A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0159

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1778-11-27

To James Lovell

[salute] My dear Sir

It is now a Year, Since I left you, and I have heard very Seldom from you, since that Time. I have written as often as I could, but so many Vessells have been taken that I fear you have heard as seldom from me.
There is no News, any where excepting the innumerable Reports circulated in every Part of Europe, by the Emmissaries of England, every one of which I know to be false: they still however find Stockjobbers and other Persons to believe them. These Lyes are calculated to make it believed, that there are great Dissentions between the { 237 } French and Americans, and between the Americans with one another. No Extravagance is too great. Ten Thousands of General Washingtons Army gone over to Clinton. C. D'Estaing making a Procession through the Streets of Boston with the Hoste, and Seizing a Meeting House for a Chappell and the D——knows what.
I Suffer as much for Want of Intelligence from A. as we used to Suffer in Congress for Want of it from Europe.
Mr. D. writes a Gentleman here, that on the 14 of September Congress took up forein Affairs, and determined to have but one Commissioner here.1 If this is the Case I shall be at a Loss, how to conduct myself, unless you recall me. Dr. F. no doubt will be appointed for this Court: if you appoint me for any other, especially that which is mentioned to Me Vienna, it will be more disagreable to me than to be recalled. Because Vienna, is the Court of all Europe, as I conceive at present, the least likely to receive your Agent. I should therefore be reduced to the Necessity of residing at Paris in Idleness, or of travelling to Germany and living there in greater Idleness Still in either Case at a great and useless Expence.
In Time of Peace, nothing would give me greater Pleasure, than travelling: but at present my Heart is too much affected, with the Miseries of this War, for me to take Pleasure in a mere Gratification of Curiosity, or even in a Pursuit of Taste in Arts, or Knowledge in the Sciences.
To return home immediately, Some Persons here say would give offence, and be wrong. To Wait to write for Leave, would be loosing Time, and putting you to Some Expence. However, I will determine nothing untill I know what is done. Remember me with the tenderest affection, and greatest Respect to your Colleagues and all others that deserve it, and believe me your Friend.
1. Silas Deane's letter to Benjamin Franklin of 15 Sept. (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:496). For an excerpt from that letter, see JA to AA, 27 Nov., note 4 (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:123). In his letter to AA, JA also expressed his puzzlement over what the congress expected him to do, assuming that the report of Franklin's appointment was correct.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1778-11-28

To Arthur Lee

The Bearer, is first Lt. of the Boston—was sent by the Navy Board at Boston to S. Carolina and thence to France Commander of the Dispatch: but was taken. I think our Rule has been to lend Lts. of the { 238 } Frigate's twenty Guineas, but considering Browns unhappy Circumstances on Account of Cloaths, and knowing his long Attachment to our Cause and his uncommon Merit, I wish he could have more but have not ventured to propose it.1 Dr. F. is gone out.
RC (MH-H: Lee Papers); addressed: “Hon. Mr. Lee Rue de Battail N. 5 Chaillot”; docketed: “This was accompanied with an Order on the Banker for 20. Louis dores signd by Mr. Adams.”
1. JA's plea was successful, for on 28 Nov. the Commissioners ordered Ferdinand Grand to pay Lt. John Brown 480 livres (Commissioners' Accounts, [12 Nov. 1778- 11 Feb. 1779], above). Brown was with Capt. Hector McNeill when the Boston captured the frigate Fox in June 1777, but no mention of him in command of a vessel called the Dispatch or its capture has been found (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution, 1:206).
The next day JA made a similar request of Lee (MH-H: Lee Papers) on behalf of a privateersman, Lt. John Adams of Boston, which was also successful, an order being issued on the 30th to pay Adams 240 livres (Commissioners' Accounts, [12 Nov. 1778–11 Feb. 1779], above).
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.