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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0041

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Greene, Nathanael
Date: 1780-03-18

To Nathanael Greene

[salute] Dear Sir

Give me Leave, by the Opportunity of the Viscount de Noailles, to take this Method of reviving a Correspondence, which has been interupted almost three Years, but was one of the most pleasing I ever had.1
It is unnecessary to say any thing of the Expedition with which this Letter is intended to go, because I hope it will reveal itself to You, in Accounts which will make themselves heard and understood by all the World.
As there is a probability, that there will be more frequent Communication, with America this Summer, than there ever has been, let me beg the favor of your Sentiments both upon Subjects of Policy and War.
Every Operation of your Army has its Influence upon all the Powers of Europe in France, Spain, England, Ireland, Holland, Sweeden, Denmark, Russia, Prussia, Portugal, and even in the German Empire.
America is the City, set upon a Hill,2 I do not think myself guilty of Exaggeration, Vanity or Presumption, when I say, that the proceedings of Congress are more attended to, than those of any Court in Europe, and the Motions of our Armies than any of theirs. And there are more political Lies made and circulated about both, than all the rest: which renders genuine Intelligence, from good Authority, the more interesting and important.
{ 63 }
There is a great Variety of Policy on foot, in England, Ireland, Holland, and among the Northern Powers, all tending to favor the Cause of America, which is promoted by nothing more than by prompt and accurate Intelligence.
I am, Sir, as much as ever, your Friend and Servant
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers.)
1. The last known letter from JA to Nathanael Greene is of 7 July 1777 and, since that letter may not have been sent, the last letter known to have been received by Greene is of 2 June 1777 (vol. 5:213–214, 238–241). Greene's last known letter to JA is of 28 May 1777 (vol. 5:206–208). For a possible explanation of the long gap in the correspondence, see the annotation to JA's letter of 7 July 1777. This letter did not lead to an immediate resumption of the correspondence, for Greene did not reply until 28 Jan. 1782 (Dft, DLC: Greene Papers).
2. Matthew 5:14; see also John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” The Winthrop Papers, Mass. Historical Society, 6 vols. to date, 1929– , 2:295.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0042

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-03-18

To the President of Congress, No. 20

Paris, 18 March, 1780. RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 329–332). printed : Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:557–558.
The first two-thirds of the letter, which was read in Congress on 22 July, was taken from the Gazette d'Amsterdam and included almost verbatim in John Adams' letter to Samuel Adams of this date (above). The remainder of the letter was based on Alexander Gillon's letter of 14 March (above) and a report in the Mercure de France and concerned the advent of the League of Armed Neutrality and the policies of the Netherlands and Sweden.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 329–332.) printed : (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:557–558.)

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0043

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Warren, James
Date: 1780-03-18

To James Warren

[salute] Dear sir

Monsieur Jean Baptiste Petry Secretary to the Comte de Chatelet, a Marshall of the Camps and Armies of the King of France, is, as he says, going to America, and as he is connected with some Gentlemen to whom I am much obliged, I cannot but comply with his Desire, and give him a few Letters of Introduction. He is represented to be a worthy, sensible and agreable Man.1
The Marquis de la Fayette sailed about 10 March from Rochelle, and will be in Boston as We hope by the 10th. of April. He will explain to Congress and to General Washington, what I cannot explain to you. The Bearer will give you further Commentaries. This Court will by little and little be convinced of the true system, after which I hope they will be less unfortunate. In all human probability they must be, if they do not neglect it too long.
Rodneys Fleet seems to have been the favourite of Fortune, but { 64 } you know she is a great Changeling, and frowns upon one, sometimes in half an Hour after having lavished upon him her Smiles and Favours. We are anxious to know the Fate of Charlestown, which we hope was saved by a Storm.
Faucitte2 vapours in a Leiden Gazette that he has obtained 40,000 Men of the Langrave of Hesse. This Soul selling Langrave, as they call him in Germany, has hardly 40,000 men in his Dominions. This is the Fruit of the Cracovie. Now I must write more or you won't understand me. Craquer, Signifies, in a kind of familiar cant Style, to lie, and Craqueur is a Lyar. There is a Tree, in the grand Alley of the Palais Royal at Paris, which they call the Tree of Cracovie, from the Name of a City in Poland and its Similitude to the word Craque. L'Arbre de Cracovie. The News Mongers of Paris assemble commonly under this Tree. So that it is become proverbial to call false News, Les Nouvelles de L'Arbre de Cracovie. News from the Tree of Cracovie.3 I have spent a Multitude of Words in Explanation of this Trifle, which does not deserve them.
Pray introduce, Mr. Petry to Madame Warren the most accomplished Lady in America, next to one whom I will not mention, but whose Preogative of being the first I can never give up.

[salute] Affectionately yours

[signed] John Adams
RC (MB;) endorsed: “Mr J. A Lettr March 1780.”
1. For Petry, who probably did not go to America at this time, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:13, 17–18. On this date, counting this letter to James Warren and another to AA (Adams Papers), JA wrote nine nearly identical letters of introduction for Petry to friends in Boston and Philadelphia. The others were to Samuel Adams, James Bowdoin, Samuel Cooper, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Huntington, Benjamin Rush (all LbC's, Adams Papers), and William Tudor (MHi: Tudor Papers).
2. Maj. Gen. Sir William Fawcett had been sent to Germany in 1775 on a special mission to obtain troops from the various German princes and, in the case of Hesse-Cassel, continued in that role until 1781 (DNB; Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:156, 157, 164, 181). For agreements concluded by Fawcett, see Edmund Jenings to JA, 18 March, note 7 (below). Ultimately, through the efforts of Fawcett and others, 29,166 German troops went to America (Mackesy, War for America, p. 62).
3. JA's letter to Benjamin Rush (see note 1) was written in French and contained this passage regarding the “Tree of Cracovie.” That letter also informed Rush of the death of his friend Jacques Barbeau Dubourg.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/