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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6


Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0134

Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: North, Frederick, Lord
DateRange: 1778-06-04 - 1778-06-06

The Commissioners to Lord North

Passy, 4 or 6 June 1778. printed:JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:127–128; not sent. The Commissioners appealed “for an immediate Exchange of Prisoners in Europe.” They protested the treatment of American prisoners “in a manner unexampled, in the practice of civilized Nations” and promised retaliation if such treatment continued.
Although the letter bears no date, in the Autobiography it immediately follows a letter to Vergennes dated 4 June and is introduced by a statement, “on the same day We wrote to Lord North.” However, in the Letterbook from which Adams derived the text (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 92), the letter follows a series of items dated 4 June and immediately precedes a number of letters dated 6 June. Additional doubt is cast on a 4 June date by the placement of an Arthur Lee copy of the letter (misdated 6 May) between a letter dated 5 June and one of the 6th (PCC, No. 102, IV, f. 11).
Adams' Letterbook copy provides no indication that the letter was sent, but notations on a draft in DLC: Franklin Papers and on Arthur Lee's copy indicate specifically that it was not. An explanation may be that direct correspondence with Lord North became unnecessary. A letter of 5 June from David Hartley to Benjamin Franklin gave the Commissioners an apparently firm proposal for an exchange of prison• { 185 } ers (see the Commissioners to John Paul Jones, 10 June, calendared below).
The text of Adams' Letterbook copy incorporated the additions and deletions made during the drafting process. This is particularly true of the final paragraph, which in the draft, with deletions indicated, read: “Most earnestly we beseech your Lordship, no longer to sacrifice the essential interests of Humanity to Claims of Sovereignty, <the vainess of which the Issue of our most solemn Appeal to Heaven has sufficiently proved. It is a fatal Mistake by which you seem to have been mislead to think —that when you trampled upon Humanity you triumphed over us.> which your Experience must by this time have convinc'd you <are become impracticable> are not to be maintained.”

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0135

Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Schweighauser, John Daniel
Date: 1778-06-06

The Commissioners to J. D. Schweighauser

Passy, 6 June 1778. printed:JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:129. The Commissioners, in reply to Schweighauser's letter of 1 June (not found), directed him to provide, frugally, whatever repairs and supplies were needed by the Providence, newly arrived at Paimboeuf near Nantes, and promised to obtain information on how French customs regulations would affect his efforts on behalf of the frigate.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0136

Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Whipple, Abraham
Date: 1778-06-06

The Commissioners to Abraham Whipple

Passy, 6 June 1778. printed:JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:128–129. The Commissioners congratulated Whipple on his escape from the British blockade of Rhode Island, voyage to France, and arrival with the frigate Providence at Paimboeuf, all of which had been recounted in his letter to Benjamin Franklin of 31 May (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). He was also informed that J. D. Schweighauser at Nantes would assist him in obtaining whatever supplies and repairs were needed.
On the previous day two letters, the one advising Whipple to come to Brest, and the other requesting Samuel Tucker, after a three or four weeks' cruise, to come to Brest for further directions, had been drafted, probably by Arthur Lee, but not sent (PCC, No. 102, IV, f. 10–11).

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0137

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-06-06

John Bondfield to the Commissioners

[salute] Honorable Sirs

I am not favord with any of your Commands since the 18th Ultimo. All the advertizements1 containd therein are at Sea and some of them far advancd on their Passage.
{ 186 }
I had the honor to write you the 12. 16. 26 and 30th2 Ultimo per post which I suppose got duely to hand,3 to the last I shall be confirmd next Post as the honor paid to my drafts will be notified me by the Holders.
Since Cap. Tuckers departure from hence I have been obliged to discharge on the Ships Account Sundry debts not brought in before the closing of them. I transmitted and Cash sent him down of which Anext is the detail.4 I expect some other small Accounts will appear that I dont yet know of. I shall discharge what may appear due to the inclosed Account and draw for the same as occation serves.
The affair of the Conspiracy has been examin'd by the proper officers appointed by the Intendant. There dont appear sufficient ground to detain the Parties Accused it is probable tho denied peremptory that conversation had pass'd to the effect laid against them but that any steps taken in consequence cannot be proved, the Intendant paid every attention so attrocious an act Merritted and would most certainly have given every Satisfaction could the Act have been brought home. I have the Honor to be Honble Sirs Your most Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble. Benj Franklin Arthur Lee & John Adams Esqrs. Commissioners of Congress at Paris”; docketed: “Mr. Bondfield 6 June 1778. inclosing some remaing Accts. of the Boston.”
1. No letter to Bondfield of 18 May has been found, but the advertisements were probably copies of the circular letter by JA and Benjamin Franklin reporting that a British fleet had sailed.
2. Letters for the last three mentioned dates not found.
3. In the remainder of this sentence Bondfield is apparently saying that he expects to be informed by the next post as to whether the drafts mentioned in his letter of 30 May will be honored by their holders.
4. That is, Bondfield sent cash to Samuel Tucker and has “anext” a detailed account of the transaction to this letter. This enclosure has not been found.
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/