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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0112

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-18

From William Lee

Walsingham with 6 Ships of the line, the troops and the W. India fleet pass'd Plimo. the 8th. and Graves with 7 Ships of the line left St. Helens the 10th. to follow him, and as the winds have been since, Graves having only his 7 Ships and Walsingham a large fleet there is no doubt of their having join'd, but I do not learn with certainty the real destination, of Walsingham and his troops. By the Gazettes it appears that Monsr. Tiernay will be sailing about this time with only 6 Ships so that most probably he will meet Graves in his return, therefore he may chance to share the same fate as the E. India Convoy, unless he is escorted to some distance by an additional number of Ships, for Graves's Squadron consists of 90, 80 and 74 Gun Ships. I thank you for your favor of the 13th. which I received yesterday; the infatuation of our Enemies is evidently the work of Providence for their conduct is precisely that of Phaoroh with respect to the Israelites and I much doubt of a speedy Peace for the measure of their punishment is not yet full. When I was among them they appeared insensible enough, but they are now totally dead to all feeling. The Declaration of Russia and the movement of all the maritime powers of Europe, has not created, that I can perceive, a single emotion either in the ministry or opposition, therefore we have nothing to do but to beat them into their senses. If they have, or do make any overtures of Peace now it will most probably be with a design of dilaying and retarding the operations and plans of F[rance] and S[pain] 'till the Season is too far advanced to effectuate anything decisive this Campaign but I trust that our Friends have too much Sagacity to be duped by such bunglers as the B. Ministry. The conduct of Spain has arisen from various causes, which have been very evident to those that have attentively observ'd the business; but there is no occasion now for entering into those particulars; however as I am well satisfied that every material point has been thoroughly { 154 } digested long since, there can be no great field for negotiation now at Madrid on either side. It is said that the British Cabinet in pursuance of their darling system of Coercion, have resolv'd in the Cabinet not to yeild to the claim of the Irish People to a Free Constitution. As Clinton was not heard of in the W. I. the beginning of March, nor in Virga., 'tis probable that the greatest part of his fleet has arriv'd, at their destination at Tybée and that we shall hear of another attack on Chas. Town. 5 of his fleet, as far as I know, have only been accounted for, 1 driven to Engd. 2 to the W. Indias, 1 founder'd off Bermudas and 1 carried into Chas. Town.
LbC (ViHi: Lee Family Papers). The top one-third of the MS page is faded and two large X's cover portions of the dateline, greeting, and first line of text. The absence of a recipient's copy in the Adams Papers makes it unlikely that this letter was sent.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0113

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1780-04-19

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Dear sir

I have been informed,1 that the State of Maryland, have named Mr. Charmichael, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Williams, Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Jennings, as proper Persons, out of whom they have desired, your Excellency to choose one, in order to draw out of the English Funds a Sum of Money, they have there, for which the Agent is to have two and an half per Cent.
Mr. Charmichael, is otherwise employed, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Lloyd are all proper Persons, but perhaps they may be otherwise employed too, except Mr. Lloyd, whose fortune, both by himself and his Wife is so ample that it may be no Object.
Mr. Jennings, who is not less qualified than any of them, is a Gentleman of Learning, and Abilities, who has left his Affairs from a Love to his Country to whose service, he devotes his Time. He is now at Brussells. As he is a native of Maryland, perhaps his Pretentions may upon the whole, be superiour to those of others, or this Sentiment may be the Dictate of the Esteem and friendship I conceived for him on Account of his Candor, when I was here before.
I intreat your Excellency, not to consider this, as a desire to dictate in a matter in which I have not right nor Colour, to interfere, and therefore ought to ask your Pardon, for presuming to advise.
If your Excellencys decision should fall upon, any of the other Gentlemen I shall be perfectly content and think no more of it. I { 155 } have the Honour to be with, the greatest Respect, sir your most obedient and most humble sert.
[signed] John Adams2
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams. April 19. 1780.”
1. Edmund Jenings to JA, 12 April (above).
2. JA may have sent a copy of this letter to Edmund Jenings, see Jenings' letter of 24 April, and note 1 (below).
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.