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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gardoqui, Joseph, & Sons (business)
Date: 1780-03-01

To Joseph Gardoqui & Sons

[salute] Gentm.

I have but this Moment received, yours of 19 of Feb. and am very glad to learn that you have shipped the few Things I desired, and for the Invoice. I wrote you on the 25 Feb.1 requesting you to send Duplicates and Triplicates of the same Things by other good opportunity, which Request I now repeat, with this Addition that you charge your Commissions in future because there is no Reason that I should give you this Trouble, for nothing.
I shall be ever obliged to you for News of his Excellency, John Jay Esqr and the Honourable Mr. Charmichael, and to learn the Progress they make and the success they meet, with, because I am very anxious to have a Solid, honourable and lasting Treaty, formed and compleated between your Country and mine. Am happy to hear that your Brother has seen Mr. Charmichael, and befriended him. I have already taken the Liberty to make honourable mention of your House in a Letter to Mr. Jay.2 This however was by no means necessary because your known Character and Connections with our Country, could not but procure you the Attention and Respect of Mr. Jay and Mr. Charmichael. With Mr. Jay I have had the Honour of a long Acquaintance having sat with him in Congress, from the Year 1774 to the Year 1777 I believe. Mr. Charmichael I never Saw, he having been several Years in Europe, and having passed over to America in the Spring of the Year 1778, about the Same Time that the Congress first did me the Honour to send me to France. I shall be always obliged to you, if you can send Word by any Vessell from Bilbao, to my dear Mrs. Adams, that you have received any Letter from me, or any News of me or mine on this Side the Water. Thank God, We are all very well at present and in good Spirits.
There is a formidable Armament preparing at Brest, according to { 2 } all Accounts, and whatever is its destination it cannot fail of being beneficial to my Country by making a Diversion at least, I hope still more.3 I am, with great Respect and Esteem, Gentlemen your obliged and obedient servant
1. Forthis letter and that of 19 Feb., see vol. 8:363–364, 337–339.
2. Of 22 Feb. (vol. 8:348–349).
3. Commanded by Charles-Henri d'Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, this fleet carried Rochambeau's army to America. It sailed from Brest on 2 May and arrived off Newport in early July (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 190–191).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Luzerne, Anne César, Chevalier de
Date: 1780-03-01

To the Chevalier de La Luzerne

[salute] Sir

I have not had opportunity, Since I left Braintree, to pay my Respects to you. The good old Sensible had like to have laid her Bones in the Atlantic, as there is great Reason to believe our Sprightly Companion the Courier de L'Europe did. She parted from Us in a violent Gale of Wind And has not Since been heard of.1
The Misfortune of a Leak in the Sensible, gave me, an Opportunity of Seeing Spain. We landed at Ferrol and passed through Corunna, Betanzos, Lugo, Astorga, Leon, Burgos, Bilbao, and from thence to Bayonne. Although the Journey was painful for the Time, I reflect upon it with Pleasure, because I had a fine opportunity of seeing a Country and a Nation that I little expected to have ever seen, and what gave me more Satisfaction, of finding that the Spanish Nation and Government, are in the most friendly disposition towards the United states.
Guichen I hope is beforehand with Rodney, and Ternai, will have the Start of Walsingham or Barrington or whoever commands the Squadron from Ireland: in all Events I think the English will be inferiour in the West Indies, and on the Coast of the Continent, and as long as the Allies have the naval Superiority in the American Seas, in which I comprehend the West Indies with the Continent, my Countrymen have no great Exertions by Land to fear against them.2
What think you, of Stationing a few French or Spanish Ships of the Line and a few Frigates at Rhode Island, with orders to cruise upon Occasion and intercept Transports and Merchant ships? Would not this distract the English and distress them more than any other Use that could be made of the like Number and Force of ships?
The Irish are not yet satisfied, they are about repealing Poynings Law, and the Correspondence between the Counties in England, { 3 } gives great Allarm to the Ministry. They have increased the Minority more than any Thing that has ever happened. Lord Norths Loan is not yet opened, and does not seem in So promising a Way as he represented it. Nor is the Contract with the East India Company, yet compleated. And there is more Embarrassment attending it than they own.3 The Navy Bills depreciate, and loose Credit, and it costs them immense Bounties to get Men. But I am called away, and can only assure you, of my sincere Respects and affectionate attachment.
1. La Sensible parted from Le CourierCourrier de l'Europe on 27 Nov. 1779 after the latter had lost its foremast. Nothing further was heard of it (JQA, Diary, 1:7).
2. For the movements of the forces under Louis Urbain du Bouexic, Comte de Guichen, Adm. Sir George Rodney, and Como. Robert Walsingham, as well as the strength of the opposing fleets in the West Indies, see vol. 8:336–337, 352–353, 359–360. For Ternay, see JA to Joseph Gardoqui, 1 March, note 3 (above). Adm. Samuel Barrington had returned to England in 1779 and served in European waters for the remainder of the war (DNB).
3. For the effort to repeal Poynings' Law and other events in Ireland, the county association movement in England, and the renewal of the East India Company's Charter, see vol. 8. “Lord North's Loan” is presumably that announced to the House of Commons by North on 24 Feb. 1779 (Parliamentary Hist., 20:158), and which JA analyzed in a letter of 1 March 1779 to the president of Congress (vol. 8:1–2). North proposed an additional loan on 6 March 1780, when he presented the budget to the House of Commons (Parliamentary Hist., 21:154–160).
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.