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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0014

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Dundas, T.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-03-07

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Sir

Since my letter of the 3d. a Gazette Extraordinary, has announcd the arrival of dispatches from1 Adl. Digby, who is returnd with the fleet and spanish prizes from Gibraltar, and brought in with him a french 64 Gun Man of War and three store ships bound under Her Convoy from L'Orient to the East Indies. The French and Spaniards seem lately to have been totally unadvisd as to the movements of English fleets and ships, and to have placd their Convoys in tracks to be taken. This Man of War has 60,000 £ in specie on board and was most fortunately for Digby met with on the 23d Feby.2 Rodney saild from Gibr. with the fleet the 14th. and parted with it the 18th. taking four ships of the line only with Him to the Wt. Indies. A like number will probably go under Walsingham about the 20th or 25th Instant with the fleet to the West Indies. Arbuthnot has left his American station and taken the heavy ships 4 of the line with him to the Wt. Inds. Some say that he carryd some troops with Him. By every appearance there are no more troops going to No. Ama. and it looks as if Ministry meant not to continue the American War but to let it dwindle and die away. News from the Southern Expedition from N York is dayly expected. A transport with upwards of 200 Hessians on board and which was driven off in a storm is arrivd at St. Ives.3 She saild with the Expedition from N York the 26 Decr. and a few days after received considerable damage in a severe gale which it is thought seperated and dispersd the Fleet. We have no exact accounts from this vessel yet, but from what can be collected it appears the storm will save Chas Town for some little time further, and not unlikely baffle every future attempt. These uncommon instances of good fortune at Sea at least to Rodneys fleet have raisd the Spirits of the people very much, but you find but very few even in their moments of exultation who wish a continuance of the American War.

[salute] I am yr obt Sert,

[signed] T. Dundas
RC (Adams Papers;) addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Ferdinando Raymond San, chez Monsr Hocherau Libraire Pont Neuf a Paris”; endorsed: “T. Dundas. 7. March. 80. ansd. 14th.”
1. With some alterations, JA copied the text from this point through the words “let it dwindle and die away” and included it in his first letter of 14 March to the president of Congress (No. 18, calendared, below).
2. The report on the actions of Rear Adm. Robert Digby appeared in the London Gazette Extraordinary of 6 March. The French 64-gun ship of the line Protée was taken by the Resolution, of 74 guns.
{ 24 }
This letter is largely a digest of accounts appearing in the London papers with some comments added by Digges. For example, Digges refers to the departure of Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot from New York and the prospects for the continuation of the war. In the London Chronicle of 4–7 March the following passage appears: “Admiral Arbuthnot is sailed from New York, with all his heavy ships, for the West Indies. This pretty clearly shews that the war in North America is only meant to linger on; that nothing vigorous is intended.”
3. This is the transport Anna, whose passengers underwent incredible hardship during the weeks that it took the dismasted hulk to drift across the Atlantic to St. Ives, in Cornwall (Edward J. Lowell, The Hessians and the other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War, N.Y., 1884, p. 243–244; see also the London Chronicle, 4– 7 March). With minor changes, JA copied this and the following sentence and included it in his second letter of 14 March to the president of Congress (No. 19, calendared, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0015

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-03-08

To the President of Congress, No. 14

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I went to Court in Company with the American Minister Plenipotentiary, and had the Honor to be presented to the King, by the Secretary of State for foreign Affairs: after which, I had the Honor to go round with all the foreign Ambassadors, and make a Visit to the Queen, the King's Brothers, Sister, Aunts, and Daughter, which are all the Branches of the Royal Family, and to be presented to each of them in Turn, and after them to the Comte de Maurepas.
After these Ceremonies were over, we were all invited to dine with the Comte de Vergennes.
As Ceremonies of this Kind, are so much attended to in this, and all other Countries of Europe, and have often such important Effects, it is proper that Congress should have Information of them.1

[salute] I have the Honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant,

[signed] John Adams2
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 307–308;) endorsed: “No. 14 Letter from Honble. J. Adams March 8th. 1780 Read July 22 Mr. A presented at Court to the King and Family.” LbC (Adams Papers.)
1. In the Letterbook this sentence continued “especially as my public Character, is to be announced to the World, at the same time in the Gazette.” Although all indications are that JA expected his presentation to be announced in the Gazette de France, he probably decided not to mention the announcement until after it appeared and he could include an extract.
2. Except for a brief mention in his letter to AA of [ante 15 March], this is JA's only known reference to his presentation to Louis XVI in 1780 in a letter to America (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:301).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0016

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-03-08

To the President of Congress, No. 15

Paris, 8 March 1780.. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 311). LbC (Adams Papers); notation in Thaxter's hand: “March 10th. Delivered { 25 } the above to Mr Brown of Charlestown S. Carolina.”printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:539.
In this letter, read by Congress on 11 Sept., John Adams reported the false rumor that Louis Charles, Comte du Chaffault de Besné was to command in the West Indies and Charles Henri Théodat, Comte d'Estaing in the Channel, and enclosed newspapers from Paris, The Hague, and Amsterdam, all dating from the first week in March.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 311.) LbC (Adams Papers); notation in Thaxter's hand: “March 10th. Delivered the above to Mr Brown of Charlestown S. Carolina.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:539.)
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/