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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0231

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cooper, Samuel
Date: 1780-02-23

To Samuel Cooper

[salute] Dear sir

I knew not when I undertook so readily to take the Care of your Grandson what I was about, little foreseeing a Journey of near four hundred Leagues by Land, in the Extremity of Winter, over the worst Roads and the vilest Accommodations and at the same time the most expensive of all Europe.1
I think myself very happy however to have at length reached Paris, without any essential Injury to the Health of any one of the Company, although all were at several times in the Utmost danger of fatal Colds and Fevers.
I have had the Honour to pay and Receive Visits, and to dine with the Comte D'Estaing, Since my Arrival. He is much your Friend, and takes a great Pleasure in shewing certain Pictures. His Wounds are much better, and We are wishing to see him again in Command.2 He is very popular in France, as many Symptoms have shewn, in many Places, particularly in the Feast which was made at Bourdeaux, in honour of him, and lately at the opera, when an Actor attracted an Applause of a Quarter of an Hour, resounding like Thunder by going up to the Comtes Lodge and offering him a Crown of Lawrel in a Place where the Piece had offered such a Crown to an Hero.
We cannot to this day ascertain, with Precision, whether Rodney is in Gibrater or gone to the West Indies—nor whether done Gasten has joined Don Cordova—from whence I conclude that Rodney is gone to the West Indies, and upon the whole I believe Cordova and Gasten are joined.3
The Blow to D'Estaing at Savanna, that to Langaras Squadron, the succours thrown into Gibraltar, the Capture of the Caracca fleet, added to the Affair of Omoa,4 will banish all Thoughts of Peace from many Minds, which would otherwise have entertained hopes of it in England. The Ministers would not have thought of it, if all these Events had gone against them, at least that is my Opinion. In great Haste your Friend and sert
1. On this date JA also wrote to Cooper's son-in-law, Gabriel Johonnot (LbC, Adams Papers), regarding the expenses incurred by his son, Samuel Cooper Johonnot, during the journey from El Ferrol to Paris. He noted that Johonnot had given him a bill of exchange for 1,398 livres to cover his son's expenses in Europe, but that 985 livres, 7 sous had been spent in the course of the trek through Spain and France, leaving a balance of 412 livres, 13 sous. Believing that this sum would { 356 } soon be expended, JA requested that Johonnot send additional funds for his son's use.
2. Francis Dana's journal for 1779–1780 (MHi: Dana Family Papers) indicates that JA visited Estaing on 11 Feb. and dined with him on the 13th. Since the journal ends with an entry for 14 Feb., it is not known when Estaing called on JA or whether there were later visits by JA. Estaing had been wounded during the unsuccessful effort to storm the British defenses at Savannah in Oct. 1779 (Mackesy, War for America, p. 278).
3. Most of Don Miguel Gaston's fleet had reached De Cordoba by 4 Feb. (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 178).
4. Rodney's victories over the Spanish and subsequent relief of Gibraltar were important, but of even more significance in stiffening the resolve of the ministry were the earlier reports concerning the capture of Omoa, a port on the northwest coast of Honduras, and the successful defense of Savannah. News of those events, both occurring in October, reached London on the 17th and 20th of December respectively and represented the first reports of British military success in some time (Mackesy, War for America, p. 316–317; see also the London Chronicle of 16–18 and 18–21 Dec. 1779).

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dalton, Tristram
Date: 1780-02-23

To Tristram Dalton

[salute] Dear Sir

Since my Arrival in this City, which was on the 9th. of this Month I had the Pleasure of your Letter concerning your Vessel which was sunk in the West Indies.1 I immediately waited on Dr. Franklin who informed me that he had received a similar Letter from you and in the Time of it applied to Court and obtained an order for your Compensation, which he transmitted to you, and which I hope you have received—if not upon Intimation of it, a Duplicate or a Repetition of the order may be obtained at any Time.
If at any Time I can be usefull to you, you have but to Command me. I hope the good Work of Privateering goes on with Spirit. I hope that those who have done so much service to their Country and to themselves in that Way will not be diverted, or relaxed in their Cause by any Syren songs of Peace, which the more charming they are the more delusive they are likely to be, as the English beyond all controversy will be encouraged by their late Successes, to prosecute the War for some time longer. These successes, which are rather of the defensive and negative Kind and a poor Compensation for the immense Cost of them, are however sufficient to chear the Populace, and embolden the Minister to proceed, not with standing the formidable associations, and Correspondences,2 which have made So great Progress, a la manière Americaine, both in Ireland and England. I am, sir with great Esteem, your old Friend and humble servant
{ 357 }
1. For Dalton's vessel, the Fair Play, see his letter to JA of 13 May 1779, and note 1 (above).
2. See JA's letter to Samuel Adams of this date, and note 3 (above).
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.