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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


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 Queries.” LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. In the draft the preceding three words were interlined.
2. For Pierre Landais' orders of Dec. 1778, mentioned in this and the previous paragraph, see Franklin's letter of [ante 26 June] (above). JA is correct that no authorization had been given to any person in Europe to suspend or remove a naval officer from his command by any act of Congress and that no formal charges had been lodged against Landais in America. However, congressional resolutions adopted in May and Aug. 1778, prior to the orders issued to Landais, had authorized the Navy Boards to institute courts of inquiry and courts-martial to deal with the loss of naval vessels and other infractions and to suspend the accused officer from command (JCC, 11: 469–471, 814).
3. For JA's further thoughts regarding the regulation of the navy and his recommendations to Congress, see his letter of 29 June to the president of Congress (No. 88, below).
4. JA's recommendation here likely resulted in Franklin's letter of 27 June, addressed “To the commanding Officer for the Time being of the Frigate Alliance, belonging to the United States of North America,” ordering Landais to take on board the Alliance the supplies awaiting transport and to carry them to Philadelphia (PCC, No. 193, f. 667). No letter has been found, however, from Benjamin Franklin to anyone in America enclosing the documents that were sent to JA for his examination. Indeed, the court-martial leading to Landais' expulsion from the navy resulted from his actions during the return of the Alliance to America, not his earlier conduct during the engagement between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis or his displacement of John Paul Jones as captain of the Alliance.
5. In the draft, which does not contain the final closing paragraph, this sentence was followed by the following canceled passage “I shall not communicate it to any Body on Board the Alliance, or elsewhere, not even to Congress.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0282-0003

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-26

To the President of Congress, No. 87

[salute] Sir

The Resolutions of Congress of the 18th. of March respecting the paper bills, appeared first in Europe as recited in the Act of the Assembly of Pennsylvania.1 They were next published in the English News-Papers as taken from a Boston Paper published by the Council;2 at last the Resolutions appear'd in the Journals of Congress.
A great clamour was raised and spread, that the United States had violated their Faith, and had declared themselves Bankrupts unable to pay more than Two and a half pr. Cent.
{ 478 }
A Gentleman3 soon after called upon me, and told me that the Court were alarmed, and that the Comte De Vergennes wou'd be glad to consult me upon the Subject. I then receiv'd a Letter from Boston acquainting me that the Legislature of Massachusetts had adopted the Plan. Of this letter I sent an Extract immediately to the Comte,4 and waited on him at Versailles, where I had the honor of a long Conversation with his Excellency on the Subject.5 He desired me to converse with his first Commis6 upon the Subject; which I did particularly.
He Excellency told me he had written to me upon the Subject and that I shou'd receive the letter the next Day. On my return from Versailles, I received a letter from Mr. Gerry7 informing me of the Resolutions to pay the Loan Office Certificates at the value of money at the Time when they issued. I had before told the Comte, that I was persuaded this was a part of the plan. I sent an Extract of this letter also to the Comte without loss of time. The next day I received the Letter from his Excellency; Copy of which and of my Answer are enclosed.8 Yesterday Mr. Trumbull of Connecticut, favoured me with a Law of the State, respecting this matter, and an Estimate of the gradual progress of Depreciation. Those papers I forthwith transmitted to his Excellency.9
I am determined to give my sentiments to His Majesty's Ministers whenever they shall see Cause to ask them; altho it is not within my Department, untill I shall be forbidden by Congress and to this End, I will go to Court often enough to give them opportunity to ask them, if they wish to know them.10
The Clamour that has been raised, that has been so industriously spread, that I cannot but suspect; that the Motive at Bottom, has either been a wish to have opportunity of continuing the profitable speculations, which artful Men are able to make in a depreciating Currency, or else by spreading a diffidence in American Credit to discourage many from engaging in American Trade, that the profits of it, may still continue to be confined to a few. I have the honour with the greatest respect Your Excellency's Most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams11
RC in Francis Dana's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 153–156); endorsed: “No. 86 Letter from John Adams June 26. 1780 Read Novr. 30. Referred to Mr. Lovell Mr. Houston Mr. Motte.” LbC (Adams Papers); notations: “Recd. in congress Nov. 25.”; by Thaxter: “No. 87” and “NB. The original of No. 87 was delivered with the Letters mentioned to be inclosed in it, to Mr. Braxton of Virginia, who was going to L'Orient. 26th June 1780. Duplicate of No. 87 & its Inclosures were delivered to Thomas Fitz { 479 } Gerald an officer under Commode. Gillon, to go to Amsterdam—1st. July 1780. Triplicates of the above were delivered to Mr. Gridley a Gentleman with Commodore Gillon bound to Amsterdam—8th July 1780.”
1. See Jonathan Williams to JA, 23 May, and note 3 (above).
2. The resolution of 18 March, taken from the Boston Independent Chronicle of 6 April, appeared in the London Courant of 24 May.
3. Probably Leray de Chaumont. If so, and if JA's account is correct, then considerable light is shed on Vergennes' role in initiating the exchange over the resolution of 18 March, but see Chaumont's letter of 16 June to Joseph Mathias Gérard de Rayneval (above).
4. To Vergennes, 16 June (above).
5. In the Letterbook this sentence continues: “and endeavoured to convince him of the Rectitude of the Measure.” The omission was likely a copying error, for the passage appears in a duplicate of this letter received by Congress on 19 Feb. 1781 (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 157–160).
6. That is, Rayneval.
7. This was Gerry's letter of 5 May (above). The extract was enclosed in JA's letter of 20 June to Vergennes (above).
8. The register of letters received by Congress indicates that the letter as received on 30 Nov. contained two enclosures: “June 21st Count De Vergennes to Mr. Ad. Objections agst. Act of Congress 18 March 22 Mr. Ad: to C. de Vergennes Answr. and vindication of sd. Act” (PCC, No. 185, II, f. 75). The “vindication” was probably JA's first letter of 22 June to Vergennes, for no copy of the second letter is in the PCC, but see JA's letter of 29 June to Franklin, note 1 (below). The copies received by Congress on 12 Dec. 1780 and 19 Feb. 1781, however, contained six enclosures: the two letters noted above as well as his letters of [22] and 29 June to Franklin, Vergennes' letter of 30 June, and his reply of 1 July (PCC, No. 185, II, f. 77; No. 84, II, f. 157–159). See also Vergennes' letter of 29 July, note 1 (below).
9. For this letter to Vergennes of 25 June (Adams Papers) transmitting the information obtained from John Trumbull, see JA's letter to Vergennes of 16 June, note 2 (above).
10. This is the most determined statement concerning JA's approach to the French government found in any of JA's letters to date, and foreshadows the bitter exchange between JA and Vergennes in July over French aid and the disclosure of his mission to the British ministry (The Dispute with the Comte de Vergennes, 13–29 July, below). For a discussion of its implications, see the Editorial Note, 16 June–1 July (above).
11. For Congress' approval of JA's representations regarding the revaluation described in this letter, see its resolution of 12 Dec., which was enclosed with the Committee for Foreign Affairs' letter of that date (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0283

Author: Adams, John
Author: F. R. S.
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Date: 1780-06-28

To Thomas Digges

Yours of 26 and 29 Ultimo I have received and another with the Court Gazette with the Capitulation of Charlestown and also that of 8th. instant.2 I have also received the Box of Books, and all the Bundles of Newspapers and Pamphlets. I thank you most Sincerely for your Care. I beg you Pardon, sir, for sending you, half of the Report of the Committee.3 I thought it entire when I sent it. It is now printed, in the Papers, so that there is no Necessity of sending another if I had it—but I have none left.
The Pamphlets have been a Feast to me. But what can be said of those written by—Such a Mass of Falsehood! The cool Thoughts on the Consequences of American Independence, should have been intituled a Demonstration that it is the Interest and Duty of America { 480 } to support her Independence at all Events: and that it is equally the Interest and Duty of all the rest of Europe to support her in it.4 It Seems as if Providence intended to give success enough to lead on the English Nation to their final and total destruction. I am sorry for it. I wish it not. But it must come if they pursue this War much farther. The Conquest of Charlestown will only arouse America to double Exertion and fourfold Indignation. The English Nation knows not the People they have to do with and that has been the fatal Course of their Misconduct from first to last.
Governor Pownal knows them altho he dares not say in Parliament what he knows. It is the Deuce of the Destinies that the southern Parts of the Continent, should be brought to as much Experience in War as the northern. This will remove the only Cause of Jealousy and Strengthen the Union, beyond a Possibility of Breaking it.
It will make them taste equally too the bitter Cup of British Inhumanity. In short the English So far from gaining any Thing by the Acquisition of Charlestown, will only double their Expense. Their army will moulder away. And they will be in danger of loosing both that and New York. Those who imagine that this will discourage any Body in America, have no Idea of that People.
The blubbering Babies in Europe, who give up all for lost, upon every Disaster, are no Americans. The last are Men. Yours with great regard. &c.
[signed] F. R. S.
LbC (Adams Papers;) directed to: “W. S. Church.”
1. In the Letterbook, JA left this letter undated. The date of 24 June was supplied by John Thaxter, probably because this letter followed a series of letters dated the 24th. It, however, was probably written on 28 June, because JA's endorsement on Digges' letter of 8 June indicates that he replied on the 28th and this letter is clearly an answer to the letter of the 8th (from Digges, 8 June, descriptive note, above).
2. Digges' letter of 29 May has not been found. Neither has that which enclosed the “Court Gazette,” but it was probably dated on or about 15 June, the date of the London Gazette carrying news of Charleston's surrender.
3. See Digges' letter of 14 April, and note 2 (above).
4. For this specific comment regarding the effect of Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts, see JA's letter to the President of Congress, 16 June, No. 84 (above) and“Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. I (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0284-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1780-06-29

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to inclose a Copy of the letter of the Comte De { 481 } Vergennes, to me, of the 21st. of this Month, and a Copy of my Answer to his Excellency of the 22d.1
This Correspondence is upon a subject, that has lain much out of the way of my particular pursuits, and therefore I may be inaccurate in somethings, but in the principles I am well persuaded I am right. I hope that things are explained so as to be intelligible, and that there is nothing inconsistant with that decency which ought in such a Case to be observed.
If your Excellency thinks me materially wrong in any Thing, I shou'd be much obliged to you to point it out to me, for I am open to Conviction.2
This Affair in America is a very tender and dangerous business, and requires all the Address, as well as Firmness of Congress to extricate the Country out of the Embarrassments arising from it: And there is no possible System, I believe, that cou'd give universal Satisfaction to all, but this appears to me, to promise to give more general satisfaction than any other that I have ever heard suggested. I have the honor to be with much Respect Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
I have added Copies of the whole Correspondence.
RC in Francis Dana's hand except for signature and postscript (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). LbC, with postscript in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. For the letters enclosed by JA, see his letter of 26 June to the president of Congress, No. 87, and notes (above). Copies of these letters are in the Franklin Papers (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 4:305, 307, 308), but some, particularly JA's 2d letter to Vergennes of 22 June (above), may have been included among the copies sent to Franklin by Vergennes with his letter of 30 June (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827).
2. No reply by Franklin to this letter or any document indicating his position regarding the revaluation has been found. In response to JA's letter of [22] June (above), Franklin wrote to Vergennes on 24 June to request that La Luzerne's instructions on the matter be rescinded or delayed, but did not reveal his own position on the issue (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). Vergennes, in his reply to Franklin of 30 June, denied the request and enclosed his correspondence with JA. Vergennes also indicated his confidence that Franklin's position regarding the revaluation's application to Frenchmen was directly opposed to JA's and requested Franklin to write to Congress in support of the French position and enclose the letters that had passed between Vergennes and JA on the question (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827). In fact, Franklin did not write to Congress until 9 Aug. and then did not send off the letter until sometime in October (same, 4:21–25; from Franklin, 8 Oct., and note 4, below). While he enclosed therein the letters exchanged by JA and Vergennes in June, the focus of his remarks was on the letters from JA to Vergennes in July; he did not mention the revaluation (same, 4:21–25). Franklin's failure to act as Vergennes desired, particularly his delay in writing and then in sending off the letter of 9 Aug., may indicate that he, like JA, thought that any effort to persuade Congress to revise the revaluation in favor of Frenchmen was futile, and perhaps that he was more sympathetic to JA's view of the matter than Vergennes imagined.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0285

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jefferson, Thomas
Date: 1780-06-29

To Thomas Jefferson

[salute] My dear Sir

Mr. Mazzei,1 called on me, last Evening, to let me know that he was this morning at three to Sett off, on his Journey, for Italy. He desired me to write you, that he has communicated to me the Nature of his Errand: but that his Papers being lost, he waits for a Commission and Instructions from you. That being limited to five Per Cent, and more than that being given by the Powers of Europe, and indeed having been offered by other states and even by the Ministers of Congress, he has little hopes of succeeding at so low an Interest. That he shall however endeavour to prepare the Way, in Italy for borrowing, and hopes to be usefull to Virginia and the United states.
I know nothing of this Gentleman, but what I have learned of him here. His great affection for you Mr. Wythe, Mr. Mason, and other choice Spirits in Virginia, recommended him to me. I know not in what Light he stands in your Part: but here, as far as I have had opportunity to see and hear, he has been usefull to Us. He kept <very> good Company and a good deal of it. He talks a great deal, and was a zealous defender of our Affairs. His Variety of Languages, and his Knowledge of American affairs, gave him Advantages which he did not neglect.
What his Success will be in borrowing money, I know not. We are impatient to learn whether Virginia and the other States have adopted the Plan of Finances recommended by Congress on the 18 of March. I think We shall do no great Things at borrowing unless that System or some other, calculated to bring Things to some certain and Steady Standard, Succeeds.
Before this reaches you, you will have learned, the Circumstances of the Insurrections in England, which discover So deep and So general a discontent, and distress that no Wonder the Nation Stands gazing at one another, in Astonishment, and Horror. To What Extremities their Confusions will proceed, no Man can tell. They Seem unable to unite in any Principle and to have no Confidence in one another. Thus it is, when Truth and Virtue are lost. These Surely, are not the People who ought to have absolute Authority over Us, in all Cases whatsoever, this is not the nation which is to bring Us to unconditional submission.
The Loss of Charlestown has given a rude Shock to our Feelings. I am distressed for our worthy Friends in that Quarter. But the { 483 } Possession of that Town must weaken and <distress> perplex the Enemy more than Us.
By this Time you know more than I do, of the Destination and the operations of French and Spanish Armaments. May they have Success, and give Us Ease and Liberty, if the English will not give Us Peace.
I have the Honor to be with an affectionate Respect, sir your Frd & Sert
1. Philip Mazzei, a native of Tuscany, had gone to Virginia in 1773 to introduce the cultivation of grapes, olives and other fruits to America, becoming in the process a friend of Thomas Jefferson and participant in the struggle against Britain. In early 1779, Mazzei was commissioned as Virginia's agent to raise a loan in Tuscany, but was captured on his voyage to Europe and his commission and instructions lost. As a result, when he did reach Europe he had no power to act, as JA indicates in this letter. At Paris, Mazzei sought Benjamin Franklin's assistance, but was rebuffed because of Franklin's view that state efforts to borrow money impeded those of Congress which were his responsibility (DAB). Mazzei then turned to JA who, as can be seen from this letter, sought to render what assistance he could. For Mazzei's account of his dealings with Franklin and his opinion of JA's efforts, both as diplomat and on his behalf, see his letter to Jefferson of 22 June (Jefferson, Papers, 3:458–460).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0286

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-06-29

To the President of Congress, No. 88

No. 88 Duplicate

[salute] Sir

The disputes about the Alliance, have been so critical and disagreable, that Congress will pardon me, for writing a few Observations upon our Arrangements here.
I apprehend that many of the Disputes, Delays and other Inconveniences, that have attended our Affairs in this Kingdom, have arisen from blending the offices of Political Minister, Board of Admiralty, Chamber of Commerce, and Commercial Agent together.
The Business of the Minister is to negotiate with the Court, to propose and to consult upon Plans for the Conduct of the War, to collect and transmit Intelligence from the other Parts, especially concerning the designs and the forces of the Enemy. This is Business enough for the wisest and most laborious Man the United States have in their Service, aided by an active, intelligent and industrious Secretary. But added to all this our Ministers at the Court of Versailles have ever been overloaded with Commercial and Admiralty Business, complicated and perplexing in its Nature, and endless in its detail: { 484 } But for this, I am persuaded much more might have been done in the Conduct of the War, and the United States might have had more effectual assistance, and France and Spain too fewer misfortunes to bewail.
I would therefore beg leave to propose to Congress to appoint a Consul without Loss of Time to reside at Nantes, and to him consign all Vessels from the United States. I think it should be an American, some Merchant of known Character, Abilities and Industry, who would consent to serve his Country for moderate Emoluments. Such Persons are to be found in great Numbers in the United States. There are many applications from French Gentlemen. But I think that a Want of Knowledge of our Language, our Laws, Customs and even of the Humors of our People, for even these must be considered, they never would be able to give Satisfaction nor to do Justice. Besides if it is an Honor, a Profit, or only an Opportunity to travel and see the World for Improvement, I think the native Americans have a Right to expect it and further that the Public have a Right to expect that whatever Advantages are honestly to be made in this Way, should return sometime or other to America, together with the Knowledge and Experience gained at the same time. These Consuls as well as the foreign Ministers should all be instructed to transmit to Congress, written Accounts of the Civil and Military Constitutions of the Places, where they are, as well as of all the Advantages for Commerce with the whole World, especially with the United States. These Letters preserved will be a repertory of political and commercial Knowledge, that in future Times may be a rich Treasure to the United States.
To these Consuls, the Commercial Concerns of the Public should be committed, and the Vessels of War.
It will be necessary sometimes to send a Frigate to Europe, to bring Intelligence, to bring Passengers, even perhaps to bring Commodities, or to fetch Stores: but I hope no Frigate will ever be again sent to cruise, or be put under the Command of any Body in Europe, Consul or Minister. They may recieve their orders from the Navy Board in America, and be obliged to obey them.
I have had a great deal of Experience in the Government of these Frigates, when I had the Honor to be one of the Ministers Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versailles, and afterwards at Nantes, L'Orient and Brest, when I was seeking a Passage home. Disputes were perpetually arising between officers and their Crews, between Captains and their officers, and between the officers of one Ship and another. { 485 } There were never officers enough to compose a Court Martial and nobody had authority to remove or suspend officers without their Consent: so that in short, there was little Order, Discipline, Subordination or Decency.
Another thing, when Frigates are under the direction of an Authority, at a distance of three or four hundred Miles, so much time is lost in writing and sending Letters and waiting for Answers, as has been found an intolerable Embarrassment to the Service.
It is now two years since Consuls were expected and a Secretary to this Mission. It is a great Misfortune to the United States that they have not arrived. Every Man can see that it has been a great Misfortune, but none can tell how great. There is much Reason to believe that if our Establishments here had been upon a well digested Plan and compleated, and if our Affairs had been urged with as much Skill and Industry as they might in that Case have been, that We should at this moment have been blessed with Peace, or at least, with that Tranquility and Security which would have resulted from a total Expulsion of the English from the United States, and the West India Islands.1
I have the Honor to be, with great Respect, Sir, your most obedient Servant.
Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 161–164); docketed: “No. 88 Letter from honle J Adams Paris June 29. 1780 read Novr. 27. 1780 Duties of a Minister Secretary Consul no Frigates to cruise in Europe.” LbC (Adams Papers); notations: “88” and “Recd. in congress Nov. 25. duplicate.”; by John Thaxter: “July 6th. 1780. This day was delivered to Commodore Gillon, who is bound to Amsterdam, the Duplicates of Nos. 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, and the Original and Duplicate of No. 88.” The “Original,” mentioned in Thaxter's note, has not been found.
1. The statements in this letter reflect the long held views of both JA and Benjamin Franklin concerning the conduct of American diplomatic, commercial, and maritime business in Europe. For earlier statements by JA on these matters, see vol. 8:index; and for Franklin's views, see his letters of 31 May and 9 and 10 Aug. to the president of Congress, and of 10 Aug. to James Lovell (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:742–746; 4:21–22, 25– 27).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0287

Author: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-29

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr. Sir

Since my letter by Mr. Barnet (who was Capn. and supercargoe of a Ship of Chamonts taken and carryd into Ireland) of the 8th. Instant, I have put in the common conveyance two letters for you the 10th. and 23d. Instant, which I hope reachd your hands.1 A freind going to Holland promises to put this in the first Post Office abroad. { 486 } Since my last, there has been nothing whatever from America, nor any other quarter save the account of a second brush between the French and English fleets in the Wt. Indies. A packet is arrivd from St. Kitts the 25 May. By which there is advices that on the 13th. May, Martinico bearing W by N twelve Leagues, Rodney descried the french fleet turning to windward to get into Martinico; after much maneuvreing on both sides, the rear of the English fleet got up with the van of the Enemy and engagd. They got very roughly handled (tho not disabled so much as to be obligd to quit the Seas) before the body of the Fleet could assist them. The van consisted of six, cheifly the Copper Bottomd and best sailers. They have lost it is said 220 men in killd and three ships the Cornwall, Conqueror and another are very much pepperd. Rodney however prevented their purpose of getting into Martinique, every other instance of this brush is spoken of as being very much against the English, and stocks sunk thereon about 3/4 per Cent. Altho there has been a packet, Government give the public no account of it, which carrys the face of its being a worse account than we hear. The Gentry at Loyds Coffee House rather shake their heads for fear of their Wt. India Ships, if not Islands; but the friends to Ministry are trying every art to make it appear an action favorable to the English fleet, that Rodney remaind master of the Seas, that the French fleet fled back into Guadale., that they can be effectually prevented from joining the other division in Martinique &c. &c.2
By many private letters and the accounts from Passengers in the Man of war with Dispatches of the Surrender of Chas. Town, there are very melancholly accounts of the State of things in the Country distant from Chas. Town, cheifly in respect to the Negroes, where there are at least 8 or 10 for one white. These accounts say, that as soon as they had heard of the surrender of the Town to the English all bond of them towards their masters were broke and that the civil powers could not prevent their liberating themselves; They collected in bodys of one two and 300 each, quitted all sorts of work or controul whatever, took what they could carry and plunder from their masters and were moving about the Country bending rather westward when the last accounts were had of them. From these accounts as well as what I hear from the quarter of the Torey Carola. Merchants in the City, it is not possible for that Country to be in a worse situation than it now is. The last Crop of Rice and Corn had faild almost universally, The people during the invasion of the Country in the planting months of April and May could not attend to agriculture, a scarcity of Cattle { 487 } and hogs, and this more deplorable than all the other evils the blacks going at large and doing much mischeif, together with the cheif of the principal Gentry being either prisoners in the Town or out of the Country, makes the whole a very melancholly picture indeed. Their prospects too are bad from their Western neighbours and from the still greater Savages the back settlers of No. Carolina, whither it is said <Clinton> Cornwallis with about 1100 men had certainly gone.
The Brutes in this Country, (who I am very sorry to say seems to be a majority of the People) seem to exult at all this, because in their opinion it leads to a sure reduction of all the Southern Colonies, and gives, as they term it, a death blow to rebellion. This is not the language of the common, but of the better sort of People, and of almost every man in power or of consequence. I cannot help damming them all together. I have been bouyd up lately with some hopes, that the ministry would look a little further toward the Interest of the Country than the narrow circle of St. James, and have made some profers of terms—even the parley for which could not be disadvantageous to America and might at least have led to a cessation of hostilities for a small time. Every one must know, and I beleive they see themselves, that terms excluding France and Spain would not do. I am now fully persuaded that they are determind either England or America shall be totally ruind in the trial. The last days debate on Hartleys and Sir Geo. Savilles motion (which you will read in the papers)3 convinces me that my opinion is not ill founded. You may depend upon it, the ministry have no sort of idea of Peace or accomodation with America, and that they mean to send more troops and push another Campaign for the subjugation of it. It is impossible to explain to you why they are at this juncture prepossessd with an opinion nay declare publickly, “that in all human probability they will succeed.” Many men of worth who thought otherways till lately, seem now, from the present account of the state of things in America which too many are infatuated to beleive, have fallen into an opinion that England should push the Contest further and risque much on another Campaign. Gen. Conway (tho I do not mention him as a pattern either of judgement or honesty, for sure I am he has been long under the sunshine of ministry) in the Ho. Commons the day of Hartleys motion, declard that another ten, another 20,000 men, should be sent to Ama. rather than offer terms of Independence now. If I were to write pages I could only mention such instances of folly and infatuation as these. I wish to impress upon your mind that the intention in this quarter is still to prosecute the war vigorously against { 488 } America, and every nerve will be straind to send men and ships to that station. They will effect it too, if France and Spain, do not act more vigorusly at Sea and go to work instead of making a parade. Five ships of the line on any of the Southern Coasts of America in the months of March, Apr. or May would have effectually securd Chas. Town, and capturd a British army. The very same mischiefs will happen in Virga. if the Coasts are not guarded and protected by men of war this summer; and the people finding it the woeful fact will become discontented with their allies, and naturally suppose the intentions of them are not to risque any thing but protract the war to the emminent ruin of that as well as of this Country.
At present there is no standing against the torrent of folly expressd in all Companys about the certainty of subjugating America. I have seen frequently these people as much depressd and as often in the lower appartments of the House, as they are now elated and dancing about in the Garrets; perhaps, before reason gives them time to think quietly in the middle story, some news may arrive that will put them all in the cellars. If one may draw a conclusion about the fate of this Country, from the general face of things in Europe as well as in America and the West Indies, one would be led to suppose that in a few weeks, if not days, some news would arrive far more depressing than the late accounts from America have been elating to the unthinking inhabitants of it. God send some that may bring them to reason and to think that the wisest measure they can adopt for the salvation of the Country is peace and accomodation with America.
I am wishing to hear of the safe arrival of the Books, papers &c.4 I hope you did not put a stop to my forwarding them from any supposition that it was troublesome to me to execute your Commissions, for I can assure you it was none, and that next to serving my Country, that of assisting its servants abroad is my principal wish and desire. I beg you will not spare me whenever you think I can be servicable and that you will believe me to be with great Esteem Dr. Sir Your obet. Hum Sert.
[signed] TD
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Mr Digges. June 29”; docketed by CFA: “1780.”
1. Neither of these letters has been found.
2. For the newspaper reports of which Digges gives a digest here, see, for example, the London Courant of 28 June. Between 9 and 20 May the fleets of Guichen and Rodney skirmished off St. Lucia and fought two indecisive battles on the 15th and 19th. In the course of those engagements the British losses were 68 dead and 213 wounded, with the Cornwall, Conquerer, and Boyne suffering heavy damage. The outcome of the encounter was that Rodney foiled Guichen's effort to take St. Lucia, but failed to prevent the French fleet from returning to its base at Martinique. One other consequence was that Guichen, worn down by the strain of com• { 489 } mand, requested his recall as commander of the French fleet in the West Indies (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 141–145). It should be noted, however, that since the information came from St. Kitts the report probably dealt with only the encounter on 15 May.
3. On 27 June, David Hartley and Sir George Saville sought unsuccessfully to introduce motions concerning the war in America. Hartley moved for permission to introduce his long awaited “Bill for Conciliation with America” (see Thomas Digges' letter of 2 May, and note 7, above; the Descriptive List of Illustrations, vol. 10; and Hartley's letter of 17 July, below). The bill authorized the appointment of negotiators empowered to agree to an unconditional cessation of hostilities, articles of conciliation lasting for a period of ten years, and a suspension of acts of Parliament relating to America for a like period. Saville's motion declared that the war in America served only to hinder British efforts against France and Spain and facilitated the destruction of the British empire (Parliamentary Reg., 17: 751–753). No published account of the debate over the two motions has been found.
4. See JA's letter of [28] June (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0288

