day been voted you. The great sacrifices which you have made of private happiness has encouraged them to hope you will undertake this new business. As one I hope that you will not allow the consideration of your partial defect in the Language to weigh any thing, when you surmount others of a different nature. Doctor Franklin's Age allarms us. We want one man of inflexible Integrity on that Embassy. We have made Carmichael Secretary who is master of the Language and well acquainted with the politics of several Courts. Mercantile matters will be quite in regular channels and so not a burthen to the Commissioners. Alderman Lee Morris and Williams4 will have got our commerce into good order by the time of your arrival. If you make the Language any Argument to deter you, consider that you may perfectly master the Grammer on your voyage and gain much of the Speech too by having a genteel french man for a fellow Passenger. You see I am ripe in hope about your acceptance, however your dear amiable Partner may be tempted to condemn my Persuasions of you to distance yourself from her farther than Baltimore or York Town.
Great as Brother Geary's hurry is he threatens to take his Pen in hand because I am not enough urgent with you; he feels all the Callosity of a Bachelor. I am but too ready to pardon his hard heartedness on this occasion where the eminent Interest of my Country is pleaded an excuse for him.
Tyconderoga and Independence evacuated5 give room for a revengeful exertion against our Enemies in this Quarter with fresh force from the northward. But this and every other favourable circumstances encreases our necessity of having a strict politician in France, as the probability of Treaties grows with our good Luck and lessens with our bad.
{ 339 }

[salute] I will add no more than my Love and Respects to you & yours sincerely,

[signed] James Lovell
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honourable John Adams Esqr. Boston or Braintree” by “Express”; franked: “York Town Jas Lovell”; docketed twice: “Mr Lovell”; in an unidentified hand: “James Lovell November 1777.”
1. Probably AA to JA, 16 Nov. and Cotton Tufts to JA, 21 Nov., both being addressed to him as still attending the congress (Adams Family Correspondence, 2:367–369).
2. Lovell used a brace in the margin to mark this passage describing the mission of the congressional committee and wrote beside the brace: “for yourself, and your discretion.” The committee was appointed on the 28th (JCC, 9:972).
3. The French ship Amphitrite had arrived at Portsmouth, N.H., in April with arms and other supplies. JA later complained that none in the congress knew where the cargo had disappeared to (James Warren to JA, 23 April, note 8, and JA to Warren, 7 July, note 1, both above).
4. William Lee, who had been an alderman in London, Thomas Morris, and Jonathan Williams. Williams superseded Morris as commercial agent at Nantes. Lee, originally meant to act with Morris in Nantes, was named by the congress in May commissioner to the Berlin and Viennese courts (DAB).
5. These forts were abandoned by the British after Burgoyne's surrender (Ward, War of the Revolution, 2:539).

Docno: ADMS-06-05-02-0201

Author: Roberdeau, Daniel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-28

From Daniel Roberdeau

[salute] My dear Friend

I would not take pen in hand until I could reasonably suppose you safe arrived to your long wished for home, on which I now presume to congratulate you and sincerely hope you have met with Mrs. Adams and your Children well and every domestick concern to your entire satisfaction for all which I feel myself much interested from the sincere regard contracted for you in our short intimacy, which I shall be ever ready to cultivate whenever Opportunity offers.
I congratulate you or rather my Country in the choice of you this day as a Commissioner to France for the united States, in lieu of Mr. Dean who is recalled.1 Your domestick views of happiness was not consulted on this occasion, but the necessity of your Country for your Talents, which being devoted to her service, I expect a chearful acquiescence with a call so honorable, which I doubt not will prove a lasting honor to you and your Connections as well as a blessing to these States. I should be sorry for the least hisitation. I will not admit the thought of your refusal of the Office which would occasion a publick chagrine. I wish you had improved the opportunity when here of studying the French language, which our friend Mr. Garry is now doing. I { 340 } would advise your taking french books with you and a french Companion, and if an Opportunity does not immediately present from Boston a trip to the West Indies and a passage in a french vessel to Paris would be of considerable advantage. Our deligent friend Mr. Lovel makes every thing unnecessary in the way of news, besides I am on an appointment to Lancaster which forbids lengthning out this Epistle further than to present my respects to Mrs. Adams and to assure you that I am with sincere regard Dr. Sir Yr. very obt. friend and Servt.,
[signed] Daniel Roberdeau
P.S. My Sisters and my Children desire to be remembered to you and yours.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honorable John Adams Esqr. Boston”; franked: “York Town Daniel Roberdeau”; docketed: “Gen. Roberdeau”; in CFA's hand: “Novr 28th. 1777.”
1. Silas Deane was recalled from France by vote of the congress on 21 Nov. (JCC, 9:946). For an account of the reasons and the recall's impact, see Deane to JA, 8 April 1778, note 1 (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/