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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-04-26

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

Your's of the 22d have just recieved. I wrote You a Line the 22d. Am happy to find that We agree so well in Opinion concerning the Equity of the Russian Negotiation. If that Court had gone farther, and endeavoured to abolish the whole doctrine of Contraband, excepting in Case of Siege, I should have thought it a beneficial Improvement in the Law of Nations. I can't see, that because two Nations have quarrelled, this should give them a right to meddle at all with the Vessels of Neutrals—neither of the contending Nations gain any Advantage by it, because both have an equal right to make use of Neutral Ships, and the stopping and searching of neutral Ships is a real damage and injury, and only tends to embarrass the Intercourse among Mankind, to multiply disputes, and provoke Neutral Nations to join one or other of the belligerent Powers. But this might have been too large a Stride to have taken at once.
This doctrine of free Ships making free Goods, is an old Object with the Dutch. They have aimed at it above an hundred Years, and but for England would have carried it in De Witts Time.1 When I was employed in draughting the Original Treaty, which was sent by Congress to be proposed to the Court of France, I spent a good deal of time, in searching the Books upon this Subject. I found a small Collection of marine Treaties, in the preface to which some Account is given of this Disenssion between the Dutch and English, but I found a much clearer and more ample Relation of it, in the preface of a Work in two Octavo Volumes, called I think, the Law of the Admiralty, which Mr. E. Rutledge borrowed for me of C. Justice Chew.2 I wish I could find this Book again, which I have not seen this four Years. I spoke to a Bookseller here six Weeks ago to write for it, but I hear nothing of it. The Sum of the Argument, as it appears to me, has been this—the Dutch are our Rivals in Trade—their common System is Neutrality—if we agree that free Ships make free Goods, they will run away with all the carrying Business—France and { 236 } Spain are our natural Enemies—if We suffer Neutral Ships to carry them naval Stores, France and Spain will be able to dispute with Us the Empire of the Sea—the Situation of our Island gives us an opportunity to intercept their Supplies, and it is necessary in order to maintain our Superiority that we should embrace it. This is the Reasoning of the English, and while France and Spain were odious in Europe, other Nations did not choose to decide against them: but since the Ballance of Odium has shifted, and France is pursuing a System, that all the World sees is for the public Good, and England is acting a part, which all Nations dread and abhor, they all seem to be convinced of the Rectitude of the Dutch Doctrine, and ready to decide in its favour.
I am much pleased with your Idea of obliging the belligerent Powers to subscribe to the Empress's Doctrine, and I have no doubt it will be readily done by France and Spain—the doctrine is already settled in the Treaty between France and the United States. England will not be willing to subscribe it, tho' She must conform to it in practice.
I thank You for all favors. As to your Information from England, I can only say, that whenever or wherever any Application shall be made to me, I shall think myself bound to inpenetrable Secresy towards all, but my Sovereign, and its Ally. A Bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush. Our Alliance with the House of Bourbon is a Measure that I have ever had extreamly at Heart: it ever appeared to me a natural and necessary Alliance, and I would continue the War against Great Britain an hundred Years before I would give it up. Great Britain will be our natural Enemy for the future. We shall be her Rival in Fisheries, in Carriage, in Commerce of various Sorts, nay dont think me extravagant or enthusiastic when I say, in Naval Power. She will be eternally wishing and endeavouring to destroy our Commerce and our Navy, as She is that of France and Spain. Let Us cultivate then, the Connection with these Powers, as a Rock of defence. I shall therefore communicate to this Court whatever Proposition may ever be made to me. It is most certain I have no Propositions to make, until Conferences shall be opened, if ever that should be. I am very far from being over anxious about this. I know we are marching on in a sure and certain Mode. <My> Our Country can sustain this War for thirty Years to come, better than France, Spain or England can, especially the latter, or for any other given Number of Years, more or less. It is in vain to reason. The politicians of Europe are incapable of concieving our Situation, and the great Causes now { 237 } at work must be allowed Time to produce their Effects. So far from expecting any serious, sensible proposals for Peace, I think the Parties in England will go to War with each other, and they must fight their Battle out, before we shall know, which has the national Power in its Hands to make peace with Us. They have a point to settle first, whether we shall make Peace with a British King or a British Congress.
I assure You, the picture of the British Nation at present gives me no pleasure—it is a melancholy Sight to me. It would give me as much Joy as my Nature is capable of, if She would come to her Senses, and act a just and reasonable part: but I know it is impossible. Mens minds are not suddenly changed—they will go on, and for ought I can see, will have a Civil War. The least Accident may put all in a blaze—a drunken Mob may provoke a Soldier to fire, and set the Nation all in Arms.
Clinton has arrived in Georgia with forty four Ships escaped from the Storm. The News of this will raise a flash in England, like throwing Oil on Fire: but Gates is to command against him, and Gates is a Master of his Trade, has the Confidence and Affection of the Soldier and the Citizen, and will give as good an Account of him, as he did of Burgoyne and Prescot.3 I communicate my Sentiments to You on these points in Secresy and Confidence—if you think any of them wrong, tell me. You must be sensible that is improper for me to make a Talk about these Things.
Adieu.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr A April 26. 1780.”
1. That is, during the rule of John De Witt, the grand pensionary from 1665 to 1672. In fact, following De Witt's death, the Dutch gained British acceptance of the doctrine of free ships make free goods in the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1674 and its Explanatory Convention of 1675. That, however, was the very treaty that Britain suspended in 1780 in so far as its provisions relating to neutral trade were concerned. For a discussion of the treaty and convention of 1674 and 1675, see C. W. F. Dumas to the Commissioners, 13 Sept. 1778, note 5 (vol. 7:34–35).
2. The “small Collection” was probably Henry Edmunds and William Harris, comps., A Compleat Collection of All the Articles and Clauses which Relate to the Marine, in the Several Treaties Now Subsisting Between Great Britain, and Other Kingdoms and States . . ., London, 1760. The two-volume work on “the Law of the Admiralty,” borrowed from Benjamin Chew, chief justice of Pennsylvania from 1774 to 1776 (DAB), has not been identified. For the Treaty Plan of 1776 and works that JA used to draft it, see vol. 4:260–278.
3. Probably British Maj. Gen. Richard Prescott.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0133

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-04-26

To the President of Congress, No. 53

[salute] Sir

At last, even the Morning Post, of the eighteenth of April, confesses, that1 the Memorial from the Empress of Russia to the States General, has dissipated all their golden dreams of an Alliance, with the Czarina. It was announced to us last Week, that a Russian Squadron had left Cronstad, with an Intention to sail to our Assistance, nay some of the public Papers went so far as to announce their Arrival at Plymouth, how sadly are we, now disappointed! instead of Alliance, we find her Czarish Majesty talks of Neutrality. So that at present it is pretty clear, that the various powers in Europe seem determined to stand off, and leave us to our fate.
In some confused Minutes of a debate in the House of Lords on the fourteenth of April, it is said that Lord Cambden expressed2 his Astonishment and regret at the Memorial from Russia, in which, contrary to the established Laws of Nations, the Empress insisted upon free Ships and free Goods: he pointed out, how injurious to the Country it must be, if neutral Vessels were permitted to supply our Enemies, whom we might blockade, with every thing they might want, and remarked, the Queen of the Seas was now deposed, and the Empress had taken possession of her Throne. In another Paper Lord Shelburne3 is represented remarking the very dangerous and alarming Situation they stand in with regard to their Wars and foreign Alliances: of the former, said his Lordship we have three, of the latter none; even the Empress of Russia, that great Potentate, who was constantly held out by the noble Lord in the green Ribbon, Lord Stormont4 to be our principal Ally, now shows to all Europe, by her late maritime Manifesto, what sort of an Ally She meant to be to England. The thought of that Manifesto made him shudder, when he first read it, particularly as he knew how this Country stood, in respect to other Powers, when Denmark must follow wherever Russia led, and when Sweeden was nearly at the Nod of France. Think of the probability of having the whole force of the Northern Powers against Us, already engaged in three Wars, and striving all we can to make a fourth with our old Friends and natural Allies, the States General.
There have appeared, few other Reflections, as yet, upon this great Event, the Russian declaration. Even Opposition seem afraid to lay it open, in all its Terms to the people. They repeat the Word Neutral• { 239 } ity, Neutrality, but it is very [nearly]5 as decisive a determination against them, as a declaration of War would have been, perhaps more so, because now there is a probability that the maritime Powers will be unanimous, whereas in the other Case they might have been divided. It is very surprising that the Peace between Russia and the Turk, and that between the Emperor and the King of Prussia, in which the Empress of Russia took a part as decided and spirited, as She has upon this Occasion, in both of which Negotiations the British Ministry ought to have known that Russia and France, acted in perfect Concert,6 should not have earlier dissipated their golden Visions: but so it is: and so it has been. England, as Governor Pownal says, cannot or will not see.7
The Improvement in the Law of Nations which the Empress aims at, and will undoubtedly establish, is hurtful to England, it is true, to a very great degree: but it is beneficial to all other Nations, and to none more than the United States of America, who will be Carriers, and I hope forever Neuters.
I have the Honor to be, with the greatest Respect & Esteem, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant,
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 504–507); endorsed: “Letter from John Adams April 26. 1780 recd. Feb 19. 81 Influence of the Northern Association on England.” LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “No. 53.”
1. Except for minor changes, the remainder of this paragraph is an exact quotation from the Morning Post of 18 April. As late as 12 April, the day after it had printed the text of the Russian memorial to the States General, the Morning Post reported “it is confidently said, that a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive is at last actually signed with Russia” and would “be announced to parliament soon after the recess.” On the 14th it declared that “the Russian declaration at the Hague has had the desired effect; the Dutch now finding how much the Czarina interests herself in favour of Great Britain, begin seriously to think of returning such an answer to Sir Joseph Yorke's memorial as may at least not irritate the Court of London to set them on a footing with other neutral powers.”
2. The remainder of this sentence is an exact quotation from the Morning Post of 15 April. In another account of the speech by Charles Pratt, 1st earl of Camden and former Lord Chancellor, that is much longer and quite different, he is reported to have stated that the Russian declaration “was totally subversive of the first principle of the law of nations, which had never went so far as to say that neutral bottoms protected the goods and effects of an enemy” (Parliamentary Hist., 21:446).
3. The newspaper from which this report of Lord Shelburne's speech in the House of Lords on 14 April was taken has not been identified. For a much fuller account of the speech, see Parliamentary Hist., 21:426–428.
4. David Murray, 7th viscount Stormont, was secretary of state for the southern department and responsible for European affairs. The “green Ribbon” signified his membership in the Order of the Thistle (DNB).
5. Supplied from the Letterbook.
6. JA is referring to the Russo-Turkish Convention of Ainalikawak signed in 1779 which clarified their 1774 Treaty of Kutschuk-Kainardji and to the Peace of Teschen which brought an end to the War for the Bavarian Succession between Prussia and Austria. In the first instance the French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire had assisted in the negotiations and in the second, France had been as eager as Russia to end the war (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 98–99).
{ 240 }
7. A reference to Pownall's A Memorial Most Humbly Addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe. See A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July] (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0134

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-26

From John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

I have at Length had the Pleasure of recieving your very friendly Letter of the 22d. Feby. last. It has been very long on the Road. Accept my Thanks for your kind Congratulations; and permit me to assure you that I sincerely rejoice in your having safely reached the Place of your Destination on a Business which declares the Confidence of America, and for an Object, in the Attainment of which, I am persuaded you will acquire Honor to yourself and Advantage to her.
The Circumstances you mention as Indications of the Disposition of Spain undoubtedly bear the Construction you give them. As the Count de Florida Blanca is I am told a man of Abilities, he doubtless will see and probably recommend the Policy of making a deep Impression on the Hearts of the Americans by a seasonable Acknowledgement of their Independence, and by affording such immediate Aids as their Circumstances and the obvious Interest of Spain demand. Such Measures, at this Period would turn the Respect of America for Spain, into lasting Attachment and in that Way give Strength to every Treaty they may form.
Sir John Dalrymple is here.1 He came from Portugal for the Benefit of his Ladys Health (as is said). He is now at Aranjues.2 He has seen the imperial Embassador, the Govr. of the City, Segnr. Campomaner, the Duke of Alva and several others, named to him I suppose by Lord Grantham3 who I find was much respected here. He will return thro France to Britain. I shall go to Aranjues the Day after tomorrow and shall form some Judgment of his Success by the Conduct of the Court towards America.
I am much obliged by your Remarks on the most proper Route for Letters and Intelligence to and from America and shall profit by them. You may rely on recieving the earliest Accounts and whatever interesting Information I may obtain, and that I shall be happy in every opportunity of evincing the Esteem with which I am Dear Sir Your most obedient Servant
[signed] John Jay
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Jay. Ap. 26. 1780 ansd. 13. May.”
1. Sir John Dalrymple, author of numerous legal, historical, economic, and scientific works, had no previous diplomatic experience and it is likely that his efforts in Spain had no { 241 } official sanction. Dalrymple's memorial to Conde de Floridablanca, in which he emphasized his close ties to the North ministry, proposed a joint guarantee of colonial possessions by Great Britain, France, Portugal, and Spain. The thirteen American colonies would remain in British hands, but with perhaps some modification in their government. Dalrymple apparently also offered to exchange Gibraltar for the Canary Islands. Floridablanca, who provided both Jay and the French ambassador with copies of the memorial, never seriously considered Dalrymple's proposals, but the existence of any negotiations was enough to make Vergennes suspicious of his Spanish ally (DNB; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:726–731; Morris, Peacemakers, p. 56, 60).
2. Aranjuez, the Spanish royal summer residence thirty miles south of Madrid.
3. Thomas Robinson, 2d baron Grantham, had been the British ambassador to Spain from 1771 to the outbreak of war in 1779 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0135

Author: Carmichael, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-26

From William Carmichael

[salute] Sir

I did myself the honor of writing to you last Post in answer to yours of the 8th of April, at that time I had suspicions that a Sir John Dalrymple who has now been here near three weeks, was imployed by G. Britain to sound the Disposition of this Court and in the mean time to work under Ground for the interests of his own Country. I have been hitherto able to trace most of his motions, which are somewhat suspicious. He came hither from Lisbon under pretence or really on account of his Ladys bad State of health: He had a Passport from the Ministry here for that purpose as I have been informed from those who are personally imployed about him. He hath visited several of the Principal Grandees and all those who were most connected with Ld. Grantham. He hath been at Aranjuez, where the Royal family is at present, hath seen the French Embassador and as I have been told will soon set out for France. This last circumstance occasions me to give you the present Trouble. Altho I ought to have no other apprehension of his residence here or at Paris at this Crisis unless it be the singularity of the Circumstance, for I know he had at one time the Confidence of his King and at least that of part of the Administration. I have never heard that he hath done any thing to forfeit it. If he is imployed in the way I suspect He may be induced to pay you a visit if he passes thro Paris, which altho it may be unnecessary, induces me to put you on your Guard. I shall endeavor to inform you punctually of his rout and shall be always happy on every occasion of testifying to you and Mr. Dana how much I am Your humble Sert.
[signed] Wm. Carmichael
1. This place and date are derived from John Jay's letter of 26 April (above), which also provided an account of Sir John Dalrymple. Since JA answered the letters from Carmichael { 242 } and Jay on 12 and 13 May respectively, it seems likely that both were written at about the same time.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0136

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1780-04-28

To Elbridge Gerry

[salute] My dear Friend

Since my Arrival in Europe I have had Reason to be very well Satisfied with my Reception, hitherto, in Spain, in France, and especially among the Americans in Europe. I have received Letters, from various Quarters of warm Congratulations and full of Professions, of Respect and offers of service. Such Letters I have had from Mr. Bondfield at Bordeaux, Mr. Williams and Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Livingston at Nantes, and from Mr. Jennings and Mr. W. Lee at Brussells.
I am much obliged to Mr. Johnson, for his kind Letter,1 and for good Intelligence. He has many Vessells, which arrive in Nantes to his Consignment from Baltimore: I wish that Congress, and Members of Congress, would sometimes send Letters and Newspapers to me that way: as also by another Way, I mean from Boston and Newbury Port, by the Way of Spain, Bilbao or Cadiz for Example, in this Case they should be directed to the Care of some particular Gentleman in those Cities, that he may inclose them, to avoid the enormous Expence of Postage, from America. The postage of large Packetts this Way would be terrible: but single Letters, containing, Articles and Paragraphs cut out from the Newspapers, will have a better Chance of coming soon this Way than any other. I give to Congress such tedious Histories of public affairs that I need not repeat, any of them to you, in my private Letters.
My Mission has been announced with so much Pomp, and there have been so many Speculations about me, that I expected, before this Time, the Gall of the Tories and Refugees, would attacked me, in the English Newspapers. I expected that Parson Bates and Parson Vardel would have been employed, to bespatter me, with their Dirt and Lyes: but You know very well that I am acquainted with these Gentlemen, and perhaps they may think that I am as able to tell a Truth, as well as their Parsons can tell lies.2 And I am persuaded they dread my Truths, more than I do their Lies. Hitherto however they have had the Philosophy, and magnanimity, to treat me with the Contempt I deserve.
If there should be any Representations to you, or in America, concerning me, let me beg you to acquaint me with it, by the surest { 243 } Channells and by several Ways. I have no reasons to Suspect any one in particular, but after, the Scraps, which were laid before the Committee of 13, I should not be surprised, if others should go.3 There is more Guise in Europe, than in America—the bad Passions are stronger, here, by habit, and necessity arising from their Luxury and Intrigues but they are more concealed. One sees the Reasons of the divine Precepts against Hipocrisy more clearly here than there.
There is an American here, of great Learning and Ingenuity, close Application, great Candour and good Judgment, who has been, more than any other, forward in testifying his Affection to me, and his Zeal for the service of his Country. It is Counciller Edmund Jennings a native of Maryland. He lives now at Bruxells. I could wish that his Character was more known in America. I suppose however, that Congress will for the future bestow their Commissions of Importance upon, Persons of whom they have had more Experience. I hope this will generally be the Case, for our greatest misfortunes abroad have arisen from employing Persons who were not known to Congress nor to America, who did not know, at least very lately America, and in whom America had not Sufficient Grounds of Confidence, and who had not sufficient Grounds of Confidence in America. It is a severe Misfortune that the Laurens's are not arrived, nor that I can learn likely to arrive. If they dont come, pray send somebody else.
Adieu.
RC (MHi: Gerry-Knight Coll.); endorsed: “Paris Letter His Excellency J Adams Esq 28th. April 1780 ansd Jany 20 1781” additionally marked: “No Sig.”
1. Of 22 April (above).
2. Rev. Henry Bate (later Sir Henry Bate Dudley) was the editor of the pro-ministry Morning Post (DNB). For Rev. John Vardill, formerly a professor at King's (Columbia) College and from 1775 to 1781 a British spy, see vol. 3:55–56.
3. For Congress' “Committee of Thirteen” and its consideration of charges against American diplomats in Europe, including one by Ralph Izard against JA, see James Lovell's letters of 13 June and 14 Sept. 1779 (vol. 8:86–91, 147–152, and index).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0137

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-04-28

To the President of Congress, No. 54

Paris, 28 April 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 508–510). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:635–639.
In Wharton's printing, the dates for the paragraphs beginning “Hague 23. April” and “Hague 22 April” should be reversed. This long letter, which Congress received on 19 Feb. 1781, was based on newspaper accounts from Hamburg, London, and The Hague. Adams first reported the communication of Russia's declaration of an armed neutrality to the cities of Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen. The bulk of the letter consists of the texts of the British Order in Council of 17 April suspending its treaties with the Netherlands (from William Lee, 25 April, { 244 } and note 1, above); two reports by the Dutch province of Groningen, the first calling for convoys for all non-contraband goods and the second recommending that the States General refuse the assistance demanded by Britain under the terms of the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1674; and the resolution of 13 April by the States of Holland calling for the acceptance of the Russian invitation to join a League of Armed Neutrality. Adams also noted the decision of the Dutch province of Gelderland to call for unlimited convoys and the refusal of the aid demanded by Britain.
Reflecting on these and other events, John Adams predicted the likelihood of Britain becoming involved in a war with the Netherlands, Russia, and the other neutral powers, and observed: “When, where or in what manner, we shall see the Unravelling of the Vast Plot, that is acting in the World, is known only to Providence. Although my Mind has been full twenty Years preparing to expect great Scenes, yet I confess the Wonders of this Revelation exceed all that I ever foresaw or imagined. That our Country so young as it is, so humble as it is, thinking but lately, so meanly of itself should thus Interest the Passions, as well as employ the Reason of all Mankind in its favour, and effect in so short a Space of Time, not only thirteen Revolutions of Government at home, but so compleatly accomplish a Revolution in the system of Europe, and in the Sentiments of every Nation in it, is what no human Wisdom perhaps could foresee.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 508–510). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:635–639.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0138

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Ross, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-28

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr. Sir

I attend to what you mention by Capt. C.1 the 15th. Instant, and have in consequence, some days ago shippd for Ostend, in a box marked A, with a card direction to Monsr. Frs. Bowens Merchant there, sundry pamphlets and papers as you require;2 and have written to Mr. B to forward it on in the manner He may think safest, and to hereafter attend to any other parcels I may send in the same way. It may be better you write to Him and point out the mode of conveyance from Ostend to Paris which you may think best. This will be by much the best way for Books or Pamphlets when private opportunitys (which are very rare) do not offer; but it will not do so well for News papers as the ordering them immidiately yourself from the Post Masters at Paris, who, having an understanding with the Post Office here, can get any papers by post which you may want. The morning Papers you mention, and the one I have lately sent, will be sufficient, and those of the Evening, two will answer your purpose; they come out alternate. The London Evening Post, and the London Packet. I could get a friend who is concernd in the neutral Vessels and who lives near the tower, to send you a packet of these papers of every 8 { 245 } or 10 days, as the vessels may sail, directed as the Box is to Mr. Bowens, if you think this a better mode; at any rate I will do it (in order that you may be supplyd with the Papers) until I get your answer to this letter, or the fixing on any other mode. I will continue to You the Courant, because it shews every movement of the People here relative to Petitions assosiations the proceedings of the Deputies &c. &c. For this reason I sent you a bound parcell compleat from the 25 Novr. to the 18 Apr. and a few loose ones to the 26th which I had done up for the purpose of sending to a more distant quarter. I will make up another parcell of Pamphlets in a few days and forward them as the last were sent.3 I am obligd to You for the Pamphlet by Dr. L,4 when it comes to your hands revisd and as the Establishd Law, I pray You send it to me together with any papers that are worth publishing here, if the parcell is too heavy for post, send them to Mr. Bowens who will forward them by neutral vessels to the person near the Tower who will send You the papers and shipps most of my packages. By such a channell as this, (which I have long been wishing for) many useful publications may come to light. I will keep an account open for the Expence of so doing, and will apply to M. Louis Tessier (whom I have applyd to on former occasions) for my riembursement; better that Monsr. G——d should write a line to Him, for me to deliver, to pay me these sums as they are calld for. You will have annexd a list of what I have already sent you.5
We have at length got news of Gen. Clinton, which came by a packet from N York which saild from thence the 30th. March.6 It appears (tho there are no official dispatches from Clinton Himself) that the fleet after being much buffetted about by the Storm and with the loss of four or five transports, got to Tybee about the begining of Feby. and that the body of the fleet got to the Bars of Chs. Town the 9 or 10th. March, and were nearly landed the 12th. when the Russell man of War saild from thence to N York with the account. It appears they have occupied some posts 8 or 10 miles from Cs. Town particularly that of Stono ferry, but have neither attackd James fort nor fort Sullivan. By the Ministerial reports we are informd Lincolns army was between 5 and 6,000 Men well posted out of the Town, and that some strong works had been thrown up on the neck and to defend the Town. The Army of Clinton when it saild consisted of 7,500 Men and he took a Regiment with him from Georgia; every account says He will not have more than 5,500 men effectives to opperate with, and I think from the feeble flat manner the whole storey is told in the New York papers and from the accounts I have gatherd since the { 246 } packets arrival that his force is not equal to the possessing Chas. Town. He has but one ship of the line and 4 or 5 lesser men of war to act against the Forts and Town; there are 5 or 6 American and french frigates within the harbour, and if Fort Sullivan is as strong as it was in 1776, I think with the united Naval Force it will be able to give the British Ships of war a second drubbing. It cannot be many days before we have accounts here of the decided fate of the place. There are many particulars in the news papers, which you will have as soon as this, but the above is the substance of what I hear.
The late Russian Memorial for Neutrality is not at all relishd by the Ministerealists here, 'tho they attempt to palliate it by saying it is only a manoeuvere of that Court for arming their Ships, which when armd, are to join England, this is too bad to be related, but such is the conversation of some who are determind to go on blindfolded to distruction. It appears that Holland has acceeded to the wish of Russia in the substance of that memorial for neutrality and they are seemingly determind to defend their Ships at Sea against English Cruisers. If some better understanding does not soon take place between this Court and the States, it is more than probable there will soon be a dutch war. How the northern powers of Sweeden and Denmark Stand, you are better informd than I can be. Portugal most likely will acceed to it, for they seem bent upon neutrality If such a disirable state will be allowd them.
The Parliament of Ireland on the two late great national questions, has produced a majority of 39 in favour of the Court, tho directly contrary to the wishes of a great majority of the People.7 The Commons have been touchd with English Gold or English paper, and have provd themselves as corrupt as another parliament nearer me. It is most likely the disputes will not stop there but that the People will right themselves.
Every body hereabouts seems sick of the American War, but how to get rid of it is the question. The State of that war will be probably canvassd next Tuesday, when Gen. Conway is to make a motion relative to accomodation with America.8 Much secrecy is observd as to the substance of his intended motion, but some folks think He will move for some profers to be made to America on the preliminary of a truce; but then the sending this profer over to America puts at so remote a period in point of time, as to make some friends speak discourageingly of the proposition or motion. Most likely some Members of that House such as Gen. C——y and Govr. P——l, are urgd by Ministers9 to bring forth such conversations in the House in order { 247 } to feel the pulses of its members upon that topic. If they could well do it, I beleive they would try to get the opinion of Mr. J. A. (whom I understand is at Paris a Commission to speak upon peace) upon the mode of making profers to America for tho our ministers try to make people beleive they know not the nature of Mr. A——ms's Commission, yet I cannot suppose them so blind and ignorant not to know something of the nature of it.10 I am your very Obt. Servt.
[signed] Wm. Ross
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsr. Ferdinando Raymond San &c. &c. Paris” docketed by CFA: “W. S. C. 28. April 1780.”
1. Isaac Cazneau.
2. According to the list enclosed with Digges' letter of 8 June (below), enumerating the packages and their contents sent to JA through 10 June, this box was dispatched on 25 April. Digges, however, indicates later in the present letter that the package contained newspapers up to 26 April.
3. According to Digges' letter of 8 June (below), the second package was sent on 6 May.
4. For the pamphlet carried by George Logan, The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, see Digges' letter of 14 April, and note 2 (above).
5. No list enclosed with this letter has been found, but see notes 2 and 3.
6. Digges' account of the situation at Charleston is essentially a digest of reports appearing in London newspapers on or about 28 April. For the British invasion fleet, the forces available to Clinton, and the opening of the siege, see Digges' letter of 3 March, note 6 (above); for a detailed account of the siege that led to the surrender of Charleston on 12 May, see Robert Middlekauff, The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789, N.Y., 1982, p. 438–449.
7. For Ireland the two great national issues were the repeal of Poyning's Law of 1495 and the Irish Declaratory Act of 1719, thereby resulting in Irish legislative independence (to Edmund Jenings, 27 Feb., note 5, vol. 8:370–371). On 19 April, Henry Grattan moved “that the King's Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and Commons of Ireland, were the only power competent to bind, or enact laws in this kingdom.” After a long debate the motion was postponed and never considered again. The vote to which Digges refers came at the end of the debate on an amendment to the motion which declared “the Irish to be subjects as free as the English.” The amendment was defeated 136 to 97. For the debate, see the London Courant of 27 April.
8. For Conway's motions, see Digges' letter of 2 May (below).
9. “By Ministers” was interlined.
10. JA inclosed an extract (not found) from this letter in his note of 5 May to Vergennes (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E-U., vol. 12). Vergennes' letter of 10 May and JA's reply of the 12th (both below) indicate that the extract was probably this final paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0139

Author: Rush, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-28

From Benjamin Rush

[salute] My Dear friend

This letter will be handed to you by Dr. John Foulke2 (a Graduate in our University) a young gentleman of a respectable Quaker family who goes to France to finish his Studies in Medicine. He is a youth of a fair character, and promising Abilities, and friendly to the liberties of his country.
It gave me great pleasure to hear of your safe Arrival, and favourable reception in Spain. We long to hear of your entering upon the { 248 } business of your embassy. I almost envy your Children the happiness of calling that man their father who After contributing his Share towards giving liberty and independance, will finally be honoured as the instrument of restoring peace to the united States of America.
Our Affairs wear their usual checkered Aspect. Our Governments are daily acquiring new Strength. Our Army which I saw a few weeks ago at Morristown3 has improved greatly since our former correspondence in discipline, Oeconomy, and healthiness. The number of our Soldiers is small, occasioned not by a decay of the military, or whiggish Spirit among us, but by the want of money to purchase recruits. The new Scheme of Congress for calling in the circulating money at 40 to 1, will I beleive be adopted with some Alterations by the States.4 This will We hope restore to our counsels and arms the vigor of 1775.
The french Alliance is not less dear to the true Whigs than independance itself. The Chevr. de la Luzerne has made even the tories forget in some degree, in his liberality and politeness, the Meschianzas5 of their British friends. Monsr. Gerard is still dear to the faithful citizens of America. We call him the “Republican Minister.”
Charlestown is in Jeopardy, but we beleive all things will work together for good for those who love the good old cause—the cause not to be repented off. Commerce and agriculture flourish in Spite of the power of Britain by land and water, and even Pennsylvania enjoys a temporary Security for property and life under her new Constitution.
Adieu—Compts: to Mr. Dana. Yours—yours—yours
[signed] Benjn: Rush
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honble: John Adams Esqr: (of the United States) now at Paris.” endorsed: “Dr. Rush Ap. 28. ansd. 1 July.” docketed by CFA: “1780.”
1. JA enclosed an extract from this letter, probably the 3d and 4th paragraphs, in his letter of 2 July to Vergennes (below).
2. John Foulke, who remained abroad until at least 1783, was later a prominent teacher and physician in Philadelphia (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 4:98; Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:252).
3. Rush had been to Washington's headquarters at Morristown in March to testify against William Shippen Jr., Director General of Hospitals for the Continental Army, at his court martial (Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:247–249).
4. On 18 March Congress adopted a plan that was intended to stem the runaway inflation that was crippling the economy and damaging the war effort. Under the new measure the monthly payments by the states, which had been set at $15,000,000 by a resolution of 7 Oct. 1779, would be redeemed at the rate of forty continental dollars to one Spanish milled dollar (JCC, 16:262–267, 15:1150). This had the immediate effect of revaluing the existing emission from $200,000,000 to $5,000,000, but was to result in a new emission, as the old was redeemed and destroyed over a period of approximately thirteen months, of $10,000,000. So that they would retain their value, the new bills were to be backed by both the states and { 249 } Congress and carry a five percent interest rate. The plan failed because it proved impossible for the states to remit all of the funds due Congress in the form of continental currency, with the result that by June of 1781 only $31,000,000 of the old emission had been retired. At that point the currency was valued at 500 to 1 and for all intents had ceased to exist except as a vehicle for speculation (E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 51–53, 64–66).
For the effect of Congress' action on JA's relations with Vergennes, see The Revaluation Controversy, 16 June –1 July, Editorial Note; Vergennes to JA, 21 June; JA to Vergennes, 22 June (second letter), all below.
5. For a description of the mischianza, the elaborate farewell pageant staged by Sir William Howe's officers upon his departure from Philadelphia in May 1778, see Ira D. Gruber, The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution, N.Y., 1972, p. 298–299.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0140

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-04-29

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Dear Sir

Do you think it worth while to work into your next Article, from London, the following Observation of Lord Bolinbroke?
“The precise Point, at which the Scales of power turn, like that of the Solstice, in either Tropic, is imperceptible to common Observation; and, in one case, as in the other, Some progress must be made, in the new direction, before the change is perceived. They who are in the sinking Scale, for in the political ballance of power, unlike to all others, the Scale that is empty Sinks, and that which is full rises; they who are in the Sinking Scale do not easily come off, from the habitual prejudices of Superiour Wealth, or power, or Skill, or courage, nor from the Confidence, that these Prejudices inspire. They who are in the rising Scale, do not immediately feel their Strength, nor assume that Confidence in it, which successfull Experience gives them afterwards. They who are the most concerned to watch the Variations of this ballance, misjudge often, in the Same manner, and from the Same Prejudices. They continue to dread a Power no longer able to hurt them, or they continue to have no apprehension of a Power, that grows daily more formidable. Spain verified, the first Observation, when proud and poor, and enterprizing and feeble, she Still thought, herself a Match for France, France verified the Second Observation, when the tripple Alliance, Stopped the Progress of her Arms, which Alliances much more considerable, were not able to effect afterwards. The other principal powers of Europe, in their turns, have verified the third Observation in both its parts.”1
Sketch of the History and State of Europe.
These Observations were never more remarkably verified, than in these times. The English proud and porr, and enterprising and feeble, { 250 } Still think themselves a Match for France and Spain, and America2 if not for all the World, but this delirium cannot last long.
France and Spain and Holland continue to dread, a Power no longer able to hurt them, but this will be over as Soon.
England continues to have Small Apprehensions of Powers, that grow daily more formidable but these Apprehensions will increase every day.
Your Correspondant from London or Antwerp, among his Lamentations over the Blindness and Obstinacy, and Madness of the Ministry, may introduce these Observations with Propriety enough.
The Ballance of Power, was never perhaps Shifted, in So remarkable a manner, and in So short a Space of Time. If the Minds of the French and Spaniards had grown in Confidence, in proportion to the Growth of their power; and if the Confidence of the English, had decreased in proportion to the diminution of theirs, it would have been all over, with England, before now.
You know very well, that Lord Bolinbroke was the most eloquent Writer, that England ever produced. His political Writings, particularly, are more admired than any in that Language. His Name and Authority, added to the obvious Truth of these Observations, and their apposite Application to the present times, will make an Impression upon many minds, in all the nations at War. If you think so, and that it will increase the Spirit of our Friends, and diminish the Insolence of our Ennemies, as it ought, you will make Use of it, in your own excellent manner. If not, burn it.
Your Friend
1. This quotation is from letter 7, “A Sketch of the State and History of Europe, from the Pyrenean Treaty in 1659, to the Year 1688,” in Henry St. John, viscount Bolingbroke, Letters on the Study and Use of History, 2 vols., London, 1752, 1:259–261. Genet printed the piece, together with JA's comments on it, in the Mercure de France, “Journal Politique de Bruxelles” (p. 128–129), of 20 May.
2. The preceding two words were interlined.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0141

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-04-29

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Confidential & secret
Dear Sir

Thank you for yours of 24. The Pamphlet, was printed by Almon, at the Desire of a Mr. Hollis who took <an extravagant> mild fancy to the dissertation on the cannon and feudal Law, had it printed and { 251 } bound in an elegant manner, and sent it as a present to Harvard Colledge in Cambridge, with a Compliment written in it with his own Hand. It was a long story, but it began with these Words “this is the finest Production that has ever appeared from North America, the author of it was said to be Jeremy Gridley Esq. but I find that the Author of it happily, still lives.” He wrote to his Correspondant Dr. Elliot to enquire, who wrote it. Elliot at last heard from a Gentleman that knew that it was John Adams. He came to me to know. I told him it was no secret who wrote it, he desired I would give him leave to mention my name. I told him I had rather be excused for the present. Hollis wrote over immediately that the Province ought to choose me their Agent at the Court of St. James's, and 20 other Extravagancies of the like sort.1 The thing itself is indeed but a Bagatelle: but the Time when it was written and the Effect it certainly produced at the Time, make it of some importance, in a public View as a document of History, but of more Importance to me, and my Children, as a family Memorial.
Thank you for the Newspaper, and am of your mind, that all Endeavours in parliament to reform, will be ineffectual. Reformation must be made in a Congress if any Way. Corruption has too many hereditary, and legal Supporters in Parliament. Whether it has or not out of parliament is the question. Whether there is enough of Unanimity and Firmness among the people, to struggle against this formidable phalanx? But one thing seems clear, that either the remaining Virtue in the Nation must overcome the Corruption, or the Corruption will wholly exterminate the remaining Virtue. I see but one Alternative and no middle Way. Either Absolute Monarchy, or a Republic and Congress. I am happy to see that York, Surrey and Hertford have resolved against the American War. We shall see whether these Examples will be followed.
The Astonishment is great Every, where, at the Proclamation against the Dutch, which is in Effect, little Short of a Declaration of War against Holland, and Russia. Russia has said I will. England has said you shall not. We shall see, how this question will be decided. The Lady has on several occasions discerned a Spirit that is not to be trifled with. Do you know the Character of Panin?2 We see in the Instance of England, what has been observed in a Multitude of Examples, before that nations do not easily come off, from the Prejudices, of Superiour Wealth, or Power, Skill or Courage, nor from the Confidence which these prejudices Inspire.3 We see in the Examples of France Spain and Holland, that they who are on the rising { 252 } Hand do not immediately feel their Strength, nor assume that confidence in it, which Successfull Experience gives them afterwards. They continue to dread a power, no longer able to hurt them. Observations which were applied to Spain, and the nations at War with her heretofore, when she was in a situation, very similar to the present Case of G. Britain. But her Pride came down and so must that of G. Britain. I am afraid Mr. Laurens is not coming. I see he was chosen, by Carolina, a Delegate to Congress, in January, I think.4 Your Friend Gates will have the Honour of, ruining Clinton yet.
Adieu
LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “Mr <Genet.> Jenings.” In the Letterbook JA's letter of 29 April to Edmé Jacques Genet was the second letter after that to Jenings.
1. For the pamphlet, True Sentiments of America, London, 1768, see JA to Jenings, 20 April, and note 2; and Jenings' reply of 24 April, and note 2 (both above). For the letters of 27 Sept. and 17 Oct. 1768 from Rev. Andrew Eliot, then minister of Boston's New North Church, to Thomas Hollis identifying JA as the author of the “Dissertation,” see MHS, Colls., 4th ser., 4 [1858]:426–427, 434. Hollis' reply in which he recommended JA's appointment as Massachusetts' agent in England was dated 10 May 1769 (MHi:Thomas Hollis Papers).
2. The preceding two sentences were interlined. Count Nikita Ivanovitch Panin was Catherine II's chancellor, responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs as president of the college of foreign affairs (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 17–18).
3. In this and the following five sentences JA is paraphrasing a passage from Viscount Bolingbroke's Letters on the Study and Use of History that he quotes exactly in his letter of 29 April to Edmé Jacques Genet (above).
4. Before assuming his post as commissioner to negotiate a commercial treaty and loan with the Netherlands, Henry Laurens returned to South Carolina to seek reelection to Congress as an endorsement of his mission. He was reelected on 1 Feb. (Wallace, Life of Henry Laurens, p. 353; Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 14: xxiii).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0142

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1780-04-29

To William Lee

[salute] Dear sir

I have the Honour of yours of the 25th. and am in equal pain with you for Charlestown, especially Since the Arrival of A Vessell at Nantes from Baltimore, which brings a certain Account of Clintons Arrival the latter End of February, at the southward, with forty five Ships, escaped from the Wreck of the Tempest. There is no certain Account of his Landing nor of the precise Place where he intended to land. G. Gates was appointed to command in the southern department, and was gone thither, but am not certain that he was arrived. Gates is a Master of his Profession, and possesses the Confidence and Affection of the American soldier and Citizen, So that, if Clinton should get in Possession of Charlestown, it will be but the Tryumph of a day, serve to give the Ministry a momentary Ecclat, and damp { 253 } the Ardour of <Committees> Associations for a few days: but it will serve the Cause of Patriotism in the End, by exhausting the ministerial forces in that Part, by leaving more scope for the Armaments from Brest and Cadiz, wherever they are destined.
Nil admirari,1 is my Maxim in Politicks. I am not surprised at the Proclamation, annulling all Treaties with the Dutch. This ministry leave themselves no other Resource but such desperate measures. They pledge themselves, ignorantly and blindly, in such a manner, that when Events turn up, ever so much against their Plan, they are bound in honour to go on. They cannot retract nor receed. And So sure, as they now exist they will go on, untill Force and Arms, obstruct them at home.
I wish with you, that Mr. L. was in Holland, but I fear he is not coming. I see by an American Paper that in Jany. I think he was reelected into Congress, which looks As if, he was not only there, but did not intend to come. The Dutch may expect what they please, but they will expect to all Eternity, if they expect, one Iota of an exclusive Priviledge in American trade. I wonder in Gods name what obligation We are under to the dutch? Nor can I conceive what Pretensions they can have to the Fishery, on the Banks of Newfoundland.
I dont remember to have heard particularly, of your answer being read in Congress. I heard your Brothers was, from Several Quarters, and I doubt not yours was.2 I know nothing of that Gentlemans being in Congress, there was a paragraph inserted in a Fish Kill Newspaper, that the following are the Delegates for Connecticut, and then mentioned that Gentlemans name and Eleven others. But it appeared to me a manifest fiction. I am myself persuaded, he is not, and will not soon be. I wish I knew the name of that Gentlemans Agent and Correspondent in Holland.
Adieu
1. Nothing astonishes. These are the opening words of the sixth letter in bk. 1 of Horace's Epistles.
2. Arthur Lee's answer of 10 Feb. 1779 to Silas Deane's address “To the Free and Virtuous Citizens of the United States” was read on 16 July 1779 (JCC, 14:843). For William Lee's answer to the same document, see his letter of 25 April, note 3 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0143

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-04-29

To the President of Congress, No. 55

Paris, 29 April 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 3–5). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); marked: “55.” printed:Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:640–642.
In this letter, received by Congress on 19 Feb. 1781, { 254 } John Adams provided information that had appeared in London newspapers between 11 and 18 April. He included the names of the newly appointed commander and principal officers of the channel fleet and summarized reports from Portsmouth regarding mutinies by the crews of the Invincible and Resolution over pay. Both vessels were part of the Rear Adm. Thomas Graves' fleet that was intended to intercept the French fleet under Ternay (see Thomas Digges' letter of 14 April, and note 5, above). Adams quoted from resolutions opposing the war in America adopted on 14 April by a meeting of “the freeholders of the county of Surry” (see Edmund Jenings' letter of 24 April, and note 3, above). In a postscript, not printed by Wharton, Adams quoted from resolutions adopted by the County of Hertford on 17 April to the effect that the war in America, “by obliging Us to carry all our Forces to that Quarter puts us out of a Condition to resist with Vigour, As We might otherwise do, the united Efforts of France and Spain while the Said War produces no other Effect upon the Americans than to add to the Enmity, which has but too long subsisted between Us: an Enmity, of which We have felt, the fatal Effects, and which by putting an obstacle to our Union, threatens England, with a Ruin as compleat as it is inevitable.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 3–5). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); marked: “55.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:640–642.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0144

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-04-29

To the President of Congress, No. 56

Paris, 29 April 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 1–2). LbC (Adams Papers); marked: “56.” printed:Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:640.
Congress received this letter on 16 October. Relying on newspaper accounts, John Adams reported on the number and size of the warships forming the fleets commanded by Como. Robert Walsingham and Rear Adm. Thomas Graves and their departure on 8 and 11 April respectively. He then estimated the strength of the British West Indian fleet if the vessels under Walsingham and Graves were joined with those commanded by Rodney and Vice Adm. Sir Hyde Parker, the British commander in the West Indies. Adams noted, however, that there were conflicting rumors about Graves' destination. Finally, he told of the return of the fleet under Walsingham, reportedly because a French fleet was in its path (see Edmé Jacques Genet's letter of 29 April, below).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 1–2). LbC (Adams Papers); marked: “56.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:640.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0145-0001

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-29

From Edmé Jacques Genet

J'ai l honneur d'envoyer à Monsieur Adams une Notice Sûre des Flottes parties de Brest dans le tems où Walsingham a eu avis que l'Escadre francoise paroissoit a l'ouvert de la manche, et qu'une terreur panique l'a fait retourner à Plimouth, quoi qu'il eût le vent bon pour continuer Sa route. Il Seroit amusant de voir ces détails dans les papiers anglois, et qu'ils y fussent présentés comme bien autentiques.1

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0145-0002

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-29

Edmé Jacques Genet to John Adams: A Translation

I have the honor to send Mr. Adams a reliable account of the fleet which left Brest at the same time that Walsingham was informed that the French squadron would appear at the entrance of the Channel and, in total panic, returned to Plymouth, despite having a favorable wind to continue his voyage. It should be amusing to see these details in the British newspapers, particularly if presented as authentic.1
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “M. J. Adams rue de Richelieu.”
1. JA included this report regarding Como. Robert Walsingham's fleet in his second letter of this date to the president of Congress (No. 56, calendared above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0146

Author: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-29

From the Comte de Sarsfield

Count Sarsfield thinks, that, though in fact it is an injury done to his friendship for Mr. Adams, Mr. Adams doth not Know him so thoroughly as not to suspect him of having neglected the commission he gave him about Mr. de Malesherbes's remonstrances.1
He will most likely wonder at their being prohibited, nothing however is more true there is a [Very?] great difficulty to get them. Count Sarsfield [bestirs?] him Self, has given orders and till now could not succeed.
Perchance Mr. Adams could succeed better as a foreigner. He must apply to one Mos. Amaury a bookseller Au palais (the Palais is our Westminster Hall) but if he finds them there, he is desired to give forthwith notice of his good luck to Count Sarsfield to avoid getting two copies of those performances as there is a man searching for one in every corner of the town.
Count Sarsfield wishes to Know if this note was understood, for if not he will write another in french. Begs Mr. Adams and Mr. Dana to be persuaded of his most Sincere Attachment.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “a Monsieur Monsieur Adams ministre Plenipotentaire des Etats Deunis D'Amerique a l hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu” endorsed: “Comte Sarsefield” in another hand: “1780.”
1. See JA's letter of 24 April to Sarsfield (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Watson, Elkanah Jr.
Date: 1780-04-30

To Elkanah Watson Jr.

[salute] Sir

Your Letter of the 10th. of March, I recieved but Yesterday. I recollect that General Warren mentioned to me, his having given You Letters to me, but I cant recollect seeing those Letters. I am obliged to You for writing to me, and if it should be in my power to be of any Service to You, it will give me pleasure to do it, altho' I have not the Satisfaction to know You personally. I have been so long from home and so much longer from Plymouth, that it is impossible for me to say any thing of your Character, but this that I doubt not it is good, having no Cause to suspect otherwise. Your Family I know very well to be one of the most respectable in the County of Plymouth. Your Father, I had the Honor to know very well,1 and I know that he was, in those days universally respected to have an independent hereditary Fortune which I have no doubt he still possesses undiminished, very probably, with large Additions to it, by the profits of Business. [I knew] too, that in ancient Times (for I must talk to [you like] an old Man), when the Friends to the American cause were not so numerous, nor so determined as they are now, we always found your Father firm and consistent, as a friend to his Country. This I know, for more than ten Years before the Commencement of the War, and therefore have no difficulty in believing, that he has been since that period uniformly strenuous in Support of Independence.
You tell me, Sir, You wish to cultivate your Manners, before You begin your Travels; and since You have had so much Confidence in me, as to write to me upon this Occasion, permit me, to take the Liberty of advising You to cultivate the Manners of your own Country, not those of Europe. I don't mean by this that You should put on a long face, never dance with the Ladies, go to a play, or take a Game of Cards. But you may depend upon this, that the more decisively You adhere to a manly Simplicity in Your Dress, Equipage, and Behaviour, the more You devote yourself to Business and Study, and the less to Dissipation and Pleasure, the more You will recommend yourself to every Man and Woman in this Country whose Friendship or Acquaintance is worth your having or wishing. There is an Urbanity without Ostentation or Extravagance, which will succeed every where, and at all Times. You will excuse this freedom, on account of my friendship for your Father, and consequently for You, and because { 257 } I know that some young Gentlemen have come to Europe with different Sentiments, and have consequently injured the Character of their Country as well as their own both here [and at home.] All Europe knows that it was [American manners] that have produced such great [Effects from that] young and tender Country. I should [be glad to] hear from You, as often as You please [and shall be glad to] recieve from You any Intelligence, [from America] or elsewhere, and to wait on You in [Paris. You] may show this Letter in whole or in Part, to Mr. Williams and Mr. Schweighauser, to both of whom You will please my Compliments, and to any others that You think proper.

