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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6


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.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0005

Author: Sonies, Louis, Père et Fils (business)
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gaillard Malibran & Cie (business)
Date: 1778-04-04

Louis Sonies, père et fils, to Gaillard Malibran & Cie.

Bordeaux, 4 April 1778. RC (Adams Papers). A response to a recommendation of JA to the firm of Louis Sonies from a correspondent, “un ami,” in Boston, this letter introduced Adams to a Paris banking firm, Gaillard Malibran & Cie. It requested that the bankers render assistance to Adams when he arrived in that city, but the presence of the letter in the Adams Papers and the fact that the American Commissioners already had a Paris banker, Ferdinand Grand, make it unlikely that the letter was used.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0006

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-06

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Tho I write by this Post to the Commissioners1 I cannot Omit paying my perticular respects to you signifying my hopes of your Safe Arrival and that all publick Matters are so favorably situated as your most Sanguin wishes could expect to meet them. Four Vessels having drop down the River on their way to the United States I have given advise by them to the secret Committee of Congress of your Arrival and a perticular Letter by each to your Brother the Honble. Saml Adams at Boston.2
Captain Tuckers sole attention is given to get the ship in order { 10 } that on the first Notice from the Commissioners she may be ready for Sea. I shall expect to receive in a Post or two the nessessary Instructions for her Victualing all which shall be prepared in such order as not to retard a Moment the Publick Measures.
I shall esteem the Honor of your Correspondence distinct from that in the Publick line and shall endeavour to render mine as Interesting as private or Publick Inteligences may admit with respect I am Sr. Your most Obedient Servant
[signed] John Bondfield3
1. Not printed here, but see Bondfield's letter to the Commissioners of 18 April, note 1 (below). He had also written to the Commissioners on 4 April (PPAmP: Franklin Papers) to announce JA's arrival.
2. Although Bondfield reports sending letters by four ships bound for America, only one set has been found, that in the Public Record Office (H.C. Adm. 32, Prize Papers, bundle 473). Communications to the editors from H. C. Johnson and A. Dawson of this office on 7 Feb. 1964 and 15 Dec. 1978 indicate that these letters, addressed to Richard Henry Lee, Capt. James Prince, George Clymer, Samuel Adams, Henry Laurens, the Secret Committee of Congress, and the Committee of Safety, shared the same fate as JA's letter to the president of the congress of 1 April (above): capture from the Vidame de Chalons by the British privateer Vulture. Bondfield's letter to Samuel Adams, describing JA's reception at Bordeaux, is printed in Adams Family Correspondence, 3:10–11, note 1.
3. John Bondfield, originally a Quebec merchant, was forced to flee Canada with his brother Achlam because of “an open avowal of the American measures” (Bondfield to Richard Henry Lee, 28 March, P.R.O.: H.C. Adm. 32, Prize Papers, bundle 473; K. G. Davies, ed., Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783, Shannon and Dublin, 1972–, 13:94). Going first to the United States, where JA met him, Bondfield later established himself in Bordeaux as a merchant engaging in the American trade. In a letter of 30 March, which the Commissioners acknowledged on 13 April, Bondfield had accepted appointment as the American commercial agent for Bordeaux, Bayonne, Rochefort, and La Rochelle (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:35, 51–52; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:384). JA, who had a high opinion of Bondfield, corresponded frequently with him through 1792.
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/