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-29

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of receiving your Excellencys Letter inclosing your Epistle to Mr. Wythe and the resolutions of the Convention.1 I have read them with the utmost Attention and Admiration. I have showed them to others, who have had the same Sense of them, as myself. They appeal to the reason of all, and having evidently in View the Happiness of good men, by securing them Against the Oppression of the bad, have gaind the Approbation of all. They are sent to England; where they will be well receivd by a few, but they may serve to convince all, that Men in their Senses will not, cannot give up so a Compleat System to live under the controuls of One that is so imperfect, as that which is in England. Your Excellency will believe me, when I assure you that I have not seen any thing, that Strikes my Imagination with more force and more pleasure. Let me beg of your Excellency to impart whatever other Matters have passed in the Transactions and Completion of so great and good a work.
My Correspondent in England persists in saying that a person is sent to Spain of the name of Hussey to ingratiate himself into the Confidence of Friends. That He is a Catholic, and that He is sent by Lord North—perhaps He may have changed his name and therefore it may be worth while to inquire whether there is any body lately arrivd there from England, who is busy about our Friends. I Hope they are Attentive to all their domestics, for I Know Secrets have been discoverd by their Treachery.2
I am Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient and faithful Humbl Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
{ 490 }
1. JA's letter of 20 June (above) enclosed Thoughts on Government and the Massachusetts Constitution as approved by the convention. Thoughts on Government was in the form of a letter to George Wythe, delegate from Virginia (vol. 4:65–73, 86–93).
2. See JA's letter to Jenings of 29 May, and notes 1 and 4 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0289

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-30

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

The loss of Charles Town engages me to lay before you the following Circumstance, Mr. Gillon at his arrival in France finding the greatest part of the Fund sent by the State for his Use taken by the Enemy, in virtue of the power given to take up Money on the Guarantee of the State after sundry efforts in different parts came to Bordeaux and laid open to me his Situation. Disireous to render my Services Useful to the States Unitedly or Seperately I applied to Capital House in this City and obtaind a Loan of Four hundred Thousand Livres reimbursable this Fall and the beginning of next year.1 This being settled he set out for Prussia intending to equip at Stettin and took Bills to the amount above given him by the House on the Kings Banker at Berlin. Not finding at Stettin to correspond with his views he went to Amsterdam taking with him a fresh Credit from the Banker at Berlin on Amsterdam. He has there bought two Capital Ships which are near ready carrying Twenty eight, Thirty Six pounders on One Deck he writes me two of the finest Vessels he ever saw.2
The purport of this detail is by the Loss of Charles Town that State aparently will be unable to comply with the Conditions enterd into by Mr. Gillon. And the Governor Council and Governing powers being all involved in this event, the Guarantee thereby becomes doubtful at least from many Considerations. These Ships are yet in Port. Under the present circumstances permit me to state to you the following plan, supposing Mr. Gillon consenting.
1. That the Ambassador or Ambassadors from the United States take these Ships for the Service of the States.
2. That the Sums advanct for the outfits of these ships in virtue of their Contract with Mr. Gillon be reimburst to them conformable to the Conditions of the Loan.
The loss of the Boston, Providence, &c. before Charles Town makes an Acquitsion of the above Nature indispensable if means admit.
I expect to hear from M. Gillon to morrow but I know no other than the above plan unless they sell the Ships to some foreign State.
{ 491 }
I do not write this as an Official Letter it is to yourself for your private digesting praying your advice I shall not write the Docter on the Subject as the transaction was executed independant of Mr. De Chamont the proposal above may possibly be not approved.
[signed] With respect I am Sr Your very hhb Servt.
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Mr Bondfield 30 June. ansd 7 July 1780.”
1. This is the only letter to JA in which this transaction at Bordeaux is mentioned, nor has any reference to it been found elsewhere. Alexander Gillon's letter to JA of 14 Feb. 1780 (vol. 8:321–327), concerned his efforts to obtain ships for the South Carolina navy, but did not indicate that any funds had been obtained at Bordeaux. That letter, in fact, was largely an appeal for JA's assistance in raising money in the face of obstructions placed in his way by Benjamin Franklin and Leray de Chaumont.
2. The two frigates at Amsterdam were the Indien and another that was unlaunched and unnamed. On 30 May, Gillon obtained a lease for only the first, which he renamed the South Carolina (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate South Carolina, Salem, Mass., 1929, p. 3–4).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0290-0001-0001

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-30

From the Comte de Vergennes

J'ai reçû, Monsieur, la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'écrire le 22. de ce mois concernant la resolution du Congrès du 18. mars dernier. Je vous ai déja prévenu que mon intention n'étoit aucunement d'analiser cette resolution en tant qu'elle est relative aux Citoïens des Etats unis, ni d'examiner si les circonstances en légitiment ou non les dispositions. En vous écrivant avec la confiance que j'ai crû devoir à vos lumières et à votre attachement à l'Alliance, je n'ai eû qu'un objet, celui de vous convaincre que les françois ne devoient pas être confondus avec les Américains, et qu'il y auroit une injustice évidente à leur faire éprouver les pertes dont ils sont menacés. Les détails dans les quels vous avez jugé à propos d'entrer, ne m'ont point fait changer de sentiment; mais je pense que toute discution ultérieure entre nous à cet égard seroit superflëe, et je me borne à vous observer que si le Conseil du Roi a considéré la resolution du Congrès sous un faux point de vëe, ainsi que vous le prétendez, M. le chev. de la Luzerne, qui est Sur les lieux, ne manquera pas de l'éclairer, et que le Congrès de son côté, s'il n'adopte pas les representations que ce Ministre est chargé de lui faire, nous communiquera immanquablement les raisons sur les quelles il appuïera son refus: si elles sont bien fondées le Roi les prendra en considération, Sa Majesté ne demandant rien que la plus exacte justice; mais dans le cas contraire Elle renouvellera ses instances { 492 } auprès des Etats-unis, et Elle attendra avec confiance de leur pénétration et de leur Sagesse une décision conforme à sa demande. Sa Majesté se persuade d'autant plus que le Congrès y donnera toute son attention, que cette assemblée, ainsi qu'elle en a souvent renouvellé l'assûrance, aprécie autrement que vous, Monsieur, l'union qui Subsiste entre la france et les Etats-unis, et qu'elle sentira certainement que les françois peuvent mériter quelque préférence sur les autres Nations, qui n'ont aucun Traité avec l'Amérique, et qui n'ont pas même encore reconnu son indépendance.1
J'ai l'honneur d'être très parfaitement, Monsieur, votre très humble et très obéïssant Serviteur,
[signed] De Vergennes

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0290-0001-0002

Author: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-06-30

The Comte de Vergennes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I have received, sir, the letter which you did me the honour to write of the 22d of this month concerning Congress' resolution of 18 March. I have already informed you that it was not my intention either to analyze this resolution as it respects the citizens of the United States or to examine whether circumstances authorize the arrangements or not. I had but one objective in writing to you with the confidence which I thought due to your knowledge and your attachment to the Alliance, which was to convince you that the French ought not to be confounded with the Americans, and that this would be an evident injustice by making them sustain the loss with which they are threatened. The details into which you have thought proper to enter have not changed my sentiments, but I think that all further discussion between us on this subject will be needless. I shall only observe that if the King's Council considers, as you pretend, the resolution of Congress in a wrong point of view, the Chevalier de La Luzerne who is on the spot will not fail to clarify the matter, and should Congress not agree with the representations which that Minister is charged to make, it will undoubtedly communicate to us its reasons justifying its refusal. Should they be well founded the King will take them into consideration, His Majesty demanding nothing but the most exact justice. But should they be otherwise, he will renew his request to the United States and will confidently expect, from their penetration and wisdom, a decision conformable to his demand. His Majesty is the more persuaded that Congress will give their whole attention to this business, as this assembly, which has frequently renewed the assurance, values as well as yourself sir the union which subsists between France and the United States and thus they will assuredly perceive that the French deserve a preference before other nations who have no treaty with America and who have not even recognized its independence.1
I have the honor to be very perfectly, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] De Vergennes
{ 493 }
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “M. Le Cte. de Vergennes. 30 June 1780. ansd. July 1.”; notation by CFA: “See Dipl Corresp. vol. 5 p. 232,” [i.e. Jared Sparks, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution].
1. In this sentence, and even more explicitly in his letter of this date to Benjamin Franklin (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827), Vergennes expressed his view of the FrancoAmerican relationship. In effect, he declared that Congress, as the junior party to the Franco-American alliance, was obligated to conform to the policies and wishes of the French government and to subordinate its own interests to those of France when necessity required, as it did in regard to the revaluation. For the effect of this statement on JA, see the Editorial Note, 16 June – 1 July 1780 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0291

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Johnson, Joshua
Date: 1780-07-01

To Joshua Johnson

[salute] Dear sir

I have just received yours of 27 of June.1 I have no Sufficient2 Reason to believe that any Letter to or from me, has been intercepted. I have certain Information that large Dispatches for me by two Vessells have been cast into the sea—One Vessell being taken and the other thinking herself taken.3 The Moment I should have Cause to believe that any Letter to me or from me is intercepted, I will carry my Complaint of it to the King. For I never will tamely submit to such a Complication of Injury and Insult. And the Practice of intercepting Letters public or private, (altho I believe it much less frequent than many People surmise) is too infamous and detestible to be countenanced, or indeed not to be punished by any Government. My Letters by the Way of N. London have arrived.4 As to future Letters you may use your discretion.
My Feelings have been wounded, beyond all description by the Loss of Charlestown. I sympathize most Sincerely with the brave and worthy People in that Quarter: but with all this My candid opinion is, that <We are better off,> the United states are in a better situation now and the English in a worse, than if the whole English Army had remained in N. York and Charlestown had still been ours. This Dispersion of the British Force, weakens them every where—doubles their Expence; distracts their Attention—and the Clymate will certainly destroy their Army, altho by an uncommon cold late Spring they did not feel it so early, as they would in ordinary Seasons.
<Politic> Military Events <have> whether prosperous or Adverse have never had any great Effect upon the Paper money and never will, either to raise it or to lower. And as to shaking the Firmness of the People, it will have no more effect than casting a Pebble at Mount Atlas. It will only animate them to double Exertion and Indignation.
I dread, nothing So much as the Divisions, which will be excited { 494 } in America, by Representation from hence. I hope Congress will never send any more such Bones of Contention as Frigates, unless upon an Errand and order her instantly back. These Contentions however will only make our Countrymen a little unhappy for a time. They will have no material Effect upon the general Cause.
Among the Consequences of the loss of Charlestown I should have mentioned that I think it probable the English may penetrate some Way into the state for a short time, and destroy or take some Magazines, and We shall probably have a pompous display of these Wondrous Feats in the London Papers. But these Excursions will do Us more good than them. In such Excursions our People never fail to procure them selves arms Ammunition, Accoutrements, Cloathing and every thing they want, for their is nothing but what the English soldiers and officers too, some of them I mean will sell.
Another Advantage will be this, a secret Commerce will be opened as it ever has been and ever will be where ever the British Army is, by which our People will Supply them selves with Goods and Cash both. In short I may say in a familiar Letter to you, our Country is a Catt—cast her as you will, she always will fall upon her feet—and her leggs are Strong enough to sustain the shock. The Paper Money will do very well—from various Parts of America I learn that the Resolution of 18 of March is very well received—and that the new Bills issued in pursuance of it pass, on a footing with silver. I am with much respect, your most obedient
1. Not found.
2. This word was interlined.
3. The first set of lost dispatches had been carried by Jonathan Loring Austin (to Jonathan Williams, 14 May, and note 3, above); the loss of the second set has not been identified.
4. JA may mean the letters carried by John Steele Tyler, who sailed with John Trumbull from New London, Conn., to Nantes in early May. Tyler was the brother of Royall Tyler, who later became a suitor of AA2. The letters he carried included Richard Cranch's of 26 April from which JA sent an extract to Vergennes on 16 June (Adams Family Correspondence, 3:325–329; to Vergennes, 16 June, and note 2, above). Tyler may have given Johnson the letters to forward to JA, since he did not reach Paris before 25 June.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0292

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Rush, Benjamin
Date: 1780-07-01

To Benjamin Rush

[salute] My dear Friend

I Yesterday, received your Favour of the 28 of April, the first Since my Arrival by Dr. John Foulke. This young Gentleman shall have every assistance in my power to procure him in the Prosecution of his Studies.
{ 495 }
When, or whether ever I Shall enter on the Business of my Mission, So as to restore Peace, Time only can discover. England is more disposed to a War with one another at home, and a War with all other nations of the World at the Same time, that to Peace with any body. The Distruction of Jerusalem is their only Picture. The Tumults have ceased but, they are ripe for breaking out with double Fury, on the least accident. The Cause of them is not Bigotry and Fanaticism—it is deep and universal Distress, Discontent and Terror. An unforeseen, any Thing almost, may exhibit Scaenes of Blood and Carnage in every Part of the Kingdom.
I am much refreshed with your agreable Account of the state of Things at home both civil and military. I believe the Tories themselves, will soon be convinced, that the English are not very well qualified, in Point of Wisdom, Integrity, Humanity, Benevolence or Power, to be our Sovereigns. No Tory can Say that that Nation is fit to make Laws for Us in all, or in any Case whatsoever. None will think it prudent to lay our selves at Lord Norths Feet. We had better come under unconditional submission to the Choctaws Chickasaws, or Mingoes.
I am happy to find that the Chevalier gives Satisfaction. He cannot do other wise I think. My affectionate and respectfull Compts to him and Mr. Marbois.
I am affectionately yours

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0293-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-07-01

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I had this morning the honour of your letter of the Thirtieth of June.
It is very certain that the Representations from his Majesty, which may be made by his Minister the Chevalier De La Luzerne, will be attended to by Congress with all possible Respect, and its due weight will be given to every Fact and Argument that he may adduce, and I am well persuaded that Congress will be able to give such Reasons for their final Result, as will give entire Satisfaction to his Majesty, and remove every Colour of just Complaint from his Subjects.
As in my Letter of the Twenty second of the last Month, I urged such Reasons as appeared to me incontestible to shew that the Resolutions of Congress of the Eighteenth of March, connected with { 496 } the other Resolution to pay the Loan Office Certificates according to the value of Money at the time they were emitted, being a Determination to pay the full value of all the Bills and Certificates which were out, and the Depreciation of both, being more the Act and Fault of the Possessors than of Government; was neither a violation of Public Faith, nor an Act of Bankrupcy; I have the honor to agree with your Excellency in opinion, that any further Discussion of these Questions is unnecessary.
I have the honor to be with great 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. 13); endorsed: “Juillet 1er. Lettre de M. Adams Sur le nouveau Sisteme de finances etabli par le Congrès.”

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0294

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-07-02

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to inclose a Boston News Paper of the first of May, containing an Account of the Arrival of the Marquiss de la Fayette; an Extract of a Letter from London; and another of a Letter from Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, once a member of Congress, and a Gentleman of very good Intelligence.2 He speaks the French Language very well, was about ten Years ago in Paris, and a Correspondent of Dr. Dubourg.
This Letter was brought me by two young Gentlemen, Mr. Folcke and Mr. Fox, Natives of Philadelphia, Graduates in the University there, of Quaker Families, who are Students in medicine, and are come to Paris to complete their Education in the Faculty.3 They confirm Dr. Rush's Sentiments very fully.
Two other Gentlemen just arrived Mr. Trumble of Connecticut and Mr. Tyler of Boston confirm the same, in the Eastern States.
I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, 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. 13); endorsed: “M. Adams” and “envoy de nouvelles recues de l'amerique Septentrionale.”
1. On or about this date JA went to Versailles to inform Vergennes that he planned to leave Paris and visit the Netherlands for a few weeks. Vergennes persuaded him to delay his { 497 } departure (to the president of Congress, 23 July, No. 99, below).
2. The newspaper was the Boston Gazette; the “Letter from London” was of 23 June from Thomas Digges, which Digges mentions in his letter of 29 June (above), but which has not been found; Benjamin Rush's letter was of 28 April (above).
3. For John Foulke, see Rush's letter of 28 April, and note 2 (above). George Fox, who did not become a physician, was a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker and friend of William Temple Franklin. When Temple Franklin died in 1823, he left the bulk of Benjamin Franklin's papers to Fox and it was through Fox's family that they were given to the American Philosophical Society and the University of Pennsylvania (Anne H. Cresson, “Biographical Sketch of Joseph Fox, Esq.,” PMHB, 32: 196–197 [April 1908]).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0295

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-07-03

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Your kind Letters of the 17th.1 20th. of June as well as that of 20th of May, are unanswered. I hope Soon to receive the Vin de Boisac2—please to draw upon me, as soon as you please for, the whole, your Bills shall be paid upon sight.
I am very glad that your Application to the Minister succeeded.3 Have you transmitted those Papers to Congress? Sending them to me, can only convince me of what, I have known a great while, That the offices of Chamber of Commerce, commercial Agent, Lord high Admiral and political Minister, without the Aid even of a secretary are too much Business, for any man living, much more for one 75 Years of Age, and who had even in his Youth an Indolence in his Disposition. The Complaints that are made give me a great deal of Grief. But these Things are certainly well known At home.
The Spaniards have taken Mobile,4 and the Marquis de la Fayette arrived at Boston the 28 April. He carried good news. He had an Audience of the Assembly at Boston, and was received by the Discharge of Cannon from all the ships in the Harbour as well as the Batteries. This News I wish you would convey with my best Respects to the Marshal Duke De Mouchy. I have it in a Boston Paper of the 1 May5—as well as by Letter.
Your most obt.
1. Not found.
2. JA likely means “Barsac,” a wine growing region south of Bordeaux, the wines of which are usually classified as Sauternes.
3. See Bondfield's letter of 20 June (above).
4. The British garrison of 300 men at Mobile surrendered to a Spanish force on 14 March (London Chronicle, 8–11 July).
5. The Boston Gazette of 1 May announced Lafayette's arrival.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0296

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-07-04

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

After spending the day very happily with a Number of our Countrymen in Commemoration of our glorious Anniversary, I cannot close the Evening more agreably than by conversing with You.
I have three Letters of yours before me—10th—18th—29th—June. The Letter from Clinton was indeed as I am told by some Americans lately arrived, a mere Sport of Wit. I am told it was written by a General Howe, of General Washington's Army. It contained a great deal of Truth and Instruction. But I am Sorry to see our Countrymen imitate the Impositions of their Enemies—it may be best not to let the Name of the Writer go any further.1
I know your feelings have sufferd Tortures for Charlestown: mine have I assure You. I condole most sincerely with Mrs. Izard, Mrs. Lloyd and the other Americans with You, on this disaster. Yet be not dismayed—the English will hold it no longer than they did Boston or Philadelphia. You need not fear any body's giving up a good Government—Americans are not made of such Materials. The Spaniards have taken Mobile, and the English will soon be between two or three Fires. But if they had and were to hold quiet Possession of all the Great Seaport Towns upon the Continent, it would be no Conquest of America, and have very little Tendency that Way. I assure You, Sir, in the Year 1774, when We beheld this War only in Contemplation as a Contingency, as a probable or at least a possible future Event, We expected to lose all our Seaport Towns and laid our Account accordingly. We have done much better in this Respect than We expected.
You ask very properly Quomodo2 evacuate New York? I know of but one Way that is possible—that is make a Bargain, as Howe did with Washington to spare the Town of Boston from the flames, on Condition he would spare the British Troops from the Slaughter. I dont say that W. agreed to this; but Howe certainly offered it. I believe they could not obtain so good a Bargain now.
Mr. Digges has not been in Paris, that I know of, since my Arrival.
The Revolution which Congress have made in their Paper Money, is well recieved in America.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] J[ohn Adams]
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “JA July 4th. 1780.” A piece torn from the manuscript has resulted in the loss of most of the signature.
{ 499 }
1. For the forged dispatch from Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, see JA's letter of 21 May to C. W. F. Dumas, and note 1 (above). The source of JA's information linking the forgery to “a General Howe, of General Washington's Army” is unknown, but if accurate would seem to implicate Maj. Gen. Robert Howe of North Carolina, then serving under Washington in the northern army (DAB). The editors, however, have found no corroborating evidence connecting Howe with the counterfeit dispatch.
2. That is, in what manner.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0297

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-07-05

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dr. sir

In the 116 page of the inclosed Mercury, you will find the Strictures upon Lord G. Germaines nonsense. I dont see them in the English Papers. I suppose no Printer dares insert them. But I Swore they shall be seen, and therefore I beg you to get them inserted in the Leyden or Amsterdam or the Hague Gazette or all three. If it cant be done without pay let them be paid. I will repay in a moment. If these appear, I will send those upon Conways, which have been also printed in the Mercury.
I care more about the sentiments of the rest of Europe, than the English.
RC (Adams Papers;) filmed at 5 June, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 352.
1. The date is clearly an inadvertence because the enclosed copy of the Mercure de France was of 17 June and Jenings replied to this letter on 9 July (below). For JA's replies to the speeches by Lord George Germain and Gen. Henry Seymour Conway on 5 May in the House of Commons mentioned in this letter, see JA's letters of 17 and 28 May to Edmé Jacques Genet (both above). For Genet's publication of them in the Mercure, see notes 1 and 3 to each letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0298

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-07-06

To the President of Congress, No. 89

Paris, 6 July 1780. Dupl, both text and signature in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 165–171). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:833– 837.
This letter, received by Congress on 19 Feb. 1781 (JCC, 19:174– 175), includes a list, taken from the Courier de l'Europe of 27 June, of vessels captured or destroyed by all belligerents since the beginning of the war. Lamenting the loss of so many American naval vessels, Adams urged Congress to “give great Attention to their Navy; to the Augmentation of Ships; the Multiplication of Seamen; the Improvement of Discipline and the formation of Officers.” It was necessary that Congress take such action and Americans “cherish their own Navy,” because “no other Nation would grieve very much at the total destruction of it, before the Conclusion of a Peace. I am sorry to say this, but I have heard such Hints as convince me that it is my Duty to put Congress on their Guard, and to intreat them to leave nothing unattempted to put their Marine upon the best footing in their Power.”
Dupl, both text and signature in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 165–171). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:833– 837.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0299

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-07-07

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I received, yesterday yours of 30 of June. As to taking the ships, for the United States, I have no Commission Instructions or other Authority whatsoever, to do any such Thing: and I presume no other Person in Europe has. I hope in God that no ship will ever be again, built, bought, hired, lent or I had almost Said given to the united states in Europe, nor any ever again put under the Command of any Body in Europe. Experience has given Us severe Lessons. America is the Place to repair the Loss of the Frigates, which was suffered at Charlestown.
I believe, with you, that Carolina will not now be able to pay, this fall, nor next Winter. But I dont at all doubt that it will be able to pay after sometime, and not at all the less able to pay for the late Disaster. Carolina instead of being the poorer, for the Loss of Charlestown for a Time will be vastly richer, and not at all the less disposed I believe to pay this Debt. Those who augur So much Evil to America and so much Power and Glory to England from the temporary transition of Charlestown under its domination will, hereafter see their Mistake. You know, that in this I Speak only as a private Man, in no public Character, and in an affair with which I have no manner of Connection. But if I were in the Place of the House who lent the Money to Mr. Gillon, I should not be all the more anxious about it. I think it is a Pitty but Mr. Gillon should go on with his Enterprize, in which he has been indefatigable, and in which I hope he will Succeed. But whether he does or not I presume Carolina will pay, as soon as they can.
If Mr. De Sartine can be perswaded to leave a few ships of the Line and a few Frigates to winter in America, at Rhode Island, Cheasapeak or Boston—or some in each where they will be infinitely better than in Europe, and Mr. Gillon can get to America you will see such a Revolution both in Trade and in War, as will dissipate all the Fears of your Friends who have lent the Money.

