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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vernon, William Sr.
Date: 1778-12-02

To William Vernon Sr.

[salute] Dear Sir

This Evening I had the Pleasure of yours of the Twenty Second of October, with Duplicate of another of the same day and Triplicate of another of the Second of October, neither of which have arrived.
I have before received one Letter from you inclosing 2 Letters to your Son. I answered your Letter,1 and forwarded those to your son which he has since informed me he received.
{ 243 }
Your Son is at a Place called Montauban, a manufacturing Town, in the Province of Guienne, not very far from Bourdeaux. He lives with Mr. Revellat ainé, one of the principal Negociants of that City, a Gentleman of very good Character. Here, your Son, will have an Opportunity of tracing Commerce to its first Sources, and of acquiring the Language, at the Same Time, in both of which I am informed he is very assiduous. The Description, which M. Revellat gave me of his Conduct, the other Day, when he was at Passy, having been introduced to me, by a Letter from him,2 was very much to his Honour which from what I know of him I was well inclined to believe.
I thank you, Sir, for the full and clear Accounts you have given me from Time to Time of the State of our little Navy: and not withstanding the long Catalogue of Disasters that has attended it, I Still build great Hopes upon it. I am extreamly happy to hear of the Arrival of the Providence, Boston and Ranger, but am disappointed that they made no more Prizes. While the Merchant Fleets of Great Britain are covering all the Seas, it is to me astonishing that our Frigates take no more of them. I lament with You the Loss of the brave Captains Chew and Skimmer.
Your Letter to your son shall be forwarded forthwith,3 So shall all others you may intrust to my Care. I am, with great Respect, your hum sert.
[signed] John Adams
RC (RNHi: Vernon Papers); docketed: “John Adams Esqr Decr. 2nd 1778 Answerd Apl.” and “Mr. Quesnel from the City of Rouen.” The reference to “Mr. Quesnel” remains obscure.
1. Vernon's letter was of 26 May, while JA's reply was dated 27 July (vol. 6:156–157, 324).
2. That is, by a letter from William Vernon Jr., which has not been found.
3. The letter to William Vernon Jr. was enclosed in JA's letter to the younger Vernon of this date (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0166

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vernon, William Jr.
Date: 1778-12-02

To William Vernon Jr.

[salute] Dr Sir

This Evening, I received the inclosed in a Letter from your Father.1 He writes that he has never herd from you nor me—I have wrote him several Times. Soon after Mr. Revellat was here, I had accounts from America that Congress were about to take into Consideration the State of foreign Affairs, and I did not know but they might make Such Alterations in the System of Their Affairs here as might render any assistance to me in the Character of a Clerk unnecessary.2 I have waited to this Moment without Intelligence, excepting, by the Packet received { 244 } this day, that Congress on the 12 of October had Still foreign Affairs under Consideration. We shall soon learn their Determination, and that will determine me, mean Time, I am with Esteem
1. The letterfrom Vernon Sr. was that of 22 Oct. (above).
2. JA is referring to the clerkship that he had offered William Vernon Jr. in a letter of 15 Sept., but which Vernon had declined in his reply of 26 Sept. (both above). JA's observation that soon he might no longer need a clerk is significant because this is the only extant letter written to anyone in Europe, prior to the official end of the Joint Commission in February 1779, in which JA indicates that the congress might be considering a revision of its diplomatic establishment in Europe.
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.