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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0003

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Laurens, Henry
Date: 1778-04-01

To the President of the Congress

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inform Congress, of my Safe Arrival in this City in the Frigate Boston after a most dangerous, and distressing Voyage of Six Weeks and four Days.
The Situation of Things in Europe is so critical, at this Moment that, notwithstanding I am exhausted with the Fatigues of the Voyage, I am determined to proceed, the Day after Tomorrow, on my Journey to Paris.1
By all that I hear, it seems certain that a Treaty is concluded between his most Christian Majesty and the United States. That this Treaty has been notified to his Britannic Majesty, and that the British Court talk aloud of War: but whether they will declare it, is Yet Uncertain.2
I cannot learn that Great Britain has the least Prospect of obtaining any foreign Troops for a Reinforcement: and the few that may be raised by Subscriptions, in the three Kingdoms, will amount to no great Force.
I shall inclose with this, Such News Papers and Pamphletts as I can obtain:3 and have the Honour to be, with the most dutifull Respect to Congress, sir your most obedient huml sert,
[signed] John Adams
{ 8 }
RC (P.R.O.: H.C. Adm. 32, Prize Papers, bundle 473). Intended by JA to announce his arrival to the congress, this letter was entrusted to John Bondfield, who placed it aboard the Vidame de Chalons, which was subsequently captured by a British privateer (see Bondfield to JA, 6 April and notes, below). Thus, the first conclusive evidence that JA was in France, other than a newspaper report, did not reach the congress until the arrival of AA's letter to James Lovell of 30 June, in which she reported receiving JA's letter of 25 April (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:17, 51–53, 54).
1. JA's arrival and enthusiastic reception in Bordeaux are chronicled in his Diary and, in more detail, in his Autobiography. He left that city on 4 April, one day late, and arrived at Paris on 8 April, after a “long Journey of near 500 Miles, at the Rate of an hundred Miles a day” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:293–296; 4:34–41).
JA's landing at Bordeaux and subsequent arrival at Paris were also reported, with some information not included in either his Diary or Autobiography, in the Nouvelles extraordinaires de divers endroits (commonly known as the Gazette de Leyde) for 21 and 24 April. That paper, edited by Jean Luzac, often contained news from America or material supporting the American effort in Europe, some of which was supplied by C. W. F. Dumas (see Dumas to the Commissioners, 16 June, note 1, below). For a sketch of Luzac and his later relationship with JA, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:xiv–xv. The items from the Gazette were translated into English and printed in the Boston Independent Chronicle for 29 Oct.
2. France officially notified the British government of the Franco-American treaties in a note presented by the French ambassador on 13 March. The King's message communicating the note to Parliament announced the recall of the British ambassador and the government's displeasure at the treaties but went no farther. Seemingly unwilling to enter into open war, the two nations did not begin fighting until 17 June, and then almost tentatively with a naval skirmish off Ushant between the French frigate Belle-Poule and the British frigate Arethusa (Parliamentary Hist., 19:912–914; Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, p. 66–67; Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 61–62).
3. Enclosures not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0004-0001

Author: Brouquen
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-03

From Brouquen

[salute] Monsieur

Vous avés bien voulu me faire esperér que vous arretires Ches M. Le Marquis De Voyer Dargenson, aux ormes a Deux postes aprés Chatelereault. Je Le previens en Consequence; II sera ravi de vous voir, parcequil vous Connoit Deja beaucoup, et il vous seroit Difficile De ne pas L'ettre. Pour moy, Monsieur, Cest avec autant De plaisir que dEmpressement, que j'ay Cherché a avoir Cet avantage, ma Curiosité fixée sur votre reputation,1 est Le seul hommage que j'ay pu vous offrir, Receves aussy Celuy du respect, et de ladmiration, avec Le quel j'ay lhonneur D'Etre Monsieur Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur,
[signed] Brouquen2

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0004-0002

Author: Brouquen
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-03

Brouquen to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

You were kind enough to let me anticipate your stopping at the Marquis de Voyer d'Argenson's house, at The Elms, two stages after Cha• { 9 } telereault. I am informing him accordingly. He will be most pleased to meet you since he already knows much about you and, indeed, it would be very difficult for you not to be known. As for me, sir, I have sought this privilege with as much pleasure as eagerness, but so far the only homage I have been able to pay you is through my deep interest in your reputation.1 Receive as well the respect and admiration with which I have the honor to be your very humble and very obedient servant.
[signed] Brouquen2
RC (Adams Paper); docketed in JA's late hand: “French Letter Bourdeaux 3d. April 1778 3 days after my Arrival at that City.”
1. In view of the numerous instances in which people confused JA with Samuel Adams, the “reputation” to which Brouquen refers may well be that of the latter (see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:351–352).
2. Brouquen, who remains an obscure figure, may have been the man addressed by Silas Deane on 20 Feb. as “Monsr. Brouquins, Receiver Genl., Bordeaux” (Deane Papers, 2:379). He may also, or instead, have been the secretary or Bordeaux agent of Marc-René, marquis de Voyer d'Argenson (1722–1782), military commandant of the department of Poitou (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). JA accepted the invitation from Brouquen and spent the night of 6–7 April at Les Ormes, the seat of the Marquis. JA describes the Marquis' establishment and the surrounding area graphically in Diary and Autobiography, 2:295–296; 4:40.
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.