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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


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 Comte de Vergennes. I have the honor of sending you a summary that you would have the goodness to place before the minister if you judge that it merits his attention. I thought that Mr. Adams, being isolated from Mr. Lee, would see things differently from when he was under Lee's influence.1 It appears, however, that Mr. Adams persists in believing, as I have often seen, that when France finds itself at a peace conference it will be obligated to America for the achievement of its objectives and that it is honorable to publicly maintain such an opinion that in my view is totally outrageous.
You have said nothing regarding the plan that I submitted for supplying America. But, sir, it should be considered whether there is a need for all those supplies and personnel in order to assist the English, as one perceives from news reports, in their endeavors to increase the number of Tories, already very considerable.
I have the honor of being with the most perfect devotion, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant.
[signed] Leray de Chaumont
{ 433 }
RC and enclosure (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed: “envoye la relation d'une conversation avec M. Adams du celui ci pretend [ . . . ] la france a beaucoup d'obligation [ . . . ] l'Amerique” and “M. de Chaumont.”
1. This statement reveals the extent to which Vergennes and those around him misapprehended JA's view of the French alliance and his motives in responding as he did to French complaints about the revaluation of the currency. Certainly JA, as is clear from his past statements detailing his efforts to occupy the middle ground between Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee, would have been distressed to learn that anyone believed he was influenced by Lee (see indexes for these volumes as well as for vols. 6 through 8).

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

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: A Translation

Account of a conversation that I had with Mr. Adams the day before yesterday.
I went to see Mr. Adams to inform him of the news from Cádiz,1 which fulminated against the American congress for having set the value of its paper dollars at the rate of forty for one dollar in specie. I observed to Mr. Adams that the commerce justified the complaint, especially since the French merchants, who have sold the merchandise at three times its original cost, have consequently suffered losses because the original cost makes up only an eighth of what is owed from North America because of transportation costs and the double risks of war and independence. I added that many merchants would be shaken by such a flouting of their engagements should the congress not reconsider its action of March by adding a declaration in favor of those European merchants who have glimpsed the good that will proceed from the bad.
Mr. Adams responded that the congress' action was both very wise and very just,2 that those who complained were the agents or spies of the English3 who would have the injustice of treating the Europeans differently from the Americans, who from the first have recognized that in the American commerce the French have less to complain about than the others because it reflects the most far-reaching advantages for France because without America, to whom France cannot have too much obligation, England would be too strong for the house of Bourbon, and that had America, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, and Holland joined in a confederation against England the merchants who will go bankrupt would be enchanted to have the pretext of the revaluation of the paper money, that the congress had been forced into this revaluation by the refusal of the credit that they had requested from their European allies.4
I swear that this response has been strongly implored to me and that we ought to have full confidence that Mr. Adams expresses the American view.
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 and enclosure (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed: “envoye la relation d'une conversation avec M. Adams du celui ci pretend [ . . . ] la france a beaucoup d'obligation [ . . . ] l'Amerique” and “M. de Chaumont.”
1. For the news from Cádiz, seeJohn Bondfield's letter of 6 June and JA's reply of the 10th (both above).
2. Compare this description of Congress' action with that in the next to last sentence of JA's first letter to Vergennes of 22 June (below).
3. The italicized passages, here and below, were underlined on the manuscript, but whether by Chaumont or someone else is unknown.
4. For JA's expansion on this theme, see his letters to Vergennes of 20 and 22 (second) June (both below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0270

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-17

To the President of Congress, No. 85

No. 85 Duplicate

[salute] Sir

The Refugees in England are so great an obstacle to Peace, that it seems not improper for me to take Notice of them to Congress. Governor Hutchinson is dead.1 Whether the late popular Insurrections, or whether the Resolutions of Congress of the eighteenth of March respecting their Finances, by suddenly extinguishing the last Rays of his hopes, put a sudden End to his life, or whether it was owing to any other Cause, I know not. He was born to be the Cause and the Victim of popular Fury, Outrage and Conflagrations. Descended from an ancient and honorable Family; born and educated in America, professing all the zeal of the congregational Religion; affecting to honour the Characters of the first planters of the new World, and to vindicate the Character of America, and especially of New England; early initiated into public Business, industrious and indefatigable in it; beloved and esteemed by the People, elected and intrusted by them and their Representatives; his Views opened and extended by repeated Travels in Europe; minutely informed in the History of his Country; Author of an History of it, which was extensively read in Europe; engaged in extensive Correspondences in Europe as well as America; favoured by the Crown of Great Britain, and possessed of its Honors and Emoluments; possessed of all these Advantages and surrounded with all these Circumstances, he was perhaps the only man in the World, who could have brought on the Controversy between Great Britain and America in the manner and at the Time it was done, and involved the two Countries in an Enmity, which must end in their everlasting Seperation. Yet this was the Character of the Man, and these his memorable actions—an inextinguishable ambition, and avarice, that were ever seen among his other Qualities, and which grew with his Growth and Strengthened with his age and Experience, at last predominated over every other Passion of his Heart and Principle of his Mind, rendered him credulous to a childish degree of every thing that favoured his ruling passion, and blind and deaf to every thing that thwarted it, to such a degree, that his Representations, with those of his fellow Labourer Bernard, drew in the King, Ministry, Parliament and Nation, to concert Measures which will end in their Reduction and the Exaltation of America.
{ 435 }
I think I see visible Traces of his Councils, in a Number of Pamphlets, not long since published in London, and ascribed to Mr. Galloway. It is most probable, they were concerted between the Ministry and the Refugees, in general, and that Mr. Galloway was to be given out as the ostensible, as he probably was the principal Author.
The cool thoughts on the Consequences of American Independence, altho calculated to inflame an hasty, warlike Nation to pursue the Conquest of America, are sober Reasons for defending our Independence and our Alliances,2 and therefore proper for me to lay before my Countrymen.
The Pamphlet says, “it has been often asserted, that Great Britain has expended in settling and defending America, more than She will ever be able to repay, and that it will be more to the profit of this Kingdom to give her Independence, and to loose what We have expended, than to retain her a part of its Dominions.”3
To this he answers, “that the Bounties on Articles of Commerce and the Expence of the last War, ought not to be charged to America; and that the Sums expended in support of Colonial Governments have been confined to New York, the Carolinas, Georgia, Nova Scotia and East and West Florida: that New England, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, have not cost Great Britain a farthing. And that the whole Expence of the former is no more than one Million, seven hundred thousand Pound, and when We deduct the seven hundred thousand Pounds, extravagantly expended in building a Key at Hallifax, We can only call it one Million.”4 He concludes, “that Posterity will feel, that America was not only worth all that was spent upon her, but that a just, firm, and constitutional Subordination of the Colonies, was absolutely necessary to the Independence and Existence of Great Britain.”5 Here I think I see the Traces of Mr. Hutchinson.6
Another Argument, he says, much relied on, by the Advocates for American Independence, is, “that a Similarity of Laws, Religion, and Manners, has formed an attachment between the People of Great Britain and America, which will insure to Great Britain a preference in the Commerce of America.”7
He agrees, “that a Uniformity of Laws and Religion, united with a Subordination to the same supreme authority, in a great Measure forms and fixes the national attachment. But when the Laws and supreme authority are abolished, the manners, habits and customs, derived from them, will soon be effaced. When different Systems of { 436 } Laws and Government shall be established, other habits and manners must take place. The fact is, that the Americans have already instituted Governments as opposite to the principles upon which the British Government is established, as human Invention could possibly devise. New Laws are made, and will be made, in Conformity to and in support of their new political Systems; and of Course destructive to this national Attachment. Their new States being altogether popular, their essential Laws do already and will continue to bear a greater Resemblance to those of the Democratical Cantons of Switzerland, than to the Laws and Policy of Great Britain. Thus We find, in their first acts, the strongest of all proofs of an aversion in their Rulers to our national Policy, and a sure foundation laid to obliterate all affection and attachment to this Country among the People. How long then can We expect that their attachment, arising from a Similarity of Laws, Habits, and Manners, if any such should remain, will continue? No longer than between the United Provinces and Spain, or the Corsicans and Genoese, which was changed from the Moment of their Seperation into a Enmity, that is not worn out to this day.”8
How it is possible for these Rulers, who are the Creatures of the People and constantly dependent upon them for their political Existence, to have the strongest aversion to the national Policy of Great Britain, and at the same Time the far greater Part of the People wish and hope for an Union with that Country, and be ready to unite in reducing the Power of those Rulers as this Author asserts, I know not. I leave him to reconcile it. If he had been candid and confessed that the attachment in American Minds in general is not very strong to the Laws and Government of England, and that they rather prefer a different form of Government, I should have agreed with him; as I certainly shall agree, that no attachment between Nations arising merely from a Similarity of Laws and Government, is ever very strong or sufficient to bind Nations together who have opposite or even different Interests.
“As to attachments, says he, arising from a Similarity of Religion, they will appear still more groundless and ridiculous. America has no predominant Religion. There is not a religious Society in Europe, which is not to be found in America. If We wish to visit the Churches of England, or the Meetings of Lutherans, Methodists, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Moravians, Menonists, Swinfielders, Dumplers, or Roman Catholicks, We shall find them all in America. What a Motley, or rather how many different and opposite attachments, will this Jumble of Religions make.”9
{ 437 }
“Should there be any remains of this kind of national attachment, We may conclude that the Lutherans, Calvinists, Menonists, Swinfielders, Dumplers and Moravians, will be attached to Germany, the Country from whence they emigrated and where their Religions are best tolerated; the Presbyterians and Puritans to Ireland; and the Roman Catholicks to France, Spain and the Pope; and the small number of their Churches of England to Great Britain.”10
“Do We not daily see Monarchies at War with Monarchies; Infidels with Infidels, Christians with Christians, Catholicks with Catholicks, and Dissenters with Dissenters? What stress, then, can be justly laid on an attachment, arising from a Similarity of Government, Laws or Religion?”11
“It has also been asserted, that America will be led from Motives of Interest, to give the preference in Trade to this Country, because We can supply her with Manufactures cheaper than She can raise them or purchase them from others.”12
“But a Commercial Alliance is already ratified, greatly injurious to the Trade of Great Britain; and should France succeed in supporting American Independence, no one can doubt but other Treaties, yet more injurious will be added: and as to the ability of America to manufacture, She possesses, or can produce, a greater Variety of raw materials, than any other Country on the Globe. When She shall have a seperate and distinct Interest of her own to pursue, her views will be enlarged, her Policy will be exerted to her own benefit; and her Interest, instead of being united with, will become not only different from, but opposite to that of Great Britain. She will readily percieve, that Manufactures, are the great foundation of Commerce, that Commerce is the great means of acquiring Wealth, and that Wealth is necessary to her own Safety. With these interesting prospects before her, it is impossible to concieve that She will not exert her Capacity to promote Manufactures and Commerce. She will see it to be clearly her Interest, not only to manufacture for herself but others. Laws will be made granting Bounties to encourage it, and duties will be laid to discourage or prohibit foreign Importations. By these Measures her Manufactures will increase, her Commerce will be extended, and feeling the benefits of them as they rise, her Industry will be exerted, until She not only shall supply her own Wants, but those of Great Britain itself, with all the Manufactures made with her own Materials. The Nature of Commerce is roving. She has been at different Periods in possession of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Venetians. Germany and France lately enjoyed her, { 438 } and supplied Great Britain with their Manufactures. Great Britain at present folds her in its arms.”13
Surely it was never intended that any American should read this Pamphlet. It contains so many arguments and motives for perseverance in our righteous and glorious Cause. It is astonishing however, that instead of stimulating England to pursue their unjust and inglorious Enterprize, it does not convince all of the Impracticability of it, and induce them to make Peace.
I have the Honor to be with great Respect, Sir, your most obedient humble Servant.
Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 145–152); endorsed: “No. 85 Letter from honble. J Adams Paris June 17. 1780 Read Novr. 27. Gov Hutchinson's Character with Remarks on a Refugee Pamphlet.” LbC (Adams Papers); notations: “Recd. Nov. 25. Duplicate.”; by Thaxter: “No 85.” The signed, original copy of this letter has 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. Thomas Hutchinson died suddenly of a seizure on Saturday, 3 June, as he was stepping into his carriage (London Courant, 5 June). JA may have learned of the event from the London Courant or another of the newspapers enclosed with Thomas Digges' letter of 8 June (above). His mention of it here, and his failure to do so in his letter of 16 June, to the president of Congress, No. 84 (above), suggests that he read the news late on the 16th, or on the 17th. JA also informed AA of Hutchinson's death in a letter of 17 June (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:366–368). Beginning with this sentence, the remainder of this paragraph, together with the two paragraphs that immediately follow (see note 2) and the next to last paragraph of the letter, were printed in Boston's Independent Chronicle of 4 Jan. 1781. This occurred through the efforts of AA, to whom James Lovell sent either an extract or the full text of the letter. The inclusion of the comments on Cool Thoughts suggests that Lovell sent the full text (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:22, 23, 58, 59). JA included his sketch of Hutchinson in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. VII (below).
2. As printed in the Independent Chronicle, the remainder of this sentence does not appear.
3. This passage is an almost verbatim rendering from Cool Thoughts, p. 39–40. In the pamphlet, the passages “that Great Britain . . . to repay” and “that it will be more . . . its dominions” are in quotation marks, but Galloway's source has not been determined. This letter deals with, and all quoted passages are taken from, the second section of Cool Thoughts: “On the Expence of Great Britain in the Settlement and Defence of the American Colonies” (p. 39–55).
4. Same, p. 40–41. While this is not an exact rendering of Galloway's text, the meaning has been retained.
5. Same, p. 45–46.
6. This and the preceding three 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. VII (below).
7. Cool Thoughts, p. 46–47. With the exception of “he says,” this entire paragraph is taken from the pamphlet, although with some reordering of words that does not affect the meaning. The source of the passage beginning “that a Similarity,” which in the pamphlet is in quotation marks, has not been determined. This paragraph serves as the basis for JA's entire commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. VIII (below).
8. Cool Thoughts, p. 47–49. Although much of this paragraph is taken verbatim from the pamphlet, JA did condense and rewrite some portions, particularly in the first half of the { 439 } | view paragraph, but without altering Galloway's meaning.
9. This and the preceding two 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. IX (below).
10. In Cool Thoughts (p. 49–50), this and the preceding quotation appear in somewhat different form, in a single paragraph. There the two passages are linked by the following: “It is a truth, rather to be lamented than exposed, that dislike and aversion are more commonly found between religions, than any other societies. Difference in opinion respecting a single article of faith, has been often a sufficient ground of persecution. From which we may conclude, . . .” Galloway's discussion of religion reflects his Pennsylvania experience, leading JA, in discussing the passage in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. IX (below), to adapt the list of denominations to more generally apply to the American states. Note also Galloway's use of “Menonists” for Mennonites, “Swinfielders” for Schwenkfelders, and “Dumplers” for Dunkers (or Dunkards), forms that JA retained.
11. Cool Thoughts, p. 50.
12. Same, p. 50–51. The opening quotation marks have been supplied, and the passage beginning “that America” and continuing to the end of the sentence was enclosed in quotation marks in the pamphlet, but Galloway's source for this statement has not been identified. In the pamphlet, this and the following quotation form part of a single paragraph. In copying the passages into this letter, JA omitted the following connective text: “If America should not enter into any commercial alliances with other nations, if there should be no subsisting cause of enmity between us at the time of our separation; and if she could not manufacture for herself, it must be allowed that her interest would lead her to take from Great Britain those particular articles with which we can supply her cheaper than other countries. But it is not probable that one of these circumstances will occur; on the contrary, it is more than probable that all of them will concur in preventing a trade between us.”
13. Same, p. 51–53. In the pamphlet this passage begins “A Commercial Alliance.” This is a very close rendering of the text in the pamphlet, except for some condensation in the last third of the paragraph that does not alter Galloway's meaning. This and the preceding paragraph form the basis for JA's commentary in “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. X (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0271

