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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cooper, Samuel
Date: 1780-02-28

To Samuel Cooper

[salute] dear sir

This will be delived you by the Marquis your Friend. Your Grandson is well and very contented. He has seen the World, to be sure,—such a Part of it, that none of the rest can ever be superlatively disagreable to him hereafter.
Spain is a fine Country—or as my Parson Bryant said of Hezekias, he would be the best Man in the World if he had no Religion,1 so I can say that Spain would be one of the finest Countries if it had no Religion nor Government.
But enough of this: I was treated with great Distinction there in Honour of my Country but this could not make good Roads, nor comfortable Taverns. Windows and Chimneys, are necessary to this.
I have written by the Alliance, concerning your Grandsons Expences,2 which were very high: but he has seen the World.
Instead of Wishing and hoping for Peace, my dear Countrymen must qualify themselves for War, and learn the Value of Liberty by the Dearness of its Purchase. The Foundations of lasting Prosperity are laid in great military Talents and Virtues. Every sigh for Peace, untill it { 375 } can be obtained with Honour, is unmanly. If our Enemies Can be Obstinate and desperate in a wicked and disgracful Cause, surely We can be determined and persevering in the most just, the most honourable, and the most glorious Cause that ever was undertaken by Men. I am with-great Affection &c
1. On Rev. Lemuel Briant, his use of this expression in a different context, and JA's reaction to it, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:262, and JA, Works, 10:254.
2. For JA's letter to Gabriel Johonnot of 23 Feb., not printed, see his letter of the same date to Samuel Cooper, note 1 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0249

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Knox, Henry
Date: 1780-02-28

To Henry Knox

[salute] Dear sir

Your Friend the Marquis, with whom I have sometimes had the Honour to drink your Health after that of General Washington, will deliver you this. His Love of Glory is not diminished, nor his affection for America, as you see by his Return. He has been indefatigable in endeavours to promote the Welfare and Comfort of our Army, as well as to support their Honour and Character, and has had success in both.
He has had a share in convincing this Court of the Policy and Necessity of transferring their Exertions into the American seas and I hope, he will in time assist in bringing Spain into the same system. But Time is necessary to bring Nations to comprehend new systems of Policy, and every Body has some time or other an Opportunity of throwing in Light. France and Spain are not yet habituated to reasoning Upon the new Connection, nor are they yet Sensible of all the Advantages they might derive from it in the Prosecution of the War. France however is more convinced of it this Year than last. But I have not time to say more except that I am as usual your Frd

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0250

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1780-02-28

To James Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I have written so fully to Congress and to particular Friends before, and have so little Time now, that I have little more to do than make up a Letter, for the Bearer to deliver You.
{ 376 }
The Marquiss de la Fayette is going to Boston in a Frigate, and surely he wants no Recommendation of mine—his own Merit and his Fame are enough. He has been the same Friend to Us here that he was in America. He has been very assiduous to procure Cloaths and Arms for our Army, and to promote our Interest in every other Way, within his Circle.
I can tell You nothing from Madrid as yet. But I hope Mr. Jay will succeed.
England may possibly try to get Russia and Denmark to negotiate for Peace, but She will not succeed, because She will not consent to such Terms as every American holds indispensible. Holland is very angry, but does not resent. She has been very ill treated, but cannot avenge herself. I beg that every Word I say to You about Peace, may be kept secret, because, I shall write to Congress upon that Subject all that is proper for me to say to any Body in America.
I have written You by the Alliance,1 which will sail soon. Landais is at Paris. Jones goes in the Alliance. Your Son is on Board, by2 this Time enured, I suppose, to the Sea, and to War. We have not yet learned who are our Delegates this Year, nor how the Constitution goes on.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (DNA: RG 217, First Auditor's Accounts, Misc. Treasury Accounts, Account No. 99166); docketed: “Mr J Adams Feby. 1780.”
1. JA's letter to Warren of 23 Feb. (above).
2. At the top of the first page of the letter James Warren wrote: “See last paragraph.” A line was drawn in the left margin beside this paragraph and the preceding six words referring to Warren's son James Jr. were underlined.
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.