[salute] Adieu

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0300

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-07-07

To the President of Congress, No. 90

Paris, 7 July 1780. Dupl, both text and signature in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 173–176). LbC with postscript in Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); { 501 } notation by Thaxter: “Nos. 89 & 90 delivered to Mr. Gridley going to Amsterdam. July 8th. 1780.” printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:837–838.
This letter, received by Congress on 19 Feb. 1781, consists largely of an English translation of the French text of the bill that David Hartley sought unsuccessfully to introduce in the House of Commons on 27 June (see Thomas Digges to JA, 29 June, and note 3, above; David Hartley to JA, 17 July, below; the Descriptive List of Illustrations, vol. 10). John Adams made his translation from the Courier de l'Europe of 30 June because he could not obtain his usual London newspapers. Adams also included the Courier's account of the parliamentary proceedings relating to the bill and its criticism of Hartley for seeking to empower George III to make peace, a power he already had by virtue of being King. Only Parliament's refusal of funds to carry on the war could force him to seek peace. Adams noted that there could be no hope for peace until efforts to seek a reconciliation short of independence were abandoned. He predicted that events in America and the West Indies would soon dampen the elation caused by the capture of Charleston. Finally, Adams noted Sir George Saville's unsuccessful motion to condemn the war in America, made immediately after the defeat of Hartley's motion.
Dupl, both text and signature in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 173–176.) LbC with postscript in Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); notation by Thaxter: “Nos. 89 & 90 delivered to Mr. Gridley going to Amsterdam. July 8th. 1780.” printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:837–838.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0301

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-07-07

To the President of Congress, No. 91

Paris, 7 July 1780. Dupl, both text and signature in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 177–180). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:839.
This letter, read by Congress on 26 Dec., contains the text of a petition that Amsterdam merchants trading with the West Indies had presented to the States General on 21 June. The merchants noted Britain's violation of the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1674–1675 by its seizure of Dutch vessels trading between the Dutch and French West Indian colonies. They demanded that the States General dispatch warships to protect the trade and order the Dutch minister in London to make representations so as to stop the seizures and obtain restitution.
Dupl, both text and signature in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 177–180.) printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:839.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0302

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-08

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I have been prevented by indisposition, otherwise shou'd have had the honor of writing to you sooner on a subject which appears to affect the honor of America, of Congress, and of its Agents in Europe. The copy of Genl. Clintons letter that was intercepted which you sent here to Mr. Jenings having afterwards appear'd in most of the public papers,1 there was a formal contradiction of its authenticity first in the Hague Gazette, and inserted in such a manner as to make the World believe that this contradiction came from Sir Joseph Yorke the English Minister. The Leyden Gazette confirm'd in some measure { 502 } this contradiction in which it was follow'd by the Courier du Bas-Rhin, tho' it had before given the letter at length as having been originally publish'd by order of Congress; but after the intelligence of the surrender of Chas. Town, this same Gazetter viz the Courier du Bas-Rhin, in No. 51. of June 24. 1780. positively states that letter to have been a Forgery, and concludes in these injurious terms, “donc il vaut mieux se bien defendre et se bien battre que de supposer des lettres qui ne peuvent abuser le public qu'un moment.”2 You must be sensible of the injury it will bring to America and the cause of Liberty if the World is permited to be impress'd with the Idea that Congress and its Agents are base enough to be guilty of such a mean and pitiful Conduct as to forge and publish the grossest falsehoods, as solid Truths.
Mr. Dumas who is styled by Doctr. Franklin and Mr. Deane the American Agent at the Hague and who is actually paid with the money of America, has a particular connection with the Editor of the Leyden Gazette3 and I have reason to beleive has a correspondence with the Bas-Rhin, therefore one wou'd naturally immagine, as it was his Duty, he wou'd have taken some measures to prevent such a censure on America etc. from spreading farther than in the small circle in which the Hague Gazette circulates. The Bas Rhin Gazette as well as that of Berlin is generally looked on as a Prussian Court Gazette being printed in the Capital of the Prussian Dominions on the Rhin, and I have no doubt if the Prussian Minister at Paris was spoken to on the subject a repetition of such conduct would at least be prevented in the Editor of that Gazette.
As Don Solano has return'd to Cadiz with his Squadron4 leaving only 4 Ships of the line to convoy the fleet to the W. Indias all my pleasing prospects of Peace from the hopes of the Enemy suffering some capital loss there in this campaign, are totally vanish'd; for on the arrival of Graves and Walsingham, who have been permited to go unmolested, the superiority of the Enemy at Sea will be so decided, that France will be fortunate if she looses no more than those islands she has before taken from the English. Hitherto Rodney has only shown his superiority in the art of boasting which is certainly his Forte.
The original Force intended to go under Monsr. Ternay having unhappily been diminish'd one half, no effectual offensive operations can be expected from that expedition, and if 'tis true as 'tis reported, that in the Fall, Monsr. Ternay goes to the W. Indias, the progress of the Enemy Northward from So. Carolina may be greater during the { 503 } fall, winter and spring than most people immagine; when in the course of a campaign or two the 4 Eastern States and France may too late repent, one for supporting and the others for not crushing in the bud the dangerous and alarming designs that began to appear in Philadelphia and Congress 18 Months ago. If it is expected that Monsr. Ternay is to render any effectual service to America, it is most clear to me that he ought to winter in Chesapeak Bay in Virga.; where, with very great ease he may be secure against a very superior force, and prevent any attempt of the enemy for enlarging their quarters Northward from Carolina. If the Court of Versailles shou'd approve of such a plan, orders accordingly cannot be sent out too soon to Monsr. Ternay and if the squadron in the W. Indias is to be reinforced or releiv'd, that shou'd be done with clean and fresh Ships from Europe.
From this you will perceive that a speedy peace is not in my view. Indeed it is not. I know the Enemy too well; they will not seriously think of Peace (tho' they will never cease in their attempts to divide and disunite the parties, which I well know they are endeavoring at now) while they have the least glimmering of hope left; unless it is, on the terms of America again submiting to the British Yoke and France relinquishing the Islands she has taken. Such a Peace I presume will never take place; I am sure it cannot, while America continues united.
It is said that young Mr. Laurens was gone from Carolina to Congress and as Mr. Laurens the elder, has not yet arrived there seems to be too much reason to apprehend his having met with some unhappy accident at Sea.

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] W. Lee
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Mr W. Lee July 8. ansd 20”; in CFA's hand: “1780.”
1. JA enclosed the forged letter from Clinton to Lord George Germain in his letter to Edmund Jenings of 30 May (Adams Papers, enclosure not found). For a brief publication history of the Clinton letter, see JA's letter of 21 May to C. W. F. Dumas, note 1 (above).
2. Therefore it [Congress] has determined upon on such letters as this, which cannot deceive the public for a moment, to better advance its war effort.
3. Jean Luzac.
4. A false report.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0303

Author: Lynch, Mark
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-08

From Mark Lynch

[salute] Sir

I have the favor to acquaint you that pursuant to the directions of Philip Mazzei Esqr. I have Sent you by the Diligence that parted { 504 } hence this morning for Paris, a Small case to your adress containing 7 Vol. in 4to. which Said friend left with me at his departure from this place. I have given Said case in the care of a young Man, Mr. John Kirwan, who is going to the Irish college of Paris, he brings it as part of his own effects, otherwise it coud not go by the Diligence, which carries none but what belongs to Such as go in it. And as he was obliged to pay the carriage here, you will be pleased to Reimburse him 6 Livers 15s for carriage of Said case from hence to Paris. I Shall be obliged to you to own me the receipt of these books, and Shall also esteem your mentioning if Mr. Mazzei be parted from Paris. By the last letter I had from him, he Says he intended setting out for Italy the 27 Ultimo.1
I presume to benefit of this opportunity to make you a tender of my best Service here, where I am a Resident in trade these 28 years. I Sincerely wish it may be agreable to you, and Shoud be extremely happy in having frequent occasions of demonstrating to you how truely and Respectfully I am Sir Your Excellency's most humble & most obedient Servant
[signed] M: Lynch
1. The books sent by Lynch have not been identified. JA wrote a brief reply, dated 28 July (LbC, Adams Papers), to thank Lynch for his efforts and confirm Mazzei's departure for Italy. No further letters between the two men have been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0304

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-09

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I had the Honor of receiving yesterday Your Excellency Letters of the 4th and 5th of this Month, and to day Another of the 6th.1 I think myself particularly honored, that your Excellency shoud Advert to me at the close of the Day of the great Anniversary of public Liberty—I shoud have been happy at being present at the Commemoration of that Important Event, however I must content myself with wishing and praying for its perfect Completion.
The Observations on Lord George Germaines and Conways Speeches have been inserted in the general Advertizer under the fittest Title that I Know. They were signed Probus. I suppose your Excellency has seen them by this Time and I trust you Approve of the Liberties, which I took with them, but which I had not taken but with your Excellencys Leave.2 The Letter to Mr. Wythe and the Constitution of the Massachusetts Goverment are sent to London and recommended to a particular Friend. I have not yet heard of their { 505 } Receipt. Your character of Mr. Dana shall be sent by the next Post.3 I had the pleasure of Seeing your Observations on Conways and Germaines Speeches translated in the Mercure de Paris which I have an Opportunity of reading here every Week. They go constantly into Holland, where I trust every thing relative to America—is read—but they are too long to be inserted in their little News Papers, except in a very curtaild and disadvantageous Manner. The Dutch people in general have but little Inclination, or indeed Time to Spare from their Traffic, and the English from their Dissipation to take up a long detail of Matter and reasoning. Short Paragraphs Strike one and the other Most. I found it so in England before I left it, and complied with the public Taste accordingly and was sensible of the Effect.
I beg your Excellency to send me the proposed Letters in Answer to the present Writings and Sentiments in England. I shall be honored by them, and will take the Utmost Care thereof. I have seen some of the Arguments, on which your Excellency has made most just remarks. I have long since Observed, that Nothing comes from England, which does not make against either the Constitution or Government—its folly exceeds if possible its Knavery. As Your Excellency writes your Letters on your proposed Subjects, would it not be worth the while to get them translated into French and sent to the Princes of the different Courts of Europe and a few others transmitted to the Leading men in Holland, that all may see, that the Reasons given by England for the Continuance of the War operate Strongly on their part to oppose her designs in doing it. In England I am convinced no reasoning will do—Nothing but the Sharpest Misfortunes and Misery can give the Sense of feeling. However, Nothing Shall be wanting on my part to instruct that infatuated Country through you of the folly Madness and Wickedness of its present System.
The Blow at Charles Town, coming unexpectedly was a severe one but surely cannot dismay any one, who has the least Principle in this glorious Contest. If it had not taken place, the Ennemy must have been immediately Confounded. At present his Cowardly Insolence is at the Heigth; but it will serve to plunge Him into deeper disgrace and Misery, as it incites Him to continue the War against the Interests of all the World. It is true I felt severely for a Moment, but you, Sir, know Lord Chathams supposed Idea and my real One, that a Patriot can never despair, He may be afflicted at the Vices, and be ashamed of the follies of Mankind, but will ever be steady in his Maxim, Nil desperandum de Republica.4 So long as America is true to Herself { 506 } She is Safe. When she is not, She will fall and that too deservedly. I mind not the fallacies and Falshoods of Lord George Germaine about Dissentions, but I have seen a Paragraph signed by Genl. Wayne and four other Officers, which gives me Concern, they declare, they will not Associate with any one who has ever been against the Independancy of America, however respectable his Character may be. I Know not what this Means, does your Excellency.5 I am happy to find, that America is contented With the new Regulation with respect to the Currency—England depends much on disagreements on that Head. Your Excellency speaking of Charles Town, says the Consumed Charles Town6—has it suffered any Conflagration since the Siege?
It is said here, that Mr. Fitzherbert, the English resident, has receivd an Account that Rodney has had an Engagement with Monsr. Guichen, and has crippled six of his Ships, and that He afterwards saild to Barbadoes, which was attacked by a Spanish Squadron.
Mrs. Izard desires her respectful Complts to your Excellency.

[salute] I am Sir, your Excellencys Most obedient & faithful Hble Servt.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Mr. Jennings. July 9. ansd. 14th.”; in CFA's hand: “1780.”
1. The letter of the 6th has not been found, but for some indication of its contents, see notes 3 and 6.
2. JA's replies to the speeches by Lord George Germain and Gen. Henry Seymour Conway in the House of Commons on 5 May were sent in his letters to Jenings of 28 May (not found, but see Jenings' letter of 2 June, note 1, above) and 30 May (Adams Papers). For the replies themselves, first published in the Mercure de France, see JA's letters of 17 and 28 May to Edmé Jacques Genet (both above). Unfortunately the issues of the London General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer in which JA's pieces appeared, over the signature “Probus,” have not been found, thus the nature of Jenings' alterations cannot be determined.
3. This sentence and the preceding two sentences, as well as the paragraph that follows may refer to the missing letter of 6 July. The letters of 4 and 5 July do not mention Thoughts on Government, the Massachusetts Constitution, Francis Dana, or JA's “proposed Letters.” The last named probably refers to JA's reworking of Thomas Pownall's Memorial or his replies to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts; no sketch of Dana has been found. For JA's answers to Pownall and Galloway, see Jenings' letters of 15, 21, and 27 July (all below).
4. Never despair for the republic.
5. This statement resulted from a meeting of officers in Philadelphia on 5 April and was signed by Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, Col. Walter Stewart, Lt. Col. John Stewart, and Maj. Henry Lee. It was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet of 6 April and Rivington's Royal Gazette of 26 April; no printing in a London newspaper has been found. Jenings' description of the declaration's content is accurate, but see JA's explanation of its purpose in his reply of 14 July (below).
6. This reference was apparently in the letter of 6 July that has not been found, but see JA's letter of 14 July (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0305

Author: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-10

From Samuel Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I wrote to you several Times when I was at Boston, and receivd your Favor by the Marquis de la Fayette. Another, to which you referrd me, has not yet come to hand.1 This Letter will be deliverd to you by Mr. Searl,2 a Member of Congress for the State of Pennsylvania. He will be better able to inform you of the State of things here, than I can, who3 after twelve Months Absence from this City, returned but a few days ago. The People of Massachusetts have at length agreed to the Form of a civil Constitution, in Nothing varying from a Copy which I sent to you by a Son of our Friend General Warren.4 This great Business was carried through with much good Humour among the People, and even in Berkshire, where some Persons led us to expect it would meet with many Obstructions. Never was a good Constitution more wanted than at this Juncture. Among other more lasting Advantages, I hope that in Consequence of it, the Part which that State must take in the War, will be conducted with greater Attention and better Effect. Who is to be the first Man, will be determind in September, when, if our Newspapers rightly inform us, the new Government is to take Place. The Burden will fall on the Shoulders of one of two Gentlemen whom you know.5 May Heaven lead the People to the wisest Choice. The first chosen Governor may probably have it in his Power to do more good or more Hurt than any of his Successors.
The french Fleet is not yet arrived. Perhaps their long Passage may turn out for the best. An earlier Arrival might have found us not altogether prepared to cooperate with them to the best Advantage. I now think we shall be ready to joyn them. One would think the Exertion which America might make with such Aid, would rid us of British Barbarians. I hope this will be a vigorous and an effective Campaign. I left Massachusetts exceedingly active in filling up their Battalions by Drafts, besides raising 4000 Militia for the Service.
Mr. Laurens arrived here from the Southward a few Days past. He will speedily embark for Holland to prosecute a Business which you are not unacquainted with.

[salute] Adieu my dear Sir, yr affectionate Friend,

[signed] S A
{ 508 }
1. Lafayette carried JA's letter of 28 February. In it JA indicated that he had entrusted a letter of 23 Feb. to Arthur Lee (vol. 8:374, 353). As of 10 July, however, Lee had not yet sailed for America.
2. James Searle, former member of Congress from Pennsylvania, carried this and several other letters from individuals and the Committee for Foreign Affairs. Among these were letters of introduction from James Lovell and Joseph Reed of 10 July and Samuel Huntington of the 12th (all Adams Papers). The Committee for Foreign Affairs wrote three letters, two dated 11 July and a third dated the 12th. The Committee's first letter of 11 July reported the arrival, on 10 July, of JA's second letter of 3 April and his first, second, and thirdthree letters of 4 April to the president of Congress (all calendared, above; JCC, 17:595). Only a triplicate is in the Adams Papers, with postscripts dated 1 Aug. and 28 Oct.; it was probably sent with the Committee's letter of 28 Oct. (below). The first postscript reported the arrival of seven letters carried by Ralph Izard dated 20, 24 (2), 26, 27, 28, and 29 March (the first letter of 24 March is printed, the others calendared, above; JCC, 17:685). The second postscript noted that JA's letters through 10 June had arrived in September. The Committee's second letter of 11 July (Adams Papers) was a covering letter for JA's commission of 20 June to negotiate a Dutch loan (above). The letter of 12 July (Adams Papers) described the bills of exchange issued by Congress that JA might be called upon to honor. For the letters from James Lovell and the Committee for Foreign Affairs that are not printed, see Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 15:421, 423–424, 435–436; 16:282; for that of Joseph Reed, see Penna. Archives, 1st ser., 8:399. Searle presumably also carried William Churchill Houston's letter of 11 July (below).
3. JA sent this letter as an enclosure in his letter to Jean Luzac of 20 Sept. (Adams Papers). Luzac translated and printed the text from this point, with the greeting and dateline, in the Gazette de Leyde of 29 September.
4. This copy was sent with Winslow Warren, but was lost when his ship was captured on its passage to Europe. See Mercy Otis Warren's letter of 8 May, note 1 (above).
5. John Hancock and James Bowdoin. Both Samuel Adams and JA supported Bowdoin.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0306

Author: Houston, William Churchill
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-11

From William Churchill Houston

[salute] Sir

The principal military Event which has taken Place for some considerable Time past, is the Fall of Charlestown, the Capital of South Carolina. No very material Circumstances can, as yet, be added to those officially published, and which the several American Prints have given you, and the British still earlier. The Intelligence from the Southward being overland is very tedious in it's Passage; and besides this, after the Capitulation the Enemy interposed every Means by dilatory and frivolous Pretences, by what Candour will, in my Opinion, decide to be a Breach of the Spirit of their Engagements, to delay the Dispatches General Lincoln had stipulated should be sent to Congress. This is in their usual Stile; and we have daily Accounts of Cases in which they pay no Sort of regard to their Promises sacredly pledged in Favour of the Citizens. Rapines, Violences and Abuses of every Kind are committed without Reserve, and with very little Discrimination. Their Conduct is of a Piece with what they have held in every similar Instance, uninfluenced by any Principles of Honour, { 509 } Truth, Humanity or even Policy. In the Hour of Debility and Want of Preparation to oppose them, they have overun a considerable Part of the State of South Carolina; but as General Gates is collecting a Force to oppose them, and as their Cruelties and Oppressions will probably soon work up the Spirits of the People to Fury and Desperation, they will be expelled from the Country.
It seems to be the Ordination of Providence, and, though the Sufferings are severe, it seems to be the Interest of the Union, that each State, in its' Turn should be vexed with their Depredations and Barbarities. It operates an amazing Change in the Temper and Sentiments of the People, and fixes them in a rooted and resolute Determination to risque the Extremes of Destruction in Preference before Submission. It is clear and undisputed Experience, that in those States where they have made Progress, and from which they have been driven with Arms, or obliged to relinquish with Shame and Disappointment, the Flame of Liberty and Patriotism burns with more Strength and Brightness, and the Exertions of the People are most deciding and irresistible.
Every Person who has attended to the Course of our Revolution knows the Meaning of what in Words is a Paradox, that “our Misfortunes are our Safety.” The Capture of Charlestown is much to be regretted when we reflect that our Soldiers will be starved and scourged into the Enemy's Service; that the Citizens must suffer Pillagings, Conflagrations and Brutality, but it is obvious to every one that it will promote, under the Favour of Heaven, the general Cause. It has awaked a Spirit superiour to any Thing I have seen since the year 1775 and 6, a Spirit that is fast pervading the whole Comunity, a Spirit which enlivens and encreases every Day.
Cornwallis commands to the Southward with between four and five Thousand Men; Clinton has brought back to New-York a Number somewhat larger; and at the Date of this they are encamped from Philipse's on the North-river across the Country above King's-bridge. When the News of the Fall of Charlestown arrived, and the Troops were returning from thence, they came out with much Confidence and Triumph into New-Jersey, setting Fire to the Country as they passed.2 The disaffected strengthened their Expectations of Despondence and Submission among the Militia, and Desertions from the regular Troops. In every Respect they were more disappointed, than perhaps they have ever been since the Commencement of the War. Scarce a Man deserted, or Citizen adhered to them, both regulars and Militia, particularly the latter, fought them with the most des• { 510 } perate internecine Fury. The Vengeance due to their former Baseness and Barbarities cannot be forgotten. Manet alta Mente repostum.3
Considering the Disaster we have met with on a general Scale, we are not in the least dejected by it. We are more apprehensive of the Effect it will have on your Side of the Water, where such Things strike much more forcibly than here. Hope you will take the necessary Steps to prevent any unnecessary unfavourable Impressions.
Nothing but a better Supply of Money is wanting to give decisive Vigour to the War; and if we cannot get it we are not going to give up a good Cause for Want of it, however essential it may be thought.