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-17

To the President of Congress, No. 86

[salute] Sir

The Writer on the Consequences of American Independence, Subjoins a Comparison between the United States, and the West Indies.
He says the Exports from England was in 17711
        £   s   d  
To North America         4,586,882:   15:   5  
    £            
To Dominica   170,623:   19:   3        
To St Vincents   36,839:   10:   7        
To Grenada   123,919:   4:   5        
        331,338:   14:   32  
  Difference         4,255,500:   1:   2  
If We reflect on the vast Extent of Territory, improved and improvable, in America her Superiority in Numbers of People, of Mariners, of shipping in naval force, raw materials, and consumption of Manu• { 440 } | view factures, he hopes We should confess the Colonies of more Importance than the Islands.3
He compares the Continent and the Islands in the following Points. 1. In Extent of Territory. 2. Salubrity of Clymates. 3. Numbers of Inhabitants capable of Warring for the Empire, whereas the Islands are a dead Weight in Case of War.4 4. Variety of Clymates. If the W. Indies furnish Rum, Sugar, Cocoa, Coffee, Pimento and Ginger. The Continent produces Wheat Rye, Barly oats, Indian Corn, Rice flour Biscuit, Salt Beef, Pork bacon, Venison, Cod, Mackarel, and other Fish and Tobacco. If the W. Indies produce Some materials for Dyers, as Logwood, Fustick, Mahogany and Indigo; the Continent produces Indigo Silk, Flax, Hemp; Furs and Skins of the Bear Bever, Otter, Musrat, Deer, Tyger, Leopard, Wild Cat, Fox, racoon, and Pot ash, Pearl ash, Copper and lead ore, Iron in Pigs and Bars, for our Manufactures; besides all the articles of Naval stores, Timber, Plank, Boards, Masts, Yards, and ships built for sale, Pitch Tar, Turpentine, Hemp and Salt Petre. Such of these Articles as are necessary for the Manufactures and Commerce of England, were sent there, the surplus only to other Marketts and the Proceeds of that surplus remitted in Bills or Cash, for British Manufactures and foreign articles of Commerce.5
5. The Growing States of the Colonies on the Continent, which appears by the Exports.
        £   s   d  
The Value of the Exports from England to North America, was   in 1763     1,867,285:   6:   2  
    in 1771     4,586,882:   17:   11  
  Increase in Eight years     2,719,597:   11:   9  
The Value of the Exports from England to the West Indies was   in 1763     1,149,596:   12:   4  
    in 1771     1,155,658:   3:   11  
  Increase in Eight years     6,061:   11:   7  
The Value of the Imports into England from the West Indies, was   in 1763     3,268,485:   14:   6  
    in 1771     2,800,583:   14:   0  
  Decrease in Eight years     467,902:   0:   6  
He could not obtain an amount of the general Exports from the West Indies, and therefore can not make a Comparison with those from N. America, which were     £   s   d  
    in 1766     3,924,606:   0:   0  
{ 441 } | view
    in 1773     6,400,000:   0:   0  
  Increase in 7 years     2,475,394:   0:   0  
The Exports from Great Britain to foreign Countries, have been generally computed at     £   s   d  
        7,000,000:   0:   0  
in 1771 from England to America 4,586,882:15: 5   }        
  to the W. Indies 1,155,658: 3:11   5,742,530:   19:   46  
        12,742,530:   19:   4  
The Exports from Scotland to America are not included when added, they will increase the Value of the Exports from Great Britain to upwards of     6,000,000:   0:   0  
which is nearly equal to the Amount of all the foreign Exports of the Kingdom, and one half of the whole Commerce of the Nation exclusive only of that to Ireland and the East Indies.7
I wish this Writer had seen the Resolutions of Congress, of the Eighteenth of March by which their whole national Debt is reduced to about five Millions of Dollars, or a little better than one Million sterling, as I understand them.
Lord Norths Loan of this year Twelve Millions, equal to the whole Exports of the Kingdom to foreign Countries N. America and the W. Indies.
The whole American Debt for five years, is about one Sixth part of their Exports to Great Britain in 1771.
This would have added a little Perspicuity to his argument to Convince America how easy a Task she has, to maintain her Independence and her Alliances and how very valuable those objects are.
Most of these Facts were minutely examined in Congress in the year 1774 when and where probably Mr. Galloway learned them and with the most Sanguine Confidence it was expected, by many that they would occur to the Parliament and Nation, and prevent them from dissaffecting, by a Perseverance in Impolicy and injustice, so prescious a Part of the dominions, to the total destruction of the Empire as it was called. Others who had studied more attentively the Character of the British Administration and Nation had Strong Fears, that nothing would Succeed. They have been found to have judged right. We may lament over the Misfortunes of the English but it is our Duty to rejoice in the Prospect of superiour Liberty Prosperity and Glory to the New World that now opens in Consequence of the { 442 } Blindness and Infatuation of their Ennemies. We ought also to rejoice at the Destruction of that selfish and contracted Monopoly which confined the Blessings of the new World to a single Nation, and at the liberal Extension of them to all Mankind.8
I have the Honour to be, &c
LbC (Adams Papers;) notations: “So far.”; by John Thaxter: “No. 86” and “June 23d. 1780. This day Mr. Adams delivered to Drs. Boush and Lewis of Virginia, the duplicate of No. 81, and the originals Nos. 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, to go by the Buckskin Capt. Jones from Bourdeaux.” The meaning of JA's notation “So far.” which appears at the top of the first page of the letter, has not been determined. Despite the notation here regarding the original copy of this letter and that on JA's letter of 29 June to the president of Congress (No. 88, descriptive note, below), indicating that a duplicate was sent on 6 July, no copy of this letter exists in the PCC.
1. The following figures are taken from Cool Thoughts, p. 59. This passage and all of the other material in this letter is taken from the third section of Cool Thoughts : “On the Value and Importance of the American Colonies and the West Indies to the British Empire,” p. 57–70.
2. This figure should be 331,382:14: 2, and appears as such in the pamphlet, p. 59.
3. Same, p. 61. This is a condensed version of a passage that reads “. . . if they would reflect on her vast extent of improved and improveable territory, her superiority in numbers of people, of mariners, of shipping, and in naval force, with her various and extensive capabilities, many of them hitherto untried and unexplored, of raising and furnishing raw materials for the manufactures of this country, and the vast consumption of every article of our commerce, which the numbers of her people must occasion, they would discover their error, and, I hope, would find candour enough to confess that the Colonies in America are of some consequence to Great Britain, as well as the West Indies.” JA's abridgement makes Galloway appear to emphasize the importance of the mainland colonies over the West Indies more than he actually did in the passage.
4. The first three points are dealt with in separate paragraphs on p. 62–64.
5. Same, p. 64–65. This is an accurate paraphrase of portions of the relevant paragraph in the pamphlet. However, Galloway also noted, in specific terms, the effect of the varied climates in the North American colonies on the commodities produced and the ability of those colonies to provide food for both the West Indies and Great Britain in times of need. Finally, he emphasized that the North American trade largely centered on Great Britain.
6. This is as the sub-total appears in Cool Thoughts, p. 67. It should be £5,742,540:19: 4, and consequently the total given immediately below should be £12,742,540:19: 4.
7. The figures provided for British exports are exactly those given in Cool Thoughts (p. 66–68), but much of the text that accompanies those figures has either been paraphrased or omitted.
8. This letter, together with the passages taken from the pamphlet, form the basis for JA's commentary in the unpublished “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. XI (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0272