[salute] I am with much Respect, Sir, your most obedient & humble Servant

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (N:Elkanah Watson Papers); notation between the dateline and greeting in Watson's hand: “(Letter from John Adams I was then 22 years of Age at the College at Ancenis on the Rivre Loire 24 Miles E. of Nantes in France).” LbC (Adams Papers). The recipient's copy is damaged with the loss of a number of words, particularly on the third page, which have been supplied from the Letterbook.
1. JA probably knew Elkanah Watson Sr. from visits to Plymouth. He had also represented him in the case of Watson v. Caesar in 1771 (JA, Legal Papers, 2:50).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0148

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Williams, Jonathan
Date: 1780-04-30

To Jonathan Williams

[salute] Dr. sir

I have, this day recieved your favour of the 25th.,1 which gave me the first Intimation I had of your Intentions for Home.2 I am glad to learn that Captain Snelling delivered the Letters to you. I will endeavour to Send Some more, by Captain Jones or Some other Safe hand: but are you not Suspicious of your Passage? Be Sure to keep with your Convoy: for my own part I hardly see a Possibility of an unarmed Vessells geting safe over, without. We were surrounded by 5 or 6, very sawcy Privateers at a time, when I went home, and nothing but our twelve Pounders saved Us and the Convoy. I wish you, a safe and agreable Passage, and an happy sight of your Friends. You could not have a better month to sail. Pray do you take Mrs. Williams, to America? I have never had opportunity to wish you and Mrs. Williams happy, in Words, I have ever done so in my Heart. My Respects to your Father, and your Unkle and all Frids. I am with much respect & Esteem yr most obt. servant
{ 258 }
1. Not found.
2. JA learned from a subsequent conversation with Benjamin Franklin that the letter of 25 April was not from Jonathan Williams, Franklin's nephew and the person to whom this letter is addressed (to Williams, 14 May, below). Williams, who married Mariamne Alexander in 1779, did not return to America until 1785 (DAB). Nor was the letter from JA's former law clerk, Jonathan Williams III. He had already left for America where he died on 1 May (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:390).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0149

Author: Fleury, François Louis Teissèdre de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-01

From François Louis Teissèdre de Fleury

[salute] My dear sir

I expected for writting to you, that I could tell, the wind serves, we sail to Morrow for your dear Country, and in six weeks hence, I shall see Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Dana, but since twenty days that we are on board, the wind has been Constantly to the south-west; it is only since this morning that we expect it will Come to the north, or est.
To Morrow, I hope, we shall sail, for ——xxx you know it better than I; but I can neither suppose or desire, that our expedition be entended for N. York. I think sooner, we go at New port, and our squadron, will at the meantime Cruze before Sandy Hook, to starve the british in their inexpugnable Lines. We are too few, for any thing else, and if we do attempt Rashly any important attacks, we may find an other Savanah.1
Whatever may be the place of our Landing in America, I hope to find means of forwarding, your Letters, to your familly and friends, and if it is Rhode Iland, I shall my self go to Braintree et Cambridge, and be the bearer of your packets.
Farewell. Be happy as much I desire & you deserve it, & believe me with a Respect equal to my gratitude for your kindness, your most obedient humble servant.
[signed] L. Fleury2
My best Respects to Mr. Dana, & your familly.
1. A reference to Estaing's failed siege of Savannah, Ga., in September and October 1779. See Arthur Lee to JA, 24 Sept. 1779, note 2 (vol. 8:169–170).
2. For a sketch of Fleury, who had served as a volunteer in the Continental Army between 1776 and 1779 and who returned to America with Rochambeau's army in 1780, see Adams Family Correspondence, 3:317. Fleury carried JA's letter of 24 March and two small packages to AA, which were received on 23 July (same, 3:316–317, 381; 4:1).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0150

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-02

To the President of Congress, No. 57

Paris, In this letter, { 259 } which Congress received on 19 Feb. 1781, John Adams included an English translation of a memorial presented by the French ambassador to the States General on 26 April (given as 10 April in Wharton) that announced the repeal of the fifteen percent tariff levied by France on most Dutch goods by various decrees in 1778 and 1779, together with the return of all duties collected on Dutch goods that had entered France while the tariff was in effect. Adams also reported that news from The Hague as late as 26 April indicated that the various Dutch provinces and the States General were prepared to reject British demands for assistance under the terms of the Anglo-Dutch treaties; to grant unlimited convoys for Dutch merchant ships except those carrying goods explicitly labeled as contraband in existing treaties; and to accept Catherine II's invitation to join in a league of armed neutrals. He then communicated the substance of an instruction that the provinces of Holland and West Friesland proposed be sent by the States General to its ambassador in London totally rejecting Lord Stormont's justification of Como. Charles Fielding's seizure of the Dutch convoy. John Adams then noted Sweden's authorization of convoys, general European support for the French and Russian diplomatic position, and the general consensus in Europe that Britain now would seek peace. He disagreed with the last point, stating that “Signal Success on the part of the Allies, might compel them to it but signal Success in favor of the English, would urge them giddily on, no one can say to what lengths.” Finally, he gave the substance of a “speculative Article from Brussells” on the positions of Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands with regard to the Russian declaration of an armed neutrality and how it might effect the duration and outcome of the war.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 7–14). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:644–648.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0151

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-02

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I am this day honord with your favor of the 25th. The post of this day from Rochfort brings advice of the arrival at Isl deé1 of a Small Vessel from Baltimore that left the Bay the 28 March. The Commandant at Bell Isl writes the advices brought by the Sloop are that Clinton had receved in Georgia a Compleat defeat and Genl. Washington with 14000 Man had open'd the Seige of New York. I give you the Channel by which we came at this inteligence of its authenticity you will if it be real in a day or two have the fullest information.
They write from Cadiz 10000 Troops are orderd to embark imediately on board the Fleet fitting at that port destind for the West Indies others give out they are to join the Fleet fitted out at Brest under Mr. de Ternay of the Madeiras and the Combind Fleets are to proceed to the United States.
The delay the french Fleet has sustaind at Brest is said to spring { 260 } | view from a want of Funds to form the Military Chest for the Expedition it is scarce probable but it is given as the true Cause. What has L. R de C2 to say in the Naval Department. Mr. Williams while I remaind at Nantes sent off by order of that Gentleman a very considerable supply of Cloathing and Broad Cloths. If for the American Army it is a very exelent method of transporting them in French Men of War.3
Having offerd our Ships to The Doctor who referd us to Mr. Le R de C. our terms were found too high which answer we received thro' Mr. Williams conveyed to him by Mr. De C. and as the Capital is too considerable to send over for one House we are constraind to alter our plan and propose taking the freight offer'd by this Government for their Islands. We are sorry to be forced to renounce sending our ships to America but the premiums are so exorbitant we cannot sail in that Trade without Loss in Ships of value.
The wine you was pleased to Commissio[n] me was forwarded by our friend Mr. Tesier4 last friday. He assures me the quality will be found to your wishes inclosed you have the Cost and charges amounting to 390. 12s which I have past to your debit.
We wait with anxiety the arrival of saturdays post that we may see the Steps Holland will pursue in virtue of the declaration of England. Affairs are ripening it cannot be long before some very extraordinary sceens must take place in Great Britain. We have a report of Mons. De Luxemburg5 being gone to England in a private line, this has given cause to many Speculative Sentiments at any rate we expect to see a very vigerous Campaign.
We are told the Docter has been very Sick I have not been honord with a line from him of some time. Wi[th] due respect I have the Honor to be Sir [yo]ur very hhb Sert
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honble. John Adams Esq Hotel Valois Rue Richelieu Paris” endorsed: “Mr Bondfield 2 May. 1780.” Portions of three words on the third page were lost when the seal was removed.
1. Bondfield likely means the Ile de Ré opposite La Rochelle and northwest of Rochefort. His mention of a letter by the commandant at Belle Ile probably indicates that the sloop put into Belle Ile, which is considerably north of Rochefort opposite St. Nazaire, before proceeding on to its final destination.
2. Le Ray de Chaumont.
3. Acting under Benjamin Franklin's orders, Jonathan Williams had collected large quantities of clothing and blankets at Brest between 21 March and 15 April for shipment to the Continental Army. Williams, however, managed to place only a small portion of the merchandise aboard a single transport in Ternay's convoy (Jonathan Williams to the Committee for Foreign Affairs, 6 April and 25 July, PCC, No. 90, f. 601; No. 78, XXIV, f. 217–222).
4. Probably Pierre Texier, a merchant whom JA had met in Bordeaux in April 1778 and with whom he dined when he passed through Bordeaux in Jan. 1780 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:294, 433; 4:38–39, 239; see also JA to Bondfield, 10 June, below).
5. “Mons. De Luxemburg” remains unidentified.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0152

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Russell, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-02

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr Sir

You will have read, before this can reach you, the Gazette account of the Chas. Town Expedition; which is universally esteemed here rather a disagreeable account for Government, and plainly indicative of very great doubts if Clinton will succeed or not.2 I am perswaded by all I can hear He will be a second time disgraced and baffled in his attempts on that place.
A parcell containing Pamphlets and papers to the amount of 3. 5. 9d was lately forwarded to you via Ostend3 directed to M Francis Bowens Merchant there, who has orders to forward them on in the safest and best manner he can. He is made acquainted with the contents of the box, and has direction to forward in like manner to you any other parcell which may reach his hands (with or without any accompanying letter) markd A . It may be not be improper for you to write Him a line how and by what conveyances He is to forward you any thing else in future.4 My motive for sending you the whole of the Courants is because that paper contains every petition, address, Remonstrance, County meetings &c. &c. that are agitated in this Country, and is of itself a history of all the movements of the people as to obtain a reform in the Constitution.
The English Papers ie the Londn. Evg. [Post]5 and London Packet, will be sent on with the Courant in future until I have your orders to stop them; which, you had better do when you can fix a mode with the Paris post office how to get them by Post. A small paper parcell of other Pamphlets and the News papers will be forwarded you about this day week.
There are accounts in the City today that the Jason Man of War and her Convoy about 15 sail transports (which is given out were bound up the North Seas to bring the Hessian recruits said to be 1500 Men to England) have been met by two french frigates and dispersd, several of the transports are put into Scarborough, the others and the Man of War still missing and supposd to be taken.6
Genl. Conways motion relative to Ama. was put off today for some future period, Hartleys stands for fryday the substance of which you will have in the Genl. Advertiser of the 1st of May.7 Some deviltry has got into Conways head for He seems to think there is yet a door open for Peace with Ama. short of Independence, than which nothing can be so falacious and absurd. How the Devil he can inbibe such notions { 262 } I cannot think, but I am told He is much in the circle of a Scotch acquaintance and some times talks to Refugees such as Mr. Galloway, Allen8 &c. I cannot account for it otherways than that He is looking up to the Command of the Army.
I should be glad, when you see and read the Debates upon those motions to know what you think thereof. I am on all occasions Your Obedt. Servant
[signed] Wm Russell
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Flanders A Monsieur Monsieur Ferdinando Raymond San Negotiant Chez Monsr. Hocherau Libraire pont neuf Paris” docketed by CFA: “W.S.C. 2 May 1780.”
1. A borough of London.
2. This was an extract from a letter of 9 March from Clinton that appeared in the London Gazette of 1 May and which was reprinted in other London papers. That it was seen as “a disagreeable account” was probably owing to Clinton's reports of his losses during the fleet's stormy passage, the formidable defenses thrown up by the defenders, and, in a postscript, the arrival of 2,000 troops to reinforce the rebel army.
3. For the contents of this package sent on 25 April, see the list enclosed with Digges' letter of 8 June (below).
4. JA did so on 5 May (below), but in reference to Digges' letter of 28 April (above).
5. See Digges' letter of 28 April (above).
6. The London Courant of 3 May reported that three French privateers had attacked the frigate Jason and its nine-ship convoy, taking one transport and damaging the frigate.
7. On 1 May David Hartley declared in the House of Commons that he intended to introduce three motions concerning the war in America. The first sought a declaration that hostilities against America were enormously expensive, futile, and ruinous to the empire; the second proposed an address to the King, requiring a change of ministry, reconciliation with America, and a united military campaign against France and Spain; and the third called for passage of a bill appointing commissioners with sufficient powers to settle the American dispute. Hartley was followed immediately by Gen. Henry Seymour Conway who indicated his desire to introduce a bill for reconciliation. It was Conway's bill, however, that was introduced and debated on 5 May. Hartley's proposals in the form of resolutions were not introduced until 11 May, and his bill to end the war did not appear until 27 June (Parliamentary Reg., 17:606, 650–670, 696, 753; for Hartley's “Bill for Conciliation” of 27 June, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, vol. 10, below). For Conway's bill and the progress of Hartley's proposals, together with JA's comments thereon, see JA's letters of 13 May to Thomas Digges, [17 May] to Edmé Jacques Genet, and 7 July, No. 90, to the president of Congress (all below).
8. Probably William Allen, former chief justice of Pennsylvania (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0153

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-02

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have receivd your Excellencys Letters of the 22d and 26th of last Month, I find myself much honord by both. I took the Liberty of writing to you on the 24th inclosing therein News Paper from England. The Paper receivd was sent immediately to be made as public as possible.1 The Benevolence of Spain and the Gratitude of America cannot be made too public; they will shew the ground of Union is Solid, for they will shew an Excellent Disposition in both Parties to maintain it.
{ 263 }
I have sent for the Treatise on the Admiralty Laws, I well remember the Agitation of the Question of free Bottoms making free Goods, during the last War. The writings on the Subject were Voluminous, I read many of the best, and One of the worst, written and given me by Sir James Marriot, the present Judge of the Admiralty.2 Upon the whole I was of Opinion, (altho with all my English prejudices About me, for I had them then) that the contrary doctrine was false, and that the ground of the English System was that of convenience and force. Natural Law and the combined force of Europe will I trust now totally defeat this insulting and dangerous procedure of the Common Ennemy.
The last resolutions of the States General are clear and Manly. They give us room to expect much if England persists in her Plan. Has your Excellency seen Linguets last Number of his Annales politiques &c. it treats of the present State of Affairs, it may had at Paris.3
I congratulate your Excellency on the total defeat of the Opposition, their Mad Virtue is checked in Parliament, and other proceedings must now be taken, if England would Escape that Pit, which She had diggd for others. I agree with your Excellency, that Slight Matter will give Occasion to the burst of Civil War—the whole is inflameable and there are many more appearances of internal Tumult, than those remarkd by Lord Clarendon in his Unhappy Time,4 but then there are also more Probability of Success on the part of the Crown then in his days, for the King has much more Influence and force.
I most sincerely concur with your Excellency in Opinion with respect to England. Her Conduct will be during this Mans Life Malicious to Us, and she will ever after be our rival in Trade, and our natural and enragd Ennemy. We must therefore be ever distrustful of Her, the American Alliance with France is for the Interest and Honor of Both. I trust it will ever be Kept up with the Utmost Liberallity; I assure your Excellency it has ever been my opinion, that every suspicion and doubt of it ought to be discountenancd, and I have done it on more Occasions than One, and that too with some Warmth, for I know nothing more dangerous to Friendship of every Sort, than harbouring Jealousies, and even hearing Insinuations against those, we have a natural Affection to or with whom we have an Interest and Duty to be well with. You know Too that it has always been my opinion, that there cannot be too great a Shew, or indeed I ought rather to say too much real Candour and Openess towards our great and good Ally. On the Contrary it is the Sistem of England to bring { 264 } on a distrust of One that she may ruin both. I Hope both will be wisher than to give into her Snares!
It is said, that Parliament will be soon prorogued and dissolved in October and another Chosen in a Hurry. Hartly seems fearful that he shall not be supportd in his Motions, this may bring Conway and Pownal to make theirs. I wish some one woud do it, that we might get at the present sense of the Minister.
I am Anxious to hear what has been done and is now doing at Charles Town and N York. There will be much Blood Spilt in both Places.
I sent the Dialogue5 to a Friend in England. He has thought proper to publish it. I take the Liberty of sending the first part to your Excellency.

[salute] I am Sir with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obd Hble Servt

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. A reference to JA's account of his journey through Spain, which he had enclosed in his letter of 19 April (above, for its publication, see note 2).
2. This was Sir James Marriott, judge of the court of admiralty from 1778 to 1799 (DNB). Jenings likely is referring to Marriott's The Case of the Dutch Ships, Considered, London, 1758, in which he defended British seizures of neutral ships bound to enemy ports and denied any basis under the law of nations for the doctrine that free ships made free goods. For Marriott's ruling in the case of a Dutch ship seized from the van Bylandt convoy in late Dec. 1779, in which he took essentially the same position, see JA's letter of 6 April to the president of Congress (No. 37, calendared, above).
3. Simon Nicolas Henri Linguet was a brilliant but eccentric lawyer, journalist, and author. During a self-imposed exile in England and in various places in continental Europe, he began the publication of the Annales politiques, civiles et littéraires du dix-huitième siècle, 19 vols., London, 1777–1792 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). The specific issue of the Annales to which Jenings refers has not been found, but for JA's evaluation of Linguet, see his letter of 15 May to Jenings, and notes 1 and 2 (below).
4. Edward Hyde, 1st earl of Clarendon, was a trusted advisor of both Charles I and Charles II. A strong royalist, he was an equally ardent supporter of rule according to constitutional principles, but was unwilling to adapt his policies to the changed circumstances brought on by the civil war (DNB). Jenings probably refers to Clarendon's views as expressed in his personal narrative of the events in which he participated, his History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, Begun in the Year 1641, 3 vols., London, 1702–1704. In 1766, JA adopted “Clarendon” as a pseudonym in a newspaper controversy over the Stamp Act (“Clarendon to Pym,” 13–27 Jan. 1766, vol. 1:155–170).
5. No printed version of Jenings' “Dialogue,” whether as a newspaper piece or a separate pamphlet, has been found, but for an extract from the work, see Jenings' letter of 5 March, and note 9 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0154

Author: Johnson, Joshua
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-02

From Joshua Johnson

[salute] Sir

I am duly honord with your very polite and Freindly favour of the { 265 } 25th. Ultimo for which I pray your acceptance of my best thanks. I hasten to inform you the Dove will be ready to depart the latter end of next Week and any Commands that you have to convey by her shall be taken particular care of and delivered safe in America if she is fortunate enough to arrive safe, if not I can rely on the prudence of the Capt. to destroy them.1 A Small Brig departs from this Tomorro for Boston2 she first touches at L'Orient for the protection of the Alliance, hereafter I will give you timely notice of the Sailling of every America Vessell and will with pleasure receive and forward your Dispatches. I have directed my Freinds to forward me the Maryland News Papers and you may rely on my forwarding you them immediatly on their Arrival and every other interesting Inteligence that comes to my knowledge, in turn I have only to solicit the favour of you to drop me a hint if any thing should be proposed that may affect the price of Tobacco for in this article I am much interested being one of the largest holders in Europe, you may rest assured that I will not abuse your confidence. Mrs. Johnson begs your acceptance of her thanks for your remembrance and kind Inquirys, she presents you and the Young Gentlemen with her respectfull Compliments, and I am with the most sincere regard and esteem Sir, Your Most Obedt. & most Hbl. Serv
[signed] Joshua Johnson
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Johnson 2 May. ansd. 16. by [but] the answer not copied. inclosed in it a Letter to Congress, with the Decn. of Russia. to be sent by first Vessel” docketed by CFA: “1780.” The letter to Congress is that of 10 April (No. 40, descriptive note, above).
1. JA's reply of 16 May (not found) was answered by Johnson in a letter of the 20th (Adams Papers), in which he reported that the enclosed letter to Congress would be carried to America by the Dove.
2. JA was first informed of this brig in a letter from Jeremiah Allen of 28 April (not found), but see JA's reply to that letter of 3 May, and note 1 (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Allen, Jeremiah
Date: 1780-05-03

To Jeremiah Allen

[salute] Dear Sir

I yesterday received yours of 28. Ultimo. Thank you for the Information of the Brig bound to Boston, beg you would send the inclosed by her.1 Had yesterday a Letter from Mr. Smith2 by Way of Holland 26 Feb. mentions Trash's Arrival and Letters from you. Incloses a Boston Gazette of 21. Feb. containing an Account of Captn. Waters in the Thorn,3 taking three Privateers, after obstinate Engagements—two of them at once from New York—one of the most glorious Actions { 266 } of this War. You will Soon See the Account at large in the public Papers.
By Mr. S's Letter the Convention had been Sitting almost two months, and had got well nigh through the Constitution, which they have not very materially altered from the Report. This Report is publishing in the Courier de L'Europe,4 and there are some Compliments upon it in the English Papers, and more still in the private Conversations in Paris.
The Confederation among the maritime Powers, the Politicks of Ireland, the Associations in England added to the military Exertions of France, Spain and America, would in time, one would think, be Sufficient to bring England to reason, and make her think of Peace. I should be obliged to you for News as it arrives, and hope to have the Pleasure of Seeing you Soon, a l'hotel de Valois Ruë de Richelieu. Mr. D. Mr. T. and the young Gentlemen send Respects. Yours &c.
1. Allen's letter of 28 April has not been found, but the brig referred to may have been that mentioned by Joshua Johnson in his letter of 2 May (above). The letter enclosed by JA was probably that of 3 May to AA, which she received on 16 July (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:336, 375).
2. This was Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter of 26 Feb., of which JA gives an account in this and the following paragraph. JA's letter to Vergennes of 1 May (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12), indicates that Smith's letter arrived on that date, rather than the 2d as JA seems to indicate here (see note 3).
3. On 25 Dec. 1779, Capt. Daniel Waters of the Thorne successfully engaged the New York loyalist privateers Governor Tryon and Sir William Irskine, capturing the first and sinking the second; and on 13 Jan. 1780, he captured the Liverpool privateer Sparling. Seeking to have the Boston Gazette's account of the Thorne's exploits published in France, JA enclosed both it and an extract from Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter of 26 Feb. in his letter to Vergennes of 1 May (see note 2) and took up the matter in more detail in his letter of 3 May to Edmé Jacques Genet (below). In a further effort to publicize the incident, JA enclosed an extract of the account in the Boston Gazette in a letter of 4 May to Trouchin Dubreuil, publisher of the Gazette d'Amsterdam, requesting that he insert it in his newspaper (LbC, Adams Papers).
4. For the publication of The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Courier de l'Europe, see Thomas Digges' letter of 14 April, note 2 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0156

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-03

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] [Dear Sir]

I had, two days ago the Honour to inclose to the Minister a Boston Gazette of 21 February, in which is a Relation of a glorious Combat and Cruise of my Countryman Captain Waters of the Thorn. Let me beg of you sir, to insert this Account in the Gazette and the Mercure.1 There has not been a more memorable Action this War, and the Feats of our American Frigates and Privateers have not been Sufficiently { 267 } published, in Europe. It would answer valuable Purposes, both by encouraging their honest and brave Hearts, and by exciting Emulations elsewhere, to give them a little more than they have had, of the Fame that they have deserved. Some of the most Skillful, determined, persevering, and successfull Engagements, that have ever happened upon the Seas, have been performed by American Privateers against the Privateers from New York. They have happened upon the Coast and seas of America, which are now very well swept of New York Privateers2 and have seldom been properly described and published even there, and much seldomer ever inserted in any of the Gazettes of Europe, whether it is because, the Actions of single and small Vessells and these Privateers are not thought worth publishing, or whether it has been for Want of some Person, to procure it to be done.

[salute] Yours most sincerely

[signed] John Adams
RC (CLjC). LbC (Adams Papers). Due to fire damage, the dateline and greeting have been supplied from the Letterbook copy.
1. Genet promised to print the account, which appeared on 13 May in the Mercure de France, “Journal Politique de Bruxelles,” p. 75–77 (from Genet, 4, 10 May, Adams Papers).
2. The preceding ten words were interlined.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0157

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-03

To the President of Congress, No. 58

Paris, 3 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 15–17). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “N.B. Nos. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58 were delivered the 7th of May by Mr. Adams to Dr. Franklin, who was to send them with his own Dispatches to Captain John Paul Jones.” printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:648–649.
In this letter, received by Congress on 19 Feb. 1781, John Adams sent the terms of an Anglo-French cartel for the exchange of prisoners, signed at Versailles on 12 March and at London on 28 March, noting that the agreement brought honor to both sides.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 15–17). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “N.B. Nos. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58 were delivered the 7th of May by Mr. Adams to Dr. Franklin, who was to send them with his own Dispatches to Captain John Paul Jones.” printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:648–649.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0158

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-03

To the Comte de Sarsfield

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of your Billet1 and thank you for the Pains you have taken, to procure me the Remonstrances. I went to the Palais, but was too late. I employed a Bookseller, but without Success. It is astonishing to me, that there should be So total a Suppression of Such a set of finished Models of oratory, and such golden monuments of public Virtue, as I have heard them represented to be. Your Billet { 268 } in English was very well understood, because it was very well written: but, another time, let me beg you to write in french, because I suppose it is more familiar to you to write in that language, and it is quite as easy for me to read. The Gentlemen with me present their respects. I have the Honour to be, with great Esteem, sir your most obedient servant
1. Of 29 April (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0159-0001

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-04

From Bidé de Chavagnes

[salute] Mon cher monsieur

Quoyque depuis bien du temps je n aye pas eu l'honneur ny le plaisir de vous demander des nouvelles de votre santé et de celle de votre chere famille,1 je nay pas moins eté occupé de vous et d'eux, et je ne vous oublieray jamais ainsi que vos compatriottes leurs bontés et amitiés et les votres particulierement pour moy. Et si vous ne jouissez pas dans notre patrie de toutte la santé et le bonheur que vous puissiez desirer, cest que les voeux que je fais en consequence ny peuvent rien. L'interest que je prends a vous et aux votres etant bien vif et bien sincere. Vous avez du avoir bien des affaires depuis votre arrivée a notre cour. Pour moy depuis 2 mois que l'on a bien voulu me laisser passer auprès de madame de chavagnes qui est bien sensible a votre souvenir depuis notre depart de l'orient et qui en consequence vous presente ses compliments. Jay tasché par une vie douce et tranquille de me dedommager des peines de corps et d'esprit de notre traversée humide de boston en europe. Je me las rappelle cependant avec plaisir mayant procuré celuy de vous y avoir ramené et de continuer a notre partie l'avantage d'avoir un negotiateur honneste comme vous lestes. Me voila au moment de retourner a brest. Bien portant mais ne scachant ce a quoy l'on m'employera. Je nay point demandé a monsieur de sartines a commander. 1°. Cest que arrivé aussi tard En france jay imaginé que le ministre devoit estre obsedé de demandes, de commendements, que je les ay trouvés presque tous donnés et quil ne faut pas estre indiscret. 2°. Cest que javois besoin de me reposer 2 ou 3 mois et de reparer un peu ma bourse qui sans estre absolument depourvue a eté cependant un peu maltraitée surtout au ferol. Vous scavez cequi en est. Jay envoyé a mr le docteur francklin une petite caisse. A mr de sartines ceque javois pu sauver des petits canards de boston ainsi que le tableau du general { 269 } ancohk.2 Je nay pas eu connoissance de la reception D'aucuns de ces effets. Jay revu icy avec bien du plaisir monsieur alain chez mr o williams.3 Cen est toujours un pour moy de revoir vos compatriottes et si vous pouviez pour votre compte nous negotier une bonne paix je me croirois bien heureux de vous reconduire a boston dont je cheris bien sincerement tous les habitants et habitantes et avec raison car je me trouvois tres bien et honorablement employé la etant en chef au lieu que actuellement quoyque toujours bien dans tous les genres de service ou je seray. Je ne dateray pas de grandes choses. Avec un peu de patience jauray peutestre quelquechose un jour. Je desirerois de tout mon coeur que mon service put me permettre l'hyver prochain d aller a paris ou jay bien quelques petites affaires. Jy aurois bien du plaisir a vous y revoir et les votres, a vous y demander la continuation de votre amitié et a vous y reiterer de vive voix lassurance des sentiments du plus sincere et respectueux attachement avec lequel jay lhonneur d'estre Mon cher monsieur Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes capne. des vaux du roy
J'embrasse de tout mon coeur les chers jony et carly le petit couppers. Mille compliments et souvenirs a mrs dena et taxter. De vos nouvelles je vous prie, mais a brest je vais partir.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0159-0002

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-04

Bidé de Chavagnes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] My Dear Sir

Although for some time I have had neither the honor nor the pleasure of inquiring after your health and that of your dear family,1 I, nevertheless, have been thinking about you and them, and, at the same time, shall never forget the kindnesses and friendship shown me by you and your countrymen, particularly by you. And if you do not enjoy, in our country, all the health and happiness that you could desire, it is because all my wishes to that end have come to nothing. The interest that I take in you and yours is most lively and sincere. Much must have happened to you since your arrival at our court. As for myself, I have kindly been allowed to spend the last two months with Madame de Chavagnes, who remembers you fondly from our departure from Lorient and who consequently sends her regards. I have tried to lead a pleasant and tranquil life to compensate for the physical and mental exertions of our wet crossing from Boston to Europe. I remember it with much pleasure, however, since I was returning you so as to continue for our side the advantage of having an honest negotiator amongst us. I am now ready to return to Brest. I am in good health, but do not know how I will be employed. I did not ask M. de Sartine for a command because: 1. I came { 270 } back so late to France that I assumed the minister would be swamped with requests for commands with most of them already filled, and I did not want to be indiscreet; 2. I needed to rest for two or three months and replenish my purse which, although not completely depleted, had been somewhat battered, particularly at El Ferrol. You know how it is. To Dr. Franklin I sent a small chest and to M. de Sartine what I had preserved of the Boston papers and the portrait of General Hancock.2 It was with great pleasure that I met Mr. Allen again at Mr. O. Williams'.3 I am always happy to meet one of your compatriots and if you yourself could negotiate a good peace settlement, I would consider myself the happiest of men in bringing you back to Boston, whose men and women I sincerely cherish. And with good reason, since I was very well and very honorably employed there, in command, instead of the position in which of course I always find myself: that of jack-of-alltrades. I will not leave my mark on big things. But with a little patience something might come my way some day. I desire with all my heart that my duties will take me to Paris next winter, where I have to take care of some small matters. I would be most happy to see you and your family again, and to renew our friendship and have the pleasure of reiterating, in person, the assurances of my sincerest and most respectful devotion, with which I have the honor to be your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes capne. des vaux du roy
I embrace with all my heart your dear Johnny and Charley and the young Cooper. A thousand regards and fond memories to Messrs. Dana and Thaxter. Send me news of yourselves, but I am about to leave for Brest.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “ansd. 16. May.”
1. Chavagnes' last known letter to JA was of [ca. 2 March] (above).
2. For Chavagnes' letter to Franklin concerning the small chest, see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:332. The portrait of John Hancock has not been identified.
3. Probably Jeremiah Allen and Jonathan Williams, both of whom were at Nantes.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0160

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-04

From James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

The Bearer Mr. Mease is Brother to the late Cloathier General and is intimately connected with an Irish Gentleman here for whom I have great Regard as a zealous Republican and Friend to America.1 It is more on Account of that Connection with my Friend than of any personal Acquaintance that I have been led to introduce Mr. Mease to your Civilities. His Care of sundry Pacquets for you would indeed alone have been sufficient to merit your Attention.
I chiefly rely on them and his Conversation to what ought to be the Task of the Committee of foreign Affairs if that Committee was { 271 } | view not a mere Shadow without a Quorum a Secretary or Clerk. I send regularly to Mrs. Adams the News Papers and Journals for you that she may not be without some Informations of that kind herself during your Absence. She sends them to the Navy Board, doubtless with the Addition of Something still more agreable to you individually considered.
This Testimony of my affectionate Remembrance of You will reach your Hand at all Events as I mean it to be useful to Mr. Mease whatever may be his Lot as to a safe Passage.
If you receive any Thing from me in Cyphers it will be upon the same Mode as that which I have communicated to Doctr. Franklin and which will serve great Numbers with equal safety. It is the Alphabet squared as on the other Side and the key Letters are the two first of the Surname of the Family where you and I spent the Evening together before we sat out from your House on our Way to Baltimore.2

[salute] Your affectionate humble Servant

[signed] James Lovell
All your Letters from Spain came safely. Give my Love to your Family, to Mr. Dana in particular and tell him I imagine all his came safely too though no Body at Philada. knows any thing about them.
1   a b c  
2   b c d  
3   c d e  
4   d e f  
5   e  
6   f  
7   g  
8   h  
9   i  
10   j  
11   k  
12   l  
13   m  
14   n  
15   o  
16   p  
17   q  
18   r  
19   s  
20   t  
21   u  
22   v  
23   w  
24   x  
25   y  
26   z  
27   &  
Make use of any of the perpendicular columns according to your key Letters. You may reply to me by the use of any new ones. For Instance you may refer to the 2 3 4 &c. Letters of a Word 1st. 2d. 3d. 4th. &c. in a Paragraph of any one of your Letters of such an such a date known to have been received by me, or you may say “reverse the Letters you have chosen,” or “add one more to those you have used,” or by any such like Direction you may give me the Key of your Answer.
I will give you a Specimen as follows. You submitted your Accounts with a Confession of your arithmetical Antipathies in that particular Line, and a Supposition of Errors. The Chamber of Accounts reported specially, not being in Capacity to judge of the Propriety of the Charges. Their Report was committed and the Result was from Mr. Forbes Mr. { 272 } Mathews and Mr. Houston such as I imagine you yourself would have determined, on a like Committee! to you.3
“That they do not find any Vote or Proceeding of Congress, nor are they informed of any general or received Custom on which the Charge of Monies for the ||education of the son|| of the Accomptant can be admitted; and though the same is inconsiderable, they are of Opinion it ought to be rejected, that a precedent be not established.
That they are of opinion the Charge ||for books|| ought to be admitted on the ground of a practice which has obtained in different Nations respecting their public ministers and which is mentioned by Mr. Adams in the Explanations attending his Vouchers.
That they find the several Charges in the said accounts conformable to the strictest principles of Oeconomy, and that, as far as Mr. Adams has been intrusted with public money the same has been carefully and frugally expended.”
Congress agreed to the said Report.
Bal. due 2511.12. 6.4
You ought to use Cyphers in your public Letters but you should communicate your Key to Mr. Thompson to serve in my Absence.5
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Lovel. 4 May ansd. 24 June 1780 a Cypher. My Accounts &c.”
1. This was Robert Mease, brother of James Mease, the clothier general from early 1777 until his resignation in Sept. 1778 (vol. 5:374;JCC, 12:937). The “Irish Gentleman” was Dr. Hugh Shiell. According to Elbridge Gerry's letter of 5 May (Adams Papers), Mease was involved in the plan of Shiell and others to bring their property to America from Ireland.
2. Lovell's cipher consisted of an alphabetical square composed of 27 columns and 27 numbered rows, the 27th character being the ampersand. To encipher a letter one would take letters from a key word, and read down the corresponding columns to the desired letter and substitute the number of the row for the letter. In JA's case, since he and Lovell had stayed with the Richard Cranch family on their way to Baltimore in 1777, the letters were “C” and “R” from the key word “CRANCH.” According to Lovell's instructions, JA would first read down the “C” column to encipher the first letter of a passage and then read down the “R” column to encipher the second letter. He would then alternate between the “C” and the “R” columns until the encipherment of the passage was completed. Each new passage would begin with the “C” column. To decipher a passage the process was reversed.
Lovell's cipher was not in itself complex, but his explanation did much to make it so. Had he been satisfied to explain the system just as it was sent to JA, it seems likely that JA would have understood the process. By indicating variations in the system, such as using different letters from the key word; the possibility of devising a new key word; and failing to note that numbers higher than 27 were blinds; Lovell managed only to confuse, a confusion magnified by Lovell's own tendency to make errors when he used the cipher. In any event, JA's replies of 24 June (below) indicated that neither he nor Franklin, who had also received a copy of the cipher in a letter of this same date (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:245), could understand Lovell's system. The reproduction of JA's flawed key to the cipher and a more detailed explanation of the Lovell cipher are in Adams Family Correspondence, 4:viii, 188, 393–399. The first extant letter to JA in which Lovell used his cipher was that of 14 Dec. (below).
{ 273 }
3. JA submitted his accounts to the Board of Treasury under a covering letter of 19 Sept. 1779 (vol. 8:154). The committee that considered the accounts reported on 15 Dec. 1779 and its report was adopted on 15 April 1780 (JCC, 15:1363–1364; 16:368–369). Except for minor differences, Lovell quotes the report exactly.
4. This figure was inserted by Lovell, it was not in the report. It is derived from subtracting the expenditure of 1,861 livres 1s for JQA's education from 4,372 livres 13s 6d, the balance due JA before the deduction. For the audit of JA's accounts, see Lovell's letter to AA of 14 May (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:343–346). AA ultimately received the money in September (same, 3:415–416).
5. This sentence was written in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0161

Author: Bowens, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-05

To Francis Bowens

[salute] Sir

A Gentleman in London,1 who corresponds with you sometimes, writes me, 28 April that he had, a few days before Sent to your Care, a Box marked A, containing a few Pamphlets and Newspapers, for me, with a desire that you would forward it on to me in the manner you should think Safest, and that you would hereafter attend to any other Parcell that he may send in the Same Way.
I am not well acquainted with the Usages and Regulations in France, or in Ostend which may obstruct or embarrass this Channell of Communication. But in the first Place I shall order nothing of a religious or irreligious nature, which might allarm the Church, or militate against any Regulations which there may be against irreligious or heretical Writings. They will be merely Newspapers and Pamphlets relating to the present State of public Affairs, and the Course and Tendency of the present War.
I should esteem it as a favour, sir, if you would inform me, what is the best Channel of Conveyance from you to me, and in Case I should have any Papers or Pamphlets to send to the same Gentleman in London from me to you—and whether there is any thing for me to do, or to pay, and what it may be to facilitate a Communication of this Nature. I should be glad also to know, by what Conveyance you sent the Packet marked A, and when I may expect it. I am, sir, with Respect, your most obedient servant
1. Thomas Digges.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0162

Author: Gerry, Elbridge
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-05

From Elbridge Gerry

[salute] My dear sir

It gave me great Pleasure to learn by Your Letter of the 11th. Decr.1 { 274 } that You had safely arrived, and had met with so agreable a Reception in Spain: and I hope soon to have the Satisfaction of hearing from You at Paris.
Mr. Lovell informs me that he shall transmit You the Journals of Congress and News Papers by the latter of which You will perceive that the Enemy have invested Charlestown, and that it is defended by General Lincoln with about four or five thousand Men, the greatest part whereof are continental Troops. General DeKalb with the whole of the Maryland Corps, consisting as I am informed of between two and three thousand Men, is ordered to Charlestown from the main Army, and has by this Time probably crossed the Cheesapeak: Reinforcements of Militia are also on the March from Virginia and North Carolina, all of which should Charlestown hold out about a Month or five Week's must I think make a formidable Army, in the rear of the Enemy. The Garrison by the best Accounts are supplied with five or six Months provission, and have a sufficiency of military Stores; and altho the General in his publick Letters is exceedingly modest and confines himself to States of Facts, yet in one of his private confidential Letters he expresses his Hopes and Expectations of being able to defend the City, or of making the Acquisition expensive to the Enemy.2
The Resolutions of Congress for calling in and cancelling the two hundred Million of Dollars emitted by them, have in general been well received.3 The Depreciation is stopd, and Specie, which before the passing of the Resolves was sold for upwards of 70 for 1, is now current at 60 and has been lately @ 55. The Advantage of this Plan will be great to the Landholders, inasmuch as the national Debt including Certificates and foreign Demands does not now much exceed five Million sterling, which is but a trifling Sum compared with the two hundred Millions sterling due from G Britain. Another Benefit resulting from it, is a Supply of five Million Dollars of the new Emission, every Dollar of which is equal to 40 Dollars of the old Emission; indeed this must be called in before that can be realized, nevertheless, there is a greater Demand amongst all Ranks for continental Money, than there has been since the Commencement of the War, and Specie is no longer hoarded by the disaffected or timid. So much for the Value and Stability of the Medium. With Respect to our Resources Congress are at present much in Want of Money, and it is a happy Circumstance; for, their Oeconomy is in proportion to their Wants. The Demands on the Treasury are generally answered by Warrants on the several States which are careful by some Means { 275 } or other to discharge the Draughts. The Taxes are indeed very heavy, but the Collection goes on, and I doubt not that the Army will be well fed and paid. Military Stores of Cloathing must however be procured on Credit in Europe, as well as a considerable loan to serve as a Fund for drawing in Case of Necessity. Since the Treasury, Admiralty, and Court of Appeals have been put in Commission, Congress have not been troubled much with their respective Concerns, and for several Days past have adjourned before the usual Time from a Want of Business.
Trade and privateering are brisk, and there is aplenty of Goods of every Kind (excepting military),4 but no Money to purchase them. This is easily accounted for, since the whole Sum in Circulation as Congress have fixed it, is only five Million Dollars, and these are not one third of what are necessary for a Medium for the several States. Our privateers and Commerce have nevertheless lately suffered much by the Cruisers of the Enemy, who have the <entire> Command of the Coast. It is much to be wished that the Court of France would order a squadron superior to the Enemy to be stationed in some part of the united States, as the best and only Means of putting a speedy End to the War. It is almost impossible to conceive the Havock that our privateers made of the Enemy's Cruisers and Transports during the Time that the Count D'Estaign was at Rhode Island and Charlestown, but our Losses at present nearly equal our Captures. Indeed that worthy Officer aware of those and other Advantages5 ordered the Count de Gras to be stationed at the Cheesapeak, but his plan was defeated by the Tempestuousness of the Weather: had the latter arrived with his squadron, Charlestown could not have been beseiged and three or four of our Frigates which are now in Ashley River and will probably be destroyed, would have been employed in intercepting the Enemy's Transports.
We have had a very severe Winter and backward Spring, but the prospects are not unfavorable.
I had forgot to mention a Resolution of Congress to pay off the Continental Certificates according to the Value of Money at the Time of their being respectively issued. This is but Justice, and will undoubtedly be satisfactory to Foreigners.6
Bills of Exchange are now at 45 for one, and will be higher, in Consequence of the great Risque of sending Vessels from the eastern States to the southern for produce.
I have had the pleasure of a Line from Portia,7 whose Sentiments are sufficient proof of a Mens sana in Corpore sano.8 Poor Don Juan { 276 } de Merailles lately died at Camp, on a Visit with the Minister of France to General Washington.9 I have many Things more to say to You but the Vessel is to sail immediately and I have scarcely Time to send my sincere Regards to brother Dana or to assure You that I remain sir with every Sentiment of Esteem & Respect Your affectionate Friend
[signed] E Gerry
Mr Lovell will give You the necessary Information respecting your Accounts.10 The recruiting goes on, and it will be less difficult to find Men than to pay and subsist them.
1. Vol. 8:294–295.
2. Charleston fell on 12 May. For an account of the siege, see Robert Middlekauff, The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789, N.Y., 1982, p. 441–449.
3. See Benjamin Rush's letter of 28 April, note 4 (above).
4. Gerry interlined “(excepting military).”
5. The preceding three words were interlined.
6. The resolution was adopted on 18 April and proceeded from Congress' consideration of a report on the redemption of loan office certificates presented on 25 March. The means by which the resolution was to be implemented were not adopted until 28 June (JCC, 16:374–375, 287–288; 17:566–569).
7. AA to Gerry, 13 March (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:297–300).
8. A healthy mind in a healthy body.
9. Don Juan de Miralles, a Cuban merchant, served as the unofficial Spanish representative in America from early 1778 until his death at Washington's camp on 28 April (Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, p. 88).
10. See James Lovell's letter of 4 May, and note 3 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0163

Author: Watson, Elkanah Jr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-05

From Elkanah Watson Jr.

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I was honour'd with an answer to my Epistle;1 for which permit me Sir with gratitude to acknowledge your goodness, I flatter my self it will be attended with perticular advantages in my present, and perhaps future persuits in Europe: I cannot However, but regret the leaving my letters for you behind; as that loss renders the propriety of your assertaining my character Impracticable. It affoards me no little pleasure Sir that you are so well acquainted with my fathers circumstances, because you are sensible, money, and address are great objects of recommending one to mankind in this Old corrupted Continent: without letters, and without being known to be Intituled to the former claim, I have fortunately However, been politely recieved into Several of the best familys. I have spent the winter 21 miles from this;2 where by close application I have attain'd a considerable profficiency in their language, and other connissance; which my mercantile persuits prevented me from acquiring before. I shall { 277 } conduct your friend Mr. Allin for the same place tomorrow, where he proposess to remain the summer.
I am Extreamly oblig'd to you Sir also in pointing out to me maxims founded upon the dictates of reason and nature; which I wish invariably to persue: Impartial reason will Ever prefer the honest simplicity, of manners to vain Empty ceremony: I am persuaded the Easy address of a frenchman added to the honest candour of an American, is necessary to form a system of manners perfect which I hope will be gradually Introduce'd in America, but not their little follies.
It affords me a sensible consolation that you have condesended to favour me with your advise; I am conscious of my inability and inexperience; I am launch'd upon the theatre of life at an Early age, independent of controul: all my conduct of consequence must be govern'd by the natural Impetuosity, and inexperience of youth without a patron to councel, or a reason to vanquish these Impulsess: I am happy in being fav'd with the resourse of your councel, as my Ideas are Elevated beyond Idolizing l'arshent[l'argent] tho' taught in the proffession; and as I wish in prefference as far as my circumstances will permit, to travel and to gain Knowledge of the world and mankind <(as far as my circumstances will permit,)> the advise of one so well acquainted with both as yourself, will most certainly be the standard of my persuits, If you'l continue your Kindness, and give it without reserve, notwithstanding I have not the honour to be personally acquainted with your Excellency.
The day before I left Plymo. Mrs. Warren in the most pathetic manner Injoyn'd me, If I heard or saw any thing of her wandering, miserable son;3 in this Eastern world, to write her and to relieve his distresess: I have not, nor cannot write to do justice to incontestible facts without adding to her pain; from the most promising of youths, he is now degenerated into the most beastly of sots: his ridiculous Excesses has impair'd and shatter'd, his wreck'd constitution to such a degree, that he has of late been very dangerously Ill at l'Orient, but malheuresment for himself and family he is yet permitted to possess a worthless Existance.
Having attain'd a very considerable Knowledge of the commerce of this country, and as my present object is commerce; perhaps you may find it not incompatiable to throw into my hands some affairs of business which may not only be beneficial; but will tend to the more Effectuall Establishment of my reputation.
I reciev'd a letter from America yesterday, via Holland which gives me Information that the Mercury Packett Captn. Sampson arriv'd at { 278 } Plymo. the 17th. [February o]n a passage of 3 months and 2 days—no news—fortunately for me, for the 1st. commencement I ship'd 20,000 L. aboard of that Packett.4
If their is no Impropriety (as the main object of my success in commerce depends upon grappling the close of the war) it would be perticularly advantageous to me to be Inform'd when their is a solid prospect of Peace, but If their is, I beg you'l Excuse this freedom.
I have the Honour to be most respectfully Your Excellencys Very Hl. St.
[signed] Elkh. Watson Jr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esq. à la Paris Hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu à Passi” endorsed: “M. Elk. Watson 5. May” docketed by CFA: “1780.” The removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of two words, which are supplied in brackets.
1. This was JA's reply of 30 April to Watson's letter of 10 March (both above).
2. At Ancenis. See JA's letter of 30 April, descriptive note (above).
3. James Warren Jr. was a marine lieutenant on the Alliance, then at Lorient (Charles R. Smith, Marines of the Revolution, Washington, 1975, p. 475).
4. The month of the Mercury's arrival is supplied from Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter of 26 Feb. to JA (Adams Family Correspondence, 3: 284). In the remainder of the sentence Watson, who reached France in the fall of 1779 as a passenger on the Mercury (Watson to JA, 10 March, above), presumably means that at the “1st. commencement” of his commercial activities at Nantes he had shipped goods worth 20,000 livres on board the Mercury, which according to the data given on the length of its voyage would have sailed for America in mid Nov. 1779.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0164

Author: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-06

From the Comte de Sarsfield

[salute] Dear sir

Not for your Sake but for mine I make use of the english language when I do my Self the honour of writing to you. When man ceases to Acquire in matter of learning, he begins to lose. Let my Stock of english be what it may, it is very dear to me; And so I have laid a tax upon the Kindness of my friends which is to allow me the liberty of writing to them in english. I am Sometimes gone so far as to desire them to make corrections. That agreement we Could make, with advantage to both.
As to the book which you wish to have,1 you have but to send me one of your servants tomorrow morning and I will deliver it to him how I could get it you shall learn the first time where I will have the pleasure to See you. I can Say only that you have it on the Cheapest terms possible as you have nothing to pay.
My compliments to Messrs. Dana & Thaxter and Believe me Sir Your &c.
I take off compliments and invite you to do the Same.
{ 279 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams ministre plenipotentiaire des etats reunis d'amerique a l'hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu” endorsed: “Comte Sarsefield.”
1. For the book, see JA's letter of 24 April (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0165-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-06

To the Comte de Sarsfield

J'ai reçu, Monsieur, la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'ecrire, hier.1 Je vous fais mes remerciemens Sincéres, pour le Soin que vous avez pris, de me procurer le livre. J'accepte avec Empressement, la proposition que vous avez fait, de vous ecrire en francois, pour l'Avantage de vos corrections et Je permets d'entreprendre la Correction de votre Anglois. L'Amour propre est la seule Motif de cet accord, parce que, vous ecrivez deja tres bien en Anglois; et Moi, Je ne puis pas ecrire, point du tout, en francois. Vous avez proposé de laisser tous Complimens; mais Je ne puis pas en convenir; parce que mon francois sera mauvais, Sans quelques Complimens. Au lieu de “I am Sometimes gone so far &c” I have Sometimes gone So far &c—pour “When I will have the pleasure” lisez When I shall have the pleasure. Avec ces petits changemens, votre lettre Sera parfaitement exact. J'envoye mon domestic, avec mille Complimens, pour le livre, et J'ai l'honneur d'etre tres parfaitement, Monsieur votre &c
[signed] John Adams

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0165-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-06

John Adams to the Comte de Sarsfield: A Translation

Yesterday I received, sir, the letter that you did me the honor to write.1 I thank you sincerely for the trouble you have taken to procure the book for me. I enthusiastically accept your proposal that I write to you in French so that I may profit from your corrections and that I should presume to correct your English. Friendship can be the only motive for this accord, since you already write so well in English, whereas I cannot write at all in French. You have proposed to lay all courtesies aside, but to that I cannot agree, for without them my French would be very poor indeed. Instead of “I am sometimes gone so far etc.,” I have sometimes gone so far etc.—for “When I will have the pleasure,” read, When I should have the pleasure. But for these minor changes, your letter is perfectly correct. I send, with a thousand thanks, my servant for the book, and have the honor to be most perfectly, sir, your &c
[signed] John Adams
1. Of [ante 6 May] (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0166

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-06

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

The Spirritted resolves of the Dutch alters the Face of the War.1 Russia and Holland with the other Northern Powers that will naturaly Acceed to the Confederacy will either bring on the said Confederate Nations to declare open War or by their protection defend their Trade from interuption and thereby procure the means to prolong the War. England appears to have divided her Naval Force into divissions which must greatly reduce her Consequence in the Channel. By the recapitulation of their Navy they will not have for their grand Fleet upwards of Forty Sail.2 Graves in all probability will be orderd to follow Monsr. De Ternay as Walsingham will otherways be so inferior as only to consult the means to preserve himself. These Westerly Winds is a cruel retard if the French Fleet are intended for Quebec they will be very late to get up the River St. Laurence they ought at this day to be in the Gulph of St. Laurence, some invisable Imp cloggs the Wheels. All is not clear to Day, the day the Marquis de Lafayette Embarked the Fleet should have been ready.3 Lord North appears upon the decline the Opossion carey all before them. Monsr. Stormont may meet with a fall he dont stand on solid Ground but if the War is to be continued it is better they remain than the reins to change hands.
The Spanish Armament at [Cadiz] is realy formidable and if intended to Cooperate in the West Indies or in the United States will most certainly turn the Scale on whatever part they take in favor of the Allies. No Arrivals from America with due respect I have the Honor to be Sir Your very hhb Servant
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honble. John Adams Esq Hotel de Valois Rue Richlieu Paris” endorsed: “Mr. Bondfield. ansd. May 14” docketed by CFA: “1780.” The removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of a word.
1. This was the States General's long delayed decision to provide unlimited convoys for Dutch ships; it was finally adopted on 24 April. It resulted from Britain's seizure of the Dutch convoy on 31 Dec. 1779 and its suspension of the existing Anglo-Dutch treaties earlier in April. See C. W. F. Dumas to the Commissioners, 27 Jan. 1779, note 2 (vol. 7:384).
2. See William Lee's letter of 25 April, note 2 (above).
3. Lafayette sailed from France on 20 March, but the convoy for the first contingent of Rochambeau's army was not fully assembled until mid-April and did not sail for America until 2 May (Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution, ed. Stanley J. Idzerda and others, 5 vols., Ithaca, N.Y., 1977–1983, 3:3; Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 190).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0167

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-07

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Dear Sir

I thank you for the Loan of the inclosed Paper.1 I think there is room to hope that Clinton will meet with a Reception that will not be agreable to him, even to hope that he will not succeed. But there is great danger. The Loss of the Frigates will give an Additional Sting to that of the Town.
It is truely deplorable that these Devils should be allowed to commit such Ravages and do Such intollerable Mischiefs, with so few ships of Small size, when should Multitudes of French and Spanish Men of War, lie idle, in European Harbours, Spending more money and loosing more lives, than if they were in Action. So much for Franchise,2 entre nous.

[salute] Yours sincerely

[signed] John Adams
1. In a letter of 5 May (Adams Papers), Genet sent JA a fragment from a newspaper containing a letter from Sir Henry Clinton of 9 March. For Clinton's letter, see Thomas Digges' letter of 2 May, and note 2 (above).
2. That is, so much for candor.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0168

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-07

From Edmund Jenings

(Secret)

[salute] Sir

I yesterday received your Excellencys Letter of the 30th of last Month,1 inclosing Advice, relative to the fortunate Arrival of the Transports at their destined Ports, which shall be made the proper Use of to Confound and Laugh at our Ennemies: it Contains too the purport of his Excellencys at Passy Conversation with you, He told your Excellency, “that the Marylands Act directd Him first to write to the Commissrs in London (who formerly had the Trust of the Money,) to draw it out and transfer it into the Hands of a Banker in Paris or Amsterdam; but if they refuse then his Excellency is to choose one out of the Persons mentiond to Him; so that, He shall write to the Commissioners and if they refuse, He shall after that determine, which shall have the Trust.”
I was sensible, that the Notice, which my Native Country took of me was small indeed, so if I may Judge of your friendly Expressions was your Excellency, I was however pleased with it, but If I under• { 282 } stand the business rightly, it is now by no means so pleasant to me. That the Choice out of several shoud be left to some one of a Known character and public Trust, was natural, for the State might not be acquainted with the Avocations and Existence of the persons nominated, but that these people shoud be of the State itself, or at least Americans was Natural, and neither of them coud be Affronted (I am sure I was not) that one such Man shoud be considered, as Equal in Independancy, Integrity, disinterestdness and Affection to his Country to another. At this Distance it is Impossible for the State to Know every ones Comparative Merit, but to have a Banker of a foreign Country prefered to a Native is not Agreable. If I understand the business right, shoud the Commissioners transmit the Money to a Banker in Paris or Amsterdam, there is no Employment for the American Agent. If they will not, an American is then to be nominated; What to do? to force three London Merchants to transfer to Him the public Money of the Country declared in Rebellion. Parbleu! this will require much Law, or a greater Army than America Glories in, and that France herself has upon her Coasts Opposite to England, and what American could present himself publickly before these interestd, Obstinate and perhaps treacherous Commissioners, except Mr. L.L.2 He is the only American that I Know, who can appear publickly in the Streets of London. I may Mistake this Affair and therefore beg your Excellency to give me your Ideas of it. I shoud be glad to be correctd being most unwilling to think my Country has treatd me with Contempt. If She does, I have not deserved it, and must endeavour to Convince them of it by my future Actions, since the past has made no Impression—Can your Excellency get the Words of the Act.
Every thing seems to tend to the Ruin of England, Her own folly towards her proper Subjects and towards those, who were once so, makes the Conduct of her Ennemies appear with the Utmost Liberality. The Declarations of France and Spain in favor of the Commerce of Holland are at this Juncture highly politic, and cannot but have the greatest Consequences.3 England must I think Lower her Insolence to foreign Powers, or plunge into inevitable destruction. They talk in Holland of laying an Embargo in Holland on the Shipping, this will prevent the immediate depredations of her Ennemy and tend to Man her fleet.
I am sorry to hear Rumors of Attempting the opening the Navigation of Antwerp;4 and the Difficulty of doing it is great, it shews however a disposition in the Emperor to quarrel with the Dutch for { 283 } such a Measure cannot but bring on a Misunderstanding between them. I am convincd this Idea is Suggested by the English for the worst purposes.
I am much obliged to your Excellency for the Attention Shown me, least the postage of Letters shoud Cost too much, let me beg of your Excellency not to think of it, but impart to me at all Times your Commands, which I shall abways execute with the Utmost Alacrity and faithfulness, out of Respect to You and Duty to my Country.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir, Your Excellencys most faithful & Obligd. Humble Servt
[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Jennings. ansd. May 15” by John Thaxter: “1780.” Filmed under the date of 4 May (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 351).
1. This letter (Adams Papers) has not been printed, but see Jenings' letter of 12 April, and note 3 (above).
2. This person remains unidentified.
3. Jenings is probably referring to the memorial presented by La Vauguyon to the States General on 26 April that disclosed the terms of a French decree of 22 April removing restrictions on Dutch shipping, and to a Spanish regulation of 13 March that liberalized Spanish treatment of neutral vessels. JA sent translations of both to Congress in his letters of 2 and 8 May (Nos. 57 and 62, calendared above and below).
4. Navigation of the Scheldt River to Antwerp, part of the Austrian Netherlands, had been closed in 1648 by the Treaty of Münster. In 1780 Britain sought to have Austria reopen the port, but Joseph II refused because of his unwillingness to involve Austria in the Anglo-French war. The Scheldt was not reopened until 1792 (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:641–642; 8:300–301).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0169

Author: Lee, Richard Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-07

From Richard Henry Lee

[salute] My dear Sir

I should have paid my respects to you before now had I known where to have directed my letters, for at this time I have no other method than to inclose the present to our friend Mr. Lovell at Philadelphia, who I trust will know the best manner of conveying it. The enemy appear to have abated very little of their pride, however much their power may be lessened. It may be expected nevertheless that the former will shortly be compelled to yield to the very great abatement of the latter, and therefore that you will next winter have something to do in execution of your commission. It would seem by the present manoeuvres of the enemy, that they mean to possess themselves of as many strong holds in different States as they can in order to go full handed to a treaty. With this view they are now making great efforts for Charles Town in South Carolina, and our Portsmouth in this State is next threatened.1 We are now opposing them at { 284 } Charles Town with great vigor, and we shall endeavor to disappoint their views upon us—but the events of war are uncertain—from the number and spirit of our troops at Charles Town I am persuaded that they will not get the place but at a very great expence of blood—it is strongly fortified and powerfully protected. Our foes indeed have great advantage in their command of the sea, as they can with canvass wings fly swiftly from place to place with succors, whilst great delays on our part do necessarily arise from long marches thro this wide extended continent. A few Line of Battle ships would do us unspeakable good.
Should the fate of war give them Portsmouth in this State, I think that the powers of Europe that wish our independance on commercial principles will not agree that they shall continue in that possession after a peace, as it will effectually command the entrance into Chesapeake bay and controul the commerce of the two only tobacco producing states, Virginia and Maryland. The small quantity of Tobacco that grows in North Carolina, and indeed a great part of their commerce in other articles passes thro the Capes of Virginia. These states are also among the first for their export of wheat, flour, and Indian corn, exclusive of many other articles. It will therefore be indispensable to the freedom of this commerce that the British possess not Portsmouth altho the chance of war should accidentally put it into their hands. Delegates from Georgia have lately passed thro this state to Congress, from whom we learn that the enemy possess only Savannah and its environs in that State—the independant government being fully exercised in other parts of that country. There will be a general effort this summer to restore our money to its proper value, which we hope may succeed—the plan recommended by Congress is, to call in with taxes by April 1781—180 millions of dollars, which is to be destroyed and a twentieth part issued in a new kind of paper which is to be funded, redeemable in 6 years with specie; whilst the war is to be chiefly supported by specific aids from every state according to its produce and commercial ability.2 This would seem to be effectual, if we can come up to such very extensive taxation, for which I believe every nerve will be strained. Colo. Francis Lee and myself are recommencing our tour of duty in the Assembly of this our native State—it will make us happy to hear from you when ever it is convenient for you, and it will certainly delight us much to know that you are likely to succeed in your mission. I hope your efforts will not be wanting to secure us the free navigation of Mississippi—I expect much more sown from such efforts than from { 285 } any other—without this free Navigation our vast back country will be so distressed as to lay the foundation of future wars and dissention from the necessity of having an outlet to market. Our State hath already dispossessed the English of their holds on the river Illenois, we have great numbers of people settled on the Ohio, and we are now taking a post at the mouth of that river at its confluence with Mississippi—all these places being within our Charter limits.3 Remember me with much esteem to my friend Mr. Dana—I am dear Sir your most affectionate and obedient Servant
[signed] Richard Henry Lee
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Richard H. Lee Esqr. 7th. May 1780. recd. 19th. Septr.”
1. Clinton intended to seize Norfolk, rather than Portsmouth, the object of a British raid in 1779 (Mackesy, War for America, p. 342; J. L. Austin to JA, 7 June 1779, note 3, vol. 8:78). The capture of either town as a base of operations to support Cornwallis, however, could have had the effect envisioned by Lee. The arrival of Rochambeau's army forced the abandonment of the plan.
2. See Benjamin Rush's letter of 28 April, and note 4 (above).
3. George Rogers Clark had seized the British posts in what was then known as the Illinois country in the summer of 1778 and later that year the Virginia legislature adopted a plan for the government of the area. Fort Jefferson was the post referred to by Lee (Clarence Walworth Alvord, The Illinois Country 1673–1818, Springfield, Ill., 1920, p. 326–335, 345).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0170

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-08

To the President of Congress, No. 59

Paris, 8 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 31–33). (LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:663–664.
In this letter, read in Congress on 20 Sept., John Adams noted that “the English have a faculty of deceiving themselves,” and included a translation of an article from the Gazette de La Haye of 1 May. The author of the piece declared that, however much moderate British politicians might rationalize the intent of the Russian declaration of an armed neutrality, it was an attack on the British position vis-à-vis maritime law and an indication of Russia's intention to pursue its own interests despite any commercial ties with Britain. Adams then inserted the text of Lord Stormont's letter of 17 April to Count Walderen communicating the Order in Council suspending the Anglo-Dutch treaties. John Adams saw Stormont's note as another example of Britain's arrogance, new evidence of its confidence “that no other Nation of Europe understands its own Interest.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 31–33). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:663–664.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0171

