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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0022

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-08

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I did myself the honor of writing to you a few Days since.1 Last Night I received yours of the 31st past. I am glad to hear the Ship is so { 26 } far in order. As to the Discontents you find among the Officers and People, it is impossible for me at this Distance to judge of them, or of the means of removing them: I must therefore, as in my last, refer to your Judgment whatever you may think for the good of the Service, considering our Circumstances and Funds, and I desire you would give Orders accordingly. If the Officers are dissatisfied with the Purser who is now here, I fancy, but do not speak from Knowledge, that he is not sollicitous about continuing in his Place; and would have no objection to being permitted to stay as long as he pleases in Paris.
I can not at all interfere with regard to the Disposition of the Exchanged Prisoners, by ordering them to go on board one Ship or another. They are Freemen as soon as they land in France, and may inlist with which Captain they please.
I shall by this Post give the Orders you desire to Mr. Schweighauser and Capt. Landais,2 relating to your Passage and Sea Stores; tho' I did not think them necessary.
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedt and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Dr. Franklin Ap. 8. ansd. 13. 1779.”
1. 3 April (above).
2. The order to Landais, also dated 8 April, was enclosed with this letter and is in the Adams Papers (to Benjamin Franklin, 13 April, 2d letter, below). It required Landais “to receive on Board your Ship the Alliance, the Honourable John Adams Esq. with his Son and Servant, and give them a Passage therein to America.”

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0023

Author: Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-09

From the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] Dear Sir

I beg leave of applying to you in an instance where I am much Concern'd. The Case I shall lay before you, and Reccommend to your good Care. There is an officer in Paris Whom I want to send over to America on Board the Alliance, and whom I know would be of some use in the American Army. For that Reason Besides this of Reccommendations I have a great Regard for, I wish the Gentlemen Might find a passage in the frigatte. Doctor Franklin Cannot officialy send any officer, but I beg you would take this along with you, and I take upon Myself the charge of presenting him to Congress. All the Marks of Kindnes, I ever met with from them, and the Knowledge which the strictest friendship has given me of General Washington's sentiments, make me as Certain as possible that My officer will meet with the Best Reception in Philadelphia and in the Army who know I am acquainted with what may be Convenient to them.1
{ 27 }
It is with a Great Concern that I hear of discontents Between Captain Landais and his officers, and I flatter myself that you will establish Again harmony an[d] Concord among them. I will take the opportunity of this frigatte for to write over to My Friends in America.
The Articles alluded to in your letter from Paris I have been very Busy about. But I did not meet with Great succes till now, and what is done is not equal to what I should want.2 It is true our Circumstances are Rather Narrow in this moment, and I think that the Ministers are willing to do what they think possible or advantageous—but we do'nt alwais agree in opinion. I hope however America will have more and more occasions of knowing the true attachment of this Nation for them.
With a great impatience I wait for your answer that I Might send the officer to Nantz. I hope you will not Refuse your patronage in this occasion, and I may answer Congress will have no objection to take a gentleman I send to them. You will, My dear sir, in settling his passage much oblige Your humble servant
[signed] Lafayette
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “M. D. La Fayette. 9. Ap. 79 ansd 13.”
1. The officer to whom Lafayette refers has not been identified. JA's response to Lafayette's request is unknown, for his reply of 13 April has not been found.
2. Lafayette was presumably referring to JA's proposal in his letter of 21 Feb. (above) that additional French ships and troops be sent to America for use against the remaining British possessions there.
Although JA was not to know the details and was mystified by the preparations for it, the “succes” that Lafayette did achieve was to win approval for a plan to mount a series of assaults on towns on the English and Irish coasts of the Irish Sea (see Benjamin Franklin to JA, 24 April, note 1, below).
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.