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-18

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Your Excellencys finds by the London Papers, that the expected Tumults are begun—they are the natural Consequences of those Measures, which have been taken against America. When Men make Religion the Stalking Horse to political Ambition, it will ever fall back { 443 } on themselves. The King has long favoured the Catholics and discountenanced the Dissenters to serve his Arbitrary purposes. He thinks himself politically justified therein, but James, the second, who did from Principle and Conscience was a better Man. If George is actuated by the same Motives, He is unfit for the Throne of England. He is either a bad protestant, or bad King. He is too a Silly Politician, for He has raised a ferment, which will require more Abilities to lay, than I believe He possesses. The Case requires Severity, but if He Insists, He may suffer personally, for Fanatics stick not at Assination, if Severity is not used, the Proof will be Manifest, the Government is gone, as the Constitution is ruined. This Matter will have other serious Consequences in the Opinion of foreigners, it will serve to increase the Animosity Against the English, which in general prevails throughout Europe, and it cannot but give Spirits to our countigences to find such Destractions in the Capital of the Ennemy. It is certain, that many Catholic Families have already come over to these Countries, and shoud the Prosecutions be violent against the Insurgents, many Protestants will retire to Holland, until they can safely go to America. I Hope the American Agent in that Country will have Instructions to attend to such as arrive there. Perhaps many useful Sailors may be found Among them.
I thank your Excellency for sending me the Report of the Convention of your State. I have read it with pleasure and Admiration and shall be proud of receiving further Information on what has passed relative to that, and other Important and interesting Matters. The Preamble of the report of the Convention was published about a month Ago, and by the last post I see a Continuance thereof, and the whole is to be laid before the public, it is to be found in the London Courant—it is published entire in Almons Remembrancer—I shall get it translated into French.1
Since the fore going was written, the Tumults in London are Somewhat appeased. Many of the Rioters are taken and Lord George G<ermaine>ordon committed to the Tower, it is said for high Treason. I should think his Tryal will make some Noise and produce signal Consequences, unless the Minister acts with much Prudence. Lord George is a cool daring Man and will brave his Ennemies to the last. If He is cut of unjustly or even Justly some fanetic Adherent may take ample Revenge. I am rejoiced, that the Author of the Quebec Law2 has been noticed, altho not sufficiently for the public the Coward has had his fright, and may be more prudently honest in future. The loss of his Library, which is much deplored in the public Papers is A { 444 } gain in my opinion to Society; for I am sure, not a single Book of virtuous and free Principles could have been found therein, or if such had been there, they were <so mutilated> with the Common Law of England and the magna charta so mutilated and corrupted by notes, that they would have been dangerous to an honest Government. His Tokay indeed might have been good and unadulterated. The King himself, who was not heard of during the Distress of his people, trembled in his Palace, and dared not to show himself, for the Battle in Cheepside and Cornhill was <not as bloodless as> more bloody than those at Blackheath and Wimbledon. I am rejoiced it has produced in a Him a show of Sensibility to Natural Affection, it is the first Instance; his Brothers, whom had abandoned and left in distress, on Account of their Virtuous Marriages, offered their Assistance in the Time of his Anguish, His Heart was somewhat Softned thereby and He has most graciously pardoned their Honest offence in Marrying.3 I Hope his Heart may change, and that He may learn to feel; what others feel, He must find himself now not invulnerable and beyond the Strokes of fortune, and His Pride may be Checked. It may be good for Him and others that He has been in Trouble. It will be so, if He has the least Spark of Virtue and Religion in Him; if not, He will grow more Obdurate and endeavour to save himself of what has happened to the ruin of his people, James, the second, did so after the Extinction of Monmouths Revolt.4 For my part, I depend not on Him, after what He has done. Nature and Education are difficulties to be got over which may perhaps demand more and sharper Miseries to Correct. I pray to God the present may do.
The necessity of making Peace will I Hope be more Obvious to Him Now. What would have been said by Lord George Germaine, if such a Tumult had arisen at Philadelphia as at London? What Triumph, if Congress had been driven from their Seats, as the Parliament has been! Wicked wretch! Take shame to yourself, and whilst you talk of the weakness of a New settld Government, look to the supposed strength and real Impotency of an old established One, and learn, that any Society founded in Virtue and on Opinion, is stronger than a Government held together and conducted by Corruption. I think I wish I was in London. The next meeting of Parliament, which is to tomorrow, deserves our attention; if there is the least Sense of Shame remaining, it must flush at coming together after what has passed. It must tremble to think how near falling thier proud System was, when the Mob attacked the Bank an Hour might have humbled the whole to the Dust and ruined that baseless Fabrick; the Credit { 445 } of the <Bank> Congress has withstood the Knavery of the worst of men for years. They may be insolent, that they have escaped, but they ought to be humble, they must see that Peace is Absolutely Necessary, or that they must be Undone. Should the Ministers receive at this Time a Severe Blow, they may have political Demands, as well as religious ones made on them. The people are in such an Alarm, that they must feel for themselves. It is said that disagreeable news is arrived from Clinton; this perhaps will only touch the Ministry, but some blow in the West Indies would give rise to other Kind of Mobs: the Merchants would leave the Exchange, which is now possessed by Soldiers and March to St. James. I congratulate your Excellency on the Probability and Appearances of things. I Hope, that you will soon be calld upon to Exercise your blessed Mission in Conjunction with our good Allies.
A Fleet of 20 ships of the Line has left Portsmouth, but cannot be out of the Channel on account of the Contrary Winds.5 I suspect it is in a bad state, not half manned victualled or fitted.
I have received your Excellencys Letter of the 11th Instant. I return your Excellency my humblest thanks for your Condescention, and taking in good Part, what I had the Honor of saying to your Excellency with respect to your Observations on Conways Speech. I have sent them and those on Lord Georges Germains to London.6
I beg to know of your Excellency whether Mr. Diggs has been at Paris, since your Arival there.
It is believd that orders are sent to Evacuate N York, but then as the Politician, says in the Play, comes the important and necessary Question, Quomodo.
The Printer of the Utrecht Paper has had the Impudence to deny the authenticity of Clintons intercepted Letter. I am told there is a Congress Agent in that Quarter; Surely He ought to Correct this Printer; Time I Know will do it, but your Excellency I believe will think it ought not to be left entirely to Time. She has a good deal of other business on her Hands.
Advice is just received here that an English Ship has taken a french One under the forts of Ostend.
I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Faithful and Obedient Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Mr. Jennings. June 18. ans. July 4. 1780.”
1. JA had enclosed a copy of The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with his letter of 7 June (above). For the printing of the Report in the London Courant of 18 April and 6, 7, and 8 June, and in the first volume of { 446 } John Almon's Remembrancer for 1780, see Thomas Digges' letter of 14 April, note 2 (above). The results of Jenings' effort to obtain a French translation are unknown.
2. The London residence of William Murray, 1st earl of Mansfield and lord chief-justice, was destroyed by the mob during the Gordon Riots. Mansfield later presided over Lord George Gordon's trial for treason (DNB).
3. George III had been estranged from his brothers William Henry, duke of Gloucester, and Henry Frederick, duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, since 1772 when both had disclosed secret marriages that he deemed inappropriate (DNB). The brothers' reconciliation was reported in the London Courant of 12 June.
4. In 1685, James Scott, duke of Monmouth, the natural and acknowledged son of Charles II and Lucy Walters, landed in Dorset, proclaimed himself king, and raised a revolt against James II. The rebellion constituted no real threat and was quickly put down. In the aftermath, James II executed Monmouth, and then, in what came to be known as the “Bloody Assizes,” dealt very harshly with Monmouth's supporters, hanging over three hundred and selling another eight hundred into slavery (DNB; Cambridge Modern Hist., 5:232).
5. Presumably Jenings refers to the channel fleet under Adm. Francis Geary's command that sailed on 8 June (London Courant, 10 June).
6. For JA's replies to speeches by Gen. Henry Seymour Conway and Lord George Germain that he had sent to Jenings, see Jenings' letter of 5 [June], note 2 (above). For their publication in England, see Jenings' letter of 9 July, note 2 (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0273

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-06-20

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear sir

I last night received a Letter from a Member of Congress,1 which informs me, that Congress have resolved to redeem their Loan Office Certificates, according to the Value of Money at the Time of their being respectively issued. This compleats their Plan of the 18 of March, and makes the whole just as well as wise and politick.
I Send you, the Report of the Committee as amended and adopted by the Convention.2 And a Bagatelle that I wrote at Philadelphia, Jany. 1776, in order to assist the People of the States in their Contemplations upon the Subject of instituting new Governments.3
I wish to have every step of the Massachusetts in this great Business preserved, because it is the first Example, that has happened in the Progress of human Society: of a People, deliberating so long so patiently, so cautiously, in the formation of a Government. The Result I now send you is still to be laid before the whole Body of the People in their Town Meetings, that every Man may have an opportunity, to express his Mind, and suggest his amendments.
No Government was ever made so perfectly upon the Principle of the Peoples Right and Equality. It is Locke, Sydney and Rousseau and Mably reduced to Practice in the first Instance.
I wish every step of their Progress printed and preserved. These { 447 } Principles ought to be Spread in England at this time as much as possible. I have received the 2d Letter about your farm in Devonshire.

[salute] Adieu.

1. From Elbridge Gerry, 5 May (above).
2. Since JA had already sent Jenings a copy of The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with his letter of 7 June (above), it seems likely that with this letter he was enclosing a copy of An Address of the Convention for Framing a New Constitution of Government for the State of Massachusetts Bay to Their Constituents, Boston, 1780, that included the constitution that the convention submitted to the people in March 1780. JA apparently received copies of the revised constitution from AA, with her letter of 15 April, and from Richard Cranch, with his of 26 April (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:326, 328).
3. This was Thoughts on Government, printed at Philadelphia in April and at Boston in Oct. 1776 (vol. 4:65–93).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0274

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Landais, Pierre
Date: 1780-06-20

To Pierre Landais

[salute] Sir

I came this moment from the Post office, where I have been to give a Receipt for a Letter from you of the 14, which I was advertised of, by a Billet from the office last night. I had before received a Letter from Commodore Gillon,1 informing me of the application of the officers and Crew of the Alliance to his Excellency Dr. Franklin, in your favour.
I presume these Communications were made to me, from a Respect to the public Trust I have the Honor to hold as a servant of the United States, and in this point of View they lay me under obligations. I have also received a Letter from Mr. Pierce requesting me to interest myself in the affair of the Alliance.2 And another Letter from another Gentleman implying Censure upon me.3
I have the Honour to be in a department totally distinct from that of his Excellency Dr. Franklin, and have no Authority over, or connection with his more than he has with mine. There is a possitive Instruction of Congress, to his Excellency, to me, and to all the Ministers of the united States abroad to cultivate a good Understanding with each other.4 Neither the Congress, nor his Excellency, have communicated to me, the Nature and Extent of the Authority they have given his Excellency over their Frigates in France and the officers of them.
If his Excellency Dr. Franklin, or Mr. Jay, or Mr. Laurens, or any other Minister of the United States should ask my opinion and Advice respecting any Thing within their Departments stating the Case both { 448 } respecting their Authority and the Facts, I should think it my Duty, to give it <with the Utmost Promptitude>.5 His Excellency has in some Cases asked my opinion, So have the Minister at Madrid,6 in every such Case I ever have and ever shall give my opinion with the Utmost Promptitude Candor and Decision: and if I should have occasion to ask their Advice, on any Thing respecting my own department I should hope for the same favour of their answer.
But it must be remembered that Congress have neither <appointed me> established an appeal from the Judgment of his Excellency to mine, nor appointed me Inspector of his Administration, nor made me a Spy upon his Conduct. They have not given me any office So high as the two former, nor so low as the last.
Every Man of Common sense then will see that it would be criminal in me, and I should infallibly incur the Censure of Congress, if in such a critical Business, I were to interfere unasked by his Excellency, So as to become an auxiliary either to Captain Jones or Captain Landais in this dispute.
Further, I hold myself obliged to give my opinion to the Kings Ministers, when they see Cause to ask it, and I think I never shall fail to do so. But it would introduce, or rather continue and perpetuate, Confusion and Distraction in our affairs, if I who am simply a resident at Paris, were to undertake uninformed, and unasked to obtrude my opinion and advice upon the Ministers, in matters entirely without my Jurisdiction. These are my sentiments and the Principles upon which I have and shall endeavour to Act. If you or any Gentleman, pleases to lay before Congress an accusation against me, for Timidity, Inaction, or omission of duty, I furnish you with this Letter, and full Liberty to lay it before Congress or to print it in the Newspapers in America, if you choose for their Censure or approbation. It contains the Principles and Rules of Conduct which I am determined to pursue untill I have orders of Congress to the Contrary which I am well persuaded I never shall. And it may be depended on I have not too much timidity to pursue my Principles.
I have the Honour to be with Esteem and respect, sir, your most obedient humble sert.7
LbC (Adams Papers;) notation: “not sent.”
1. This letter of 12 June (Adams Papers), which has not been printed and to which no reply has been found, described the situation on the Alliance and implied that JA should intervene with Benjamin Franklin to seek its resolution.
2. Of 1 June (above). In his reply of 10 June (above), JA stated that he could not become { 449 } involved in the controversy.
3. This may be a reference to Arthur Lee's letter of 14 June (above). For JA's reply of 23 June (LbC, Adams Papers), which he began, but did not complete or send, see note 2 to the letter of 14 June.
4. JA is presumably referring to Congress' resolution of 22 Oct. 1778, calling on the American representatives in Europe to cultivate “harmony and good understanding” among themselves (JCC, 12:1053).
5. See Benjamin Franklin's letter of [ante 26 June] requesting JA's advice regarding the Alliance and JA's reply of 26 June (both below).
6. No letters soliciting JA's opinions previous to this date have been found from either Benjamin Franklin or John Jay. But JA had offered his advice in letters to Franklin of 19 April and to Jay of 13 and 15 May, which the two ministers acknowledged in their respective letters of 21 April and 4 June (all above).
7. JA's decision not to send this letter likely proceeded from his unwillingness to involve himself in matters that were Franklin's responsibility as minister to France. He may also have concluded, after rereading the letter, that his comments regarding his willingness to provide advice when asked by his fellow ministers and the French government went beyond the scope of an appropriate response to Landais, but compare his statement in this regard with that in his letter of 26 June to the president of Congress (No. 87, and note 10, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0275-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-06-20

