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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0006

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Laurens, Henry
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1778-09-07

To the President of the Congress

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inclose to congress, all the News Papers, I have by me. Enough to shew that We have nothing very important here, at present.
The French and British Fleets are again at Sea and We hourly expect Intelligence of a Second Battle. But our Expectations from America are still more interesting and anxious, having nothing from thence, since the 3d of July, except what is contained in the English Gazette.
Events have probably already passed in America, altho not yet known in Europe, which will determine the great Question, whether We shall have a long War or a short one.
The Eyes of all Europe are fixed upon Spain, whose Armaments by { 9 } Sea and Land are vastly expensive and extreamly formidable, but whose Designs are a profound, impenetrable secret. Time however will discover them.
In the mean Time however, We have the Satisfaction to be sure they are not inimical to America. For this We have the Word of a King,1 Signified by his Ministers: a King who they say never broke his Word, but on the Contrary has given many Striking Proofs of a Sacred Regard to it. I have the Honour to be, with the Strongest sentiments of Esteem and Respect, sir your most obedient and most humble servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 13); docketed: “Letter from J. Adams Passy Septr. 7th. 1778 read March 9.”
1. That is, Louis XVI.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0007

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: MacCreery, William
Date: 1778-09-07

To William MacCreery

[salute] Sir

Yours of 30 August1 I received two days ago, and forthwith laid it before both my Colleagues.
You observe that Sea Men and Masters of Vessells escaped from England, complain of the Conduct of the Commissioners. Want of Money, and Want of Attention, you Say are their Complaints. Serious indeed!
As to the first, I want to write a Volume, but will Spare you the Trouble, and content myself with a few Words. Attend to these few Words, and judge whether, I am culpable.
Seven Millions of Livres nearly had been Spent, before my arrival here. What has America received for it? I have not Spent much of this Money.
Now We have no Money, nor the least Assurance of any, We expect every Hour Draughts from Congress, for a Million Livres for Interest on Loan office Certificates.
Remittances from Congress We have none or next to none.
It is in vain to deceive. I absolutely expect, We shall be obliged to protest Bills drawn from the highest Authority, in a very short Time. So far from being offended at the Smallness of the sums We have lent these Persons, they ought to be very thankfull that they had a farthing.
As to the Want of Attention, I really know not what they mean? There has not been a Prisoner escaped here, that I have not treated with a cordial affection, that I have not invited to dine and whose { 10 } Business I have not dispatched with the Utmost Expedition in my Power. And I believe, and am sure that Mr. Lee has done the same, and Dr. Franklin too for any thing that I know or believe.
But be not deceived, Mr. McCreery. There are interested Combinations, in this Country—Americans, Frenchmen, and I fear Englishmen too are concerned in them. These People have Spies, Tools and Emissaries, all about, who are taught and employd to fill the Heads of Americans with discontent. Let them go on—so sure as there is a futurity so sure those Combinations will be brought to light, And the Truth will finally be made to appear to the full Justification of the innocent, faithfull and disinterested servant of his Country, and to the Confusion and Disgrace of the mere Lovers of themselves, who think to obtain opportunities of making private Fortunes, by exciting Prejudices against Persons who are sinking and sacrificing theirs, in this Cause, and who have been doing so for fifteen Years.
The Commissioners here, have been employed, these three Months in negociating an Exchange of Prisoners, they have wrote many Letters to England both to the Ministry and to private Persons—they have often applied to the Ministry here, and have lately applied several times for a Passport for a Cartel ship, but have not yet been so happy as to obtain it, altho they expect it every Hour.2
What the Commissioners will finally do about sending any Person to England I dont know. Mr. Williams was proposed some time ago, and Mr. Austin, but neither have been sent and I dont know that it will be necessary to send any Body. If it should be determined to send any one, whether Mr. Williams yourself or Mr. Austin or any other Gentleman I am not able to say. I cant advise you to wait in Expectation of it. I am your friend and servant.
2. See, for example, the Commissioners to Lord North, [4 or 6] June (vol. 6:184–185, calendar entry; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:127–128); as well as letters to the Commissioners from Sartine, 6 Sept. (above); and from Vergennes, 9 Sept. (LbC, Adams Papers).
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.