[salute] I am, Sir with great Respect your obedt. hble. servant

[signed] Wm. Churchill Houston
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Mr Houston. recd. 16 and answered 17 Sept. 1780.”
1. On 20 Sept. JA wrote to Jean Luzac (LbC, Adams Papers), enclosing this letter and offering it for publication in the Gazette de Leyde. Luzac returned the letter without using it.
2. Houston is referring to the British forays into New Jersey on 7 and 23 June. On both occasions three to five thousand troops, mostly Germans commanded by Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen, sought to proceed down the road from Elizabethtown through Connecticut Farms to Springfield. In the first attack the village of Connecticut Farms was burned, but determined resistance by the New Jersey militia and reports of the imminent arrival of reinforcements from Washington's army compelled Knyphausen to retreat without reaching Springfield. In the second attack Knyphausen's troops captured and burned Springfield, but the militia and regular troops under Gen. Nathanael Greene again forced Knyphausen to retreat without achieving anything of substance (Leonard Lundin, Cockpit of the Revolution, Princeton, 1940, p. 426–434; Howard H. Peckham, ed., Toll of Independence, Chicago, 1974, p. 71, 72).
3. It remains deeply embedded in the mind.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0307

Author: Warren, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-11

From James Warren

[salute] My dear Sir

My last Letters went by my Son Winslow who left this place about three weeks ago for Amsterdam and I hope will soon be Able to deliver them to you at Paris.1
At that Time I flattered myself that we should be Able to hold Charlestown, but you will find before this reaches you that the Enemy have got it, with the four Continental Ships that were ordered there last Novemr.2 This is a great reduction of our Navy and seems to be occasioned more by ill policy, than the fortune of War. It was certainly a very odd Measure to Shut up those Ships in a place where they could not possibly do any service and where probably they would be lost. The Loss of Charlestown at first seemed to have disagreeable Effects. It produced some degree of dejection, but those Effects were { 511 } soon changed for more Agreable ones. It has done more good than hurt. It has waked us from a profound Sleep, and roused every Man to Action. We shall now have a fine Army and they will be supplied and when our Allies Arrive (who by the way we yet hear Nothing more of than that they sailed the 2d: May) I dare say we shall Beat the Britons, though flushed with Victory over the Capital of a Country, which had not public Spirit enough in the midst of plenty to supply provisions for those that would fight or Courage <enough> to fight themselves. The Spirit of 75 seems to be revived. Our Papers which will be sent you will give an Account of a Brilliant Action on our side in which a few Continental Troops, and a few of the brave Jersey Militia Beat back and drove out of that Country an Army of British Savages with a loss of 7 or 800 killed and wounded.3 We have no other News. As to our Navy the Confederacy is at Philadelphia, the Deane and Trumbull are here. The latter repairing <after> her Injurys suffered by a Noble and well Conducted Action with a Ship of superior force.4 The Alliance laying in France tho' Exceedingly wanted here. Our New Constitution is Established, and is to Operate on the last Wednesday in October. The Election of Govr. Leut. Govr. and Senate to be made on the begining of Sept. Mr. B[owdoin] has again come into public Life that he may with the greater Advantage stand as a Candidate in Competition with H[ancock] for the highest honor and rank in this State. Who will Carry the Election is very uncertain. I dont Envy either of them their feelings. The Vanity of one of them will Sting like an Adder if it is disappointed, and the Advancements made by the Other if they dont succeed will hurt his Modest pride. The upper Counties will be for H. The Interest of the Other will lay in the lower ones. I dont hear who is to be the Leut. or any thing about it, only that an Interest is making for C[ushing] in the Town. If H is Cheif, why will not C. make an Excellent second. The old General Court will have one short Sessions more and then Die, and give place to a New one. One of my last gave you an Account of the proceedings of this State with regard to Money.5 Notwithstanding which it has Continued to depreciate till it got to 75 and 80 for one. There is no Accounting for it, or reasoning about it. It is progressive, retrograde, Eccentric, regular or irregular Just as the D—l will have it and No Body not even Coll. Quincey can tell why. It seems Just now to make a pause and if there is any reasoning about it I think it will in the Course of a Month return to about forty. Would you wish to hear anything of the Husbandry of the Country, I have already told you in a former Letter that we had a most horrible { 512 } winter.6 The Spring and former part of the Summer were very dry. The whole Country has suffered by droughts and some parts of it very severely. We have lately had fine rains, but they came too late for Hay and a full Crop of English Corn. I dont remember that you ever Mentioned to me your Friend the Abbe Reynal' History of the East and West Indies. I told you before that I was Exceedingly pleased with it. I like it the better because it Contains many fine reflections on Agriculture and the dignity and Advantages of it.
I shall write Nothing about your good Family as Mrs. Adams will write by this very good Opportunity herself,7 and Capt. Samson will take the best Care of all Letters to you. Please to make my regards to Mr. Dana, and remember me to Mr. Thaxter, and your two Sons, and beleive me to be with Great Sincerity Your Friend & Humbl. Servt.
[signed] J. Warren
Mr. Gerry has returned from Congress. Mr. Adams and Genl. Ward are gone. Mr. Partridge is also returned.
1. These letters were lost when Winslow Warren was captured on his voyage to Europe, but see Mercy Otis Warren's letter of 8 May, note 1 (above). In fact, the last extant letter from James Warren to JA is that of 29 July 1779, which JA received upon his return to America in early Aug. 1779 (vol. 8:98–100). The last letter from James Warren to which JA had replied was that of 13 June 1779 (vol. 8:91–94), which JA received upon returning to Paris in 1780 and which he answered on 16 March (above).
2. These were the frigates Boston, Providence, and Queen of France; and the sloop Ranger. The Queen of France had been sunk to obstruct passage of British ships, the other three vessels were captured and taken into the Royal Navy (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution, p. 495, 497).
3. See William Churchill Houston's letter of 11 July, note 2 (above).
4. For an account of the Trumbull's battle with the British privateer Watt on 1 June, see the letter from William Vernon Sr. of 22 July (below).
5. Not found, but see note 1.
6. Not found, but see note 1. For a report on the harsh winter in Massachusetts, see Cotton Tufts' letter of 25 July in Adams Family Correspondence, 3:383–386.
7. As indicated by the endorsement on AA's letter of 16 July, Capt. Simeon Sampson probably carried AA's letters of 5, 16, and 24 July (same, 3:370–373, 375–377, and 381–382).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0308

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Church, William Singleton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-12

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr. Sir

I put on board a vessel which saild yesterday, the Books mentiond in the margin.1 I thought the Treaties might be servicable to You, and I mention the other particular pamphlets that you may prove whether all I send by that conveyance will come to hand. I have not heard from You since the letter ordering me to stop the sending the Papers { 513 } via Ostend.2 There has been nothing material in the news way to inform you of since I inclosed a Gazette of the Chs. Town business.3 If I were to attempt to describe the folly and torrent of exultation about the taking that place it would fill pages; You, who do not Know this Country and the folly of its people, can have no Idea of it.4 The language of 1775 about unconditional submission is nothing to what You now hear. This people are absolutely mad with Exultation, and look upon America as much theirs as they do the Isles of Guernsey and Jersey. There is no standing against the Torrent; all reasonings upon the matter are vain. The Language comes from the Court, and gets thro the nobles and better people down to the lower and so on to the City; where the folly is not less obvious. Stocks have risen in consequence of it about five per Cent and every body is buying. The universal cry is, that America is again ours; we have beat the French fleet and remain masters of the Seas in the West Indies; (I wonder they do not claim dominion over the air) Rodney is certainly to intercept and take the Spanish Squadron; Mons. De Terneys fleet is thought an easy and sure prey to that of Adml. Graves; The Channel fleet is to continue blocking up the port of Brest, and prevent any junction of Ships from Cadiz &ce. &ce. Turning towards America they now say that No. Carolina will be certainly theirs, a body of Troops with arms and amunition for 2,000 of the back settlers have been sent there by invitation of the People; That Virga. will also be theirs, having sent Deputies to Ches. Town from the Back settlements praying to be aided by the British soldiery. If this is effected a fig say they for the northern Colonies tho they even boast too of having a considerable body of the Connecticut people in the Interest of Government. News of the taking Mobile came this day thro the Spanish papers but this is reckond nothing. The junction of the French and Spanish fleets in the Wt. Indies would be reckond nothing; the taking Antigua, St. Kitts or other Islands, nay even beating the invincible fleet of Rodney, woud all be reckond nothing; since we have got (as they express it) all the Southern Colonies. Such folly was never seen, the joy of the King and Court is visible to every one, and I do realy believe they had rather hear of such another massacre as that of Tarltons5 against the Virginians on the Borders of North Carolina or the hearing that Colony had submitted, then the distruction of the whole french and Spanish fleet in the West Indies. It is inconceivable how implacably bent the first man here seems to be for the reduction of America. You may depend that every nerve will { 514 } be straind to get more Men and to send more Ships to Ama., nothing but some disastrous news to put them again in the Dumps will prevent the ministry acting vigorously as they possibly can do against America. Everything will be risqued to carry on that war; and without France does assist Her Allies, with a small fleet to continue on the Coast, and thereby prevent the easy transportation of British soldiers from Place to place, that much mischief will be done. They brag here of more troops being engagd in Germany by General Faucit6 and that 4,000 are to be sent out the 1st. of Augt. next or between that and the 20th. with 4 sail of the Line and some frigates. The N York fleet is yet detaind about 60 sail, and notwithstanding all their passing of Graves's superiority over De Terney, I believe they will not let it sail till they hear on a certainty where Terney is gone—they certainly apprehend it is gone towards N York.
A fleet of 20 or 30 West India Men are also ready to sail and a few East India Men most likely the whole may go together soon after the return of the Channel Fleet which is now expected dayly to return to Torbay. News is come today that the Channel fleet is spread so as to extend a considerable way to intercept a homeward bound french St. Domingo fleet, three of which have been already taken by Adm Geary and sent to Plymouth.
Much has been put forth and very industriously too about a secret negotiation with Spain by a Mr. Cumberland and an Irish friar of the name of Hussy—both of whom I know.7 I believe nothing of it; as Cumberland took his family abroad for the purpose of cutting a little in His Expences, He being supposed much behind hand in the world. The Fryar was Part of the Household to the late Spanish Ambassador and has been once to Madrid and back hither since the Ambassador took his leave. This storey has helpd to raise the Stocks; but I believe some late maneuvres of Sr. Jo. Yorke with the Dutch, has helpd them up more either than that or the late news from America. We are all anxious here to know whether the Dutch and Russians will act spiritedly or otherways in the protection of their Commerce. The line of conduct of Portugal most likely will be guided by these powers. I know every Corner of that Country well and am not unacquainted at its Court from having resided there three or four years. Should affairs so turn out that any person, I do not mean in a capital but subordinate way, should be wanted I am ready and willing to go there, for I am sure I could do it to the material service of my Country, either by encouraging adventure from thence or in other more substantial { 515 } services. There is not a merchantile man of any eminence in the Country that I do not personally know.
I am with the highest Esteem Sir Yr. obedt. Servt. W S. C—h
PS Books Sent.
The 2 Vols. of Treaties from 1688 to 1771.8 Westminr. Magazine for June 1780.9 Remembrancer containing an Account of the Riots10—2 Sermons on a fast day during the late War.11 Legal mode for suppressing Riots12—Considerations on the late Disturbances (by Burke).13 Tumulte De Londres14—also three small Pamphlets publishd gratis.
RC (PCC, No. 78, V, f. 487–490;) addressed: “A Monsieur Monsr. Ferdinando Raymond San Negote. Chez Monsieur Hocherau, Libraire Pont Neuf Paris”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. W. S. Church. 12th. July 1780. Recd. 24th.” Francis Dana probably enclosed this letter with his of 10 Aug. to the president of Congress (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:28–29).
1. See postscript and notes there.
2. Of [6–7? June] (above).
3. No letter from Digges enclosing a “Gazette,” probably the London Gazette of 16 June announcing the surrender of Charleston, has been found. Digges may be referring to his letter of 23 June, which he had noted in his letter of 29 June (above), but which has not been found.
4. The following account is largely a digest of reports in the London newspapers, particularly those supporting the government, for the period from 23 June to 12 July. Digges' description of the attitude toward the American war and the victory at Charleston expressed in those accounts is quite accurate. See, in particular, the London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser for that period.
5. On 29 May, at Waxhaws, S.C., Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton's cavalry destroyed a force of continental infantry and horse commanded by Col. Abraham Buford. The battle, notable for the savagery of Tarleton's onslaught, resulted in the American force of 380 men suffering 113 killed, 150 wounded, and 53 captured as opposed to Tarleton's own losses of 5 killed and 12 wounded out of a force of 270 (Howard H. Peckham, Toll of Independence, Chicago, 1974, p. 70–71). For Tarleton's report of the incident, see, for example, the London Courant of 6 July.
6. For the activities of Maj. Gen. Sir William Fawcett, see JA's letter of 18 March to James Warren, and note 2 (above).
7. A report on the activities of Rev. Thomas Hussey and Richard Cumberland in Spain appeared in the London newspapers of 12 July. For the report as sent by JA to Congress, see his letter of 23 July, No. 99 (below).
8. John Almon, comp., A Collection of all the Treaties of Peace, Alliance and Commerce between Great Britain and Other Powers, from the Revolution in 1688, to the Present Time, 2 vols., London, 1772, which is in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
9. The Westminster Magazine for June 1780 contained accounts of the Gordon Riots.
10. The account of the Gordon Riots comprised the first 16 pages of John Almon's second volume of The Remembrancer for 1780.
11. This is probably Francis Blackburne, Two Sermons Preached on a Fast Day, During the Late War with France, London, 1778.
12. William Jones, An Inquiry into the Legal Mode of Suppressing Riots, with a Constitutional Plan of Future Defense, London, 1780.
13. Digges' identification of Edmund Burke as the author of the pamphlet is erroneous. It was done anonymously by Thomas Lewis Obeirne, and entitled Considerations on the Late Disturbances, by a Consistent Whig, London, 1780.
14. The author of Tumulte de Londres, commencé le 2me Juin, 1780, London, 1780, has not been identified. The pamphlet was advertised for sale in the London Courant of 6 July.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0309-0001

Editorial Note

The eight letters exchanged by John Adams and the Comte de Vergennes between 13 and 29 July provide a resounding climax to Adams' diplomatic efforts at Paris in 1780. Together they constitute one of the most controversial episodes in John Adams' diplomatic career and reveal much about his views of both the Franco-American alliance and negotiations with Great Britain.
The controversy played out in July superficially resembles the dispute in June over Congress' revaluation of the currency, but the two episodes differ in both origin and significance. Ultimately, Adams' opposition to Vergennes' demand that the revaluation be modified in favor of Frenchmen won him a commendation from Congress. The positions of Adams and Vergennes in regard to the revaluation were irreconcilable, but their letters in June did not raise fundamental questions about the viability of the Franco-American alliance. The situation in July was quite different, for then, with no apparent provocation, Adams initiated a correspondence over the nature and adequacy of French aid, and the exercise of his commissions to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties. The exchange left no doubt that Adams saw a sharp divergence between the objectives of France and the United States in continuing the war and concluding a peace.
The confrontation opened with John Adams' letter of 13 July (below) on a topic that had concerned him for a long time: French assistance to the United States, particularly the disposition of French naval forces in American waters. The American Commissioners' letter to Vergennes of [ante 9 January 1779] (vol. 7:305–311) on the subject had been largely Adams' work and he had discussed the issue at considerable length in letters written after his return to America in 1779. But he had not raised the issue in any previous letter to Vergennes in 1780.
Adams' letter of the 13th indicated his belief that, while the naval dimension held the key to victory, France lacked a viable strategy for winning the naval war against Britain. In eighteen manuscript pages Adams sought to remedy the situation and to provide France with a plan that would make the most effective use of the resources committed. In his reply of 20 July (below), Vergennes did not deal directly with the substantive issues raised by Adams, but rather reassured him that France was doing all in its power to bring about victory and that statements to the contrary were false and served only to open divisions between the allies. In his letter of the 21st (below), Adams seemed to accept Vergennes' reassurances, but on the 27th (below) he reopened the matter with renewed vigor, declaring that the fleet under Ternay's command at Rhode Island was insufficient to achieve naval { 517 } superiority and thus could not decisively affect Britain's prosecution of the war.
John Adams' comments regarding French aid were divisive because they raised an issue that plagues all wartime alliances, namely the magnitude and effectiveness of each ally's contribution to final victory. In view of the situation that existed in the American theater of operations, Adams' criticism of French policy had merit, but it was, at the very least, impolitic, coming as it did from a person with no official diplomatic status in France and directed toward the only nation willing to give any form of aid to the United States. Although Adams' unsolicited criticism may have angered Vergennes, it could be and was ignored, for Adams had no power to impose his views on France.
John Adams' letter of 17 July (below), however, was far more disturbing to Vergennes because Adams proposed to take direct action under the terms of his commissions. Adams' exercise of his plenipotentiary powers had been discussed, and apparently settled, in letters exchanged with Vergennes in February and March, but in his letter of the 17th, Adams reopened the issue. He denied the validity of Vergennes' reasoning, in his letter of 24 February (vol. 8:362–363), in prohibiting him from officially notifying the British government of his presence with powers to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties. Not only was Vergennes' position wrong, Adams argued, it was in direct opposition to American interests. Adams believed that disclosure would force the British government to clarify its position on negotiations, encourage those in Great Britain who wanted peace, dispel rumors that France enjoyed exclusive privileges under the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and take advantage of the forces that were tearing at the fabric of British society. Moreover, Adams saw little difference between what Spain was doing in its negotiations with Richard Cumberland and what he proposed.
The arrival of John Adams' letter provoked in Vergennes an anger that was as intense as it was understandable. The letter was a monument to ingratitude at the very moment that a French fleet and army were arriving in America, the dispatch of which constituted the single most costly endeavor yet undertaken by France in the war. Moreover, Adams' proposal to explore possible peace negotiations came as Spain appeared to waver in its commitment to the war, thus raising the specter of France, abandoned by its allies, fighting Britain alone. The depth of Vergennes' concern is evident from his lengthy reply of 25 July (below) in which he undertook a point by point rebuttal of the issues raised in the letter of the 17th, making it clear that he believed Adams' reasoning to be both absurd and dangerous.
If Vergennes believed that his letter would end the discussion, he was disappointed, for Adams continued it in his letter of 26 July (below). In a gesture to Vergennes, Adams indicated that he would place the matter before Congress and await its instructions before taking any action. But he also declared that the American people were unwilling to continue the war indefinitely in pursuit of objectives of concern only to France. At some point { 518 } there would be pressure for peace and it was the anticipation of this that Adams believed justified the proposals made in his letter of the 17th. The conflict ended three days later with Vergennes' letter of 29 July (below), in which he declared that he would have no further correspondence with John Adams on matters concerning Franco-American relations, but by then Adams had already left Paris for Amsterdam.
The central question concerning the exchange between John Adams and the Comte de Vergennes in July is why did it occur? One element in Adams' decision to confront Vergennes may have been his impending departure for the Netherlands. Such a conclusion is supported by his letters of 26 and 27 July (both below), which do resemble the parting shots of a man who planned no further dealings with the French foreign minister. When the debate opened on 13 July, however, there was no sign that Adams planned anything more than the brief visit to the Netherlands that he had contemplated since early March and of which he had informed Vergennes earlier in July (to Edmund Jenings, 12 March; to Vergennes, 2 July, note 1, both above; to the president of Congress, 23 July, No. 99, and note 2, below). Moreover, only on 12 September did Adams indicate his plan to reside permanently at Amsterdam (to Francis Dana, 12 Sept., below). It seems unlikely, therefore, that his decision to visit the Netherlands was Adams' only or even his principal reason for confronting Vergennes in July.
Of more significance in provoking the exchange was Adams' effort, also undertaken in June and July, to persuade the British people and their government that Britain's interests required an immediate peace. Adams' peace initiative proceeded from his reading of Thomas Pownall's Memorial and Adams' letters to Vergennes in July show the influence of the Memorial. Moreover, in their use of Pownall's arguments, the letters parallel Adams' answer to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts, leading to the conclusion that Adams may have come to see Vergennes' opposition to direct Anglo-American negotiations in much the same light as he saw Galloway's. It was no coincidence, therefore, that Adams' debate with Vergennes over the sufficiency of French aid and the exercise of his plenipotentiary powers began at almost the same time he sent Edmund Jenings the manuscripts of his Translation of Pownall's Memorial and his answer to Galloway.
The content of the letters to Vergennes was determined by Adams' desire that his peace initiative be more than a private, literary undertaking, which required that questions concerning French aid and Adams' exercise of his powers be settled. Peace negotiations were unlikely so long as the war remained a stalemate, a situation that Adams believed would continue until France provided additional aid and deployed its military and naval forces more effectively in the American theater of operations. Adams was also aware that he could not undertake official negotiations without at least the tacit support of his French ally. It seems clear, therefore, that Adams' decision to confront Vergennes in July was due largely to his determination to make one final attempt to create the conditions under which his peace initiative might succeed.
{ 519 }
Whatever John Adams intended, the issues raised in his correspondence with Vergennes did not disappear, but were referred to Congress for its consideration. Although Adams had agreed, in his letter of 26 July, to send the correspondence to Congress, Vergennes was not disposed to rely on Adams' promise. On 31 July Vergennes wrote to Benjamin Franklin and requested that he send the enclosed correspondence to Congress. He declared that Franklin would discover in Adams' letters “opinions and a turn which do not correspond either with the manner in which I explained myself to him or with the intimate connection which subsists between the king and the United States.” By seeing the letters Congress could determine whether Adams had “that conciliating spirit which is necessary for the important and delicate business with which he is intrusted” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:18–19).
Franklin wrote to the president of Congress on 9 August. There he noted both the offense given Vergennes and the French court by Adams' letters and Vergennes' refusal to correspond further with him. Citing the inherent difficulties in having two ministers at the same court with different views regarding the proper conduct of business, Franklin observed that Louis XVI should be encouraged to reflect on his “generous benevolence . . . by our thankful acknowledgments, and that such an expression of gratitude is not only our duty, but our interest.” John Adams, however, thought that more “stoutness and a greater air of independence and boldness in our demands will procure us more ample assistance” (same, 4:22–23). But Franklin may have been uncomfortable in the role assigned him by Vergennes, for in a letter to Adams of 8 October (below), he indicated that he had not yet sent off the copies of the July letters and suggested that Adams might be able to rectify the situation by apologizing to the foreign minister. Adams did not follow Franklin's advice.
Benjamin Franklin's letter of 9 August, together with the enclosed correspondence, reached Philadelphia on 19 February 1781 (JCC, 19:174), but by then Congress had already reacted to copies sent at Adams' direction. On 26 December, the correspondence reached Congress as enclosures in Francis Dana's letter of 24 August, and a committee was immediately appointed to consider Adams' letters of 17 and 26 July and Vergennes' of the 25th (same, 18:1194). On 10 January 1781 the committee reported out a draft letter to John Adams which Congress promptly adopted and sent under that date (same, 19:41–42). The letter stated that Congress assumed that Adams' letters to Vergennes concerning the communication of his commissions flowed from his zeal, but that it believed that Vergennes' objections to such an undertaking were “well founded.” Adams was advised to be more circumspect in regard to his evaluations of the prospects for peace derived from his analysis of the vagaries of British politics and society.
The multiple copies of the Adams-Vergennes correspondence sent to Congress can be confusing. Individual items, although numbered, were not kept with their covering letters or distributed in a consistent way through the Papers of the Continental Congress (see PCC, No. 84, II and Misc. { 520 } Papers, Reel No. 1). Moreover, Vergennes sent Franklin the recipient's copies of John Adams' letters so that, instead of being in the Archives of the French Foreign Ministry, they are in the Papers of the Continental Congress, and it is from that source that the copies printed in this volume are taken.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0309-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
Date: 1780-07-13