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

Last Evening I received the Letter, an Extract of which I have the honour to inclose. It is from Mr. Gerry, a Member of Congress who has been a Member of their Treasury Board from the beginning of the year 1776.1
It is much to be regretted that the Congress did not publish their Resolution to pay off the Loan Office Certificates, according to the value of Money, at the time of their being respectively issued, with their Resolutions of the 18th. of March, because this I think wou'd have prevented the alarm that has been spread in Europe.2 It will be found that almost all the Interest that European Merchants or others have in our Funds lies in those Certificates: And that almost all the paper Bills now in Possession of their Factors in America, have been received within a few Months, immediately before the 18th. of March, and consequently received at a depreciation of forty for one, at least, perhaps at a much greater.
Altho some Europeans may have considerable sums in Loan Office Certificates, yet I have Reason to believe that the whole will be found much less than is imagined. They have realized their property generally as they went along. Some may have purchased Land, others have purchased Bills of Exchange, others have purchased the produce of the Country which they have exported to St. Eustatia, to the French West India Islands, and to Europe. I have the Honor to be with the { 450 } | view greatest Respect and Esteem Your Excellencys 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). With the recipient's copy in the archives is a French translation, entitled: “Lettre de M. Adams a M. le Comte de Vergennes en date du 20 Juin 1780”; and bearing the note: “M. Adams cherche àprouver que la derniére operation de finance du Congrès a peut etre que tres peu prejudiciable aux Commerçants Européans.”
1. This was Elbridge Gerry's letter of 5 May (above).
2. Although Gerry's letter implied that the resolution regarding loan certificates was adopted on 18 March, in fact it was not voted on until 18 April and proceeded from Congress' consideration of a report on the redemption of loan office certificates presented on 25 March (JCC, 16:374–375, 287–288).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0276

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-06-20

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have just now received Some Newspapers and Journals,1 which I think it my Duty to inclose without Loss of Time to your Excellency.
The Account from Charlestown in the Newspapers does not favour the Report of Clinton's Defeat.2 The Journals of the ninth and twenty fifth of February, show what measures Congress have taken for raising and subsisting an Army of thirty five thousand Men. Your Excellency will See, that they are obliged to do it without Money.3
I have the Honor to be, with great Respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed: “M. Adams envoye le Journal du Congrès et une gazette de Pensilvanie qui contient l'extrait d'une lettre de Charlestown. au 1er. fevrier au 27. avril.” The marks appearing before the dates were inserted above “Journal” and “Gazette” respectively, for which see notes 3 and 2.
1. These were probably enclosed with James Lovell's letter of 4 May, which likely arrived with Elbridge Gerry's letter of 5 May, an extract of which JA enclosed with his first letter of 20 June to Vergennes (all above). Gerry indicated that Lovell was sending newspapers and journals and JA mentioned them in his reply to Lovell of 24 June (below).
2. The newspaper referred to in the endorsement, and which accompanies this letter in the French Archives, is the Pennsylvania Gazette of 27 April. It contains a letter from Charleston that chronicles the slow, steady progress of Clinton's forces as they prepared to lay siege to the city, but says nothing of any decisive measures by the defenders to repel the invaders.
3. The printed Journal (not found), mentioned here and in the endorsement, probably covered the period from 1 through 29 February. On 9 and 25 Feb., Congress considered the means by which it could obtain the men and supplies necessary to maintain an army in the field. As JA notes, Congress was “obliged to do it without money,” crediting each state's contribution to the taxes it owed or standing requisitions for supplies. Any balancing of accounts requiring the payment of specie would take place at some later, unspecified date (JCC, 16:143–151, 196–201).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0277

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-20

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Inclosed we take the liberty to lay before you a letter1 we lately wrote to Doc. Franklin requesting his interest to obtain us leave from the Ministry to load our Vessels with the produce of this Kingdom to the French Islands on the same terms as Nationals for certain reasons we leave to your judgement to suppose we thought it prudent to write direct to the ministry thro the Channel of the Navy office to our Letters by the Commissary we have had the Honor of being answer'd in course of which anexd you have our application and his acquiessence to our request from the Doctor we have not a single line and we even doubt if he has voutchsafe to Give a moments reflection to our application which had we entirely reposed on him would have been very hurtful to our Interest. I lay this before you to shew how little we can build on support thro the only cannal we have a right to Expect protection for our parts we should be distrest where we embark in any Contested affair in which our rights might require us to claim the protection and coertion of the States Ambassador and there being few whose conections promise more occation for a reliance on the Ambassr. by the extent of our concerns wholly centering with America we cannot without concern observe ourselves so pointedly neglected.
By arrivals at Bilboa we have Letters to the last of April, as at Nantes Amsterdam and Cadiz there are arrivals about the same date you will of course have every inteligence direct I shall therefore curtail that part only to advise you that Conecticut have enterd into the Views of Congress by an exact and cheerful contribution of their proportion of the Monthly Quotas of the 15 Milions its hoped the other States will follow the example, its a most heavy load suppose it at the rate stipulated of forty for one makes the anual Tax five Milions of Dollars effective. With respect I am Sr Your very hhb Servant.
[signed] John Bondfield
1. This letter, dated 30 May, was from Bondfield, Haywood & Co. The two other letters enclosed by Bondfield and referred to later in the letter were dated 30 May and 10 June: the first was from Bondfield, Haywood & Co. to Gabriel de Sartine; the second from Sartine to Lemoyne, commissary at Bordeaux. Bondfield gives an accurate account of the letters' content (all Adams Papers). For JA's reaction, particularly to Bondfield's comments about Benjamin Franklin, see his reply of 3 July (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0278-0001

Author: Rayneval, Joseph Mathias Gérard de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-20

From Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval

Monsieur Adams feroit trés-grand plaisir à M. de Rayneval de lui mander s'il connoit une anglais <nommée> qui se nomme Montagu Fox, et qui il est:1 M. de Rayneval sera infiniment obligé à Monsieur Adams.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0278-0002

Author: Rayneval, Joseph Mathias Gérard de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-20

Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval to John Adams: A Translation

Mr. Adams would give great pleasure to Mr. de Rayneval if he would inform him if he knows an Englishman <named> who calls himself Montagu Fox and who he is.1 Mr. de Rayneval will be infinitely obliged to Mr. Adams.
1. JA replied on 21 June that he had neither met Montagu Fox nor even heard his name (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12), nor is there any evidence that the two men met after Fox reached Paris on 22 June. Since Fox had not yet arrived, Rayneval's inquiry likely resulted from reports of Fox's meetings with the French ambassador to The Hague at which he sought support for an armed uprising by disaffected miners in Cornwall. At Paris, Fox presented his proposals to Vergennes and Benjamin Franklin, but Franklin proved far more skeptical than Vergennes of Fox's claim that leading members of the British opposition, such as Charles James Fox and Lord Shelburne, supported his efforts and that only allied financial and material support was needed to execute his plans successfully. In fact, Montagu Fox was likely a British spy seeking to induce the allies to undertake ambitious projects through which leading opposition figures might be discredited. Fox's efforts ultimately failed to achieve that objective, but the failure was due more to Vergennes' indecisiveness than anything else. For a lengthy account of Fox and his efforts to implement his proposals, see Morris, Peacemakers, p. 112–131.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0279

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-20

John Adams' Commission to Negotiate a Loan with the Netherlands

The United States of America in Congress assembled.
To the Honble. John Adams Esquire Greeting.
Whereas by our commission to the Honble. Henry Laurens Esqr. bearing date the thirtieth day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine,2 we have constituted and appointed him the said Henry Laurens during our pleasure, our Agent for and on behalf of the said United States to negotiate a loan with any person or persons bodies politic and corporate: And Whereas the { 453 } said Henry Laurens has by unavoidable Accidents been hitherto prevented from proceeding on his said Agency; We therefore reposing especial trust and confidence in your patriotism Ability, conduct and fidelity, do by these presents constitute and appoint you the said John Adams until the said Henry Laurens or some other person appointed in his stead shall arrive in Europe and undertake the execution of the aforesaid commission, our Agent for and on behalf of the said United States to negotiate a Loan with any person or persons bodies politic and corporate, promising in good faith to ratify and confirm whatsoever shall by you be done in the premisses or relating thereunto. Witness His Excellency Samuel Huntington Esqr. President of the Congress of the United States of America at Philadelphia the twentieth day of June in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty, and in the fourth year of our Independence.3
[signed] Saml. Huntington President
[signed] Attest Chas. Thomson Secy.
MS (Adams Papers;) endorsed by Francis Dana: “J. Adams's provisional Appointment to negotiate a Loan.” This document was enclosed in a letter of 11 July from the Committee for Foreign Affairs (Adams Papers) and was filmed under that date (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 352).
1. Although voted by Congress on 20 June, the commission was not sent off until 11 July as one of three enclosures in a letter of that date from the Committee for Foreign Affairs (Adams Papers). The other two enclosures contained Congress' resolutions of 21 and 26 Oct. 1779 regarding Laurens' commission and those of 20 June 1780 relating to JA's appointment. (JCC, 15:1198, 1210; 17:534–537). The committee's letter of 11 July and several other letters were entrusted to James Searle, former delegate from Pennsylvania, who was going to Europe as Pennsylvania's agent to raise a loan. In early September Searle reached Paris and gave the letters from Congress to Francis Dana who delivered them to JA at Amsterdam on 17 Sept. (from Dana, 16 Sept.; to William Churchill Houston, 17 Sept., both below).
2. Except for the references to Henry Laurens, JA's commission is identical to that voted for Laurens in 1779 (JCC, 15:1230).
3. Francis Dana received a nearly identical commission empowering him to act in the event that JA was unable to exercise his commission (same, 17:537; MHi: Dana Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0001-0001

