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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0090

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-09

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I thank you for your favor of the 2d. instant. The Commission you have is certainly very highly important and Honorable, and I doubt not of your executing it properly; taking care that the shafts of envy and malice, which have already began to show themselves, shall not divert your attention from the great object you have in view, which I have no reason to think at present will be speedily accomplish'd.
The well known chicane and duplicity of our Enemies will surely well warrant a fix'd determination not to treat on the most trivial point unless it is in writing.
The Buccaneering expedition I meant, is that preparing under Fullarton. I understand it is to be composed of about 1000 Soldiers and 3 Ships of 40 Guns; a French East India prize is already purchased to be fitted out for this purpose.1
You say very truely that, “when a Society gets disturb'd, Men of great Talents and great Qualities are always found or made,” for it is certain that there are always in the World, many more great Men, than great Occasions; but the first Architect that ever liv'd cou'd not erect a tolerable edifice, with rotten Straw only. The whole mass of the people in England is too corrupt and putrid to produce anything in the least sound and wholsome from the triffleing fermantation that appears at present, therefore in my opinion, the Irish, tho' much debauch'd and profligate as to Politics, are much more worthy of attention and assurances of support than the English. Wou'd it not { 120 } be good Policy in France to have a good stock of muskets and other Military Stores lodged at Dunkirk and other sea Ports ready to throw into England at a short warning if circumstances there should ever require such a measure.
The West India fleet was lying at St. Helens ready to sail under convoy of Comre. Walsingham the 2d. of April waiting only for a fair wind.2 It is given out in England that Walsingham who will have 6000 Troops with him is to go first to Africa and then to the W. Indias; but some people suspect that he is going straight to N. America for it is certain that he carrys out the recruits for the several Regiments that are now in N. America.
I hear that a vessel is arriv'd at Bourdeaux which left America the 2d. of March, will you be so good as to tell me from what port in America she sail'd and what intelligence she brings.
You will see the declaration of Russia with respect to a Neutrality and her propositions to Holland. Sweden Denmark and Portugal to join her in a League for that purpose; Time must discover what effect this will have on the haughty and wrongheaded islanders.
With great respect I am at all times Yrs. Adieu
P.S. We see that the Independence of America was proclaimed publicly by beat of Drum at New Orleans the 19. of August last,3 therefore I suppose Mr. Jay, must have been received with open Arms at Madrid.
1. For William Fullarton's expedition, see Lee's letter of 30 March, and notes 6 and 7 (above).
2. The convoy, intended for Jamaica and including four regiments under the command of Brig. Gen. George Garth, was at St. Helen's on the Isle of Wight, waiting for Como. Robert Walsingham's squadron, which was windbound at Torbay from March until June (Mackesy, War for America, p. 317, 325, 327–329).
3. This erroneous report appeared in a letter, dated 15 Dec. 1779 at Pensacola, from Maj. Gen. John Campbell to Lord George Germain. Campbell announced the Spanish capture of Baton Rouge on 21 Sept., and blamed the British defeat on the extensive preparations for war undertaken by the Spanish officials in Louisiana before the official notification of hostilities between Britain and Spain arrived in America. The letter was printed in the London Gazette of 1 April, and reprinted in various other London newspapers.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0091

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Muscoe
Date: 1780-04-10

To Muscoe Livingston

[salute] Sir

I received your favour of the 28 March, some days ago, and thank you for your kind Congratulations on my <safe> arrival. Your letter to { 121 } Governor Livingston I sent along to him, with other Letters I carried to America. I had not the Pleasure of seeing him, as I had not an opportunity to travel that Way. I am glad to hear that you have recovered your Health, and if you go to America, wish you an agreable Passage. It is not in my Power to procure you a Passage in one of the Men of War, but it is very probable you may obtain one nearer where you are by an Application to the proper Persons, who have Authority for it, if indeed these Vessells are bound to North America, because your Acquaintance with the Coast may be of service to them. Please to present my respects to Mr Schweighauser and family. I have the Honour to be with respect, sir your most Obedient and humble sert
LbC (Adams Papers;) directed to: “Mr. Moses Livingston, au soins de Monsieur J. D. Schweighauser at Nantes.” Muscoe Livingston, who always signed his name as “M. Livingston,” had written to the Commissioners and to JA in 1778 and 1779, and is mentioned in letters from other correspondents in those years (see vols. 6–8).
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.