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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0220

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-05-26

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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.
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.