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-21

From the Comte de Vergennes

J'ai reçu, Monsieur, la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'écrire le 16 de ce mois, ainsi que l'Extrait de celle qui vous été addressée de Boston sous la datte du 26 avril.
Selon cette derniére l'assemblée de l'Etat de Massachussett s'est
{ 454 } { 455 }
déterminé à adopter la résolution par laquelle le Congrés Général a fixé le papier-Monnoye à 40 Dollars pour un Dollar de mannoye effective. En lisant cette résolution, je m'étois persuadé qu'elle n'avoit d'autre objet que celui de remettre en valeur le Papier-monnoye en diminuant la trop grande quantité, et qu'a la suite de cette opération, le papier qui n'auroit pas été rapporté, reprendroit son cours selon que les circonstances lui donneroient plus ou moins de crédit: ce qui a du me confirmer dans cette opinion, c'est la liberté laissée aux possesseurs du papier-monnoye de le porter à la caisse de leur Etat, ou de le garder par devers eux.
Mais d'après les informations qui me Sont parvenues depuis,1 et d'après la lettre même que vous avez bien voulu me communiquer, Monsieur, j'ai lieu de juger que l'intention du Congrés est de maintenir invariablement le Papier-monnoye au change de 40. p. 1. et de faire rentrer sur ce pied tout le papier qu'il a mis en circulation, afin de réduire insensiblement à 5 millions à peu-près les deux cents millions de Dollars dont il se trouve chargé.
Je me garderai bien, Monsieur, de critiquer cette opération en elle-même, parceque je n'ai aucun titre pour analyser et Commenter les arrangements intérieurs que le Congrès peut regarder comme justes et utiles; d'ailleurs je conviens volontiers qu'il peut être des positions assez critiques pour forcer les Gouvernements même les plus réglés, et qui ont depuis longtems acquis toute leur consistance, à prendre des mesures extraordinaires pour rétablir leurs finances, et pour se mettre en état de faire face aux charges publiques; et je suis persuadé que telle a été en effet, la cause majeure qui a mis le Congrès dans le cas de déprécier le papier-Monnoye qu'il avoit lui même créé.
Mais en admettant, Monsieur, que cette assemblée a pu avoir recours à l'expédient dont il s'agit pour alléger le poids de sa dette, je suis bien éloigné de convenir qu'il est juste et dans l'ordre ordinaire des choses d'en étendre l'effet sur les sujets étrangers comme sur les Citoyens des Etats-Unis: Je pense au contraire que l'on auroit du la restreindre aux seuls américains et faire une exception en faveur de ces mêmes Etrangers, ou au moins déterminer un moyen de dédommager ceux-ci des pertes que la loi générale leur feroit éprouver.
Pour vous faire sentir cette vérité, je ne vous dirai pas, Monsieur, que c'est aux Américains seuls à supporter les charges que le soutien de leur liberté peut occasionner, qu'ils doivent regarder la déprécia• { 456 } tion du papier-monnoye simplement comme un impôt qui doit se concentrer parmi eux, puisque le papier n'a été établi originairement que pour les soustraire à la nécessité d'en payer; je me bornerai à vous observer que les françois, s'ils étoient obligés de subir la réduction proposée par le Congrès, se trouveroient être les victimes du Zêle et, je puis le dire, de la témérité avec laquelle ils se sont exposés à fournir aux Américains, des armes, des munitions, des vêtements, en un mot, toutes les choses de premiére nécessité dont l'Amérique avoit le besoin le plus instant. Vous conviendrez avec moi, Monsieur, que ce n'est point là le sort auquel les sujets du Roi devoient s'attendre; que bien loin de craindre qu'après avoir échappé aux périls de la mer, à la vigilance des anglois, ils se verroient dépouillés en Amérique: Ils devoient compter au contraire sur la reconnoissance du Congrès et de tout le peuple Américain, et croire leurs propriétés aussi sûres et aussi sacrées en Amérique qu'en france même: C'est dans cette persuasion, c'est en se fiant sur la foi publique, qu'ils ont reçu du papier-monnoye en échange de leurs marchandises, et qu'ils ont conservé ce papier dans la vuë de l'employer à de nouvelles spéculations de Commerce. La réduction inopinée de ce même papier renverse leurs calculs en même tems qu'elle détruit leur fortune: Je vous demande, Monsieur, si ces résultats vous portent à croire que l'opération du Congrès est propre à donner du crédit aux Etat-Unis, à inspirer de la confiance dans ses promesses, à inviter les nations Européennes à partager les mêmes risques auxquels les sujets de Sa Majesté se sont exposés.
Telles sont, Monsieur, les réfléxions principales que m'a fait faire la résolution du Congrès du 18. Mars: Je me sais un devoir de vous les Communiquer avec une entiére confiance, parce que vous êtes trop éclairé pour n'en point sentir la force et la justesse, et trop attaché à votre patrie pour que vous ne fassiez point tous vos efforts pour l'engager à revenir sur ses pas en faisant justice aux sujets du Roi:2 Je ne vous cacherai pas que M. le Chevalier de la Luzerne a déjà reçu l'ordre de faire, sur l'objet dont il est question, les représentations les plus fortes,3 et que le Roi est dans la ferme persuasion que les Etats-Unis s'empresseront de lui donner dans cette occasion une marque de leur attachement en accordant à ses sujets la juste satisfaction qu'ils sollicitent et qu'ils attendent de leur justice et de leur sagesse.
J'ai l'honneur d'être très sincérement, Monsieur, votre très humble et très obéissant serviteur,
[signed] De Vergennes

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0001-0002

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-21

The Comte de Vergennes to John Adams: A Translation

I have received, sir, the letter that you did me the honor to write on the 16th of this month, and also the extract of the letter addressed to you from Boston, dated 26 April.
From this it appears that the assembly of Massachusetts has determined to adopt Congress' resolution fixing the value of the paper money at 40 dollars for one dollar in specie. On reading that resolution I was persuaded that it had no object other than restoring the value of the paper money by lessening its quantity and that, in consequence of that operation, the paper not brought in would take its course according to the circumstances that would give it a greater or less degree of credit. I was confirmed in this opinion by the liberty given to the possessors of the paper money to carry it to their state's treasury or keep it in their own possession.
But from information I have since received,1 and the letter which you have been pleased to communicate to me, I have reason to believe that it is Congress' intention to maintain the paper money invariably at the exchange of 40 for 1 and to settle on that footing all the paper money that has been thrown into circulation so as to reduce gradually the two hundred million dollars, for which it is indebted, to five million.
I will not presume, sir, to criticize this operation, for I have no right to examine or comment on the internal arrangements which Congress may consider as just and expedient; and, moreover, I readily agree that there may be some situations so critical as to force the best regulated governments to adopt extraordinary measures to repair their finances and put them in condition to answer the public expenses; and this I am persuaded has been the principal reason that induced Congress to depreciate the money, which they themselves have emitted.
But while I admit, sir, that that assembly might have recourse to the expedient abovementioned in order to remove their load of debt, I am far from agreeing that it is just or, in the ordinary course of things, agreeable to extend the effect to foreigners as well as to citizens of the United States. On the contrary I think it should be confined to Americans and that an exception ought to be made in favor of foreigners, or at least that some means devised to indemnify them for the losses they may suffer by the general law.
In order to make you sensible of the truth of this observation, I will only remark, sir, that the Americans alone should support the expense occasioned by the defence of their liberty, and that they should consider the depreciation of their paper money simply as an impost which should fall on themselves, as the paper money was first established only to relieve them from the necessity of paying taxes. I will only add that the French, if obliged to submit to the reduction proposed by Congress, will find themselves victims of their zeal and, I may say, of the rashness with which they exposed { 458 } themselves in furnishing the Americans with arms, ammunition, and clothing, and, in a word, all things of the first necessity, of which the Americans at the time stood in need. You will agree with me, sir, that this is not what the subjects of the King should expect, and that after escaping the dangers of the sea, the vigilance of the English, instead of dreading to see themselves plundered in America, they should, on the contrary, expect the thanks of Congress and all Americans, secure in the belief that their property will be as secure and sacred in America as in France itself. It was with this conviction and relying on public faith that they received paper money in exchange for their merchandize, and kept that paper with a view to employ it in new commercial speculation. The unexpected reduction of this paper overturns their calculations at the same time that it ruins their fortune. I ask, sir, if these consequences can induce you to believe, that this act of Congress is proper to advance the credit of the United States, to inspire confidence in their promises, to invite European nations to run the same risks to which the subjects of his majesty have exposed themselves.
These, sir, are the principal reflections occasioned by Congress' resolution of 18 March. I thought it my duty to communicate them to you with full confidence, because you are too enlightened not to feel the force and justice, and too much attached to your country not to use all your endeavors to engage it to take steps to do justice to the subjects of the King.2 I will not conceal from you that the Chevalier de La Luzerne has been ordered to make the strongest representations on this subject,3 and that the King is firmly persuaded that the United States will eagerly give him, on this occasion, a mark of their attachment by granting his subjects the just satisfaction which they solicit and expect from the justice and wisdom of the United States.
I have the honor to be very sincerely, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] De Vergennes
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “M. Le C. De Vergennes 21. June 1780.”; notation by CFA: “a Translation published. See Sparks' Dipl. Corr. Vol 5 p. 208.” CFA's reference is to Jared Sparks, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, 12 vols., Boston, 1829–1830.
1. This may refer to Leray de Chaumont's account of his conversation with JA on 15 June (Chaumont to Rayneval, 16 June, above).
2. JA, unlike Benjamin Franklin, had no official standing in France and thus this request, the letter itself, and the nature of the previous discussions between the two men (to the president of Congress, 26 June, No. 87, below) departed from normal diplomatic procedure. JA's awareness of this is evident from his letter to Benjamin Franklin of [22] June (below). Vergennes should have few doubts as to JA's response to a request that he seek a revision of the resolution of 18 March, but see his letter of 30 June (below).
3. La Luzerne's instructions were dated 3 June, but instead of ordering La Luzerne to make strong, official representations regarding the revaluation, Vergennes directed him to consult with the principal members of Congress in order to convince them of the need to exempt Frenchmen from the effects of the revaluation without repealing the revaluation itself (Henri Doniol, Histoire de la participation de la France à l'etablissement des { 459 } Etats-Unis d'Amérique, 5 vols., Paris, 1886– 1892, 4: 415). Realizing the futility of that undertaking, La Luzerne never seriously attempted to obtain the revision of the resolution of 18 March (Stinchcombe, Amer. Rev. and the French Alliance, p. 155–156).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1780-06-22

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have this Day the honour of a Letter from his Excellency the Comte De Vergennes, on the subject of the Resolutions of Congress of the Eighteenth of March, concerning the Paper-Bills; in which his Excellency informs me that the Chevalier De La Luzerne has Orders to make the strongest Representations upon the Subject.
I am not certain whether his Excellency means that such Orders were sent so long ago, as to have reached the hand of the Minister at Congress, or whether they have been lately expedited; if the latter I submit it to your Excellency, whether it wou'd not be expedient to request that those Orders may be stopped until proper Representations can be made at Court; to the end that if it can be made to appear, as I firmly believe it may, that those Orders were given upon Misinformation, they may be revoked, otherwise sent on.2
Your Excellency will excuse this because it appears to me a matter of very great Importance. The Affair of our Paper is sufficiently dangerous and critical and if a Representation from his Majesty shou'd be made, Advantage will not fail to be taken of it, by the Tories, and by interested and disappointed Speculators who may spread an Alarm among many uninformed People so as to Endanger the public Peace. I have the honour to be with much Respect Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in Francis Dana's hand, signed by JA (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed: “Juin 23.” Franklin sent this letter to Vergennes with his letter of 24 June (see note 2).
1. A copy of this letter by Francis Dana (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 413–414) is endorsed: “Copy. Letter from J Adams to doct Franklin June 23. 1780—enclosed in Mr. Adam's Letter of June 26 read Novr. 30th”; and bears Dana's notation: “(NB.) This letter was written & sent on the 22d. tho' dated by mistake the 23d.).”
2. JA presumably hoped that Franklin would make his own defense of the revaluation, but Franklin's note to Vergennes of 24 June, merely transmitted JA's letter. Franklin asked that the instructions to La Luzerne, if not already sent, be delayed until JA, not himself, offered proof “by which it will appear that those Orders have been obtained by Misinformation” (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12). Replying on 30 June, Vergennes dismissed JA's contention that La Luzerne's instructions were based on erroneous information and refused to modify them (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0003

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-06-22

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have received this day the letter which your Excellency did me the honour to write me on the Twenty first Day of this Month.
I thank your Excellency for the Confidence, which induced you to communicate this letter to me, and the continuance of which I shall ever study to deserve. When your Excellency says that his Majesty's Minister at Congress, has already received Orders to make Representations against the Resolutions of Congress of the Eighteenth of March, as far as they affect his Subjects, I am at a loss to know with certainty, whether your Excellency means only that such Orders have lately passed, and are sent off to go to America, or whether you mean that such Orders were sent so long ago, as to have reached the hand of the Chevalier De La Luzerne. If the latter is your Excellency's meaning, there is no Remedy; if the former, I wou'd submit it to your Excellency's Consideration whether those Orders may not be stopped and delayed, a little time, until his Excellency Mr. Franklin may have opportunity to make his Representations to his Majesty's Ministers; to the end that if it should appear that those Orders issued in Consequence of Misinformation, they may be revoked, otherwise sent on. I will do myself the Honor to write fully to your Excellency upon this Subject without loss of time; and altho' it is a subject in which I pretend not to an accurate Knowledge in the Detail, yet I flatter myself I am so far master of the principles, as to demonstrate that the Plan of Congress is not only wise but just.1 I have the honour to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellency 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: “M. de R.”; “Juin 22.”; “M. John Adams”; and “accuse la reception de la lettre de 21 Juin que le ministre lui a ecrité.” LbC dated 23 June (Adams Papers); notation: “23 by mistake. 22d. in fact.” JA thought that the recipient's copy had also been dated 23 June, as is evident by the first sentence of his second letter to Vergennes of the 22d (below).
1. Compare this description of the resolution of 18 March with that in the second paragraph of Leray de Chaumont's account of his conversation with JA on 15 June (Chaumont to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval, 16 June, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0004