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-08

To the President of Congress, No. 60

Paris, 8 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 27–30). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:660–663; extracts in various American newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette of 27 Dec. 1780 and the Boston Gazette of 15 Jan. 1781.
In this letter, { 286 } read in Congress on 20 Sept., John Adams provided newspaper accounts of the Swedish admiralty's ordinance declaring its determination to provide convoys for Swedish ships; the text of the British reply to Catherine II regarding her declaration of an armed neutrality; and Maj. Gen. Sir William Fawcett's efforts to raise troops in Ansbach and Hanau (see to James Warren, 18 March, note 2; and from Edmund Jenings, 18 March, note 7, both above). The British response to Russia denied any past violations of the established law of nations and promised to adhere to its dictates in the future. John Adams noted that while the British statement was somewhat conciliatory, it did not address the fundamental issue of whether Britain intended to establish real or only paper blockades. Adams believed that, if Britain was forced to accept the Russian interpretation of a blockade, it would put “an End forever, to the naval Superiority of G. Britain.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 27–30). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:660–663; extracts in various American newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette of 27 Dec. 1780 and the Boston Gazette of 15 Jan. 1781.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-08

To the President of Congress, No. 61

Paris, 8 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 19–22). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). printed:Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:652–656.
The letter, read in Congress on 20 Sept., opens with the text of a resolution by the States General of Holland and West Friesland protesting the seizure of goods, particularly ship building materials from Adm. Lodewijk van Bylandt's convoy in violation of the existing Anglo-Dutch treaties, and demanding convoys to enforce the provisions of the treaties. Next Adams inserted the text of a resolution of the States General intended to insure that foreign vessels trading with the Dutch West Indies paid the required duties to the Dutch West India Company and transported goods from the Indies solely to ports in the Netherlands. He then included similar resolutions from the provinces of Gelderland, Zeeland, and Friesland, which strongly supported Catherine II's declaration of an armed neutrality. Adams closed by reporting talk in Holland of setting up an embargo, and rumors that Britain was trying to get the Emperor to open the port of Antwerp.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 19–22). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:652–656.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0173

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-08

To the President of Congress, No. 62

Paris, 8 May 1780. RC(PCC, No. 84, II, f. 23–26). LbC in John Thaxter's hand(Adams Papers). In the Letterbook this letter begins on the page following that of 11 May, numbered 64. printed:Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:656–660.
In this letter, read in Congress on 20 Sept., John Adams communicated the Spanish declaration regarding its conduct toward neutral vessels that was dated 10 March and issued on 13 March. Much of the declaration was devoted to the actions to be taken by Spain toward neutral vessels passing through the Straits of Gibraltar, as part of its effort to blockade the British fortress there, but the text also set down its policy toward neutrals in the rest of the world. The declaration appeared to conform to principles set down in the Russian declaration of an armed neutrality and Adams prefaced his rendering of the text with the statement that “at the same time, that the Conduct of Great Britain towards the { 287 } neutral powers, is marked by a Severity, that is without Example, that of France and Spain, is distinguished by a Moderation and Liberality, that deserves to be imitated.” Adams concluded with the caution that he had obtained many state documents from foreign newspapers, but that the hasty translations sent to Congress might contain errors when compared with the originals.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 23–26). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). In the Letterbook this letter begins on the page following that of 11 May, numbered 64. printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:656–660.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0174

Author: Warren, Mercy Otis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-08

From Mercy Otis Warren

[salute] Dear Sir

I now put a letter of introduction into the hand of a son,2 who agreeable to your polite and friendly invitation waits on you on his first arrival at Paris. I believe I may venture to say he is a youth, who, will by no part of his conduct, disgrace the recommendations of the friend, or disappoint the expectations of the parent. Yet whoever enters at an early period amidst a world of strangers, ought to be well acquainted with himself, as well as the history of man, while he traverses a stage, where art not nature reigns. Even thus guarded, without the aid of experience, he may be liable to many inconveniences in a country, where politeness assumes the air of friendship, where refinement is wrought up to the extreme of elegance, and luxury digested into a systematical desire to please.
I am too well acquainted with your disposition, to think it necessary to ask your philosophic hints, which united with his own good sense, I have no doubt will lead him through with approbation.
I esteem myself very happy, in the full confidence of friendship with a gentleman, at once so competent to advise, direct, and aid, and so ready to point the youthful ardour of early years to that line of conduct which only can lead to happiness.
The views of this young gentleman whose felicity lies so near my heart, are chiefly of a commercial nature. Yet properly improved by industry and observation it may be a happy opportunity of qualifying for more extensive usefulness.
I have no idea that the morals of youth will suffer much by leaving Boston, for any part of Europe; though once I should have trembled for the safety of a son, in the morning of expectation, in the zenith of warm hope, stepping into the larger theatres of luxury, business, and intrigue, but the change of manners in this country has brought me to bid defiance to any disagreeable consequences from a change of place.
Maternal tenderness would lead out the mind to a thousand things { 288 } on this occasion, which civility to you, and an attention to your public avocations forbid. Mr. Warren will write you more fully on this subject, and with regard to the present situation of your beloved country he will not be negligent.
Baptists, Deists, Quakers, Priests, and Politicians, have laboured assiduously to expunge all religious establishments in the new Constitution of Government.3 But I believe (spite of the whole group) the form of Godliness, will yet be kept up among us, though it may have little influence on the moral character, at least so long as our depreciating currency continues to deaden the nobler feelings of the soul; and the easy acquisition of the means of luxury improves the taste for the most expensive and enervating pleasures.
The celebrated Abbe Raynal has observed that “even among a free people, friends to humanity, the thirst for money, the most cruel and tormenting of all passions, has frequently given rise to a pernicious and destructive government.”4 But though the spirit of accumulation is rampant among us, and checks the desire of improvements more agreeable to reason and nature, yet this baneful passion is not the only danger that threatens an infant republic.
When the luxuries of Europe are adopted by a people, who push all their purposes with a degree of enthusiasm characteristic of the North American, it must raise the taste for elegance and the most refined pleasures to the highest pitch, and consequently subvert every principle of that republican spirit which requires patience, probity, industry, and self denial for its support, virtues, which already sit solitary in our land; which vanity, ignorance, and supercilious folly, cloathed with the plumage of sudden acquisition, tinctured with the crude opinions of the mimic Deist, thrust forward the self important visage, and take the lead in the theory of religion and government, in the adjustment of the ceremonies of the drawing room, or in the misteries of the gaming table, and in the secret councels of the political cabinet.
But we have yet some virtues among us, and gratitude is none of the least. It was remarkably displayed on the return of the Marquis La Fayette to this place.5 A general satisfaction was diffused through each countenance, and every expression of respect manifested on his arrival. And while the heroic character of this accomplished young nobleman, engages universal esteem and admiration, his easy manners, his affable demeanor, and his polite address, win him the hearts of all who have the honour of his acquaintance. Yet, when I hear him converse, I cannot but waft a sigh across the Atlantic for his most { 289 } amiable lady, as well as for the many others who by the cruel necessity of the times are obliged to suffer the interruption of domestic felicity.
But these may be the antiquated notions of the last century, which the polish of modern days has rubbed to so briliant a standard that there are few who cannot be as happy in the society of others as with those to whom they are connected by the strongest tie. Yet, I am far from being singular; you have a friend at Braintree, that will accede to every sentiment. I purpose to call on her in a few days, and if possible prevail with her to go to Plymouth with me. I expect on my way to be entertained with the perusal of some of your letters. When you recieve this, I shall have a claim as usual on your politeness, and call for one in my own right.
My son does not propose to stay long in France, but he will open his own plans when he has the honour of seeing you, who I am sensible will, even without an application from me, do all that friendship and generosity dictate, to prevent his disappointment in this tour—and to render his pursuits successful.
You will Sir, remember me with tenderness to my young friends Messieurs John and Charles; then will I subscribe with every sentiment of respect, and esteem your obliged and very Humble Servant
[signed] M Warren
Tr (MHi: Mercy Warren Letterbook). The Letterbook is not in Mercy Warren's hand and was done years later from copies not now extant. Comparisons of recipient's copies of previous Mercy Warren letters with the transcripts in the Letterbook have shown significant differences. See, for example, Mercy Warren's letter of 15 Oct. 1778, descriptive note and notes 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 (vol. 7:141–144). It is unlikely, therefore, that the present transcript is identical to the lost recipient's copy.
1. The loss of this letter at sea (see note 2) led Mercy Warren to copy, with numerous changes, its first five paragraphs into her letter of 15 Nov. to JA (below). There, however, she indicated that this letter was of 15 May. Whether this was simply an inadvertence or indicates that the copy she used, as opposed to the transcript printed here, was dated 15 rather than 8 May, is not known.
2. Winslow Warren sailed for Europe on the Massachusetts privateer Pallas in late June. The vessel, however, was soon captured and he did not reach England until mid-November 1780 or meet with JA at Amsterdam until March 1781. Warren's capture resulted in the loss of a number of letters, including this one, several from AA, and at least three from James Warren. For Winslow Warren's interrupted voyage and the loss of the letters he carried, see his letter to AA, 26 May, and notes (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:358–360); and James Warren to JA, 12 Oct.; Thomas Digges to JA, 17 Nov. (both below). Mercy Warren also wrote to AA on 8 May regarding her son's imminent departure (Adams Papers). For that letter, see Adams Family Correspondence, 3:359.
3. This is a reference to the controversy over the inclusion of Art. III of the Declaration of Rights in the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. This article, not drafted by JA, provided for the public support of religion and was vigorously debated at the convention. It was also the object of numerous exchanges in the newspapers, with its most noted opponent being the Baptist leader Isaac Backus. In the end the article was declared ratified despite failing to receive the required two-thirds ma• { 290 } jority (vol. 8:231, 238, 262–263; Samuel Eliot Morison, “The Struggle over the Adoption of the Constitution of Massachusetts, 1780,” MHS, Procs., 50 (1916–1917):353–411; Ronald M. Peters Jr., The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780: A Social Compact, Amherst, 1978, p. 31–34, 81–87).
4. The source of this quotation from a work by Abbé Raynal remains unidentified.
5. Lafayette arrived at Boston on board the French frigate Hermione on 28 April and set off for Washington's camp at Morristown, N.J., on 2 May (Independent Chronicle, 4 May).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-09

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Dear Sir

I thank you for your Note of yesterday and the Papers inclosed. The Proposals for a general Pacification, by the Dean of Gloucester, whether they were written by him, or another, were probably intended to feel the pulse, of France, or Spain, or America, nay it is not impossible that they might be intended to Sound, So inconsiderable a Portion of Existence as Mr. John Adams: but it must be Something rather more plausibly written: Something a little more consonant to Reason, and to common Sense, which will draw out of Mr. Adams, his sentiments on the great Work of Pacification, if ever he should enter into any detail upon this subject, before general Conferences take place, which he at present believes he shall not do.1
Concealing however my Name, you may take these few observations upon these Proposals.
1. England may be heartily sick of the imprudent Part she has taken.2 This Point I shall not dispute with the Dean of Gloucester. Yet I wish she would give some better proofs of it, than she has done, hitherto. But of America, I can Speak with Confidence and Certainty, and So far from being Sick of the part they have taken, they look upon the past Madness of Great Britain, which has compelled them to overcome all the Prejudices, and weak Passions, which heretofore bound them to her, and to become independant as the greatest Blessing which Providence, ever bestowed upon them from the first Plantation in the new World. They look upon it, that a Council of the wisest statesmen and Legislators, consulting together on the best means of rendering America, happy, free, and great, could not have discovered and digested a system so perfectly adapted to that End, as the one which the folly and Wickedness of Britain has contrived for them. They not only See and feel, and rejoice in the <glorious> Amelioration of their Forms of Government, but in the Improvement of their Agriculture, and their Manufactures, and in the discovery that all the Omnipotence of British Talents, has not been able to { 291 } prevent their Commerce, which is opening and extending every year, as their Population is increasing in the Midst of the War.
To suppose that France is Sick of the <War> the Part she has taken3 is to suppose her to be sick of that Conduct which has procured her more Respect and Consideration in Europe than any step she ever took. It is to suppose her sick of that system which enabled her to negotiate the Peace between Russia and the Ottoman Port, as well as the Peace of Teschen:4 that system which has enabled her to unite in sentiment and affection all the maritime Powers, even the United Provinces, in her favour and against England. It is to suppose her sick of that system, which has broke off, from her rival and natural Ennemy, the most solid Part of his Strength. A strength that had become So terrible to France and would soon have been So fatal to her. I dont mean to enlarge.
As to the Propositions themselves it would be wasting time to consider them. Of all the malicious Plans of the English against America, none has ever been more so than this. Tis calculated only to make America the Sport of Britain, in future, to put it in her Power, to be forever fomenting Quarrells and Wars. And I am well persuaded, that America, would sooner vote for a <Thirty><Thousand> hundred Years War.5
I may be thought, again too sanguine. I have been too sanguine these twenty Years, constantly <too> Sanguine: yet eternally right.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] John Adams
I dont see Captain Waters's Engagement yet in any <other> of the Papers.6 I would have sent it to England and Holland for Publication, if I had known it could not be printed here.
1. Genet's note of 8 May (Adams Papers) enclosed peace proposals from an unidentified issue of the London General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (from Genet, 11 May, below); they were also printed in the May issue of Gentleman's Magazine (50:221–222) under the heading of “Proposals for a General Pacification. By the Dean of Gloucester.” For the specific proposals, which included the partition of America, with Britain retaining the territory between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers and the land below North Carolina, and the cession of Gibraltar to Spain, see JA's letter of 9 May to the president of Congress (No. 62, below). Such proposals were being considered in the spring of 1780 in the course of informal contacts between the British and French governments (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 101–102).
Although JA's doubts as to whether the plan was by Josiah Tucker, dean of Gloucester, proved groundless, they may have stemmed from the apparent variance of the specific proposals made by Tucker from his previous writings. In both The True Interest of Great-Britain set forth in Regard to the Colonies (London, 1774; reprinted at Philadelphia in 1776, Evans, No. 15119) and Dispassionate Thoughts on the American War Addressed to Moderates of All Parties (London, 1780), Tucker had argued that it was in Britain's economic self-interest to withdraw completely { 292 } from the colonies and give them the independence they so desired. Such action would remove the expense of maintaining a colonial presence, but would not mean the loss of the American markets or sources of raw materials, for even as independent states the former colonies would be drawn economically to their former mother country. Tucker's position in his pamphlets, therefore, does not seem dramatically different from Thomas Pownall's in his Memorial or from JA's position in his reworking of Pownall's pamphlet (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above).
2. In introducing the proposals, Tucker began “all the powers at war are heartily sick of the imprudent parts they have taken.”
3. The preceding five words were interlined.
4. For the Treaty of Kutschuk-Kainardji (1774) and the Convention of Ainali-Kavak (1779), and the Treaty of Teschen (1779), see vol. 8:index, under Treaties.
5. In a letter of 10 May (Adams Papers), Genet thanked JA for his observations on the peace proposals, but stated that he had decided not to publish them so as to avoid the appearance of paying too much attention to the Dean of Gloucester's “Agri Somnia.” That is, the empty visions of a sick man.
6. See JA's letter of 3 May to Genet, note 1 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0176

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-09

To the President of Congress, No. 62

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inclose to Congress, Proposals for a general Pacification, by the Dean of Gloucester.1
Proposed to the English, Americans, French and Spaniards, now at War.
1. That Great Britain Shall retain Newfoundland, with the Desert Coasts of Labradore, also Canada Nova Scotia, and the Country bordering on the Bay of Fundy, as far as the Bay and River of Penobscot.
2. That all the Country from the Penobscot River to the River Connecticut, containing almost all the four populous provinces of New England, Shall be ceded to the Americans.
3. That all the Country from the Connecticut to the River Delaware, containing the whole of New York Long Island, and the Jersies with Some parts of two other Provinces indenting with them, shall return to Great Britain.
4. That all the Country from the Delaware to the Northern boundary of South Carolina, containing the greatest part of Pennsylvania, all Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, shall be ceded to the Americans.
5. That all the Country from the Northern boundary of South Carolina to the extreme point of the eastern Florida, containing three whole Provinces, shall be retained by Great Britain.
6. That West Florida, chiefly barren Sand, and the Fortress of Gibralter (totally useless) Shall be ceded to Spain, in order to Satisfy { 293 } the Punto2 of that nation, and that the Spaniards shall give Porto Rico in Exchange—an Island, on which they seem to set no Value, and which indeed is of no Use to them, though large in itself, Stored with good ports, well situated, and capable (in the Hands of the English) of great Improvements.
7. Lastly that the English Shall give up the Conquests they have made on the French in the East Indies who shall do the like to the English in the West Indies.
I shall make no Remarks upon this Plan. But there is no Englishman thinks of a wiser, or at least who dares propose one. All who talk of Propositions, throw out something as absurd, and idle as this, which will convince Congress that We shall have no Peace for Sometime.
The French Armament which sailed from Brest the second of May, under the Command of M. De Rochambeau of the Troops and M. de Ternay of the Fleet—and the Armament from Cadiz of twelve ships of the Line besides Frigates and other armed Vessels, with Eleven thousand five hundred Land Forces, with a fine Train of Artillery which were to sail about the same time or earlier,3 both destined for America, as it is supposed, will I hope bring the English to think of some Plan a little more rational.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with great Regard, sir your most obedient servant,

[signed] John Adams
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 35–36); endorsed: “No. 63 Letter from J Adams May 9. 1780 Read Sept 20 Dean of Glocester's plan of pacification.” LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “No. 62.”
1. For the source of these proposals and additional comments by JA on them, see his letter of 9 May to Genet, and note 1 (above).
2. That is, to satisfy Spanish honor.
3. The Spanish fleet commanded by Como. José Solano sailed from Cádiz on 28 April and arrived at Guadaloupe on 9 June. Its twelve ships of the line convoyed 146 transports and other vessels carrying 11,000 troops (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 188–189).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0177-0001

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-09

From Edmé Jacques Genet

J'ai l honneur de vous envoyer ci joint un Lond. Ev. post du 6. que je vous prie de me renvoyer sur le champ. Je vous comuniquerai un London Courant où il y a un long détail de la reception qui vous a été faite en Espagne.1
J'apprens par les gazettes que mr. le Cap. Paul Jones loge avec vous. Vous nous ferés grand plaisir de nous l'amener dimanche.2 Ce sera { 294 } un jour très heureux pour moi et nous boirons a la prosperité et à la gloire des Etats unis.
J'ai demandé des places pour vous et votre compagnie à la chapelle pour voir la Cérémonie.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0177-0002

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-09

Edmé Jacques Genet to John Adams: A Translation

I have the honor to send you enclosed a London Evening Post of 6 May, but I must ask you to return it immediately. I will send you a London Courant, containing a detailed account of your reception in Spain.1
I learn from the gazettes that Captain Paul Jones lodges with you. It would give us great pleasure if you would bring him with you Sunday.2 That will be a most happy day for me and we will drink to the prosperity and glory of the United States.
I have requested seats at the chapel for you and your party to watch the ceremony.
1. The report of JA's reception in Spain has not been found in the London Courant or any other London newspaper except the General Advertiser of 1 May. For the account and its publication, see JA's letter to Edmund Jenings of 19 April, and note 2 (above). In his letter of 10 May (Adams Papers), Genet indicated that if the account in the General Advertiser was correct, he would publish it in a future issue of the Mercure, and he did so in the issue of 27 May (“Journal Politique de Bruxelles,” p. 158–161). See also JA's letter of 11 May to Genet (below).
2. This report that John Paul Jones resided with JA appeared in various London newspapers, including the London Chronicle of 6–9 May and the London Evening Post of 6–9 May, but actually Jones lived with Edward Bancroft at Passy (Morison, John Paul Jones, p. 275). In his letter of 8 May (Adams Papers), Genet had invited JA and his entourage to breakfast at Versailles on Sunday, 14 May, and afterwards to witness the investiture of the Chevaliers du St. Esprit. JA described the ceremony in his letter of 15 May to AA (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:347).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0178-0001

Author: Kemtenstrauss, M. de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-09

From De Kemtenstrauss and Others

[salute] Monsieur

Une Societé de Gens aises a formé le Déssein d'établir une Colonie Dans les Etats Unis de l'amerique Septentrionale, Offre qui ne tendrait qu'a donner de Nombreux, de fideles d'utiles et Vertueux Sujets a cette puissante République; Guides par le Désir de réaliser un Project si Sage et avantageux, et encoûrages par la Solidité Du present offert, Les Membres de cette Societé osent s'addresser à Vôtre Excellence, et la Supplier, De bien voûloir prendre ces Emigraux soûs sa haûte Protection et les favoriser en leur faisant savoir s'ils peuvent être assurés d'obtenir Des Etats independans et unis d'amèrique.
{ 295 }
1.) Une Entiere Liberté De Conscience.
2.) Un Mille géometrique quarré en friche dans une Coutrée temperee, fértile, et Salubre.
3.) La Joûissance de toûs les Priviléges accordes aux aûtres habitans des Etats unis.
4.) L'administration interieure de ses affaires Domestiques, sans l'Intervention d'une Authorité législative quelquonque si non en Cas du Droit de Vie et de Mort.
De l'aûtre Coté toûs les Membres de la Colonie Susditte s'engagent â une Soûmission inviolable et eternelle aux Loix generales et fondamentales de la République, qui ne seront cependant pas immediatement opposes aû 1. 3. et 4. Des Articles cÿ dessus marqués.
C'est dans l'Esperance d'être honnoré De Vôtre Excellence D'une Reponse prompte et favorable sous l'addresse
à Monsieur Monsieur
De Kemtenstrauss—Chevalier Du St. Empire
Poste restante A Munie
par Strasboûrg

[salute] que la Societé réquerante reste avec un tres profound Respect Monsieur De Vôtre Excellence Les tres humbles et tres Obeissants Servitrs

[signed] Les Membres de la Societe réquerante1

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0178-0002

Author: Kemtenstrauss, M. de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-09

De Kemtenstrauss to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

A society of well-to-do men has formed a plan to establish a colony in the United States of North America, an offer which cannot fail to provide this powerful republic with a number of loyal, useful, and virtuous subjects. Prompted by the desire to accomplish such a wise and advantageous project, and encouraged by the soundness of the present effort, the members of this society dare to address themselves to your excellency and implore him, from his good will, to take these immigrants under his strong protection and favor by informing them whether they can be assured of obtaining from the independent and United States of America:
1. Complete freedom of conscience.
2. A square mile of fallow land in a temperate, fertile, and healthful country.
3. The enjoyment of all the privileges accorded to the other inhabitants of the United States.
4. The internal conduct of domestic affairs without the intervention from a legislative authority except only in the case of taxes or life and death.
{ 296 }
On the other hand, all the members of the aforesaid colony pledge themselves to an inviolable and eternal submission to the general and fundamental laws of the republic insofar as they do not directly oppose 1, 3, and 4 of the articles indicated above.
It is in the hope of being honored by your excellency with a prompt and favorable response addressed
à Monsieur Monsieur
De Kemtenstrauss—Chevalier Du St. Empire
Poste restante A Munie
par Strasboûrg

[salute] that the petitioning society remains with a very profound respect, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servants.

[signed] The Members of the Petitioning Society1
RC (Adams Papers). Because of the way in which the date was written, the letter was filed and filmed at 5 Nov. 1780 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 353).
1. No further information has been found regarding either De Kemtenstrauss or the society of which he was a member, nor is it known whether the plan to establish a settlement was realized, but see JA's reply of 10 June (below). A similar letter was written to Benjamin Franklin on this same date (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:311).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0179

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-10

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Dear Sir

I have communicated your Invitation to Commodore Jones.1 He will go to Versailles a Sunday, but I believe is engaged to dine. I will have the Honor of waiting on You with Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter, on Sunday: but I believe, it will be best to leave my little Sons, and give them another Opportunity of availing themselves of your Goodness.
Sir John Dalrymple is at Madrid, and coming this Way, from Portugal, on Account of his Lady's Health as it is given out.
The Slanderer of Algernon Sidney will do no good in Spain, France or any where else.2
Adieu
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. See Genet's letter of 9 May, and note 2 (above).
2. For the report concerning Dalrymple, see letters from John Jay andWilliam Carmichael of 26 and [ca. 26] April respectively (both above). JA's reference to Dalrymple as “the Slanderer of Algernon Sidney” stems from Dalrymple's Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland, From the Dissolution of the Last Parliament of Charles II, Until the Sea-Battle off La Hogue, 2 vols., London, 1771–1773; a 3-volume edition published at Dublin in 1773 is in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library). There Dalrymple presented evidence implying that Sidney's revolutionary activities were motivated in part by payments he received from France. Ardent whigs such as JA saw this as an effort to { 297 } blacken the reputation of their heroic precursor (Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth Century Commonwealthman, N.Y., 1968, p. 46, 360).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0180

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-10

To the President of Congress, No. 63

Paris, 10 May 1780. RC(PCC, No. 84, II, f. 39–40). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:668–669.
In this letter, read in Congress on 20 Sept., John Adams described Henry Grattan's effort in the Irish House of Commons on 19 April to overthrow Poyning's Law (10 Hen. 7, ch. 22) and thus establish legislative independence for the Irish Parliament. Although the attempt failed, Adams believed that popular support for the measure was so strong “that no magistrate will venture to execute any Act of the English Parliament.” Adams also provided extracts from two statutes, 4 Phil. & Mary, ch. 4 and 6 Geo. 1, ch. 5, which set down the meaning of Poyning's Law.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 39–40). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:668–669.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0181

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-10

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I have had the pleasure of receiving your favor of the 29th. Ultimo, since which the Enemy have furnish'd us with such intelligence relative to affairs at Chas. Town and New York as they choose to publish, but I understand in General, that they are very greatly alarm'd for the very defenceless State in which N. York has been left and the extreme doubtfulness of Clintons success in his attempt against Chas. Town. It is tho't, that if the American Naval Force and Fort Sullivan can prevent the Enemies Ships of War from approaching the Town, Clinton will be obliged to relinquish the attempt; however the operations in the South must be concluded by this time, and if Genl. Washington and the Eastern States are not alert in commencing their operations against N. York, the Enemy may get back there before any thing effectual is done.
I shall be happy to hear that Monsr. Teirnay has not met with Graves and Walsingham, as they all sail'd with the same wind; for the latter have nearly double Monsr. Teirnays force in Ships of the Line.1 The British channel fleet for this year is reckon'd at 34 to 37 Ships of the Line, but I think it very certain that they cannot have 30, if their first West India fleet does not get home safe, without molestation as usual. I cannot conceive how a ship of the line, a 50 Gun Ship and 5, or 6, Frigates cou'd be better employed than in cruising pretty far in the Bay of Biscay and somewhat North [South?] of Cape Clear, to intercept the W. India Fleet.
We shall soon see whether there is any true metal left in England for after the late proceedings in the H. of Commons and Lords, if { 298 } they continue quiet, I think all the world must allow, that their Liberties and the popular part of their constitution are totally gone.
They talk, loudly every where of Peace with America, in the old foolish strain, on condition of America uniting with them against F. and S.
When a whole People can talk so ridiculously, it is a decisive proof that they have as little common sense, as common virtue and honesty among them, and nothing but some hearty drubings can bring them to reason.
The Dutch it seems are not unanimous about the measures they ought to take; for the Province of Zealand according to Custom, is somewhat restive. One would be apt to think, these People were of a very mulish nature, that is the most apt to stand still, the more they are kick'd and cuff'd. Surely Spain will exert its influence to prevail on Portugal to shut her Ports against all Ships of War and arm'd vessels, of every Nation, for under her present system of neutrality the Ports of Portugal are as advantagious to our Enemies as most of the ports of G. Britain and infinitely more injurious to the trade of Spain; while they are of no kind of use to France, Spain or America. If Portugal will not agree to this, it seems to me that it would be proper in Congress, as a prelude to more serious measures, to prohibit by a public resolution, any productions of Portugal from being admitted or consum'd in any of the United States.2
I have the Honor to be Dr. Sir yrs. &c.
P.S. I fancy you know the Name of the Gentlemans Correspondent at the Hague, that you wish to be informd of, because I beleive you correspond with the same person.3
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Lee 10. May ansd 6 June” docketed by CFA: “Wm” between the “M.” and “Lee,” and “1780.”
1. With some stylistic changes, the remainder of this paragraph and the portion of the final paragraph dealing with Portugal formed the substance of JA's letter of 15 May to John Jay (below).
2. Portugal's longstanding alliance with Britain, troubled relationship with Spain, and treatment of American ships made it a continuing problem for American diplomacy. In 1776 Congress instructed its Commissioners to propose an alliance with France and Spain that included an American declaration of war against Portugal, but nothing came from the offer. The need to resolve differences remained, however, and in June 1780, John Jay was instructed to make overtures to Portugal to ascertain whether an amicable settlement might be achieved (Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, p. 52–53; JCC, 6:1057; 17: 542).
3. This was C. W. F. Dumas. Although Dumas corresponded with the American Commissioners at Paris while JA served as a Commissioner in 1778 and 1779, the two men had not yet begun a personal correspondence, but see JA's letter to Dumas of 21 May, note 2, and his reply to Lee of 6 June, note 2 (both below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0182-0001

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-10

From the Comte de Vergennes

Je vous dois des remerciemens, Monsieur, pour les differentes communications que vous avez bien voulu me faire.1 Si les notions que renferme la lettre qui vous a êté confiée, Sont exactes, vous ne devez pas tarder à en avoir la preuve, et dans ce cas il faudra voir quelles ouvertures on jugera à propos de vous faire. Je pense que vous ne devez point refuser de les entendre.

[salute] J'ai l'honneur d'etre très parfaitement, Monsieur, votre très humble et très obeissant Serviteur

[signed] De Vergennes

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0182-0002

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-10

The Comte de Vergennes to John Adams: A Translation

I must thank you, sir, for the various communications you have been kind enough to send me.1 If the information contained in the letter sent to you proves accurate, you will, no doubt, shortly receive further proof, and if so, we would have to examine the offers they deem appropriate to make to you. I believe you should not refuse to hear them out.

[salute] I have the honor to be very perfectly, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant.

[signed] De Vergennes
1. Vergennes is almost certainly referring to JA's letters of 1 and 5 May (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12). For the enclosures contained in the former, see JA's letter of 3 May to Jeremiah Allen, and note 2 (above). The letter of the 5th contained an extract (not found) from Thomas Digges' letter of 28 April (and note 10, above). For JA's opinion of possible overtures from the British government alluded to in Digges' letter, see his reply to Vergennes of 12 May (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0183

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-11

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Dear Sir

I have just recieved your Card of the 10th.1 I agree with You that the Dean's propositions are too absurd to be noticed.
As to the History of my peregrinations in Spain,2 and I find it is true as far as it goes; altho' the half is not told, excepting in the following particulars. They have called the American Agent at Corunna, Mr. Laurens, whereas his Name is Mr. Lagoanere. They have called, the first Justice of the Grand Audience “the Rixent,” Whereas they should have called him the Regent. It is moreover said that the { 300 } Gentlemen dined frequently with the Vice Roy, which is not exactly true—they dined with him but once.
In every other punctilio, this Narration is true, and far from being exaggerated.
I had indeed, my dear Sir, as much Reason, to be pleased with the good Will and Affection of the Spaniards, as I had to be mortified, at the Inconvenience of travelling in their Country and the bad Accommodations upon the Roads.
This Relation shews the Benevolence of Spain on one hand, and the Gratitude of America on the other; and consequently the excellent disposition in both to maintain the new Connection: it has consequently a Tendency to put the English into a proper Temper of Repentance of their folly and their Crimes—a Temper to which they must be brought, before they will make Peace. For this Reason I wish to see it as public as possible and consecrated to Immortality in your Mercury.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not printed, but see JA's letters to Genet of 3 May, note 1, and 9 May, note 5, and Genet's letter of 9 May, note 1 (all above).
2. The critique is of the version printed in the General Advertiser of 1 May. For JA's original account, see his letter of 19 April to Edmund Jenings, and note 2 (above). It is notable that Genet was apparently unaware that JA was the source of the account and that JA did not inform him of the fact in this letter. See Genet's letters of 9 May (above) and 10 May (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0184

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-11

To the President of Congress, No. 64

Paris, 11 May 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 43–45). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:670–671.
In this letter, read in Congress on 20 Sept., John Adams sent the text of three motions respecting the American war proposed by David Hartley in a speech to the House of Commons on 1 May. For the speech and Hartley's motions, see Thomas Digges' letter of 2 May, and note 7 (above). Adams concluded his letter with a reference to Gen. Henry Seymour Conway's subsequent announcement that on 2 May he would lay before the House a bill to establish “the foundations of a Treaty of Peace and Reconciliation” with America.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 43–45). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:670–671.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0185-0001

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-11

From Edmé Jacques Genet

Nous serions bien fachés, Monsieur de ne pas avoir dimanche the young gentlemen. C'est un jour fait pour eux, puis qu'il y a une { 301 } cérémonie1 qui ne se repete pas souvent, et j'ai pris les précautions nécessaires pour qu'ils la voyent à leur aise. Nous les attendons et nous vous Supplions de ne point tromper notre attente. Le Commodore Jones nous fera sûrement lhoneur d'accepter le break fast chez nous. J'y aura de bon Thé qui n'a point été taxé par l'angleterre. Le commodore vous accompagnera à la chapelle pour voir la cérémonie et vous serés tous bien placés. J'espere bien que les young gentlemen viendront encore plus d'une fois, car il ne faut pas pretendre que tout se voit ici en un jour. Mais celui de dimanche is a Special one.
Je connois Sir J. Dalrymple; Et je puis vous assurer, qu'on ne Sera plus aussi complaisant ici pour lui qu'on l'a été dans d'autres tems. Ceux qui depuis lui ont demandé les mêmes faveurs n'y ont pas été bien reçues.
Vous êtes bien le maitre d'envoyer au Congrez les propositions du Doyen:2 Elles Sont tirées du general advertiser, which I reckon to be ministerialist
[signed] Genet

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0185-0002

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-11

Edmé Jacques Genet to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Dear Sir

We would be most unhappy not to see the young gentlemen Sunday. It is a day made for them since the ceremony1 is not repeated often, and I have taken the necessary steps so that they can see it comfortably. We are expecting them and beg you not to disappoint us. Commodore Jones will surely honor us by accepting our invitation to breakfast. I will serve good tea which has not been taxed by England. The Commodore will accompany us to the chapel to see the ceremony and you will all be well placed. I hope that the young gentlemen will repeat their visit, for one cannot hope to see everything in one day. But this Sunday is a special one.
I know Sir John Dalrymple; and can assure you that he will not be as well treated here as he has been in the past. Those who since then have asked him for the same favors have not been well received.
You are perfectly welcome to send to Congress the Dean's proposals:2 they were taken from the General Advertiser, which I reckon to be ministerialist.
[signed] Genet
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “M. J. Adams hotel de Valois rue de Richelieu a Paris.”
1. The investiture of the Chevaliers du St. Esprit held on 14 May.
2. In a note of [ca. 9 May] (Private owner, 1957), JA requested permission to send alleged proposals of the Dean of Gloucester to Congress. See JA's letter of 9 May to the president of Congress, No. 62 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0186

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Carmichael, William
Date: 1780-05-12

To William Carmichael

[salute] Sir

I had, two days ago the favour of yours without a date,1 and thank you for the History of Sir John Dalrimple, whose Memoires2 would be sufficient to put me upon my guard, if I knew no more of him. He has seen the Imperial Ambassador. Pray, do you discover any of the Sentiments of the Austrian Family where you are. The old Rivalry, between that and Bourbon, the old Friendship and alliance with England. The new Ecclat and Power of an old Ennemy, and the declining forces of an old Friend, are circumstances that cannot escape the Notice, of the Sensible and aspiring Chief of that great House. The family alliance with France, is a lucky Circumstance at this time.3
I have received a few Journals, by the Way of Amsterdam.4 Young Coll Laurens has refused to come to Europe, I Suppose Smitten with the Charms of military Glory, and foreseeing the War was turning to his Town. You will See in the public papers before this reaches you all the News from America. We are waiting, with no Small Anxiety, the Arrival of News from Charlestown.
De Ternay Sailed the Second, and We hope Soon to have the News that the Armament from Cadiz, is Sailed. De Rochambeau is too weak wherever he is gone. He should have had more <Men> Force. The Spanish Force is very great. But, would it not be better Policy, both for France and Spain to send more ships and fewer Troops. The British Possessions in America, both upon the Continent and the Islands, depend upon the Sea for their Existence. According to the Bull in the English Play,5 the strongest Ground, or the only Ground they Stand upon is the Ocean. By a decided Superiority of naval force, upon the American Coasts and among the Islands, under active, vigilant and enterprizing Commanders, who will not think it beneath them to cruise for and watch the motions of transports and Merchantmen, the trade of America and the Islands would flourish, and the Supplies of the English totally cutt off. A few, french or Spanish Men of War, cruising in the Mass. Bay. A few more lying at anchor in the Harbour of Rhode Island and cruising occasionally, a few more lying in the mouth of the Delaware, a few more in Cheasapeak Bay—Say 3 ships and three frigates in each. This would make 12 ships of the Line and twelve frigates. These would, by cruising themselves occasionally and giving full scope to our privateers, more { 303 } certainly ruin the British Power <in America>, than four times that force in Europe. But Suppose there was only one ship of the Line and two Frigates Stationed in each. This would be only 4 ships and 8 frigates. These would either totally destroy the british Army, in America, by starving it, or compell the English to keep more than double their number in the North American station. This would weaken them so much in the W. I. Islands that the french and Spanish Forces there, would do whatever they pleased.
I know not the Reason of it, but the English dont seem to take Spain into their Account at all. They make their calculations, to equal or exceed the french a little, but reckon the Spaniards for nothing. A very little Activity on the part of these, would terrify the English beyond Measure. I suppose, but it is only conjecture that the Floridas are the Object of the Force from Cadiz. Gibralter occupies another immense force. These forces however, or the amount of their Expences, employed, in the American seas and kept constantly in Motion, would more certainly ruin the whole British Power, and consequently more certainly obtain the Floridas Gibralter or whatever else is desired of, than direct Attacks upon these Places. Attacking these places is endeavouring to lop of single Limbs, securing the Dominion of the American Seas, is laying the Ax to the Root of the Tree. But enough of my small Politicks. Adieu.
LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “<Mr> The Honourable Wm. Charmichael Secretary, to the American <Commission> Legation at Madrid.”
1. [Ca. 26 April] (above).
2. For Dalrymple's Memoirs and JA's objections to them, see his letter of 10 May to Genet, and note 2 (above).
3. JA means the marriage of Marie Antoinette, sister of Austrian Emperor Joseph II, to Louis XVI.
4. On 10 May JA had received American newspapers, congressional journals, and AA's letter of 26 Feb. (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:281–283) by way of Amsterdam. He sent the newspapers and journals to Vergennes under cover of a letter of 11 May (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12), to which Vergennes replied later the same day (Adams Papers).
5. Probably a reference to John Arbuthnot's The History of John Bull, 5 vols., London, 1712, much of which was in the form of a dialogue.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-12

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have received the letter which you did me the honor to write me on the 10th. of this month. Altho' the writer of the letter, an extract of which I had the honor to enclose to you,2 may be right in his conjecture that the British Administration wish to know more than they do at present of3 my sentiments upon the great subject of a { 304 } pacification, yet I have had too long experience of their principles views and tempers, and I know that they are too well acquainted with mine, for me to expect that they will directly convey any propositions to me. When we hear them affirm in Parliament that America is upon the point of returning to an Allegiance to the King of England; and that they seriously believe America will return to such an Allegiance: When the Members of opposition, even those who are most inclined to peace, such as Mr. Hartley, General Conway &c. discover plainly by their motions and arguments, that their object is a seperate peace with America, in order to be the better able to gratify their revenge against France and Spain, I can have no expectations that they think of applying to me, because I think they must be convinced of this at least that I shall make no seperate peace.4
I thank your Excellency however, for your sentiments, that I ought to hear them, in case any overtures shou'd be made to me; I shou'd in such a case endeavour to hear them with decency and respect, but it wou'd require much Philosophy to hear with patience such absurd and extravagant propositions as are published in pamphlets and News-papers, and made in Parliament, even by the Members of Opposition who profess to be most zealous for Peace.5
Our Alliance with France is an honor and a security, which have ever been near my heart. After reflecting long upon the geographical situation of the old world and the new, upon the agriculture, commerce, and political relations [of] both; upon the connections and oppositions among the Nations of the former, and the mutual wants and Inter[ests] of both, according to such imperfect lights as I was able [to] obtain; the result has long since been this, that my Country in case she shou'd once be compelled to break off from Great-Britain, wou'd have more just reasons to depend upon a reciprocity of good offices of Friendship from France, Spain, and the other Sovereigns who are usually in their system; than upon those in the opposite scale [of] the ballance of Power. I have ever thought it therefore a natural Alliance, and contended for it as a Rock of Defence. This object I pursued in Congress with persevering assiduity, for more than a year, in opposition to other Gentlemen of much greater Name and Abilities than mine, and had at length the satisfaction to find my Countrymen very generally to fall into the same sentiment, and the honour to be appointed to draw the first Treaty which was sent to this Court.6 These facts have been well known in America even to the Tories, and the utility and importance of this Alliance being known to be deeply imprinted on my mind and heart, I suppose was a principal cause { 305 } why the present Trust was confided to me by my Countrymen.7 These facts, altho' they may have been unknown in France, yet having been well known to the Tories in America, I cannot suppose they are ignorant of them at the Court of St. James'. I therefore think that neither Administration nor Opposition in England, will ever think of applying to me, untill they are brought into such a situation as shall compel them to sue for peace with all the Powers at War; which to be sure does not appear to be the case at present, nor likely to be; at least before the end of this Campaign, nor then neither, without some notable good fortune on the part of the Allies in the progress of the War. I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC in Francis Dana's hand (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed at the top of the first page: “18 Mai” and “Reçu.” LbC (Adams Papers). Bracketed material is supplied from the LbC. This is the first letter for which Francis Dana acted as JA's secretary. It may indicate that Dana played a significant part, as he did later with JA's letter of 22 June to Vergennes (below), in revising the Letterbook copy.
1. The differences between the recipient and Letterbook copies of this letter are striking. In the Letterbook, JA took considerable pains to allay Vergennes' apprehensions about the conduct of his mission, while leaving his options open. Before JA's revisions (see notes 4 and 5) the Letterbook text contained a clear commitment to refuse any British offer of a separate peace. JA stated that his instructions permitted him only to participate in negotiations for a general peace. He also declared that his attachment to the Franco-American alliance was such that whatever efforts he might make to achieve a peace, he would do nothing to undermine the alliance. The recipient's copy, however, does not clearly define the scope of JA's powers, nor does it declare the alliance to be sacred under any and all conditions. Here JA does not commit himself to reject automatically a settlement that recognized American independence and satisfied the other parts of his instructions, but which amounted to a separate peace.
This letter played an important role in the evolution of JA's thinking in regard to the exercise of his powers and the nature of the peace settlement that he might negotiate. It should be compared with his letters of 17 and 26 July to Vergennes (both below), and considered also in light of his later efforts to publish his revision of Pownall's Memorial, and the “Letters from a Distinguished American” (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above; “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], below), both of which indicated an inclination, had acceptable terms been offered, toward the conclusion of a separate peace.
2. Vergennes' letter of 10 May (above) was a reply to JA's of the 5th (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12), in which he had enclosed an extract from Thomas Digges' letter of 28 April (above).
3. In the Letterbook the preceding seven words are interlined.
4. In the Letterbook this paragraph concludes with the following canceled sentence: “In Truth my Powers are to join in a general Pacification and I have no Authority to make a particular one.”
5. At this point in the Letterbook JA canceled the letter's original conclusion which follows:
“Of one thing your Excellency, may be assured, that no overtures have as yet been made to me, So whenever any shall, if indeed that should ever happen I shall communicate them without Loss of Time, and without Pretense to you.
“Our Alliance with France is <a Benefit> an Honour and a Security, which I have ever had near my Heart. After reflecting as maturely as I could, for twenty Years, upon the geographical situation of the two Worlds, upon the Ag• { 306 } | view riculture and Commerce, of both as well as their political Relations, upon the political Connections and oppositions among the powers of Europe, the Result of the whole has long been this, that my Country in case she should once be compelled to break off from Great Britain, would forever after have more just reason to depend upon a Reciprocity of the good offices of Friendship from France and Spain, and the Nations who are usually in their system, than upon the opposite Scale, of the Ballance of Power. I have ever thought it therefore a natural Alliance, and have contended for it as a rock of defence. I may be excused upon this occasion if I open my sentiments to your Excellency a little more and inform you that I had the Honour to pursue this object in Congress, for more than a Year, with constant attention and assiduity, <and for a great Part of the Time> in opposition to other Gentlemen of much greater Name and abilities than mine, that I had at last the good fortune to carry this point and to be the Person who drew the Treaty which was first sent to the Court of Versailles. I take the Liberty to mention these facts to your Excellency, in order to shew that our Alliance is a Point, that I shall never injure, that I have just Ideas of its Importance, and that <I believe this to have been a principal that> it is <perfectly> well known in America that these Ideas are deeply imprinted on my mind and Heart which was probably, the true Cause, why Congress thought proper to confer upon me, my present Commission. I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, your excellencys, most obedient and humble servant.”
6. JA's description of his efforts on behalf of a treaty with France in this and the following two sentences should be compared with those in the Editorial Note to the Treaty Plan of 1776 (vol. 4:260–265) and JA's letter to Edmund Jenings of 18 July (below).
7. In the Letterbook this sentence ended the paragraph. The following sentence, the first of a new paragraph, originally read “These Facts having been known to the Tories in America, altho they may have been unknown in.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0188

Author: Bowens, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-12

From Francis Bowens

[salute] Gentleman

I am honourd with your allways respectable Letter of the 5 Instant. The little Box you mention and markd 'A' wich Mr. Digges of London has send me, was handed in good Condition a few Days ago, and as pampletts, Books and all such goods are admitted in french without any Difficulty. I have forward sayd Box the Day by a Carriage for Lille and have recommand to my Correspondant of the sayd Town Mr. Augs. Le Sage1 who will take the particularist Care for and forward to you by the Diligence.2 The little expences and Charges I have pay'd, will be put on Account of Mr. Digges. You may be persuaded Gentleman that I schall take allways the greatest Care possible for all Kinds of Articles you schould send to my Care, and that all your Orders will be follow'd with all the prudence and secrecy possible.
I schall be certainly Gentleman very flatterd in receiving your Orders and will be happy if you will grant me your protection and confiance.3 I will give you in all Occasion, proofs of the greatest regard and respect with wich I remain, Gentleman! Your most humble & obedient Servant
[signed] F Bowens
{ 307 }
1. JA received Bowens' letter on 16 May; on the 18th he wrote to Le Sage asking him to send the package as quickly as possible (LbC, Adams Papers). On 12 June, in response to a letter from Le Sage of 11 May (not found), JA sent an aquit de caution or customs house bond for the box (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. The “Diligence” was an express stagecoach (OED). On the next to last page of his Letterbook No. 8 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 96), JA wrote “Bureau du dilligence de Lille Ruë St. Dennis. au grand cerf.”
3. For JA's reply to Bowens of 18 May, see Edmé Jacques Genet's letter of 17 May, note 2 (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0189

Author: Adams, John
Author: San, Fernando Raymond
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Date: 1780-05-13

To Thomas Digges

I have to acknowledge, one of 14 Ap. and one 2d. May. The Parcells, have not yet seen nor heard of.1 You may Stop the London Evg. and the London Packet for the future, but send on the courant if you please. Have not yet received, the debate upon C[onway]s motion. I have seen the paper and read the debate.2 It is the scene of the Goddess in the Dunciad reading Blackmore to her Children.3 The Commons are yawning, while the Ministry and Clinton, are cementing the Union of America, by the blood of every Province, and binding all to their Allies, By compelling them to shed theirs. All is well that ends well. These wise folk are giving F. and S. a Consideration in Europe too, that they had not, and are throwing away their own as nothing worth. Sweden and Denmark, are in the Same System with Russia and Holland. Indeed if the Ministry, had only common Information, they would have known that this Combination of the maritime powers, has been forming these 18 Months, and was nearly as well agreed a year ago as it is now. But when a Nation is once, fundamentally wrong, thus it is. Internal Policy, external defence, foreign negotiations, all go away to gether. The bad Consequences of a Principle essentially Wrong, are infinite. The Minority, mean only to try if they can make peace with America Separately, in order to revenge themselves, as they think they can upon F. and S., but this is as wrong and as absurd, and impracticable as the plans of the ministry. All Schemes for reconciliation with America short of Independance, and all plans for Peace with America, allowing her Independance, Seperate from her allies, are visionary, and delusive, disingenuous, corrupt and wicked. America has taken her equal Station, and she will behave with as much honour, as any of the nations of the Earth.4 To Say that the Americans are upon the Poise, are ballancing, and will return to their Allegiance to the King of England, is as wild as bedlam. If Witnesses cannot be believed, why dont they believe the nature of things. Ask the Newspapers, which are so free, { 308 } that nothing is Spared, Congress, and every body is attacked. Yet never a Single paragraph, even hinting in the most distant manner, a wish to return. Ask the Town meetings. Those assemblies which dared readily enough, to think as they pleased and say what they would, dared attack the King, Lords Commons, Governors, Councils, Representatives, Judges and whole armies, under the old Government, and that attack, every body and every thing that displeases them of this day. Not one Vote, not one Instruction to a Representative, not one Motion, nor so much as one Single Speach, in favour of returning to the Leeks of Egypt.5 Ask the grand and petit Juries, who dared to tell the Judges to their faces, they were corrupted, and that they would not serve under them because they had betrayed and overturn'd the Constitution.6 Not a single Juror, has ever whispered a Wish to return after being washed7 to their wallowing in the mire. The Refugees you mention never did know the Character of the American people, but they knew it now less than ever. They have been long away. The Americans of this day, have higher notions of themselves than ever. They think, they have gone through the greatest Revolution that ever took Place among Men, that this revolution is as much for the benefit of the generality of Mankind in Europe, as for their own. They think they should act a base and perfidious part towards the World in general, if they were to go back, that they should manifestly counteract the designs of providence, as well as betray themselves, their posterity and mankind. The English manifestly think Mankind and the World made for their Use. Americans dont think so. But why proceed. Time alone can convince.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] F. R. S.8
LbC (Adams Papers); directed to: “W: S. Church Nandos Coffee house fleet street.”
2. In this and the previous sentence JA probably means that he has read the newspaper account of the debate of 1 May in which David Hartley and Henry Seymour Conway indicated their intention to introduce motions for ending the American war, but has not seen the debate over Conway's motion which took place on 5 May. See Digges' letter of 2 May, and note 7 (above).
3. JA alludes to Alexander Pope's Dunciad, most likely to bk. 2, lines 368–370, where the goddess of Dullness states:
I weigh what author's heaviness prevails; Which most conduce to soothe the soul in slumbers,
My Henley's periods, or my Blackmore's numbers.
John Henley, known as “Orator Henley,” wrote church oratory, theology, and grammars; while Sir Richard Blackmore was noted for his voluminous epic and heroic poems (DNB).
4. Although textually similar to the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence, this sentence, here slightly expanded, is from Thomas Pownall's Memorial. There it appears { 309 } on pages 4 and 67, and was retained by JA in his Translation (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above).
5. JA refers to Numbers 11:5, which depicts the Israelites' memories of plentiful food in Egypt.
6. In 1773 and 1774 Massachusetts was torn by controversy over the independence of judges, leading the House of Representatives to seek the impeachment of Chief Justice Peter Oliver. Then, and later as government under the charter broke down and was replaced by nothing of equivalent authority, juries refused to permit the courts to function under conditions thought to be of doubtful constitutionality. For these events, and JA's leading role in them, see vols. 1:252–309; 2:7–17; 4:184, 186, 222–225.
7. The preceding three words were interlined.
8. This is JA's first known use of the pseudonym Ferdinando Raymond San as a signature.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1780-05-13

To John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

I had two days ago the pleasure of yours of the 26th. of April, and am very happy, to have at least1 recieved from your Hand an Account of your safe Arrival in that Capital.
The C. de F. Blanca, is agreed to be a Man of Abilities, but somehow or other, there is something in the European Understanding different from those We have been more used to. Men of the greatest Abilities, and the most Experience, are with great difficulty brought to see, what appears to Us, as clear as day. It is habit, it is education, prejudice, what You will, but so it is. I can state a very short Argument, that appears to me a demonstration, upon French and Spanish Principles, alone, that it is more for their Interest, to employ their naval force in America than in Europe, yet it is in vain that You state this to a Minister of State, he cannot see it, or feel it, at least in its full force, and until the proper point of Time is past and it is too late. So I think it may be demonstrated, that it is the Interest of France and Spain to furnish America with an handsome Loan of Money, or even to grant them Subsidies, because a Sum of Money thus expended would advance the Common Cause, and even their particular Interests, by enabling the Americans to make greater Exertions, than the same Sums employed any other Way. But it is in vain to reason in this manner, with an European Minister of State. He cannot understand You. It is not within the Compass of those Ideas that he has been accustomed to.
I am happy however that at length we have a Minister at Madrid. I am persuaded that this will contribute vastly to opening the Eyes both of France and Spain. I shall be obliged to You for Intelligence, especially concerning your progress in your Affair.

[salute] I am with much Esteem, dear Sir, your Servant.

