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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0278

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cooper, Samuel
Date: 1778-08-12

To Samuel Cooper

[salute] My dear sir

Your kind favour of July 1st. is before me, and I feel myself much obliged to you for it, as well as for your generous Endeavours, to console my dear Mrs. Adams under her anxiety. Our Ennemies discover the Meanness of their Souls in nothing more than in the low Lyes they make and propagate merely to distress, private Families. A very great Number, have been fabricated, Simply to afflict that Lady and her Children, at least I never could divine any other <Cause> Motive.1
I have Sent, by several late opportunities, Such particular Accounts of the State of Affairs here, that I can transmit you { 368 } nothing new at this Time, except that some french Men of War at Toulon have made Som valuable English Prizes, that the Brest fleet is again put out, and that the Spaniards, by their Activity and Expence in arming at sea, are thought by the World in general to be giving unequivocal Proofs of their Intentions: altho their Court is so <deeply> profoundly secret, that nobody can Say from any Thing that comes directly from them, what they mean.
That the End of our Contest will be glorious, I have no doubt, and I wish with all my Heart it may Speedily arrive: Yet I cannot Say I am very confident it will be very Speedy. If there was <the least> Reason <in the World>, to believe that the Councils of the British Court would be wise, We might depend upon Peace, but We know that the very Reverse of what they ought to think of, they will do.
Keppell has been Sadly mauled. Byrons Fleet is probably ruined by sickness and by Tempest, and God grant that D'Estang may have captivated How. Yet we are very anxious for News from D'Estaing. He sailed through the straights the Sixteenth of May, and We have no Intelligence of him, Since. This Nation is now very anxious and impatient to hear from him. I must refer you to the public Papers, which will go by this Conveyance, and wish you a good Night. Yours most Sincerely
1. With the exception of the final sentence, the remainder of this letter was printed in the Independent Chronicle for 7 Jan. 1779.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0279

Author: Lee, Arthur
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sartine, Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de
Date: 1778-08-13

Arthur Lee and John Adams to Sartine

Your Excellency s Letter of the Twenty ninth of July, inclosing a Plan for a System of Regulations for Prizes and Prisoners, We had the Honour of receiving in due Time, and are very Sorry it has remained, so long unanswered.
In general We are of opinion that the Regulations are very good, but We beg leave to lay before your Excellency the following observations.
Upon the second Article We observe that the Extensive Jurisdictions of the Judges of Admiralty in America, which, considering the local and other Circumstances of that Country, cannot easily be contracted, will probably render this Regulation impracticable in America. In France, it will as far as We are able to { 369 } judge of it, be very practicable, and consequently beneficial: But We Submit to your Excellencys Consideration, whether it would not be better, in America, after the Words “les dites Juges” to add, or the Register of the Court of Admiralty, or Some other Person authorized by the Judge. The Jurisdictions of the Courts of Admiralty, in America, extending for some hundreds of Miles, this Regulation would be subject to great Delays and other Inconveniences, if it was confined to the Judge. The fourth Article appears to be subject to the Same Inconveniences, and therefore to require the same Amendment.1
Upon the fourteenth Article, We beg leave to submit to your Excellencys Consideration, whether the heavy Duties upon British Merchandises and Manifactures if those are to be paid upon Prise Goods, will not opperate as a great Discouragement to the Sale of Prizes, made by American Cruisers, and whether it would be consistent with his Majestys Interest, to permit Merchandises and Manufactures taken in prizes2 made by Americans to be stored, in his Majestys Warehouses if you please, untill they can be exported to America, and without being subject to Duties.
We know not the Expence that will attend these Regulations and Procedures, in the Courts of this Kingdom: but as the Fees of office in America, are very moderate, and our People have been accustomed to such only: We submit to your Excellency, whether it will not be necessary to state and establish the Fees here, and make the Establishment, so far public, that Americans may be able to inform themselves. <We submit however>
As We are not well instructed in the Laws of this Kingdom, or in the Course of the Courts of Admiralty here, it is very possible, that some Inconveniences may arise in the Practice upon these Regulations, which We do not at present foresee. If they should, We shall beg leave to represent them to your Excellency, and to request his Majesty to make the necessary alterations.3
We submit these observations to your Excellencys Superiour Wisdom, and <are> have the Honour to be4 with sentiments of the most perfect Respect, your Excellencys, most obedient and most humble servants.5
LbC (Adams Papers); probably a draft jointly composed by JA and Arthur Lee, judging from deletions, interlineations, and a notation at the bottom of the letter (all noted below).
{ 370 }
1. Art. 2 concerned the entry of a prize into port without the intention of selling it there, and Art. 4 dealt with the sale of a prize in the port into which it was taken.
2. The preceding three words were interlined.
3. For changes made by Sartine in Arts. 2 and 14 in response to the Commissioners' request, see his letter of 29 July (calendared above) and reference there, as well as his reply of 16 Aug. (below).
4. The preceding five words were interlined.
5. A notation at the bottom of the letter explains why Franklin was not a signer: “Dr. F. concurs with us in these sentiments but as he is absent we are obliged to send the letter without his signature.”
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, 2018.