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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

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).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.