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-06-22

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I this day acknowledged the Receipt of the Letter which you did { 461 } me the honor to write me on the 21st. by mistake I dated my Letter on the twenty third.1
I have the Honor to agree with your Excellency in Opinion that it is the Intention of Congress to redeem all their paper Bills which are extant at an Exchange of Forty for one; by which means the two hundred Millions of Dollars which are out, will be reduced to about Five Millions.
I apprehend with your Excellency that it was necessary for the Congress to put themselves in a Condition to defray the public Expences, They found their Currency so depreciated, and so rapidly depreciating, that a further Emission sufficient to discharge the public Expences another Year; would have probably depreciated it to two hundred for one, perhaps would have so depreciated it that nobody would have taken it at any Rate, it was absolutely necessary then to stop emitting, yet it was necessary to have an Army to save their Citys from the Fire, and their Citizens from the Sword, that Army must he fed, cloathed, paid and armed, and other Expences must be defrayed. It was become necessary therefore at this time, to call in their paper, for there is no Nation that is able to carry on War by the Taxes which can be raised within the Year; but I am far from thinking that this Necessity was the Cause of their calling it in at a depreciated Value, because I am well convinced they would have called it in at a depreciated Value, if the British Fleet and Army had been withdrawn from the United States, and a general Peace had been concluded. My Reason for this Belief is the evident Injustice of calling it in at its nominal Value, a silver Dollar for a paper one. The Public has its Rights as well as Individuals theirs, and every Individual has his Share in the Rights of the public. Justice is due to the Body politic, as well as to the Possessor of the Bills, and to have paid off the Bills at their nominal Value would have wronged the Body politic of thirty nine Dollars in every Forty, as really as if Forty Dollars had been paid for one, at the first Emission in one thousand seven hundred and seventy five, when each Paper Dollar was worth and would fetch a silver one.
I beg Leave to ask your Excellency whether you judge that the Congress ought to pay Two hundred Millions of silver Dollars for the two hundred Millions of paper Dollars that are abroad? I presume your Excellency will not think that they ought, because I have never met with any Man in Europe or America that was of that Opinion. All agree that Congress ought to redeem it at a depreciated Value, the only Question then is, at what Depreciation. Shall it be at seventy { 462 } five, Forty, Thirty, Twenty, Ten or five for One? After it is once admitted that it ought to be redeemed at a less Value than the nominal Value, the Question arises, at what Value? I answer there is no other Rule of Justice than the Current Value. The Value at which it generally passes from Man to Man. The Congress have set it at forty for one, and they are the best Judges of this, as they represent all parts of the Continent where the paper circulated.
I think there can be little need of Illustration, but two or three Examples may make my Meaning more obvious. A Farmer has now Four thousand Dollars for a pair of Oxen he sells to a Commissary to subsist the Army. When the money was issued in seventeen hundred and seventy five2 he would have been glad to have taken one hundred Dollars. A Labourer has now Twenty Dollars a day for his Work, five years ago he would have been rejoiced to have received half a Dollar, the same with the Artisan Merchant and all others, but those who have fixed Salaries and Money at Interest. Most of these Persons would be willing to take hard Money for his Work and his Produce, at the Rate he did six Years ago. Where is the Reason then, that Congress should pay them forty times as much as they take of their Neighbor in private Life?
The Amount of the ordinary Commerce external and internal of a Society may be computed at a fixed Sum, a certain Sum of Money is necessary to circulate among the Society, in order to carry on their Business. This precise Sum is discoverable by Calculation and reduceable to Certainty. You may emit paper or any other Currency for this purpose, until you reach this Rule, and it will not depreciate; after you exceed this Rule it will depreciate, and no power or Act of Legislation hitherto invented, can prevent it. In the Case of paper Money, if you go on emitting forever the whole Mass will be worth no more than that was which was emitted within the Rule. When the paper therefore comes to be redeemed, this is the only Rule of Justice for the Redemption of it. The Congress have fixed Five Millions for this Rule, wether this is mathematically exact, I am not able to say, whether it is a Million too little or too much, I know not, but they are the best Judges, and by the Account of the Money being seventy for one and Bills of Exchange fifty five for one, it looks as if Five Millions was too high a Sum rather than too small. It will be said that the Faith of Society ought to be sacred, and the Congress have pledged the public Faith for the Redemption of the Bills at the Value on the Face of them. I agree that the public Faith ought to be sacred, but who is it that hath violated this Faith? Is it not every Man who { 463 } has demanded more paper Money for his Labour or Goods, than they were worth in Silver. The public Faith in the Sense these Words are here used, would require that Congress should make up to every Man who for five Years past has paid more in paper Money for any thing he purchased, than he would have had it for in Silver. The public Faith is no more pledged to the present possessor of the Bills, than it is to every Man thro' whose hands they have passed at a less Value than the nominal Value, so that according to this Doctrine, Congress would have two hundred Millions of Dollars to pay to the present possessors of the Bills, and to make up to every Man thro' whose hands they have passed, the Difference at which they passed between them and Silver.
It should be considered that every Man, whether a native or foreigner, that receives or pays this Money at a less Value than the nominal Value, breaks this Faith; for the social Compact being between the whole and every Individual, and between every Individual and the whole, every Individual, Native or Foreigner who uses this Paper, is as much bound by the public Faith to use it according to the Tenor of its Emission, as Congress are. And Congress has as good right to reproach every Individual who now demands more Paper for his Goods than Silver, with a breach of the public Faith, as he has to reproach the public or their Representatives.3 I must beg your Excellency's Excuse for calling your Attention a little longer to this head of public Faith, because I cannot rest easy while my Country is supposed to be guilty of a breach of their Faith, and in a Case where I am clear they have not been so, especially by your Excellency, whose good Opinion they and I value so much. This public Faith is in the Nature of a mutual Covenant, and he that would claim a Benefit under it, ought to be carefull in first fulfilling his part of it. When Congress issued their Bills declaring them in effect to be equal to Silver, they unquestionably intended they should be so consider'd, and that they should be received accordingly. The People, or Individuals, covenanted in effect to receive them at their nominal Value, and Congress in such Case agreed on their part to redeem them at the same Rate. This seems to be a fair and plain Construction of this Covenant, or public Faith, and none other I think can be made that will not degenerate into an unconscionable Contract, and so destroy itself. Can it be supposed that Congress ever intended, that if the time should come, when the Individuals refused to accept and receive their Bills at their nominal Value, and demanded and actually received them at a less Value, that in that Case the Individual should { 464 } be entitled to demand and receive of the public, for those very Bills, Silver equal to their nominal Value? The Consideration is in Fact made by the public at the very Instant the Individual receives the Bills at a Discount, and there is a tacit and implied Agreement springing from the Principles of natural Justice or Equity, between the public and the Individual, that as the latter has not given to the former a Consideration equal to the nominal Value of the Bills, so in fact, the public shall not be held to pay the nominal Value in Silver to the Individual. Suppose it otherwise, and how will the Matter stand? The Public offers to an Individual a Bill whose nominal Value is for Example Forty Dollars, in lieu of Forty silver Dollars, the Individual says I esteem it of no more Value than one silver Dollar, and the public pays it him at that Value, yet he comes the next day when the Bill may be payable, and demands of the public Forty silver Dollars in Exchange for it, and why? because the Bill purports on the Face of it, to be equal to forty silver Dollars: The Answer is equally obvious with the Injustice of the demand. Upon the whole, as the Depreciation crept in gradually, and was unavoidable, all Reproaches of a breach of public Faith ought to be laid aside, and the only proper Enquiry now really is, What is the Paper honestly worth? What will it fetch at Market? And this is the only just Rule of Redemption.4
It becomes me to express myself with deference when I am obliged to differ in Opinion from your Excellency, but this being a Subject peculiar to America, no Example entirely similar to it, that I know of, having been in Europe, I may be excused therefore in explaining my Sentiments upon it.
I have the Misfortune to differ from your Excellency so far as to think, that no general Distinction can be made between Natives and Foreigners, for not to mention that this would open a Door to numberless Frauds, I think that Foreigners when they come to trade with a Nation, make themselves temporary Citizens, and tacitly consent to be bound by the same Laws. And it will be found that Foreigners have had quite as much to do in depreciating this Money, on proportion as Natives, and that they have been in proportion much less Sufferers by it. I might go further, and say that they have been in proportion greater Gainers by it, without suffering any considerable Share of the Loss.
The Paper Bills out of America are next to nothing, I have no Reason to think there are ten thousand Dollars in all Europe, indeed I don't know of one thousand.
The Agents in America of Merchants in Europe, laid out their paper { 465 } Bills in Lands, or in Indigo, Rice, Tobacco, Wheat, Flour &c. in short in the produce of the Country, this produce they have shipped to Europe sold to the King's Ships, and received Bills of Exchange, or shipped to the West India Islands where they have procured them Cash or Bills of Exchange; the Surplus they have put into the Loan Offices from time to time, for Loan Offices have been open all along from seventeen hundred and seventy Six5 to this time. Whenever any Person lent paper Bills to the Public, and took Loan Office Certificates, he would have been glad to have taken Silver in Exchange for the Bills6 at their then depreciated Value. Why should he not be willing now? Those who lent Paper Dollars when Forty were worth but one, will have one for Forty, and those who lent when Paper was as good as Silver, will have Dollar for Dollar.
Your Excellency thinks it would be hard that those who escaped the perils of the Seas and of Enemies, should be spoiled by their Friends, but Congress have not spoiled any. They have only prevented themselves and the public from being spoiled. No Agent of any European Merchant in making his Calculations of profit and Loss ever estimated the depreciated Bills at the nominal Value. They all put a profit upon their Goods sufficient to defray all Expences of Insurance, Freight, and everything else, and had a great profit, besides, receiving the Bills at the current and not the nominal Value.
It may not be amiss to state a few prices current at Boston the last and present Year in Order to show the profits that have been made.
Bohea Tea Forty sols a pound at L'Orient and Nantes, Forty five Dollars.
Salt (which is very little in Europe) used to be sold for one shilling a Bushell Forty Dollars a Bushel and in some of the States two hundred Dollars at times.
Linnen (which cost two Livres a yard in France) Forty Dollars per yard.
Broad Cloth, a Louis d'or here, Two hundred Dollars per yard.
Ironmongery of all sorts One hundred and twenty for one.
Millinery of all sorts at an Advance far exceeding.7
These were the prices at Boston and at Philadelphia, and in all the other States they were much higher.
These prices I think must convince your Excellency that allowing one half or even two thirds of the Vessels to be taken, there is Room enough for a handsome profit deducting all Charges and computing the Value of the Bills at the Rate of Silver at the time.
There are two other Sources from whence Foreigners have made { 466 } great profit, the difference between Bills of Exchange and Silver during the whole of our History, when a Man could readily get twenty five paper Dollars for one in silver, he could not get more than twelve paper Dollars for one in a Bill of Exchange. Nearly this proportion was observed all along as I have been informed. The Agent of a foreign Merchant had only to sell his Goods for paper, or buy paper with Silver at twenty five for one, and immediately go and buy Bills at twelve for one, so that he doubled the Value of his Money in a Moment. Another Source was this, the paper was not alike depreciated in all places at the same time, it was forty for one at Philadelphia sometimes when it was only Twenty at Boston. The Agent of a foreign Merchant had only to sell his Goods, or send Silver to Philadelphia, and exchange it for paper, which he could lay out at Boston for twice what it cost him, and in this way again double his property. This depreciating Currency being therefore a fruitfull Source for Men of penetration to make large profits, it is not to be wonder'd that some have written alarming Letters to their Correspondents.
No man is more ready than I am to acknowledge the Obligations we are under to France, but the flourishing State of her marine and Commerce, and the decisive Influence of her Councils and Negotiations in Europe, which all the World will allow to be owing in a great Measure to the Seperation of America from her inveterate Enemy, and to her new Connection with the United States, show that the Obligations are mutual; and no foreign Merchant ought to expect to be treated in America better8 than her native Merchants, who have hazarded their property thro' the same perils of the Seas and of Enemies.
In the late province of Massachusetts Bay from the Years seventeen hundred and forty five to seventeen hundred and fifty, we had full Experience of the Operations of paper Money. The province engaged in expensive Expeditions against Louisbourg and Canada which occasioned a too plentiful Emission of paper Money, in Consequence of which it depreciated to seven and half for one. In seventeen hundred and fifty the British Parliament granted a Sum of Money to the province to reimburse it, for what it had expended more than its proportion, in the general Expence of the Empire. This Sum was brought over to Boston in Silver and Gold, and the Legislature determin'd to redeem all their paper with it, at the depreciated Value.9 There was a similar Alarm at first, and before the Matter was understood, but after the People had time to think upon it, all were satisfied to receive Silver at Fifty shillings an Ounce, altho' the Face of the { 467 } Bills promised an Ounce of Silver for every six shillings and Eight pence. At that time the British Merchants were more interested in our paper Money in proportion than any Europeans now are,10 yet they did not charge the province with a Breach of Faith, or stigmatize this as an Act of Bankruptcy, on the contrary, they were satisfied with it.11 In proof of this last Assertion I would beg Leave to remind your Excellency that at that time the Laws of Massachusetts were subject, not only to the Negative of the King's Governor, but to a Revision by the King in Council, and were there liable to be affirmed or annulled; and from the partial preference which your Excellency well knows was uniformly given to the Interest of the Subjects of the King within the Realm, when they came in Competition with those of the Subjects in the Colonies, there is no Reason to doubt that if that Measure when thoroughly considered had been unjust in itself, but the Merchants of England would have taken an Alarm and procured the Act to be disallowed by the King in Council, yet the Merchants of England who well understand their own Interest, were quite silent upon this Occasion, and the Law was confirmed in the Council, nor can it be supposed to have been confirmed there in a Manner unnoticed. It had met with too much Opposition among a certain Set of interested Speculators in the then province, for that Supposition to be made. And the Case of the British Merchants at that time differed in no Respect from the present Case of the French, or other foreign Merchants, except that the Credits of the former were vastly greater, and they must have consequently been more deeply interested in that Measure of Government, than the latter are in the present one, their Acquiescence in the Measure and the Confirmation of that Act must be rested upon the full Conviction of the British Administration and of the Merchants, of the Justice of it.
Your Excellency will agree in the Difficulty of making any Distinction between the French Merchant and the Spanish or Dutch Merchant, by any general Rule, for all these are interested in this Business.12
Your Excellency is pleased to ask whether I think these proceedings of Congress proper to give Credit to the United States, to inspire Confidence in their Promises, and to invite the European Nations to partake the same Risques to which the Subjects of his Majesty have exposed themselves.
I have the Honor to answer your Excellency, directly and candidly, that I do think them proper for these Ends, and I further think them the only Measures that ever could acquire Credit and Confidence to { 468 } the United States. I know of no other just Foundation of Confidence in Men or Bodies of Men, than their Understanding and their Integrity, and Congress have manifested to all the World by this plan, that they understand the Nature of their paper Currency, that its Fluctuation has been the grand Obstacle to their Credit, and that it was necessary to draw it to a Conclusion in Order to introduce a more steady Standard of Commerce, that to this End the Repeal of their Laws which made paper a Tender and giving a free Circulation to Silver and Gold was necessary. They have further manifested by these Resolutions, that they are fully possessed of the only principle there is in the Nature of things, for doing Justice in this Business to the public and to Individuals, to Natives and to Foreigners, and that they are sufficiently possessed of the Confidence of the People, and there is sufficient Vigour in their Government to carry it into Execution.
Notwithstanding all, if any European Merchant13 can show any good Reason for excepting his particular Case from the general Rule, upon a Representation of it to Congress, I have no doubt they will do him Justice.
Moreover if his Excellency the Chevalier de la Luzerne can show that the Sum of Five Millions of Dollars is not the real worth of all the paper Money that is abroad and that ten Millions of Dollars is the true Sum, I doubt not Congress would alter their Rule, and redeem it at Twenty for One, But I doubt very much wether this can be shown.14
But I cannot see that any Distinction could be made between French Merchants and those of other Nations, but what would be very invidious and founded upon no principles. I cannot see that any Distinction can be made between Natives and Foreigners, but what would have a most unhappy Effect upon the Minds of the People in America, and be a partiality quite unwarrantable, and therefore your Excellency will see, that it is impossible for me to take any Steps to persuade the Congress to retract, because it would be acting in direct Repugnance to the clearest Dictates of my Understanding and Judgement of what is right and fit.15 I cannot excuse myself from adding that most of the Arms, Ammunition and Cloathing for the Army have been contracted for here by the Ministers of Congress and paid for or agreed to be paid for here in Silver and Gold. Very little of these Articles have been shipped by private Adventurers. They have much more commonly shipped16 Articles of Luxury of which the Country did not stand in need, and upon which they must have made vast profits.
{ 469 }
Thus have I communicated to your Excellency my Sentiments, with that Freedom which becomes a Citizen of the United States intrusted by the Public with some of its Interests. I entreat your Excellency to consider them as springing from no other Motives than a strong Attachment to the Union of the States, and a desire to prevent all unnecessary Causes of Parties and Disputes, and from a desire not only to preserve the Alliance in all its Vigor, but to prevent everything, which may unnecessarily oppose itself to the Affection and Confidence between the two Nations, which I wish to see encreased every day, as every day convinces me more and more of the Necessity that France and America will be under, of cherishing their mutual Connections.
I have the Honor to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys Most Obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in Jonathan Loring Austin's hand (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 12); endorsed: “1780. Juin 22. Envoyé copie à M. le Chevr. de la Luzerne le 7. Août No. 8.” Preceding the recipient's copy in the French archives is a French translation endorsed: “M. John Adams justiffie [ . . . ] eration du Congrès sur la depreciation du [pa]pier monnoye [I]l pretend que l'etat [ . . . ] de la marine [de] france est du à [al]liance faite avec [les] Etats unis.” LbC, with passages in Francis Dana's hand (Adams Papers). This is the first letter for which there is evidence of a substantive collaboration between JA and Francis Dana on a communication with the French government, and it is worth noting that in his contributions Dana was even more adamant than JA in justifying Congress' action. The Letterbook copy was a draft and contains numerous deletions and insertions, the most significant of which are indicated in the notes.
1. When he drafted this letter in the Letterbook, JA noted that the Letterbook copy of his first letter to Vergennes of 22 June was dated the 23d. The recipient's copy, however, was dated the 22d (above).
2. In the Letterbook JA wrote “1765,” which either Francis Dana or John Thaxter changed to “1775.”
3. In the Letterbook the following eleven sentences, through the words “Upon the whole,” are in Francis Dana's hand. They were written at the end of the Letterbook copy and marked for insertion here.
4. To this point the letter is a general explanation of the operation of monetary systems and a justification for Congress' revaluation of its currency, the “abstract reasonings, hypotheses, and calculations” that Vergennes so objected to in his letter of 29 June to Benjamin Franklin (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827). The remainder of the letter ostensibly tries to justify JA's view that Frenchmen should not be excluded from the effects of the revaluation, but is really a commentary on Franco-American relations that goes far beyond the issue at hand. See the Editorial Note, 16 June – 1 July (above).
5. In the Letterbook JA wrote “1766,” which either Dana or Thaxter changed to “1776.”
6. In the Letterbook, Dana interlined the preceding five words.
7. In the Letterbook this sentence is followed by the canceled passage: “Small Articles Such as sewing silks, Tapes, Bindings, Threads, Needles, Pins &c. 300 for 1.”
8. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence is by Francis Dana and replaces the canceled passage: “than the natives are treated any more than an American [ . . . ] has a right to expect to be exempted from the general Laws of the Kingdom.”
9. JA refers to the General Court's adoption on 26 Jan. 1749 of “An act for drawing in the bills of credit of the several denominations . . . and for ascertaining the rate of coin'd silver in this province for the future.” That act { 470 } was supplemented on 18 Jan. 1750 and 26 April 1751 by additional acts that further defined the conditions under which the paper money would be redeemed. The original act was approved by the King in Council on 28 June 1749, and in September £175,240 9s. 22d. in silver and copper coins reached Boston (Mass., Province Laws, 3:430–441, 454–462, 480–481, 554–556; Andrew M. Davis, Currency and Banking in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, N.Y., 1901, p. 233–252; see also William Gordon's letter of 8 March, note 5, above).
10. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence is by Francis Dana and replaces a sentence that reads “Yet the British Merchants were not dissatisfied.”
11. In the Letterbook the remainder of this paragraph was written by Dana at the end of the Letterbook copy and marked for insertion at this point.
12. In the Letterbook the following two paragraphs were written by JA at the end of the Letterbook copy and marked for insertion at this point.
13. At this point in the Letterbook is the canceled passage: “can [present to?] Congress that he has kept Money in Europe, or that his Agent has kept it in America—in short.”
14. In the Letterbook this paragraph was originally the next to last paragraph in the letter. The original closing paragraph was deleted and, with cancelations done during the original drafting indicated, reads: “I hope I have made myself understood by your Excellency, and am sorry I <could not be shorter> have <been so lon> detained you so long. I have the Honour to be, &e.” The following three paragraphs, including the closing, were written by JA below the original closing and marked for insertion at this point, but see note 15.
15. In the Letterbook, to this point, this paragraph was written immediately following the canceled closing, but here the passage in the Letterbook was marked for the insertion of the remainder of the letter's text which was written by JA following the material intended to be inserted at note 12.
16. In the Letterbook the remainder of this sentence is by Francis Dana and replaces the canceled passage: “[ . . . ] and Trifles to America, which We should be better, without, because they made a greater Profit upon them.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0005