To the Comte de Vergennes

[salute] Sir

By the Treaty of Alliance of the sixth of February2 1778, his Majesty and the United States agreed, in Case of War, to join their Councils and Efforts against the Enterprises of the common Enemy: to make it a common Cause, and aid each other mutually with their good Offices, their Councils and their Forces, according to the Exigences of Conjunctures, and each of the contracting Parties, in the manner it may judge most proper, is to make all the Efforts in its Power against the common Enemy.3
I have cited these Clauses from the Treaty, not as foundations of any demand, that I have to make, because they are neither proper to support any demand, nor have I Authority to make any if they were: but as an Apology for the Liberty I take of requesting your Excellency's Attention to a few Observations upon the present Conjuncture of Affairs.
It is certain from the best Intelligence from London, as well as from the debates in Parliament on the several Motions which have been made for a pacification, that the British Ministry are inflexibly determined to pursue the War another Campaign in America, to send more Troops and Ships there, if they possibly can obtain them, and to put to the hazard not only, the national Credit, but their maritime Power, and even their political Existence, rather than give up their designs of domination over America; and indeed this is not at all to be wondered at, that the Ministers and the Nation, who have so far lost their Justice, their Humanity and Policy, as to deliberately form and pursue the plan of4 changing the foundations of the Laws and Government of thirteen Colonies, and reducing them to Slavery; and who have pursued this object with such sanguinary Fury for so many Years, should persist so as to bury themselves in the Ruins of the Empire, rather than fail of their purpose, when it is plain they consider, and, that not without Reason, the same Ruin in the Independence of America and her Connections with France.
The Conduct of Monsieur Le Comte de Guichen; on the seventeenth of April, and the fifteenth and nineteenth of May, in the West { 521 } Indies,5 does great honor to the national Bravery, as well as their Science in naval Tacticks, and shews that there is no Cause to fear that the Enemy will obtain any Advantage there. Yet nothing has yet been done on either Side that seems decisive.
The Advantages which Spain has gained in West Florida, and particularly of late at Mobile, and the probability that they will succeed in acquiring both the Floridas, shews that the English are on the losing hand in that quarter: but it is not the loss of both the Floridas, nor of all their West India Islands, in my Opinion, that will induce them to make Peace, and acknowledge the Independence of America in Alliance with France. They will see every posession they have beyond their Island lopped off, one after another, before they will do this.
I pretend not to know, to what part of America Monsieur de Ternay, and Monsieur de Rochambeau are destined; but to whatever part it is, whether Canada, Nova Scotia, New York, Carolina or Georgia, I have no hopes of any thing decisive from their Operations, altho' they should be instructed to co-operate with General Washington. If they should be destined against Canada or Nova Scotia, they may succeed: but this success will not be decisive. If they are intended against New York, I have no hopes of their Success. The Naval Force is not sufficient to command the Seas. Admiral Graves, added to the Ships before at New York, will be superiour; and I shall venture to give my Opinion that without a Superiority of naval Force, clear and indisputable,6 New York will never be taken. It is so situated, it is so fortified, it is garrisoned with Troops so accustomed to War, and so imbittered and inflamed by cruel passions carefully nursed up in their Breasts by their King and their Generals, and it is universally regarded by them a Post of such essential Importance, that I confess I should dispair of Success against it, with an Army twice as numerous as that of the Generals Washington and Rochambeau united, while the English are Masters of the Seas, or even while they have there an Equality of naval Power.
Most People in Europe have wondered at the Inactivity of the American Army for these two Years past, but it is merely from Want of Knowledge or Attention. The true Cause of it is; the English have confined themselves to their strong holds in Sea port Towns, and have been sheltered from all Attacks and Insults there by the Guns of their Men of War, and forever will be so, while they have the Superiority at Sea. If our Army had been three times as numerous as it was, it must have remained inactive, without a Fleet to co-operate with it; { 522 } for an Attack upon New York, without a Fleet, would have been only sacrificing the Lives of thousands of brave Men, without a possibility of succeeding.
Had the English two Years ago marched into the Country from Philadelphia, instead of retreating7 back with precipitation to New York, Europe would have heard more of the Exertions of the American Army: so much more, that in my serious Opinion, You would have heard of its total destruction.8 As it was, they were closely pursued, attacked, and if not beaten, yet they had much the worst of the Action;9 for besides their loss in killed, wounded, and in those who perished under the fatigue and heat of the day, not less than five hundred deserted from them and their desertions would have multiplied in every unsuccessful Engagement within the Country. If the last Year the British Army10 had marched out into the Country, instead of remaining under Cover of their Men of War, I am equally clear that they would have been ruined.11 The English ever since the Alliance have been fearfully apprehensive of an Attack upon their strong holds on the Sea Coast by the French. This it was induced them to retreat from Philadelphia to New York, and this has kept them almost wholly confined to that Garrison, the last Year.
I mention this, merely to wipe off the Imputation said to result from the Inactivity of our Army, since the Alliance, by shewing the true Cause of it; that it proceeds not from any Change of Sentiment in the Americans, but from the Change of the mode of prosecuting the War on the part of our Enemies.12
I am, however, clearly of Opinion, and I know it to be the general Sense of America, that the English, both in North America and the West India Islands, have been for these Two Years past absolutely in the Power of their Enemies, and that they are so now, and will continue to be so, in such a degree, that nothing will be wanting but attention to their situation, and a judicious application of the Forces of the Allies, to accomplish the entire Reduction of their Power in America. In order to shew this, let me beg your Excellency's Attention to a few Remarks upon the Situation of the English; and upon the Method of applying the force of the Allies so as to reduce them.
The English are in possession of Canada, a Province vastly extensive, and in which there is a great Number of Posts, at a great distance from each other, necessary to be maintained among a People too, who are by no means attached to them, but who would readily afford all the Assistance in their Power to the united forces of France and of the United States, and who would join them in considerable { 523 } Numbers. In this whole Province, the English have not, comprehending the Garrisons of all their Posts, more than four thousand Men.
The English are in possession of Nova Scotia. They have in Hallifax and the other Parts of the Province, and at Penobscot about three thousand Men. But the People of this Province, being descendants and Emigrants from New England chiefly, are discontented with British Government, and desirous of joining the United States.
They are in Possession of New York Island, Long Island and Staten Island, where they have in all of regular British Troops, perhaps[]13 Thousand Men. The Militia and Volunteers &c., of whom they make such an ostentatious display in the dispatches of their Generals, and in the Gazette of St. James's, are of very little Consideration. Their Numbers are much exaggerated. It is Force, and Fear and Policy, that enrolls the greatest part of them.14 There are perhaps fifteen thousand Inhabitants of the City. These, together with the Army and Navy, are fed and supplied with provisions and stores and fuel, and their Cattle and Horses with forage brought by Sea from Quebec, Hallifax, Ireland, and the West India Islands, except the small Quantity which they draw from Long Island and Staten Island.
They are now in Possession of Charlestown in South Carolina and Savannah in Georgia. Their Armies and Navies in these places, as well as the Inhabitants, must be chiefly supplied by Sea in the same manner.
They are still perhaps in possession of St. Augustine in East Florida and Pensacola in the West. From these places they have drawn of late Years great supplies of Lumber and Provisions for their West India Islands. The Number of Troops in Georgia and Carolina may amount to[]15 Thousands.
They are in Possession of Jamaica, Barbadoes, Antigua, St. Christophers, and St. Lucie and other Islands. These draw Supplies of Provisions and Lumber &c., from Quebec, Hallifax, Pensacola, and Augustine, that is from the Floridas. The Number of Troops they have in each Island, I am not able to ascertain: but certainly they are not strong in any of them. And the Climate in the West Indies and in Georgia and Carolina, is making a rapid Consumption of their Men.
From this Sketch it will be easily seen, what a great Number of Posts they have to sustain, how these are mutually connected with and dependent on each other, and that their Existence in all of them depends upon their Superiority at Sea, and that to carry on the Intercourse and Communication between these various places, a vast Number of Transports, Provision Vessels and Merchant Ships, are { 524 } necessary. This is so much the fact, that the English Nation has now little Navigation left but what is employed in maintaining the Communication of these places with one another and with Europe. Here then it is that the English Commerce and Navy is vulnerable, and this it is which clearly points out to their Enemies, the only sure and certain Way of reducing their Power in that quarter of the World; and if it is reduced there, it is brought into a narrow Compass every where.
The Policy and Necessity of keeping always a superiour Fleet both in the West India Islands and on the Coast of the Continent of North America, is from all this very obvious. The English are so sensible of this, that they dread it as the greatest Evil that can befal them. The Appearance of the Count D'Estaing upon the Coast of North America never failed to throw the English into the utmost Terror and Consternation.16
The Appearance of a French Fleet upon our Coasts has repeatedly compelled, and ever must compel the English to call off from their Cruises, all their Frigates, and other Ships, and to assemble them at New York for their Security, and the defence of that place. These are among the happy Effects of such a measure. The Communication of the United States, not only with each other, but with the West Indies, with France, and all other parts of Europe, with which they have any Concern, is immediately opened, and they are thereby easily furnished, in all parts, with every thing fitting and necessary to carry on the War with the greatest Vigour. His Majesty's Fleets and Armies will be amply and much more cheaply supplied, and his Subjects will reap, in Common with the Inhabitants of the United States, the benefits of this free Commerce. It will give free Sea-Room to the few Frigates belonging to Congress, and the several States, to cruise for the Merchant Ships, Provision Vessels and Transports of the Enemy. It gives Opportunity also to the Privateers to do the same. There are at this day, notwithstanding the dreadful Sacrifices made at Charlestown and Penobscot, Sacrifices the Necessity of which would have been entirely prevented by a few ships of the line,17 the Continental Frigates, the Confederacy, which is arrived at Philadelphia, the Alliance which will soon be there, the Trumbll, the Deane, the Bourbon, and also a Ship of fifty six Guns, which is nearly ready for Sea. The State of Massachusetts has two Frigates18 and several smaller Vessels. There are besides these now in being, belonging to Newbury Port, Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Portsmouth, Boston and Rhode Island about forty Privateers. There are several belonging to Philadelphia. { 525 } If a French Fleet should constantly remain upon that Coast, the Number of these Privateers would be doubled in a very few Months. What Havock then must these armed Vessels make, especially if a few French Frigates should be also ordered to cruise for Prizes, among the Provision Vessels, Merchant Ships and Transports passing and repassing to and from America and the West Indies to Europe, and to and from America and the West Indies, and to and from Quebec, Nova Scotia, New York, Charlestown, Savannah and the Floridas. Such depredations have several Times been made by our Cruisers alone, as to reduce the English at New York to very great distress: and it would be very easy to reduce them in this Way, to such Misery, as to oblige them to surrender at discretion.
I therefore beg leave to submit it to your Excellency's Consideration, whether there is any possible Way, that a Marine Force can be employed against the English, so much to the advantage of France, and the disadvantage of England, as in this Way: and whether upon the principles of French Interest and Policy alone, even without taking into Consideration that of the United States, a Fleet ought not to be constantly kept in North America. The Advantages they will there have, in Artists,19 Supplies, Accommodations &c. above the English are obvious.20
But the Question will arise, where shall they winter? I answer they may winter with perfect Security and Advantage, either at Boston, Rhode Island, Delaware or Cheasapeak Bay.
Another Question will arise, whether they should all winter together in one Port, or be seperated to several Ports?
I apprehend, however, that it would be most prudent to leave it to the discretion of the Commander in Chief of the Squadron, to keep the Squadron together, or to detach parts of it, according to the Exigences of the Service, advising with Congress, or with the Chevalier de la Luzerne, from time to time.
Two Ships of the Line with three Frigates stationed at Boston, with orders to cruise occasionally for the protection of French and American Trade and the Annoyance of the Enemy: the same Number at Rhode Island with the same Orders—the same Number at Delaware River with similar Orders and a like Number in Cheasapeak Bay with like Orders, which would make eight Ships of the Line and twelve Frigates, I have a moral Certainty would in one Year reduce the Power of the English in North America to absolute Annihilation without striking a Blow at Land. Those Ships would make a diversion of an equal Force of the English from the West India Islands, so that they { 526 } would be in that respect as usefully employed for his Majesty there as any where. Eight Ships of the Line and twelve Frigates stationed together at Rhode Island, with Orders to cruise for the same purposes would do the same thing.
Which plan would be best I dare not undertake to say. But until further informed, and instructed by Congress, I should think however, that the best plan would be to station the Fleet for the Winter, either in Delaware, or Cheasapeak Bay: and as the War has lately turned to the Southward, I am most inclined to think that Cheasapeak Bay would be the most proper.
But, in all Events, I beg leave to intreat in the most earnest manner that a powerful Fleet may be ordered to winter somewhere in North America. By this means I think there is a moral Certainty that the English will be ruined there; whereas if Dependence is had upon the Assault and Attack of their strong holds, without the most absolute Command of the Sea, I fear it will end in Disappointment and Disgrace.21
There is the more urgent Reason for laying these Considerations before your Excellency, because there is a proportion of the People in America, who wish to return to the domination of Great Britain, many of whom are sensible and artful Men. They take Notice of every Circumstance of the Conduct of France, and represent it in such a Light, as they think will throw a prejudice against the Alliance into the Minds of the People. They represent the Affair of Rhode Island and of Savannah and some other things, as proofs that the Court of France do not mean to give any effectual Aid to America, but only to play off her Strength against that of Britain, and thus exhaust <her> both. The Refugees in England concur with them in these Representations, and the Ministry, and the Members of Parliament in their public Speeches represent the same thing. Even Mr. Hartley, who is more for Peace than any Man in that Kingdom, in a printed Letter to the Inhabitants of the County of York, says, “it is our duty to unravel by Negotiation, the Combination of Powers now acting against Us”: and he says further in express Words, that “it is apparent to all the World, that France might long ago have put an End to that part of the War, which has been most distressing to America, if they had chosen so to do.” He must mean here the War of their Frigates and Privateers upon our Trade. “Let the whole System of France be considered,” says he, “from the beginning down to the late Retreat from Savannah, and I think it is impossible to put any other Construction upon it, but this, viz, that it has always been the deliberate { 527 } Intention and Object of France, for purposes of their own, to encourage the Continuation of the War in America, in hopes of exhausting the Strength and Resources of this Country, and of depressing the rising Power of America.”22 This is not only the Language of Mr. Hartley, but the general Language of Newspapers and Pamphlets, and, I am well informed, of Conversation, in England. These are very industriously sent to America, through various Channels which cannot be stopped, by Laws, Art, or Power.
The body of the People have great Confidence in the sincerity of France; but if these contrary Opinions should be suffered to gain ground, as they most assuredly will, if something is not done to prevent it; when all the World sees and declares as they do, that it is the best Policy of France, if She considered her own Interest alone in the Conduct of the War, to keep a superiour naval Force upon the Coast of the Continent of North America; I leave your Excellency to judge, what a melancholy effect it will have upon our Affairs. There is no Event, in my Opinion, which would have so direct a tendency to give force and extent to Opinions so dangerous to both Nations, as the calling off from the Continent your Naval Force, during the Winter, and not keeping a Superiority there through the Year. I scruple not to give it as my opinion, that it will disunite, weaken and distress Us more than, We should have been disunited, weakened or distressed, if the Alliance had never been made.
The United States of America are a great and powerful People, whatever European Statesmen may think of them. If We take into our Estimate, the Numbers and Character of her People, the Extent, Variety, and Fertility of her Soil, her Commerce, and her Skill and Materials for Ship building, and her Seamen, excepting France, Spain, England, the Emperor and Russia, there is not a State in Europe so powerful. Breaking off such a Nation as this from the English so suddenly, and uniting it so closely with France, is one of the most extraordinary Events that ever happened among Mankind. The prejudices of Nations in favor of themselves and against all other Nations, which spring from self-love, and are often nurtured by Policy for unworthy purposes, and which have certainly been ever cultivated by the English with the utmost Care, in the Minds of the Americans, as well as of the People of every other Part of their dominions, certainly deserve the Attention of the wisest Statesmen, and as they are not to be eradicated in a Moment, they require to be managed with some delicacy. It is too often said in France, where the Prejudice against the English has not been fostered into so much Rancour, { 528 } because France never had so much to fear from England, as England has from France, That “the Americans and the English are the same thing,” not to make it appear that there are some Remnants of Prejudices against Americans among the French: and it must be confessed there are some in America against France. It is really astonishing however, that there are so few, and it is the Interest and Duty of both, to lessen them as fast as possible, and to avoid with the nicest Care every colourable Cause of reviving any part of them.23
I beg your Excellency to excuse this Trouble, because the State of things in North America, has really become alarming, and this merely for Want of a few French Men of War upon that Coast, and to believe me to be, with the greatest Respect Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 63–81); endorsed on the first page: “M. de R.,” “Rep.”; with an additional notation: “No. 6.”; docketed by Congress: “N 6. John Adams to Ct Vergennes July 13th 1780.” For the presence of this copy in the PCC, see The Dispute with the Comte de Vergennes, 13–29 July, Editorial Note (above). LbC partly in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). MS fragment (Adams Papers), filmed at 7 Feb. 1780 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 351).
1. This letter should be compared with earlier ones from the Commissioners to Vergennes, [ante 20] Dec. 1778 – [ante 9] Jan. 1779, and from JA to the Marquis de Lafayette of 21 Feb. 1779 (vol. 7:292–311, 421–423); see also vol. 8:index, Adams, John: Military Interests, Naval matters. JA sent a virtually identical copy of this letter, in Jonathan Loring Austin's hand, to the Minister of Marine, Gabriel de Sartine (Arch. de la Marine, Paris, Campagnes B4, vol. 182), but no reply to that letter has been found.
2. In the Letterbook JA wrote “April,” which John Thaxter canceled and replaced with “Feby.”
3. This paragraph includes portions of the preamble, Art. I, and Art. III of the FrancoAmerican Treaty of Alliance (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:36, 37).
4. At this point in the Letterbook JA wrote and then canceled “enslaving.”
5. For the battle between Guichen and Rodney off Martinique on 17 April, see vol. 8:337, 360; and JA's letter of 14 May to John Bondfield, note 1 (above). For their encounters on 14 and 19 May, see Thomas Digges' letter of 29 June, note 2 (above).
6. In the Letterbook the preceding three words are canceled and do not appear in the letter sent to Sartine.
7. In the Letterbook, John Thaxter inserted this word in place of JA's “sulking.”
8. At this point in the Letterbook the letter “b” appears, indicating the corresponding passage at the end of the Letterbook copy for insertion at this point. The inserted passage comprised all of the following sentence. The insertions “b” through “e” are in Thaxter's hand, but see note 21.
9. This was the Battle of Monmouth on 28 June 1778.
10. In the copy sent to Sartine, “British Army” was replaced by “Enemy.”
11. In the Letterbook the remainder of this paragraph reads “c. (Had it not been for the Alliance between France and America however, there is every Reason to believe they would have had the Presumption or desperation to have marched into the Country from Philadelphia, in 1778 and from N. York in 1779. So that this Alliance, may be reasonably conjectured to have been the Cause, why the Ennemy in the United States have not been defeated.) <. . . by giving scope to our Privateers and more freedom to our Troops it has been of great Advantage.> d.” The letter “c” indicates the passage at the end of the Letterbook copy that comprises the following two sentences in the recipient's copy. It seems likely that originally they were to be followed { 529 } by the two sentences that are enclosed in parentheses in the Letterbook, but which were subsequently deleted.
12. The letter “d” indicates the passage at the end of the Letterbook copy that comprises all of the following paragraph, but may originally have been intended to replace the heavily canceled sentence in the Letterbook. In any event it seems likely that JA determined to insert passages “c” and “d” and to delete the final sentence before he decided to delete the two sentences now set off in parentheses. Certainly the removal of those two sentences was necessary if JA was not to be seen as echoing, explicitly rather than implicitly, the statements of David Hartley regarding the Franco-American alliance and the continuation of the war that he quotes later in the letter.
13. Left blank. In July 1780, the garrison at New York reportedly comprised 20,048 troops, of which 14,285 were fit for duty (Mackesy, War for America, p. 346).
14. At this point in the Letterbook, set off in parentheses, presumably for deletion, is the following passage: “The English themselves have So little Confidence in them, that they exercise them in the day time, with only Pieces of Wood in their Musquets for Flints, that they take their arms from them every night, and pile them up in the magazines, and they never trust them with Powder and their officers have frequently been heard to say, that the greatest Part of them ought to be in Prison.” JA's reason for deleting this passage is unknown, but for his previous use of this description of the loyalist troops at New York, see “Letters from a Distinguished American,” [ante 14–22 July], No. II, below).
15. Left blank. In July 1780, the British reportedly had 8,439 troops in South Carolina and Georgia, of which 6,129 were fit for duty (Mackesy, War for America, p. 346).
16. In the Letterbook the text continues “(Even the Appearance of the Kings Frigate the Sensible in Boston Harbour, was some Protection to Us.)
“e. (The first Consequence of the Appearance of a french Fleet upon the Coast, is, the English are obliged to call off from their Cruises all their Frigates and other ships, and assemble them at New York in order to defend that.)”. The letter “e” indicates the passage at the end of the Letterbook copy which comprises the first four sentences of the following paragraph.
17. JA inserted the words “Sacrifices the Necessity . . . ships of the line.” The passage does not appear in the letter sent to Sartine.
18. At this point in the Letterbook is the canceled passage “one frigate of 22 Guns the Protector.” At the time of this letter Massachusetts had only two major warships, the frigate Protector and the ship Mars (Charles O. Paullin, Navy of the American Revolution, Cleveland, 1906, p. 342).
19. At this point in the Letterbook is the canceled passage “protecting the French Trade,” but see note 20.
20. In the Letterbook the paragraph continues “(The Protection they will afford to the supplies to his Majestys fleets armies and subjects in his Colonies is equally obvious, and to the Trade both of his subjects and allies.).”
21. The remainder of the Letterbook copy is in John Thaxter's hand and was copied from a manuscript in JA's hand (see descriptive note), bearing the notation “f,” and consisting of four folio pages, one and a quarter of which contain text. JA's designation of the manuscript as “f,” thus placing it in sequence with the other textual insertions, may indicate that he originally intended to end the letter at this point. The portion of the text copied from the manuscript is immediately followed by the passages marked “b,” “c,” “d,” and “e,” which were intended for insertion in the text. No character “a” or passage “a” has been found.
22. The quotations are from David Hartley's letter of 21 March 1780 that was published in Two Letters from D. Hartley, Esq. M.P. Addressed to the Committee of the County of York, London, 1780. For JA's earlier criticism of these statements, some of which he repeats here, see his letter of 18 April to the president of Congress, No. 48 (above).
23. The manuscript ends at this point, but the closing paragraph is in the Letterbook.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0310-0001

Author: Addenet, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-13

From M. Addenet

[salute] Monsieur

La premiere feuille de ma traduction est bien avancée, et dès que { 530 } j'aurai La Suite je ne vous ferai pas attendre. Mais je souhaiterois avoir votre extrait Complet. Il seroit essentiel que je L'eusse, afin de mettre de La Liaison et de La Concordance: autrement Le style en souffriroit. Si votre Copie est achevée, je vous prie de vouloir bien me La faire passer.1
Je Suis avec un profond respect, Monsieur, Votre très humble et très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Addenet
Ma demeure est rue transnonain maison de Monsieur Blondel.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0310-0002

Author: Addenet, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-13

M. Addenet to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

The first portion of my translation is well advanced and as soon as I have the rest I will be able to complete the task. But I need to have the complete extract. It is essential in order to tie it together coherently, otherwise the style will suffer. If your copy is completed, please have the goodness to send it to me.1
I am with profound respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant.
[signed] Addenet
My residence is on Rue Transnonain at the house of Monsieur Blondel.
RC (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “Monsieur Adenet 13 July. 1780. Ruë Transnonain maison de monsieur Blondel a Paris.”; in CFA's hand: “1780.”
1. Addenet, whom Edmé Jacques Genet recommended in his letter of 13 June (above), was doing a French translation of JA's reworking of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, which would be published at Amsterdam in November under the title of Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie. See A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July] (above). Addenet sent an additional progress report on 23 July (Adams Papers). For the delivery of the finished translation, see his letter of 30 July, and note 1 (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0311

Author: Rush, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-13

From Benjamin Rush

[salute] Dear Sir

The reduction—I will not say loss of Charlestown has produced a new Era in the politicks of America—Such as you and I saw—and felt—and admired in the years 1775 and 76. Our republic cannot exist long in prosperity. We require adversity, and appear to possess most of the republican Spirit when most depressed. The papers will inform you of the exploits of our governments—of our citizens—of our Soldiers—and even of our ladies. If there is a single philosopher in the cabinet of St. James's he will advise immediately to make peace with America. “The Romans govern the world (said Cato) but the women govern the Romans.” The women of America have at last become principals { 531 } in the glorious American Controversy. Their opinions alone and their transcendent influence in Society and families must lead us on to Success and victory. My dear wife who You know in the beginning of the war had all the timidity of her Sex as to the issue of the war, and the fate of her husband, was One of the ladies employed to sollicit benefactions for the Army. She distinguished herself by her Zeal and Address in this business, and is now so thouroughly enlisted in the cause of her country, that She reproaches me with lukewarmness. Mr. Searle will inform you of what is going forward within doors. His zeal and integrity in the service of America and of Pensylvania in particular entitle him to the good offices and regard of all the friends of liberty on your side the water.

