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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7


Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1779-01-04

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[The resolve] of Congress of the 10 October, [that]2 you have inserted in your No. 62 is another Forgery.3 It has internal Marks of it enough.
1. Congress are not so much allarmed. They know the Ennemy have not the Power, tho they very well know they have the Will to do the Mischief.
2. Congress, would never recommend the building of such Hutts. There are Houses enough in the Country to receive the Inhabitants of the Towns, even in Case of such an Extremity.
3. Congress would never recommend the Burning the Houses of the Tories. They would sooner banish or Harry them and confiscate their Houses to carry on the War.
[A simple glance is sufficient] to any Man who knows [the country]4 and the Congress to perceive Marks of the Beast, in such ridiculous Fictions. Yet they impose of British Mobs, Ministers and Members of Parliament.5
[signed] John Adams
RC (CLjC). This letter was translated into French and printed in Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique (“Lettres,” vol. 13, cahier 63, p. lxxxiii). Fire damage at the top of the page has resulted in the loss of the salutation, dateline, and several words. As a result, except for the salutation which is not reproduced in Affaires, the dateline and other missing portions have been supplied in brackets by reconstructing the English text from the French translation in Affaires.
1. In Affaires the dateline read: “De P.*** le 4 Janvier 1779.”
2. In Affaires this paragraph begins “L'arrête du Congrès du 10 Octobre que.”
3. Printed on pages xxii and xxiii of cahier 62, the fictitious resolve noted an expected final British attempt at the destruction of American towns and directed Americans living in threatened areas to build huts at thirty miles distance and, if the attack came, to destroy all tory property. In the reply to this letter and his apology for being duped (cahier 63, lxxx–lxxxii), Genet gave as the source for the resolution a New York gazette, probably Rivington's Royal Gazette because the Courier de l'Europe of 22 Dec., cited in Genet's apology, contains the “resolve” of 10 Oct., the congress' countermanifesto of 30 Oct., and a reply to the latter by a loyalist writer; and all appeared under a heading that implied they were from the Royal Gazette of 18 Nov. The London Chronicle of 17–19 Dec. carried the same pieces with the same heading. The countermanifesto and the answer were printed in the Royal Gazette of 18 Nov., but the spurious resolve was not, nor did it appear in the other paper, Hugh Gaines' New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury. The resolve, therefore, was probably taken by Genet from an English newspaper that cited Rivington and was fabricated in England, not America. Further evidence of the resolve's wide circulation in Europe and its evident authenticity in the minds of those who read it can be seen in its appearance in the Gazette de Leide of 5 Jan.
4. In Affaires this sentence begins “Il suffit d'un simple coup d'oeil à toute personne connoissant le pays.”
{ 338 }
5. In this sentence JA's probable meaning is obscured by his use of “impose of.” The “of” may have been an inadvertence for “on,” but he meant “to obtrude or 'put' (a thing) upon (a person) by false representations; to palm or pass off” (OED). JA means that an effort is being made to impose false rumors or statements on the British people and politicians regarding the policy of the congress on the conduct of the war. Genet's French translation of the paragraph in Affaires is clearer than the sentence as JA wrote it. It reads: “Cependant elles reussissent a merveille pour tromper le vulgaire Anglois, les Ministres et les Membres du Parlement.” Translation: Yet they succeed to perfection in deceiving the British mob, ministers, and members of Parliament.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0214

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Lee, Arthur
Author: Adams, John
Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Schweighauser, John Daniel
Date: 1779-01-04

The Commissioners to J. D. Schweighauser

[salute] Sir

We are honoured with yours <of> without a date.1 We wrote you on the Second of this Month2 to which We refer. We have written to Mr. Gilbank several Times that We could furnish him with no more Money, and that We should protest his Bills. If he will not believe Us, When the Bills arrive if they ever do, which We hope they will not, our <Protest> Refusal and the consequent Protest Will Convince him. We have been trifled with too much by that Gentleman, and hope We shall be so no more.
We have made the most pressing application in our Power to <Mr. De Sartine,> the Ministry, for the Convoy, and hope to suceed, but have not yet an Answer. We approve of [y]our Tenderness to the Prisoners. We wish to hear whether you have recovered the Cargoe of the Therese.
1. Not found.
2. Not printed, but see Benjamin Gunnison to the Commissioners, 14 Dec. 1778, and note 1 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0215