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gerry, Elbridge
Date: 1780-06-24

To Elbridge Gerry

[salute] Dear Sir

Your two Letters of the 5th. of May1 I have recieved with more pleasure than You can imagine. They are the first Lines I have recieved from Philadelphia. Your Letter prepared my mind for the horrid History We have since recieved in the Court Gazette from London of the Surrender of Charlestown.2 This is the severest Blow We ever recieved. Yet We shall soon get over it. I hope it will arouse the thoughtless from their pleasing Dreams of Peace—for notwithstanding the distracted State of the three Kingdoms, they still dream of unconditional Submission. I know not to what Extent in the Country Clinton will be able to extend his arms. I hope he will be cooped up.
The Resolutions of Congress, for calling in their paper, have spread an Alarm here, which has cost me much Pains to allay. I am afraid the Court has taken too sudden a Step, in ordering the Chevalier de { 471 } la Luzerne to represent against the Plan: it is certainly founded upon the only principles of Justice and sound Policy.
Your Plans of Oeconomy will be found a Treasure to You—many articles of needless Expence may be cut off. If Mr. Laurens was in Holland, I am told he might borrow Money. I have no Authority You know, to attempt it. Mr. Laurens the father's delay, and his Son's Refusal have been great Misfortunes to Us. Military Stores and Cloathing I hope will arrive soon.
Congress adjourning for want of Business, is quite a Novelty.3 I never once saw such a Phenomenon.
The Resolution to pay off the Certificates according to the Value of Money at the Time of the Emission, compleats your plan and makes the whole just. But it would have been better if this had been published with those of the 18th. of March. Your Letter gave Us the first Notice of it.
I have a Bushel of Letters on Board the Alliance—many of them have been there four Months. She is said to be taking in Stores. She will be the last Frigate I hope, which will ever be put under the Command of any Body in Europe. If You send a Frigate on an Errand, give her her Orders to return. The Code of Laws, is not sufficient for the Government of Officers or Men here. There are never officers enough to compose a Court Martial, and there is an End of all Discipline, Order and Decency when Disputes and Quarrels and Crimes arise and there is no Authority adequate to the Decision of the former and the Punishment of the latter. We have been plagued here eternally with disputes between Jones and his Officers—Landais and his officers—between Jones and Landais—and between one Ships Company and anothers, without a possibility of settling them. Which is right and which wrong it is impossible for any body here to know, because the only means of a fair Trial a Court Martial, is impracticable—And nobody in Europe that I know of, has the Power of Removal or Suspension of Officers.4 The Commissioners indeed gave Jones their Consent that he should leave the Ranger, but it was with the Consent of all Parties and at the Request of the Minister.5
The Gentleman6 you recommend to me, shall have all the Civilities and assistance in my Power.
My affectionate Respects where due—to the French Minister and Secretary particularly—the Comte de la Luzerne7 &c last Sunday were very well. I long to hear something to ballance Charlestown.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] John Adams
{ 472 }
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MHi: Hoar Autograph Coll.); endorsed: “Paris Leter His Excellency J Adams Esq. June 24 1780 ansd Jany 20 1781 S.”
1. Gerry's second letter of 5 May (Adams Papers) is not printed, but see James Lovell's letter of 4 May, note 1 (above).
2. This refers to the London Gazette Extraordinary of 16 June, containing Lt. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton's letter of 15 May reporting the surrender of Charleston on the 12th.
3. In his letter of 5 May (above), Gerry indicated that Congress was adjourning earlier in the day than was usual.
4. Compare JA's statement here regarding disputes among naval officers with those in his letter to Benjamin Franklin of 26 June (below).
5. See Benjamin Franklin and JA to John Paul Jones, 10 Feb. 1779 (vol. 7:398–399).
6. Dr. Hugh Shiell, who was mentioned in Gerry's second letter of 5 May (Adams Papers).
7. César Henri, Comte de La Luzerne, brother of the Chevalier.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0280-0006