[signed] John Adams
{ 310 }
RC in John Thaxter's hand (NNC: John Jay Papers); endorsed: “Jno. Adams 13 May 1780 Recd. 29 Inst.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In the Letterbook the word is “last.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0191

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-13

To the President of Congress, No. 66

Paris, 13 May 1780. RC(PCC, No. 84, II, f. 47–49). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “NB. May 16th 1780. This day delivered to the Chevr. la Colombe Nos. 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, & 66—also three packets of News papers.” printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:674–676.
This letter, read in Congress on 20 Sept., opens with a translation of the official French reply to Catherine II's declaration of an armed neutrality. France declared its support for the principles set down in the Russian initiative, while noting that existing French maritime regulations, based as they were on the law of nations, offered few obstacles to neutral trade. According to Adams, the French declaration's “Simplicity, Openness, Sincerity, and Truth” was in “striking Contrast to the Dissimulation and Insincerity” of the corresponding British reply of 23 April, which he inserted in his letter of 8 May to the president of Congress (No. 60, calendared above). In a postscript, Adams sent a translation of a Copenhagen newspaper account of 29 April, which reported the arrival of couriers from St. Petersburg, the rumored accession of Denmark to the armed neutrality, and the outfitting of two Danish ships of the line. Finally, Adams included an extract from the instructions of 19 April to British warships and privateers. A direct result of the Order in Council of 17 April suspending the Anglo-Dutch treaties (to the president of Congress, 28 April, No. 54, calendared above), they authorized the seizure of Dutch ships carrying enemy goods and merchandise designated as contraband under the strict law of nations; that is the law as it applied to nations with no treaty connection. Adams noted that the British had already seized five vessels under this new order.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 47–49). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “NB. May 16th 1780. This day delivered to the Chevr. la Colombe Nos. 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, & 66—also three packets of News papers.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:674–676.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0192

Author: Gardoqui, Joseph & Sons (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-13

From Joseph Gardoqui & Sons

[salute] Sir

Last night arriv'd safe the Packett Active Capt. Corbin Barnes belonging to the Navy Board Eastern Department from Boston and New London, by whom have received the enclos'd letters for your good self and the rest of the Gentlemen to whom pray our complements.2
Capt. C. Barnes putt into Coruna about 10. days ago, and we hear he putt some letters in that post office, but as he is not come ashore as yet we cant ynform you who they were for. We are sorry that another Brig belonging to the same Board that sailed the 22d. Jany has not been hear'd of on this side.3
{ 311 }
The Active is to return with sundry articles for the navy, but as we also sent letters to the Honble. John Jay Esqr. we dont Know whether he will have occassion to detain her, otherwise will soon be dispatch'd. Said Gentleman is well at Aranjuez and has already taken up a house at Madrid, so sincerely wish that every thing may prosper.
Capt. Trash sailed in company with a 20. gun privateer, so hope he will gett along safe, but time does not permitt us to send you the Invoices of what shipp'd on your Account4 and that of our good freind the Honble F. Dana Esqr. to whom pray our complements and being what present haste permits subscrive respectfully Sir Your most Obt. Hble servts.
[signed] Joseph Gardoqui & Sons
1. This is the first extant letter from Gardoqui & Sons since that of 15 March (above), although letters by JA of 14 and 18 May (both LbC's, Adams Papers) indicate that he also received letters from the firm dated 8 April and 6 May. The latter probably arrived on 17 May and enclosed letters from AA to JA of 1 March and to JQA and John Thaxter of 2 March (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:292–294, 351–353). JA had last written to Gardoqui & Sons on 16 March (LbC, Adams Papers) to request that they keep him informed of the arrival of vessels from America and news of John Jay and William Carmichael.
2. Neither the enclosed letters nor those mentioned in the following paragraph as posted at La Coruña can be positively identified, but see JA's letter to William Gordon of 26 May (below).
3. In his reply of 25 May (LbC, Adams Papers), JA indicated that this vessel, carrying Jonathan Loring Austin, had been captured. Thomas Digges' letter of 14 April (above) identifies it as the Zephyr, but states that it sailed on the 29th.
4. In his letter of 14 May, JA requested that Gardoqui & Sons send no more merchandise to America until they received further word from him, but in a letter of 18 May, which was probably not sent, he urged them to send a triplicate order by the first means possible. For the action taken by the firm, see their letter of 10 June (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0193

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-05-14

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Yours of 6 May, from Bourdeaux, I have received. The Negotiations on foot among the maritime neutral powers, are very favourable to America and her Allies, and they ought to convince England, a Posteriori, of which a very simple Proscess of Reasoning a Priori, might have made clear to them, many years ago, on it, that it is the Interest of all the Maritime Powers, to Secure the Independance of America, and to reduce the dangerous Domination of Great Britain upon the seas. But they think all Mankind made for their Use, and that there is no Providence, for any other nation. Quite as selfish and as blind as the Jews, there is no present probability of their opening their Eyes to their true Interest, and safety.
The News however which both they and the french, have received { 312 } from the West Indies, is very discouraging to them. Piquet, has not suffered Parker and Rowley, to get any Advantage of him. He has run about the seas there as he pleased in Spight of them. Has fought with inferiour force, and got the better, tho wounded. He has protected his Convoys. Guichen is arrived. The English Expedition is disconcerted, and the Utmost terror Spread thro all their Islands,1 and Clinton on 29 March had not Charlstown. The french and Spanish Armament will thicken the Plot, and compleat their confusion. This will give additional Spirits to the maritime Powers, to Ireland, to the Committees and Associations in England, and if not produce Peace, make the War easy to the Ennemies of Britain.
I know how to pity, Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard, because I know by Experience a little of the feelings.2 I underwent a similar operation last year, for a longer time. I bore it with as much Patience and Philosophy as I could. But every body will not always bear.
My wine is not yet come.3 I am, sir, your obliged humble servt.
1. Rear Adm. Sir Hyde Parker, with Rear Adm. Sir Joshua Rowley as second in command, commanded the Leeward Islands station between the departure of Vice Adm. John Byron in Aug. 1779 and the arrival of Adm. Sir George Rodney on 27 March 1780. Although Parker's fleet was much larger than the squadrons of either La Motte-Picquet or Grasse, which had been left behind when Estaing returned to Europe, he was unable to bring either to battle. The arrival of a convoy carrying troops in February led Parker to undertake an expedition against St. Vincent, an effort that he canceled upon learning of the appearance of Guichen's fleet. That fleet arrived at Martinique on 22 March, thus changing the naval balance, but Rodney's arrival five days later made it possible for the two fleets to meet on relatively equal terms (W. M. James, British Navy in Adversity, London, 1926, p. 196–197; Mackesy, War for America, p. 329–330). For the forces available to each side at the Battle of Martinique on 17 April, see JA's letter to the president of Congress, No. 6, 19 Feb., note 2, and to James Warren, 23 Feb., note 1 (vol. 8:337, 360).
La Motte-Picquet's squadron was primarily occupied with convoying vessels to and from Martinique. On 20 March, while engaged in that activity, he encountered a force approximately equal to his own under the command of Capt. William Cornwallis. The action lasted into the next day and ended in stalemate, but the French convoy had been protected (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 153–155).
2. For JA's impatience with his own wait for passage to America in 1779, see Diary and Autobiography, 2:356–380, and vols. 7 and 8.
3. See Bondfield's letter of 12 April (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0194

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Williams, Jonathan
Date: 1780-05-14

To Jonathan Williams

[salute] Dear sir

I have received yours of the 9th.1 I received a Letter signed Jna Williams, as I thought, but it seems it was Jno. Williams.2 I did not discover my Error, untill after my Answer was gone, when inquiring of Dr. Franklin, I found I must have been mistaken.
{ 313 }
I have lost, I know not how much, but believe a great deal, in several large Packetts, one from Congress another from the Council of Mass. Bay, a third from my family besides many Single Letters from my friends, all of which Mr. Austin was obliged to cast into the Sea after he was taken.3 So that I have only received a few Scattering Letters by the Way of Spain and Holland, which contain no other News than you have heard before.
They have received at Versailles, from the West Indies directly from M. De la Motte Piquet, and by the Way of the London Papers, very important news from the W. Indies, which you will have immediately in the Papers. Guichen is arrived. An Expedition that was filling out is disconnected. Piquet had defeated Parker, so far as to secure his Convoy.4 On the 29 of March Clinton had made no Impression on Charlestown. There is no certain Account yet of Walsinghams sailing. The Ct. of St. James's have suppressed Arbuthnots Letter entirely,5 which gives room to suppose that the fleet suffered more than they are willing should be known.
I thank you sir, for your Assurances, that you will communicate to me, the News. Every Circumstance from our Country is interesting. I pray you to make my Compliments to Mrs. Williams, and am with, much Esteem, your humble and obt. sert.
1. Not found.
2. For the confusion over the letter, which was apparently dated 25 April (not found), see JA to Jonathan Williams, 30 April, and note 2 (above).
3. Jonathan Loring Austin was captured in February while on a mission to Europe to obtain a loan for Massachusetts. Soon released, he reached Paris sometime prior to 12 May (Mass. Council to JA, 13 Jan., note 2, vol. 8:309; JA to AA, 12 May, Adams Family Correspondence, 3:338).
4. Compare the news here with that in JA's letter to John Bondfield of 14 May, and note 1 (above). La Motte-Picquet fought a force under Capt. William Cornwallis, not Rear Adm. Hyde Parker.
5. The source of JA's information is not known nor is it clear to exactly what he is referring. The London newspapers of 1 May had carried letters from Lt. Gen Sir Henry Clinton of 9 March, Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen of 27 March, and Maj. Gen. William Pattison of 22 Feb. reporting on the military situation in America. Clinton's letter described the progress of his efforts against Charleston and mentioned in passing the very difficult voyage from New York (see Thomas Digges' letter of 3 March, and note 6, above). There was no letter from Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot, commander of the fleet carrying Clinton's army. The absence of any communication from Arbuthnot was remarked upon as “extraordinary” in the London Courant of 1 May, but no evidence has been found that such a letter existed or that it was suppressed by the ministry.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0195

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-15

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] [Dear sir]

I have engaged a Person in London1 to s[end] me all the political Pamphlets, as they come out and some necessary Books as I shall order them.2 He has sent me already one Box and one Packet, at least to a Mr. Francis Bowens Merchant in Ostend. I should be once more obliged to You, if You could inform me, in what Way I can soonest get them from thence, and whether there are any Regulations which may obstruct this Communication. I suppose there are Regulations to prevent the Introduction of religious or irreligious Books. But I shall have none sent me, either for or against Religion: My Bundles will be nothing but Politicks, and a few Books that relate to them. If I can get the English Pamphlets in this Way, I may promise to be of some little Use to You, now and then, in your Way. The English have an Advantage of Us, in one point. Their Newspapers propagate every thing favourable to them, all over Europe, immediately, whereas, the Limitations upon the Press, in this Country, prevent Us from much of this Advantage. Their Generals and Admirals calculate their Dispatches, [for the Eye of Europe, for the People, and they adjust them so as to make an Impression upon the Hopes of their frie]nds and the Fears of their Enem[ies, and in this cons]ists full one half of their Power.3
All Governments depend upon the good Will of [the] People. The popular Tide of Joy and Hope and Confidence carries away Armies and Navies to great Exertions4 for officers and Armies and Navies are but People. On the contrary, the Ebb of Sorrow, Grief and Despair damp the Ardour and Activity of Officers and Men, even the Tradesmen and Artificers, Labourers—even the Mortals adjudged to the Gallies, are benumbed by it.
The English excite the Ardour of their People, and of their Fleets and Armies, by Falsehood and Fiction, their Enemies have no Occasion for any thing but the Truth. This would be enough if it were known, but the English find means to hide it, even from their own Eyes.
There is not a more delusive thing in the World, than their last dispatches from New York—fabricated entirely to impose upon the Credulity of Friends and Enemies. I see thousands of these things every day, that might be counteracted. I dont wish You to publish any thing against your Rules, and if ever I propose any thing of that Sort { 315 } it will be from Ignorance or Inattention, and I rely upon your Knowledge and Prudence to check it. But as I am likely to have a [little more Leisure than I have had a long time, if you will give me leave, I will assist you a little in] your Labours for the [public good.]
I forgot, whether the first Audi[ence of] the Chevalier de la Luzerne has been published in Europe.5 I inclose it to You, that You may print it, if You judge proper but whether You do or not, I should be glad you would return it as soon as convenient, because I have no other Copy of the Journal of those days. The publication of such things confirms the Minds of People in their Notions of the Alliance, and gradually reconciles all to it. The People of England even are gradually familiarised to it in this Way, and brought to consider it as unalterable, and a thing to be submitted to.

[salute] My best Compliments to your amiable Family.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Private owner, 1972). LbC (Adams Papers.) Fire damage to the RC has resulted in the loss of a substantial number of words, which have been supplied from the Letterbook copy.
1. Thomas Digges.
2. See Genet's reply of 17 May (below).
3. In the Letterbook, JA wrote the following two paragraphs between the closing and the signature and marked them for insertion at this point.
4. In the Letterbook, JA interlined the remainder of the sentence.
5. La Luzerne's first meeting with Congress occurred on 17 Nov. 1779 (JCC, 15:1278–1284). It was announced in the Mercure de France, “Journal Politique de Bruxelles,” of 26 Feb. (p. 172–173), but no reference to it has been found in the Gazette de France. See also Genet's reply of 17 May (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0196

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1780-05-15

To John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

I shall not always stand upon Ceremonies, nor wait for Answers to Letters, because useful Hints may be given, which would be lost if one were to wait Returns of Posts.1
The British Channel Fleet is reckoned this Year at from thirty to thirty seven Ships of the Line, but it is well known that they depend upon Seamen to be pressed from their first2 West India Fleet, in order to make up this Computation, without which they cannot make thirty. It is therefore of great Importance that this first West India Fleet should be intercepted. It will come Home the latter End of June or Beginning of July, certainly not before the middle of June. A Ship or two of the Line, with a fifty Gun Ship or two with five or six Frigates, would have a great probability of intercepting this fleet. Is there any Service, upon which such a Number of Vessels could be better employed, than in cruising pretty far in the Bay of Biscay, and { 316 } somewhat North [South?] of Cape Clear, with this View? It is really astonishing that France and Spain, should be so inattentive to the English Convoys. The safest, easiest, surest way of reducing the Power and the Spirits of the English, is to intercept their Trade. It is every Year exposed: yet every Year escapes; by which means, they get Spirits to indulge their Passions, money to raise Millions and Men to mann their Ships.
Pray is it not necessary to think a little of Portugal? Should not Spain, France, and America too, use their Influence with Portugal, to shut her ports against the armed Vessels of all Nations at War, or else admit freely the armed Vessels of all? Under her present System of Neutrality as they call it, the Ports of Portugal are as advantageous to England, as any of her own, and more injurious to the Trade of Spain and America, if not of France, while they are of no Use at all to France, Spain, or America. This little Morsel of a State ought not to do so much Mischief so unjustly. If She is Neutral, let her be neutral—not say She is neutral and be otherwise. Would it not be proper for Congress [to discover]3 some Sensibility to the Injuries the United States recieve from these States4 such as Denmark and Portugal? I think they should remonstrate cooly and with Dignity: not go to war, nor be in a Passion about it, but show that they understand their Behaviour. Denmark restored Jones's and Landais Prizes to England without knowing why.5 Why would it not do to remonstrate, then prohibit any productions of Portugal from being consumed in America.
The prospect brightens in the West Indies. De Guichen has arrived. De la Motte Piquet has defended himself very well, secured his Convoys, fought the English even with inferiour Force, and got the better. De Guichen's Appearance dissipated all thoughts of their Expedition, and threw the English Islands into great Consternation. But You will see in the public prints all the News, which the two Courts have recieved, Versailles and London. The Force from Brest which sailed the second and that from Cadiz, which I hope sailed as soon or sooner, will not diminish the Terror and Confusion of the English in America and the Islands.
[signed] J. A.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (NNC: Jay Papers); endorsed: “Mr. J. Adams 15 May 1780.” LbC (Adams Papers.)
1. The following two paragraphs, with some changes in style and emphasis, are taken from William Lee's letter of 10 May (above).
2. In the Letterbook, this word is interlined.
3. These two words are supplied from the Letterbook.
4. The Letterbook reads “these (little) states.”
5. For Denmark's return of these prizes to England, see JA's letter of 15 March to Richard Henry Lee, and note 4 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0197

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-05-15

To Edmund Jenings

Secret

[salute] Dear sir

I am ashamed to acknowledge that yours of 2 and 7th. are yet unanswered.1 I never read Linguet, till yours of 2d. I went and subscribed. He is ingenious, but a sort of Nat. Lee, I think.2 The English have trumpeted their omnipotence, till they have put his Imagination in a Turmoil, as well as many others. The English Powers, really consist more in the fears of their Ennemies than any thing else. But I am very much mistaken, if We dont see those fears, subside, together with the Confidence of the English themselves, before two campains more are at an End, dont be surprized at my talking of two campains. I take more than that into my Account. The English find the Carolina Rebells the most obstinate of all. Clinton had not Charlstown 29 March. If the Court had not concealed Arbuthnots Letter, perhaps We should have had more grounds of hope. De la Motte Piquet has gained more laurels in the W.I. Guichen arrived. The English in Trouble and the french in a good Way. But you have seen the Papers, e'er now.
You did not mistake the purport of the Conversation.3 Indeed I ever considered this as a desperate business. I always thought, it must depend wholly, on the good Will of the Persons in England who were in Possession of the papers. I wish M. may get her money, but have fears. Your Country, certainly did not mean to treat you with contempt. She meant to show her respect, and I wish she may do it, in some more effectual Way. As to getting at the Words of the Act, I dont see how it can be done. If I can however I will. But you have the sense of it, I am perswaded very neatly.
I have long expected that the House of Austrial, would discover some Symptoms of Impatience, under the Prosperity of an old Ennemy, and the declension of an old friend. Family alliances dont always reconcile national Interests, nor even always family Affections.4 The Hints of opening the navigation of Antwerp, dont surprise me, tho they excite my Curiosity.5 It will not do. Prussia will join the maritime powers, if the Emperor Stirs, so that old England will get nothing by sending millions as subsidies, into Germany. It will not do—it will make bad worse. I see a long History of my Pilgrimages, in the Neighbourhood of St. Iago;6 I went near enough to become a Knight of his order, at least to have a right to wear the decoration, { 318 } tho I did not go to the Cathedral. Thank you. I did not mean simply postage but did not know but you was at Expence to get some things inserted. What are the Terms on which they insert things in the Amsterdam, Leyden, Hague and London Gazettes? One and another has made such a racket about me, that I expected the Refugees in London would have discovered their Spleen e'er now. They knew me, very well, some of them, better than any body else in Europe. They have hitherto only called me Rebel Plenipo, and Chieftain. If they knew any Evil of me, they would tell it. I wonder they have not ventured to make some. They are not restrained by a regard to truth, sure, all of them,7 if they are, they are better than I thought them, at least not so bad. The dialogue of the dead, I shall inclose to Congress, and take the Liberty to guess who is the Writer.8 Adieu.
1. On 6 May JA began, but did not finish or send, a reply (LbC, Adams Papers) to Jenings' letters of 24 April and 2 May (above). In his unfinished letter, after thanking Jenings for sending newspapers and promising to send Jenings' dialogue to Congress (see note 8), JA wrote: “Linguets Pamphlet I never Saw, untill I read your Letter of the 2d. I went immediately, and subscribed for it. The last Number has several ingenious Observations; but he is such an excentric Mortal that I fancy he wont do much good. He seems to have no Information but from Newspapers, and no fixed system. His point Seems to be to make popular declamations to sell, and to care very little, for any Nations or system of Policy, but what answers this purpose. He is frequently seized With extravagant Ideas of English omnipotence<,>,. <which consists wholly in the sloth, Ignorance and Folly of her Ennemies>.”
2. The seventeenth-century English dramatist Nathaniel Lee was known for his brilliance combined with recklessness and mental instability (DNB). JA's opinion of Linguet and his Annales politiques did not prevent him from writing to Linguet on 23 May (LbC, Adams Papers) to offer material for publication, for which see JA's letter of 21 May to C. W. F. Dumas, and note 1 (below).
3. That is, a conversation between JA and Benjamin Franklin regarding Maryland's effort to obtain control of its funds invested in the Bank of England. See Jenings' letter of 12 April, note 3 (above).
4. In the Letterbook, this sentence was interlined.
5. For the opening of the port of Antwerp, see Jenings' letter of 7 May, note 4 (above).
6. Santiago de Compostella, 35 miles south of La Coruña. For JA's description of the town and its famous shrine, the supposed burial site of St. Iago or St. James, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:418;4:217–218. The “long History” was the account of JA's reception in Spain that JA had sent to Jenings for publication with his letter of 19 April (above).
7. The preceding three words were interlined in the Letterbook.
8. See JA's letter to the president of Congress, 27 May (No. 73, calendared, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0198

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Date: 1780-05-16

To Bidé de Chavagnes

[salute] My dear Sir

I have two agreable friendly Letters from you, unanswered. The last is dated the 4th.1 I am much obliged, by your kind Remembrance of me. I hope to have the Pleasure to see you Some day or other at Paris, and to introduce you, to the Gentleman you mention.2
{ 319 }
As to making Peace, the Time is not yet come. We must wait, untill you have well beaten the English, and it would not be well to deprive you of the opportunity of acquiring Laurels. According to all Appearances, however the English will go to leward this Campain. Their affairs in the West Indies, are in a bad Way, in the french prosperous. It will not be altered in favour of the English by the Squadrons from Brest and Cadiz.
For the Soul of me, I can learn nothing of my Trunks. Pray write me what is become of them.3 Mr Dana Mr Thaxter and the young Gentlemen all well, desire me to send their respects to you. I am, my dear sir, with great Esteem &c.
1. Chavagnes' last known letter prior to that of 4 May was of [ca. 2 March] (both above).
2. Benjamin Franklin.
3. For JA's efforts to obtain his baggage sent on La Sensible from El Ferrol, see Chavagnes' letter of [ca. 2 March], and note 4 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0199

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dohrman, Arnold Henri
Date: 1780-05-16

To Arnold Henri Dohrman

[salute] Sir

I have recieved the Letter which You did me the Honor of writing to me, the 11th. of April, in which You inform me, that more than six hundred of my unfortunate Countrymen have recieved Succours from You, without which they must have been reduced to Despair, or forced to engage on Board the Vessels of their Enemies.1
In this, Sir, you have distinguished yourself by Efforts of Humanity, which do You great Honor, and which deserve more Imitation in Countries, where it is a pity there is so much Occasion for them. There would not be so much Occasion for them in Portugal, give me leave to say, if it was not for the free Admission of British Men of War and Privateers into their Harbors, and for the rigorous and impolitic, and I must add, unjust Exclusion of American Men of War and Privateers from those Ports. Americans have done no Injury to Portugal, to deserve a Treatment so <hostile> partial; on the contrary, the long and free Intercourse of Commerce between America and that Kingdom give them a Right to have expected a Treatment less hostile.
My Countrymen however, ought not to be less thankfull to You for your Generosity; on the contrary, they ought to prize it the higher. You will please to accept of my Thanks as an Individual, who feels { 320 } himself obliged to every Gentleman of whatever Country, who is good enough to assist his unfortunate Countrymen.
I shall take the Liberty, to inclose your Letter to Congress or a Copy of it; but least mine should miscarry, I should advise You to write to the President of Congress yourself, and send your Letter by some of the Americans who may be at Lisbon.
I am very sorry for Captain Cunningham's Captivity,2 who has deserved well of his Country. I was informed of it, by a Letter from Lisbon before from Mr. Calf, to whom I would write if I did not suppose him gone from Lisbon. I waited on his Excelly. Dr. Franklin immediately to inform him, who tells me he has taken such Measures as were in his Power for the Relief of Captain Cunningham. I am with much Respect, your obliged & obedient humble Servant.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Although later in this letter JA promised to send Dohrman's letter of 11 April to Congress, no copy has been found in either the Adams Papers or the PCC. For earlier letters by Dohrman regarding his efforts on behalf of Americans stranded in Portugal, see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:413, 502. Other testimonials to Dohrman's activities were received by Congress, however, and on 21 June it appointed Dohrman its agent at Lisbon (JCC, 17:541).
2. For the exploits of Capt. Gustavus Conyngham, see vol. 6:40. Conyngham and the Revenge returned to America in Feb. 1779, but two months later, operating as a privateer, he and his vessel were captured by the British frigate Galatea. Because of past exploits against British shipping, Conyngham was sent to England and thrown into Mill Prison at Plymouth under particularly harsh circumstances. He escaped to the Netherlands in Nov. 1779, but was recaptured in March 1780, when the vessel on which he was returning to America was taken, and by July he was back in Mill Prison (Robert Wilden Neeser, ed., Letters and Papers Relating to the Cruises of Gustavus Conyngham, N.Y., 1915, p. xlvi–li; Francis Dana to JA, 31 July, and note 6, below). No letter from a “Mr. Calf” has been found and he remains unidentified.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0200

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-16

To the President of Congress, No. 67

Paris, 16 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 51–52). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:680.
This brief dispatch, read in Congress on 11 Sept., served as a covering letter for a number of letters and three packets of newspapers entrusted to the Chevalier de La Colombe, former aide-decamp to Lafayette and John Adams' fellow passenger from Boston to El Ferrol, who was returning to America on the Alliance. See also JA to the president of Congress, 13 May (No. 66, calendared above). In his letter, Adams noted the rumored reopening of the port of Antwerp and a report that Austria was outfitting three warships to protect its Mediterranean trade from the Barbary pirates. The information regarding Antwerp was taken from Edmund Jenings' letter of 7 May (above), while that concerning the Austrian warships came from the Gazette de France of 16 May. Adams speculated whether British influence was behind either move.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 51–52). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:680.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0201

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-17

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] [Sir]

[Genl. Con]way in his Speech in the House of Commons, on the 6th. [of May,1 affirms that] the Alliance between France and the United States is not natural. [Whether it] is or not, is no doubt a great question. In order to determine, whether it is or [no,] one should consider, what is meant by a natural Alliance. And I know of no better general Rule than this, when two Nations, have the same Interests in general they are natural Allies, when they have opposite Interests, they are natural Ennemies. The general Observes 1st. that Nature, has raised a Barrier between France and America, but Nature has raised no other Barrier, than the Occean, and the Distance, and this Barrier is equally great between England and America. The General will not pretend that nature in the constitution of American Minds or Bodies, has laid any foundation for friendship or Enmity, towards one nation more than another. The General observes further that Habit, has raised another Barrier between France and America. But he should have considered, that the Habit of Affection or of Enmity between nations, are easily changed, as Circumstances vary, and as essential Interests alter. Besides the fact is that the horrible Perfidy and Cruelty of the English, towards the Americans, which they have taken care to make universally felt, in that Country for a long Course of years past has allienated the american mind and Heart from the English, and it is now much to be doubted whether any nation of Europe is So universally and so heartily detested by them. On the contrary most of the other Nations of Europe have treated them with Civility, and France and Spain with Esteem, Confidence, and Affection, which has greatly changed the Habits of the Americans in this respect. The 3d. material of which the Generals Barrier is created is Language. This no doubt, occasions many difficulties in the Communication, between the Allies, but is lessening every day. Perhaps no Language was ever studied at once, by So many persons at a time, in Proportion as french is now studied in America. And, it is certain that English was never [so much studied in France, as since the Revolution, so that the difficulties of understanding one another are lessening every day. Religion is the fourth part of the Barrier—but let it be considered first, that there is not enough of Religion of any kind among the Great in England, to] make the Americans, very fond of them. [2d. that what Religion there is in] England, is as far { 322 } from being the Religion of America as that [of France.] The Hierarchy of England, is quite as disagreable to America, as that of any other Cou[ntry.] Besides the Americans knew very well, that the Spirit of propagating any Religion by Conquest, and of making Proselytes by force or by Intrigue is fled from all other Country of the World, in a great measure, and that there is more of this Spirit remaining in England, than any where else. And the Americans had, and have still more reason, to fear the Introduction of a Religion that is disagreable to them, at least as far as Bishops and an Hierarchy go, from a Connection with England than any other nation of Europe. The Alliance with France, has no Article respecting Religion, France neither claims nor desires any Authority, or Influence over America in this respect: whereas England claimed, and intended to exercise Authority, and force over the Americans, at least So far as to introduce Bishops, and the English society2 for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, has in fact for a Century sent large sums of Money to America to support their religion there, which really operated as a Bribe upon many minds and was the principal source of Toryism. So that upon the whole the alliance with France is in fact more natural, as far as religion is concerned than the former Connection with Great Britain, or any other Connection that can be formed.
Indeed whoever considers, attentively this Subject will see, that these 3 Circumstances, of Habit Language and religion will for the future operate, as natural causes of Animosity between England and America, because they will facilitate migration. The Loss of Liberty the decay of religion, the horrible national debt, the decline of Commerce, and of political Importance in Europe and of maritime power, which cannot but take place in England will tempt numbers, of their best people to emigrate to America, and to this fashions, Language, and religion, will contribute. The British Government will therefore see themselves obliged, to restrain this, by many Ways, and among others by cultivating an Animosity and Hatred in the minds of their People against the Americans. [Nature has already sufficiently discovered itself, and all the World sees, that the British Government have for many Years, not only indulged in themselves the most unsocial and bitter passions against Americans, but have systematically encouraged them in the People.]
[After all; the] Circumstances of Modes, Language and Religion, have much less [Influence in deter]mining the friendship and Emnity of nations, than other more essential I[nteres]ts. Commerce is more { 323 } than all these and many more such Circumstances. Now it is easy to see that the Commercial Interests, of England and America will forever hereafter be incompatible. America will take away or at least diminish the Trade of the English in ship building, in Freight, in the Whale fisheries, in the Cod Fisheries in Furs and Skins, and in other particulars too many to enumerate. In this respect America will not interfere with France, but on the Contrary will facilitate and benefit the french Commerce and marine, to a very great degree. Here then will be a perpetual rivalry and Competition between England and America, and a continual source of Animosity and War. America will have Occasion for the Alliance of France, to defend her against this ill Will of England, as France will stand in Need of that of America, to <defend> aid her against the natural and continual Jealousies and Hostility of England.
The Boundaries of Territory, will, also be another constant source of disputes. If a Peace should unhappily be made leaving England in Possession of Canada, Nova Scotia, the Floridas or any one spot of Ground in America, they will be perpetually encroaching upon the states of America: whereas France, having renounced all territorial Jurisdiction in America, will have no room for <dispute> Controversy.
The People of America therefore, whose very Farmers appear to have considered, the Interests of nations more profoundly than General Conway, are therefore universally of opinion that from the time they declared themselves independent, England became their natural Ennemy, and as she has been for Centuries and will be, the natural Ennemy of France, and the natural Ally of other natural Ennemies of [France, America became the natural Friend of France, and She the natural friend of the United States—Powers naturally united against a Common Enemy, whose Interests will] continue long to be, [reciprocally secured and promoted], by mutual friendship.
It is very Strange that the English should thus dogmatically judge of the Interests of all other nations. According to them the Americans are and have been many years acting directly against their own Interest; France and Spain, have been acting against their own Interests, Holland is acting against her own Interest—Russia and the northern Powers are all acting against their own Interests—Ireland is acting against hers &c. So that there is only that little Island of the whole World that understand their own Interest—and of the Inhabitants of that, the Committees and Associations and Assemblies, are all in the same Error with the rest of the World: So that there remains { 324 } only the Ministry and his equivocal, undulating Majority among all the People upon the face of the Earth who act naturally, and according to their own Interests.
The rest of the World however, think they understand themselves very well, and that it is the English, or scottish Majority that are mistaken.3

[salute] Your Friend

[signed] John Adams
RC (CLjC) LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). Fire damage to the RC has resulted in the loss of a substantial number of words, which have been supplied from the Letterbook copy.
1. Gen. Henry Seymour Conway introduced his bill on reconciliation with America in a speech on 5 May; reports of it appeared in London newspapers on the 6th. The newspaper accounts varied and the version sent byJA to Congress in his letter of 20 May (No. 70, calendared, below) was a retranslation into English of a French text taken from the Gazette de La Haye. For what is probably the most accurate text, see Parliamentary Reg., 17:650–655; or Parliamentary Hist., 21:570–576.
Conway believed that ministerial blunders had forced the Americans to seek independence against their will, but that by 1780 they were war weary and disillusioned with their “unnatural alliance” with France. The Americans, therefore, could be expected to return to their former allegiance if concessions offered by the British government were sufficiently conciliatory. JA's reply, heavily influenced by his reading of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, Most Humbly Addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above), indicates his conviction that Conway's speech was but another indication that the opposition was as deluded in its belief that the American war could be ended short of independence as the ministry was in its pursuit of military victory. It was to overcome such delusions that JA wrote his “Letters from a Distinguished American,” in which he incorporated the major themes of this letter, most notably those regarding the effect of distance, language, religion, and habits on Anglo-American and Franco-American relations (“Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], Nos. VIII and IX, below). JA's reply to Conway should also be compared with his response to the speech of Lord George Germain, given during the same debate, in his letter to Edmé Jacques Genet of 28 May (below).
2. The words “society” here and “Toryism” at the end of the sentence, as well as “undulating” and “Majority” in the final two paragraphs, were underlined by Genet because he was unable to read them. He returned this letter to JA with a covering letter of 26 May (Adams Papers) in which he requested that JA decipher the four words. JA complied in a note dated 27 May, written at the bottom of this letter, and there he promised “I will never send you another so badly written.”
3. With the exception of the greeting, date, and closing, a French translation of this letter was printed in the Mercure de France, “Journal Politique de Bruxelles,” 3 June, p. 22–27. There it began “le Général Conway, ecrit un Américain, a assuré dans son discours à la Chambre des Communes, le 6 Mai, que l'alliance entre la France et les Etats-Unis, n'est pas naturelle.” JA copied the text of the French translation into Lb/JA/10 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 98), between letters of 2 and 4 June to the president of Congress (Nos. 78 and 79, calendared, below). JA included his reply to Conway's speech, virtually unchanged, in letters of 20 May to the president of Congress (No. 70, calendared, below) and 30 May to Edmund Jenings (Adams Papers). The latter has not been printed, but for it and the publication of the reply to Conway in England, see Jenings' letters of 5 May [i.e. June], and note 2; and 9 July, and note 2 (both below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0202-0001

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-17

From Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Monsieur

C'est avec le plus grand plaisir que je faciliterai votre correspondance et que j'accepte les offres que vous voulès bien me faire qui entrent completement dans les vües de notre Ministre.1 Je vous répons du plaisir avec lequel il donnera Son approbation, pour l'impression dans le mercure, à tout ce qui nous viendra d'une aussi bonne main. Et vous ne devès pas douter du Secret qui Sera gardé Sur votre nom pour tout autre que pour Msgr. le Ct. de Vergennes. Pour avoir par mon canal les pamphlets qui vous Seront addressés: Il faut que M. Francis Bowens aprez les avoir reçus de Londres, mette une nouvelle enveloppe avec mon addresse, et remette les paquets à Mr. de Bowens, Directeur des postes à Ostende.2 Aussitôt que je les aurai reçus je ne manquerâi pas de vous les faire passer. Each bundle of the bigness of an ordinary 8.° book, and but one at a time.
Les détails Sur la premiere audience du Che. de la Luzerne ont paru dans la gazette de France et dans le mercure. Je vous renvoye le cahier du journal du Congrez. Permettés moi de vous observer que le mercure ne paroit qu'une fois la semaine et que la place que la politique doit y occuper n'est pas fort considérable. Ainsi il conviendra que vos Essays Soient de peu de longueur. Il vaut mieux qu'ils ne Soient pas de longue haleine et qu'ils paroissent plus souvent. Cette nation ci lit tout ce qui est court et elle aime la variété. Il faut Saisir Son goût pour parvenir à la persuader.
Voulès vous bien permettre que M. F. Dana et M. Taxter, the Commodore3and the young gentlemen, on whose account we'll never cease to tease you, trouvent ici nos hommages. J'ai l honeur d'etre avec un inviolable attachement Monsieur Votre trés humble et trés obeissant serviteur Genet

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0202-0002

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-17

Edmé Jacques Genet to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

It is with the greatest pleasure that I will forward your correspondence, and that I accept the offers you so kindly extend to me and which perfectly match our Minister's views.1 I can assure you of his pleasure in giving his approval to publish in the Mercure everything that shall come from such a good pen. And you must rest assured that your name will be kept a secret from all except the Comte de Vergennes. In order for you to receive, through me, the pamphlets addressed to you, Mr. Francis Bowens must, after receiv• { 326 } ing them from London, put them in a new envelope with my address, and deliver the parcels by way of Mr. de Bowens, Directeur de Postes at Ostend.2 Upon receiving them, I will not fail to send them to you. Each bundle of the bigness of an ordinary 8.° book, and but one at a time.
The account of Chevalier de la Luzerne's first audience has appeared in the Gazette de France and the Mercure. I return to you the copy of the journal of Congress. Permit me to observe that the Mercure appears only once a week and that the space allotted to political material is necessarily limited. Therefore it would be preferable if your articles were shorter. It is best that they not be long-winded and appear more often. Our nation likes to read short things and enjoys variety. One must cater to its taste in order to convince it.
Please permit me to give my respects to Messrs. F. Dana and Thaxter, the Commodore3and the young gentlemen, on whose account we'll never cease to tease you. I have the honor to be, with an inviolable attachment sir your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Genet
RC (Adams Papers; addressed: “M. J. Adams a l hotel de Valois rue de Richelieu A Paris”; endorsed: “Mr. Genet. and. 18 May 1780.”)
1. This letter is a reply to JA's of 15 May (above).
2. JA sent Genet's instructions to Francis Bowens in a letter of 18 May (LbC, Adams Papers). In that letter JA persisted in addressing Bowens as “Directeur des Postes” despite Genet's effort to distinguish Francis Bowens from another Bowens. In his reply of 25 May (Adams Papers), Francis Bowens promised to follow JA's directions, but requested that in the future he send his letters directly to him, rather than to his brother “the post master of this town.” On the 18th (LbC, Adams Papers), JA also sent instructions to Augs. Le Sage, who, Bowens had stated in his letter of 12 May (above), was to forward from Lille, France, to Paris the packets that he would send from Ostend.
3. The preceding two words were interlined and refer to John Paul Jones. The English passage that follows may allude to JA's visit with JQA, CA, and possibly Samuel Cooper Johonnot to Versailles on 14 May at Genet's invitation. See Genet's letters of 9 May (and note 2) and 11 May and JA's letter to Genet of 10 May (all above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0203

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-19

To the President of Congress, No. 68

Paris, 19 May 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 53– 56). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:688–690.
In this letter, read in Congress on 11 Sept., John Adams provided the substance of Spain's response to the Russian declaration of an armed neutrality. After placing the blame for any violations of neutral rights on British actions, Spain promised to defer to those neutral nations that protected “their Flags,” but reiterated that its blockade of Gibraltar would be strictly enforced. See also Adams' letter of 8 May to the president of Congress (No. 62, calendared, above). Adams provided an account of the confrontation between the Dutch ambassador, Count Welderen, and the British secretary of state, Lord Stormont, over the seizure of van Bylandt's convoy. Adams then reviewed recent events in Ireland, arguing that Ireland, despite the Irish Parliament's postponement { 327 } of any further attack upon British parliamentary supremacy until September, had “not yet finished her Role upon the Stage.” He closed with an apology for the absence of British newspapers after 5 May due to the French capture of the London-Ostend packet.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 53– 56). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:688–690.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0204

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-19

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to inclose a few Newspapers, recieved the last Post, from Boston by the Way of Bilbao. There is very little News. I have Letters as late as the twenty seventh of March.
The remarkable thing in the Pensylvania Gazette is, that the Great Seal of the Province of Pensylvania, was brought into the House of Assembly, of that State, and by order of the House defaced and cut to Pieces1—which to be sure is no proof of a desire to go back to their old Government. I dont see how they could have expressed a stronger Contempt of it.
In the independent Chronicle of the ninth of March, is a list of Prizes made by the Privateers of the middle District of Massachusetts Bay only, since the last Session of the Court of Admiralty. They amount to nineteen Vessels, which shews that Privateering flourishes in those Seas, and also shews what Havock may and probably will be made, among the English Transports, Provision Vessels and Merchantmen, when the Superiority of the French and Spanish Fleets, comes to be as clear as it will soon be, perhaps as it is now, and has been since the Arrival of Mr. de Guichen.
In a private Letter of the twenty seventh of March2 I am told, that two Prizes had just then arrived, one with four hundred Hogsheads of Rum, and another with four thousand Barrels of Flour, Pork and Beef, Articles much wanted by the Enemy, and not at all amiss in Boston.
The Convention had gone through the Constitution of Government, and accepted the Report of the Committee, with some few unessential Amendments.
I have the honor to be, with great Respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12; endorsed: “reçu le 24 may.”)
1. This item regarding the great seal of Pennsylvania has not been found in the Pennsylvania Gazette, but it did appear in almost the same form as given here in the Pennsylvania Packet of 10 February.
2. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0205

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-20

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[Tha]nks for this Paper.1 Ld George Gordon I think will be the Oliver Cromwell, after all. He seems the only Man of Common sense, and he begins with Religion. Burke, Barry, Fox, Conway, &c and all the rest appear but small Boys to Lord George.
RC (Private owner, 1972). Fire damage has resulted in the loss of the first word and possibly the greeting, although the absence of a closing and signature suggests that it was a hastily written note, lacking the usual formalities. Genet is nowhere mentioned, but the note appears to be one of the letters from JA to Genet that suffered varying degrees of fire damage.
1. The paper mentioned by JA has not been identified, but it may have been the Gazette de La Haye from which JA obtained the text of Conway's speech of 5 May introducing his bill intended to end the American war that JA sent to the president of Congress in his second letter of 20 May (No. 70, calendared, below). The paper presumably also contained the speech of 5 May by Lord George Gordon, opposition member and leader of the Protestant Association, who within a few weeks would stand accused of fomenting the riots that swept London in early June. For the riots and Gordon's role in them, see Thomas Digges' letter of 8 June, and note 8 (below); for the speeches in response to Conway's bill, see JA's first letter of 20 May to the president of Congress (No. 69, calendared, below). Gordon rose both to second and to criticize Conway's motion, saying that because it lacked any provision for granting independence to the colonies, Conway's plan would fail, and thus share the fate of all previous efforts to end the American war (Parliamentary Hist., 21:578–579). JA may have seen Gordon as the one opposition member willing to face reality and follow the only possible path to an Anglo-American peace.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0206

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-20

To the President of Congress, No. 69

Paris, 20 May 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 57–62). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:693–696.
In this letter, read in Congress on 11 Sept., John Adams reported on the speeches supporting and opposing Gen. Conway's bill of 5 May for ending the American war. Conway's own speech and JA's reaction to it were included in a second letter of this date (No. 70, calendared, below). Adams began by summarizing the speech of Robert, Earl Nugent, a former opponent of conciliation, who now supported Conway's bill. Although Adams was willing to concede that Nugent, like Conway and others, had finally accepted the impossibility of winning the American war, he believed that they had not accepted the reality of an altered world in which Great Britain was in decline and the United States in the ascendancy. He then reported the pro-ministry speech of William Eden, which he found witty and empty. Speeches by other members of the opposition, such as Lord George Gordon, Henry Cruger, and Thomas Pitt, ridiculing the ministry's refusal to acknowledge American independence and calling for its resignation, led Adams to note the opposition's “Hunger for the Loaves and Fishes” of office and their lack of a sincere interest in peace, but see his comments regarding Gordon in his note to { 329 } Edmé Jacques Genet of 20 May (above). Adams reserved his sharpest criticism for the speech by Lord George Germain opposing Conway's bill. Germain, he wrote, indulged in absurdities by stating as fact that the misery of the American people would soon put an end to congressional tyranny and prompt the states to come to terms. Adams soon greatly expanded this criticism of Germain's speech, including it in his letters of 28 May to Edmé Jacques Genet (below) and of 2 June to the president of Congress (No. 77, calendared, below). In a postscript, Adams reported that Denmark had acceded to the armed neutrality, and on 28 April had urged Sweden to do the same. Sweden was expected to announce its accession shortly.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 57–62). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:693–696.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0207

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-20

To the President of Congress, No. 70

Paris, 20 May 1780. RC partly in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 63– 69). LbC partly in Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
In the recipient's copy the account of Conway's speech is in John Adams' hand, while the criticism of the speech is in Thaxter's. In the Letterbook the portions by Thaxter and Adams are reversed. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:691– 693. This letter was read in Congress on 11 September. Due to the capture of the packet bringing the London newspapers to the continent, John Adams provided a retranslation of the text of Gen. Conway's speech of 5 May as it appeared in the Gazette de La Haye and followed it with a lengthy analysis. For a virtually identical text of Adams' rebuttal to that part of Conway's speech attacking the Franco-American alliance, see Adams' letter of 17 May to Edmé Jacques Genet, and notes (above).
RC partly in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 63– 69). LbC partly in Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0208

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-20

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Arrived this morning a Brig from Philadelphia. By her are Letters for Mr. De Vergenne and Le Ray de Chaumont. No mention of the Operations in Carolina our Letters are 24 Mars she was detaind many days in the River as she left the Bay of Delawar the 23 or 24 April.
Congress has assignd a short period for calling in the whole of their Emissions in lieu of which the different States are to Issue Money upon Specific Securities for its redemption. It is impossible to know the precise effect this Measure will have but it must tend to the appreciation of the Currency as the New Emissions are to have as Substantial a foundation as can be given them.
I have recievd Bills on the Minister plenepotentiary at the Court of Madrid drawn by Congress. It proves a Fund is obtaind from that Court.1 The American Empire begins to take a permanent Lead and from appearances of the Sentiments of all the European Courts promises to place you 'ere long in a sceen of Action the most Con• { 330 } spicuous that ever yet was allotted to a Minister in the clear, explicite and inteligent execcution of this sacred trust [on which] depends the Welfare Peace and Happiness of Millions. Happy we are in our opinions of the Well placed trust.
I hope the Wine got Safe to your pray my respectful Compliments to Mr. Dana. If any Commands to Baltimore the ship we expect will be ready in the Course of Twenty or thirty Days. I have the Honor to be with due respect Sir your very hhb Serv
[signed] John Bondfield
If you had any opening where the services of young M Vernon2 could be made useful he is a promising youth has engaging qualities but wants to see and obtain a knowledge of the world. The high Sphere in which you act might posibly tend to render his services in future useful to the province in which he may reside by being thus early in life placed in the political Line.
RC (Adams Papers; addressed: “The Honbl. John Adams Esq Hotel de Valois Rue Richlieu Paris”; endorsed: “Mr Bondfield recd and ansd May 24.”; docketed by CFA: “1780.”)
1. In Dec. 1779, Congress had authorized £100,000 in bills of exchange to be drawn on John Jay (from Edmund Jenings, 12 April, note 2, above), but Spain had not yet supplied Jay with any funds by the date of this letter (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 224–229).
2. JA had offered William Vernon Jr. a position as clerk to the American Commissioners in Sept. 1778, but Vernon had declined (vol. 7:35, 80–81).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0209

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1780-05-21

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

His Excellency, Dr. Franklin, lent me the inclosed Letter from Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain,1 upon Condition, that I would send a copy of it to you.2 A privateer from Boston had the good Fortune to take the Packet bound to London, and the Mail, in which among others this letter was found. It was sent from Boston to Philadelphia and there published in a Newspaper of the 8th of April. One of these papers arrived, within a few days, at L'Orient in a Vessel from Philadelphia.
It is a pity, but it should be published in every News paper in the World, in an opposite Column to a late Speech of Lord George Germain,3 in the House of Commons, as his Document in Support of his Assertions.
{ 331 }
I have the Honor to be, with great Respect, Sir, your most obedient & humble Servant.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). The recipient's copy has not been located, but the enclosure (see note 1), in both JA's and Thaxter's hand and endorsed by Dumas: “Savànah 30e. Janvr. 1780 Prétendue Lettre du Genl. Clinton au Lord G. Germaine,” is at the Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague, Eerste Afdeling, Dumas Coll., Inventaris 3, f. 87–94.
1. Dated 30 Jan. at Savannah and labeled “Private, No. 15.,” this letter was a forgery. JA's enthusiasm is understandable, for the letter painted a dismal picture of British prospects. It emphasized the inadequacy of the British forces ranged against a rebel army that was growing in strength and determination, making the continued occupation of New York difficult and an assault on Charleston a doubtful undertaking at best. Even the Continental currency's collapse was deemed of little significance, since the rebels could be expected to continue the war despite it. The letter first appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet of 8 April, probably the Philadelphia paper from which it reportedly was copied and sent to Benjamin Franklin by Samuel Wharton, likely as an enclosure in his letter of 15 May from Lorient (to William Lee, 20 July, below; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:249). Dumas had the letter serially published in the Gazette de Leyde of 30 May, 2 June, and 6 June, but expressed doubts about the letter's authenticity in his reply of [ante 30 May] (below). Not until early July would JA admit that the letter was a fraud, indicating then that he had been told that the letter was the work of a “General Howe,” probably Maj. Gen. Robert Howe of North Carolina (to Edmund Jenings, 4 July, and note 1, below).
Dumas was not alone in receiving a copy of the letter from JA. He sent one to Edmund Jenings, William Lee, and Alice De Lancey Izard at Brussels—as “an article of Entertainment” (note of 22 May, Adams Papers, enclosure not found); and enclosed another, for publication in the British newspapers, in a letter of 30 May to Edmund Jenings (RC and enclosure, Adams Papers). The publication of the forged dispatch in London, however, was probably not the work of Jenings for it appeared in, among others, the London Courant of 31 May and the London Chronicle of 30 May – 1 June. While the London Courant printed the letter without comment, the London Chronicle placed a disclaimer at the end stating that “there is little doubt that this Letter has been fabricated by the Congress,” because for the dispatch to be number fifteen, it “must have been written above two years ago.” The most recent of Clinton's dispatches published in the London papers, and about which there could be no doubt, was No. 84, dated 9 March (London Chronicle, 29 April – 2 May). For additional comments on the forged dispatch, see JA's correspondence with Dumas, Jenings, Arthur Lee, and William Lee (below).
2. Although Dumas exchanged numerous letters with the American Commissioners during JA's tenure in 1778 and 1779 (see vols. 6 and 8:indexes), this is the first letter known to have been written to Dumas by JA alone. The correspondence between the two men developed into one of the most extensive in the Adams Papers, totaling over 300 letters by 1795, the great majority from 1781 to 1783.
3. For JA's comments on Lord George Germain's speech of 5 May, see his letter of 28 May to Edmé Jacques Genet (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0210-0001

Author: Chapeaurouge, M. de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-21

From M. de Chapeaurouge

[salute] Monsieur

Je me suis presenté Chez vous pour avoir l'honneur de vous voir et j'ai eu le malheur de n'avoir pu vous rencontrer après avoir eu le regret de ne pouvoir pas profiter de vôtre obligeante invitation.
{ 332 }
Je desirois m'entretenir avec vous sur le dessein que vous avez d'envoyer Messrs vos fils faire leur education a Geneve, et vous offrir derechef tous les Services dont je suis Capable: J'en avoir un aussi à vous demander, Monsieur, pour les deux jeunes gens Dont j'eux l'honneur de vous parler et qui enflammés de l'amour de la liberté ont quitté leur Patrie pour aller servir une peuple qui combat si glorieusement pour la sienne; ils sont actuellement à Nantes ou ils attendent une occasion pour s'embarquer pour Philadelphie; et je vous aurois bien de l'obligation si vous vouliez leur accorder vôtre protection, et quelques lettres de recommandation pour un pays ou vôtre nom seul en seroit une, L'un de ces Mrs. s'apelle De Gallatin et apartient à une des premières familles Patricienne de nôtre Republique, et l'autre qui s'apelle Serre1 en est un Cytoyen très bien né. Ce n'est point par libertinage qu'ils ont quitté nôtre pays, c'est par un veritable enthousiasme; car a L'age De 19 à 20 ans, ils l'etoient déja distingués par leurs progrès dans les sciences et par leurs bonnes moeurs: J'ay une occassion pour leur faire parvenir les Lettres que vous pouries me procurer pour eux; et je vous assure d'avance de leur reconnoissance ainsi que de la mienne.2
J'ay L'honneur d'être avec une parfaite Consideration Monsieur vôtre très humble et très obeissant serviteur. De Chapeaurouge hotel et rue de Richelieu

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0210-0002

Author: Chapeaurouge, M. de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-21

M. de Chapeaurouge to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I went to your residence in the hope of having the honor of seeing you, but unfortunately did not succeed. This after having failed to take you up on your obliging invitation.
I wished to speak with you about your intention of sending your sons to Geneva for their education, and once again to offer you all possible assistance. I also had a favor to ask of you, sir, for the two young men of whom I already have had the honor to mention and who inflamed with the love of liberty, have left their country to join a people fighting so gloriously for its own. They are now in Nantes awaiting the opportunity to embark for Philadelphia and I would be much obliged if you could provide them with your patronage and a few letters of recommendation for a country where your name alone would suffice. One of these gentlemen is named De Gallatin and belongs to one of the foremost patrician families of our Republic, while the other, named Serre,1 is also a very well-born citizen. It was not from dissoluteness that they left their country, but from a genuine passion; for at the ages of 19 and 20, they have already distinguished themselves by their progress in the sciences and their good moral conduct. { 333 } I could forward the letters you would be kind enough to give me for them and can assure you in advance of their gratitude, as well as mine.2
I have the honor to be, with the utmost consideration, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant De Chapeaurouge hotel et rue de Richelieu
RC (Adams Papers; addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams Esr hotel de valois A Paris”; endorsed: “M. de Chapeau rouge”; docketed by CFA: “21 May. 1780.”)
1. The words “qui s'appelle Serre” were written at the bottom of the page and marked for insertion at this point.
2. No earlier letters between JA and the unidentified Chapeaurouge have been found. The two young men for whom he sought JA's assistance were Albert Gallatin, secretary of the treasury under Thomas Jefferson and JQA's colleague in negotiating the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, and Henri Serre. The two men sailed from Nantes on 27 May and reached Boston in mid-July (DAB; Raymond Walters Jr., Albert Gallatin, N.Y., 1957, p. 9–11). There is no evidence that JA complied with Chapeaurouge's request for letters of introduction. Chapeaurouge wrote again on 26 May (Adams Papers) to thank JA for a copy of the letter purported to be from Clinton to Germain of 30 Jan. (JA to C. W. F. Dumas, 21 May, and note 1, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0211

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1780-05-23

To Elbridge Gerry

[salute] My dear Friend

The Baron de Arundl, desires a Letter of Introduction to some Gentleman in Congress from me, and I dont know to whom to write upon this occasion better than to you. I inclose you some of our Constitutions.1
A vessell has arrived at L'orient, with a Paper of 8 April, and there are Letters to the Comtess de la Lucerne, and others perhaps as late as the 15th. but not a Line from Congress to any one that I can hear of—certainly none to me. I want very much to get some Correspondent who will send me the Newspapers and the Journals by every Vessell—from Baltimore or Philadelphia. The Court here, have all these Things from their Ministers and Consuls &c. &c. But We get nothing. They communicate nothing of this kind to any body, not to me nor to Dr Franklin, nor to any indeed of their own nation.2 It is inconsistent with the Maxims of this Government that they should. They communicate nothing to the Public the People being of no Consideration in public Councils,—they leave the public to pick up intelligence in scraps from England Holland, America, Spain any where and any how. So that if you intend that We shall be informed of any Thing you must, assist us.
What am I to do for Money? Not one Line have I received from Congress or any Member of Congress, since I left America.
Clintons Letter is a great Curiosity. I have written more to Con• { 334 } gress, since my arrival in Paris than they ever received from Europe put it all together since the Revolution. Whether any Thing has reached them I know not.