Author: Cooper, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-01-04

From Samuel Cooper

[salute] My dear Sir

Four days ago I received the Favor of your Letter of Aug: 12th.,2 and it gave me the highest Pleasure to hear you were well. The Marquiss de la Fayette will do me the Honour to take the Charge of this Letter who carries with him the Esteem and Affection of the Army and the States. His Intrepidity and Discretion, his Conduct in the Field, in Council, and in all private Circles have gained him an uncommon Reputation. He has done our Country no small Service, and reflected no little Honour upon his own with which at this trying Season we are so happy as to be allied.
{ 339 }
You will know before this reaches you the Affairs of the Count d'Estaing, who is in my Opinion an Officer of great Ability and Merit, and accomplished every Thing that human Prudence and Fortitude could effect in his Circumstances. The Winds and Weather were against him; and tho he felt his Disappointments most sensibly, he commanded himself greatly upon every trying Occasion, and conducted with equal Wisdom and Resolution. He did every Thing in his Power for the Service on which he was sent, and tho not equal to what would have been done, had he arrived sooner, it was yet much. I had the Pleasure of spending a day, not long before he left us with your good Lady and a Number of the Count's Officers at Col. Quincy's in Braintree.3 All admired the good Order, and polite Behavior of the Officers of the Fleet of which the Count gave the Example as well as the <Orders> Injunction.
You will see by our Papers that Mr. Deane has opened a public Contest here. He attacks the Family of the Lee's—and is supported by a Number of Pens. Common Sense4 defends them—Congress seem to be divided upon this Point5—I have had no Letters from any of our Friends there, and know little more than the public Papers. As Mr. Deane is to have an Hearing before Congress,6<of> which he complains he has been denied, the Matter may perhaps be stopped, and7 the Discussions in the Papers cease. At present we form no Judgement here, and take no Side, waiting for further Information and the Decision of that Body.8 We must expect Altercations and Divisions of this Kind, and perhaps by awakening in the People a more particular Attention to our public Affairs, they may produce common Good.
Our Enemies still keep a Garrison in New York and Rhode Island, and the Count it is supposed is now in the West Indies. Byron has been torn to Pieces with Storms, and wasted by Sickness, and was not able to follow the Count till six or seven Weeks after his Departure; The latter had all the Appearance of a good Season off, having escaped by Detention here, the Storm that shatter'd Byron's Fleet, and obliged him to repair from this Coast to Newport, in Order to refit9—Referring you to the Papers, that go by this Opportunity, and to the Marquiss for Details of News, I am, my dear Sir, with the warmest Respect and Attachment, Your most humble servant
[signed] Saml: Cooper
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Dr Cooper”; in another hand: “4 Jan'y 1779.”
1. Under this date, with the heading “Lettre de M. Samuel Cooper (Pasteur de la principale Eglise de Boston) à M. *** à P——y,” and with some alterations (see notes 5, 7, 8, and 9), this letter was printed in Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique (“Lettres,” vol. 13, cahier 65, p. clxxvii–clxxix). It, together with letters { 340 } from Samuel Adams of 25 Oct. and Richard Henry Lee of 29 Oct. 1778 (both above), was sent with JA's letter to Edmé Jacques Genet of [ca. 14 Feb.] (below).
2. Vol. 6:367–368.
3. It is impossible to determine when Cooper was in company with AA at Col. Josiah Quincy's house, but for her meetings with Estaing and other French officers, see her letters to JA of [21] and [25 Oct. 1778], and that from Isaac Smith Sr. to JA of 9 Nov. 1778 (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:108–111, 117–118).
4. In a series of articles in the Pennsylvania Packet (15, 29, 31 Dec. 1778, and 2, 5, 7, 9 Jan. 1779), Thomas Paine answered Deane's address “To the Free and Virtuous Citizens of America,” which had appeared in the Packet of 5 Dec. 1778.
5. In Affaires Cooper's comments on the newspaper controversy, beginning with “He attacks the Family” and proceeding to “this Point,” were omitted.
6. The date of Deane's hearing was to have been 7 Dec. 1778; but on that day, because of the uproar over his address, he was ordered to put his report in writing. On 22, 23, and 31 Dec., Deane read his account before the congress, which then informed him that he would be notified of further orders. Although Deane was not again called before the congress, it was not until 20 Aug. 1779 that he was released from attending it (JCC, 12:1192, 1200–1201, 1265–1266; 13:930).
7. The preceding fourteen words were omitted from the translation in Affaires.
8. This sentence was omitted from the translation in Affaires.
9. In Affaires the remainder of this paragraph and the signature were omitted and there the printed letter ends as follows: “Si la lenteur de sa marche, qui l'a fait arriver en Amerique deux jours trop tard, a été contraire à ses desseins, en revanche nous avons bien lieu de nous féliciter des circonstances qui ont fait retarder son depart de deux jours. Voila comme la Providence sait nous faire adorer la profondeur de ses desseins.” Translation: If the slowness of his passage, which made him arrive in America two days too late, was contrary to his plans, in compensation we have good reason to congratulate ourselves for the circumstances that delayed his departure by two days. See how Providence makes us worship the profundity of His designs.
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/