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1780-06-24

To James Lovell

[salute] Dear sir

Yours of 4 May is received—it is the first from Philadelphia. Mr. Mease and your Friend1 shall have all the attention and assistance I can give them. I thank you for sending the Journals by the Way of Braintree: but hope you will continue to send them from Phila. also.
Your Plan of a Cypher I cannot comprehend—nor can Dr. F. his.2
You have made me very happy, by acquainting me with Proceedings on my accounts. The Report and consequent Vote that “the several Charges in my accounts are conformable to the strictest Principles of Oeconomy, and that as far as I have been entrusted with public money, the same has been carefully and frugally expended” does me great Honour. But I cannot live so Oeconomically now, and I have not received the orders you promised me, to draw. Pray what am I to do.?
Where is Laurens? Jay I hope will go on well. The Irish go on. The maritime Powers go on. The English Mobs go on. And I hope the military operations of F. and S. go on well.
But the affair of Charleston, Your Plan of Revolution in the Paper Currency which made a Noise here because it was not understood; and was misrepresented: and the disputes about the Alliance Frigate, all coming at once: agitated my Mind, more I think than any Thing ever did. But We shall do very well. I wish the Frigate was away. I have explained the affair of the Money at Court as well as I could. I am sure it is right in the main. Whether 40 for one is too little too much or exactly right I know not. In this Calculation I pin my faith on your sleeves, who know best. But of the Principles I am certain. If the Chevr. de La Luzerne remonstrates you can convince the King and him too that you are right.
{ 473 }
I shall have little to do in my celestial Character of Angelus Paies,3 I fear very soon. Yet I never was busier in all my days. I have written an hundred Letters to Congress I believe, almost. Whether you receive them I dont know. If there is any Thing wrong, or omitted, or that gives offence, let me know.
Yours affectionately.
1. Presumably Dr. Hugh Shiell. For Shiell and Robert Mease, as well as JA's later reference to the journals, Lovell's cipher, and his accounts, see Lovell's letter of 4 May, and notes (above).
2. In his letter of 4 May to Benjamin Franklin, Lovell had also enclosed a cipher (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:245).
3. Angel of peace.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0281

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Wilson, James
Date: 1780-06-24

To James Wilson

[salute] Sir

I had two days ago the Pleasure of receiving a Duplicate your Letter of the 20 of April—the original is not come to Hand. You could not have given me a Commission, more agreable to my Inclinations, than that of furnishing a List of a Collection of Books—on Treaties, the Law of Nations, the Laws maritime, the Laws of France respecting Navigation and Commerce, and the History and Policy of the Kingdom. As it is a subject that has particularly engaged my attention, as much as necessary avocations would admit, it will be attended with little difficulty. Mr. Gerard is at present at his Country House. Mr. Deane is not arrived that I have heard. I will take the first opportunity of furnishing the List, that presents.1
The approbation of So able a Judge, of the Report of a Constitution for Mass. gives me great Consolation.
I never Spent Six Weeks in a manner that I shall ever reflect upon with more Pleasure than with that Society of Wise men who composed that Convention. So much Caution, Moderation, Sagacity and Integrity, has not often been together in this World.
I see the Convention have made alterations in the Plan: but these are done with so much Prudence and fortified with so much ability that I dare not Say they are not for the better. The Report of the Committee has been received in Europe with applause—it has been translated into Spanish and French and printed in the Courier de L'Europe—the London Courant and the Remembrancer.2
The Loss of Charlestown the Men the ships, the artillery and { 474 } stores, is a dreadfull Wound. Yet I dont See that the English will gain much by it. And We hope to hear Something as a Ballance. The Revolution in the Paper Currency, is very encouraging to me, yet it has made a disagreable sensation here—but I think it was chiefly because the Plan was not published all together. <I> We have had much to do to take off the Impression. But it must I think soon subside.
The System of Europe is as favourable to Us, almost as We could wish. The state of Great Britain is deplorable beyond description—Discontents which will subvert the Constitution, if this War continues, are at Work. Yet the Ministry cannot make Peace—because they know they must loose their Heads if they do. I see not but they must loose them, whether they make Peace or continue the War.
You must know more, at this moment than I do of French and Spanish Fleets and Armies in America. May they do their duty. If they do all must be well. I shall be, always glad to hear from you, sir, and, have the Honour to be, with great Esteem, your most obt.
1. No letter from JA to Wilson containing such a list has been found.
2. For the printing of the Report in the publications indicated by JA, see Thomas Digges' letter of 14 April, note 2 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0282-0001

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-26

From Benjamin Franklin

M. Adams, after having perused the inclosed Papers, is desired to give his Opinion on the following Questions.1
1st. Whether Captain Landais, accused as he is, of Capital Crimes, by his Senior and late Commanding Officer, after having apparently relinquished the Command of the Alliance frigate, by with drawing his Effects from the same, after having asked and received money by Order of the Minister Plenipotentiary, in order to transport himself to America, and take his Trial there, upon the said accusation, and after having for that Purpose, in writing, requested a passage to be procur'd for him, was intituled, at his pleasure, to retake the Command of the Alliance, (contrary to the positive order of the Minister Plenipotentiary, whose orders the said Landais was by the Navy Board instructed to obey),2 and to dispossess his successor, the oldest naval officer of the United States, in Europe, who had commanded the said frigate near eight months, and brought her to the Port where she now is?
{ 475 }
2dly. Whether the Conduct of Captain Landais, at L'Orient in exciting the Officers and Seamen of the Alliance, to deny the Authority of Captain Jones under whose Command they had voluntarily come, and remained there, and encouraging the said Seamen to make unlawful Demands on the Minister Plenipotentiary for the United States, and to enter into a mutinous Combination, not to put to Sea with the Alliance until the said Demands should be complied with, thereby retarding the Departure of the said frigate and of the Public Stores, on board, be not highly Culpable?
3dly. Whether after Captain Landais's late Conduct and the manner in which he has retaken the Command of the frigate Alliance, it be consistent with good order, Prudence, and the Public Service, to permit him to retain the Direction of her, and of the Public Stores intended to be sent with her, accused as he is of Capital Crimes by his late Commodore, and for which if he arive in America, he must of Course be tried?
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “from Dr Franklin.”; docketed by CFA: “June 1780.”; marked in another hand: “Queries.”
1. This undated request for JA's opinion regarding the case of Pierre Landais and the Alliance may have resulted from a conversation between JA, Francis Dana, and Benjamin Franklin reported in JA's unfinished and unsent letter of 23 June to Arthur Lee (LbC, Adams Papers). The documents that Franklin enclosed with this letter cannot be positively identified, but from the issues raised, particularly the first and second queries, it is likely that they included the letters exchanged by Franklin with Landais and members of the Alliance's crew. For these letters as well as the charges brought against Landais by John Paul Jones, see Benjamin Pierce's letter of 1 June, and notes 1–3; Arthur Lee's letters of 5 June, and notes 3–4, and 14 June; and Pierre Landais' letter of 14 June, and notes 1–3 (all above).
2. For Franklin's “positive order” or rather “orders,” see Landais' letter to JA of 14 June, note 2 (above). But Franklin may also refer to two documents that seemingly empowered him to command Landais and were likely among those sent to JA. The first was Landais' orders of Dec. 1778 from the Navy Board at Boston, which were derived from a letter of 27 Oct. from the Marine Committee of Congress, requiring Landais, upon reaching France, to report his arrival to Benjamin Franklin “whose orders you are to obey.” The second may have been the Marine Committee's letter to Franklin of 27 Oct. 1778, which informed Franklin that “the Captain will on his Arrival inform you thereof, and we have directed that he get his Vessel in readiness to follow any orders which you may think proper to give, which orders he is bound to obey” (PCC, No. 193, f. 607; Charles O. Paullin, ed., Outletters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, 2 vols., N.Y., 1914, 2:21–23).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0282-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1780-06-26

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have read over all the Papers in the Bundle left with me, numbered to thirty seven. I have also read the three Queries stated to me.
These Queries I apprehend can legally be answered only by Con• { 476 } gress or a Court Martial; and therefore it would be improper in me to give any answer to them because the Papers will appear before Congress or a Court Martial; who can judge of them better than I. They will also hear Captain Landais which I cannot do. My Opinion therefore would have no Weight either before the one or the other Tribunal or supposing it to be admitted to be read and to have any Weight it ought not to be given, because I cannot be legally either a Witness or a Judge.
I cannot however think that the Instructions of the Navy Board to Captain Landais to obey the orders of the Minister Plenipotentiary, contain Authority to remove him, without his Consent,1 from the Command of a Ship committed to him by Congress, because the Navy Board themselves had not as I apprehend such Authority.
Since those Instructions were given, as I was informed at Boston, Congress have given to the Navy Board Power, upon any Misbehaviour of an Officer, to suspend him, stating to Congress at the same Time a regular Charge against him. But I do not find among these Papers such Authority given to any Body in Europe, nor do I find that any regular Charge against Captain Landais has been stated to Congress.2
There has seldom if ever been in France a sufficient Number of Officers at a time to constitute a Court Martial, and our Code of Admiralty Laws is so inadequate to the Government of Frigates for any Length of Time in Europe, that it is presumed Congress in future will either omit to put Frigates under any direction in Europe, or make some Additions to the Laws of the Admiralty adapted to such Cases—for there is an End of all Order, Discipline and Decency, when disputes arise and there is no Tribunal to decide them, and when Crimes are committed or alledged, and there is no Authority to try or to punish them.3
I have not observed among these Papers any clear Evidence of Captain Landais Consent to leave the Command of the Ship and therefore upon the whole, rather than bring the present disputes about the Alliance to any critical and dangerous decision here, where the Law is so much at a loose and there can be no legal Tribunal to decide, I should think your Excellency would be most likely to be justified in pursuing the mildest measures, by transmitting all the Papers and Evidence to Congress or the Navy Board for a Trial by a Court Martial and ordering the commanding Officer of the Alliance with the Stores and Convoy as soon as possible to America.4
{ 477 }
I give this opinion to your Excellency, to make what use of it you think proper.5
I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, sir your most obedient and humble servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand except for the date, final paragraph, and signature (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “June 26 1780. Answer to Queries. recd 11 1/2 a.m. June 26. John Adams.” In the Franklin Papers the recipient's copy is accompanied by an MS containing the three questions put to JA by Franklin. This may have been the draft from which the copy received by JA was made ([ante 26 June], above). Dft, with date in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “My Answer to Dr. F's Q