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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0102

Author: Vernon, William Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-22

From William Vernon Sr.

[salute] Dr Sir

The above of the 2nd. Oct. via Portsmouth by the Dutchess of Grammount Capt. Poidras. This is only to inclose a Letter for my Son, which I beg the delivery of, and to inform you of the Arrival of the Ships, Providence, Boston and Ranger at Portsmouth the 17th. Instant. The dispatches for Congress &c. are all forwarded as directed. Those Ships have Captured only Three small Prizes since they left France, a Brigantine from London for St. Augustine loaded with Provisions arrived, a Snow from Newfound Land with Fish for Cadiz, arrived, a Brigantine from Granada for Leith, with Rum supposed to be retaken. It gives me pain to relate the frequent Losses of our Continental Ships. The Raleigh Capt. Barry fell in with a Fifty Gun Ship and Frigate, the Third day after he Sail'd, whom he Ingaged about Six hours, being over Power'd by superiour strength, run his ship ashore, on an Island near Penobscot. About 90 of his Men escaped on shore, the remainder was taken, and his Ship, the next day got off by the Enemy.1

[salute] I am most respectfully Yr. Humble servt.

[salute] Sir

Nothing material hath occur'd since the above, this serve only to convey the duplicate, and best respect, being with truth Yr. Most Obedt Humble servt.
[signed] Wm Vernon
Dupl (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Vernon Boston ans Dec. 2. 1778.” This letter, for which no RC has been found, begins in the middle of page two and continues to the top of page three. It is preceded by a triplicate of Vernon's letter of 2 Oct. (above) and followed, as printed here, by Vernon's note of 22 Oct. A triplicate of this letter was enclosed with Vernon's letter to JA of 17 Dec. (below).
{ 151 }
1. On 27 Sept. the Raleigh fought the ship of the line Experiment and the frigate Unicorn in or near Penobscot Bay. A court-martial later held the Raleigh's captain, John Barry, blameless in the loss of his ship, which was taken into the British Navy under the same name (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution, 1:315–319; Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships, 6:18).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0103-0001

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-24

From Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Monsieur

Je viens de traduire pour Monseigneur le Comte de Vergennes, les divers papiers de la gazette de New-York que vous trouveres dans le fragment ci-joint d'une gazette angloise du 17. de ce mois. Il n'est pas douteux que le prochain Courier de l'Europe ne contienne une traduction de ces divers papiers. Toute la france y verra un des deux cotes de la question, c'est a dire, celui sous le quel les Commissaires anglois la présentent sans voir en même tems ce que les américains peuvent y répondre, parceque les gazettes americaines oú seront sans doute les réponses convenables, pourront ne pas arriver en Europe aussitôt qu'il conviendroit. Je prens la liberté de vous prier en conséquence, non pas d'y répondre en votre nom, mais de me fournir des notes d'après lesquelles je puisse, dans le No. 58. des affaires d'angleterre, que paroitroit incessament, combattre les assertions injurieuses des Commissaires anglois, et contre le Congrez et contre ses membres, notament sur l'article des boëtes de Cartouches des troupes du général Burgoyne sur l'Etat ou sont actuellement ces troupes à Boston &c.1
J'en ferai usage, comme de réflexions et observations venant d'un particulier ignoré, et au moins nos Ennemis communs n'auront point l'avantage que l'Europe se remplisse de ses inculpations contre le Congrez et la France, sans que quelqu'un essaye de remettre les esprits sur la bonne voie.
Je suis avec respect Monsieur Votre très humble et tres obéissant serviteur
[signed] Genet
P.S. Plutot vous pourres m'envoyer vos observations, mieux ce sera.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0103-0002

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-24

Edmé Jacques Genet to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I have translated for his Lordship, Comte de Vergennes, the sundry articles from the New York gazette which you will find in the enclosed fragment from an English gazette of 17 October. No doubt the next Courier de l'Europe will have a translation of these various documents. As a result, France will see only one side of the question, that which the British Commissioners choose to present, without, at the same time, seeing the American response because the American gazettes, which { 152 } will undoubtedly contain suitable replies, will not reach Europe in time to be effective. I, therefore, take the liberty of asking you, not to reply in your own name, but simply to furnish me with notes from which I shall be able, in the soon to be published No. 58 of Affaires l'Angleterre, to combat the insulting assertions made by the British Commissioners against the Congress and its members, particularly respecting the article on the cartouche boxes of General Burgoyne's army and the present state of these troops in Boston, &c.1
I will make them appear to be the reflections and observations of an unknown person, and, at least, our common enemies will not have the advantage of flooding Europe with their accusations against the Congress and France without an attempt to set people's minds on the right track.
I am with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Genet
P.S. The sooner you can send me your observations, the better.
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “M. Genet”; in CFA's hand: “October 24th 1778.”
1. Genet printed French translations of the following items from Rivington's Royal Gazette of 29 Aug. that had been reprinted in the London Chronicle of 15–17 Oct.: the Carlisle Commission's protest of 7 Aug. to the congress against the detention of Burgoyne's army; the congress' declaration of 11 Aug. that it could no longer have any dealings with George Johnstone because of his attempts to bribe its members; Johnstone's declaration of 26 Aug. that he would not act as a commissioner so that the negotiations might proceed; and the declaration by the Commission's remaining members on 26 Aug. denying knowledge of Johnstone's bribery attempts and asserting that the French alliance was a French attempt to frustrate the Commission's purpose (Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amerique, “Lettres,” vol. 12, cahier 50, p. ccvi–ccxlvi).
In this letter Genet was making particular reference to the statements in Johnstone's declaration regarding the cartouche boxes and the retention of Burgoyne's army “at Boston under every Indignity, contrary to the public Faith of a solemn Convention signed at Saratoga.” For the congress' refusal to permit Burgoyne's troops to depart, see JA's reply to Genet of [post 24 Oct.], and note 2 (below).
Genet followed his translations of the newspaper items with replies to the British allegations by three Americans resident in Paris. The third was JA's; the other two were probably the work of Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee, for Lee received a letter from Genet dated 24 Oct. (MH-H: Lee Papers) that was very similar to that written to JA.
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.