[salute] Adieu—From my dear friend yours most Sincerely

[signed] Benjn. Rush
1. On 20 Sept. JA wrote to Jean Luzac (LbC, Adams Papers), enclosing this letter and offering it for publication in the Gazette de Leyde. Luzac returned the letter without using it, probably because he had already published a piece concerning the activities of the Philadelphia women in the issue of 15 September.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0001

Editorial Note

On 22 July, John Adams sent Edmund Jenings the final portion of his reply to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts (London, 1780 [i.e. 1779]). Specifically, { 532 } his reply was to the three sections of that pamphlet setting down Galloway's views “On the Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence”; “On the Expence of Great Britain in the Settlement and Defence of the American Colonies”; and “On the Value and Importance of the American Colonies and the West Indies to the British Empire” (see No. I, note 1, below). In an accompanying note, Adams declared that “I have done with this Pamphlet, but I have 20 more as full of Nonsense—would you advise me to go on? or is it worth while to print these or any part of them” (Adams Papers).
In his reply to Cool Thoughts, Adams sought to convince the British public that peace, based on the acknowledgment of American independence, was in Britain's self-interest. His arguments reiterated several points contained in his replies to speeches in Parliament by Henry Seymour Conway and Lord George Germain (to Edmé Jacques Genet, 17 and 28 May, both above), and in his revision of Thomas Pownall's Memorial (London, 1780; A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above). But his response to Galloway was not published so expeditiously as those other productions. Not until 1782, from August through December, was the reply published by Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer in London, and then it was under the title of “Letters from a Distinguished American.”
Understanding Adams' motives for writing the letters in 1780, and the reason for their publication in 1782 is important for analyzing the development of his vision of the basis upon which an Anglo-American peace could be established, the future of Anglo-American and Franco-American relations, and the long-term direction of American foreign policy.
Joseph Galloway dominated pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania politics. An able lawyer from a prominent family, Galloway was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1756 and, except for the year 1764– 1765, served continuously until 1775, holding the office of speaker from 1766 to 1774. In the Assembly he was allied with Benjamin Franklin in efforts to overturn the proprietorship and transform Pennsylvania into a royal colony. Whether intentional or not, Galloway's choice of a title for his 1780 pamphlet recalls that alliance, for in 1764, when both men were engaged in a pamphlet war against the proprietorship, Franklin published a piece entitled Cool Thoughts on the Present Situation of our Public Affairs (Evans, No. 9664; Franklin, Papers, 11:153–173).
In 1774, hoping to prevent radical elements from provoking an irreversible rupture with Britain, Galloway obtained election to the First Continental Congress. John Adams met Galloway there and described him as a “sensible and learned but cold Speaker”; more significant was Adams' association of Galloway's conception of the proper Anglo-American relationship in 1774 with Thomas Hutchinson's approach in 1764, on the eve of the Stamp Act crisis (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:150, 119). Adams' perception of this connection may explain his immediate attribution to Hutchinson of a role in writing Cool Thoughts (No. I, below) and, after learning of his death, his { 533 } inclusion of a lengthy appraisal of Hutchinson's life (No. VII, below), as well as his enthusiasm for undertaking a rebuttal of Cool Thoughts.
Galloway's major contribution at the First Continental Congress was his “Plan of Union.” The “Plan,” ultimately tabled and expunged from the minutes, provided for an American legislature to govern the colonies, with legislation originating either there or in the British Parliament, but with the approval of both required for enactment. The defeat of his plan and Congress' adoption of more radical measures, led Galloway to refuse election to the Second Continental Congress. In 1776 he crossed the British lines to join Gen. William Howe in New Jersey, and in 1777 he joined the British invasion of Pennsylvania. In December 1777, Howe appointed Galloway superintendent-general of Philadelphia, in effect the civil governor of that occupied city. Galloway accompanied Howe's army when it evacuated Philadelphia in June 1778 to return to New York, and in October he sailed for England, never to return. But he did not abandon his hope for an imperial constitution, and between 1774 and 1788 he produced no less than seven constitutional plans, with those done after 1774 predicated on the military conquest of the colonies (Julian Boyd, Anglo-American Union, Phila., 1941).
By the late 1770s, Galloway believed that the incompetence of British commanders and a lack of resolve in London had unduly delayed military victory. In 1779, first in testimony before the Parliament and later in pamphlets attacking the Howe brothers, he sharply criticized British efforts to subdue the Americans (DAB; DNB). By 1780, Galloway was the most prominent loyalist refugee supporting the military conquest of the colonies and it was this fixation on a military solution that produced his Cool Thoughts.
Cool Thoughts was ostensibly an objective analysis of the effect of American independence on British economic and political power, but its real purpose was to counter the arguments of such men as Josiah Tucker, the Dean of Gloucester (to Genet, 9 May, note 1, above), and Thomas Pownall, member of Parliament and former governor of Massachusetts (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], above). Both Tucker and Pownall believed that Britain would profit from American independence because it could then enjoy the economic benefits derived from the colonies without the expense of governing and protecting them. Galloway dismissed such arguments as heresy, declaring that rather than reaping any economic or political benefits from the loss of its American empire, Britain would be so weakened as to be in danger of foreign conquest.
John Adams believed that Galloway's arguments were both absurd and dangerous because they played to the illusions of the North ministry and of many members of Parliament who believed that the war could be settled short of complete American independence. In fact, it was the very absurdity of Galloway's arguments that led Adams to see Cool Thoughts as the perfect vehicle upon which to base an American manifesto regarding the war and the future of Anglo-American relations.
In his reply, Adams noted repeatedly that Galloway's arguments justifying { 534 } Britain's efforts to retain its colonies were equally valid as reasons for the United States and its allies to continue their resistance, and he asserted that every disaster that Galloway foresaw Britain suffering from American independence could be avoided by making peace. Where Galloway demanded that Britain serve its self-interest by continuing the war to victory and reimposing the mercantilist navigation acts, John Adams called on Britain to serve its self-interest by granting independence and forging a new commercial relationship based on free trade. Where Galloway saw America as the perpetual tool of France in its rivalry with England, Adams foresaw American neutrality in future European wars. Where Galloway saw American independence resulting in a weakened Britain, unable to compete with or resist its foreign enemies, Adams anticipated a stronger Britain, once again engaged in the familiar channels of Anglo-American trade. And where Galloway thought a military victory possible, Adams deemed such an outcome doubtful and, if achieved, then pyrrhic.
John Adams' arguments in his reply to Galloway were heavily influenced by those in Thomas Pownall's Memorial. By the time that he began his response to Galloway, Adams had had ample time to consider his reworking of the Memorial, which he had sent to the president of Congress in a long letter of 19 April, and was in the process of composing his Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe upon the Present State of Affairs Between the Old and New World into Common Sense and Intelligible English, which would be published in French at Amsterdam in 1780 and in English at London in 1781 (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], Nos. I and II, above). Pownall's Memorial was itself a repudiation of Galloway and those who shared his views, and its influence on the “Letters from a Distinguished American” is clear. But there are significant differences in style and content between the Memorial, Adams' Translation, and his “Letters.”
Pownall's Memorial appealed to Adams because it emphasized the identity of American and British interests in ending the war. Adams' revisions of Pownall's arguments were directed at making this coincidence of interests even clearer, while leaving no doubt as to the actual position of the United States vis-à-vis Britain and the rest of the world. Cool Thoughts took the opposite position, that American and British interests were fundamentally opposed, and Adams saw it as essentially a policy statement by the North ministry written by its loyalist lackeys. Thus his reply to Galloway, while it followed the lines set down in the Memorial and the Translation, was far more polemical and much more explicit about the future course of American policy and the impact of a peace settlement on that policy.
This is most evident in John Adams' treatment of the future Franco-American relationship. In both the Memorial and Adams' Translation, statements about the future neutrality of the United States merely implied that the Franco-American alliance, but not the commercial treaty, would lapse with the end of the war. In the fifth “Letter,” however, Adams states explicitly that “this treaty [the Franco-American alliance] lasts no longer than this
{ 535 } { 536 }
war” (No. V, and note 3, below). This declaration was presumably intended to remove a major obstacle to peace: the fear that Britain was to be faced for all time to come by a tripartite alliance of the United States, France, and Spain. But this statement, which does not appear in the corresponding section of the Adams letter of 16 June to the president of Congress (No. 84, above), was a remarkable assertion for Adams to make in 1780, particularly in a piece intended for publication, because it contradicted all previous statements of American policy and the language of the treaty itself.
Had the reply to Galloway been published in 1780, as John Adams clearly intended, it is doubtful that his identity would have remained secret. In that event the “Letters,” with their emphasis on the identity of British and American interests in making peace and the statement regarding the French alliance, could only have been seen as a direct American initiative to open peace negotiations. It would appear that, at least in 1780, John Adams' commitment to the continuance of the war under the terms of the French alliance extended only to the point at which Britain was forced to acknowledge American independence and begin peace negotiations.
It is significant that on the same day, 16 June, on which he wrote his first letter to the president of Congress regarding Cool Thoughts (No. 84, above), John Adams also wrote to the Comte de Vergennes. That letter began an acrimonious exchange over Congress' revaluation of its currency on 18 March, the adequacy of French aid to the United States, the proper FrancoAmerican relationship, and the opening of negotiations with Britain. This debate, which had been building towards a climax since Adams' arrival at Paris in February, ended only with Vergennes' letter of 29 July, the last communication between the two men for nearly a year (The Revaluation Controversy, 16 June – 1 July; The Dispute with the Comte de Vergennes, 13–29 July, both above).
Adams could have had few illusions about the prospects for success of any peace overtures to Britain in 1780, but his reply to Cool Thoughts does seem to be an effort to circumvent Vergennes' objections to any effort by Adams to exercise his powers to negotiate a peace treaty. It may well reveal the degree to which the conflict with Vergennes was convincing Adams that there was a sharp divergence of French and American interests in a negotiated peace, and that France was the major obstacle to achieving it. Adams' brief covering notes to Jenings of 8 and 22 July (Adams Papers) suggest that his Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial and his “Letters” were intended as companion pieces, part of a peace offensive, undertaken unilaterally in the face of French objections, that died in the face of British intransigence and the failure of the “Letters” to reach their intended audience.
John Adams received Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts as part of a package of newspapers and pamphlets sent by Thomas Digges (8 June, enclosure, above) which he acknowledged in a letter to Digges of 28 June (below). The pamphlet apparently arrived on or about 16 June, for in one letter of that date and two on the 17th, Adams undertook to inform Congress of the pamphlet and his views regarding it (Nos. 84, 85, and 86, all above). { 537 } But he did not then inform Congress of any plans to publish a reply to Galloway, and did not begin the first of his “Letters from a Distinguished American” until almost a month later, on or about 14 July (No. I, and note 1, below). The three letters sent to Congress each dealt with a separate section of Cool Thoughts and served as the basis for the individual “Letters” dealing with that section. Thus the first six “Letters” were based on the letter of 16 June to Congress which dealt with the first part of Cool Thoughts: “On the Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence” (Nos. I through VI, below); the next four were drawn from the first letter of 17 June, which concerned the second section: “On the Expence of Great Britain in the Settlement and Defence of the American Colonies” (Nos. VII through X, below); while the second letter of 17 June served as the basis for the first unpublished letter and pertained to the third section: “On the Value and Importance of the American Colonies and the West Indies to the British Empire” (No. XI, below). Only the final unpublished letter (No. XII, below) was neither derived from one of the letters to Congress nor intended as a response to Galloway, but rather was a critique of George III's speech closing Parliament on 8 July (Parliamentary Hist., 21:766–769). Adams probably received this text on or about 22 July, the date of a letter to the president of Congress concerning the speech (No. 98, calendared, below).
The letters to Congress mirror the organization of Galloway's pamphlet, and determine the content of Adams' “Letters” replying to Galloway. Adams selected, in consecutive order, the passages from Cool Thoughts upon which he wished to comment; the only significant differences between the quotations used in the letters to the president of Congress and those in the published “Letters” being occasional changes in format. But in the “Letters” Adams adds a much lengthier commentary, which makes the “Letters from a Distinguished American” more than three times as long as the letters to the president of Congress.
A comparison of the location and order of the quotations in the letters to Congress and in the “Letters” intended for publication strongly suggests that the “Letters” were not printed in the General Advertiser in the order in which they were written. The editors see no compelling reason to publish the letters in the order of their appearance in the General Advertiser, which seems only to reflect their ordering and dating in 1782, probably by Edmund Jenings. As published here, the letters are placed in the order in which Adams presumably wrote them. The order of their publication is indicated in arabic numerals in their titles, below.
The “Letters,” which John Adams sent to Edmund Jenings as enclosures in his letters of 14 (below) and 22 July (Adams Papers), apparently comprised forty-three folio pages of text (No. I, and note 1; Nos. XI and XII, descriptive notes, below). Jenings acknowledged receipt of the second installment on 27 July (below), noting that the “Letters” were so important “that I shall be careful to whom, they are trusted, and therefore may perhaps wait a little while, before I find a Convenient Opportunity.” Six weeks later, on 14 September, Jenings wrote that “the Translation of Pownal and the { 538 } other papers are got safe to my Friends Hands and He is preparing to publish them together and then proposes to retail it out in the News Papers” (below). If by “other papers” Jenings meant the “Letters,” then his friend's preparations were considerably delayed—for nearly two years.
Not until 11 February 1781, however, did Adams write to Jenings to inquire “what is become of the Remarks upon Galloway?” (Adams Papers). No reply has been found, and Adams did not inquire after his “Letters” again until 17 July 1782, when he added that “since they are not worth printing, in London I would have them published here in French” (Adams Papers). On 11 August, Jenings replied that “the Person to whom I sent some time ago the answer to Galloway is very idle or very busy,” for “I have written to him several times to publish it” (Adams Papers). Finally, on 22 August 1782, Jenings announced that the letters would soon appear in the General Advertiser (Adams Papers).
Jenings' letter of 11 August 1782 provides his only explanation for the delay in publication, and it explains very little. Nowhere does Jenings indicate why the “Letters” were not published in 1780 or 1781. In his letter of 11 August, he appears to be as perplexed as Adams about the holdup in publication, and seems to indicate that he had sent the manuscript off long before. That would accord with his letter of 14 September 1780. But did Jenings, in fact, send the “Letters” off to London in 1780 or did he wait until sometime after the fall of the North ministry in March 1782? Notations in Jenings' hand on the final, undated and unpublished “Letter” (No. XII, descriptive note, and note 5, below) and a reference in the sixth published “Letter” (No. V, and note 9, below) seem to show that he began, but did not complete, work on the manuscript in the fall of 1780, resumed his editing at the end of 1781 or the beginning of 1782, and finished only after the North ministry had fallen.
One can only conjecture why the “Letters from a Distinguished American” were not printed in 1780 or 1781. It may be that Jenings' explanation in his letter of 11 August 1782, that his friend in London had been “very idle or very busy,” is correct. But it seems incredible that such idleness or business would extend over a period of almost two years. An alternative explanation might be that when Jenings received the manuscript in July 1780, Britain was in political turmoil owing to the capture of Charleston, the Gordon Riots, and the impending parliamentary elections. Jenings or his London printer may have thought that it was not a propitious time to publish a series of letters intended to bring about Anglo-American negotiations. Jenings may even have wished to spare John Adams the consequences of a diplomatic indiscretion if his authorship became known.
Yet none of these conjectures explain why such circumstances or considerations did not also apply with regard to Adams' other efforts during this period. John Adams' replies to the speeches by Conway and Germain were published at London in late June or early July, and his Translation appeared in early January 1781 (from Edmund Jenings, 9 July, above; A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial, 19 April – [ca. 14 July], Editorial Note, above). A quite different explanation, even more conjectural than the rest, would { 539 } assign the delay to ministerial influence exerted through either Jenings or his printer, for the appearance of John Adams' reply to Cool Thoughts could not have been pleasing to the North ministry.
There is no similar uncertainty concerning the reasons for the “Letters'” publication in 1782. In Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer of 16 August 1782 a letter, perhaps by Jenings, announced the forthcoming publication of the “Letters” and indicated that they were intended to counter any plans by the newly instituted Shelburne ministry to seek an Anglo-American peace settlement that would leave the United States short of complete independence (see No. I, note 2, below). The “Letters from a Distinguished American” would make it clear that any such solution was both unacceptable to the Americans and contrary to British interests.
The publication of the “Letters” for that purpose made them part of the final peace process, which resulted in the signing of a preliminary peace treaty on 30 November 1782, a far different role for the essays than Adams had contemplated in 1780. Then Adams had intended his reply to Galloway to be seen as the work of an Englishman who, by pointing out the fallacies of Galloway's arguments and their contravention of British self-interest, sought to influence the policies of his own country. The changed circumstances of 1782 required either Jenings or the printer to introduce the “Letters” in a new fashion.
The introductory letter in the General Advertiser of 16 August implied that the “Letters” had been written just prior to the fall of the North ministry in March, and thus they were dated in late January and early February 1782. The dateline also indicated that they originated at Paris, a likely location for the American who wrote the “Letters.” This was particularly so since he was a “Distinguished American,” who by implication was not simply a representative of the Continental Congress, but one of its peace negotiators. This might have led one to conclude that the author was Benjamin Franklin, for John Adams was at Amsterdam in early 1782, but there is no evidence that Jenings, or whoever provided the date and location, intended anything more than a generic “Distinguished American.” Whatever the reason for dating the “Letters” at Paris in early 1782, they took on the status of an official policy statement of the reasons dictating an immediate commencement of Anglo-American peace negotiations as well as an assessment of the Anglo-American relationship that could be expected to result from those negotiations.
Writing to Jenings on 16 and 27 September 1782 (both Adams Papers), shortly after he received the first of the published letters, John Adams indicated that he was happy that they were finally printed, but he expressed concern over the editorial changes. Although the essays were done “with the Design of being printed as written by a Briton,” the readers were told that they were the work of an American. The retention of Adams' original pronouns to indicate British authorship in nearly every passage would probably lead to the conclusion that the essays were the work of “a Penitent Refugee,” rather than a true partisan of the American cause. Adams also wondered at { 540 } the new date lines, believing that “they ought to have more Weight for having been written two years and an half ago.”
Taken together, the “Letters from a Distinguished American,” Adams' Translation, and several other pieces published in the London newspapers constitute a peace offensive intended to bring the British government to the bargaining table in 1780. A peace offensive undertaken, however, without Congress' knowledge or consent. Adams did not inform Congress of his contributions to the London papers in 1780 or of the 1781 publication of the Translation. It learned of the “Letters from a Distinguished American” only from an entry in Adams' “Peace Journal” for 4 December 1782, indicating their appearance in the General Advertiser, and his letter of 9 June 1783 to Robert R. Livingston that noted the publication of portions of the “Letters” in Antoine Marie Cerisier's Le politique hollandais (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:88–89; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:477–478). Adams' disclosure of the “Letters'” publication in newspapers that Congress was unlikely to receive, may indicate his desire to take credit for furthering the peace process. But it also reflects Adams' integrity and determination to deal forthrightly with Congress regardless of the consequences. In any case, Congress already had the three letters written in June 1780 that served as the basis for the printed reply to Galloway.
In any event, Adams' peace offensive was stillborn when the Translation did not appear until early 1781 and the “Letters” not until 1782. Had they been published promptly, however, they would probably not have achieved their objective because the “Letters,” and the other productions of Adams' pen, were based on an analysis of the British political and economic situation that, while generally accurate, underestimated the ability or willingness of the North ministry to carry on the war. Britain was becoming increasingly isolated and its long-term economic prospects were endangered by a continuation of the war, but in 1780 this was not enough to bring about Anglo-American negotiations.
By August 1782, when the first of the “Letters” appeared, the North ministry had fallen, the outlook of the new British leadership was quite different, and negotiations were in the offing. In that context, the “Letters” were more appropriate to the situation existing in August 1782 than that prevailing in 1780, and consequently were capable of exerting greater influence than they would have earlier, although the extent to which they did have influence is unclear. Nevertheless, one is left to conclude, in the absence of any wholly satisfactory explanation for the long publication delay, that if peace negotiations had not been imminent and such men as Jenings not doubtful of the Shelburne ministry's willingness to grant full independence, the “Letters from a Distinguished American” might never have appeared.
The publication history of the “Letters” is a short one. Of the letters to Congress of 16 and 17 June that formed the basis for the “Letters,” only that of the 16th and the first letter of the 17th have been published previously. Jared Sparks included them in his collection (Diplomatic Correspondence { 541 } of the American Revolution, 12 vols., Boston, 1829–1830, 5:190–200, 201–207), as did Francis Wharton in his (Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:787–793, 794–798), but Charles Francis Adams omitted them from his Life and Works of John Adams. As to the “Letters” themselves, there were no additional European printings after their appearance in Politique Hollandais, and no American edition until 1978 when James H. Hutson compiled and edited Letters from a Distinguished American, the first edition to include both the published and unpublished “Letters.” In these volumes the editors have sought to present all of the material relevant to the drafting and publication of the “Letters” and to place them in their historical context.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-14
Date: 1782-01-17

I. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 1

[salute] SIR

I Have not till lately obtained a sight of a number of Pamphlets, ascribed indeed to Mr. Galloway but containing the mention of such circumstances, as convince me that they were written in concert between the American Refugees and the British Ministry. In some of them I perceive apparently unequivocal traces of the hand of the late Governor Hutchinson. I have read them with 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, and the interest and duty of all the maritime powers of Europe to support her in them, the writers could not have taken methods more effectual.
The Author of the “Cool Thoughts on the Consequences of American Independence” observes, that “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, { 542 } arising from her separate interest, her own preservation, and the prospect of her own rising glory and importance among nations, will far out-run any idea we have had of her late population.”3
It is pleasing to see the irresistible force of truth operating upon the minds even of the most inveterate and disingenuous of the enemies of America. It was impossible to deny, that the alliance between France and the United States is natural, and founded on their mutual interests. It was impossible to deny, that the resurrection of America from the distresses of this war will be sudden and surprizing. But is this an argument for England to continue the war? Will the resurrection of England out of the ruins of this war be sudden? If she continues it much longer, will she ever arise again? The present and future state of Great Britain, then, are decisive arguments (if reason could be heard) for making peace immediately: while the present and future state of America are arguments equally unanswerable for America to continue the war, until her Independence shall be acknowledged by all the world. It is equally an argument for France and Spain, and Holland, to exert themselves to support American Independence, because, by this means they will effectually secure her gratitude and good will: they will bind the connections between them closer, and the sudden rise of America out of her distresses into affluence and power, will enable her to repay those nations whatever debts may be contracted, and to become an able ally to defend them in case of need against their enemies; or, if the true American system of policy should be peace and neutrality, as no doubt it will, they will derive such commerce and naval supplies from America for ever, hereafter, as will secure them the freedom of the seas. This is also a powerful motive for all the maritime nations of Europe to favour and support American Independence. It is the true interest of all the maritime nations, that America should have a free trade with all of them, and that she should be neutral in all their wars. Every body now throughout the world sees, that a renewal of the English monopoly of the American trade, would establish an absolute tyranny upon the ocean, and that every other ship that sails would hold its liberty at the mercy of these Lordly Islanders. If the French or Spaniards were to obtain a monopoly of this trade, it would give them a superiority over all the other commercial nations, which would be dangerous to the freedom of navigators. It is obviously then the interest and duty of all the maritime powers to keep the American trade open and free to all, and to be sure to prevent its being monopolized by any one nation whatever. Another inference that may { 543 } fairly and must [ . . . ]4 America will suddenly arise out of the distresses of the war to affluence and power, is this:—That all the monied men in Europe ought to transfer as fast as possible their stocks from British to American funds: For as it is certain, that England will not suddenly rise out of the disasters of the war, and it is at least dubious whether she will ever rise out of them; the interest neither of the capitalist, nor the speculator, is safe in the English funds; whereas, what ever money may be lent to America, is safe and sure, both for the principal and interest, and it will become easier every day for America to pay both.
Thus it appears, that Mr. Galloway is involuntarily forced to lay open truths, which supports her credit, and unites the interests of all the world in her favour against Great Britain.
This writer goes on: “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 other connections; 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.”5
Here again it is manifest, that this gentleman clearly sees her true interest and political system, in relation to Europe, and the true interest and political system of all Europe towards America.—Both consist in two words, peace and commerce.—It can never, after the conclusion of this war, and the final establishment of the independence of America, be her interest to go to war with any nation of Europe; and it can never be the interest of any one of the maritime powers to go to war with her, unless we should except Great Britain, and there is no sufficient reason, perhaps, for excepting her.—It is not improbable, however, that the selfish, unsocial, tyrannical spirit, which has hitherto dictated to her the maxim of making war with every nation, that has commerce and a considerable marine, may still prompt her to endeavour to destroy the navy of America. If it should, however, she will not succeed, and will only ruin herself by it.
But if it will not be the interest of America to go to war with any power of Europe, it will certainly be her interest to trade with every { 544 } power of Europe, because the greater number and variety of markets are open to her, the greater will be the demand for her productions, the greater quantity of them she will sell, and she will obtain so much a better price, and the cheaper and easier will she obtain the commodities of the growth, production and manufacture of Europe that she wants. On the contrary, if it is not the interest of any nation of Europe to go to war with her, it will be the interest of every one of them to trade with her, because she has commodities that every one of them wants, and every one of them has commodities that she wants; so that a barter may be carried on advantageous on all sides; and, besides this, every maritime power in Europe must endeavour to have a share in American commerce, in order to maintain her share of the commerce of Europe, to maintain her marine upon a proportional footing, and maintain her rank among the other maritime powers.
This observation then, instead of being an argument for any one to continue the war, is a very forcible one to shew the danger to the other powers of Europe, arising from the former connection between America and England; and also to shew, that the other maritime powers ought to interfere in assisting America to maintain her independence, and also to maintain her true system of neutrality in future, that the blessings of her commerce may be open to all. As to the idea of the ambition of France, for universal monarchy, it is a chimera, fit to amuse the madness of Britains, which in this moment catches at any thing, however extravagant, to plague and harass herself with. But it is fit for the rest of the world to smile at.—Universal Monarchy at land is impracticable; but universal Monarchy at sea has been well nigh established, and would before this moment have been perfected, if Great Britain and America had continued united. France can never entertain an hope of it, unless the fury of Great Britain should be assisted by the folly, the indolence, and inactivity of the other maritime powers, so as to drive the American commerce wholly into the hands of France, which is not to be supposed; but, on the contrary, every trading nation will, no doubt, demand a share in American trade, and will consequently augment their riches and naval power in proportion.