[salute] I am affectionately yours

[signed] John Adams
RC (CtY.)
1. “Baron de Arundl” remains unidentified, but he did forward this letter and a pamphlet to Gerry as is indicated in Gerry's reply of 10 Jan. 1781 (Adams Papers). The pamphlet presumably contained “some of our Constitutions,” but has not been identified.
2. Compare JA's statements in this letter with those in his letter o Gerry of 5 Dec. 1778, and tnote 2 (vol. 7:248–251) regarding the reluctance of the French government to share intelligence.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0212

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-23

To the President of Congress, No. 71

Paris, 23 May 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand with postscript by JA (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 71–73). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:698–699.
In this letter, read in Congress on 21 Aug., John Adams sent extracts from newspaper accounts originating in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Hamburg, and London between 2 and 12 May. Sweden and Denmark were reported to have acceded to the armed neutrality and to be in the process of fitting out warships to protect their trade, while it was speculated that Portugal might soon follow their example. There were conflicting reports as to whether the Netherlands had joined with the other neutral states or was about to reach an amicable settlement with Britain over the seizure of ships from van Bylandt's convoy by Como. Fielding. In a postscript Adams noted rumors that additional French forces were preparing to sail from Brest.
RC in John Thaxter's hand with postscript by JA (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 71–73). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:698–699.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0213

Author: Cooper, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-23

From Samuel Cooper

[salute] My dear Sir

The Marquiss de la Fayette did me the Honour to deliver me the Letter you kindly wrote by Him.2 As his arrival diffused a general Joy, every Expression of it was given here that circumstances would allow, and particular Respects were paid by the Government as well as the People at large to this prudent and gallant young Nobleman who keeps the Cause of America so warm at his Heart. In these Respects Mr. Corny had his Share,3 as well as Capt. la Touche Commander of the Frigate in which the Marquiss arrived:4 The former, a Gentleman of Letters as well as great Politeness, who acquired much Esteem in this Town in a little Time, is gone on to Head Quarters, and from thence to Congress; the latter who offer'd his Service to the Government of this State in the true Spirit of the Alliance has just returned from a shoot Cruize on our Coast, undertaken at the Desire of the { 335 } Council. He has visited Penobscot, taken a near View of the Fort at Baggaduce, made two British Sloops of War commanded by Mawett who burnt Falmouth,5 retire up the River, brought us an acurate Plan of the Fortress, and done every Thing Time and Circumstances would allow for our Service. The Presence of this Frigate, under the Command of so brave an Officer and so well affected to the common Cause will be of great Advantage to the Trade of this State, and particularly to the Supply of this Town with Wood. Such Instances of Friendship and Aid make the most agreable Impressions on the Minds of the People, and cultivate the Alliance; and I cannot but observe with Pleasure evident Marks of the growing Friendship between the two Nations.
Mr. Bradford to whom I give this Letter, can tell you all the News respecting Charlestown, the West Indies &c. but as he goes to Gottenberg in his Way to France, and another Vessel will soon sail to Holland, or France, which may probably be an earlier Conveyance than this, I shall do my self the Pleasure to write you more particularly by that.6
The proposed Plan of a Constitution is like to be ratified by the Consent of the People; in this Town it was unanimously accepted, in every Article but the 3'd in the Bill of Rights respecting Religion.7 In our late Choice of Representatives for this Capital, Tudor was left out, and Lowell chosen, who has distinguish'd himself in the Convention.8 The late Measures of Congress respecting the Currency are as agreable as could be expected on such a Subject; and our Court have pass'd an Act to call in all the Paper Dollars by a Tax in the Course of a Year, and to raise £75000 in hard Money.9
I think with Concern on the Trouble my Grandson10 may have given you, and am extremely obliged to you for the very kind Care you have taken of him; an obligation I can never forget. The Alliance, tho daily expected, is not yet arrived, nor any Account of his Expences; but Col. Johonnot proposes to imbarque in the Hermoine, or if she should be detained here for the Summer, which at present is uncertain, he will embrace the first opportunity of going to France, and assures me he will most cheerfully make every Provision for his Son.
With every Sentiment of Esteem and Affection, I am, my dear Sir, Your's
[signed] Saml. Cooper
We mean our Boy should be Supported with all the Frugality that Decency and Comfort will allow.
{ 336 }
1. JA enclosed this letter in his to Jean Luzac of 20 Sept. (Adams Papers) and the first and third paragraphs of the text, with the greeting and date, appeared in French in the Gazette de Leyde of 29 September. It should also be noted that the first and second paragraphs are almost identical to the first and last paragraphs of Cooper's letter to Benjamin Franklin of 23 May (The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin, ed. John Bigelow, 10 vols., N.Y., 1887–1888, 7:60–62).
2. Of 28 Feb. (vol. 8:374–375).
3. Dominique Louis Ethis de Corny served as a commissary charged with the responsibility of purchasing supplies for Rochambeau's army (Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution, ed. Stanley J. Idzerda and others, 5 vols., Ithaca, N.Y., 1977–1983, 3:23).
4. Louis René Madeleine Le Vassor, Comte de La Touche-Tréville, commander of the Hermione, offered his services to the Mass. Council in a letter of 2 May, to which the Council replied on the 13th, requesting that he cruise from Boston to Penobscot Bay. The Hermione accomplished this mission between 14 and 21 May (same, 3:33). The Council's enthusiastic acceptance of La Touche's offer and the effect of its success in raising the people's spirits is understandable in view of the fact that the British navy's operations along the New England coast had gone largely unchallenged since the destruction of the American fleet at Penobscot in July and Aug. 1779 (vol. 8:31). The impact of a single frigate could also be seen as justifying JA's continued calls for the dispatch of additional French naval vessels to American waters (see JA's letters to Vergennes of 13, 21, and 27 July, all below; and vol. 8:index, under JA—Military Interests). Cooper's account of La Touche's expedition to Penobscot Bay and the fort at Bagaduce (now Castine, Maine) later in this paragraph is very similar to the report that appeared in the Independent Chronicle of 25 May.
5. Capt. Henry Mowat, who had burned the town of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) in Oct. 1775, commanded the British naval forces at Penobscot Bay, notably the sloops Albany and Nautilus (vol. 3:251–252; Independent Chronicle, 25 May).
6. “Mr. Bradford” was probably Samuel Bradford, whom JA had met in Europe in 1779 and who, according to a letter from his father John Bradford to Benjamin Franklin, was returning there in 1780 (vol. 7:356, 357, 424; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:307). Cooper had also written to JA on 11 May (Adams Papers) to introduce Benjamin Guild, former tutor at Harvard and future husband of AA's cousin Elizabeth Quincy, who was sailing on the same ship as Bradford. For a sketch of Guild, and an extract from Cooper's letter, see Adams Family Correspondence, 3:322. Although Cooper states that the vessel was going to Göteberg, Sweden, both men were in Amsterdam by mid-August (JQA, Diary, 1:52, 57). Cooper did not write again until 25 July (below).
7. The proposed Massachusetts Constitution, particularly Art. 3 of the Declaration of Rights, was debated at Boston town meetings from 3 through 12 May (Boston Record Commissioners, 26th Report, p. 125–135). For specific objections raised to Art. 3, see the Boston Gazette of 22 May.
8. John Lowell was elected to the Mass. House on 16 May in place of William Tudor (Boston Record Commissioners, 26th Report, p. 62, 136).
9. Adopted on 5 May, the first and tenth sections of the act provided for a special tax of £5.6 million to remove paper currency from circulation and an annual tax of £72,000, to be collected for seven years and payable in specie or specified goods, for the redemption of new interest-bearing bills of credit whose aggregate face value would not exceed £460,000 (Mass., Province Laws, 5:1178–1183; see also Adams Family Correspondence, 3:326, 328).
10. Samuel Cooper Johonnot. See the letter from his father, Gabriel Johonnot, of 8 Sept. (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0214

Author: Williams, Jonathan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-23

From Jonathan Williams

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received your much esteemed Favour of the 14 Instant, and find by it that the Error about my departure for America is sett right: { 337 } My Uncle1 is, if not already sailed, ready to depart from L'Orient, and I hope your Letters by him will arrive safe.
I thank you very much for the news you give me and I wish I could in return say something decisive about Clinton, but my last Letters from America give me nothing later than 18 March from Carolina. I have received Letters to day from Boston by the way of Bilboa brought by Mr. Appleton, who I suppose to be the Son of my Friend Mr. Nat Appleton of the Loan Office.2 My last Dates are in March and I have no more News about military affairs than if we had not an Enemy in our Country.
A Dutch man is arrived here who says he saw Walsingham's Fleet standing to the Westward from the Entrance of the Channel on the 18 Instant. Greaves I understand is not with him.
I send you inclosed a News Paper, not on account of the News it contains but to show you the Pensylvania Acts, and part of one of Congress incorporated therin which perhaps you may not yet have seen.3 I observe Congress estimation of the Currency seems to be at 40 for one, for they propose to receive one hard Dollar in payment of 40 paper ones for the Taxes, yet they speak of the punctual redemption of their Bills. I am sorry to observe that all the Events which it was supposed would make the appreciation of our money as rapid as its Depreciation has been, have not had the desired Effect, and I cant see when the Evil will stop. I am for my own part an exceeding great Sufferer in this Business, but I should not regret any Loss I might suffer if it tended to relieve my Country and contribute to the public Disburse, but on the Contrary I see with Concern a number of speculators who keep our money in disgrace from imaginary Causes, and make Fortunes by their Countrys distress, for were our money to rise to its original value, or near it, these People who possess large Property bought at an extravagant Rate, would by the Consequent reduction of prices, be less affluent. Thus like Hottentots they are Feeding on the Entrails of their Neighbors.
I see by the English Papers that Genl. Conway and Mr. Hartly are for making propositions of Peace. I am surprized they think America will be guilty of such base ingratitude as to join them against the House of Bourbon.
I am with the greatest Respect & Esteem Dear Sir Your most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] Jona. Williams
RC (Adams Papers; endorsed: “M. Williams May 23. ansd. 10. June.”; docketed by CFA: “1780.”)
{ 338 }
1. The letter of the 14th (above) referred to Jonathan Williams III (d. 1 May 1780), but he was the cousin of the author of this letter rather than his uncle.
2. This was John Appleton, son of Boston merchant and commissioner of the Continental Loan Office Nathaniel Appleton. He later delivered letters to JA in the Netherlands (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:390).
3. Williams is referring to a preliminary version of “An Act for funding and redeeming the Bills of Credit of the United States of America . . .,” which the Pennsylvania General Assembly ordered printed in the various newspapers for public comment prior to its second reading and which was adopted in its final form on 1 June (Pennsylvania Gazette, 29 March; Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Phila., 1782, p. 389– 397; Evans, No. 17656). The act was the Pennsylvania counterpart of the Massachusetts bill mentioned by Samuel Cooper in his letter of 23 May (and note 9, above). The act adopted by Congress on 18 March prescribing the redemption of Continental bills of credit at the rate of 40 to 1 served as the preamble to Pennsylvania's bill, which provided for the continuation of taxes levied to meet continental requisitions, the taxes to be paid either in bills of credit or in specie at the rate of one Spanish milled dollar to forty dollars in currency. The bills obtained were to be retired and replaced by a new issue redeemable in specie after six years at an interest rate of five percent. For the congressional act of 18 March and the ultimate failure of the redemption scheme, see Benjamin Rush's letter of 28 April, note 4 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0215

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-05-24

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

This day I had the Pleasure of yours of the 20th. By the arrival of so many Vessells, at Bilbao, Bourdeaux Nantes, L'orient, and Amsterdam, I think We may fairly conclude that the British Vessells of War have other occupations than cruising, and that the Commerce of our Country is opening and extending in an agreable manner. But as these Vessells bring so few Letters to the Politicians I begin to fear our Countrymen are turning too much of their attention to Trade, from what is as yet, perhaps of more importance to their Safety, Policy and War. There is an elegant masterly Letter however from Sir H. Clinton, which will Supply a Volume from lesser, or even from more friendly Authorities, which you will soon see.
Congress are taking great and bold Steps in the management of their Finances. They are indeed necessary. I hope they build upon good foundations. But if they do not, Things cannot be much worse, before they will be better. The Measure they have ventured on is Evidence of a Vigour and an Activity that will work its Way.
I believe there has hardly been an Example of Such Unanimity, in the Sentiments of the European Courts upon a great question, as in that of American Liberty. It is no wonder. There has been no object in which they have been So universally interested, and there has been no point so obviously just, reasonable and humane. This Unanimity will Secure our Liberty and Safety, but I fear not very soon our peace. { 339 } I Suspect the Ministry are now shut up in the House of Commons plotting some new System of delusions.
The Trust you mention is Sacred indeed, So much so that it is never thought of by me, without Reverence. Your approbation of its being placed where it is, does me honour, and gives me great pleasure.
The Wine is not yet arrived. I send every day to the Bureau, but can hear nothing of it. I suffer for want of it, every day. I will send, a Letter or two to go by your Vessell. I am, with much esteem,

[salute] sir

Mr. Vernon is a young Gentleman for whom I have much esteem. But as my authority is confined to one object, it is not in my power to place him, in any situation that would be agreable to him.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0216-0001

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-24

From the Comte de Vergennes

J'ai reçu, Monsieur, les deux lettres que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'ecrire les 12. et 19. de ce mois. Je n'avois pas besoin de votre apologie pour rendre justice aux sentiments patriotiques qui vous animent: vous connoissez les interêts et les engagements de votre patrie: je suis certain que vous n'aurez jamais d'autre objet que de consolider les uns et les autres. Vous pourrez juger par là, Monsieur, de la confiance que nous mettons dans vos principes, et de la sécurité que nous avons d'avance par raport à la conduite que vous tiendrez dans le cas où la Cour de Londres vous feroit parvenir des ouvertures de conciliation.
Je vous fais mes remerciments, Monsieur, pour les gazettes américaines que vous avez bien voulu me communiquer; j'aurai soin qu'elles vous soient renvoyées, exactement.
J'ai l'honneur d'être très-sincerement, Monsieur, votre très-humble et très-obéissant serviteur,
[signed] De Vergennes

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0216-0002

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-24

The Comte de Vergennes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I had the honor to receive your two letters of the 12th and 19th of this month. I did not need your apologia defending your patriotic sentiments: you are highly aware of the interests and commitments of your country. I am sure that you will never have any other motive but to consolidate them. { 340 } You may judge by this letter the confidence that we place in your principles and, therefore, of the trust that we have in your conduct should the Court of London undertake conciliatory overtures.
I thank you for the American gazettes you were kind enough to send me. I will make sure that they are returned to you.
I have the honor to be very sincerely, Sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] De Vergennes

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-05-25

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I wrote you once before this day1—but it is necessary I should write again. After sending my french servant, a monstrous number of Times, all over the City after my Wine I can learn nothing of it. Upon looking over the Invoice and your Letters, and showing them to the Abbé's my friends,2 they say that my Wine, was sent by a private Waggon, and that that Waggon belongs to a private Person in the Country, where I know not—and that the Wine is only marked J. A. and Addressed to Mr. John Adams at Paris. They say that it should have been addressed to me, by my name and quality and the Hotel and street where I live. So that I dont expect to get a Glass of this Wine to the lips of any of my Friends these six weeks, not then without writing many Letters and sending many Messages. I have Six or seven Trunks of Baggage belonging to me, Mr. D. Mr. T. my Children and our servants, which have been at Brest this four Months, and I have written many Letters and taken more pains about them than they are worth, and cannot get them. I have a Box And a Bundle of Papers and Books &c from London, of which I have had Letters of Advice from London and Ostend long long ago. I have sent every day for a long time to the Bureau, but can hear nothing of them. I am told all this is for Want of my Address being written on my Letters and Packetts &c. There is not a Being upon Earth who has a greater Contempt for all kind of Titles than I have in themselves, but when I find them in this Country not only absolutely necessary to make a mans Character and Office respected, but to the transaction of the most ordinary Affairs of Life, to get a glass of Wine to drink a pamphlet to read or a shirt to put on, I am convinced of their Importance and necessity here. By the Etiquette of all the Courts in Europe a minister Plenipotentiary has the Title of Excellency, and the wise men of Europe cant believe it possible a Man { 341 } should be one without it. I therefore request that for the future, you would address every Letter, Packet, Bundle Case and Cask, for me A Son Excellence, Monsieur Monsieur John Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis De L'Amerique, Hotel de Valois, Ruë de Richelieu a Paris.
1. No other letter from JA to Bondfield dated 25 May has been found. Although JA may have written without making a Letterbook copy, his concern for his wine in this letter suggests that he was referring to his letter of 24 May (above).
2. For the abbés Arnoux and Chalut, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:59.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1780-05-25

To Arthur Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

Your kind favour of April 12th. is yet unanswered. With nothing at all to do, I am as busy as ever I was in my Life. Whether any good will result from it time must discover. I have undertaken to inform Congress, a little more particularly than they are want to be informed, of Some Things that have passed in Europe, which will ultimately affect them: but I find it is in vain to put my Eyes out by writing for when Letters are written, We cant get them across the Water.
I have however Sworn and I will perform, if it is possible to get Letters to them by the way of Spain or Holland, or any other Way, let the Expense be what it will they shall go.
I have a very good opinion of Count Sarsefield, and have the Honour to see him Sometimes, tho not So often as I wish. Too many unsuitable Characters it is very certain have been permitted to meddle in our Affairs, but when or how it will be remedied, God only knows. In a Country where every Thing goes and is done by Protection, and where the Maxims of Government are the direct opposites of ours, I see no Prospect of having it otherwise let who will be in or out.
As to Jobs, I never had, and never will have any Thing to do in any, let the Consequence to me, and my family be what it will. The Trusts with which you and I have been honoured by our Country are too sacred, to be tarnished, by the little selfish Intrigues, in which the little Insects about a Court are eternally buzzing. If I had neither a sense of Duty nor the Pride of Virtue, nor any other Pride—if I had no higher Principle or Quality than Vanity, it would mortify this, in an extream degree, to sully and debase so pure a Cause, by any such Practices.
{ 342 }
On the Characters you mention, I shall never condescend, to bestow my Confidence nor my Resentment nor Contempt. They have ever been treated by me and ever will be, with Justice and Civility, but they will never be my Friends.
I have received a Letter by the Way of Bilbao for you which I do my self the Honour to inclose.
I was in hopes you would have been at Congress before now. Your situation must be disagreable, but I know by Experience it can be born.
Pray how do you relish Clintons Letter. I think the Policy of France and Spain is pointed out by it, in sunbeams. I hope they will profit by it. They Seemed to be convinced of it, before this Letter arrived. They have now the Testimony of our Ennemy to the Truth and Justice of what you and I had the Honour to represent to them, in Conjunction with our Colleague last January was twelve Months.1

[salute] I am with much Esteem &c yours

[signed] John Adams
I have a Letter from Mr. S. A. and Dr. Gordon2—both desire to be remembered to you. No News from either, only respecting our Constitution which it seems the Convention have adopted, without any essential Alterations. They have published their Result for the Remarks and objections of the People, after which they are to revise it. If two thirds of the People in 95 shall desire a Convention, to revise and alter as Experience shall find necessary it is to be done. Mass. very intent on filling up their quota of the Continental Army.
RC (Adams Papers;) docketed by CFA at the top of the first page: “To Arthur Lee.” For an explanation of how this letter came to be in the Adams Papers, see JA to Arthur LeeArthur Lee to JA, 10 Oct. 1778, descriptive note (vol. 7:127–128).
1. JA is referring to the Commissioners' appeal to Vergennes for an increased French naval presence in American waters. See the Commissioners to Vergennes, [ante 20] Dec. 1778 – [ante 9] Jan. 1779 (vol. 7:292–311).
2. These were letters from Samuel Adams of 15 March (Adams Papers) and William Gordon of 8 March (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0219

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gordon, William
Date: 1780-05-26

To William Gordon

[salute] Dear sir

I am much obliged to you, for your Letter of the 8 and 11. of March, which is the more prescious for being in so little Company, having not a line from any other, except a kind Card from Mr. S. Adams.1
I thank you for your account of the Proceedings of Convention, and am happy to learn, that they have gone through the Report of { 343 } the Committee. Mr. Jackson,2 has obliged Us, by an enumeration of the Amendments made, which if they do not improve the Plan, I am persuaded will contribute much to its acceptance, and upon the whole, I think the Constitution will be very good. The Report of the Committee, has been published in the Courier de L'Europe,3 and exceedingly applauded. The Article respecting Religion, is more admired, here than I expected. They compliment the Mass. with having outdone all other outdoings, in this respect.
Your Friend J. A. by advising an Acquiesence in the first Essay,4 meant well. But his Countrymen, who mean equally well, Saw further, as they have often done. J. A. thinks the Massachusetts are exhibiting a Phenominon in the political World, that is new and Singular. It is the first People, who have taken So much Time to deliberate upon Government—that have allowed such Universal Liberty to all the People to reflect upon the subject, and propose their objections and Amendments—and that have reserved to themselves at large, the right of finally accepting or rejecting the form. It forms a Kind of Epocha, in the History of the Progress of Society. I doubt not their final determination will be wise. The explicit5 Reservation of a Right to call a Convention in 1795, I think is judicious—for altho the right of the People to call a Convention at any time cannot be denied; yet they might be less likely to think of it, in Earnest if it had not been mentioned.
You demand, Something in the way of Barter for the News you sent me. I acknowledge the Justice of it. But you have now such Correspondences, with various Parts of the World, that you will probably have from other Quarters, all I can send you, before mine will arrive.
I have written to my Masters, every Thing, that has happend in Europe, that they are interested in, but whether they receive it I dont know. The substance of the whole detail is, that France and Spain appear convinced of the Policy and6 Necessity of pursuing the War in America, especially be Sea: that they are exerting themselves with Vigeur to this End—that 12 ships of the Line 5 frigates &c with 11,500 Troops have Sailed 28 April from Cadiz. 8 ships of the Line, besides frigates and 6,000 Troops have Sailed from Brest, 2 May. That a second division is to follow from Brest. That Ireland, is not composed to rest, notwithstanding the duplicity, or the Temperisation of their Parliament. That Committees, associations and a Congress are going on, with some timidity and Irresolution however, in England. That all the Maritime Powers, Holland, Sweeden Denmark, Portugal,7 with Russia at their Head, have formed a Confederation to support a { 344 } Neutrality, and the right of neutral Powers with arms in their Hands. That however the English, still flatter themselves with the submission of America, or at least that She will make a Separate Peace, and join England to revenge her against France and Spain, or at least be a silent Spectater of their Vengence—but no honest Thoughts of Peace.
Now, Mr. Historiographer, please to tell, Prince Posterity, one Truth, for me, and that is, that I love my Wife, and that I have left her, to see Countries where I dont find any body I like so well, to serve my Country. Pray what Motive will you impute it to? Ambition I suppose and the Love of Glory, like Tacitus and the rest of the malignant Run of impartial Historians, who will never allow any higher motive to govern Men. But if you dont tell the Prince aforesaid, that I had not enough of this Taste for Glory, to make me leave my Wife and Children, and that nothing but a sense of duty, added to all the taste I could have produced this Effect, you will want penetration8 to discover the Motives of one Heart, and I will undertake to tell Posterity my self that you are not a perfect Historian. And this Prince, will believe me, as soon as you. <&c?> I suspect, I shall be obliged to turn Historiographer too. So let us both take Care least We give the other any thing improper to say. Adieu in Haste.
1. Gordon's letter of 8 March, with an addition dated the 11th, was also directed to Francis Dana, while that from Samuel Adams was of 15 March (Adams Papers).
2. Presumably Jonathan Jackson, Newbury merchant and shipowner, delegate to the Mass. Constitutional Convention, and one of JA's colleagues on the drafting committee (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 15:56–67; Journal of the Convention, p. 9, 28). No letter from Jackson containing an “enumeration of Amendments” has been found, but see JA's letter to Jackson of 2 Oct. (below).
3. Only the covering letter signed by James Bowdoin, the preamble, and the declaration of rights from the Report were printed in the Courier de l'Europe of 18 April, and the London Courant of the same date. For an explanation of why the remainder of the constitution was not printed, see Thomas Digges' letter of 14 April, note 2 (above).
4. By “first Essay” JA means the constitution of 1778 that was rejected. See Gordon's letter of 8 March, and note 6 (above).
5. This word was interlined.
6. The preceding two words were interlined.
7. Despite rumors to the contrary, Portugal did not join the armed neutrality until 1782 (to the president of Congress, 23 May, No. 71, calendared, above; De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 381).
8. JA wrote the remainder of the letter in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0220

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-26

To the President of Congress, No. 72

Paris, 26 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 75–77). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:702–706.
John Adams began this letter, which was read in Congress on 11 Sept., by quoting from the addresses exchanged by “the gentlemen of the law” of Dublin and Henry Grattan on 30 April as { 345 } Grattan was accorded honorary membership in the bar for his efforts on behalf of Irish liberty. Adams provided information regarding British naval activities, including a possible new relief of Gibraltar by Adm. Thomas Graves and the reported availability of only twenty ships of the line for duty with the fleet in the English Channel. The letter also contained accounts from Hamburg, London, Paris, Brest, and The Hague that were dated between 8 and 21 May and reported on the continuing support for the armed neutrality by the neutral powers, as well as the contrasting French and British positions regarding it. Adams noted the rumors concerning the imminent dispatch from Brest of additional troops and supplies to reinforce the army and fleet already sent to America and included Conde de Floridablanca's protest to the Dutch ambassador at Madrid alleging collusion between British warships and Dutch merchantmen for the supply of Gibraltar. Finally, he indicated the British ministry's latest resolve, reported in London on 19 May, to continue the war to preserve its supremacy of the seas and “bring back the Colonies of America to their ancient relations of interest.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 75–77.) printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:702–706.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0221

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Church, William Singleton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-26

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr. sir

I expected when I gave you the last West Inda. accounts the 9th. Instant1 that my next would be some thing about America but we have yet not a tittle from that quarter which bears the face of authenticity. The Inclosd Gazette account from Rodney is all we have new, and even Englishmen who think rightly are by no means pleasd with the account altho the writer has stiled it a defeat of the French fleet.2
I am longing for a line to know if you approve my plan of sending forward the news Papers and Pamphlets. If you can make any agreement with the post office (as I before advisd) I think it would be better, because you may get the papers more expedetiously; if not, the present mode may be persued, for there is no great trouble in it, and every 8 or 9 days a neutral vessel is sailing for Ostend. Tomorrow will be forwarded the third parcell I have sent3—it will contain news papers only, as there are no new political publications worth sending. I shall be made happy by a line when any good news arrives from Chs. Town—the bad flies quick enough. Almost every body here thinks Clinton will not succeed and many pray most cordially this may be the case.
The Wt. Inda. fleet is yet in Torbay and most likely will now stay for the N York, Quebec, and Inda. fleet. I am most respectfuly Yrs
[signed] W. S. C
{ 346 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Ansd 9. June.”; docketed by CFA: “W. S. C. 26 May 1780.” No reply of 9 June has been found, but see JA's letters to Digges of [6–7? June] and [28? June] (both below). Removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of a portion of the dateline.
1. No letter of 9 May has been found.
2. An extract of Rodney's letter of 26 April, describing the indecisive naval battle of Martinique, appeared in the London Gazette Extraordinary of 25 May and was reprinted in various London newspapers. See, for example, the London Courant of 26 May. In its issue of the 27th, the London Courant noted that in unpublished portions of his letter Rodney had been very critical of several of his captains, charging that their failure to obey his orders had cost the chance for a decisive victory. William Lee also sent JA an account of the Gazette report in his letter of 31 May (Adams Papers).
3. According to the list enclosed with Digges' letter of 8 June (below), Digges did send JA a bundle of newspapers on 27 May. The list indicates, however, that it was the fourth package, rather than the third.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-27

To the President of Congress, No. 73

Paris, 27 May 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 78–80). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers; notation by Thaxter: “NB. Nos. 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73 were delivered to Come. Gillon on the 30th. May, with several packets of Newspapers & private Letters.” printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:734–735.
In this letter, read in Congress on 11 Sept., John Adams noted the extensive writings by Americans in the 1760s and 1770s on the application of the British Constitution to the constituent parts of the empire. In his view, these writings had played a significant role in the American Revolution and were behind recent events in Ireland. He then inserted the text of an article from the London General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer of 13 May, regarding petitions from several districts in India calling for relief from the extraordinary powers assumed by English colonial judges. Adams declared that he was not surprised by this evidence of unrest and predicted that the continuation of the war would produce additional protests, for Britain held India “by a slender Thread and by the good Will only of a few Individuals.” He also enclosed a copy of Edmund Jenings' dialogue between William Pitt and Charles Yorke, part of which had been included in Jenings' letter of 5 March (above).
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 78–80.) LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “NB. Nos. 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73 were delivered to Come. Gillon on the 30th. May, with several packets of Newspapers & private Letters.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:734–735.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0223

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-27

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have enclosed by a former Post an Extraordinary Letter received from London. Your Excellency will perhaps understand it better than I do. I have written for an Explanation of it and the grounds and proofs, if possible to be had of the Suggestions therein. I have an opinion of my Correspondent, or should not have troubled your Excellency with his Letter.1
I cannot think that Austria is inclind or can Act against us at this Juncture; the Treaty lately made with France, relative to their mutual { 347 } possessions in Flanders, shows her disposition to remove all causes of dispute, that might arise from an Intermixture of Territory, and therefore she would not surely oppose the great Interest, which France has in the Independancy of America, which woud inevitably bring on a Rupture between them. The Emperors great Views are turnd towards, what may affect the King of Prussia either in Poland or Silesia; for this purpose He pegs his Course to the Empress of Russia and wishes perhaps an alliance with the Holstein family, and to make a King of Poland founded on that Alliance. This it is said is the object of the Journey, He is now making to meet the Empress; whether He will be able gain Her to his purposes or not is doubtful; if He does, I cannot think we can be affectd by it, but as it may embarrass England the more. But England is not now an object to Him, for she cannot spare the Money, He may want; and without it Austria cannot Act, and with it whatever He does must be done for his own proper <Advantage> Interest without serving England, unless France coud be drawn off from the pursuit of her present important War by either making Her a principal Friend or foe. This will be as difficult now, as it was on account of the Bavarian Sucession—the opening the Port of Antwerp and bringing the Trade Thither from Holland must be a work of Time to any Government, and particularly so to this. It is difficult to turn the Channels of Commerce especially of such an Oeconomical Commerce, as that of the Dutch. The Attempt must be made by Degrees and cannot be enforced by War, and therefore Holland will not take an immediate Alarm thereat, and break out into Excesses, but practice those Arts, which Her Knowledge and long possession of Commerce give Her. I have reason to think that France paid the Emperor 24 Millions per ann: as a Subsidy, but I believe there was no Treaty publishd thereof, and She took, as a caution of his good faith, The Towns of Ostend and Neuport in her Hands. This was Acting more politically than England, who gave her Money to <Russia> Prussia, without any Security, that the object of the Treaty should be fulfilled.2
By what I hear from Holland every thing goes on there, as one Coud wish; it is said, that the german Recruits for Canada are stopped in her Ports, until England makes Reparation for Damages, and to the wounded National Honour, in seizing Bylands Squadron.3 If this step is taken, it is a decisive one. I hear, that a Bill is arrived in Europe, drawn on Mr. Laurens; by this one would imagine, that He had left America, and may be soon expected. Oh! that He was Here. He might urge that Idea, which I had the Honor of laying { 348 } before your Excellency of not shipping naval stores to England from any of the Northern Powers, He might assist in prevailing on the Dutch to <Act> Acknowledge our Independancy on one and the same day, that other States did, and He might borrow Money.
I know not, whether your Excellency has seen the Debates on Conways Motion, if I understand them rightly, they show the folly of England is deeply rootd. The Opposition was as backward, as the Minister in Acknowledging our Independancy, or taking the Necessary or any steps towards peace—in fact they expect, if they thus fall in with the Humor of the King, to have Advances made to them this Summer to come into place. Thank God, America is Above the Malice of her inveterate Ennemies, and her Selfish pretended Friends.
Thus far, Sir, I had written, when I recived your Excellency's Favor of the 22d instant.4 Your Communication of a Copy of Clintons Important Dispatch gave those, to whom it was addressed, the most heartfelt Joy. They return your Excellency their Utmost Thanks for the trouble, taken therein. I partook of this pleasure, and had my own at hearing of the improving situation of our Country, and the miserable Condition of the Foe. I have been since much employed in Copying it, for the Amusement of friends and the Confusion of Ennemies.
Ought not, Sir, the present State of Affairs in America be made as public, as possible, throughout Europe? Nothing surely can give an higher Idea of our Country, and a more Contemptible one of England. This is the Moment for urging all those Powers, who have been insulted, (and who has not been so.)—by the common Ennemy, to Acknowledge our Independancy. Would not the Dutch do it, when they have been thus outragd and forced by an Abolition of Treaties into a state of nature with England? Woud not the Northern Powers do it, who have certainly an Interest therein? Will not Spain do it, who is well disposed to Us, and at War with our Ennemy? Will the King of Prussia Refuse? who was and is perhaps inclined to our Causes, and who personally dislikes the british Monarch. Can there be a Measure more effectual to force England over the Stumbling block of Independancy, which prevents a general Peace. This Step woud Compel our Ennemy to acquiesce in or adopt the same Measure, or render her Obstinacy indifferent to Us. Does any thing appear better calculated to Shew a Contempt for and to Humble an Insolent domineering Power? Unacquaintd as I am with the true State of Politics, I can only reason from general and public Ideas, but nothing seems to be so likely to attain our great Object as this Step, which { 349 } woud be easily and safely taken by such a formidable Concurrence; and being taken, it woud be an assurance, that they woud not in future do any thing, for the Service of England, in Contradiction of their Declaration and open Acknowledgement.
I did not mean to recommend to your Excellency subscribing for Linguets periodical productions, He is a silly and injudicious writer as I ever read—but He is much read, and cried up by foreigners for his spiritd Stile and some adopt the Absurdity of his Principles. For my part, shoud any one ask me what I found in his Words, I shoud answer in the Language of Hamlet Words, Words, Words.5 However in the number I had the Honor of recommending to your Excellency to borrow, there are Ideas, which might be correctd and improved.
It is said that Greaves saild the 17th. Instant, I doubt whether He can make a great Progress, the Winds having been much at the SW, and W ever since. If He goes to America, his force will be formidable, and He will get there time enough to Embarrass Monsr. Ternay, shoud He be gone there. Should neither the [one] or the other be gone there, but both to the West Indies, which is perhaps the true Object, France in Junction with Spain will be much Superior. He may indeed have saild to Gilbraltar to attack the Spanish fleet and then either return to England or go to into the Mediterranean. I Hope every possible Event is provided for.
I think with your Excellency, that it is probable, that the Trustees of the State of Maryland may refuse to pay the money standing in their Names, but they must do it at their Peril, we have effects in our Power, that may Answer the Consequences.
My Correspondent in London says, speaking of the Motions of Conway Hartley and Pownal, “that these proposers of Peace have no firm ground to stand upon, but totter and grope their way About like Sickely invilids, who have been left in Solitude and the dark.” Nothing can mark the Caracters of these Men better. The inclosed are the Productions of my Friend, who going to the Masquarades, once as a Cook, and another Time as a Tallow Chandler, distributd copies thereof to the public.6 I think your Excellency will see some humor in them. He tells me the Laws of the Admiralty are <repr> out of Print and He cannot hear of the other Pamphlet, but will Continue his Search.
I have written to Spain two or three Letters, but have receivd no answer, I suspect Correspondence is stopt. Can your Excellence put me in the way of writing there safely?
The Insertion of Important Matters in the public Papers cost { 350 } nothing, the Publishers receive Information with many thanks and therefore your Excellency will have no Concern on that Head.
I hope your Excellency will Keep the purport of the Letter, I had the Honor to send, a Secret, until I have heard further About it from London.

[salute] I am Sir your Excellencys most Faithful & Obedient Hble Servant.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M Mr Jennings. ansd. 28 April and June 6.”; docketed by CFA: “1780.” JA's reference to “28 April” is probably an oversight and should probably be “28 May.”
1. Jenings wrote to JA on 22 May (Adams Papers), enclosing a letter that he had received “from my Confidential Friend in London” and requesting JA's comments on it. JA returned the enclosure with his reply of 29 May (below). Jenings' “Friend” or “Correspondent,” as he is referred to in this letter, has not been identified, nor has any copy of the enclosure been found, but for its probable content and JA's comments on it, see his letters to Jenings of 29 May, 6 June, and 11 June; as well as Jenings' letters of 2 June and 5 May [i.e. June] (all below). The remainder of this letter is largely a reply to JA's of 15 May (above).
2. France and Austria were allies under the terms of the first and second treaties of Versailles of 1756 and 1757. The first was a defensive alliance providing a mutual guarantee of European possessions, with each party promising to provide the other with 24,000 troops if the territories of either were invaded by a power (i.e. Prussia) allied with Great Britain. The second treaty, agreed to following the Prussian invasion of Saxony, provided for the dispatch of additional French troops and the payment of a 12 million florin subsidy to Austria in return for which France would occupy several frontier towns of the Austrian Netherlands, including Ostend and Nieuport. In 1780, despite his irritation at the French refusal to aid Austria under the terms of the treaties during the War of the Bavarian Succession, Joseph II had no intention of overturning the alliance with France and allying himself with Britain. The meeting with Catherine II at Mogilyev in early June was instigated by Joseph as an effort to create a foundation of good relations between the sovereigns and to initiate exploratory discussions of a possible alliance. Although no substantive action was taken at the meeting, progress was made toward an alliance that for Austria would forestall Prussian interference in the East, and for Russia would obtain Austrian assistance in its efforts against the Turks (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:336–339; De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 216– 219, 313–315). Jenings' mention of the Holstein family in connection with Catherine II is in reference to her connections to a branch of that family, but it had no relevance to the upcoming meeting (Cambridge Modern Hist., 6:657).
3. This report appeared in the London papers and was attributed to a letter from Sir Joseph Yorke. See, for example, the London Courant, 13 May.
4. This letter (Adams Papers) was directed to “Mr. Jenings, Mr. Lee, and Mrs. Isard” and transmitted a copy of the fabricated letter from Clinton to Germain of 30 January. JA enclosed another copy of the fabrication in his letter to Jenings of 30 May (Adams Papers) which is not printed, but see JA's letter of 21 May to C. W. F. Dumas and note 1 (above). William Lee wrote to JA on 31 May (Adams Papers) to thank him for sending the “Clinton” letter.
5. Hamlet, II, ii, line 194.
6. No enclosures have been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0224

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-05-28

To Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] [Sir]

When a great Minister, of an ancient [and powerful nation, which { 351 } has been renowned] for its Wisdom and Virtue, as well as Power,2 arises, in a popu[lar assembly, which] is the most conspicuous Theater in the World, and declares, a[s it were in the] face of the Universe, and with an Air of Reflection, of delibera[tion, and of so]lemnity, that, Such and Such, are his own opinions of the Trut[h of Facts and] the Probability of future Events, one cannot call in question, his go[od faith,] although We may know his Information to be false, and Judgm[ent errone]ous.
Lord George Germaine, in the debate in the house of Commons, on the Sixth [of this] month, declar'd that “he flattered himself, the completion of the chief [Wish of] his Heart, Peace with America, on what he thought, good and honourable [Terms] for Great Britain, was not far off. That he verily believed, and his Belief [was not] merely Speculative, but founded, on recent Information, that the moment of con[ciliation] was near. His Lordship described the misery, which the Americans felt at this [time,] and Stated, that the greatest majority of the People there, were ready, and desi[rous to] return to their Allegiance, but that they were prevented by the Tyranny of th[ose who] had got the power of Government into their hands. He did not believe, the Co[ngress] would ever treat for peace: but from the Condition of Affairs, in America; fr[om the] depreciation of their paper currency; from the poverty, and distress of the Coun[try] from the great debt, it groaned under; from the dissatisfaction which all Rank[s of] people expressed at the Alliance with France; from the little benefit America h[ad de]rived from that Alliance; from all these considerations, he did believe, that the [people] of America, the Assemblies of America, would Soon come to terms.”3
In the Phrase “good and honourable Terms for great Britain,” there may be some [am]biguity: but there can be no reasonable doubt, that his Lordship meant, either to [return] to their allegiance to Great Britain, or at least, to make a Peace with her separ[ate] from France.
Whether the Americans ever will agree to Such Terms, or not, being a question con[cern]ing a future Event, cannot be decided by Witnesses, nor in any other Way, than by p[ro]bable Arguments. There is one Argument, which his Lordship does not appear to h[ave] considered. It is of some Weight. It is this. That in order to return to their A[lle]giance, to the King of England, or make a Peace with him; Separate from France[,] they must involve themselves, in a certain War, with France and Spain, at least[,] and, indeed, according to present appearances, with Russia, Sweeden, Denmark[, and H]olland and Portugal; for every one of these appears to be as decided, against { 352 } [the Claims, Pretensions and Usurpations of Great Britain, upon the Seas as France and Spain, are. There is not an American Merchant, Yeoman Tradesman, or Seaman, but what knows this or will know it very soon. Ameri]cans must therefore be des[titute of that common share of Reason which God] has given to Men, to exchange the Friendship [of all the nations of the Wor]ld for their Enmity, merely for the Sake of returning to a Con[nection with Great Britain, which] could not protect them, and which they have the best reasons [to dread as the g]reatest Evil that could befal them, from the unheard of Tyrannies [and Cruelties] they have already experienced from her. His Lordship is desired to co[nsider this,] and to ask himself, if he was an American, whether he would wish to [run un]der the broken, falling Fragments, of an Empire that is dashed to [Pieces, li]ke a China Vase,4 and commence a fresh War,5 against a Combination [of all the] nations of the World, who now discover a degree of Esteem and regard [for Am]erica?
[If the A]mericans are as miserable as his Lordship represents them, will they be likely [to incre]ase that misery, and make it indefinite or perpetual,6 by espousing the [Cause of] a ruined Empire, and going to War, with half a dozen, that are not [ruined]?
[If We] believe the Testimonies of Witnesses, who come from all parts of America, We sha[ll be con]vinced7 that his Lordship deceives himself. Every Man from that country [who kn]ows, the Principles and opinions of the People, declares, that they are, with an [Unani]mity that is unexampled in any other Revolution, firmly determined, to ma[intain t]heir Sovereignty, and their Alliances, and that there is nobody in America [that] whispers a Wish of returning to the Government of Great Britain, or of m[aking] a Seperate Peace. But if his Lordship was a candid Enquirer after Truth, [and] had a mind Sufficiently enlightened to discover the means that are in the [Power] of all men, of obtaining it, he might detect<ed> his Error. There are certain [Mar]ks, by which the opinions, Inclinations, and Wishes of a People may, with [infa]llible Certainty be discovered, without recurring to Witnesses, or to remote [arg]uments.
[Th]e Press; the Towns; the Juries; and the Assemblies, to mention, no more [are] four Sources, from whence an unerring demonstration of the true Sen[ti]ments of the People of America, may be drawn.
[Th]ere is not in any nation of the World, So unlimited a Freedom of the Press, as is now established in every State of America, both by Law and Practice. Every Man in Europe, who reads their Newspapers, must See it. There is nothing, that the People dislike, that they { 353 } dont attack. They attack Governors and Magistrates of every denomination, officers and Generals of the Army of every Rank, assemblies and Councils, Members of Congress and Congress itself, whenever they dislike their Conduct. But I appeal to every Newspaper, upon the Continent, whether one Paragraph, one Wish,8 or one H[int of] returning to the Government of Great Britain, or making a Seperate Peace, has ever ap[peared. The Towns, in America, are small districts of Territory, on an Average, perhaps Six miles Square by the ancient Laws of the Country, which are Still in force, any Seven Inhabitants] of one of these Towns [have a right to demand of the Magistrates a public] assembly, of all. There are necessarily, [several of these Townmeetings, ev]ery year—and generally, a great number of them. In th[ese assemblies every] Man, high and low; every Yeoman, Tradesman, and even [day Labourer, as well] as every Gentleman and public magistrate,9 has a right to vo[te] and [to speak his senti]ments of public Affairs; to propose measures; to instruct their Repr[esentatives in the] Legislature &c. This right was constantly, and frequently, used, under [the former] Government, and is now, much more frequently used, under the new. T[he World has] Seen some hundreds of Sets of these Instructions to Representatives, under the [former Gov]ernment, wherein they enjoined, an open Opposition to Judges, Governors, [Acts of Parlia]ment, King, Lords and Commons of Great Britain. What is there now, to [prevent] them from opposing Congress? Nothing. Has a Single Vote of one of these T[owns been] read, or one Speech heard, proposing, or uttering a Wish to return to the Go[vernment] of Great Britain? Not one. Is not this then a demonstration of the Sen[timents] of the People?
Juries, in America, were formerly, another organ, by which the Sentiments [of the] People were conveyed to the Public. Both grand Juries and petit Juries, have ex[pressed] themselves, in Language, Sufficiently bold and free, against Acts of Parliament[, and] the Conduct of Great Britain: but has any one ever uttered a Word against Co[ngress,] or the Assemblies, or the Judges under their new Governments, or a Wish to [return] to the Obedience of England? Not one.
But it is said, that the Paper money, embarrasses Congress. What then? Does [this] tend to make them dissolve their Union? to violate their Alliances? Would [the] Paper Money embarrass Congress, less, if they had a War to maintain aga[inst] France and Spain, than it does now? Would not the Embarrassment be much [greater.] Does { 354 } the Paper money, prevent the Increase and the Population of the States? [No.] Does the War prevent it? No. Both the Population and the Property, have [increased,] every Year, Since the War began. And all the Efforts of Great Britain, cannot pr[event] it. On the Contrary, has the Wealth and Population of Great Britain increas[ed?] has her Commerce increased? has the political Weight of the nation in the Sc[ales] of Europe10 increased? Let a melancholly Briton tell.
His Lordship talks about the Misery, of the People, in America. Let him look at home and then Say, where is Misery—11 where the hideous Prospect of an internal civil War, is added to a War with all the World? The Truth is that Agriculture and Manuf[actures,] not of Luxuries but of Necessaries, have been so much increased, by this War, in America that it is much to be doubted whether they ever fed and cloathed themselves more easi[ly or] more comfortably. But besides this, the immense depredations they have made up[on the British Trade, have introduced vast quantities, of british Merchandizes of every Sort—and in Spight of all the Exertions of the British fleet, their Trade is opening and extending with various Countries] every year, and [Britain herself is forced to aid it, and will be more and] more, a recent Proof of which, is the [Permission to import American Tob]acco into the Kingdom, from any Part of the World in [Neutral Bottoms. The great debt is also] mentioned. Do the Americans pay an Interest for this debt? Is [. . .] necessary of Life12 taxed to Perpetuity to pay this Interest? Is the [whole debt, equal] in Proportion to their Abilities, to the Debt of England? Would the debt [be rendered] less, by joining Great Britain against France and Spain? Would the War [against] France and Spain be shorter? less bloody? or less expensive than the War [against] England? By returning to England, would not their debt, be ten times more [burdenso]me? This Debt, is as nothing to America, give her Peace. Let the Americans[, trade fre]ely with one another, and with all other nations, and this debt, would be [but a f]eather. Let them come under Great Britain again, and have the Co[mmunica]tion between one Colony and another obstructed as heretofore, and their Tra[de confined] to Great Britain as heretofore, and this Debt would be an heavier Mi[lstone] about their Necks, than that of England is about hers.
[A gener]al Repugnance to the Alliance with France is mentioned. A greater Mist[ake was ne]ver made. On the contrary, every Step of Congress, every Proceeding of every [assem]bly upon the Continent; every Speculation in the Newspapers, demonstrates [the h]igh Sense { 355 } they have of the Importance of this Alliance. It is said that this [allianc]e has been of little Utility. Has it not employed the British Army? has it not [cut ou]t work enough for the British navy? has it not wasted for England her [annu]al twenty millions? has it not prevented all these from being employed [agains]t America? has it not given Scope to American Privateers? has it not [protec]ted American Trade? has it not hurt13 that of Great Britain? has it not [enga]ged Russia, Holland, Sweeden, Denmark and Portugal, at least to a Neutralit[y, at] least has it not contributed much to these vast Advantages to America?14 has it not taken away from Great Britain the Dominion of the Sea?15 It is true the alliance might have been of more Utility,16 with the Same Expence, if France [and] Spain had sooner adopted the Policy, of sending more of their Forces to America. [But] they are now so well convinced of it, that unless Miracles are wrought to prevent it <the World> America and great Britain too will see more of the Effects [of] this Alliance. Let Britain tremble for the Consequences of her own Folly and her own [Crimes].
[His]17 Lordship Says that the People, would return to their Allegiance, if they were not prevented by the [Ty]ranny of those, who have seized upon Power. This is only proper to raise a Smile. What [Po]wer have they seized? in a Country, where every Man between Sixteen and Sixty Years of Age [be]longs to a legal established Militia, and has Arms in his Hands. Where this Militia is go[ver]ned Only by Men that this very Militia choose every Year. Where the Assemblies [Sen]ates and Governors are chosen every Year, by this very Militia. Where the Congress18[is also elected every year by these asemblies and can be removed by them at any time, holding only such power as is granted it by that militia? It is said that the Congress is maintained in its power by the army, but his Lordship in his wisdom] represents the Continent[al Army as too weak to match the British] army? What would become of it then, [if a major part of the militia were] to join the British army? With or without the British [if the militia we]re to turn their arms against the Continental Army, they could [crush their opponent bes]ides the Continental Army, only occupies, a few Spots of two or thr[ee states and is devoted to restricting t]he British Army to their Fortresses and to the Protection of their [men of war and can have] no Influence upon 9 or 10 whole states, which have none of [their troops.]
[Hi]s Lordship concludes with a distinction, if possible less founded than his asser[tions. H]e says that Congress will never treat, but the assemblies will. Where does his Lordship find [the Ground { 356 } of] the Difference, between the Congress and the Assemblies? Are not the members of [Congress] made of the same Clay? Are they not themselves, Members of the Assemblies? Are [they not] the Creatures of the assemblies? Are they not annually created? Are they not dep[endent ev]ery moment upon the Assemblies for their Existence? have not the Assemblies a [ri]ght to recall them, when they please and appoint others?19 have not the Asse[mblies a C]onstitutional Right to instruct them, how to act? if they do not obey these [Instructions, c]annot the Assemblies displace them, and appoint others, who will be more obe[dient? if] the Assemblies desired a Reconciliation, with Great Britain, could they not [appoint a] Congress who desired it, too?20 if the People desired such a Reconciliation cou[ld not th]ey appoint Assemblies that would endeavour to effect it?
But I have been too long. His Lordship betrays such21 Misinformation of Facts; [such an] Inattention to those obvious Marks of the Feelings of a People, which are infallib[le Ind]ications of their designs; and such a Want of knowledge of the Laws and Co[nstitu]tions of the united States of America; as excite Astonishment in an im[partial Exa]miner, and a real Commisseration for the unhappy nation, which Seems devo[ted to] destruction from his Errors and Delusions.22
I have the Honour to be, with great Regard, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (DLC: Genet Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Genet Premier Commis des Affaires etrangeres A Versailles”; note immediately below the address: “The Papers, which have Duplicates Mr. Genet is requested, if he thinks proper to send to Holland—the rest he may keep. John Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers). The top, left, and right margins of all five pages of this letter have been damaged by fire, with the loss of the dateline, salutation, and other text. The missing text has been supplied in brackets from the Letterbook copy except in the case of the fourth paragraph from the end, which does not appear in the Letterbook. There the text has been reconstructed from the French translation that appeared in the Mercure de France (see notes 1, 17, and 18). Substantive differences between the Letterbook and recipient's copies are described in the notes.
1. In his brief reply of 31 May (Adams Papers), Genet thanked JA for his letter, as well as for the newspapers enclosed with it, and stated that he believed that Vergennes would want to see the letter printed in the Mercure de France. The letter, except for the greeting, date line, and closing, was translated and printed as part of the “Journal Politique de Bruxelles” in the Mercure of 17 June (p. 116–125). JA copied the text of the letter as it appeared in the Mercure into Lb/JA/12 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel 100), between his letters to the president of Congress of 29 June (No. 88, below) and 6 July (No. 89, calendared, below). For other printings of JA's analysis of Germain's speech, in Great Britain and the United States, see JA's first letter of 2 June to the president of Congress (No. 77, calendared, below) and Edmund Jenings' letter of 9 July, and note 2 (below).
2. The preceding four words do not appear in the Letterbook.
{ 357 }
3. Lord George Germain's speech formed part of the debate over Gen. Henry Seymour Conway's motion for reconciliation that occurred on 5 May and was reported in the London newspapers of the 6th. For Conway's motion and JA's analysis of it, see his letter to Edmé Jacques Genet of 17 May (above). JA's source for this quotation has not been identified, but the account of the speech given here is very close to that in the Parliamentary Reg., 17:661. Like his reply to Conway's speech, JA's response to Germain shows the impact of his reading of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, Most Humbly Addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above) and the arguments made in it point toward those used in JA's “Letters from a Distinguished American” (“Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], below). Unlike the rejoinder to Conway, which sought to remove the delusions of the supposed friends of America that reconciliation could take place short of Britain acknowledging American independence, JA's answer to Germain was intended to dampen any confidence that the ministry or its supporters might have that military victory was close at hand or that Americans would ever agree to the restoration of the Anglo-American relationship that existed before the war.
4. In the Letterbook the preceding four words were interlined.
5. In the Letterbook the preceding five words were interlined to replace “for Shelter.”
6. The Letterbook reads “increase that misery ten fold, and make it perpetual.”
7. The passage in the Letterbook from the previous comma reads “We shall believe.”
8. In the Letterbook the next two words were “one Sigh.”
9. In the Letterbook the preceding eight words were interlined.
10. In the Letterbook the preceding five words do not appear. “Scales” is supplied from JA's letter of 2 June to the president of Congress (No. 77, calendared, below). In the Mercure this was translated as “balance du pouvoir.”
11. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence was interlined.
12. In the Letterbook this sentence begins “Is every necessary and Convenience of Life.”
13. In the Letterbook “hurt” was inserted to replace “almost ruined.”
14. In the Letterbook there follows a canceled passage: “Has not France in her Turn received benefits from this alliance with Europe.”
15. In the Letterbook this question was interlined, and the remainder of the paragraph is crowded into the available space indicating that it may have been an afterthought.
16. In the Letterbook “Utility” is followed by “to all the allies.”
17. This paragraph does not appear in the Letterbook. In the recipient's copy it begins at the bottom of the fourth page and continues at the top of the fifth. Some portions of words were lost due to damage to the left and right margins of page four; the missing material has been restored here through consideration of the context of the word, except in the case of “[Sen]ates,” which is taken from the translation in Mercure. Damage at the top of page five resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of material. The text of this paragraph as printed has been reconstructed by consulting the French translation in the Mercure, but because it is a translation the reconstruction can be only conjectural and thus the French text provided in note 18 should be consulted. It should also be noted that in the reconstruction, allowance has been made for the space available in the manuscript to accommodate the reconstructed text. The reconstruction should also be compared with the text of corresponding paragraphs, the third and fourth from the end, that is provided with the calendar of JA's letter of 2 June to the president of Congress (No. 77, calendared, below). A comparison of the two versions seems to indicate that when JA composed the letter to Congress he used the Letterbook copy of the Genet letter and thus at this point was forced to draft the paragraph anew.
18. From this point the remainder of the translated paragraph in the Mercure reads “où le Congrès est pareillement élu tous les ans par les assemblées et peut étre révoqué par elles au premier moment, aucun corps peut-il s'emparer d'un pouvoir quelconque qui lui soit conféré par cette malice? Dira-t-on que le Congrès se soutient par l'armée Continentale. Mais, selon the Lord G., cette armée est si foible qu'il lui est impossible de se mesurer avec l'armée Britannique. Que deviendroitelle donc si la majeure partie de la malice, qui n'est autre chose que la Peuple, se joignoit á l'armée Britannique? Mais, sans cette réunion, la malice suffit seule pour écraser l'armée Continentale. D'ailleurs cette armée n'occupe que quelques espaces de terreins très-bornés { 358 } | view dans deux ou trois états pour cerner l'armée Britannique dans les points qu'elle y occupe, et pour protéger les vaisseaux de guerre Américains, et il lui est impossible d'avoir la moindre influence sur neuf ou dix grands Etats qui n'ont pas dans leur territoire une seule compagnie de l'armée Continentale.”
19. In the Letterbook this sentence ends as follows: “by Law and the Constitution?”
20. The remainder of this paragraph does not appear in the Letterbook. Instead JA wrote “But I have been too long—it is tedious to expose Things that are so plain. So many Views of such a subject present themselves, that it is difficult to be concise.”
21. In the Letterbook this was followed by “a total.”
22. The Letterbook copy ends at this point.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0225

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-28

To the President of Congress, No. 74

Paris, 28 May 1780. LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). Although a letter from John Adams of 28 May was read in Congress on 11 Sept. (JCC, 18:817), no letter of that date is in the PCC. Notations on the Letterbook copies of Adams' letters of 1 and 5 June (Nos. 75 and 80, calendared, below) indicate, however, that the original and a duplicate were sent off on 1 and 23 June respectively.
This letter included a digest of British newspaper reports concerning the appointment of Adm. Francis Geary to command the Channel fleet, the long delayed departure of Adm. Graves' and Como. Walsingham's squadrons for America, the reported dispatch from Havana of a Franco-Spanish fleet for an attack on Pensacola, the situation of the French and Spanish fleets in the West Indies, and the uncertain state of Rodney's health. John Adams devoted the most space, however, to an extract from a letter by the Russian ambassador at Istanbul to his counterpart at The Hague. The Russian diplomat refuted rumors of an impending Russo-Turkish war, emphasizing instead that Russo-Turkish relations had rarely been better and that Ottoman policy clearly favored the interests of the European neutrals.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). Although a letter from John Adams of 28 May was read in Congress on 11 Sept. (JCC, 18:817), no letter of that date is in the PCC. Notations on the Letterbook copies of Adams' letters of 1 and 5 June (Nos. 75 and 80, calendared, below) indicate, however, that the original and a duplicate were sent off on 1 and 23 June respectively.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0226

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-28

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I am honord with your favor of the 14th. my last of the 20th. handed you the inteligence then at hand since which we are without any Arrivals.
France and Spain appear to Aim at a desicive Blow in the West Indies so formidable a fleet never appeard in them Seas
Monr. De Guichen strong of   24   ships  
Solano   12    
from Ferol   8    
from Cadiz   5    
Bougainville   5    
De Ternay to the Norwd   7    
  61   Line  
{ 359 }
Sixty one Ships of the line upwards Twenty five Thousand Land Forces all the Force Britain can unite cannot make head against the Combind Allied Force wherever they unitedly attempt an Attack.1 Holland appears in earnest. Russia has made a New Treaty with this Kingdom.2 Was the entire extinction of Britain as a Kingdom premeditated the Confederacy could not appear more permanent. Congress draws on Holland and Spain as also on France, some Capital reform must be in agitation in the American Finances provided they take no Step to state [. . .] faith by calling in the Emissians at a depreciated [rate?] all will be well, they write me from Philadelphia Gold and Silver begin to Circulate and bargains are Current payable in Specie Tobacco at 20s. Sterg. per hundredweight. A considerable sum was sent down two days past to Rochfort to go on board the Fleet there equiping said destind to join the West India fleets here are upwards sixty Sail Capital Merchant Ships Loaden with every supply for the Islands waiting a Convoy in profound peace there is as not greater Vigour.

