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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0027

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1779-04-13

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

This Morning I had the Honour of yours of the 8th, and thank you for the order inclosed to Captain Landais, and for those you mention to M. Schweighausser.
The true Springs of the Discontents on board appear to me to be, { 34 } the Depreciation of Paper Pay, and the Extraction of the Captain. The Purser, may have increased them a little by too much of the Appearance of being a favourite of the Captain, for aught I know, but without any fault that I know of.
In short I never knew Discontents openly avowed and Misunderstandings among People confessed without something more solid to say in Excuse for them.
I fancy the Purser, may go home in the Alliance if he choses, and do his Duty without any Injury to the service. But it should be I think as he chooses, or shall choose.
In Consequence of your repeated Letters to me, I have ventured to Advise Mr. Schweighauser, to promiss the officers and Men as much Money as with their Cloaths will make two Months Pay. Without this Indulgence I am convinced the ship would never get to sea, with her present Equipage.
I am perfectly of your opinion that the Americans arrived from England should be at Liberty, and they have been left so accordingly and some have engaged with Captain Jones and some with Captain Landais, so many with the latter as will be a fine Addition to his strength, altho still far short of his Compliment.1

[salute] I have the Honour to be, sir, your most obedient

[signed] John Adams
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Adams John. 13 April 1779.”
1. For Franklin's answer to this letter, see JA's first letter to Franklin of this date, note 4 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0028

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1779-04-13

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear sir

I am ashamed to acknowledge that I received your kind Letter,1 in due time, and have not answered it before: My apology is that I was on the Point of Setting out for Brest when I received it and have been travelling ever since. I am much obliged to you for the Letter and very happy to find that one Gentleman is to be found in France whose sentiments will give some Countenance to my own.
I have run over the ingenious Pamphlet, you put into my Hand,2 and am much pleased with the Candor and Goodness that appears in it. Nor Peace, nor Truce can now be concluded on, but in Concert with France, and I am glad to find that Congress have resolved so.3 I cannot but think that all Appearances of secret Negociation with the American Minister ought to be avoided. It can answer no good Purpose, and is never intended I think but to answer a bad one.
{ 35 }
The late small successes of the Ennemy will no doubt imbolden and encourage them, to go on, for some time. Our Prospects are not very luminous, at home nor abroad, but We of this Generation, are destined to Act a painful and a dangerous Part, and We must make the best of our Lot, no Part of which is more grievous than the Folly, the Corruption and Extravagance of too many of our own People.
Our Currency however, Seems to me, to be only Thing that distresses Us essentialy at present. The Ways and Means of raising and Supporting its Credit ought to occupy the Thoughts of every Friend to his Country. Without this I dont See how it is possible to keep an Army or a Navy.
There is no News at this Place. I hope to be favoured with a Continuance of your Correspondence, and am with great Esteem, yours
[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “J Adams Esqr. Recd. April 17. 1779. at Paris.”
1. That of 10 March (above).
2. See Jenings to JA, 10 March, note 7.
3. On 14 Jan., to lay to rest any doubts and at the urging of the French minister, the congress adopted resolutions formally declaring that the United States would not conclude a separate peace with Great Britain (JCC, 13:61–63).
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.