[salute] ADIEU

MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 23 Aug. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraphs 1 through 4 of JA's letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84, and note 3 (above).
1. These dates are derived from JA's letters of 14 and 22 July to Edmund Jenings (below and Adams Papers, respectively). The first, according to Jenings' reply of 21 July (below), { 545 } contained the first two “Letters from a Distinguished American.” In the second letter, JA indicated that he was done with the pamphlet and was sending off the remaining “Letters,” the arrival of which Jenings acknowledged in his reply of 27 July (below). Additional support for assigning these dates to JA's authorship of the “Letters” comes from his letter of 17 July to the Comte de Vergennes (below). JA's reply to Galloway emphasized that Britain's vital interests demanded an immediate peace and that the United States was ready to open negotiations. Compare that with JA's conviction, expressed in his letter to Vergennes, that it was time to approach the British ministry regarding peace and that such an initiative had a reasonable chance for success because of the growing realization of the British people that peace was in Britain's interest.
2. In the General Advertiser of 23 Aug., this letter was introduced by the following passage: “The following are the copies of Letters from a distinguished AMERICAN, occasioned by the perusal of 'Cool Thoughts on American Independence.'” In the General Advertiser of 16 Aug. 1782, however, there had been a much more detailed announcement, in the form of a letter, of the “Letters” forthcoming publication. The author, presumably Edmund Jenings, noted that the letters, which were “of no common cast,” had been written prior to the fall of the North ministry in March 1782 in the hope of persuading North to open peace negotiations. The writer then pointed to the recent assumption of power by Lord Shelburne that “has rendered it a matter of considerable doubt whether the frantic struggle to preclude America from the acquisition of peace, and from the enjoyment of independence, will not be speedily revived, must give particular propriety to the publication of these letters. They are written by an American pre-eminent in virtue, experience, and understanding; and of such consequence, at this moment in Europe, that I dare affirm (and I would pledge my life upon the truth of the assertion) that when the Minister of this country shall step forward upon an open, just, and honourable ground, with propositions for a fair and lasting peace, he will find him one of the most willing and one of the most able to accelerate its accomplishment.”
The 16 Aug. letter justifies the publication of the “Letters from a Distinguished American” in mid-1782 and relates them directly to the peace process, but does not fully explain the apprehensions of those wishing to see substantive negotiations begin at once. The fall of the North ministry in March 1782 and its replacement by a new government under the Marquis of Rockingham brought preparations for the inevitable peace negotiations. A rivalry soon developed, however, between Lord Shelburne and Charles James Fox over who would direct the negotiations and resulted in both men sending agents to France to open talks with Benjamin Franklin. This posed a problem because Shelburne had long favored some sort of Anglo-American union that would leave the Americans short of independence, while Fox had consistently favored independence. Rockingham's death in July 1782 brought a new ministry controlled by Shelburne, and Fox's departure from the cabinet. Since Shelburne would now preside over the negotiations there was concern, unwarranted as it turned out, that he would return to the old shibboleth of reconciliation (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 257–286). The “Letters from a Distinguished American” thus were intended to convince Shelburne that such a course was impossible.
3. This quotation comprises two paragraphs in JA's 16 June letter to the president of Congress (No. 84, above). It is from p. 11–12 of Galloway's Cool Thoughts.
4. Almost a full line of text has been lost here because of damage to the newspaper page.
5. Cool Thoughts, p. 12–13.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-14
Date: 1782-01-28

II. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 2

[salute] SIR

Every American will agree with the writer on the consequence of American Independence, that the United States, when their Independence shall be no longer disputed, can wish for no other { 546 } connection with Europe than that of commerce. No good American would wish to involve his country in the labyrinths of European negotiations, or in the iniquities of their wars. America will wish to be a common blessing to all the nations of Europe, without injuring any; and such will be her demand for the productions of each of them, that each one will derive material advantages in the increase of the means of subsistence, and consequent population, from supplying her wants. Each of them wants her commodities in exchange, and no one of them can reasonably wish to cramp the growth, and prevent the happiness of the human species in both worlds, by confining the advantages of this commerce to itself.
It is equally clear, that this commerce will be better secured by her own wisdom, than by the domination of any European power; and safer in the hands of an ally than a master. But it is amazing that this man's malice against his native country should have suffered such important truths in her favour to escape him. It shews that he knows not how to conduct the cause he has patronised, and that he is as wrong headed, as he is malicious and insidious.
“The new states are, and will continue the allies of France, our natural enemy, unless reduced.”1 England ought to consider, whether all attempts to reduce the new States have not a tendency to rivet the alliance with France, and to drive the States to the necessity of forming closer connections with her than they have now; to make all America too the natural enemy of England for ever; to drive her to more rigorous renunciations of British trade; nay, to a final and total prohibition of it; to enter into engagements with France, Spain, Holland, and other maritime powers, to this effect. It ought to be considered, whether, the new States will not become soon the allies of Spain too, and continue so for ever, If this war is pursued much farther. As to reducing these States, the idea of it, at this day, is fit only for ridicule and contempt. It is derided in every town in America. This country will never again be in quiet and continual possession of one State of the thirteen, not even of Georgia. South Carolina, where we are melting into disease and death that army which ought to be defending the West India Islands, will never be ours a single month; no, not for an hour.
This writer goes on, “The far greater part of the people wish and hope for an union with this country.”2 It is not possible to conceive any thing more barefacedly false than this. A Germain, or a Conway3 may be excused, on account of ignorance and misinformation; but this man knows better than he says. But having forfeited his life to { 547 } the laws of his country, and by the black catalogue of his crimes, rendered himself unpardonable, he has vowed to revenge himself, not like Coriolanus, by his sword, but by misrepresentations.4
But he adds, “the greater part of the people are ready to unite with the King's forces, in reducing the power of their tyrants,”5 by which he means, no doubt, the Congress and the new government. Nothing can shew the complection of this assertion better than to recollect the orders which are constantly given by the Commanding Officers in New York, which are published in the newspapers. They dare not trust the Provincials and Volunteers, and Militia, &c. as they call them, of whom such an ostentatious parade is made in the dispatches of Commanding Officers and Court Gazettes. They exercise them in the day time with bits of wood in their musquets for flints; they take the arms from them every night, and pile them in the magazines; and they forbid them to be trusted with any quantity of powder. The truth is, the only consequence that the Commanders of the English troops have found, in giving arms and cloathing and ammunition to any of the inhabitants, whenever they have been, has been to cloath, arm, and supply their expences. General Burgoyne found it so in New England, and New York. General Howe found it so in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware; and Sir Henry Clinton and Earl Cornwallis found it so in Georgia and South Carolina. What encouragement could have been given that has not? Is exemption from plunder encouragement? Forbid plunder, and half your army will desert; nay, for the provisions, horses, cattle, you take, you enrich the country with English guineas, and enable the people to buy arms, ammunition, cloathing, and every thing they want from your own soldiers. By large bounties, and by commissions, a few banditti, who have no honour nor principle to bind them to any country, or any cause, may be collected, but these would betray their new masters the first opportunity, and will be very few in number. The great body of the people in every state revere the Congress, more sincerely, than British soldiers revere their . . . .6 They reverence it as the voice of their country, the guardians of its right, and the voice of God; and they esteem their Independence and alliance with France, as the two greatest blessings which Providence ever yet bestowed upon the new world. They think them equal blessings to Europe in general, as to America; and are universally of opinion, that a Council of Statesmen consulting for their good, and the good of mankind, could not have devised a plan, so much for their honour, interest, liberty and happiness, as that which has been derived, by the folly and imprudence of { 548 } Great Britain. He goes on, “the treachery of this country, in not exerting its powers for their relief, will create permanent resentment.”7 How many lives, and how many millions, has this country already sacrificed? Probably more lives, certainly more millions than the whole of the last war cost us. What was the fruit of the last war? Triumph and conquest by sea and land in every part of the world. What the effect of this? Defeat, disgrace, loss of America, West India Islands, African, Mediterranean, and German and Holland trade, the contempt of all nations, the Independence of Ireland, and a civil war in England; yet the war is to be continued!
“Gratitude to the nations which shall save them from our ravages, will stamp impressions never to be effaced.” Stop the ravages then; and the further gratitude and impressions will be prevented. “Further Treaties of Alliance and Commerce will be made.”8 No longer war, no further Treaties. This can only be the effect of British imprudence. The treaties already made are well known. What further treaties Ministry may drive them to, will depend upon themselves.
With the Independence of America, we must give up our fisheries “on the Banks of Newfoundland and in the American seas.”9 Supposing this true, which it is not at present, but our infatuation in continuing the war may make it so, what follows? If Britain lose them, who will gain them? France and America. Have not France and America then as urgent a motive to contend for the gain, as we to prevent the loss? Are they not an object as important and desirable to France and America, as to us? Have they not as much reason to fight for them, as England? Will they easily give up the Independence of America, which is to bear such tempting fruit? One would think this writer was in the interest of France and America still, and labouring to persuade them, that they are fighting for a rich and a glorious prize. The question then is reduced to another, viz. which has the best prospect of contending for them successfully—America, France and Spain, favoured by all the world, or England, thwarted and opposed by all the world? And to whom did God and Nature give them? Ministry lay great stress upon the gift of God and Nature, when they consider the advantages of our insular situation, to justify their injustice and hostility against all the maritime powers. Why should Americans hold the blessings of Providence in a baser estimination, which they can enjoy, without injury to any nation whatever.
“With American Independence, says he, we must give up thirty-five thousand American seamen, and twenty-eight thousand more, bred { 549 } 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.”10
If all this were true, what then? If Britain loses it all, by American Independence, who will gain it? These advantages are not to be lost out of the world. Who will find them, but America and France? These are the powers at war, for these very objects, if they are the necessary consequences of American Independence, will they not fight as bravely to obtain them, as the English? It is here admitted they are the natural right of America, will not she contend for it? Who then has the most power, one nation or three? Perhaps five or six before the end? Are 60,000 seamen a feebler bulwark for America or France, than for England? Are they feebler instruments of wealth, power and glory, in the service of America, than England? At the command of Congress, than the King? The question occurs then, who is the strongest? However, we need not lose so many seamen, nor the fishery, nor the trade with the Roman Catholick countries, by American Independence. America never thought of excluding England from the fishery; and even her seamen, her share of the fishery, and the profits of her trade to Roman Catholick countries would again, be useful to England, and center here, if peace were made now. But let it be remembered, America grows every day of this war more independent of England for manufactures, by the amazing increase of her own; and France, Spain, and even the states of Italy and Germany, and Ireland too, are every day putting themselves more and more in a condition to supply America; so that every day of the continuance of this ruinous war, increases the facility and the inclinations of America to supply herself elsewhere, and the capacity of other nations to supply her, and of consequence makes it more and more inevitable for England to lose the seamen, the fisheries, and the trade. The question recurs at every sentence, who is the ablest to hold out? America, that grows stronger every year, and that too in ways and degrees that England has no idea of, or England that grows weaker? But England's misfortune and ruin are, that it never knew America, nor her resources, nor the character of her people.
(To be continued.)
{ 550 }
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 27 Aug. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraphs 5 through 9 of JA's letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84, and note 7 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 23. This and the following five quotations (notes 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9) are taken from a single paragraph in the pamphlet, p. 23–24, that appears complete in JA's letter to the president of Congress, 16 June, No. 84 (above). The paragraph there should be compared with the extracts used in this letter, for JA omitted significant blocks of text.
2. Cool Thoughts, p. 23.
3. For the speeches in Parliament on 5 May by Lord George Germain and Gen. Henry Seymour Conway, together with JA's comments on them, see his letters to Edmé Jacques Genet of 17 and 28 May(both above).
4. In stating that Galloway had “forfeited his life” and “rendered himself unpardonable,” JA probably refers to the March 1778 decision of the Pennsylvania legislature to attaint Galloway and a handful of other loyalists who had aided Gen. William Howe during the occupation of Philadelphia (Robert McCluer Calhoon, Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760–1781, N.Y., 1973, p. 400–401). Gnaeus Marcius Coriolanus is thought to have received his name in recognition of his capture of the Volscian town of Corioli in the service of Rome in the 5th century b.c. Later expelled from Rome, he led a Volscian army against his former masters, but was persuaded to turn back without pressing the attack (Oxford Classical Dictionary).
5. Cool Thoughts, p. 24. This is a paraphrase of a passage in the pamphlet. The first six words are derived from the previous quotation (note 2), and instead of “King's forces,” the pamphlet has “us.”
6. The ellipses appear in the newspaper. JA probably intended “King” or possibly Parliament.
7. Cool Thoughts, p. 24. JA here omitted the nine lines of text that appear in the pamphlet between this and the previous quotation (note 5).
8. This and the previous quotation are paraphrases of a single passage in the pamphlet (p. 24) that begins immediately following the passage indicated in note 7 and reads “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.” In the pamphlet Galloway intended “nation” to mean France. JA, by inserting “nations” and altering the second quotation as he did, wanted to indicate the inevitability, if the war continued, of treaties with Spain and the Netherlands. JA omitted the remaining eight lines of the paragraph in the pamphlet.
9. Same, p. 25. Despite being only partially enclosed in quotation marks, this entire sentence is an exact quotation from the pamphlet. Although the commentary which follows is considerably longer than that appearing at the same point in the letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84 (above), it repeats the arguments presented there, but with one notable difference. Here France appears as a claimant to the Newfoundland fisheries, whereas in the letter of 16 June, JA mentioned only the United States. The discrepancy may be due simply to an oversight, but it may also reflect JA's reluctance, in a letter to Congress, to introduce a new element into the controversy over access to the Newfoundland fisheries, perhaps the most divisive issue dealt with during the congressional debates in 1779 over the objectives to be obtained in any Anglo-American peace treaty (see vol. 8:index).
10. Same, p. 25–26.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0004

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-01-29

III. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 3

[salute] SIR

The Writer on the Consequences of American Independence adds, “the British Islands in the West Indies must fall of course. The same power that can compel Great Britain to yield up America, { 551 } will compel her to give up the West Indies. They are evidently the immediate objects of France.”1
It is very true, that if we continue the war, the West Indies must fall into the hands of France.—England has held them by no other tenure, than the courtesy of France and Spain, for two years past. Britons, be not deceived! You can defend these islands only by your Navy, and the friendship of North America. Your Navy is not what it was the last war. The loss of America has put it out of your power, for ever, until you regain the friendship of America, and a share of her trade, to have such a Navy, as you once had. Your ships are weak and unable to sustain the shocks of winds, and seas, and battles, as formerly. The masts and spars are not to be depended on as heretofore. The rigging, notwithstanding the immense sums granted for the sea service, is not as it was. Your ships are not manned, as they were, either in the numbers or qualities of the seamen. Your Officers then have not the same dependence upon ships, spars, rigging, or men, which they had in former wars, and consequently cannot perform what they once could.
The Navies of your enemies are as far from being what they were. They are as much improved, as your's are declined. It is also now plain, from a vast number of experiments, that the science of naval tacticks is now quite as well understood, and all the manoeuvres as ably executed by the French Officers as by the English. Add to this, the advantage that the French and Spanish fleets and armies have over the English, in the supplies of provisions, artificers, and materials, which they now draw from the United States of North America, and every man must see, that we hold these Islands at the mere mercy of our enemies, and if we continue this war, we shall infallibly lose them. Our policy is plain then:—“Let us make peace, while these Islands are our's, and America will never be obliged, nor inclined, in any future war, to assist France in obtaining them, as they are now bound to do by treaty, while this war continues. North America, it is plain, will never wish to govern these Islands. The reason is obvious: they will be as profitable to her as under the government of France, Spain or England, as they could be under her own, and she will be at no expence to protect, secure, or defend them.”2
If the British West India Islands should be taken by France and Spain, how are we to recover them at the peace? What have we taken, to exchange for them? What are we likely to take?
“Our only true policy is, to make peace, and save the Islands while we may.”—Once taken, it will be more difficult to recover them. Are { 552 } we able to keep peace at home, in Ireland, in the East Indies, and with the neutral maritime powers, who have unanimously declared against us, as clearly, as if they had declared war in favour of America; and continue the war long enough to annihilate the fleets of France and Spain, retake our lost Islands, and after that reduce the United States of America to submission? For these stubborn spirits will remain to be reduced, after France and Spain shall be beaten. Will our soldiers, seamen, and revenues, never fail till this is done? How many more years of war will this cost us?—And after all these miraculous feats shall be accomplished, will our resources enable us to maintain a sufficient force to keep down the power of France, Spain, and America? We have, hitherto, made it a maxim to go to war with France and Spain, whenever they had a fleet. The appearance of a formidable French fleet upon the ocean, has been offence enough to provoke a war. We must now add America; for America, if subdued, would be ever ready to revolt afresh.
“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.”3
France expects only the freedom of the seas; and why should she not expect them? Have we any charter from above, for the government of the ocean? Sovereignity of the seas will never again be permitted to any nation. We have boasted of it, until we have revolted all mankind. America herself will never suffer France to hold the sovereignty of the seas, any more than England. No nation that ever arose upon the globe, had such powerful motives to maintain a perfect freedom of navigation and of commerce among all nations as she has. No nation ever had such advantages and resources to assist the maritime powers to support it. She is as sensible of this as we are. If by our unbridled rage we drive her to the provocation, and the inactivity of the neutral powers should permit it, she may form such further connections with France and Spain, as may give them a superiority of naval power over us, that will be terrible to us. But America herself will never suffer any power of Europe again that decided superiority over all commercial nations, which we have vainly boasted of, and which the past tameness of mankind has permitted. And America, little as she is thought of, will, for ever have it in her power, by joining with a majority of maritime powers, to preserve their Freedom. The only possible means then of preventing France from obtaining and preserving for some time a superiority over us at sea, is to make peace, and regain not the domination, but the neutrality { 553 } of America, and our share of her commerce. Thus, and thus only, we may save the West India islands, and an equal freedom on the seas. By making peace at present, we may have more of American trade in future than France, and derive more support to our navy than she will to her marine. But by pushing the war, we weaken ourselves, and strengthen France and Spain every day, to such a degree, that in the end they may acquire such a superiority as will endanger our liberty.
But if Great Britain is to lose the West-India islands, and the sovereignty of the seas, by the Independence of America, who is to gain them? If France is to gain them, are they not as valuable objects to her as to England? Are not their riches as glittering in the eyes of the French as the English? Are they not then as urgent a motive to them to continue the war as to us? We come again once more to the old question, who is likely to hold out longest? The immense resources of France, Spain and America, or the exhausted kingdom of Great Britain?

[salute] ADIEU

(To be continued.)
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 30 Aug. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraphs 10 through 15 of JA's letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84, and note 10 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 26.
2. Although this passage and that in the second paragraph below are in quotation marks, it is doubtful that they are quotations. The texts have no counterparts in Cool Thoughts, and the corresponding passages in the letter of 16 June to the president of Congress (No. 84 above) are not in quotation marks.
3. Cool Thoughts, p. 26–27. Although set off by quotation marks, this passage is a paraphrase that does not alter Galloway's meaning.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0005

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-02-03

IV. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 7

The writer, on the consequences of American Independence says that “France has long struggled to rival us in our manufactures in vain; this (i.e. American Independence) will enable her to do it with effect.”1
If England would awake out of her dream, and make peace, acknowledge American Independence, and acknowledge the American treaties with France, and make a similar treaty of commerce with the United States, upon the most generous principles of equality and reciprocity, neither France nor any other nation of Europe would be able to rival England in those manufactures which we most wanted { 554 } in America, those of wool and iron: The English manufactures, in these articles are at present so much better, and the Americans are so much more accustomed to them, that this trade would return to its old channel, and the American demand for them, and for many other articles of our manufactures would increase in proportion, as the population increases in America, and as their commerce with each other and with other nations increases, and the consequent means of paying England for what they purchase. This nation would find themselves so far from being materially hurt, by American Independence, that they would see a prosperity introduced here in consequence of it, that would excite the utmost astonishment at our own obstinacy, in contending so long, at the expence of so much blood and treasure, against it, provided we are wise enough to lay aside our groundless jealousies, and that hostile disposition towards America which is once more indulged with so much rancour; and provided we take care at the peace to settle all questions about boundaries, so as to prevent our own people from encroaching upon them; and provided we do not meanly aim at excluding them from any branches of commerce, fisheries or naval powers which God and nature have destined to them. If we will indulge the base passions of envy, jealousy and hatred against them, we may depend upon a reciprocation of these passions from them, and we may depend upon a dreadful enemy in them: but if we had magnanimity enough to comply with what appears to be the settled digested system of all the other maritime powers of Europe relative to America, to treat them with candour and friendship, we shall find as much real advantage from them, and more too, than we ever did. All will depend upon ourselves. Nothing is wanting but common sense.
But if we pursue this war, destroying the lives and distressing the commerce of America, we shall feel from that country such shafts of deadly hate, as will finally ruin our credit, destroy our manufactures, reduce to nothing our influence in Europe, depress our naval power to such an inferiority to France and Spain, as we never shall recover; leave the East Indies and Ireland in a state of Independency too, and the West India Islands ready to petition any other power for protection, and indeed this island itself at the mercy of an invader. If we continue this war, France and Spain too will be able to rival us in manufactures. They are both attentive at this time to this object; they are not only endeavouring to introduce our manufactures, but to accommodate them more to the taste and use of the Americans. And the Americans are daily growing more familiar with French articles, { 555 } and acquiring a taste for them. The advantages in trade, already granted to Ireland, and the consequent growth of manufactures there, will infinitely facilitate the introduction and improvement of manufactures; and the emigration of manufactures into France and Spain, by means of the intimate intercourse between Ireland and those kingdoms. In short, the continuance of the war will indeed be fatal: it will enable France to rival us in effect in our most essential interests; and there has hardly ever happened among mankind so obstinate and so blind a perseverance in error so obvious, for so long a time, as we have already pursued this ruinous war. Let us open our eyes. We are amused with insinuations that France is sick of the part she has acted. This is to suppose her sick of the wisest, most successful, most honourable, and noble part she ever acted.—Think as we will, all the rest of Europe and America are convinced of this:—and if we had sold ourselves to France, we could not serve her more essentially, in every interest, commercial, naval, political, or oeconomical, than by continuing this war.
Our cool thinker goes on. “We receive, say he, from the West India Islands, certain commodities, absolutely necessary to carry on our manufactures to any advantage and extent, which we can procure from no other country. We must take the remains from France or America, after they have supplied themselves, and fullfilled 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.”2 If this was intended as an argument for continuing the war, I should have thought it the raving of the delirium of a fever, rather than a cool thought. Is it possible to urge an argument more clear for making peace now, while we may have our islands? How are we to supply our islands with lumber, and other necessaries, if we continue the war? A man who has really thought coolly upon the subject, would have advised us to make peace and save our West India islands. He would have told us, that by continuing the war, we should certainly lose them, and with them the articles so necessary to our manufactures. America does not wish the English Islands in the hands of the French. She is very ready to warrantee to the English all that are not taken, and very probably France would restore those which are, in exchange for other possessions which we have taken from them. America cannot wish to continue the war; because she gains nothing,* except in military skill; in the advancement of agriculture and manufactures, laying the strongest possible foundation for future commerce, prosperity and naval power. France and Spain { 556 } indeed may be supposed to wish its continuance, because they are gaining every year conquest of territory, as well as augmentation of manufactures and commerce, naval power, and political consideration in Europe. THE ENGLISH MALADY IS UPON US.—THE DISPOSITION TO SUICIDE, WHICH DESTROYS SO MANY INDIVIDUALS AMONG US, HAS SEISED THE PUBLIC.—WHEN PEACE LEADS TO GLORY, AND WAR TO NOTHING BUT DISGRACE AND RUIN, WE FALL HEADLONG INTO THE ABYSS OF THE ONE, AND LEAVE THE PLEASANT AND SAFE PATH OF THE OTHER.