[salute] With respect I have the Honor to be Sir Your very hhb Servant

[signed] John Bondfield
RC (Adams Papers). The removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of a portion of the dateline and two or three words.
1. Bondfield's information was based on rumors and the unfounded assumption that France and Spain would undertake combined operations in the West Indies in 1780. The figure given for Guichen's fleet is approximately equal to the number of ships he took into the Battle of Martinique in April, but Bondfield fails to mention the four ships of the line under La Motte-Picquet that were also in the West Indies (vol. 8:337, 360). The force given for Don Josef Solano is correct, but he remained at Havana and no additional vessels from Cádiz or El Ferrol were sent (Mackesy, War for America, p. 333–334). Como. Louis-Antoine de Bougainville commanded a ship of the line under Estaing in 1779 and would command a squadron under Grasse in 1781, but he had presumably returned to France with Estaing and in 1780 was not in the West Indies (W. M. James, The British Navy in Adversity, London, 1926, p. 435, 445). Ternay's fleet remained to the “Northward” (i.e. in and around Newport, R.I.) and took no part in West Indian operations in 1780. In any event, at no time during the war did the British navy in the West Indies encounter the fleet of sixtyone ships of the line contemplated by Bondfield. As to the troop strength in the West Indies, by the date of this letter France had 36 battalions or approximately 20,000 men in the West Indies so that the addition of the Spanish troops brought the allied total to over 30,000. The British army in the West Indies reached its highest level for the entire war in Sept. 1780 at 11,153 troops. The ravages of disease, however, meant that the actual number of effectives (those fit for service) was always considerably less than the official totals, which are also misleading since the troops were scattered among the various islands (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 377; Mackesy, War for America, p. 334, 525).
2. Russia, as a neutral, had not signed a new treaty with France. Bondfield may be referring to the French approval of the terms of Russia's declaration of an armed neutrality insofar as it operated against British interests.
{ 360 }

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0227

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-05-29

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dr Sir

I have received yours of 22, with the Letter, which I return, unable to comprehend the meaning of it.1 I am informed by Mr Jay and Mr Charmichael both, that Sir John Dalrymple2 is at Madrid, with his Lady, travelling from Portugal, thro Spain and France for her Health, as is given out.3 He had a Passport from the Spanish minister. He has seen the Imperial Ambassador, the Duke of Alva, and Some other Grandees, to whom he is Supposed to have been recommended by Lord Grantham, who, it Seems was much esteemed there. But I am under no Allarm about this, nor can I think that Sir John is intended by Hussey.4 If he is Farmer Jay,5 is enough on his Guard. But I suspect Hussey is intended for the secretary, of whom you know more than I.6 I never saw him. I have heard the Words bustling and intriguing temper before,7 or others synonimous which made me wonder at the Suddenness of Maryland, but after what has happened I cannot harbour Suspicions of any thing so black and base. Nor do I believe, that if they existed, they could answer their End. Tis a Pity that such Jealousies should be So easily taken up and so lightly propagated. The malignant Cry of the Vulgar about Gold and Guineas and Treasons of so black a die, are ten times ill founded, where they are once true. Ministerial People in England propagate Such suspicions as much as any. The other day, you know the immense sum obtained8 by that Spirited Statesman Lord North, from the E. I. Company, had enabled him to corrupt Russia. This Mistake is pretty well cleared up. Denmark too, had five and forty9 ships of the Line, which England was to hire and could easily man. This and 20 other Tales equally extravagant, were believed when I arrived here last February. I was really amazed, to hear Some Gentlemen of high Characters great sense, and indisputable affection to the Cause of the new World,10 say, they believd them. There is nothing but what the English can make many people believe for a time. I rest assured that this Insinuation, is as groundless, as it is cruel.11
Husseys Gaiety,12 will do him, nor his Country any good. Depend upon it, it is not by Gaiety, nor by Shew, that America is to be essentially served. It would be easy to be as gay and as shewy as any Americans, have been in Europe, and to do ones Country as much harm by it. The Gaiety of Some in13 her service, has cost her very { 361 } dear, both in cash and reputation. She knows it, and remembers it.14 Was it by Gaiety15 that Demosthenes and Cicero served their Countries? I dont mention Aristides, Cincinnatus or Fabricius.16 Was it thus that Pit served his Country? De Wit his? Is it by Gaiety that Vergennes and Neckar, are doing more for the good of Man kind, than all the Fops and Coxcombs ever did, put together,17 from the first Example of Gaiety that is recorded, when my Ancestors wife, made him put on Fig Leaves? For Shame Americans, for shame! For shame pretended Friends of America.
I am glad you have written for Explanations and Proof.18 But in fact, I am much disgusted with this letter.
Adieu.
You see I have recd., yours of 2<6>7th. for which Thanks.19 I believe your Letters will go Safe by the Post, to Madrid. But any Banker—Mr Grand for Example, will cover them.
RC (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers). The Letterbook copy is a heavily edited draft and the recipient's copy contains passages that are not in the Letterbook. Significant changes entered in the Letterbook, as well as those done while copying out the recipient's copy, are indicated in the notes.
1. Jenings had written on 22 May (Adams Papers), enclosing a letter from his “Confidential Friend in London” and requesting JA to return the letter with his comments. The return of the enclosure makes it impossible to know precisely what Jenings' “Confidential Friend” wrote, but JA's comments in this letter and others to Jenings of 6 and 11 June as well as Jenings' comments in his letters of 2 June and 5 May [i.e. June] (all below) provide some basis for speculation. Since Jenings did not mention Sir John Dalrymple, Thomas Hussey, or John Jay in his letters of 22 (Adams Papers) or 27 May (above), JA's comments here make it likely that the enclosure centered on them and their activities in Spain, but see note 4.
2. For Dalrymple's unsuccessful efforts to promote an Anglo-Spanish peace settlement, see John Jay's letter of 26 April, note 1 (above). JA's comments concerning Dalrymple in this letter are largely a digest of those by John Jay and William Carmichael, the latter in his letter of [ca. 26 April] (above).
3. In the Letterbook this sentence ended “as is pretended.”
4. The reference by Jenings' correspondent to Thomas Hussey is potentially more significant than a mention of Dalrymple, for while Dalrymple's efforts were well known, Hussey's were not. Thomas Hussey was an Irish priest educated in Spain, a secret agent of the Spanish government, and, until the outbreak of war in 1779, chaplain to the Spanish ambassador to Great Britain, the Marqués de Almodóvar. British awareness of Hussey's role as a Spanish secret agent may have lent him credibility when he approached Richard Cumberland, playwright and secretary to the Board of Trade, in Nov. 1779 about initiating Anglo-Spanish peace negotiations, with himself as the intermediary. There is no evidence that Hussey's initial approach was at the behest of Spain, but it produced results. On 28 May, Hussey arrived at Aranjuez, Spain, soon to be joined by Cumberland to begin negotiations with the Spanish foreign minister, Conde de Floridablanca.
The Anglo-Spanish negotiations were doomed to failure, however, because Hussey, in his role as intermediary, misrepresented each government's position and thus when concrete terms were proposed they were irreconcilable. Hussey led Spain to believe that a British cession of Gibraltar was negotiable, while to Britain he discounted Spain's de• { 362 } mand for Gibraltar and denied that it had any treaty obligations to France that might obstruct a treaty. In fact, Britain refused even to discuss the cession of Gibraltar or to permit any article touching either directly or indirectly on its war with the Americans. Spain, on the other hand, would accept nothing less than Gibraltar and required provisions that would preserve the Family Compact by permitting France to withdraw from its obligations to the United States without directly violating the treaties of 1778.
Both Britain and Spain sought to keep Hussey's activities and the impending negotiations between Cumberland and Floridablanca secret. Indeed, Spain resolved to inform its ally, France, only if the negotiations were successful. It is unlikely, therefore, that Jenings' correspondent could have known the exact nature of Hussey's activities. But according to Jenings' letter of 2 June (below), both he and his correspondent, who had seen Hussey in London and knew that he was going to Spain, concluded that Hussey's mission was to open negotiations with the American representatives in Spain—either John Jay, as the letter may have indicated, or William Carmichael. Any such charges were groundless, for the North ministry had no intention of opening negotiations with the Americans and, in fact, Floridablanca used the threat of substantive exchanges with John Jay to goad the British to action. For the genesis and ultimate failure of the Hussey-Cumberland mission, see Samuel F. Bemis, The Hussey-Cumberland Mission and American Independence, Princeton, 1931.
The enclosure from an unknown correspondent in London is intriguing in itself, but is also significant because it was not the last time that Jenings was involved in the circulation of anonymous charges against American diplomats. For other instances in 1781 and 1782, the most important of which produced a split between JA and Henry Laurens, and speculation regarding Jenings' motives, see James H. Hutson, ed., Letters from a Distinguished American, Washington, 1978, p. 51–66. The issue is important because Jenings has long been suspected of being a British agent. The question is whether Jenings was merely the purveyor of unsubstantiated reports from London, always a hotbed of rumors concerning the American war, or was acting as a provocateur to divide the Americans in Europe by raising the possibility of a separate peace, forever a troubling issue in Franco-American relations.
5. For the origin of the reference to “Farmer Jay,” see Jenings' letter of 2 June (below).
6. JA had not met John Jay's secretary, William Carmichael of Maryland. Carmichael had been involved in disputes with Arthur Lee, Silas Deane, and Benjamin Franklin, but left Europe before JA's arrival in April 1778. When he arrived in America he carried recommendations from Franklin and Deane, but Arthur Lee had written to express a lack of confidence in Carmichael's integrity. During the summer of 1778, Congress called Carmichael several times to testify regarding Silas Deane's accounts as well as his own activities, but his testimony was equivocal and came to nothing. In Nov. 1778 he was elected a delegate from Maryland and served until his departure for Spain with John Jay in Oct. 1779 (DAB; vol. 6:226–227; 7:153–154). Despite earlier charges against Carmichael or the insinuations of Jenings' correspondent, JA harbored no suspicions of Carmichael's loyalty and his comments here resemble those in a letter of 7 Aug. 1778 to Samuel Adams and in his autobiography (vol. 6:354–355; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:76–77).
7. In the Letterbook, what now forms the remainder of this sentence read “or other Synonimous <I have heard other Things, and read other Things, that> made me Wonder, at the Suddeness of Maryland. But <I do not Suffer myself to> after what has happened I cannot harbour <such> suspicions <. I don't believe> of any Things so black and base.”
8. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence reads “from the East India Company, had enabled that Spiritual Statesman Lord North to corrupt Russia.” For this rumor, and its lack of substance, see Edmund Jenings' letter of 22 Feb., and note 3 (vol. 8:352–353).
9. The Letterbook has “<I know not how many> 40.”
10. JA interlined the preceding ten words in the Letterbook.
11. In the Letterbook this paragraph continues “<and I should be fully persuaded that the Insinuation came from some of the most abandoned of the Ministerialists if you had not told me it was your confidential Correspondent—and if I had not had more sense of the exact stand and sensible Whigg[secretaries?]to[see? . . .]as absurd notions without Sufficient Consideration.>.”
12. The reference to “Husseys Gaiety” probably stems from a statement by the anony• { 363 } mous correspondent.
13. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence reads “the service of America has cost it very dear—I don't mean in Cash so much as Reputation.”
14. This sentence does not appear in the Letterbook.
15. In the Letterbook this is followed by “and shew.”
16. The reference to Gaius Fabricius Luscinis, who's incorruptibility and austerity was seen by Cicero as a model of Roman virtue, does not appear in the Letterbook (Oxford Classical Dictionary).
17. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence was interlined to replace “from the creation,” which was canceled.
18. This refers to Jenings' statement in his letter of 27 May (above).
19. The Letterbook copy ends at this point.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0228-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-30

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

La Lettre dont vous m'avez honoré en date du 21e. May, m'est très-précieuse, puisqu'elle me procure l'avantage d'entrer en liaison directe avec Vous, que je desirois depuis longtemps.
Ce n'est que confusement, et par la voix publique, que j'ai appris votre heureux retour d'Amérique, dont je vous félicite; ce que j'aurois déjà fait, si j'avois su que vous fussiez à Paris. J'ai été bien mortifié l'été passé, quand je fus à Passy, de ne pas vous y trouver. Mr. Brown2 de Charlestown, avec qui j'ai eu le plaisir de me promener souvent aux environs de Paris, qui me plaisaient beaucoup, m'a dit que vous les trouviez aussi à votre gré, et que vous les fréquentiez volontiers. S'il est encore à Passy, permettez que je place ici pour lui mes Salutations bien cordiales.
Je vous remercie, Monsieur, et son Excl. Mr. Franklin aussi, de l'envoi de la Lettre attribuée à Mr. Clinton.3 Je la communiquerai aux Nouvellistes. Mais je ne puis pas vous cacher, qu'en parcourant cette Piece, j'ai vu qu'elle est supposée; et les Gazettiers le verront bien aussi, sans que je le leur dise. Il n'est pas possible que Clinton ait écrit cela. Quand il arrivera quelque nouvelle authentique, comme de la levée du siege de Charlestown, &c. je me recommande à votre bonté, et à celle de Mr. Franklin, pour l'avoir ici d'abord, et le premier: car ce n'est pas pour la gazette seule que je le demande; je commence toujours par faire de pareilles nouvelles un usage plus essentiellement utile à l'amérique. Je serai charmé, de pouvoir Monsieur, vous faire plaisir à mon tour en tout temps et en tout lieu, soit ici, soit ailleurs; et je regarderai comme une faveur, si vous m'en faites naître l'occasion.

[salute] Je suis avec un très-grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obéissant serviteur

[salute] CGf. Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0228-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-30

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

The letter with which you have honored me of 21 May is very precious, for it has given me the opportunity, which I long desired, of entering into direct correspondence with you.
It was only by chance and through public channels that I learned of your fortunate return from America, for which I congratulate you and would have done so sooner had I known that you were at Paris. I was quite mortified when I went to Passy last summer and did not find you there. Mr. Brown2 of Charleston, with whom I often had the pleasure taking very pleasant walks around Paris, told me that you also found these walks agreeable and frequently took them. If he remains at Passy please let me send him my most cordial regards.
I thank you, sir, and Mr. Franklin for the letter attributed to Mr. Clinton.3 I will communicate it to the newspapers. But I cannot hide from you that in reading over this piece I concluded that it was forged and the gazetteers will see it as such without my telling them. It is impossible that Clinton could have written it. When an authentic piece of news does arrive, such as the lifting of the siege of Charleston, etc., I rely on your kindness, and that of Mr. Franklin, to send it to me first. It is not only for the newspapers that I make this request, for I always begin by making use of such news in the manner most beneficial for America. I will be delighted, sir, to be able to serve you in return anytime and anywhere, either here or elsewhere, and will regard it as a favor if you will provide me with the opportunity.

[salute] I am with very great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] CGf. Dumas
RC (Adams Papers). This letter originally was dated and filmed at [May–June 1780] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 352).
1. This date is derived from the serial publication of the forged letter from Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, mentioned in the third paragraph, in the Gazette de Leyde on 30 May, 2 June, and 6 June. In his letter of 6 June (below), Dumas indicated that he had sent the letter to the Gazette for publication.
2. For Joseph Brown Jr., see Adams Family Correspondence, 3:302.
3. For the forged Clinton letter, see JA's letter of 21 May to Dumas, and note 2 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0229

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-01

Barriers, between Great Britain and the United States of America to Reconcilliation, Alliance, or even Peace

1. The <Obstinacy>, Malice, Revenge, Pride Obstinacy, and Absurdity of the King, and Royal Family.
2. The Guilt, and Danger of the Ministry. Danger to their Lives { 365 } and personal safety, as well as of Ruin to their Fortunes, Characters and Reputations.
3. The Ambition and Avarice of the Minority, whose Chiefs have the same hunger for the Loaves and Fishes2 as the Ministers, as little Attention to and affection for the public as they, and therefore dare not displease the King, and so give up their hopes of his favour by, adopting any Principles or espousing any system, that could lead to Reconciliation or to Peace.
4. The general Prevalence of Profligacy,
1. The date is derived from the document's position in the Letterbook following JA's letter of 1 June to Genet and preceding that of 6 June to Dumas. It is clearly unfinished, occupying only a quarter of a page that is otherwise blank. Certainly it reflects, although in a more direct fashion, JA's views regarding a peace settlement expressed in various letters and articles, most notably those commenting on Gen. Henry Seymour Conway's speech supporting his bill of 5 May and Lord George Germain's speech attacking it (to Genet, 17 and 28 May, both above). But neither its purpose, whether as a draft of a newspaper article or simply a memorandum for JA's own use, nor the reason for its being left incomplete has been determined.
2. JA referred to “the Loaves and Fishes” in connection with the parliamentary opposition in his first letter of 20 May to the president of Congress (No. 69, calendared, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0230

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Date: 1780-06-01

To Edmé Jacques Genet

Rodney himself, it seems did all. He fought and beat six Ships. Pray, why did not the Rest of his Fleet beat the rest of the French Fleet over whom they had the Superiority.1
This Way of giving Extracts of Letters only, leaves room to suspect.
But I think, by his own Account, he has nothing to brag of. Three drawn Battles wont maintain the Lordship of the Water.
Drawn Battles wont do.
I hope, however, France and Spain will follow up their Plan—they are in the right way—for God sake let the second Division at Brest be expedited, and from Rochfort too.
Pray can You give me Notice of a safe Conveyance to America? I want to send duplicates of all my dispatches.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. In his first letter of 1 June to the president of Congress (No. 75, calendared, below), JA wrote that “this Morning, a Friend at Versailles sent me the English Papers of 26 and 27 May” that included Adm. Rodney's letter of 26 April describing the Battle of Martinique of 17 April. The “Friend” was probably Genet, and this letter serves as an acknowledgment of Genet's kindness, although Genet's covering letter has not been found. JA's commentary on Rodney's “victory” was repeated in his letter to the president, and { 366 } parallels critical accounts that appeared in London newspapers such as the London Courant of 27 May. See also, Thomas Digges' letter of 26 May, and note 2 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0231

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-01

To the President of Congress, No. 75

Paris, 1 June 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 86–88). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “NB. Nos. 74 & 75 were delivered Como. J. P. Jones on the first of June 1780.” printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:750–751.
In this letter, probably received by Congress on 5 Sept. (JCC, 17:803), John Adams, using British newspapers of 26 and 27 May as his source (to Genet, 1 June, note 1, above), summarized Rodney's published letter of 26 April, describing the Battle of Martinique on 17 April. Adams included the British line of battle and the casualties suffered by the fleet, but discounted Rodney's victory claim, seeing it instead as another “drawn Battle” that did little to support British claims of naval supremacy. Adams also noted the defeat of Thomas Pownall's motion on 24 May to introduce a bill to end the American war (Parliamentary Hist., 21:627—628; to Unknown, 9 June, below); the dispatch of a British warship from Lisbon to warn Rodney of the sailing of a large fleet from Cádiz; and the imminent departure of the Hudson Bay fleet.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 86–88.) LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “NB. Nos. 74 & 75 were delivered Como. J. P. Jones on the first of June 1780.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:750–751.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-01

To the President of Congress, No. 76

Paris, 1 June 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 82–85). printed:Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:747–749.
In this letter, read in Congress on 15 Sept., John Adams included the text of resolutions adopted on 11 May at a meeting of the citizens of Dublin. The resolutions commended those active in the struggle for Irish legislative independence and promised to continue the struggle until an independent Irish Parliament, unfettered by Poyning's Law, existed in fact rather than only in the minds of the people. For John Adams the resolutions were the beginning of a “new Epocha” in Irish politics, but he cautioned that success depended “upon the Continuance of the War, for if England should be wise enough to make Peace . . . the Spirit of Ireland, will evaporate.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 82–85.) printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:747–749.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0233

Author: Pierce, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-01

From Benjamin Pierce

[salute] May it pleas Your Excelence,

To take into consideration the repeated pettitions of the people on board the contintall ship Alliance, that has Been sent to Dr. Franklyn,2 and never been attended to, concerning the wages and prise Money being paid in Europe, I mean for the last Cruise, which was at least 6 Months, which the men Insist upon prior to their weighing anchor, the officers allso have this day petition'd him on the same occation as allso have the men, But theirs will no arrive till a week { 367 } after the officers. There is universall dizsattisfaction among the people and they desired me to Beg of Your Excellence to Interfear In the Matter, they allso are unwilling to depart without their commander, P. Landeis Esqr. who in their vew has done nothing that is deserving the scandall which is laid, upon him, and for my own part I am sattisfied that on the 23 of Septr. the Richard must have struck or sunk had not the Alliance left the Scarbrough and went to her Ascistance.3 On the whole it is my reall opinion had things been order'd according to his plan, that the two ships would have been taken With less damage done them and less Bloud shed, and at last the Richard have been saved, But had I been aware of haveing a strainge commander I had went home with Mesr. Addams and Hill,4 But willing to Do all in my for my native Boston, I was willing to Do all in my power at the same time to serve the continent, But matters have Been much confused, since you left us, We feell the loss of Captn. Landais in the government of the ship. Not one sermon has been suffer'd to be preach'd since he left us. The Rev. Mr. Watkin5 desires his respects to be paid to Your Excellence and wishes for liberty to perform duty as usuall, I hope this will find Your Excellence In health and am glad to hear that Mrs. Addams is well, and hope Your Excellence Will take the presant Matter In consideration and shall Remain most excellent sir your most obet. most Humble sert.
[signed] Benjan: Pierce6
N.B. pleas to Direct an answer to be left for Me with the Hon: Captn. Landais In L'orient.
[signed] Mr. Buckleys Respects.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “recd June 6. and gave a Rect for it. John Adams.”
1. This letter was an effort to draw JA into the controversy between the officers and crew of the frigate Alliance and its appointed captain, John Paul Jones. Their dispute originally concerned wages and prize money, but by the date of this letter, owing to the machinations of Arthur Lee and Pierre Landais, it centered on the replacement of Jones by Landais. In his reply of 10 June (below), JA cited his lack of authority and refused to intervene, referring Pierce instead to Benjamin Franklin, who steadfastly upheld Jones' right to command. By the time JA's letter reached Pierce, however, Landais, in defiance of Franklin had taken control of the Alliance and would soon sail it to America (Morison, John Paul Jones, p. 274, 293–295). See also letters from Arthur Lee of 26 March, and John Bondfield of 12 April (both above); as well as Pierre Landais' letter to JA of 14 June and JA's reply of the 20th (both below).
2. For petitions of the officers and crew of the Alliance, variously dated from 12 April to 7 June, see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 4:428, 429, 430.
3. Accounts of the battle between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis generally agree that Landais and the Alliance did not come to Jones' aid, but rather sought to avoid involvement in the battle. In fact, reports indicated that the Alliance fired several broadsides into the Bonhomme Richard. Writing on 3 Oct. 1779 from Texel in the Netherlands, John Paul Jones reported to Benjamin Franklin on the Bonhomme Richard expedition and charged Landais with failure to follow orders, { 368 } firing into the Bonhomme Richard, failure to support the Bonhomme Richard, and failure to pursue the enemy. Landais, who was called to Paris to face a court of inquiry into his conduct, replied to the charges in a letter of 30 Dec. 1779 to Benjamin Franklin (John Henry Sherburne, Life and Character of John Paul Jones, N.Y., 1851, p. 108–123; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:185; Morison, John Paul Jones, p. 235, 259). Doubting his authority to conduct such an inquiry, Benjamin Franklin made no judgment regarding Landais' conduct when he sent the minutes of the inquiry to Congress with his letter of 4 March (PCC, No. 82, I, f. 199–210). The minutes are in the Franklin Papers (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 4:496).
4. Probably Joseph Adams and Stephen Hill, who informed Benjamin Franklin of their resignations as officers of the Alliance in a letter of 8 June 1779 (same, 4:421). Hill sailed for America with JA on La Sensible later the same month (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:382).
5. In early May 1779, JA had attended a service performed by Rev. John Watkins on the deck of the Alliance (same, 2:366).
6. Benjamin Pierce was likely a petty officer on the Alliance, while John Buckley, mentioned in the postscript, served as the frigate's 2d lieutenant (Calendar of the John Paul Jones Papers, Washington, 1903, p. 218). JA probably met both men as he waited to return to America in 1779.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0234

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-02

To the President of Congress, No. 77

Paris, 1 June 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 90–95). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:752–758.
This letter, read in Congress on 5 Sept., contains John Adams' analysis of Lord George Germain's speech of 5 May opposing Gen. Conway's bill to end the American war, and is virtually identical to that of 28 May to Edmé Jacques Genet (above). The only significant difference between the two letters lies in the third and fourth paragraphs from the end of the letter, corresponding to the fifth paragraph from the end of the Genet letter (see descriptive note and note 17). The text of the two paragraphs, which should be compared with the corresponding paragraph in the Genet letter, is as follows:
“His Lordship Says, that the People would return to their allegiance, if they were not restrained by the Tyranny of those, who have got the Powers of Government. These are the Assemblies, Senates, Governors and Congress. Now what Power have any of those but what the People please to allow them? By what Engine is this Tyranny expressed? Is it by the Militia? In order to judge of this let us consider the Constitution of the Militia. The Militia is in fact the whole People, for by the Laws of every State, every Man from Sixteen to Sixty years of Age, belongs to the Militia, is obliged to be armed, to train and to march upon occasion or find a substitute. The officers are chosen by the Men? Except the General officers, who are appointed by the assemblies. It is this very Militia, that forms the Body of Voters, who annually choose the Members of Assembly and the Senates and Governors? Is it possible that these men should tyrannize over Men upon whom they are so entirely dependent? As well might it be reproached to his Lordship and his Collegues in Administration that they tyrannized over their Royal Master, who can displace them at his Pleasure. The Assemblies thus annually chosen by the People or Militia, annually choose the delegates in Congress, and have Power to recall them at Pleasure. Will the militia then obey either, assemblies or Congress in the Execution of tyrannical orders or any orders that are not generally agreable to them? The thing Speaks for { 369 } itself. Is it the continental army then, that is the Instrument of their own Servitude and that of their Country. Every officer holds his Commission at the Pleasure of Congress. But his Lordship and his Collegues often represent the continental army as So Small and feeble, as to be unable, to make Head against the British Troops, and it is true that they are constantly employed in that service. And it is true that they are nothing in Comparison of the Militia. What would become of them then, if the Militia or any considerable Number of them was to join the British Troops?
“There has never been any part of the Continental Army, in more than three or four of the thirteen States at a Time, watching the Motions of the British army, and confining them to the Protection of their Men of War. What has there been then in the remaining Nine or ten states for an Instrument of Tyranny? This is too ridiculous to need too many Words.”
With the exception of the first paragraph and the closing, John Adams' reply to Germain's speech was printed in various American newspapers, appearing first in the Pennsylvania Packet of 19 December. No satisfactory explanation has been found for the letter's publication more than three months after it was received by Congress, unless the published text was taken from a duplicate that has not been found. In a letter of 19 Dec., James Lovell sent the article from the Packet to Abigail Adams, who secured its publication in the Independent Chronicle of 11 Jan. 1781 and the Continental Journal of the same date (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:36–37, 59, 64). Among the other newspapers in which the piece appeared were the Virginia Gazette of 30 Dec. 1780, Providence Gazette of 17 Jan. 1781, and the Salem Gazette of 23 Jan. 1781.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 90–95.) printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:752–758.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0235

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-02

To the President of Congress, No. 78

Paris, 2 June 1780. LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers) notation by Thaxter: “N B. Nos. 76. 77 and 78 were delivered Capt. Robeson of S. Carolina to carry to L'orient, on the 4th. June 1780.” Despite the docketing and the indication in the Journals that Congress received the letter on 5 Sept. (JCC, 17:803), the letter is not in the PCC and the editors have found no indication of its final disposition. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:758–761.
John Adams provided translations of petitions from Dutch merchants to the States General of the Netherlands and to the Provincial States of Holland and West Friesland calling for the earliest possible implementation of measures to protect Dutch vessels from the depredations of the belligerent powers, principally Britain. Adams also included a translation of the official text of the Spanish reply of 18 April to the Russian declaration of an armed neutrality that differed in minor points from the version published earlier and included in his letter to Congress of 19 May (No. 68, calendared, above). Finally, John Adams provided translations of two newspaper articles, the first speculating on the mission of two ships of the line about to sail from Toulon and the second discussing the possible destination of Ternay's fleet carrying Rochambeau's army. Adams { 370 } saw both as examples of efforts by European courts to obscure their true policies, a species of “political lying” that the United States should avoid at all costs.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers) notation by Thaxter: “N B. Nos. 76. 77 and 78 were delivered Capt. Robeson of S. Carolina to carry to L'orient, on the 4th. June 1780.” Despite the docketing and the indication in the Journals that Congress received the letter on 5 Sept. (JCC, 17:803), the letter is not in the PCC and the editors have found no indication of its final disposition. printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:758–761.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0236

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-02

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have this day receivd your Excellencys Letter of the 28th.1 Ultimo, which shall be made the proper Use of but its Silent with regard to two others,2 which I had the Honor of addressing to your Excellency, one about Six days Ago, and another about ten, I am under a great Uneasiness for their fate. In particular for one which inclosd a Letter from London, which had in it Something particular—under the Jargon3 of <a supposed> a farm and farmers, my Friend, in whom I have Confidence says He likes farmer Jay very well, but how came it that Hussey, who is a roman Catholick and is related to one Man a Chatholic, shoud have any thing to do in my affairs?4 that He saw Him lately in London, and that He Knows he is sent in Devonshire,5 (Spain) to tear up every thing by the Roots. He says that Hussey is a (fair) plausible man and that his Countenance is fair. Does your Excellency Know any one, that Answers this Description, that has passed through Paris? I have written to London for a clearer description, and Proofs, if possible of the Suggestions.
I am sorry the Letter itself has not come to your Excellency's Hand. I Kept no Copy of it, having desird your Excellency to return me the original with your Opinion on it. I returnd your Excellency The most respectful Thanks of those, to whom Clintons Letter was addressed and wrote of other matters, which I wish had not been stopped.6 Not that I care Whether Friends see it, but I think that all shoud and in particular your Excellency to whom, it properly belongs. This Stopping of Letters is Ungenerous and dangerous. Can your Excellency give me another Address to You? I write this under Cover to Mr. Grand. Pray inquire after those Letters, I put them in the Post myself.

[salute] I am Sir your Excellencys Most devoted & Obedient Hble Sert

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. Although JA indicates in his letter of 6 June (below) that he had written to Jenings on 28 May, no letter of that date has been found. The missing letter to Jenings may have contained the analysis of Lord George Germain's speech of 5 May that JA sent to Genet on 28 May (above) with a request that Jenings secure its publication in the London papers. That would explain Jenings' promise to make “proper Use” of it as well as the com• { 371 } ments in his letter of 5 May [i.e. June] (below) where he mentions a letter of the 28th and writes at length regarding JA's comments on Germain's speech.
2. These were Jenings' letters of 27 May (above) and 22 May (Adams Papers). For the letter of the 22d and its enclosed letter to Jenings from a “Confidential Friend” in London, see JA's letter to Jenings of 29 May, and notes (above).
3. “Jargon” is apparently used here in the obsolete sense of a code (OED). Both Jenings here and JA in his letter of 29 May seem to indicate that Jenings' correspondent used the word “farmer” to mean John Jay.
4. Jenings' meaning here is unclear and, in the absence of the letter from his friend, probably unknowable. Thomas Hussey was a Catholic priest, but to whom he was related and how that would affect John Jay in Spain remains obscure. For Hussey and his mission to Spain, see JA's letter of the 29th, and note 4 (above).
5. This may be another example of the “Jargon” used by Jenings' correspondent, “Devonshire” being used in place of “Spain.” Another explanation is that it is meant to refer to the ship on which Hussey went to Spain, but, in fact, he sailed on the frigate Milford (Samuel F. Bemis, The Hussey-Cumberland Mission and American Independence, Princeton, 1931, p. 51).
6. This and the following sentence refer to Jenings' letter of 27 May (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-04

To the President of Congress, No. 79

Paris, 4 June 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 98–101). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:762–764.
In this letter, read in Congress on 25 Sept., John Adams provided a digest of newspaper accounts from Cádiz, Toulon, Brest, Paris, Ostend, Leyden, Brussels, and London for the period between 2 May and 3 June. The reports concerned Spanish and French naval operations, efforts of European merchants to trade with America, Dutch efforts to obtain redress from Britain for Fielding's attack on Adm. van Bylandt's convoy, and the general European response to the declaration of an armed neutrality.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 98–101.) printed : (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:762–764.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0238

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-04

From John Jay

[salute] Dear Sir

There is a Destinction between Ceremony and Attention which is not always observed tho often useful. <I> Of the <latter> former I hope there will be little <of V> between us, of the latter much. Public as well as personal Considerations dictate this Conduct, on my Part, and I am happy to find by your favor of the 15 <Inst.> Ultimo, that you <approve it in the same Light> mean not to be punctilious.
The Hints contained in your Letter1 correspond <very> much with my own Sentiments and I shall endeavour to <render them more> diffuse them, <but. . .>. This Court seems to have great Respect for the old adage “festina lente”2—at least as applied to our Independance.
The Count D Florida Blanca has hitherto pleased me, I have found in him a Degree of Frankness and Candor which indicates Probity, <as w> his Reputation for Talents is high. The acknoledgment of our { 372 } Independence is retarded by Delays which in my opinion ought not to affect it. The Influence of that Measure on the Sentiments and Conduct of our Enemy as well as the neutral Nations makes it an object very important to the common Cause, I cannot think its Suspension is necessary in the adjustment of the Articles of Treaty. They might with equal [Hands?] be settled afterwards. As America is and will be independent, in Fact, <([. . .]is of great Consequence. America will never purchase such Acknowledgement of any Nation by Terms she would not otherwise accede to. Things not names are her objects.> the being so in name can [be] of no real moment to her individualy, but Britain derives Hopes <prejudiciall> from the Hesitation of Spain very injurious to the common Cause, and I am a little surprized that the Policy of destroying these Hopes does not appear more evident. If the Delay proceeds from <such> Expectations that they may affect the Terms of Treaty, it is not probable that they will be realized. <She> America is to be <won> attached by Candor Generosity Confidence and good offices, <not> a contrary Conduct will not conciliate or persuade.
But whatever may be the Cause of the mistakes on this Subjects I must do them the Justice to say that <this Court> the general Assurances given me by Count D. F B. argue a very friendly Disposition in the Court towards us and I hope Facts will prove them to have been sincere. They certainly must be convinced that the Power of the united States added to that of Britain and under her Direction, would enable <the latter> her to give Law to the Western World, and that Spanish America and the Islands would then be at her Mercy. Our Country is at present so well disposed to Spain and such cordial Enemies to Britain that it would be a Pity this Disposition should not be cherished. Now is the time for France and Spain to gain the Affections of that extensive Country—such another opportunity may never offer. France has acted wisely,—I wish similar Counsels may prevail here. Would it not be a little extraordinary <that> if Britain should be before Spain in acknowledging our Independence.3 If she had any Wisdom left she would do it. She may yet have a lucid Interval tho she has been very long out of her Senses. Spain will be our Neighbour. We both have Territory enought to prevent our coveting each others and I should be happy to see that perfect Amity and cordial affection established between us, which would insure perpetual Peace and Harmony <between us> to both. I cannot write you particulars but nothing here appears to be certain as yet. I shall in all my Letters advise Congress to rely principally on themselves, { 373 } to fight out their own Cause as they began it with Spirit, and not to rely too much on the Expectation of Events which may never happen.
Have you received any late Letters from America. Mrs. Jay received one from her Sister of the 10 April, which mentions several <that had> having been sent to me by the Way of France. I hear of many Letters but recieve scarce any.

[salute] I am Dear Sir Your most obt. Servt.

[signed] JJ.
P.S. my Compliments to Mr. Dana.
Dft (NNC). John Jay worked over this draft very carefully, making numerous revisions and in the process deleting approximately thirty-five lines of text. Most of the deleted material cannot be read and the points at which it occurs have not been indicated. In his letter of 17 July (below), John Jay indicates that he sent this letter, but the absence of a copy in the Adams Papers probably indicates that it was not received. No reply by JA has been found.
1. Possibly JA's letter of 15 May (above), mentioned in the first paragraph, but see also his letter of 13 May (above).
2. That is, to make haste slowly.
3. A prophetic statement. Spain did not officially recognize the United States until 23 Aug. 1783 when William Carmichael, the chargé d'affaires at Madrid, was presented at the Spanish court. This was only ten days before the signing of the definitive Anglo-American peace treaty and almost nine months after Britain had recognized American independence in the preliminary peace treaty (William Carmichael to the secretary for Foreign Affairs, 30 Aug. 1783, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:663–667).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0239

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-05

To the President of Congress, No. 80

Paris, 5 June 1780. RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 102–105). LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers notations by Thaxter: “18th June 1780. This day delivered Mr. Hall of Virginia Nos. 79 & 80 to go by the Way of Amsterdam—also two Packets of newspapers and several private Letters.”; “June 23d. 1780. This day Mr. Adams delivered to Drs. Boush and Lewis of Virginia at their Hotel the duplicates from No. 10. to No. 80 inclusive, to go by the Buckskin Capt. Jones from Bordeaux. NB. the aforesaid Duplicates with the Duplicate of No. 81 and the Originals Nos. 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 were put up in one packet.” This is the final letter to the president of Congress copied into Lb/JA/10 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 98). For information regarding this Letterbook, see part 2 of the Introduction: “John Adams and His Letterbooks” (above). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:767– 769.
In this letter, read in Congress on 25 Sept., John Adams provided a series of news accounts published in the Courier de l'Europe regarding British naval operations. The news from Torbay, Plymouth, and Portsmouth included frequent but erroneous reports of the sailing of Graves' and Walsingham's fleets, which had made those forces “real objects of Humour.” Adams also included accounts from St. Petersburg and Hamburg on the operations of the Russian and Swedish navies in support of armed neutrality. Finally, he provided translations of petitions from Amsterdam grain merchants to the States General of the Netherlands and to the Provincial States { 374 } of Holland and West Friesland calling, as had earlier petitions (to the president of Congress, 2 June, No. 78, calendared, above), for the earliest possible implementation of measures to protect Dutch vessels from the depredations of belligerent warships.
RC (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 102–105.) LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers) notations by Thaxter: “18th June 1780. This day delivered Mr. Hall of Virginia Nos. 79 & 80 to go by the Way of Amsterdam—also two Packets of newspapers and several private Letters.”; “June 23d. 1780. This day Mr. Adams delivered to Drs. Boush and Lewis of Virginia at their Hotel the duplicates from No. 10. to No. 80 inclusive, to go by the Buckskin Capt. Jones from Bordeaux. NB. the aforesaid Duplicates with the Duplicate of No. 81 and the Originals Nos. 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 were put up in one packet.” This is the final letter to the president of Congress copied into Lb/JA/10 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 98). For information regarding this Letterbook, see part 2 of the Introduction: “John Adams and His Letterbooks” (above). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:767– 769.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0240

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-05

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have receivd your Excellencys Letters of the 28th and 30th Ultimo, together with that, which I had the Honor of Communicating to your Excellency upon a very serious Affair.2 Whatever Explanations I may receive on that Head, I shall think it my Duty to lay them before your Excellency, whomever they may Affect. Your Mind is fortified Against Unmanly and dangerous Suspicions, and therefore no Slight Suggestions will Operate with You, Against Any One, to the Shame and Prejudice of an honest Cause, but having grounds of Proofs of Fraud and Treason, Your Judgment and Discretion will prevent the public Mischief, resulting from them. I perceived last Year, when I had the Honor of seeing your Excellency a different Disposition in certain Persons.3 I saw too much Confidence in Some, and too much Distrust in Others, and our Country I beleive feels the Consequences. I believe your Excellency saw the Same and thought with me there was but little sound Philosophy or policy in such Procedure.
Your Excellencys Observations on the Speeches of Ld. G Germaine and Genl. Conway have struck me much, and ought to do so those, who are most esteemd therein; but their Eyes are blinded and their Hearts are hardened too much for any thing, but the severest Misfortunes to bring them back to the Ways of Wisdom and Peace, but ever Misery, which is in General the best Correctress of the Forward and Obstinate, now looses its proper Effect, and serves only to increase the public Criminality and Madness, every place, offerd to them, makes them Shut their Eyes the closer; every one receivd, makes them more Callous, however one cannot help, and perhaps it would be a Neglect of Duty not to persevere in Endeavouring to detect the fallacy of Knaves, and to enlighten the simple, in hopes that the attempt to do good, may in the due Course of divine Wisdom produce the desird effect.
The traiterous and Malicious Lying of Lord G. Germaine never was more Obvious than in his Speech of the 6th.4 of last month; but the people of England cannot now, it should seem be governd by any { 375 } thing Else. They will not, they dare not, attend to Truth. They beleive in Nothing, but what flatters the Wickedness of their Hearts. Does this proceed entirely, from natural Causes or is there a divine Interposition in it? The last is possible and probable we Know, that it is Sometimes the Wisdom of Heaven to produce some great general Good by such Extraordinary Means. I have found in a very scarce book, which I picked up here, this Idea suggestd, that marks the Character of the people of G Britain at this Juncture. I will take the Liberty of laying it before your Excellency.
Posons avant toutes Choses cette verité, si souvent etablie dans les saintes Lettres; que l'un des plus terribles effets de la Vengeance divine est lorsqu'la punition des nos peches precedens, Elle nous liera a notre sens reprouvés, en Sorte que nous sommes sourds à tous les sages avertissements, aveuglés aux Voyes de Salut, que nous sont montrés, prompts a croire tout ce qui nous perd, pourvu qu'il nous flatte, et hardis a tout entreprendre sans jamais Mesurer nos forces avec celles des Ennemis, que nous irritons.5 This Character of the Jewish people of old and of the british at this time, I find in a famous book entitled les Imposteurs insignes at the End of which, de Recoles the Author,6 has made Reflections Historiques sur la Malice et la punition temperelle de la Nation Juive. I believe your Excellency will think it applicable to the present Time and will make use of it as a Comfort, that if human reason and efforts are apparently fruitless, it is in the design of Providence that they shoud be so, for the surer working the general Happiness.
If the Inveterate Malice of Lord G Germaine shocks, Much more ought the futility of a Conway make us laugh. It is not possible, humanly Speaking, that his Lordship shoud be a better Man, but surely the general might be wiser; He has had a Course of Years and Experience to Correct the original Weakness and Insignificance of his Head. You Know He was called a Parade Character, and you see by the Absurdity of his Ideas, that he is entitled to it. I am much pleased with the Manner, in which your Excellency has showed it, nothing can be more forcibly done. But give me leave Sir, to take Notice of what your Excellency has said with respect to the Rivalship and Enmity, that must Ever subsist between England and America. Your Excellencys Condescention to me emboldens me to take this Liberty, Which I am Confident your Goodness and Candor will pardon.
I am well Convinced, that a Rivalship and Enmity will ever Subsist between the two Countries, but have ever avoided openly saying so { 376 } to the English, a great Body of whom have no Inducement to make Peace, but on a Supposition of it being done almost on any Terms and a change of Councils and Conduct ensuing, the antient Harmony May be restored. By the English I mean those, who have always been Shocked at the Principles, or frighted at the Consequences of the War: these may be divided into three Bodies, the first are those, whose Virtues make them the friends of Liberty all over the World; they are our friends from Principle and are therefore good and Steady Men; but they are few. The second, are numerous, but are selfish; they have ever opposed the designs of the Court against America, because they saw, if they were crowned with success, their own Liberty would be in danger, these men have hitherto actd Steadily, as the practices of the Minister serve daily to Convince them of the original Intention of his System. The third, are those, who, without honor or honesty, have concurred in every attempt against America without Shame or remorse in hopes of promoting a selfish personal, or mistaken national Interest, but feel at length themselves in danger of being impoverishd, and the Nation ruined for ever. These Men begin to retract, they wish to Stop Short. Their numbers increase daily owing to the danger and Misery, to which they find themselves every moment Approaching, and being in hopes that if a Peace is once concluded, the operation of Time will do that, which fraud and force have vainly attempted, they look for a cordial Reconcilement with America, a Connection of Commerce, and perhaps a future Alliance, as the only Means of saving themselves, which they call the saving of the Country. These are numerous at this Time, and are increasing in numbers daily; they are powerful, and being nearly touched begin to be very Active for Peace, which they imagine will produce the Object, they have in View. The first Class, Sir, will ever Continue our friends, because they are the true friends of liberty and Virtue, the second, it is probable, will be so, so long as the Court Acts in its present barefaced Manner. But the last, if once they understand that the farmers in America are Universally of Opinion that from the Time, they became independant England became their Natural Ennemy, and that the Commercial Interests of the two Countries will be ever incompatible, that the Alliance between France and America is natural and indissoluble these Men, I say will change the Tone of their Clamor; their present Hopes and Views will vanish at once, and they will Obstinately and desparately urge the Continuation of the War, as a Matter that Cannot make their Condition worse and may perhaps make it better.
{ 377 }
I must Confess although I am well Convincd of the Truth of your Excellencys Observations, yet I have ever indulged the English I have met with in these flattering Hopes, as the only Means to induce them to seek for Peace if I have done wrong I wait for your Excellencys Correction.
I am Sir With the greatest Consideration Your Excellencys Most Obedient & faithful Humble Servant
[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. “May” was clearly an inadvertence, since the letters referred to by Jenings in this letter were written at the end of May, not April.
2. JA's letter of 28 May has not been found, but it may have contained JA's analysis of Lord George Germain's speech mentioned by Jenings later in this letter. See Jenings' letter of 2 June, and note 1 (above). JA wrote two letters to Jenings on 30 May, one containing his analysis of Gen. Henry Seymour Conway's speech and the other enclosing the forged letter from Clinton to Germain (both Adams Papers). For the first, see JA's letter to Genet of 17 May, and note 1; for the second, see his letter to Dumas of 21 May, and note 1 (both above). The final letter referred to by Jenings is that of 29 May (above), in which JA commented on Jenings' comments regarding Thomas Hussey's activities in Spain.
3. Jenings' meaning here is not altogether clear, but see his letters of 15 May and 2 June 1779, responding to JA's of 29 April and 22 May 1779, which were very harsh with regard to Silas Deane (vol. 8:62–63, 69–70, 52–53, 67–69).
4. The speeches of both Germain and Conway were given on 5 May.
5. Translation: Place before all else this truth so well established in the sacred literature, that one of the most terrible effects of divine vengeance is when for punishment of our past sins, it ties us to our reprobate senses to the extent that we are deaf to all wise admonitions, blind to the salutary views we have held, prompted to believe in all that is lost to us, providing we are gratified, and ready to hazard all without ever measuring our forces against those of the enemies we vex.
6. This was Jean Baptiste Rocoles' Les Imposteurs insignes, Amsterdam, 1683.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0241

Author: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-05

From Arthur Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I am obligd to you for your favor of the 25th. ultimo. The enclosd was an old Letter of the 13 Sepr. 1779.1
I lament with you the impediments which are studiously thrown in the way of all confidential communication with America on the transactions in Europe, except thro' a particular channel.2 All persons begin now to be persuaded, that the Alliance was never intended for America, and that all the appearances to the contrary were like those of the last year calculated to cover the same unworthy projects. What truth there is in this it is not my province to determine. But of this I am sure, that unless they who are really consulting the honor and interest of our Country strike with more resolution at the root of all this base and corrupt system, our sovereignty will become a sarcasm, and our independence a farce. And since popular prejudices are { 378 } allegd as an excuse for tampering counsels and timid execution, let it as well be feard, that the People when they find themselves overwhelmd with debt and contempt, ruind at home and betrayd abroad, will wreck their vengeance indiscriminately on the Actors in their ruin and those whose inaction has permitted it. I am of opinion too that very nicely weighing the consequences to oneself is not the way to serve the public against daring and flagitious men.
I agree with you that there is a Country where every thing goes by protection and where the maxims of government are the direct opposite to what ought to be ours. But it is clear to me that a proper conduct in those who have and do represent our Country in Europe, woud make them the givers not the receivers of that protection, and controul the vitious maxims, a submission to which will disgrace and ruin our Country. I have seen the first men in this Country suing for that protection, and it is manifest that we have fallen from that dignity solely by condescending to connections with the most contemptible and infamous Jobbers that this Country contains. If I were to say to the smallest of the marine here, that he was under the protection of Beaumarchais, Chaumont, Holker, or Montieu, I am confident he woud consider it as an insult, for which he woud demand immediate satisfaction. Yet these are the men who have presumd to call themselves the Protectors of America, of that Country which ought to consider itself, like ancient Rome, as the Sovereign of Soverigns. The illustriousness of our cause ought to inspire us with a proportionable dignity of character, and make us prefer even perishing with honor than being protected with infamy. A disposition has discoverd itself in the Officers and Crew of the Alliance, which I am apprehensive will serve as a pretext for detaining us longer. The Officers have unanimously signd a Letter to Dr. Franklin containing a resentful complaint of the treatment of Capt. Landais, and desiring he may be restord to the command of the Ship.3 Two only have added an acception to this to their signatures. The Crew on their part have written a Letter to the same purpose. I believe this resentment has been much excited by seeing in the American Papers brought by Montgomery, Letters from Capt. Jones and others here, in which not only all the honor of the victory is claimd for him, but the most obnoxious aspersions are thrown upon Capt. Landais and the Alliance. I have seen here a Letter from the Secretary of the board of Admiralty at Philadelphia dated the 1st of April and addressed to Capt. Landais or the Commanding Officer of the Alliance in which he says She is orderd immediately to that port. That order has I { 379 } presume been transmitted to Dr. Franklin which makes it the more astonishing that we shoud be still detaind here.4
Clinton's letter is certainly a lesson to those, who woud have no occasion for it had they not been too wise for us to teach. What is it prevents the English from proposing Peace? Do they hope to gain by a continuance of the war, or are they afraid of Exorbitant demands on the part of the Allies, if once they appear desirous of giving up our Independence for the sake of relieving themselves from a hopeless contest? Surely if the confederated neutral Powers were to interpose, they coud easily put an end to a war, which it is not the interest of one side, nor the inclination of the other to continue.
Be as good as to remember me to Mr. Dana. Farewell.
[signed] A. Lee
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. A. Lee June 5. 1780.”
1. This letter has not been otherwise identified.
2. Lee probably means through Benjamin Franklin.
3. The officers of the Alliance wrote to Franklin on 7 June (PCC, No. 193, f. 431– 434), renewing their plea on behalf of Landais that they had made in a letter of 30 May, which has not been found. Lee is probably referring to the letter of 30 May. For the controversy surrounding the actions of Landais and the Alliance at the battle between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis, see Benjamin Pierce's letter of 1 June, and notes 1–3 (above).
4. The letter from John Brown, secretary to the Board of Admiralty, was directed to “Captain Landais or the Commanding officer of the Continental frigate Alliance” (PCC, No. 193, f. 706). Brown noted that the Board had ordered the Alliance to return to Philadelphia and then indicated that he had been given permission to ship goods on the Alliance and requested that Landais accept them on board. Landais may have sent a copy of Brown's letter in his of 31 May to Benjamin Franklin (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:254). The Board of Admiralty had written to Franklin on 28 March ordering that the Alliance sail immediately for Philadelphia (PCC, No. 193, f. 825).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
DateRange: 1780-06-06 - 1780-06-07

To Thomas Digges

Yours of 26 ultimo is before me. That of 9th.2 have received. I have received the Box of Books &c—but nothing since. Pray drop all the Papers, I will get the Courant the Same way, that I have the General Advertiser and Morning post. I wish to have a Poem that is advertised, in which some American Characters are Said to be drawn3—good or bad—let it come. I want also that Volume of the Remembrancer,4 the Prior documents, which contains the History of the rise and progress of the present disputes with America. The Volume you sent me is not the right. Whenever any news arrives from Charlestown I will send it. A Vessell is arrived at Cadiz from Boston. She Says that the English have burned their barracks at Long Island and Kingsbridge, and { 380 } evacuated Several of their out posts, and embarked almost all their Troops, Supposed for Charlestown. She adds that the Troops, Tories and Refugees, treat the People of New York much better than usual. I will send the report of the Constitution of Mass. as soon as I can get a compleat Copy, News of great Importance is expected every moment from various quarters. It is much admired, that the English dont see, that the unanimous Voice of Mankind is against them. Humankind think them embarked in an unjust Cause, against the rest of the World, as well as against America. All the World think they have a right to a share in American trade—and that it would be ruinous to all the rest of the World, if England should monopolise it. Why should Men contend us Providence and quarall with the destinies?
Pray what do the Wise ones think of the new Plan of Congress for their Paper money? is it not advantageous for the american public? is it not a dead doing blow to the Hopes of old England?
LbC (Adams Papers); directed to: “Mr Diggs.” Although the Letterbook refers to Thomas Digges by name, the recipient's copy was probably addressed to W. S. Church or one of Digges' other pseudonyms.
1. In the Letterbook this letter is undated, but follows one of 6 June and precedes another of the 7th. It may have been written as late as 9 June, for JA's endorsement on Digges' letter of 26 May, to which this is clearly a reply, indicates that he answered it on 9 June, but no letter of that date has been found (from Thomas Digges, 26 May, descriptive note, above).
2. Although Digges notes in his letter of 8 June (below) that he had written on 9 May, no letter of that date has been found.
3. This was probably The American Times: A Satire (London, 1780) in which most of the major figures of the revolution, including JA, were satirized. Later in 1780 the poem was reprinted by James Rivington at New York (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:688– 690; Evans, No. 16697).
4. JA's reference to The Remembrancer indicates that the box that he had received was probably that sent by Digges on 25 April. For its contents, see Digges' letter of 28 April (above), and the list enclosed with his letter of 8 June (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1780-06-06

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I thank you, for y[our Letter1 in an]swer to mine of 21. May, and for your kind con[gratulations on my] arrival here.
Mr. Brown, with whom [you took] your Walks in the Neighbourhood of Paris, has been [gone from] hence, Some Weeks, on his Way home. I Should have had much Pleasure, if I had been one of the Party. I have rambled, in most of the Scenes round this City, and find them very pleasant, but much more in debted to Art than to Nature. { 381 } Philadelphia, in the Purlieus of which, as well as those of Baltimore, and York Town, I have often sought Health and Pleasure, in the same [way] in Company with our venerable Secretary Charles Thompson, [wi]ll in future Times, when the Arts shall have established their Empire in the new World, exhibit scenes much more Striking. But Boston above all, around which I have much oftener wandered in Company with another venerable Character,2 little known in Europe, but to whose Virtues and public Merit in the Cause of Mankind, History will do Justice, will one day exhibit Scenes of Grandeur and Beauty, Superiour to any other Place I have ever yet seen.
The Letter of G. Clinton, [when I transmitted it] to you, was not suspected to be an Imposition. [There are some Circum]stances, which are sufficient to raise a question, but I th[ink, none of them] are conclusive, and upon the whole I have little [doubt of its Authenticity.] I shall be much mortified if it proves a fiction. Not [on account of the i]mportance of the Letter, but the Stain that a Practice [So disingenuous, will] bring upon America. When I first left America such a fict[ion with all its] Ingenuity, would have ruined the Reputation of the author of [it, if discov]ered, and I think that both he and the Printer would have been punished. With all the freedom of our Presses I really think that not only the Government, but the Populace would have resented it. I have had opportunities of an extensive Acquaintance, with Americans, and I must Say in Justice to my Country men, that I know not a Man that I think capable of a Trick at once So able and so base. Truth is indeed respected in America, and So gross an affront to her I hope will not, and I think cannot go un[punis]hed.
Whether it is genuine or not, I have [no] doubt of the Truth of the Facts, in general. And I have reasons to believe, that if the Secret Correspondences of Bernard, Hutchinson, Gage, How, and Clinton, could all be brought to light the World would be equally surprized at the whole Thread of it. The British Administration and their servants have carried on from the beginning a System of Duplicity, in the Conduct of American Affairs that will appear shocking to the Public, whenever it shall be known.
You have seen A. Rodneys account of the Battle of the 17th. of April. The Scepter of the ocean, is not to be maintained, by such Actions as this, and Birons and Keppells. They must make themselves more terrible upon the ocean to preserve its dominion. Their E[mpire there] is founded only in fear—no nation loves it. We have [no other News.]
{ 382 } | view { 383 } | view { 384 }
I have the Honour [to be . . .]3 most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Hoar Autograph Collection). LbC (Adams Papers). The recipient's copy is heavily damaged, with the loss of a significant amount of text which has been supplied from the Letterbook.
1. Of [ante 30 May] (above).
2. In the Letterbook this person was identified as “Mr. Thatcher,” probably Oxenbridge Thacher Jr., who had died in 1765 and whom JA ranked second only to James Otis in the early movement toward revolution (vol. 1:98).
3. Because JA abbreviated the closing paragraph in the Letterbook, it has been impossible to supply the two or three words missing at this point.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-06-06

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of June 2d., I have just now received that of 27. May I duely received and the other1 inclosing—the curious Mess from London I received—all safe, in time and untouched. I have never missed a Letter from you. They all come Safe—and the seals in good order. You may write freely I am persuaded.
It was, haste, or Inattention that I did not acknowledge them in the one of 28 ultimo.2 I am sometimes, so engaged, that I cant answer Letters, regularly by the Post. But I assure you I have no reason to think that one Letter to me, or from me has been stopped. I have written to London, Amsterdam, Hague, Nantes, L'Orient, Bourdeaux, Ostende, Lille, and Spain and received answers very punctually, so that I think you need not fear. I have 2 Letters from your neighbour Mr. Lee not yet answered3—and a great Bundle before me—from others. I really believe that Letters addressed directly to me, will come as safely as any Way.4 I wrote you on the 29th. again I think, and by that you will see that I had received all. The short Letter, inclosing the one from London, I sat down to answer, on the spot, and wrote a good deal—but was irresolute about sending it. I could not Satisfy myself what to say. I was very uneasy. Propagating such Distrust is the D—l if it is without foundation, as I verily believe it is. But if it has foundation what then. Why the hottest region in the hot country is too cool. Still I know not, whether I understand it.
1. For this letter of 22 May and its enclosure, see Jenings' letter of 27 May, and note 1 (above).
2. Not found, but see Jenings' letter of 2 June, and note 1 (above).
3. These are William Lee's letters of 10 May (above) and 31 May (Adams Papers), which JA answered on 6 June (below).
4. The remainder of this letter concerns JA's answer of 29 May (above) to Jenings' letter of 22 May (Adams Papers).
{ 385 }

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1780-06-06

To William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I had duely your Favours of 10 May, and another Since Rodneys Account of the Action of the 17 April.1 But have not been able to answer before.
The Language which is held by the English both in and out of Parliament, is quite incomprehensible by me. Do they really believe what they say? Do they believe that America, will return to them? Well! next Winter, which approaches fast, there must be 22 millions more. Will it come easily? Will they easily get Men, to replace those who are dying in Georgia, Carolina and the West Indies? Will they easily get Seamen? How is it all to be done? What is to be done with Ireland? what with the maritime Confederacy? &c. I dont See, a Way out of the Labyrinth, for them. They are the best Judges of their own Interest. They must have their own Way. They have not yet taxed Experiments enough. They must Satisfy themselves. One Thing brings Consolation with it to me. The more thoroughly they exhaust themselves in this War, the longer it will be, before they will begin another with Us—and I am persuadd if Peace was made this year, they would make another War with Us, as soon as ever they should be able. Will, will not be wanting—nothing but Strength will be wanting.
I am told Several Vessells have arrived at Amsterdam from Boston and one from Philadelphia, if any News should be obliged for it. We must Soon hear from Clinton—and other quarters. The Gentlemans Correspondent I conclude from your hint was Mr. Dumas.2<Adieu.> I had not any Correspondence with him, till since the Receipt of your Letter. I inclosed him Copy of Clintons Letter, and have received an Answer.

