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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0101

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: MacCreery, William
Date: 1780-04-13

To William MacCreery

[salute] Dear Sir

I never heard a Word of your Arrival, untill this Day.1 I sincerely congratulate you upon it, and hope the fine Cargo you have brought will Set you at your Ease. Pray how did you leave all Friends and all Things at Baltimore, and in the rest of America? What is become of my old Friends Johnson, Paca, Chase, and many others?2
Baltimore flourishes, it [seems?] in trade, which I wish may be increased, as I doubt not it will. Almankind seem against the English and Scotch, Ireland is clear, and one half of England Seems to be against Scotland and the other half.
It is very strange that it should require a Combination of all the Nations of the Earth, with America, Ireland and the Whigs in England, to bring to reason, Scotland and the Tories. Yet so it is. And it seems it must take a good deal of time for the whole Combination to succeed. Have you any News of Mr. Laurens Father or Son?3 Do you know the designs of Congress relative to Holland? Can you give me a more particular Account of the storm the first of the Year. An hurricane of 15 days, is a new Phenominon in America? What must have become of Clintons Fleet?
Adieu
1. JA and MacCreery, a Maryland native and merchant, had exchanged numerous letters in 1778 and 1779. In a letter of 28 April 1779, MacCreery had informed JA of his imminent departure for America. JA may have learned of his return from Benjamin Franklin, to whom MacCreery had written from Bordeaux on 8 April (vol. 8:49; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:235).
2. Thomas Johnson, William Paca, and Samuel Chase were all prominent Maryland politicians.
3. JA initially ended the letter at this point, for the remainder of the text is written around the closing “Adieu.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0102

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-04-14

To the President of Congress, No. 44

Paris, 14 April 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 451–455). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:612–614.
This letter, received by Congress on 19 Feb. 1781, included reports from Constantinople, Copenhagen, London, and The Hague concerning the determination of neutral nations, including the Ottoman Empire, to resist the depredations of the belligerent powers on their commerce either by their own efforts or under the aegis of a league of armed neutrality. Noting the progress toward such a league, John Adams declared “for my own part, I think, that { 136 } the Abolition of the whole Doctrine of Contraband, would be for the Peace and Happiness of Mankind, and I doubt not, as human Reason advances, and Men come to be more sensible of the Benefits of Peace, and less enthusiastic for the savage Glories of War, all neutral Nations will be allowed by universal Consent, to carry what Goods they please in their own Ships, provided they are not to places actually invested by an Enemy.” This statement reflects a uniquely American view of the proposed league's purpose and the nature and evolution of the law of nations.
Adams ended his letter with the following passage: “The Reflection from Amsterdam, after relating the Affair of Captain Ankerloo, in the Sweedish Frigate the Illerim, is very proper to conclude this Letter. To judge of things the most impartially, no Man can doubt, that Proceedings so violent, and so contrary to the natural Rights of Nations, will make the Neutral Powers feel, how much it imports them to set Bounds to the intolerable Excesses, to which their Vessels sailing under the Faith of Treaties are daily exposed, by the Ships of one Party in the present War.” The first sentence of this passage was not included by Wharton. On the Illerim, see Adams' letter of 4 April to the president of Congress (No. 36, calendared above).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 451–455.) printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:612–614.)
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/