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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0011

Author: Izard, Ralph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-03-20

From Ralph Izard

[salute] Sir

I was favoured yesterday with your Letter of 12th1 and congratulate you on your safe arrival at Nantes.
Accept of my thanks for the trouble you have taken in delivering my Letters into the care of Mr. Cumming, Mr. Ingraham, and Mr. Ridley. You say nothing of the Letter, and the two packets of Newspapers addressed to Mr. Lloyd; as I have not received a Letter from him, for the last three, or four posts, I fear that he is sick, or that he had left Nantes before your arrival there. As you think that there is no probability of the Alliance being ready to sail soon, I should be obliged to you if you would be so good as to send the two Letters likewise which you have charge of, addressed to the Committee, and to the South Carolina Delegates;2 and when there is a probability of your embarking, if you will be pleased to let me know of it, I shall beg to trouble you with other Letters. I should be obliged to you if you would let me know the names of the Vessels, and Captains by whom my Letters are sent, as I have been so unfortunate as to lose many, both going, and coming. There is no news here that I know of. The London papers, and Letters inform of many valuable captures made upon the French Commerce, which I am heartily sorry for; and the more so, as no remedy appears to be attempted. Mrs. Izard, and my little folks join in offering Compliments and I am Sir with great regard Your most obt. hble Servant
[signed] Ra. Izard
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Issard 20 March. 79.”
1. Not found. Arriving in Nantes on the 12th, JA was visited by a number of Americans. These included James Cumming, Matthew Ingram, Matthew Ridley, and John Lloyd (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:356–357).
2. The letter to the Committee for Foreign Affairs may have been that of 4 March (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:73–74). The letter to the delegates has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0012

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1779-03-24

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I had the Honour of a Letter1 from, your Excellency at Nantes, but as I was setting off for this Place could not then acknowledge it.
I Staid, no longer at Nantes, than just to look about me, before I determined to see Captain Landais, that I might know, the state and Prospects of his Frigate.
{ 15 }
As you was so good as to desire Mr. Schweighauser, to consult with me, and Mr. Schweighauser wrote to Mr. Berube du Costentin, to take my Advice, I have ventured to give him and Captain Landais, my opinion in Writing that it will be most for the public service, for Mr. Costentin to apply to the Intendant of the Marine for Such Materials and Workmen as are absolutely necessary to repair the ship, and after this shall be done and the Prisoners, put on shore, that he proceed for Nantes.
I have had the Honour twice to wait on the Intendant and this afternoon, he very politely promised to take the Prisoners on shore, and furnish the Necessaries forth with. I must confess, that I am not very well pleased with putting all the Prisoners on shore. But the Captain is sanguine that the ship would not be safe with any of the Ring Leaders on Board.2
With a very little alteration of our naval Code, three or four of these might have been punished, and the rest would have made the better Men. For I am inclined to think, that altho the Conspiracy was bad enough, it has been made more of than was necessary.
The Midshipmen and some other Petty officers, have been with me, to solicit the same favour which you have granted to the Commission and Warrant officers, a suit of Cloaths proportioned to their stations. And as these perhaps have more need of it than the others, and as I thought it not probable that it was your Intention to exclude them, I have promised them to interceed with your Excellency in their Behalf.
[I] congratulate you on the Capture of Senegal,3 which is all the News I have heard. I return to Nantes, tomorrow or next day—there to wait the Motions of the Frigate.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant

[signed] John Adams
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Jont. Adams Brest 24 Mars 177<9>8.”
1. This letter was dated 13 March (Adams Papers). Franklin expressed his hope that JA had arrived safely at Nantes and enclosed a letter that had arrived the previous day, perhaps that of 9 March from Pierre Landais (above).
2. The prisoners were 38 former crew members of the Alliance, who, on the voyage from America within a few days of France, had been discovered plotting a mutiny, during which Landais was to have been put in irons and set adrift in an open boat (Charles O. Paullin, “Admiral Pierre Landais,” Catholic Hist. Rev., 17:299–300 [Oct. 1931]).
3. The French captured Senegal from a disease-ridden British garrison in February. Their possession of it was confirmed in the Anglo-French peace treaty of 1783 (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:452, 464; London Chronicle, 20–23 Feb.).
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.