[salute] Adieu.

1. For this letter of 31 May (Adams Papers), in which Lee provided an account of the naval battle off Martinique on 17 April and thanked JA for sending the forged Clinton letter, see Thomas Digges' letter of 26 May, note 2; and Edmund Jenings' letter of 27 May, note 4 (both above).
2. Lee's reference to the “Correspondent” was in his letter of 10 May (above). The letters exchanged by JA and C. W. F. Dumas were of 21 and [ante 30] May respectively (both above).
{ 386 }

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0246

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-06

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I am honor'd with your Favors of the 24 and 25th. Ultimo. Five years are not sufficient to place in oblivion the means formerlly in Use to obtain the ways and means of subsisting, there is a degre of delight when become independent that to a Being once in possession never loses the Idea every Man in Buissness tho his revenues springs from reciprocal wants are obtained in a line which appear less subservient to revenues dependent on employments being raised to that State that requires no further solicited for the future pursuit of wealth consideration where even moderate talents are added1 Succeed and frequently we see honors the result, if therefore the commercial Line has these advantages can you doubt but the 9/10ths. of Human Beings will endeavor to obtain the Sumit and why not in America. Policy and war are two Elements that require more than Theory. The practical part were totaly unknown before the last War, peace luld the few rising flames. They reasumd their consideration in 63 say the political branch. The Interest of Colonies became a S[t]uddy, this Studdy was circumscribed, few extended beyond the objected presented and very very few saw the aim and the means to obstruct the event under these circumstances it is not inconsistent to see Men more ready to renew the track they understand, than to change the fram of their Ideas, by throwing in a new Chain totaly estrange to their former existence.
We are strangely effected by the inteligence this day recievd from Cadiz a Bultin has been transmitted advancing “Congress finding themselves any longer unable to make good their engagement had resolved to a total anihilation of their Emissions declaring they would only redeem their Debt of 200 Milion at the rate 97 1/2 P[er] C[ent] Loss, say for every 100 Dollars pay only 2 1/2 thereby sink 39/40ths of the Debt by an Act of Bankruptcy.” <this was brought me upon Change in the face of hundreds which I declared false and the product of some base design.> It is begining at the wrong end, the revolution being Singular in the extent and prospect, it is probable as the States advance in firmness, by discoveries hitherto hiden, they may in their progress establish plans which to other rising States would have submerged them in Eternal darkness. I give no credit to this report it being very different from that laid down in Mr. Clymer and Carols Letters of the 14 April.2
{ 387 }
The Roulier the Wine was sent by would not according to the time laid down be at Paris before the 27 May. I therefore flatter myself you will receive have it at that time and by your next I may have the satisfaction to learn the Balsamick Virtues which to you and the Abbeys connoiseurs ensssences by your experiments may have extracted.
I shall duely Note the Etiquette which as you justly represent is Essentialy nessessary on many occations in this Kingdom. With respect I have the Honor to be Sir your very hhb Servt.
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Bondfield June 6. ansd June 10.”; docketed by CFA: “1780.”
1. This word was interlined above a heavily canceled passage that the editors have been unable to read.
2. For Congress' plan to revalue its currency, adopted in March, see Benjamin Rush's letter of 28 April, note 4 (above). The letter or letters referred to by Bondfield have not been found, but may have been from George Clymer of Pennsylvania and/or Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0247-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-06

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J'envoie aujourd'hui le troisieme et dernier feuillet à Son Excellence Mr. Franklin, de la Gazette de Leide,1 où j'ai fait insérer, selon vos desirs et les siens, la Lettre de Clinton. Je l'ai fait parvenir en même temps à d'autres Nouvellistes du pays, et hors du pays, notamment à Hambourg, et un Ami d'Amsterdam m'a promis d'en faire passer une copie à Londres. Je suis toujours d'opinion qu'on a un peu interpolé cette Lettre, telle qu'elle est dans la Gazette Américaine; car il me paroît qu'il y a par-ci par-là certaines expressions que Clinton ne peut ni ne doit avoir dites.
Je me recommande, Monsieur, à votre bon souvenir, du moment où vous saurez quelque évenement authentique de l'Amérique: car je puis en faire de très-bons usages quand je les sais avant les autres. C'est ce qui est arrivé, lors que je reçus de Passy la nouvelle de la prise de Burgoyne.
N'auriez-vous pas envie, Monsieur, de venir faire un tour en ce pays? Il mérite d'être vu, sur-tout dans cette saison. Je serai votre fidus Achates;2 et j aurois ainsi l'avantage, depuis longtemps souhaité, de vous connoître et de vous être connu personnellement. On peut se rendre en peu de jours de Paris, par Bruxelles et Anvers, ici. Donnez-moi quelques espérances à cet égard; et permettez que je { 388 } vous demande vos bonnes graces et votre amitié, que je suis sûr de mériter toujours par mon zele dans le service des Etats-unis, ainsi que par le respect et l'attachement avec lesquels je me ferai toujours un devoir bien agréable d'être, Monsieur Votre très-humble et très obéissant serviteur, Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0247-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-06

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Today I am sending His Excellency Mr. Franklin the third and final issue of the Gazette de Leyde,1 in which I had Clinton's letter inserted according to your and his wishes. I also have sent it to other newspapers, both in and out of the country, notably to Hamburg and a friend in Amsterdam who has promised to send a copy to London. I still think that this letter, as it appears in the American newspaper, has been tampered with, for it seems to me that there are, at various points, statements that Clinton neither could nor would have made.
Please remember me, sir, whenever you receive authentic news from America, for I can make very good use of it if I hear it before others. Such was the case when I received from Passy the news of Burgoyne's capture.
Would you, sir, not like to visit this country? It deserves to be seen, especially in this season. I would be your fidus Achates,2 thus satisfying my long held desire to personally know and to be known to you. One can get here from Paris in a very few days by way of Brussels and Antwerp. Give me some hopes in this regard and forgive my requests for your good will and friendship, which I will always strive to deserve through my zeal in the service of the United States, together with the respect and devotion with which I shall always remain your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Dumas
1. Of 6 June.
2. That is, faithful friend. Achates was the companion of Aeneas in The Aeneid.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-06-07

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I threatened you with a great deal of Egotism for the public good.1
I was chosen by my native Town into the Convention 2 or 3 days after my Arrival. I was by the Convention put upon the Committee—by the Committee upon the sub committee—and by the sub Committee appointed a Sub sub Committee—so that I had the honour to be principal Engineer. The Committee made some alterations, as I am informed the Convention have made a few others in the report. But { 389 } the frame and Essence and substance is preserved. I wish this was printed in England. I think it would much assist their Committees and Associations. The Principles, of it, must be the Principles on which, those Committees must proceed or they will fail.
I think it is good Policy to keep up the Remembrance of my Commission by now and then a Hint in the public Papers. The People must be reconciled by Degrees, to our Sovereignty.
There never was an Example of such Precautions, as are taken by this wise and jealous People in the formation of their Government.
I cannot give you all the Particulars now but if you desire these another Time I will, I have much to say to you if I could get time on this subject of Constitutions. Europe has been much deceived on this Head.
Secret.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “JA June 7th 1780.”
1. Jenings' reply of 10 June (below) indicates that a copy of The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Boston, 1779) was enclosed with this letter, thereby explaining JA's comments on drafting the constitution and the importance of publicizing Massachusetts' efforts to establish a new government. See also The Massachusetts Constitution, ca. 28–31 Oct. 1779, Editorial Note, vol. 8:228–236.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0249

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Johnson, Joshua
Date: 1780-06-07

To Joshua Johnson

[salute] Dear sir

This moment I am favoured with yours of the 3.1 Yours of the 2 May, I duely received, and answered the 16, in which inclosed a Letter to Congress. Afterwards I duely received yours of the 20th. acknowledging the Receipt of mine of 16, and writing your design to send the Letter to Congress by the dove.2 In yours of the 3d. you acknowledge the Receipt of mine of 26, with another Letter to Congress which you propose sending by the Buckskin. I am much obliged to you for your Care.
I have been So occupied, that I have not answered the Letters of my private Friends, for a Week or two past as I ought. We have not a Word of News, but what is in the Papers. Rodneys vain, distracted Letter, makes the principal subject of Conversation. We are very anxious to hear from Charlestown. It is astonishing to me, that among all the Vessells that have arrived, not one Line comes from Congress, nor any member. If I was of a jealous Temper I should Suspect fowl play. But I wont harbour such a Thought untill I have proof. Let me beg of you Sir, to make particular Enquiry of all Captains and Pas• { 390 } sagers, that come to your Port, whether they have any Letters for me, the Honourable Francis Dana Esqr. or Mr. John Thaxter.
Pray thank Mr. Williams for his Letter3 to me and Newspaper. I will answer him soon.
I am with much Esteem your sert
1. No reply of 3 June by Johnson to JA's letter of 26 May (LbC, Adams Papers) has been found, nor is there any indication as to which of JA's letters to the president of Congress was enclosed with the letter of the 26th.
2. For JA's letter of 16 May with the enclosed letter to the president of Congress, as well as Johnson's reply of 20 May (Adams Papers), see Johnson's letter of 2 May, descriptive note, and note 1 (above).
3. Of 23 May (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0250-0001

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-08

From Bidé de Chavagnes

[salute] Mon tres cher monsieur

Je suis fort inquiet de votre santé, de celle de vos chers enfants de mrs. Dena et taxter, jay eu lhonneur de vous ecrire il y a plus de 15 jours1 pour vous en demander des nouvelles et vous prier de men donner, car j y prends l'interest le plus vif par continuation, et a moins de grandes affaires, ce seroit une grande peine pour moy de n'en point recevoir. Je me suis porté a merveilles pendant le temps agreable que jay passé auprés de madame de chavagnes qui me demande toujours bien de vos nouvelles, qui voudroit vous connoitre, et qui me charge de vous presenter ses civilités. Jay bien du chagrin d'estre obligé de las quitter demain pour rejoindre brest. Jay besoin de toutte ma raison et de tout mon courage dans la circonstance presente, et dans celle a venir. Le commandant de la marine a brest m'a fait proposer il y a quelques temps de m'embarquer en second sur le vaisseau le bien aimé de 74 canons que j avois quitté pour ma pauvre vieille sensible, en fait de service je ne puis jamais ny ne scay dire non. Je ne scay quelle sera la recompense de ma bonne volonté, mais sur ce que lon me marque que ce vaisseau sous peu pourra bien convoyer une flotte. J ignore dans quel endroit, veuille le ciel que nos rencontres ne soint pas plus facheuses que de boston au ferol et a brest car de tous les vaisseaux du roy de france, le bien aimé que je connois pour avoir eté un an dedans, est bien le plus mauvais voilier fait pour estre gagné bien viste et pour ne rien pouvoir joindre. Je suis destiné pour les mauvais vaisseaux et pour les mauvaises et vieilles fregattes, mais je vais de bon coeur partout la fortune qui m'a bien servi jusqu'icy nous aidera j espere. Et si nos forces reunies { 391 } peuvent cette année operer comme il faut, vous allez, messieurs les ministres, vous donner et aux peuples une paix durable et avantageuses ces interests la sont en bonnes mains fasse le ciel que cela soit, et que si je ne suis pas a même D'avoir le bonheur de vous voir cet hyver a paris comme je le desirois et esperois. Je puisse dans 2 ans vous rammener encor dans votre chere patrie, auprés de votre aimable famille que j aurois bien du plaisir a revoir avant la fin de mon existence. Tout cela est dans les decrets de la providence. Il faut, en laidant de touttes ses forces sy soumettre. Voila ce que je me propose surtout dans ce moment. Je seray bien content D'apprendre que vous jouissez dans notre patrie, flattée de vous posseder, de toutte la santé et le bien estre que je vous souhaite. Continuez moy votre souvenir, bontés et amitié et soyez bien persuadé de ma reconnoissance, du sincere et respectueux attachement avec lequel jay lhonneur d'estre pour ma vie Mon tres cher monsieur votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur, Bidé de chavagnes capne des vaux du roy
Jembrasse vos chers enfants de tout mon coeur et le petit Docteur couppar. Je vous prierois quand vous verrez monsieur de sartines de vouloir bien me rappeller a son souvenir en luy offrant mon profond respect. Ne commandant plus, je ne puis guere luy ecrire pour ne pas le gêner. Mille choses a mr. denas a mr. taxter.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0250-0002

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-08

Bidé de Chavagnes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] My very dear sir

I am very concerned about your health and that of your dear children and Messieurs Dana and Thaxter. I had the honor to write you more than two weeks ago,1 asking you for news and entreating you to send it to me, for I take the most lively interest in the continuation of our correspondence and, excepting the demands of business, it would give me great pain were it to end. The pleasant time that I have spent with Mme. de Chavagnes has benefitted me greatly. She always asks for news of you, whom she would like to meet, and sends her regards. I am very sad to have to leave her tomorrow to return to Brest. I need all my reason and courage in the present circumstances and those to come. Some time ago the naval commander at Brest proposed that I embark as second officer on the Bien Aimé of 74 guns, the vessel that I left for my poor old Sensible. When it comes to doing my duty I cannot say no. I cannot say what the result of my good fortune will be, but I was told that this vessel would very shortly be escorting a fleet. I do not know its destination, but I pray to God that our encounters will be no worse than those between Boston, Ferrol, and Brest, for the Bien Aimé { 392 } is by far the worst sailer of all the King's vessels, liable to be caught very quickly and unable to catch anything herself. This I know from having served on her for a year. I am destined for bad ships and old frigates, but I go everywhere cheerfully, hoping that fortune which has been kind so far will be so again. And if our combined forces can operate this year as they should, you, the ministers, will be able to give yourselves and the people a lasting and advantageous peace. These matters are in good hands and I pray to heaven that it will be so, and that if I do not have the pleasure of seeing you in Paris this winter, as I desire and hope, in two years I will be able to return you to your dear country and charming family which it would give me great pleasure to see before I die. But all is dictated by Providence and, although one may seek to sway it with all his strength, it must be obeyed. That is what I intend to do, particularly now. I would be most happy to hear that you are enjoying your stay in our country, which prides itself on your presence, and to wish you good health and happiness. In the continuation of your remembrance, kindness, and friendship be most assured of the gratitude and sincere, respectful devotion with which I have the honor to be forever, my very dear sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,[]Bidé de chavagnes capne des vaux du roy
I embrace your dear children and the little Dr. Cooper with all my heart. I pray that when you see Monsieur Sartine you will remind him of me and offer him my profound respects. No longer a commander, I cannot, with propriety, write to him directly. Many regards to Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter.
RC (Adams Papers; endorsed: “C. Chavagne 8 June.”; docketed by CFA: “1780.”)
1. No letter from Chavagnes has been found later than that of 4 May, to which JA had replied on the 16th (both above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0251-0001

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Brett, Alexander
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-08

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr. Sir

My letters of the 9th., 26th., and 29th., ultimo have not, I fear, all got safe to hand; that of the former date was probably lost when the packet was taken.1 I continue to forward you Pamphlets and New Papers via Ostend as Neutral vessells sail, and shall do so until I have some orders to the contrary. Mr. F. Bowens at Ostend receives and forwards them to the Hotel Vallois to you; I mentiond some time ago to him that you would give him a line in order to direct them more properly should you see fit; at any rate a line from you to Him may not be amiss, for it may insure more attention to parcels thus forwarded.2
{ 393 }
I mentiond to you there was a mode of getting papers abroad by means of agreement with the Post offices: If you find that way more eligible than the present you have only to write me to put a stop to sending them by way of Ostend. They can be conveniently forwarded every 9 or 10 days as heretofore, provided you do not dislike the delays consequent to merchantile vessels sailing; The trouble is little or none to me, for I get a friend near the Tower to purchase and ship them for the profits of first reading. I should be glad of a line to know your determination on this point, and whether parcells have got safe sent on the following days—Apr. 25—May 6—May 16th.—May 27th.—and the present day. I will annex if I have time the particular books and papers sent by each conveyance in order that you may prove if any have been lost.
I have passd to your Credit four Louis D'ors received by Capt. Cazneau, and Mr. T——r told me a few days ago he had orders from Mr. Grand to pay me any demands (as far as 20 or 25 Guineas) I might make on Him.3 The City is in such a ferment on Account of the mob,4 and the houses of all Papists (of which discreption most likely Monsr. T——rs is one) that I shall take up twenty Guineas from him the first time I go into the City, most likely this afternoon; and I will account with you therefor. Most likely Mr. Jas. Barnet,5 the Bearer of this, will have twelve guineas to pay you on my account. He was Captain of a vessel part ownd by Monr. Rey De. Chamont on whom he has given me a bill for 12 Guineas which I was recipiatd to advance him to get him forward, and if this bill should not be paid (which I am not certain it will) Mr. Barnet promises to pay the money to you as well as any further small sum he may have occasion to take up at Ostend.
You must recollect every circumstance relative to the non acceptance of the two Cartels from Boston to England in Decr. last. The vessel which C——z——au was master of will come off considerably sufferer by the voyage she went to Ireland and is on her way to NY. Mr. Mitchell of Boston who ownd the other had his ship seizd at Bristol as a prize formerly taken on a voyage from Glasgow to N York. His perseverance and petitions for redress on account of the Cartel not being complyd with, has got him payment for His ship and all Expences, for last week the ministry or rather Admiralty listend to his suit, and payd him £2918:0:0 Sterling which is near 1000£ more than was expectd; but when an account was to be made out, that was supposd would be dockd, there was no harm in making out an exhorbitent one.6 I firmly beleive they payd it principally thro fear.
{ 394 }
Mitchell is 8 or 10 days on his way back, and will most probably be the first to state the whole transactions to the board and Council who Commissioned him to come to Europe in the Cartel. I wish the other vessel had fared as well. The non complyance with the Cartel in point of releasing an equal number of American Prisoners here, will naturally be much resented in America, and will I suppose, cause some stoppage to be made in the Cartels between Boston and N York, if not lead to an act of just retaliation.
The American Cartel from hence to France seems totally at a stand for some months back7 and the prisoners are in consequence very discontented and numbers entering into the English service: There remains about 250 or 60 in all.
You will see by the inclosd part of a news paper the Camp and Position of the Protestant Petitioners on fryday last.8 The papers herewith sent will inform You of all the riotous and alarming proceedings since. Martial Law was proclaimd or rather read at the Parade of St. James on Wednesday and it still continues over all parts of the Metropolis. A great reenforcement of horse and foot being calld in in Consequence thereof, the mob were in a great measure dispersd and got under last night (i.e. Thursday for I have now got to the 9th.) and a camp of 6,000 men is formd in Hyde park instead of going to Plymouth where they were intended. The mischeif done by fire and plunder both to private and publick property is incredible and nothing can throw greater disgrace upon the civil authority, or on the Government for want of energy, than that a very few hundreds Rioters and plunderers did such compleat mischief, alarmd the whole City for many nights, and intirely put an end to all police and government for several days. The bent of all seemd leveled at the Catholics, nothing of politics seemd to actuate the Mob. Patriots as well as Toreys and ministerealists seemd to be indiscriminately the objects of wrath, tho in the latter part of the Riot the bent seemed to be levelld at the Court side of the question. The Words no Popery, no Papists, down with the Papists, &c &c &c were writ up on almost every House and wall. Strange it is to tell but those bigotted Petitioners seemd to have forgot all the innovations on their rights as Englishmen, for 15 years past, and now for a trifling phantom, a fear for Popery getting in, they rise in multitudes and by conflagration and Theft ruin hundreds of innocent people, While the principal authors of the mischief go unpunishd. The Mob revelld in Theft, drunkenness, and destruction to property for several nights without hardly an appearance to put a stop to it by Magistrates or military. There were { 395 } { 396 } no prisons to confine in, no majestrates to commit, no constables to apprehend, nor no soldiery to protect. About 100 daring fellows, chiefly boys, compleatly destroyd New Gate (the Strongest prison in Europe) and in one hour from the first onset releasd upwards of 300 prisoners; They could with much more ease and facility and in less time too have compleatly destroyd the Bank of England, which they threatend the same Evening, but some over zealous patriot diverted their purpose by a harrangue and desiring them to follow him to Lord <Stormonts> Mansfields in Bloomsbury and defer the Business of the Bank till next night. At this very next night, so little was the protection given to the City, that the Country might have been put totally afloat by the destruction of the Bank, had not some other persuit diverted the attention of the mob and drew them off.
That quarter of the City is now guarded by several pieces of Artillery, by different Troops of Horse and foot, and no sort of Business has been done for Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday; for in stead of plodding merchants on the Exchange the Horse and foot have been quarterd and parading within. The K—g I dare answer for it is now the happiest Monarch in Europe; He is now at the head of everything and I beleive at the summit of his wish. This is the Country this is the People and power which are to bring America to unconditional Submission!!!
Not a word yet authentic from Chas. Town; report is current that ministry have accounts that Clinton was repulsd or gave up his purpose the 28th. April.
I hope for a line (if but a line) when any satisfactory accounts arrive from thence to your quarter. We are all in the Dumps about the state of naval affairs in the Wt. Indies and think Jamaica will fall an easy prey to the Spanish fleet which lately saild from Cadiz.
I am with the Greatest regard Dr. Sir Yr. obt. Servant
[signed] Alexr. Brett
Fryday 9th. late at night. Lord Geo Gordon was taken up this Evening at 5 by a party of Soldiery aided with a Secretary States warrant. He was some hours under Examination at the Horse-Guards and was committed to the Tower for High Treason about 10 at night. This will breed a great disturbance among his Party, and it is generally lookd upon as an impolitic act, for the discontents in Country Towns and in Scotland are such as would indicate a rising among the people.9
RC (Adams Papers); enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “Monsr. Monsr. Ferdinando Raymond San Paris”; endorsed: “W. S. Church 8 June. ansd. 28. 1780.” No reply bearing the date 28 June has been found, but see the undated Letterbook copy for which the date [28? June] has been editorially supplied (below).
1. The mail for Ostend of 9 May was thrown overboard to avoid capture when the packetboat carrying it was taken by a French privateer (London Chronicle, 13–16 May). Digges' letter of the 9th, however, was apparently not with the lost mail, for JA indicated in his letter of [6–7? June] (above) that he received it. Nevertheless, no copy of the 9 May letter, nor of a letter from Digges dated 29 May, has been found.
2. For Digges' advice regarding a correspondence between JA and Francis Bowens, see his letters of 28 April and 2 May (both above).
3. For the payment of four louis d'ors through Capt. Isaac Cazneau and the arrangement made with Louis Tessier, a London banker, see JA's letter of 15 April to Digges (above).
4. For the “mob,” see note 8.
5. This was Capt. James Barnet. Digges later reported to Benjamin Franklin that, based on Digges' recommendation, various people had advanced Barnet considerable sums of money that had not been repaid leaving him, Digges, accountable (Digges, Letters, p. 243–244, 248).
6. The two cartels were the Bob, owned by Edmund Dunkin and commanded by Capt. Isaac Cazneau, and the Polly, owned by Henry Mitchell and commanded by Capt. Benjamin Carpenter, which carried 130 British subjects taken on various British ships that were to be exchanged for an equal number of Americans imprisoned in England. The proposed exchange failed because the ministry refused to honor the commitments made by the British prisoners and, to add insult to injury, the ministry seized the Polly upon appeal by her former Scotch owners as a prize. Digges' fears regarding the potential losses of the owners of the two vessels proved groundless. Henry Mitchell reported to Congress on 27 July that the British government reconsidered the propriety of seizing a cartel and awarded him £2,400 in compensation, which he used to purchase the brigantine Adventure. Dunkin, who renamed his vessel the Penelope, and Mitchell obtained passports for their vessels from Benjamin Franklin and returned to America with cargoes of British goods (from Digges, 3 March, note 4, and 6 April, note 2, both above; William Bell Clark, “In Defense of Thomas Digges,” PMHB, 77 [Oct. 1953]:407–409, 413–414; PCC, No. 42, V, f. 197–200). For objections to the means by which Mitchell and Dunkin were permitted to import otherwise prohibited British goods, see James Warren's letter of 19 July (below).
7. For the suspension of prisoner exchanges see JA's letter of 14 March to Thomas Digges, and note 1 (above).
8. Digges here and in the following paragraph is describing the Gordon Riots that swept London between 2 and 9 June. Named after Lord George Gordon, member of Parliament and president of the Protestant Association, the riots began when Gordon led 60,000 marchers to the Houses of Parliament to present the Protestant Association's petition against the Catholic Relief Act of 1778. This act absolved Catholics from some minor disabilities, but not the prohibition against officeholding, and was intended in part to encourage Catholic enlistment in the army. While the demonstrators continued to declare their opposition to Catholicism, the riots became a general attack on the government's authority and, to a degree, a violent reaction against Irish Catholic laborers who worked for less money than English Protestants. For several days Parliament was besieged and the government paralyzed, resulting in the opening of the prisons, an abortive assault on the Bank of England, and the widespread destruction of property belonging to Catholics as well as to prominent supporters of both the ministry and the opposition. The disorders were suppressed only through massive military intervention and in the end it was officially estimated that approximately 800 people had died. The riots brought an end to efforts at parliamentary reform and emboldened the ministry to call new elections in which it obtained a majority sufficient to remain in power until after Yorktown. Although there was speculation that the riots were the work of American or French agitators, there is no evidence that the rioters were affected by foreign influence. Digges' account is a digest of reports appearing in various London newspapers such as the London Chronicle and the London Courant, but see also Morris, Peacemakers, p. 67–87; and Christopher Hibbert, King Mob: The Story of Lord George Gordon and the London Riots of 1780, Cleveland, 1958.
9. Although the situation remained very tense, Gordon's arrest did not result in a renewal of the disorders. Gordon remained confined in the Tower until his trial for high treason on 5 Feb. 1781, which resulted in his acquittal on the following day (Hibbert, King Mob, p. 175–205).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0251-0002

Author: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-04-25 - 1780-06-10

Enclosure: A List of Pamphlets and Newspapers

Sent Apr. 25 a box markd Ɨ A .1
A Parcell of News Papers bound up 128 and 17 loose £1:15:9.2 Prior Documents3 1 vol 5s 6—administration Desected4 2s 6—Facts5 2s—Burkes speech6 1s 6—The Peoples barrier agt. Corruption7 2s 6—2 Epistles to Washington8 5s—Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe9 2s 6—Hartleys Letters to his Constituents10 2s—Do. to the York Committee11 6d—Considerations on the intended modification of Poinings Law12 1s—Watsons sermon on the fast13 1s—Observations on the Manifesto14 1s Letters from Ld. Carisfort to the Huntingdon Committee15 6d—List of voters on Dunnings motion16 6d.
May 6. 1780 in a bro[wn?] paper parcell markd as above. London Courant—London Packet—& Londn. Evg. Post—from May 1 to the 6th. inclusive and 3 other loose papers—making in all 18 Papers.
May 16—sent the Londn. Courant—Londn. Evg. Post—& London Packet from the 6th. to 16th. May inclusive making in all 16 papers. Also the following Pamphlets. Constitutionalis's Letter to the People17 1s—History of Opposition18 1s—Dr. Price on the population of England and in answer to Eden19 2s 2s—Letters of Papinian20 2s—Remarks on Burgoines Expedition21 1s—dispationate thoughts on the Amern. War by Galloway22 1s—Letters to a nobleman on Do. by Do.23 2s—History of the Rise & progress of the Amn. Rebellion by Do.24 3s—Thoughts on the Consequences of Amn. Independence by Do.25 1s—Letters to Lord Howe by Do.26 1s—Examination of J. Galloway before the Ho. Commons27 2s.
May 27th. Sent a Continuation of the above mentiond News papers down to the 27th. May in all 20 Papers.
June 10—Sent a continuation of the news papers mentiond before down to this day in all[]28 Papers also the following Books and Pamphlets—
History of the War in America Supposd to be written by the Revd. Mr. Boucher29 6s.
Burgoines state of the Canada Expedn. with maps30 6s.
The out of Door Parliament31 1s 6.
Acct. of the Rise & progress of the Amn. War32 6d.
Map of the harbour and opperations at Chs. Town33 18d.
{ 398 }
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page and the next in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC (Adams Papers); enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “Monsr. Monsr. Ferdinando Raymond San Paris”; endorsed: “W. S. Church 8 June. ansd. 28. 1780.” No reply bearing the date 28 June has been found, but see the undated Letterbook copy for which the date [28? June] has been editorially supplied (below).
{ 399 }
1. See Digges' letter of 28 April, note 2 (above).
2. Digges' expenditures given here for newspapers and later for pamphlets were all interlined. It should also be noted that, except for Pownall's Memorial mentioned in note 18, none of the pamphlets sent by Digges are in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
3. Digges' notation would indicate that this was the supplement to John Almon's Remembrancer entitled A Collection Of Interesting, Authentic Papers, Relative To The Dispute Between Great Britain And America; Shewing The Cause And Progress Of That Misunderstanding, From 1764 To 1775, London, 1777, but also known as “prior documents.” See, however, JA's letter to Digges of [6–7? June], note 4 (above).
4. Administration Dissected. In Which The Grand National Culprits Are Laid Open To The Public Inspection, London, 1779.
5. Richard Price and John Horne Tooke, Facts: Addressed To The Landholders, Stockholders, Merchants, Farmers, Manufacturers, Tradesmen, Proprietors Of Every Description, And Generally To All The Subjects Of Great Britain And Ireland, London, 1780.
6. Edmund Burke, Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq. Member Of Parliament For The City Of Bristol, On presenting to the House of Commons, (On the 11th of February, 1780) A Plan For The Better Security Of The Independence Of Parliament, And The Oeconomical Reformation Of The Civil And Other Establishments, London, 1780.
7. John Cartwright, The People's Barrier Against Undue Influence and Corruption, London, 1780.
8. No pamphlet selling for 5 shillings with this title or one approximating it has been found.
9. This was Thomas Pownall's A Memorial Most Humbly Addressed To The Sovereigns of Europe, On The Present State of Affairs, Between The Old And New World, London, 1780. By the time Digges sent this copy, however, JA had already read and produced his own version of Pownall's pamphlet (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above).
10. David Hartley, Letters On The American War. Addressed To the Right Worshipful the Mayor and Corporation, To the Worshipful the Wardens and Corporation of the Trinity-House, And To the Worthy Burgesses of the Town of Kingston Upon Hull, London, 1777 (1st edn.). An eighth edition was published in 1779 (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:556–558).
11. David Hartley, Two Letters from David Hartley, Esq. M.P. Addressed to the Committee of the County of York, London, 1780.
12. Hervey Redmond Morres, 2d viscount Mountmorres, Considerations on the Intended Modification of Poyning's Law, London, 1780.
13. Richard Watson, A Sermon Preached Before The University Of Cambridge, On Friday, February 4th, 1780, Being The Day Appointed For A General Fast, Cambridge, England, 1780.
14. Since Digges interlined “1s” above this entry, it seems likely that it is a separate publication. From the price given and publication notices, it may have been William Augustus Miles, Observations On The Answer Of The King Of Great Britain To The Manifesto, &c. Of The Court Of Versailles, London, 1779 (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:660–661).
15. John Proby, 1st earl of Carysfort, Copy of a Letter from the Right Honourable Lord Carysfort to the Huntingdonshire Committee, London, 1780.
16. The list of the division in the House of Commons on Dunning's motion on 6 April appeared in the London Courant of 12 April, and then was printed separately and announced for sale in the London Courant of the 13th. For Dunning's motion, see JA's letter to the president of Congress, 17 April, No. 46, and note 2 (above).
17. Constitutionalist, Letters to the Electors and People of England, Preparatory to the Approaching General Election, London, 1780.
18. James Macpherson, A Short History Of The Opposition During The Last Session of Parliament, London, 1779.
19. Richard Price, An Essay on the Population of England from the Revolution to the Present Time. With an appendix containing remarks on the account of the population, trade, and resources of the kingdom, in Mr. Eden's letters to Lord Carlisle, London, 1780. The two sums interlined by Digges would seem to indicate that he sent two publications, the Essay and the Remarks, but no evidence has been found that the two were pub• { 400 } lished separately.
20. Charles Inglis, The Letters Of Papinian: In Which The Conduct, present State and Prospects, Of The American Congress, Are Examined, London, 1779. This pamphlet was first published by Hugh Gaine in New York (Evans, No. 16311) and then reprinted in London (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:650– 651).
21. Remarks On General Burgoyne's State Of The Expedition from Canada, London, 1780.
22. Dispassionate Thoughts On The American War, London, 1780, was by Josiah Tucker, the dean of Gloucester, not Joseph Galloway.
23. Joseph Galloway, Letters To A Nobleman, On The Conduct of the War In The Middle Colonies, London, 1779.
24. Joseph Galloway, Historical And Political Reflections On The Rise And Progress Of The American Rebellion, London, 1780.
25. Joseph Galloway, Cool Thoughts On The Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence, London, 1779.
26. Joseph Galloway, A Letter To The Right Honorable Lord Viscount H—e On His Naval Conduct In the American War, London, 1779.
27. The Examination Of Joseph Galloway, Esq; Late Speaker of the House of Assembly of Pennsylvania. Before The House Of Commons, In A Committee On The American Papers, London, 1779.
28. Blank in the manuscript.
29. No history of the Revolution attributed to Jonathan Boucher has been found nor can the history sent by Digges be positively identified because of the many similar titles published during the period. It may be, however, An Impartial History Of The War In America, London, 1780, which has been attributed to Edmund Burke and was published in June 1780 (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:717–718).
30. John Burgoyne, A State Of The Expedition From Canada, As Laid Before The House Of Commons, By Lieutenant-General Burgoyne, And Verified By Evidence, London, 1780.
31. The Out-of-Door Parliament. By a Gentleman of the Middle Temple, London, 1780.
32. John Wesley, An Account Of The Rise and Progress Of The American War, London, 1780. This piece was extracted from Galloway's Letters to a Nobleman on the Conduct of the War in the Middle Colonies (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:707).
33. This is “A Plan of the Military Operations Against Charlestown,” London, 1780. Published on 27 May, this map is reproduced in Kenneth Nebenzahl, ed., Atlas of the American Revolution, Chicago, 1974, p. 168– 169.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: UNKNOWN
Date: 1780-06-09

To Unknown

[salute] Dear Sir

Governor Pownal, on the 24 of May in the House of Commons, made a Motion for Leave to bring in a Bill to enable his Majesty, to make a Convention, Truce, or Peace, with the thirteen States of America.2 He flattered himself, that Such a Bill, as he wished to bring in, would at this moment produce very happy Effects. He knew America well, and from the very best Information he could assure the House, that the People of that Country, were at present Split, into two great Factions, the one for France, the other for England. If his Information was good, and he had not a doubt, but it was, the Party in favour of England, was greatly predominant; a Moment ought not therefore to be lost; and he trusted, that the moment, it should be known in America, that the King had sufficient Powers to treat with the Colonies, he was almost confident a Revolution would Soon take Place among the Americans. He requested that the House { 401 } would not press him in that Stage of the Business, for a detail of his plan: but he would amply Satisfy the House upon the first reading of his Bill: he was perfectly clear, that it was not in the Royal Prerogative to make any peace, by which the dominions of the Crown might be allienated. No mention should be made in the Bill of dependence or Independence: but he proposed to vest discretionary Powers in the Crown to make Peace on any Terms.
Governor Pownal tells us he knows America, well. It is indeed true, that he, passed a few years in America: but he has been twenty years absent. And in a Country like that, the Numbers, the Power, the political Views, are capable of great alterations in 20 years. And there have been such Changes in the Conduct of England, France and Spain, towards it, in the Course of this Period, as make it probable, that great Revolutions have been made in their sentiments, as well as their designs.
Since Mr. Pownals departure from America, he has had very little Correspondence with it. And the few Correspondents he had, were among those who were Tories, in America, and are now Refugees in England. His principal Correspondent was Mr. Hutchinson, and he is called upon to say whether, the very best Information he talks of, was not derived entirely from <Gover> Messrs. Hutchinson, Galloway and Allen. One would have thought, that as the Information of these Gentlemen, has been found to erroneous for twenty years. The End of every year, regularly confuting all the Facts, they had asserted in the Beginning of it, would have been enough, to have made Mr. Pownal doubt, whether such Information was the very best.
But why is not such Information produced? That the House may judge of it. The Letters might be produced with out the Names. And if England has the Majority in America, there could be no danger to the Letter Writers, if their names were made known. Is it reasonable that the World [as] such take Mr. Pownals opinion upon Trust, when the Facts upon which he forms his opinion may be communicated. This is the best Evidence.
1. This letter is clearly unfinished. In the Letterbook it begins in the middle of the page, immediately following the letter of 7 June to Joshua Johnson (above), and fills one quarter of the next page. The remainder of that page and all of the following page is blank, an indication that JA planned to return to the letter at a later time. It was probably intended for newspaper publication, for it followed the form of JA's replies to the speeches of Henry Seymour Conway and Lord George Germain in his letters to Edmé Jacques Genet of 17 and 28 May respectively (both above). It also seems likely that this letter was intended for Genet, although another possible recipient is Edmund Jenings, to whom JA sent { 402 } copies of his replies to Conway and Germain.
2. Pownall's motion was defeated 50 or 52 to 113, depending upon the source. For the text of the bill, which JA included in his second letter of 12 June to the president of Congress (No. 83, calendared, below), see Parliamentary Reg., 17:716–717; Parliamentary Hist., 21: 627–628. The remainder of this paragraph is an almost verbatim account of Pownall's speech in support of his motion and his replies to the comments of others during the debate as reported in the London Chronicle, 23–25 May.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0253

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-06-10

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I am this moment honoured with yours of the 6. I am now able to inform you, that the Wine is in my Celler. The Hogshead appeared in good order. The Caise, was found to contain only forty whole Bottles, and the Fragments of Eight broken ones. It was very badly packed—only cutt straw within and not well guarded. Pray send me, two Caises more of the very best White bourdeaux Wine, of 50 Bottles each. Let great care be taken in the Packing if you please—and then please to draw on me for the whole, as soon as you please.
I find the Wine in the Case good. Very good. If you come this Way, I pray you to feel the Virtues of it.
Dont be anxious about the News from Cadiz. It is no Act of Bankruptcy. It ought to give every Man interested in American Affairs Confidence. It shows that Congress, are Masters of the Science of Paper Finances and that they have Firmness enough to adopt the right Practice. An Allarm was Spread here at first, but it subsides, and the most thinking judicious Men I converse with applaud this Measure as the most just as well as the most politick that could be adopted.
The Trade of America is certainly extending most nobly. We shall shew, these fierce Islanders another year, what they have lost. My best Respects to Mr. Texier, and thank him for sending me so good wine, but pray him to <pack the> order the next to be better packed. I would send my Respects too to Madame Texier, if I dared. I ought to have paid them in Person when I was at Bourdeaux.1 But the Fatigue of my Journey, had <worn> almost destroyed me.

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] J. A.
1. For JA's activities while at Bordeaux between 29 Jan. and 2 Feb., see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:433; JQA, Diary, 1:32.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0254

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Kemtenstrauss, M. de
Date: 1780-06-10

To M. de Kemtenstrauss

[salute] Gentlemen

I Yesterday, received the Letter which you did me the Honour to write me, on the 9/51 1780.
There is no doubt to be made, that your Society may obtain, in America, an entire Liberty of Conscience, because this unallienable Right of all Men, is established in all the thirteen united states both by Law and Practice. It is no less certain, that you may enjoy all the Priviledges, which belong to other Inhabitants of those Countries, except those of Serving in, certain public officers, which Strangers are not to enjoy untill after a Residence of a Year in some Instances, two Years in others and three Years, or perhaps somewhat more in a few of the highest and most important. It is equally certain that for Many, you may purchase in any of the States many Square miles of uncultivated Land, that which is cultivated too. The former at a very moderate Price, and the latter not very dear.
As to the interiour Administration of domestic affairs, I am not sure, that I perfectly comprehend your meaning. But I conceive it would be difficult to obtain an Exemption from the general Laws of the Commonwealth, to which all orders of Men must submit, as far as is consistent with the rights of Conscience. There are however in Pensilvania Societies of Christians under the denomination of Moravians, and of Dunkers, who appear to have the Administration of the interiour affairs of the Towns where they reside, and very probably others for Similar Reasons might obtain similar Advantages. I have the Honour to be, most respectfully Gentlemen, your most humble and obedient servant.
LbC (Adams Papers); directed to: “A Monsieur, Monsieur De Kemten Strauss Chevalier du St. Empire. Poste restante a Munic, par Strasbourg.”
1. That is, 9 May (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0255

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Pierce, Benjamin
Date: 1780-06-10

To Benjamin Pierce

[salute] Sir

I have received your Letter of June the 1st. I am very Sorry for the <Discontent> uneasinesses on board the Alliance, which you mention { 404 } in your Letter, and if there was any Thing in my Power to do to remove them, I would very chearfully do it. But as it belongs to the Department of another Gentleman, entirely distinct from mine, it is not possible for me to be informed of the facts but if I knew all the facts perfectly I have no kind of authority to give any opinion about them. I hope all things will however be soon, settled to Satisfaction. Please to return my respects to the Gentlemen, you mention. I am respectfully, your humble servant.
1. This is JA's first response to appeals from Pierce and others to intervene in the dispute over the command of the Alliance. For a more detailed explanation of JA's reasons for not intervening, see his letter to Pierre Landais of 20 June (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0256

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-10

To the President of Congress, No. 81

Paris, 10 June 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 106–117). LbC (Adams Papers) notation by John Thaxter: “June 18th. 1780. This day delivered Mr. Hall of Virginia No. 81—to go by Way of Amsterdam.” This is the first letter in Lb/JA/12 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 100). For this Letterbook, see part 2 of the Introduction: “John Adams and His Letterbooks” (above). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:774– 779.
In the printed letter the first sentence of the paragraph in the recipient's copy beginning “All Europe prays for the Liberty of the Seas” was placed at the end of the preceding paragraph and the following seven sentences describing “another outrage” by a British privateer were omitted. The “outrage” described concerned the actions of the captain of a Liverpool privateer who, after finding nothing to seize on a Dutch merchantman, robbed the Dutch captain and one of his passengers and gave each forty lashes. This long letter, read in Congress on 25 Sept., is a digest of newspaper reports concerning the progress of the armed neutrality, the outfitting of a commercial expedition from Trieste to the East Indies, the dismal prospects for Britain in the East Indies, in India, and on the coast of Africa, the continuing efforts in the Irish Parliament to assert Irish independence from the British Parliament, Dutch protests regarding the grounding of a French privateer on the Dutch island of Goeree (“Goree”) by three British coalships, and the capture of four Dutch ships by the British frigate Ambuscade. Finally, in accordance with a promise made in a letter of this date to the Comte d'Urre de Molans (LbC, Adams Papers), John Adams enclosed a letter of 18 May from the Comte (not found), requesting permission to raise a cavalry force for use in America.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 106–117.) LbC (Adams Papers) notation by John Thaxter: “June 18th. 1780. This day delivered Mr. Hall of Virginia No. 81—to go by Way of Amsterdam.” This is the first letter in Lb/JA/12 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 100). For this Letterbook, see part 2 of the Introduction: “John Adams and His Letterbooks” (above). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:774– 779.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0257

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Williams, Jonathan
Date: 1780-06-10

To Jonathan Williams

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received yours of 23 of May, and I thank you for the { 405 } Newspaper it contained. I have received the Resolutions at large, attested by Mr. Thompson, by the Way of Cadiz and another set from London.1 I pretend not to be Master of the whole system of Congress, nor of all the Facts, and Reasons upon which it is founded. But I think my self sufficiently informed, to give it as my opinion, that it is the best Thing that Congress could do. An Army they must have. They must prevent their Cities from being burned and their Citizens from being butchered. It is their duty also to see, that the public should not be wronged by the depreciation of the Paper. This they have done. It is their duty also to see that Individuals should not suffer Injustice. This I believe they have done, and I am sure they will do, to the utmost Extent of their Power, by general Laws.
Some Persons here have been alarmed: but I think it was without understanding the Subject. I have the Pleasure, now to hear the opinion of Judicious, well informed Men who approve and Admire the Plan. Strangers have no Reason to expect any Distinction in their favour from the native and resident Citizens2—and it is very clear that the Money had got down as low as 40 for one. And most Persons, who are [possessed?] of it, got it at a cheaper rate. I am &c yours.
[signed] J. A.
1. The copies received by JA have not been found, but they were of the resolutions adopted by Congress on 18 March, intended to revalue the currency. See Benjamin Rush's letter of 28 April, and note 4 (above).
2. The issue of the equal application of the resolutions to both Americans and foreigners (i.e. Frenchmen) led to a heated exchange between Vergennes and JA. For Vergennes' attack on the application of the revaluation to the French, see his letter of 21 June; and for JA's detailed and spirited defense, see his reply of 22 June (The Revaluation Controversy, 16 June – 1 July, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0258-0001

Author: Gardoqui, Joseph & Sons (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-10

From Joseph Gardoqui & Sons

[salute] Sir

Your very much esteemed favours 14th. and 25th. Ultimo1 came duely to hand, in reply to which have to say that your former haveing reach'd us just before we shipp'd the goods intended on your Account per the Stark, we omitted them, so that we have only to forward you herein the Invoice of these we shipp'd per Capt. Trash which amounting to Rs. Vn. 3608. 6.2 we have debitted you for them.
The letter you forwarded us for Congress3 was deliver'd to Capt. Barnes of the Acttive just as he was under sail so that we hope he will deliver it safe in America.
You have our thanks for what news you are pleas'd to communicate { 406 } | view us, and we hope soon to hear of some dessisive events that may be follow'd by the restoration of a glorious peice. There is nothing on this side worth your notice, for with respectt to the Honble. J. Jay Esqr. we judge you are well inform'd of his affairs on which we have reason to think he is advancing, therefore wishing for all manner of prosperety, and assuring you of our continued advises whenever any thing offers subscrive Respectfully Sir Your most obedt. hble servts.
[signed] Joseph Gardoqui & Sons
Pray inform your F. Dana Esqr. that we have shipp'd his orders per the Capts. Trash and Coas about which will write him in a few days.
RC with enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. For these letters of 14 and 25 May (both LbC's, Adams Papers), see Gardoqui & Sons' letter of 13 May, notes 1, 3, and 4 (above).
2. The sum given by Gardoqui & Sons is apparently expressed in reals de vellon. For the nature of the Spanish monetary system, see , vol. 8:305 note 4. The goods sent were probably those acknowledged by AA in her letter of 5 July (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:371).
3. This letter cannot be positively identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0258-0002

Author: Gardoqui, Joseph & Sons (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-04-21

Invoice from Joseph Gardoqui & Sons

JA Invoice of One Barrell of Merchandize shippt per the Success illustration Capt. Philip Trash for Newburyport to address of Nathaniel Tracy Esqr. and for Acco. and Risk of Honble. John Adams Esqr.
No. 1. 1 Barrell with  
  1 piece with 25/5 vars Linens   at 11rs. per vare1   277.   6  
  6 Do   147 Do Do   at 8 Do   1,176.    
  12 Dozn. Common black Silk Hands.   at 100rs. per dozn.   1,200.    
  6  Do. Do. Collours Do.   at 100 Do.   600.    
  6 w.2 Green Thea   at 32 rs. per w.   192.    
  1 Dozn. Knives and forks   75.    
  1 Case mark No. 2: with 6 Dozn. Tumbler wine Glass at 8rs. per Dozn.   48.   0  
      To packg. and shippg     40.   0  
  3,608.   6  
      Commition Gratis     "  "    
[signed] Joseph Gardoqui & Sons
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume have been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC with enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. Vara, a Spanish unit of measurement equal to approximately 33 inches (OED).
2. This reading as a “w” is not certain, and the unit of measurement has not been determined.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0259

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-10

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have only Time to Acknowledge the Receipt your Excellencys Letters of the 6th. and 7th. of this month—the last inclosing the Report of a Constitution of &c.—(it shall be taken due care of.) and sending the inclosed Letter;1 which is more puzzling than the former; but which Serves, I think, to show there is no certain ground for Suspicion. I shall press for a more perfect Elucidation.
I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient & faithful Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
P.S. June 2d.
Last night an Express arrivd at Lord George Germains with the disagreable news of Genl. Clintons failure agst Charles Town. The Report is, that He has been defeatd, and most of his Troops Killd or taken.2
1. Jenings' meaning here is not altogether clear, but he seems to indicate that he has enclosed a letter (not found) from the same unidentified London correspondent who was the source of the letter (not found) enclosed in his of 22 May to JA (Adams Papers). For the previous letter and JA's comments on it, see JA's letters to Jenings of 29 May, notes 1 and 4; and 6 June (both above).
2. This erroneous report was probably taken from a newspaper, but its source has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0260

