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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

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.
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).
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, 2017.