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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0279-0001

Author: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-25

From Leray de Chaumont

[salute] Monsieur

D'après Le desir que vous avez temoigné hier devant moy de Retourner a L'amerique et Les inconvenients d'estre pris en Chemin et Conduit Chez vos ennemis J'ay Jugé que Le Sejour de Passi ne vous plairoit peutestre pas, et si vous aimiez mieux habiter unne franche Campagne. J'ay dans le Blesois1 unne terre meublée que Je n'habite pas, Je vous offre avec plaisir de vous en Laisser le Maistre tant que la { 426 } guerre durera.2 Vous y trouverez touttes Les Choses Necessaires a la vie et mesme a meilleur Compte quicy. Je vous prie, Monsieur, de Regarder cet offre de ma part Comme un homage que je Rends a vos vertus.
J'ay L'honneur d'estre tres parfaittement Monsieur vostre tres humble et tres obeissant serv
[signed] Leray de Chaumont

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0279-0002

Author: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-25

Jacques Donatien Leray Chaumont de to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

In regard to your desire, expressed to me yesterday, of returning to America and the dangers of being captured and made prisoner by your enemies, I have been thinking that your continuance at Passy might not suit you, and that you might prefer to live inexpensively in the country. I have in the Blesois1 a property that I do not occupy and I offer, with pleasure, to leave you the master of it as long as the war lasts.2 You will find there all the necessities of life even cheaper than here. I ask you, sir, to regard my offer as a testimony that I render to your virtues.
I have the honor to be very perfectly, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Leray de Chaumont
1. The Blésois or Blaisois was an old county, about one hundred miles south-southwest of Paris, midway between Orleans and Tours. (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).
2. In the course of reading this sentence JA underlined and copied into the left margin the words “Blesois,” “une terre,” and “guerre.” He probably did so because the words were particularly difficult to read and he wished to produce a correct copy in his Letterbook. There “unne terre” appears as he copied it in the margin rather than as it is in the recipient's copy.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0280

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Date: 1779-02-25

To Leray de Chaumont

[salute] Sir

I have this Moment the Honour of your kind Billet of this Days Date, and I feel myself under great Obligations for the genteel and generous offer of your House, at Blesois: But, if I do not put Dr. Franklin to Inconvenience, which I shall not do long, my Residence at Passy is very agreeable to me.
To a Mind as much Addicted to Retirement, as mine, the Situation you propose would be delicious indeed, provided my Country were at Peace and my Family with me: but, Seperated from my Family, and with an Heart bleeding with the Wounds of its Country, I should be the most miserable Being on Earth, in Retreat and Idleness. To America therefore, in all Events and at all Hazards, I must attempt to go, { 427 } provided I do not receive Counter orders, which I can execute with Honour, and with Some Prospect of Advantage to the public service.
I thank you, sir, and your Agreable Family, for all your Civilities Since my Arrival, at Passy, and I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, your most obedient and most humble servant.
[signed] John Adams1
LbC (Adams Papers). MS, French translation by N. M. Gellee (Adams Papers). The translation generally follows the text of the Letterbook copy and may have formed the basis for the letter as sent to Chaumont. The only major difference between the two documents is that the translation omits the final sentence of the second paragraph. For Gellee, see his letter of 15 March to JA (below).
1. In his reply of 3 March (Adams Papers), Chaumont expressed his regret at JA's departure because of his hope that by delaying he might have been able to serve the American cause in other European courts. On his own initiative, he advised JA to be sure to take formal leave from the French ministers, especially Vergennes.
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.