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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

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).
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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
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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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.