[salute] ADIEU

(To be continued.)
*Nothing except these! Yes! and much more than what the letter writer has enumerated. She gains a glorious triumph over tyranny and ambition; a reparation, purchased gallantly with the best blood of her fellow citizens, for the violated rights of man; the power of establishing peace, freedom, virtue and independency, upon the spot, which was intended for the scene of their extinction; and of leaving an aweful and instructive lesson to the nations of the earth, for ever.3
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 2 Oct. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraphs 16 through 19 of JA's letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84, and note 12 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 28.
2. Same, p. 27–28.
3. From its appearance and content, it seems unlikely that this paragraph was part of the original MS; it may have been added by Edmund Jenings at the time he sent the letter to the printer.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0006

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-02-02

V. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 6

IF “we receive from the West India Islands certain commodities necessary to manufactures,” as the cool reasoner on the consequences of American Independence pretends, “which we can procure from no other country;”1 is not this a motive for France to continue the war, as forcible as for us? The rivalry, and the enmity, between England and France, is so ancient, and so deeply rooted in the hearts of the two nations, that each considers the weakening of the other, as a strengthening of itself, and a loss to the other as a gain to itself. The English have, a long time, made it a maxim never to suffer France { 557 } either to have a navy, or a flourishing commerce. An active, prosperous trade, or a formidable marine, have ever been considered as a legitimate cause of war. And whether we think of it coolly or not, England would have been at war with France before now, if we had never had any war with America, merely to burn, sink, and destroy her Marine. Can we be so ignorant of the human heart then, as not to know that depriving us of these commodities, which we derive from the West India Islands, and which are necessary to our manufactures, will be an inducement to our enemies to continue the war? Depriving us of a commodity, taking from us a manufacture, is motive enough, if our enemies act upon the same maxims that we do; but, adding the commodity or the manufacture to themselves, is a double motive. In short, is it possible for this writer to adduce one reason for us to continue the war, which is not also a cool argument for France, Spain, and America to continue it? The question still is, Which can hold out longest, France, who has not yet laid on one new imposition, or we, who add annually almost a million to our perpetual taxes? America, whose whole national debt does not amount to more than five millions, or we, whose debt is more than 200 millions, at least sixty of which have been already added by this war? By making peace, we save the Islands, with their commodities; by continuing the war, we lose them infallibly.
“But this is not all,” says this cool declaimer: “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 affect the sensibility of every man who loves this country, and knows that its safety can only be secured by its Navy.”2
But has it been considered, that neither of the powers at war have any pretence of claim to these Islands now? That they will have pretences upon them if they take them, which we cannot hinder if we continue the war? That once taken by France, America is bound by treaty to warrant them to her? This treaty lasts no longer than this war. Another war, America will be under no such obligations, unless, by continuing the war, we should compel her into further treaties, which may be, though she would be averse to them.3 Is it prudency in us to hazard so much upon the events of war, which are always uncertain, where forces are equal? But we are now most impolitically entangling ourselves in a war where the forces and resources are two { 558 } to one against us? But will France and Spain be the less zealous to conquer the English Islands, because, by this means, they shall certainly take away so many seamen, and share them with America? Annexing these Islands to France and Spain, will increase the trade of France, Spain, Denmark, the United Provinces of the Low Countries, and the United States of America, and the twenty thousand seamen will be divided in some proportion between all these powers. The Dutch and the Americans will have the carriage of a great part of this trade, in consequence of the dismemberment of these Islands from you, and annexation to France and Spain. Do we expect to save these things by continuing the war? If we do, I wish we could reflect more coolly upon things. Every success we have yet had, in the whole course of this war, has been owing to fortunate contingences, or the mistaken policy of our enemies. It is too much for us to presume, that a series of miracles will be wrought for our deliverance, or that our enemies will never discover where their strength lies. We may bless our stars, and not our wisdom, that we have now an army, a navy, or an island in the West Indies.
“Will not Great Britain lose much of her Independence, if obliged to other countries for her naval stores?”4 Has she lost her Independence? Has she not been obliged to other countries for naval stores these five years?
“In the time of Queen Anne, we paid 3£. a barrel for tar to the extortionate Swede; 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 we obtained in 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.”5
But what is to hinder Great Britain from importing these large quantities of pitch, tar, and turpentine, from America, after we shall be wise enough to acknowledge and guarantee her Independence, by an honourable and advantageous peace with her? Great Britain may be obliged to give a price somewhat higher, because other nations will import them too. But this augmentation of price will probably be very little. Will the prospect of this higher price induce America to give up her Independence, and her new Governments, which, whatever we may think, are more firmly and solidly established than ours is? Will not our manufacturers purchase pitch from independent America? Will the prospect which is opened to the other maritime { 559 } powers, of drawing these supplies, as well as those of masts, yards, bowsprits, ship timber, and ready-wrought ships too, make them less zealous to support American Independence? Will the increase of the demand upon the Northern Powers for those Article, in consequence of the destruction of the British monopoly, in America, make these powers less inclined to American Independency?
The British monopoly and bounties, in fact, 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, where pitch and tar chiefly grow, have so many articles of more profitable cultivation, that, without bounties, it is not likely that trade will flourish to a degree, to reduce the prices in the North of Europe.
Every day shews us more and more, that we undertook this war too rashly; without considering ourselves; without knowing the character and resources of America, and without weighing the relations between America and Europe. [ . . . ]6 they have all decided this question against us, and in favour of America, as fully as even France has done. They all think that the cause of America is just, and that every one of them is interested in supporting her Independence. They have not had motives so pressing as France, Spain, and Holland, to engage in open war; but the measures they are taking, are as clearly in favour of America. There is not a power upon earth so much interested as America in the capital point which they are establishing, That free ships make free goods.
“Should a war take place between us and the Northern Powers, where are we to procure our naval stores?”7 I answer, make peace with America, and procure them from her. But when you go to war with America and the Northern Powers at once, you will get them no where. This writer appears to have had no suspicion, when he wrote his book, of the real intentions of the Northern Powers. What he thinks now, after their confederation against Great Britain, I know not. It is remarkable that this confederation was known in Europe eighteen months, and in the American Congress twelve months (not indeed as an act executed, but as a sentiment and design in which they were all agreed, and for which they were all making preparations)8 before it was either known or attended to by that Administration, of which Lord North was the ostensible Premier.9 We may affect to be as much astonished as we will: We may cry: “How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have thirteen thankless children!”10We may { 560 } growl amidst the tempest, like Lear, and cry to the thunders: “Rumble your fill! Fight whirlwind! hail! and fire!”11 But we must submit to fate. Her ordinances cannot be repealed by our Parliament, which has not yet claimed jurisdiction over her in all cases whatsoever.

[salute] ADIEU

(To be continued.)
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 27 Sept. 1782). This letter is based on paragraphs 18 through 25 of JA's letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84, and note 17 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 27.
2. Same, p. 28–29.
3. By stating explicitly that the obligations of the United States under the Franco-American Treaty of Alliance would cease with the end of the war, JA was departing not only from previous policy statements, but from the language of the treaty itself. In the two and one half years since the treaty had been signed, France had repeatedly called for statements from Congress and its representatives reaffirming the sanctity of the alliance and the adherence of the United States to its provisions. In every case the assurances had been given (see, for example, Benjamin Franklin and JA to the president of Congress, 23 July 1778, vol. 6:312). Moreover, Art. 11 of the treaty provided that “from the present time and forever, against all other powers” France would guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the United States and the United States would guarantee French possessions in America (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:39–40). In other words, the Franco-American alliance was perpetual.
JA's statement proceeded naturally from his view that the United States would be neutral in future European wars, and he had strongly implied this position in his revision of Thomas Pownall's Memorial (A Translation of Thomas Pownall's Memorial,19 April – [ca. 14 July], above), in his letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84 (above); and in Letters Nos. I and III (above). But implying that such would be the policy of the United States was far different from explicitly stating it, particularly in an essay written in 1780 and intended for immediate publication. JA said nothing to indicate that the United States would not honor the treaty so long as the war continued, or that it would make a separate peace, but the effect of his statement regarding the alliance was to intimate that if the British government wished to open discussions he would be prepared to listen. In Sept. 1782, when this letter was published, the statement was less radical because exploratory discussions were proceeding between British representatives and Benjamin Franklin in which Franklin had at least implied limitations on future American obligations under the alliance (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 273–274).
4. Cool Thoughts, p. 29.
5. Same, p. 29–30.
6. A full line of text has been lost here because of damage to the newspaper page.
7. Cool Thoughts, p. 31.
8. JA is probably referring to the observations contained in his letter of 4 Aug. 1779 to the president of Congress (vol. 8:116–117).
9. The passage, “that Administration, of which Lord North was the ostensible Premier,” is one of only two evident additions to JA's text appearing in the ten published “Letters” (for the other see Letter No. IV, above). Moreover, in referring to the North ministry's fall in March 1782, it is the only addition clearly made after the assigned dates—Jan.– Feb. 1782—of the “Letters” themselves. The passage was probably inserted by the author of the 16 Aug. 1782 letter introducing the “Letters,” for in that piece appears the phrase: “that execrable Administration, of which Lord North was the ostensible Premier” (Letter No. I, note 2, above). Edmund Jenings is the likeliest author of the letter and additional passage.
10. King Lear, I, iv, lines 310–311: “How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is/To have a thankless child!”
11. This is a composite of several passages from King Lear, the most relevant probably being “Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain! / Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters” (III, ii, lines 14–15).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0007

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-02-04

VI. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 8

The Cool Thoughts go on. “Timber of every kind, iron, salt-petre, 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 inferior to the European.”1
And is not this enough to cool the English courage, in the pursuit of a chimera? Is it possible to keep one country that has an abundance of these articles, and skill to use them, dependent on another? It is a maxim among the sons of Neptune, that “with wood, iron, and hemp, mankind may do what they please.”2 America not only has them in plenty, but artists and seamen to employ them, fifteen hundred miles of sea coast, and an hundred excellent harbours to use them in, at three thousand miles distance from her enemy, who is surrounded with nations that are courting her friendship. Are not these articles as precious to France, Spain, and Holland, as to England? Will not these powers be proportionably 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 selling them to the best advantage in a variety of markets, as other nations will for that of purchasing them?
This writer is so cool, that he thinks of nothing. A little warmth of imagination would be of use to him; it would present to his view a variety of considerations that have never occurred to him. Three millions of people in America, and all the nations of Europe, have as great a right to the common blessings of Providence, as the inhabitants of this island, some of whom wish to lord it over all. The Americans have as good a claim to the use of the earth, air, and seas, as the Britons. What right has Britain to shut them up in the prison of a monopoly, and prevent them from giving and receiving happiness from the rest of mankind? Did the Creator make that quarter of the globe for the use of this Island exclusively? This may be a cool thought, but a very narrow one.—There is another very serious consideration, that our coolness, or our heat, makes us incapable of attending to. Great Britain, separated from America, has, in the course of this war, displayed a power and resources, vastly greater, especially at sea, than the other maritime powers ever before believed { 562 } she possessed.—America, separated from Great Britain, has displayed a power and resources ten times greater than any power in Europe, (even Great Britain herself,) ever suspected her to have. These are two discoveries which the other maritime powers have made. They now see, to a demonstration, that if Great Britain and America should ever be again united under one domination, there would be an end of the liberty of all other nations upon the seas. All the commerce and navigation of the world would be swallowed up in one frightful despotism, in this island. The Princes of Europe, therefore, are now unanimously determined that America shall never again come under the English government. Even if the Americans themselves desired it, which it is most certain they do not, nor ever will, the powers of Europe would not suffer it. For what object then are the English shedding their blood, and spending their millions?
“Will the Coasting trade, that of the Baltic and Mediterranean, with the small intercourse the English have with other nations in our own bottoms, furnish seamen for a Navy, necessary for the protection of Great Britain and its trade?”3
According to this supposition, Great Britain will have no other trade, than that of the Coast, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic to protect, and she may protect her trade in that case as well as Portugal and Holland, &c. protect theirs, and in the same manner. And to this situation she will certainly come, if she continues this war for any length of time. If the American Congress should take the resolution of prohibiting the importation of British manufactures, directly or indirectly, from any part of the world, a part which they will be likely to take, in order to weaken Great Britain, and strengthen their allies; if she continues this war, she will perceive the sources of her trade drying away, and the waters gliding into other channels; her seamen lessening and consuming, those of her enemies increasing; her capacity to defend her Islands, and even her East India trade, every day lessening, and that of her enemies to invade them every day increasing. So that it must end in the very evil this writer suggests: Whereas, if Great Britain makes peace now, the evil is avoided.
“Will her mariners continue as they are, when her manufacturers are labouring under the disadvantage of receiving their materials at higher and exorbitant prices, and selling at foreign markets at a certain loss?”4
I suppose the English will be able to purchase of the Americans their materials as cheap as other nations. But do they expect ever to recover her monopoly so as to prevent other nations from getting { 563 } American materials? So as to prevent the Americans from getting manufactures, productions, and all sorts of merchandizes from other nations? Let us consider this coolly. How much trouble did it cost them to prevent this communication before the war, when the American mind was possessed with all that fear, which is essentially the characteristic of monopolized colonies? When the American merchants had never travelled but to England: When their masters of vessels and seamen were ignorant of the French coast, and were taught to dread it as unknown and dangerous: Were the English ever able, under all these advantages, to prevent the Americans from eluding our art of navigation? But what has happened since this war broke out? Young American merchants, from every one of the Thirteen States, have crouded to France, and other parts of Europe, in great numbers, have studied the wants of France, and the articles she has which America wants, and the prices of all are stated in journals and memorandum books, which we can never obliterate. When such numbers of American masters of vessels have now explored the whole coast of France, so as to conduct vessels, wherever they please, even without pilots: When young Physicians, and Divines, and Lawyers, have travelled to France, formed acquaintance with men of letters, and established correspondences, which never can be extinguished: When American merchants and mariners have explored the creeks, inlets, and harbours of North America itself, ten times more perfectly than they were ever known before, to elude our frigates and cruisers: After all this, can we coolly suppose that the English ever will regain our monopoly, and prevent smuggling? If the English were to conquer America; if she was to submit, (suppositions as wild as can well be made,) no Custom-house officer, of any candour, will give it as his opinion, that they ever should be able to execute the act of navigation again in America. Fifty thousand regular soldiers, posted on the sea coast, and fifty men of war constantly cruising, an expence that would be greater than the monopoly ever was worth, would not effect it. Be not deceived! Impossibilities cannot be performed by Great Britain, and if her monopoly be gone, what is she contending for? The seamen then, which were secured to her by the monopoly, are gone for ever; and her only policy is to be as generous and magnanimous as France: in this way she has it in her power to prevent America from getting any destructive advantage of her; but by continuing the war, she will infallibly compleat the triumph of America and her own humiliation,—for civil, political, military, literary, commercial, and naval connections between Amer• { 564 } ica in every part of it, and France, and Spain, and Holland, are multiplying every day, and never will be checked but by a peace.
But what is the tendency of this argument, about the loss of seamen? If it serves to convince Britain that she should continue the war, does it not convince the allies that they ought to continue it too? They are to get all that England is to lose; and America is to be the greatest gainer of all. Whereas, she is not only to lose these objects, but her liberty too, and the lives of her best men, in infamy, if she is subdued: France, Spain, and Holland, and all the other Maritime Powers, are 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 flag upon the ocean may be lost, if America is reduced, and the British monopoly of American Trade, Fisheries, and Seamen revived.
But let us coolly consider a few of the consequences of the redoubtable English conquest of America! Multitudes of the most learned, ingenious, and at present reputable men in the Thirteen United States, must fly abroad. Some of them the English would arrest; some of them would not fly to save their lives, but would remain there, to exhibit to mankind spectacles that Sydney and Russell never exceeded; but multitudes would fly. What would be the policy of France and Spain? Would they not immediately form American Brigades, as they have done Irish Brigades? Would not these be asylums for American Officers and Soldiers? Would not these hold constant correspondence and commerce too with America, and keep America on tiptoe for fresh revolts? Would it not cost America the constant maintenance of a larger fleet and army, than have been employed in the conquest, to preserve it?
The English are pursuing the most absurd war, that ever was waged by rational beings. Their very successes are ruinous to them, and useful to America. If they take a city, they only establish disaffection, open a trade which supplies the Americans with every thing they want, and their soldiers teach the citizens, and even the children, every branch of the art of war, the discipline, manoeuvres of troops, cavalry, artillery, &c. If their men of war and privateers take American ships, it only serves to form American naval officers and seamen, who are made prisoners, to as perfect a mastery of every branch of the sea service as their own. If American privateers take British seamen, they find beef and pudding, and grog and beer, among American sailors, and enlist with the utmost chearfulness into their service.
Let the English go on, and compleat the glorious work of destruc• { 565 } tion to themselves, and glory to America and the rest of mankind. Such infatuation is in the order of Providence. Our Thinker ought to excuse me, if I am as much too warm as he is too cool.
(To Be Continued.)
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 17 Oct. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraphs 26 through 29 of JA's letter of 16 June to the president of Congress, No. 84, and note 20 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 31.
2. This quotation has not been identified.
3. Cool Thoughts, p. 33. This and the following quotation form part of a single paragraph in the pamphlet and appear as such in the letter of 16 June.
4. Same, p. 33. JA here omits the final sentence of the paragraph as it appears in the letter of 16 June.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0008

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-02-05

VII. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 9

The American Refugees, in England, are so great an obstacle in the way of peace, that it seems not improper for me to take notice of them. The first and greatest of them, the late Mr. Hutchinson, is no more. He was born to be the cause, the object, and the victim of popular rage; and he died the day after the commencement of the insurrections in London, and just soon enough to escape the sight of the vengeance against Lord Mansfield's house, which so exactly resembled that which was fifteen years ago inflicted on his own. Descended from an ancient and honourable American family; born and educated in that country; possessing all the zeal of the congregational religion; affecting to honour the character of the first planters; early initiated into public business; industrious and indefatigable in it; beloved and esteemed by the people; elected and entrusted 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 much correspondence, in Europe, as well as America; favoured by the Crown of Great Britain, and possessed of its honours and emoluments; in these circumstances, and with these advantages, he was perhaps the only man, in the world, who could have brought on the controversy, between Great Britain and America, at the time, and in the manner, in which it was begun, and involved the two countries in an enmity, which must end in their everlasting separation. This was his character; and these his memorable actions. An inextinguishable ambition, which was ever discerned among his { 566 } other qualities, which grew with his growth, and strengthened with his age and experience, at last predominated over ever other passion of his heart and principle of his mind: rendered him credulous of every thing which favoured his ruling passion, but blind and deaf to every thing that opposed it: to such a degree, that his representations, with those of his friend and instrument, Bernard, drew on the King, Ministry, Parliament and Nation to concert those measures, which must end in a reduction of the power of the English, if they do not change their conduct, but in the exaltation and glory of America.
There are visible traces of his councils in a number of pamphlets not long since published in England, and ascribed to Mr. Gallaway. It is most probable, they were concerted between Administration and the Americans in general here, and Mr. Galloway was given out as the ostensible, as he probably was the principal author.
The “Cool Thoughts, on the Consequences of American Independence,” although calculated to inflame a warlike nation, are sober reasons for America to defend her Independence and her alliance.
The pamphlet says “It has often been 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 lose what we have expended, than to retain her a part of its dominions.”1 To this he answers very justly,2 that the bounties on articles of commerce, and the expence of the last war, ought not to be charged to America; that the charge of colonial Governments, have been confined to New York, the Carolinas, Georgia, Nova Scotia, and East and West Florida. That New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, have not cost Great Britain a farthing; that the whole expence of the former, is no more than one million seven hundred thousand pounds; and that when we deduct the seven hundred thousand pounds, extravagantly expended in building a key at Hallifax, we can only call it one million.”
But the true answer is, that America has already repaid to England an hundred fold for all that has been expended upon her. The profit of her commerce, for one year, has been more than all that this kingdom has expended upon her in one hundred and fifty years. Whence is all the pride of Great Britain? Whence her opulence? Whence her populous cities? Whence multitudes of her cloud-capt towers, her gorgeous palaces and solemn temples, but from the profits of American commerce? But all this would not content her; she must tax America, and rob her of her liberty, as well as monopolize { 567 } her commerce. The latter she endured, but the former she would not bear, and who can blame her? None, none but those who are conscious of the guilt of forging shackles for her.
This commerce Great Britain might still enjoy, but will not. Why? Because she cannot enjoy it all. Where will be the injury to her from other nations enjoying with her a small share of the blessings of Heaven? If France alone were to possess a share, Great Britain might have some color for jealousy, that she would become dangerous to her; but when America herself in the treaty she sent to France, with a foresight, a refined and enlarged policy that does honour to human nature, so studiously and anxiously guard against excluding any other nation from an equal share in her commerce; when she had coolness and magnanimity enough, although under every provocation from Great Britain to resentment, to guard against excluding even her from an equal share of her commerce, what has Great Britain to fear. If she made peace with America, she would not be without friends in Europe; and if her enemies should profit by American commerce she and her friends would profit more. The balance will be preserved, and she will have nothing to fear. Commerce she may have with America, as advantageous as ever, if she does not lose the opportunity: But taxation, domination and monopoly, are gone for ever.
The writer proceeds, “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.”3
He should have said, That the ancestors of the present English have already found that America was worth all that has been spent upon her; that they have received, and themselves enjoyed more from her, than all that has been spent: that besides this, they have amassed more solid wealth from her, and transmitted down, by inheritance to their children, an hundred fold more than all the cost: And even now America remains ready to renew her commerce with England to as great an advantage as ever, if they will make a peace. Are domination and taxation necessary to trade? By no means. Their trade to Portugal and Russia is as profitable, as if these were not independent States.
That a share in the commerce of America is necessary to support long the independence and existence of Great Britain, I readily agree; but this share does not depend upon her having the government of that country, much less upon her drawing taxes from it. This depends upon the wants of America, and the capacity of Great Britain to supply them. Her wants will increase beyond all proportion to the { 568 } ability of Great Britain to supply in time; and her immediate demand upon her would be greater than she could possibly supply at present, if she made peace.
The independence of America would have no more effect upon the independence of Great Britain, than it either has, or will have, upon that of France or Spain, if she would change our hostile character against America into friendship, [as] they have done. But writers, from private views and private passions, are drawing the English on in error and delusion against their clearest Interest, against the voice of Nature, of Reason, of all Europe, and of GOD!

[salute] ADIEU

(To be continued.)
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 23 Oct. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraphs 1 through 5 of JA's first letter of 17 June to the president of Congress, No. 85, and note 6 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 39–40.
2. In JA's letter of 17 June to the president of Congress, No. 85 (above), the remainder of this paragraph appears in quotation marks, although it is in fact an accurate paraphrase from Cool Thoughts, p. 40–41.
3. Same, p. 45–46.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0009

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-02-06

VIII. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 10

Let us proceed with our cool meditations. The author says, “Another argument 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 trade of America.”1
A similarity of laws facilitates business. It may be done with more ease, expedition, and pleasure, and with less risque of loss, mistake, or imposition, and consequently with more profit, in a country whose laws are understood, than in another where they are not. A similarity of religion is a motive of preference to those persons who are conscientious, and some such there are among the men of business even of this philosophic age. A similarity of manners and language also prevents many perplexities, delays, and impositions in trade: besides that the pleasures of society and conversation are some motives to a man of business. Laws, religion, manners, and language, therefore, will be motives of preference, aeteris paribus.2 After all, however, the { 569 } goodness and cheapness of commodities will be the only decisive temptations to Americans to come here to market. They can learn languages, enjoy their own religion, among a people of a different one; conform for a time to manners very different from their own, and acquire a knowledge of the laws of other countries sufficient to do business there, provided they find better and cheaper goods there to be bought, and a better price for those they have to sell. Can the English then give them a better price for their commodities than other nations, and sell them theirs cheaper than others? This is the main question; and there is no doubt that they can, in most articles, at present: it will not be long so. If they give other nations time to establish their manufactures by the continuance of the war, all this may be changed. Do the English expect ever to compel the Americans to take their commodities at an high price, when they can have them abroad at a lower? An American would laugh in your face if you were gravely to tell him so. Can the English trust their Custom House Officers, who are to be appointed in future, that they would not connive? Did they never hear of merchants privileged to smuggle? Did they never hear of Governors sharing profits? Do they expect that Juries in America will condemn? Do they expect their single Judges of Admiralty will be again admitted in America, to try seizures and questions of civil property at land, where the people have even insisted that Juries should be appointed to try all maritime causes? It is a chimera that the English pursue. If they could re-acquire the Government, they never could execute the laws which guarded the monopoly. They never could execute them before. Now both the knowledge, the temptation, and the facilities to evade and elude them are infinitely multiplied. If they could force a sufficient number of Americans to submit to regain the government, the great body of the people would think them usurpers and tyrants, and that they have a right to elude and evade their mandates by every art and every shift. It will be a forced government, maintained only by military power, detested and execrated by the people, even by the most of those who in a fright or a fit of delusion should now submit.
Their acts of trade never were executed in America, excepting only at Boston. At New York, at Philadelphia, at Charles Town, they were constantly evaded. The Custom House Officers never dared to put them in execution. Nay, they were never executed even in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. It was only at Boston, under a military power, and an innumerable host of Custom House Officers, where they were executed at all. And here, at the expence of constant { 570 } lawsuits, riots, tumults, and thousands of other evils. Before this war, the Americans were almost as ignorant of each other, as they were of Europe. Now they have become acquainted with both. There was little communication or correspondence, and still less trade between one Colony and another since this war. Great numbers of gentlemen of the first characters in the States have met in Congress, where they have learned every thing respecting other States. Officers and armies have marched from one end of the Continent to the other; became intimately acquainted with each other, formed friendships and correspondences with each other that never will cease; became perfectly acquainted with the geography of every province, city, river, creek, plain, and mountain. Waggons and waggoners have constantly passed from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and all New England, to Boston. Do the English suppose they will ever prevent the trade between one Colony and another again? Will they prevent tilt hammers from being erected, wool from being waterborne, or tobacco from being sent from Virginia to Boston? An hundred thousand regular soldiers, and every man of war they have in the world, would not accomplish it. But the English are in a dream. They know not what they are contending for. They think America is in the same situation she was ten years ago. They either know not, or consider not, what has happened there within these six years. This cool writer himself has been too much warmed with some passion or other to recollect what has passed within his own observation. It is much to be wished he would give us his cool Thoughts on the Consequences of American dependence, conquest, and submission. If he were to reflect upon the subject, he might easily prove, that it would be a constant source of vexation and expence to England, without any profit or advantage. It would be but a momentary, and that an armed, riotous, rebellious and distracted truce; a constant source of fresh American revolts, and fresh foreign wars. The English ought to dread the temporary submission of America, more than America herself. It would be the source of their certain, final ruin; whereas to them it might be only a temporary evil. Every rising country has infinite advantages over a declining one, in every view.

[salute] ADIEU

(To be continued.)
MS not found. Reprinted from (Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 26 Dec. 1782.) This letter is based on paragraph 6 of JA's first letter of 17 June to the president of Congress, No. 85, and note 7 (above).
1. Cool Thoughts, p. 46–47.
2. Or ceteris paribus, that is, other things being equal.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0312-0010

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07-14 - 1780-07-22
Date: 1782-02-01

IX. “Letters from a Distinguished American,” No. 5

[salute] SIR

An uniformity of laws and religion, united with a subordination to the same supreme authority, forms the national attachment: but when the laws and supreme authority are abolished, the manners, habits, and customs derived from them, will soon be effaced. The Americans have already instituted governments opposite to the principles upon which the British government is established. New laws are made in support of their new political systems, and of course destructive of the national attachment. The new States, altogether popular, their laws resemble those of the democratical cantons of Switzerland, not those 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. The attachment, then arising from a similarity of laws, habits, and manners, will last no longer than between the United Provinces and Spain, or the Corsicans and Genoese, which was changed, from the moment of their separation, into an enmity that is not worn out to this day.”1
How it is possible for those rulers, in a government altogether popular, who are the creatures of the people, and constantly dependent upon them for their political existence, to have the strongest aversion to th