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-06-11

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I have recieved with great pleasure yours of the 5th. I have certainly seen those extremes of Confidence and of Diffidence that You saw. We ought to attend to proofs, but we ought to discountenance Suspicions without Grounds. In these points We are agreed.
I assure you, Sir, I am of your Mind, that Providence is working the general Happiness, and whether We co-operate in it, with a good Will, or without co-operate We must. We mortals feel very big sometimes, and think ourselves acting a grand Roll, when in Truth it is the irresistible Course of Events that hurries Us on, and We have in fact very little Influence in them. The utmost that is permitted to Us is to assist, and it is our Duty to be very cautious that what we do is directed to a right End. When We are sure of this, We are sure We are right, and need not fear that things will go wrong. When We read { 408 } of blinded Eyes and hardened Hearts, in the Case of the Jews and Egyptians and many other Nations; when We read of Infatuation, to which many great Historians asscribe Examples of remarkable Folly, in the Government of Nations and signal Calamaties in Consequence of it, I do not think it necessary to bring in divine Interpositions, to account for such Occurrences in an extraordinary Manner.
When Nations are corrupted, and grown generally vicious when they are intoxicated with Wealth or Power, and by this means delivered over to the Government of the baser Passion of their Nature, it is very natural that they should act an irrational part. They are really as a Body in a State Drunkenness. They neither act nor think like men in sound Health, and in possession of their Senses. Ambition, Avarice and Pleasure, when they prevail among the1 Multitude of a Nation to a certain degree, produce the appearance of a general Delirium and Intoxication.
The Candor and Freedom, with which you have given me your Sentiments; upon the Observations made You upon Conways Speech, I assure you Sir, I consider as the most genuine Marks of Friendship. I wish I may be found in Experience to be mistaken in my apprehension that Britain will in future be unfriendly to Us. If She could have magnanimity enough to give up all America, I mean Canada, Nova Scotia and the Floridas as well as the United States, the natural Cause of Avidity and Hostility, which arises from Territory, would be removed. But can We obtain this? We shall I believe if She continues the War. But there is another Thing that comes upon me forever. English Sailors speak the American Language. They will find better Bread in our Service. They will find Beer and Grog and Beef and Pudding. What should hinder them from crouding to America? Will not the American Trade, once free, spread beyond even my most sanguine Expectations? England should have considered this long ago. Americans did, to my certain Knowledge, in great Numbers. Hostility will come from the Side of the English. America will have no Temptation to it, but the Provocations which England will give. The true American System will be Peace, eternal Peace: but this very System will provoke England. In future Times, America at Peace, and England at War, what will become of her? How many will fly, Sailors especially, to the standard2 of the Olive Branch. Will not this excite her Envy, her Jealousy; her Rage?
The Reasons however that You offer, are very forcible, for omitting this part, or softening of it. You know the People of England better than I. It is impossible however to conceal these things. The People { 409 } of England now know them very well, but are silent about them least they should stimulate other Nations to be more active, and the Americans too. There are unthinking members in America no doubt, who please themselves with vain hopes of Friendship and Kindness again with England: but the considerate People of all Ranks despair of it. I am sure action speaks louder than Words. There never was given by any Nation, more dreadful proofs of deadly Hate, than have been constantly given these five Years by the English to Americans. Lord Mansfield's Words have been adopted in all their Actions.3 Kill them, kill them, right or wrong, by fas and nefas,4 kill them or they will kill you. Delenda est Carthago5—sink them all upon one plank—burn them up, that they may not be useful to their Allies, nor destructive to Us. These have been their Words and Actions. Do You know the deep political Motive for ringing the everlasting Knell of Rebel and Rebellion. Have you not considered that the Nation have habitually settled it in their minds and Hearts, that Rebels have no Rights, that every thing is lawful against them. They are Insects, they are Reptiles, they are Serpents, they are wild Boars and Tygers, they are Devils in the English Imagination. Have not Parliament, Gazettes, Pamphlets, Common Prayers, Sermons, and every thing for these six years, shot this Word down deep into the minds of the People of England and produced its Effect. The Government, the Church, the Nation itself means to establish an ineradicable Hatred and Animosity against us. I am sorry for it.
There is but one Way—that is make Peace—let Us live in Peace: in this Case We shall never designedly injure them. We shall trade with them, and in this Way help them to keep up some of their Importance. But they are in a right Way to drive away forever all our Trade, and make Us hostile too6—for these horrible Passions engender the like in other Minds. I submit the whole to your Correction and am &c

[salute] Adieu.7

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. A June 11. 1780.” LbC (Adams Papers.)
1. This word is supplied from the Letterbook.
2. This word is in JA's hand.
3. JA may be referring to the speech of William Murray, 1st earl of Mansfield, on 20 Dec. 1775 during the debate in the House of Lords over the American Prohibitory Bill. In his speech Mansfield declared that the northern colonies had sought independence since 1763, and he supported the use of any means necessary to put down the rebellion. He cited the admonition of a Swedish general to his troops: “if you do not kill them, they will kill you”; and then continued “if we do not, my lords, get the better of America, America will get the better of us” (Parliamentary Hist., 18: 1100–1103).
4. Lawful or unlawful.
{ 410 }
5. Carthage must be destroyed.
6. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence was written below the closing and marked for insertion at this point.
7. This word and the signature are by JA.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0261

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-12

To the President of Congress, No. 82

Paris, 12 June 1780. Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 118–123). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:781–784.
In this letter, read in Congress on 27 Nov., John Adams used a French translation to provide the text of a speech made by Lord Shelburne on 1 June in the House of Lords (Parliamentary Hist., 21:629–641). In a debate over the armed neutrality, Shelburne sought to have the state papers relating to British policy toward neutral nations and the armed neutrality placed before the house with the objective of obtaining the censure of the ministry and the removal of Lord Sandwich as first lord of the admiralty. The speech was a litany of the failures of a British policy aimed at maintaining maritime supremacy by force rather than negotiation and which, most notably through the violation of the Anglo-Dutch treaties, made the declaration of an armed neutrality inevitable. Shelburne further condemned Britain's failure to win or maintain the friendship of Russia, Prussia, and Austria at several points during the 1770s. As a result, British maritime superiority was threatened by the establishment of the doctrine that free ships made free goods as part of the law of nations; Britain was isolated and devoid of European allies; and, within the European political arena, the de facto, if not de jure, independence of the United States was established. For Adams, this was a welcome but belated recognition by a major British politician that Great Britain's position within Europe was untenable and that American independence was inevitable. He further argued that Great Britain has failed to mediate between or aid Russia, Prussia, or Austria, not through inertia, as Shelburne implied, but because it was distracted by war with America, a war that Shelburne himself had supported until quite recently.
Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 118–123). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:781–784.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0262

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-12

To the President of Congress, No. 83

Paris, 12 June 1780. Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 126–131). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:779–781.
In this letter, read in Congress on 27 Nov., John Adams provided extracts from British newspapers, including the text of Thomas Pownall's motion in the House of Commons on 24 May permitting the King to undertake peace negotiations with the United States (see JA to Unknown, 9 June, above). Adams also included resolutions adopted on 19 May at a meeting of Dublin merchants calling for an increased duty on refined sugar imported from England to promote the Irish sugar manufactory, and recent actions taken by the Irish Parliament on this and other matters. Finally, John Adams reported on the opening of the French port of Vendres on the Mediterranean coast, near the Spanish border, and commented on its usefulness for trade with the United States.
Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 126–131). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:779–781.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0263-0001

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-13

From Edmé Jacques Genet

[salute] Monsieur

Le Sincere interêt que vous m'avés inspiré, joint au désir de prouver une vraie Satisfaction à mr. adenet qui aura l'honeur de vous remettre cette lettre,1 est le motif pour lequel je prens la liberté de vous l'addresser. M. adenet est depuis longtems de mes amis, et un des plus Zelès de ceux de la cause américaine. Il entend parfaitement la langue anglaise et il écrit très bien en Francois. C'est un homme très estimé dans la bonne Société et à qui S'interessent des gens de la premiere distinction. Il comptera parmi Ses principaux avantages l'honeur d'etre connu de vous, et comme il a quelque loisir, Si vous daignés, Sur ma parole, mettre confiance en lui, et qu'il ait le bonheur de vous être de quelque utilité par le moyen de la connoissance qu'il a des deux langues ce Sera pour lui un nouveau droit a l'Estime qu'il S'est généralement acquise. L'Etat de Sa fortune, Sans être considérable, le rend indépendant et il n'ambitionneroit que l'honeur de vous être de quelque utilité. Permettés qu'il ait quelque fois l'honeur de vous voir. Confiés lui quelques une de vos Pamphlets de Londres, Si vous en avés donc vous Soyés bien aise de faire voir des analyses à des Francois de vos amis; et vous Soiés content du zele et de l'intelligence qu'il y mettra. Je Serai ravi Si en l'introduisant aupres de vous, j'ai le bonheur de vous obliger tous deux. Je le recommande pareillement comme une honête et sûre liaison à mr. Francis Dana et à mr. Taxter.
J'ai l'honeur d'etre, avec un sincere attachement Monsieur Votre très humble et trés obeissant Serviteur,
[signed] Genet

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0263-0002

Author: Genet, Edmé Jacques
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-13

Edmé Jacques Genet to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I am motivated in taking the liberty to write this letter by the sincere interest you have inspired in me and the desire to give proof of the esteem in which I hold Mr. Addenet, who will have the honor of delivering this letter.1 Mr. Addenet is an old friend and one of those most zealous in the American cause. He understands the English language perfectly and writes very well in French. He is a man much esteemed in good society and in whom men of distinction have taken an interest. He will count amongst his principle advantages the honor of being known to you. He now has some free time and it would be for him a new claim to the esteem that he has so generally acquired if, upon my recommendation, you would deign to confide { 412 } in him and he had the good fortune of being useful to you through his knowledge of the two languages. His fortune, while not large, renders him independent and his only ambition is to have the honor of being of some assistance to you. Permit him the honor of seeing you, show him one of your pamphlets from London if you have any left which you wish to see translated into French for your friends, and you will be very impressed with the zeal and intelligence that he brings to the task. I will be delighted, if in introducing the two of you, I have had the good fortune to be of service to you both. I also recommend him to Mr. Francis Dana and Mr. Thaxter as an honest and steadfast companion.
I have the honor to be with a sincere attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant.
[signed] Genet
1. In a letter of 26 June (Adams Papers), M. Addenet indicated that he had not yet seen JA in order to deliver Genet's letter. It is not known when the two men finally met, but Addenet did the French translation of JA's reworking of Thomas Pownall's A Memorial, Most Humbly Addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe, on the Present State of Affairs, Between the Old and New World (London, 1780), which was published later in 1780 at Leyden under the title Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie. See A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July] (above); and Addenet's letters of 13 and 30 July (both below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0264

Author: Landais, Pierre
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-14

From Pierre Landais

[salute] Sir

I think it my duty to inform you that I have wrote several Letters to his Excellency Dr. Franklin desiring to know by what authority I was Kept from my Ship, I inclosed him an order from the Secretary of the Honble. Navy board Philadelphia the purport of which was, to take in a few goods for his use As the Ship was Ordred home by Congress, My Officers and Crew Inform me that they have also wrote his Excellency, beging that their Lawfull Commander might be restored to them again, As they knew of no other Commander but me, they Inform me that no answer has come to their hands.2
I have Sir with the Advice of the Principle Americans and the desire of my Officers and Crew, Taken the Command Yesterday As my Right,3 and am determined to keep her, and Carry her to America as Required by Congress, in the Letter from the Secretary of the Honble Navy Board. I have wrote his Excellency Dr. Franklin Beging that he would be pleased to pay the Officers and Crew their Prize money, And to Send me his dispatches that I may fullfil the orders of Congress.4
On my going on board yesterday I was Received with the greatest { 413 } Cheerfulness by my Officers and Crew and acknowledged me to be their Lawful Commander and no other till they see a Resolve of Congress to place another in my Station. I have also inform'd him I am ready to sail whenever he will please to pay my Officers and Crew and Send me his Dispatches, And if you have any to send I shall take the Greatest Care of them.
I am sir with the Greatest Respect yr most obedient & very humble Servant.
[signed] P: Landais
1. This letter is identical to that from Landais to Benjamin Franklin of 14 June except for changes due to its recipient (Edward Everett Hale and Edward Everett Hale Jr., Franklin in France, 2 vols., Boston, 1886–1888, 1:333–334). For JA's position regarding Landais and the Alliance, see his reply of 20 June (not sent) and his letter to Benjamin Franklin of 26 June (both below).
2. For the unrest among the officers and crew of the Alliance, as well as other circumstances leading to Landais resuming command of the Alliance, see the letters from Arthur Lee of 26 March, and note 2, and 5 June, and notes 3 and 4; and from Benjamin Pierce of 1 June, and notes 1–3 (all above). In letters of 10 Feb., 11 March, and 29 May, Landais demanded that Benjamin Franklin reinstate him as captain of the Alliance. Franklin steadfastly refused to do so in replies of 12 Feb., 12 March, and 7 June, declaring in that of 12 March that “if, therefore, I had 20 ships-of-war in my disposition, I should not give one of them to Captain Landais” (Franklin in France, 1:323–331). For the letter of 1 April from John Brown, secretary of the Board of Admiralty, which Landais sent to Franklin on 31 May with a duplicate of his letter of the 29th, see Arthur Lee's letter of 5 June, and note 4 (above).
3. The “Principle Americans” were Arthur Lee and Alexander Gillon, to whom Landais had written on 12 June, requesting their advice. In their replies dated 12 June, both Lee and Gillon strongly supported Landais' claim to command, based on a resolution of Congress appointing him to the Alliance, and urged him to take his rightful place. A letter from eleven officers of the Alliance, also dated 12 June, acknowledged Landais as captain and requested him to assume command (all in PCC, No. 193, f. 708–711). For Arthur Lee's position regarding the respective claims of Landais and John Paul Jones to the command of the Alliance, see Lee's letter of 14 June to JA, and note 1 (below). For an account of Landais' assumption of command by a midshipman on the Alliance, see Nathaniel Fanning, Fanning's Narrative, ed. John S. Barnes, N.Y., 1912, p. 82–83. Fanning gives the date of the incident as 23 June, rather than the 13th.
4. Here and for the remainder of the letter Landais refers to his letter of 14 June to Benjamin Franklin.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0265

Author: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-14

From Arthur Lee

By the enclosed copy of a Letter I have sent Capt. Jones you will see that the dispute between him and Capt. Landais, is come to an alarming higth.1 The latter went on board the Alliance yesterday and has the command of her. The former has claimd the protection of the governing powers here, who will not employ force unless they have an express order for it from Above, or they come to blows on board the Ship. It was to prevent any such pernicious extremity, that { 414 } I wrote the enclosed to Capt. Jones. But as it is apparently the interest and inclination of some people here to urge that extremity, I have no doubt but that attempts will be made to obtain an order from Court for violent means. You must be sensible how deep a wound it woud be to the Sovereignty and honor of the United States if a foreign Power were by force to deprive a man of the command who holds it under immediate authority of Congress, and give it to another who has no such authority. I hope therefore that you will talk with Dr. Franklin on the subject that he may be well advised before he adopts such a measure.2 I do assure you from what I can learn the Officers and Crew are so determined not to submit to any authority but that of Congress, that there will be bloodshed if it is attempted. Whereas if there is any such authority, and it were produced, they woud submit to it without hesitation. The dignity of our Country, the honor of the Laws, our National character and personal safety call upon every good American to endeavor to prevent the Commission of Congress from being insulted, and such disputes from being decided but by the Laws of America.
I have the honor to be, with great regard & esteem, Dr. Sir Your most Obedient & Humle. Servant
[signed] Arthur Lee
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honble John Adams Esqr.”; endorsed: “Mr A. Lee”; by John Thaxter: “June 14th 1780.” The enclosure is not printed, but see note 1.
1. The enclosed letter, dated 13 June and probably sent to Jones after Landais had assumed command of the Alliance, constituted a vigorous endorsement by Arthur Lee of Pierre Landais as the frigate's captain. Lee noted that on 12 June, Jones had shown him his commission as captain and an order from Benjamin Franklin to take command of the Alliance, and that he had then examined Landais' commission as captain and the congressional resolution appointing Landais to the Alliance, thereby undertaking “a cool and candid consideration of the authorities on both sides.” Lee concluded that “it is clear, beyond a possibility of doubt that Capt. Landais commands that Ship under the full, direct, and express authority of Congress” and, “in this situation, Capt. Landais must answer at his peril, for the frigate which is trusted to him till he receives an order of Congress to deliver her up to another.” As a result, anyone seeking to remove Landais from command was committing “a high crime against the Laws and Sovereignty of the United States, and subject themselves to proportionable punishment.” In a letter of 12 June, Landais also had requested Lee's opinion, which Lee provided in his reply of the same date (from Landais, 14 June, note 3, above).
2. On 23 June, JA drafted, but did not complete or send, a reply to this letter (LbC, Adams Papers) in which he indicated that in response to Lee's appeal as well as letters of 12 June from Alexander Gillon (Adams Papers) and 14 June from Pierre Landais (above), he and Francis Dana had met with Franklin and, in response to Franklin's request, had given their opinion regarding the Alliance. The uncompleted reply does not indicate the nature of that opinion, but see JA's letter to Franklin of 26 June containing his advice regarding Landais and the Alliance in response to Franklin's query of [ante 26 June] (both below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0266

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-14

From William Lee

[salute] Dr. Sir

I am indebted to you for your favor of the 6th. The American vessels lately arriv'd in Holland, do not, that I hear of, bring any material Public news except the last which came from Boston the begining of May and informs us of the Marquis de la Fayettes arrival there and that they expected there also Monsieur de Rochambrauds army, which may be a means of giving the Enemy at N. York sufficient warning to put that place in the best posture of defence their Force will admit and to recall Clinton from Carolina, of whose motions these vessels do not bring any certain Intelligence, nor do I learn that Mr. Laurens has embark'd altho' bills have already appear'd drawn upon him in Holland by Congress. This I do not comprehend, nor some other public matters, therefore shall suspend my Judgement, sincerely hoping that the Party which have already created so much distraction in Congress and America will be ultimately disappointed in their dangerous and Abominable designs. As to Mr. Deane, I always tho't and am now convinced that he was only made use of as a Stalking Horse; to cover designs and views that his Patrons dared not openly to avow. I cannot say what will probably be the issue of this campaign in the W. Indias where the Enemy will be strong. Graves with 6 Ships of the Line and 3,000 troops will probably go to Jamaica where Sir P. Parker has 6 of the Line 2 fiftys and 1.44 Gun Ship besides Frigates and about 12 or 1500 Soldiers in that Island. Walsingham carries to Rodney 3000 Troops and 5 or 6 Ships of the Line and 4 others were sent seperately, so that Rodney will be very powerful after providing a Convoy for the homeward bound fleet, but we may suppose that Walsingham and the other ships will not get to Rodney before the middle or later end of July. Our last English papers are only to the 6th. but some persons who left London the 8th. on account of the Tumults, give a flaming account of the proceedings there on the 7th. and 8th. The people have pull'd down and burnt several houses and most of the Roman Catholic places of Worship. The Military and Citizens have had some rencounters and several lives lost on both sides. Tis likely however that the Ministry and the Military will prevail over the People who do not seem to have provided themselves with the proper instruments of defence and have the corrupted heads of what is call'd the opposition, as much against them as the King. This nation appears to me quite lost, and that in { 416 } 50 Years, they will be no more consider'd in the Political scale of Europe than the Algerines; but they will dye hard and we must endeavor to let the exertions of their dying agonies be exercised on themselves; The Dutch seem to be feeling some of them and loosing all their Ships, while they are differing with each other, whether they should patiently endure or not, everything the English please to do. The Language of the English with respect to Ama. is as incomprehensible to me as it is to you, unless they are led by the Ministry to give implicit confidence to their bribed Partizans that are at large in America and perhaps permitted to be in Congress and posts of importance. You ask, will the 22 Millions for next year; will the men lost in Ama. and the W. I. by Diseases and the chance of War; and will Seamen be easily found? The 22 or even more Millions will be easily found, as long as the bank of England can coin, with more facility than paper money is coin'd in Ama. and while even the French as well as the Dutch tempted by high interest will lend them money. Soldiers will be found with more difficulty; but as long as the European powers will permit their Sailors to be seized on the High Seas and forced on board the British Navy, there can be no fear of their wanting Sea men. 'Tis computed by judicious men, that at this time full one half of the British Navy is man'd by foreigners, impressed in England or seized on the high Seas and forced on board their Ships of War. I sometime since mention'd Portugal to you and everyday proves to me more and more the necessity of treating her as a Coadjutor with G. Britain, unless she will shut her ports against the English Men of War and Privateers. Refusing to admit prizes, is only a pitiful evasion of what she ought to do; which is, to refuse admittance to all Ships of War, Privateers and Armed vessels.
We shall be happy to hear the news from So. Carolina and of Monsr. De Ternays arrival as soon as you know them and if anything material comes to my knowlege you may be assured of the communication.
Farewell.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. W. Lee June 14.”; docketed by CFA: “1780.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0267-0001

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-15

From Bidé de Chavagnes

[salute] Mon cher monsieur

La lettre que vous m'avez fait lhonneur de m ecrire,1 et que jay receu deux jours aprés mon arrivée a brest, ma faite grand plaisir en { 417 } m'apprenant que vous jouissez ainsi que vos chers enfents, mrs. dena et taxter, d une bonne santé. Je fais des voeux bien sinceres pour que vous las conserviez telle longtemps. La mienne est assez bonne aussi quoyque jaye eu bien du chagrin de me separer de mde. de chavagne qui ma chargé quand je vous ecrirois de vous faire tous ses remerciments de votre bon souvenir.
Vous m'etonnez bien, mon cher monsieur, en me disant que vous ne pouvez avoir aucunes nouvelles de vos malles.2Mr. de fessoles qui faisoit les fonctions d'intendant au mois de fevrier fit charger touttes vos affaires au carosse de la messagerie de brest a paris. Je les vis dans le dit bureau, les recommanday moymême, ainsi que les effets de mr. gerard, les graines pour mrs. de la luzerne et de malherbes3 de ces petits canards de boston que j envoyois a monsieur de sartines avec le tableau des hostilités des anglois envers vous a boston. Jay lhonneur de donner avis au ministre de ces envoys qui doivent estre rendus a paris et qui seront au bureau des messageries ou diligences de brest a paris, ou plutot a la douanne. Ils doivent toujours estre certainement a paris, car je viens de verifier moymême que ces effets ont partis de brest le 22 fevrier, et le cocher qui les a conduites a rennes a aidé a les recharger pour paris. Il n'est pas honnêtes aux gens des messagerie de notre capitale de ne vous en avoir pas donné avis. Je suis desolé de ce retard pour vous, ne desirant que votre satisfaction, et bien jaloux de pouvoir y contribuer. Si vous voulez envoyer votre Domestique ou mr. votre fils a la douanne ou a la messagerie vous recouvrerez surement tous ces effets. Je ne scay si mr. gerard a eu les siens ainsi que tous ces mrs. Si je pouvois icy vous estre bon a quelque chose, je me trouveray toujours trop heureux de vous persuader des sentiments du sincere et respectueux attachement avec lequel jay lhonneur d'estre pour ma vie, Mon cher monsieur, Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] Bidé de Chavagnes capne. des vaux. du roy
Jembrasse vos chers enfents. Compliments a mrs. dena et taxter. Mes profonds respects a messieurs franklin et de sartines.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0267-0002

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-15

Bidé de Chavagnes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] My Dear Sir

The letter that you did me the honor to write,1 and which I received two days after I arrived at Brest, gave me great pleasure on learning that you, your dear children, and Messrs. Dana and Thaxter were enjoying good { 418 } health. I sincerely hope that it will remain so for a long time. My own health is quite good, despite my sadness at having to leave Mme. de Chavagnes, who asked that when I wrote I should send her thanks for remembering her.
I was astonished, my dear sir, at your informing me that you were unable to obtain any news of your trunks.2Mr. de Fessoles, who served as intendant in February, undertook to load all your belongings on the Brest to Paris mail coach. I saw them in the office and registered them myself, as well as the effects of Mr. Gerard, the seeds for Messrs. La Luzerne and Malherbes,3 and those little ducks from Boston that I sent to Mr. Sartine together with the painting of the British hostilities against Boston. I had the honor of informing the minister of these packages which were being sent to Paris and which should be waiting for you at the office of the Brest to Paris coach, or rather at customs. They must certainly be at Paris, for I have just verified that these effects left Brest on 22 February and that the coachman who carried them to Rennes transferred them onto the coach for Paris. It is unreasonable for the express agents of our capital not to have informed you of their arrival. I am very upset at this delay for your satisfaction is my only desire and I am always eager to accomplish it. If you wish to send your servant or your son to the customs or coach office, you will no doubt recover your belongings. I do not know if Mr. Gerard or the other gentlemen have received their own effects. If I have been of any help in this matter I would only be too happy to see it as an opportunity to demonstrate to you my sincere and respectful devotion, with which I have the honor to be for life, my dear sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Bidé de Chavagnes capne. des vaux. du roy
I send all my love to your dear children, my compliments to Messrs. Dana and Thaxter, and my profound respects to Messrs. Franklin and Sartine.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “C. Chavagne.”; docketed by CFA: “15. June 1780.”
1. Of 16 May (above).
2. For earlier reports regarding JA's luggage, see vol. 8:328–329; and Chavagnes' letter of [ca. 2 March], and note 4 (above). It is not known when or if JA recovered his property.
3. The seeds were probably intended for one of the Chevalier de La Luzerne's brothers, Comte César Henri de La Luzerne or César Guillaume de La Luzerne, and his uncle, Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes (vol. 8:106; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0268

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-16

To the President of Congress, No. 84

No. 84 Duplicate

[salute] Sir

I have lately obtained a Sight of a Number of Pamphlets, published in London, which are given out as written by Mr. Galloway,1 but there are many Circumstances in them which convince me that they were { 419 } written in Concert by the Refugees. I see many Traces, which appear unequivocal, of the hand of Governor Hutchinson in some of them.2 I have read them with pleasure and surprize, because it seems to me, that if their professed Intention had been to convince America, that it is both her Interest and duty to support her Sovereignty, and her alliances, they could not have taken a Method so effectual.
“Such Treaties, says he (that is an offensive and defensive alliance between France and America) will naturally coincide with their several Views and Interests, as soon as American Independence shall be acknowledged by the Powers in Europe. America will naturally wish, while She is rising from her Infant State into Opulence and Power, to cover her Dominions under the protection of France; and France will find new Resources of Strength in American Commerce, Armies, and naval Force.
“The Recovery of America from the disasters and distresses of War, will be rapid and sudden. Very unlike an old Country, whose population is full, and whose Cultivation, Commerce and Strength have arrived at their height, the multiplication of her numbers, and the increase of her power, will surpass all Expectation. If her sudden Growth has already exceeded the most sanguine Ideas, it is certain, that the increase of her Strength, when supported and assisted by France, and pushed forward by the powerful motives arising from her separate Interest, her own Preservation, and the prospect of her own rising Glory and Importance among Nations, will far outrun any Idea We have had of her late population.
“Nor will it be the Interest of America to check the ambition of France, while confined to Europe. Her distance and the safety arising from it, will render her regardless of the Fate of Nations on this Side of the Atlantic, as soon as her own Strength shall be established. The prosperity or ruin of Kingdoms from whose Power She can have nothing to fear, and whose assistance She can never want, will be Matters of equal Indifference. She can wish for no other Connection with Europe than that of Commerce, and this will be better secured in the hands of an ally, than in those with whom She holds no other Connection. (The Word “no” is an evident Error of the Press). So that it will be of little moment to her, whether Great Britain, Spain, Holland, Germany, or Russia, shall be ruled by one or more Monarchs.”3
“The new States are, and will continue the allies of France, our natural Enemy, unless reduced; and although at this time, by far the greater part of the People wish and hope for an Union with this { 420 } Country, and are ready to unite with Us, in reducing the power of their Tyrants, in the moment the least Encouragement shall be given for that purpose, which the infatuated Policy of every Commander has hitherto with-held, yet, should they be disappointed in their Hope, it will compell them to unite with the Enemies of this Kingdom. The mode of carrying on the War more cruel to Friends than Foes, added to the Inhumanity and Treachery of this Country, in not exerting its Powers for their relief, will not fail to create permanent Enmity and Resentments, and the Obligations of Gratitude to the Nation which shall save them from our Ravages, will stamp Impressions never to be effaced. Advantage will be taken of these dispositions, by the Policy of France, to establish Treaties of Alliance and Commerce with them, which will be founded on two great principles, their own mutual Interest, and the subduing the Power of Great Britain; and if She should be permitted to trade with them at all, it will only be to share with other Nations, in the worthless remains after their own and the purposes of their allies are served.”4
Here Congress will see the extream Ignorance or Deception of the Writer, in affirming that the “far greater part of the People wish and hope for an Union with Great Britain, and are ready to unite in reducing &c.” But notwithstanding the bad faith of the Writer, We see that such is the force of Truth, that he can not adduce an argument to persuade the English to continue the War, without producing at the same Time a much stronger argument to persuade the Americans, to adhere to the last to their Sovereignty and their alliances. Of this Nature are all his other arguments.
“With the Independence of America” says he, “We must give up our Fisheries on the Banks of Newfoundland, and in the American Seas.”5 Supposing this to be true, which is in part but not in the whole if Great Britain looses the Fisheries does not America gain them? Are they not an object then to America, as important and desirable as to Great Britain? Has not America then at least as strong and pressing a motive to fight for them as Great Britain? The Question then is reduced to another, which has the best prospect of contending for them successfully? America, favoured by all the World, or Great Britain, thwarted and opposed by all the World? And to whom did God and Nature give them? The English lay great Stress upon the Gifts of God and Nature, as they call the advantages of their insular Situation, to justify, their Injustices and Hostilities against all the maritime Powers of the World. Why should the Americans hold the blessings of Providence in a lower Estimation, which { 421 } they can enjoy, without doing Injury to any Nation or Individual whatsoever?
“With American Independence,” says he, “We must give up thirty five thousand American Seamen, and twenty eight thousand more, bred and maintained in those excellent Nurseries the Fisheries. Our valuable Trade, carried on from thence with the Roman Catholic States, will be in the Hands of America. These Nurseries and this Trade, will ever remain the natural Right of the People, who inhabit that Country. A trade so profitable, and a Nursery of Seamen so excellent and so necessary for the Support of her naval Force, will never be given up, or even divided by America with any Power whatsoever.”6
If Great Britain looses sixty three thousand Seamen by our Independence, and I believe She will not lose much less, I mean in the Course of a few Years, will not America gain them? Are sixty three thousand Seaman a feebler Bulwark for America than Great Britain? Are they weaker Instruments of Wealth and Strength, of Power and Glory in the hands of Americans than in those of the English, at the Command of Congress than at the Command of the King of England? Are they not then as strong a Temptation to Us to continue the War, as to them? The Question then recurs again, which has the fairest prospect of Success? America which grows stronger every year, or England which grows weaker?7
He adds, “the British Islands in the West Indies must fall of Course. The same Power that can compel Great Britain to yield up America, will compel her to give up the West Indies. They are evidently the immediate Objects of France.”8
The true political Consequence from this is, to stop short, make Peace, and save the British Islands while You can. Once taken, it will be more difficult to get them back. The whole returns again to the Question, are You able to keep Peace at Home and in Ireland, and the East Indies, to settle matters with the maritime Powers, and go on with the War long enough to beat France and Spain, make them renounce the War and after that reduce the United States of America to Submission? Will your Soldiers, your Seamen, and your Revenues hold out 'till this is done, and after it shall be done be sufficient to keep up a force sufficient to keep down France, Spain and America?
“France, he subjoins, expects from the Independence of America, and the Acquisition of the West India Islands, the Sovereignty of the British Seas, if not of Great Britain itself.”9 Is not this the strongest of all arguments for putting an End to the War?
{ 422 }
Now you may make Peace, and keep the West India Islands, and secure the Neutrality at least of America for the future, and in this Case, you may at least maintain your own Sovereignty and the freedom of the British Seas.
France at present claims no more than freedom on any Seas. If you make Peace at present, You may have more of American Trade, in future than France, and derive more Support to your Navy than She will to her Marine from that Country and consequently may preserve your Liberty upon all Seas: but by pushing the War you will weaken yourselves and strengthen France and Spain to such a degree, that they will have in the End such a Superiority as may endanger your Liberty.
But if Great Britain is to lose the West India Islands, and the Sovereignty of the Seas, by the Independence of America, surely France, Spain, or America, or all three together are to gain them. And are not these advantages as tempting to these Powers as to England, and as urgent Motives to pursue the War? So that We come again to the old Question, which is likely to hold it out longest? The immense inexhaustible Resources of France, Spain and America together, or the ruined, exhausted or distracted Kingdom of Great Britain?10
The Writer goes on. “France has long struggled to rival Us in our Manufactures in vain; this will enable her to do it with Effect.”11
If England were to make Peace now, it is very doubtful whether France would be able to rival her in Manufactures, those I mean which are most wanted in America of Wool and Iron. But if She continues the War, France will be very likely to rival her, to Effect, as it is certain She is taking Measures for the purpose, and the longer the War continues, the more Opportunity She will have of pursuing those measures to effect.
“We receive, says he, from the West India Islands, certain Commodities absolutely necessary to carry on our Manufactures to any Advantage and Extent, and which We can procure from no other Country. We must take the Remains from France or America, after they have supplied themselves, and fulfilled their Contracts with their allies, at their own prices, and loaded with the Expence of foreign transportation, if We are permitted to trade for them at all.”12
Is it possible to demonstrate the Necessity of making Peace, now while We may, more clearly? We may now preserve the West India Islands, but continuing the War We lose them infallibly.
“But this is not all We shall lose, with the West Indies,” says the { 423 } Writer. “We must add to our Loss of Seamen, sustained by the Independence of America, at least twenty thousand more, who have been bred and maintained in the Trade from Great Britain to the West Indies, and in the West India Trade among themselves, and with other parts, amounting in the whole to upwards of eighty thousand, a Loss which cannot fail to effect the Sensibility of every Man, who loves this Country, and knows that its Safety can only be secured by its Navy.”13
Is not this full proof of the necessity of making Peace? These Seamen may now be saved, with the Islands whose Commerce supports them. But if We continue the War, will France and Spain be less zealous to conquer your Islands? Because by this means they shall certainly take away from You and divide among themselves twenty thousand Seamen. Taking these Islands from You, and annexing them to France and Spain, will in fact increase the Trade of France, Spain, the United Provinces of the Low Countries, the United States of America, and Denmark, and the twenty thousand Seamen will be divided in some proportion among all these Powers. The Dutch and the Americans will have the Carriage of a good deal of this Trade, in consequence of their dismemberment from You, and Annexation to France and Spain. Do You expect to save these things by continuing the War? Or that these Powers will be less zealous, to continue it, by your holding out to them such Temptations?
“Will not Great Britain lose much of her Independence, in the present State of Europe,” continues the Writer, “while She is obliged to other Countries for her naval Stores?”14 “In the time of Queen Ann, We paid, at Stockholm, three pounds per barrel for Pitch and Tar, to the extortionate Sweede: and such was the small demand of those Countries for the Manufactures of this, that the ballance of Trade was greatly in their favour. The Gold which We obtained, in our other Commerce, was continually pouring into their Laps. But We have reduced that ballance, by our Importation of large Quantities of those Supplies from America.”15
But what is there to hinder Great Britain from importing Pitch, Tar, and Turpentine from America after her Independence? She may be obliged to give a somewhat higher Price, because that France, Spain, Holland and all other Nations will import them too. But will this higher Price induce America to give up her Independence? Will the prospect which is opened to the other maritime Powers of drawing these Supplies from America, in Exchange for their Productions, { 424 } make them less zealous to support American Independence? Will the Increase of the demand upon the northern Powers for these Articles, in consequence of the destruction of the British Monopoly in America, make these Powers less inclined to American Independency? The British Monopoly and British Bounties, it was in fact, which reduced the Price of these Articles in the northern Markets. The ceasing of that Monopoly and those Bounties, will rather raise the price in the Baltic, because those States in America which Pitch and Tar chiefly grow, have so many articles of more profitable Cultivation, that without Bounties it is not probable that Trade will flourish to a degree, to reduce the Prices in the north of Europe.
“Should a War take place between Us, and the northern Powers, where are We to procure our Naval Stores?”16 inquires the Pamphleteer.
I answer, make Peace with America, and procure them from her. But if You go to War with America, and the northern Powers at once, as You are upon the point of doing, You will get them no where. This Writer appears to have had no Suspicion of the real Intentions of the northern Powers, when he wrote the Book. What he will say now, after the Confederation of all of them against Great Britain, for I can call it no otherwise, I am at a loss to conjecture.17
“Timber of every kind, Iron, Saltpetre, Tar, Pitch, Turpentine and Hemp, are raised and manufactured in America. Fields of an hundred thousand acres of Hemp are to be seen spontaneously growing between the Ohio and Mississippi, and of a Quality little inferiour to the European.”18
Are not these articles as precious to France, Spain and Holland, as to England? Will not these Powers be proportionally active to procure a Share of them, or a Liberty to trade in them, as England will be to defend her monopoly of them? And will not America be as alert to obtain the freedom of setting them to the best advantage in a Variety of Markets, as other Nations will for that of purchasing them?
“Will the Coasting Trade, and that of the Baltic and Mediterranean, with the small Intercourse We have in our bottoms with other Nations, furnish Seamen sufficient for a Navy necessary for the protection of Great Britain and its Trade? Will our Mariners continue as they are, when our Manufactures are labouring under the disadvantage of recieving their materials at higher, and exorbitant Prices, and selling at foreign Markets at a certain Loss. Will these Nurseries of Seamen thus weakened supply the Loss of eighty thousand sus• { 425 } tained by the Independence of America and the Conquest of the West Indies?”19
But what is the Tendency of this? If it serves to convince Britain that She should continue the War, does it not serve to convince the Allies that they ought to continue it too? For they are to get all that Britain is to lose—and America is to be the greatest gainer of all: whereas She is not only to lose these objects, but her Liberties too, if She is subdued. France and Spain and the other maritime Powers, are all to gain a Share of the Objects if Britain loses them—whereas they not only lose all Share in them, but even the Safety and Existence of their Flags upon the Ocean may be lost, if America is reduced and the British Monopoly of American Trade, Fisheries and Seamen is revived.20
“It does not require the Spirit of Divination to percieve that Great Britain, robbed of her foreign dominions and Commerce, her Nurseries of Seamen lost, her Navy weakened, and the Power of her ambitious Neighbours thus strengthened and increased, will not be able to maintain her Independence among the Nations.”21
If She would now make Peace, She might preserve not only her Independence, but a great Share of her present Importance. If She continues this War but a Year or two longer, She will be reduced to the Government of her own Islands, in two independent Kingdoms Scotland and England, probably. As to Conquest and Subordination to some neighbouring Power,22 that has Common Sense, would accept the Government of that Island, because it would cost them infinitely more to maintain it, than it would be worth.
Thus, I have given some account of these “cool thoughts on the Consequences of American Independence”23 which I consider as the Result of all the Consultations and deliberations of the Refugees, upon the Subject.
I think it might as well have been entituled, an Essay towards a demonstration, that it is the clear Interest and the indispensible duty of America, to maintain her Sovereignty and her Alliances, at all Events, and of France and Spain, Holland and all the maritime Powers to support her in the possession of them.
I have the Honor to be with great Respect, Sir, your most humble Servant.
Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 134–144); endorsed: “No. 84 Letter from honble J Adams Paris June 16. 1780 Read Novr. 27 Remarks on Pamphlets written by Refugees in England.” LbC (Adams Papers;) notations: “Recd. Nov. 25. Duplicate”; by Thaxter: “No. 84.” The signed, original copy of this letter has { 426 } not been found, but it was to be carried by John Paul Jones (to the president of Congress, 17 June,, No. 86 descriptive note, below). The unsigned duplicate was carried by Alexander Gillon (to the president of Congress, 29 June, No. 88, descriptive note, below).
1. For the five pamphlets either by or concerning Joseph Galloway that JA had recently received from Thomas Digges, see Digges' letter of 8 June, and notes 23–2732–36 (above). JA refers here, however, to only one: Cool Thoughts. More specifically, he is referring to its three parts, any one of which could have stood by itself, which made Cool Thoughts appear to be a collection of three pamphlets in a single volume. This letter deals with, and all quoted passages are taken from, the first section of Cool Thoughts: “On the Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence” (p. 1–37). For additional information regarding the effect of this division on the organization of JA's response to Cool Thoughts, see JA's letters of 17 June to the president of Congress, Nos. 85 and 86, notes 3 and 1 respectively (both below) and “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], Editorial Note (below).
2. From this sentence it appears that on 16 June JA was unaware of Thomas Hutchinson's death. For his reaction to that event, see the first letter of 17 June to the president of Congress, No. 85 (below), but see also “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. I (below).
3. The preceding three paragraphs are taken almost verbatim from Cool Thoughts, p. 11–13. In the pamphlet, the third paragraph continues with Galloway's observation that the United States was likely to unite with France to upset the European balance of power. Although somewhat altered, the text of the three paragraphs, also appears in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. I (below), there serving as the basis for JA's commentary. The italicized word “no,” in the second sentence above, was deleted by JA when he copied the quotation as part of his first “Letter from a Distinguished American.”
4. Same, p. 23–24.
5. Same, p. 25. Here and in passages marked by notes 6, 14, 15, and 16, quotation marks have been supplied for passages taken from Cool Thoughts, but not otherwise set off.
6. Same, p. 25–26.
7. The previous five paragraphs, including portions of the passages quoted from the pamphlet, form the basis for JA's commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. II (below).
8. Cool Thoughts, p. 26.
9. Same, p. 26–27. While accurate, this is not a literal rendering of the passage.
10. The previous six paragraphs, including portions of the passages quoted from the pamphlet, form the basis for JA's commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. III (below).
11. Cool Thoughts, p. 28.
12. Same, p. 27–28. The previous four paragraphs, including portions of the passages quoted from the pamphlet, form the basis for JA's commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. IV (below).
13. Same, p. 28–29. The estimate of the numbers of lost seamen are taken from a note on p. 25–26.
14. Same, p. 29. At this point in the pamphlet, between this quotation and that which follows, is the passage: “It is not long since that she was obliged to the Northern countries for those very supplies, upon which her safety depended. She had them not within her own dominions, but received them from others at their own prices. We may recollect, that, . . .”
15. Same, p. 29–30. Following the word “Gold,” in the second sentence above, JA omitted the words “and silver, and the wealth of this nation.”
16. Same, p. 31.
17. The previous eight paragraphs, including portions of the passages quoted from the pamphlet, form the basis for JA's commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. V (below).
18. Cool Thoughts, p. 31.
19. Same, p. 33–34. Although accurate, this quotation is not exact.
20. The previous four paragraphs, including portions of the passages quoted from the pamphlet, form the basis for JA's commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14-22 July], No. VI (below). The remainder of the letter to the president, including the passages quoted from the pamphlet, was not used by JA as a basis for his commentary in the “Letters from a Distinguished American.”
{ 427 }
21. Cool Thoughts, p. 36.
22. To this point this sentence is taken verbatim from the pamphlet, but the preceding two sentences are a paraphrase of the corresponding paragraph in the pamphlet (same, p. 36–37).
23. Although he puts this passage, containing the overall title of the pamphlet and that of its first section, in quotation marks, neither here nor elsewhere in his letters to Congress of 16 and 17 June, does JA explicitly state that Galloway's pamphlet was entitled Cool Thoughts.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0269-0001

Editorial Note

The dispute between John Adams and the Comte de Vergennes over Congress' revaluation of its currency provides a revealing glimpse of the dynamics of the Franco-American Alliance. It makes clear the inherent conflict between Adams' view of the United States as an equal partner with France and Vergennes' confident assumption that France would dominate the relationship. But why did a dispute over American monetary policy and its effect on French merchants erupt between Adams and Vergennes, rather than form part of the routine diplomatic exchanges between the foreign minister and Benjamin Franklin? Several scholars, from Samuel Flagg Bemis in the 1930s to John Ferling in the 1990s, have sought to answer this question. The publication here, for the first time, of Adams' complete correspondence on revaluation, together with other relevant documents, provides the occasion for a fresh examination of the motives of Adams and Vergennes.
There is no evidence that John Adams sought a confrontation with Vergennes over the revaluation. Until his ||firstand second||letters of 22 June (both below), Adams' correspondence with Vergennes dealt with matters directly concerning his mission or conveyed intelligence received from various correspondents. His letter of 16 June to Vergennes (below) transmitted information received from Massachusetts concerning revaluation, but offered no opinion regarding the issue. In his first letter to Vergennes of 20 June (below), Adams did make a few brief remarks to allay French fears about revaluation, and expressed sympathy for those who might lose something from Congress' action, but he offered no opinion regarding the policy itself.
Nor is there any indication that John Adams saw the issue as an opportunity to displace Benjamin Franklin, as some scholars have suggested. Adams was reluctant to involve himself in matters that were properly Franklin's responsibility, such as the Jones-Landais dispute over the Alliance, which directly challenged Franklin's authority (see Franklin's letter of [ante 26 June] and Adams' reply of 26 June, both below). When he received Vergennes' letter of 21 June (below), stating the official French position on revaluation, Adams immediately informed Franklin and urged him to write Vergennes on the matter (to Franklin, 23 [i.e. 22] June, below), which { 428 } Franklin did on 24 June (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827). Finally, on 29 June, Adams wrote Franklin and enclosed his entire correspondence with Vergennes over the revaluation (below).
If Vergennes had not written to John Adams on 21 June to express the official French position on the revaluation, it is unlikely that John Adams would have pursued the issue. But this does not mean that Adams was unconcerned about the reaction of French merchants to the revaluation or that he was reluctant to express an opinion about it. This is clear from his letters of 10 June to John Bondfield and Jonathan Williams (both above), and in his conversation with Leray de Chaumont on 15 June, that Chaumont described in his letter to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval of 16 June (below).
John Adams and the Comte de Vergennes first discussed the revaluation at a conference on 20 June. According to Adams' letter of 26 June to the president of Congress (No. 87, below), a “Gentleman,” probably Leray de Chaumont, had indicated that the foreign minister would be “glad to consult” with him on the subject. When they met, Vergennes probably knew of Chaumont's conversation with Adams and, therefore, of Adams' position on the revaluation. Despite such foreknowledge of Adams' views, which were likely repeated during the meeting, Vergennes indicated that Adams would receive a letter on the subject. Vergennes' letter of 21 June (below) was an appeal for the exemption of foreigners (i.e. French merchants) from the revaluation's effects and a warning of the evil effect that a failure to do so would have on Franco-American trade and American efforts to borrow in Europe. Vergennes called on Adams to request Congress to reconsider its resolution, injecting a sense of urgency by indicating that La Luzerne had been instructed to do the same.
John Adams replied with two letters on the following day (both below). The first was a request that Vergennes reconsider or delay his instructions to La Luzerne until Benjamin Franklin made representations on the subject. The second letter filled twelve pages. There, Adams emphasized that Congress had little choice but to revalue its currency in the face of its steady depreciation. He believed that French merchants had little to complain about since few held any considerable sum of American currency. Most had protected themselves against loss by converting their currency into land or into American goods that they exported to Europe or the West Indies, obtaining as a result either hard currency or bills of exchange. Furthermore, those who had dealt in military supplies had generally been paid in Europe with specie. Simple equity demanded that no foreigner “expect to be treated in America better than her native Merchants, who have hazarded their property thro' the same perils of the Seas and Enemies.”
The actions of the Comte de Vergennes in this affair are intriguing. From Chaumont's report on his conversation with Adams and from his own meeting with the American diplomat, Vergennes must have been fully aware of Adams' position on revaluation. This makes his letters of 30 June to Adams (below), and to Benjamin Franklin (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827) seem somewhat disingenuous. There, complaining of Adams' attitude { 429 } toward French policy, he expressed dismay, if not surprise, at the nature of Adams' response. Vergennes may have been genuinely surprised at Adams' refusal to accept the French position. He may have expected that Adams, regardless of his position on the revaluation, would simply refer the French concerns to Congress without comment. But his letters of 30 June may also indicate that at some point in the course of the exchange, he had decided to use Adams' statements as an opportunity to complain to Congress about his conduct and possibly to rid himself of a person whose view of Franco-American relations was, according to Chaumont, “Bien Scandaleux” (Chaumont to Rayneval, 16 June, enclosure, below).
But John Adams' second letter of 22 June (below) also raises questions. The letter may be seen as an effort by a friendly diplomat to give an ally much needed advice. It is unlikely that Adams believed that Congress could be persuaded to exempt foreigners from the effect of the revaluation and thereby alienate the constituents upon whose support it relied for the effort to succeed. He may, therefore, have sought to dissuade Vergennes from an undertaking that would fail and only serve to embarrass Franco-American relations. Adams' letters of 24 June to Elbridge Gerry and James Lovell (both below) indicate that he believed that much of the problem was owing to misunderstanding and that it was up to him to allay French apprehensions.
An alternative explanation proceeds from the fact that the letter goes beyond the issue at hand to include Adams' larger view of the proper Franco-American relationship. It reflects Adams' determination, expressed in his letter of 26 June to the president of Congress (No. 87, below), to state his views on the issues arising between France and the United States whenever the opportunity arose. In that sense the letter may indicate Adams' conclusion that Vergennes' view of Franco-American relations was seriously flawed, that Benjamin Franklin was inadequately presenting American policy, and that the appeal to exempt Frenchmen from the revaluation was intended to confirm the United States as the junior member of the alliance and bend it to the requirements of French policy. Such an interpretation receives support from the fact that Adams' long-held opinions on the benefits accruing to France from the opening of American markets were being reinforced in the course of his reworking Thomas Pownall's Memorial and in his response to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts at this time. In both cases the positions taken regarding the Franco-American relationship were almost diametrically opposed to those expressed by Vergennes in his letter of 21 June.
The exchange between John Adams and the Comte de Vergennes brought the foreign minister neither a modification of the revaluation nor a useful means to undermine Adams' position. Congress did not exempt French merchants from the revaluation. Instead, it voted on 12 Dec. to commend Adams for his stout defense of the resolution of 18 March. By mid-1781, however, the issue was academic for the continental currency was worthless at 500 to 1 (JCC, 18:1147; see also Committee for Foreign Affairs to JA, 12 Dec., and enclosure, below).
{ 430 }
For John Adams, however, the dispute with Vergennes over revaluation was a turning point. Vergennes' barely civil letter of 30 June (below), ending his side of the exchange, helped convince Adams that French policy was flawed by serious illusions about the United States and was intended to subordinate American interests to French objectives. In mid-July, this conviction led Adams to confront Vergennes directly over the sufficiency of French aid to the American cause and the means by which he would carry out his mission to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty (The Dispute with the Comte de Vergennes, 13–29 July, below).
The dispute had another significant result. If John Adams was motivated to remove French illusions about the policies and interests of the United States, he was equally motivated, in pursuit of his mission's objectives, to do the same with regard to Britain. It seems unlikely, therefore, that it was coincidental that the period between Adams' letter of 1 July (below) ending the revaluation exchange and that of 13 July (below) on the issue of the sufficiency of French aid was the very time when he revised and copied out for publication his reworking of Thomas Pownall's Memorial and his Letters from a Distinguished American (19 April — [ca. 14 July], above, and [ante 14–22 July], below, respectively).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0269-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-06-16

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have just recieved a Letter from Nantes brought in a Ship from New London.
I inclose your Excellency a Newspaper1 inclosed in it, and an Extract of the Letter, which is from a Gentleman who is a member of the Assembly and one of the Judges at Boston.2 This is all the News I have. I hope your Excellency has more by the same Vessel.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed: “Juin 16. M. de R M. John adams rep le 21 Juin envoye une lettre qu'il arrive de Boston Sur la resolution du Congrès de maintenir le papier monnoye au change de 40 pr. 1.”
1. At this point in the manuscript is an “X,” referring to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval's notation “au 26. avril” in the margin.
2. The letter was from Richard Cranch of 26 April (Adams Family Correspondence, 3: 325–329). The extract sent to Vergennes probably included the fourth and possibly a portion of the fifth paragraphs of the letter. Both referred to the bill adopted by both houses of the Massachusetts legislature, but not yet enacted, to adhere to the provisions of Congress' resolution of 18 March that revalued its currency. For the bill as enacted on 5 May, see Mass., Province Laws, 5:1202–1231. The enclosed newspaper could have been either the Boston Independent Ledger or the Boston Gazette of 24 April, both of which reported the death, referred to in Cranch's letter, of his nephew, Nathaniel Cranch, on 19 April.
JA also wrote to Vergennes on 25 June and enclosed copies of a similar law adopted by Connecticut and an estimate of the curren• { 431 } cy's depreciation received from John Trumbull, the painter and son of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut, who had just arrived at Paris (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12). For the Connecticut law, see Conn., Public Records of the State of Connecticut, 9 vols., Hartford, 1894–1953, 2:516– 521.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0269-0003-0001-0001

Author: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Recipient: Rayneval, Joseph Mathias Gérard de
Date: 1780-06-16

Leray de Chaumont to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval

[salute] Monsieur

J'ay eu unne Conversation assez interessante avec M. Adams pour que Son Excellence M. Le Comte de Vergennes en Soit informée, et J'ay L'honneur de vous en remettre Le precis pour que vous ayez la Bonté de le remettre au ministre, Si vous jugéz qu'il meritte Son attention. Je Croyois que M. Adams etant isolé de M. Lée verroit autrement que Lors qu'il etoit inspiré par ce dernier,1 mais il parait que M. Adams persiste a Croire, Car Je L'ay toujours vu dans Le mesme Sentiment que C'est La france qui est L'obligée de L'Amerique, quand il se trouvera au Congres de paix, il y portera ces principes, et il est [honoré?] a Les Soutenir publiquement Ce qui Seroit a mon avis Bien Scandaleux.
Vous ne m'ayez Rien dit Sur le projet que Je vous ay donné d'aprovisoner L'Amerique, Cependant il faut Consider Monsieur, qu'on y a Besoing de tout et que personne n'osera y porter que les anglaz s'en apercevant de Nouvelles tentatives pour y [accroitre?] le Nombre de torris deja tres considerable.
Je ay L'honneur d'estre avec Le plus parfait devouement Monsieur Votre très humble et tres obeissant Servt.
[signed] Leray de Chaumont

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0269-0003-0001-0002

Author: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Recipient: Rayneval, Joseph Mathias Gérard de
Date: 1780-06-17

Enclosure: Leray de Chaumont to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval

Relation d'unne Conversation que J'ay en avant hier avec M. Adams.
J'ay été chez M. Adams pour luy faire part que les Nouvelles recues de Cadiz2 etoient fulminantes Contre Le Congrès americain parcequil a fixé La valeur du dollars en papier a quarante pour une piastre en Especes. J'observay a M. Adams que le Commerce etoit fondé a se ple[a]indre et Surtout Les Negotiants francais qui avoient vendus a trois pour un du pris du premier achat de la Marchandize et par Consequent a perte puis que le premier pris ne fait que La huitisime partie de Celuy au quel La Marchandize devrait a L'Amerique Septentrionale par les frais de transport et par les Doubler { 432 } Risques de guerre et D'independence. J'ajoutay que plusieurs Negotiants secouait dans Le Cas de Manquer a leurs engagements Si le Congrès ne Changeroit pas Sa deliberation du mois de Mars on n'y ajoutoit pas unne declaration en faveur des Negotiants Européens quil etoit mesme Bon de faire entrevoir pour aller au devant du Mal.
M. Adams me repondit que le parte pris par Le Congrès etoit Sage et tres Sage, Juste et tres Juste,3 que Ces qui s'en pleignoient etoient les Emissaires ou les Espions des Anglais4 qu'il y auroit de L'injustice a traitter differament Les Européens des americains, qu'on se passeroit des premiers s'ils renoncoient au commerce de L'amerique que les francais avoient moins a se pleindre que les autres, puis qu'il en rejaillissoit Les plus grands avantages pour la France, parceque sans L'amerique a qui la France ne scauroit avoir trop d'obligation L'Angleterre etoit trop puissante pour la Maison de Bourbon, et que Sans L'amerique, la Russie, Le Danemarc, La Suede, La Portugal, et La hollande Ne Se Seroient pas Confederés Contre L'Angleterre que les Negotiants qui feroient Banqueroute Seroient enchantés d'avoir le pretexte de la fixation du papier monnaye, que le Congres avait été forcé a Cette fixation par le refus du Credit qu'ils avoient demandé a leur alliés d'Europe.5
J'avoue que Cette reponse m'a fort Supp[lier] et qui Si M. Adams a le Secret des americains nous devons y avoir toutte Confiance.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0269-0003-0002-0001

Author: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Recipient: Rayneval, Joseph Mathias Gérard de
Date: 1780-06-16

Leray de Chaumont to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I have had a conversation with Mr. Adams that is of sufficient interest that it should be brought to the attention of His Excellency M. the C