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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/