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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Johonnot, Samuel Cooper
Date: 1780-10-24

To Samuel Cooper Johonnot

[salute] My dear Sir

I have just recieved your letter of the Seventeenth of October, and am obliged to you for writing to me, upon the subject of it.
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I ought to have written to His Excellency Dr. Franklin upon the subject before, but knowing His Excellencys Friendship for your Grand Papa, and that of Madame the Marquise de la Fayette, made me neglect it till now.1
You will present my respectfull Compliments to Dr. Franklin, and request his Excellency to be your Guardian, in my Absence, as it is difficult to remove you here, and you would not be pleased I think with the Change.
I have not received, any Remittance from your Papa Since We left America. It must have miscarried. As soon as I recieve any I will, write you about it. You speak French, I fancy, by this time, like a Native of Paris, and I hope you are making good Progress in all branches of Usefull Accomplishments.
With my Respects to Mr. & Mde. Pechini2 I remain yours &c.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Private owner, 1988); addressed partly by JA: “A Monsr. Mr. S. C. Johonnot chèz M. Pichingy Mtre. de Pension à Passy, au bas de la Montaigne”; endorsed: “The Hon John Adams Esqr Amsterdam Octob 24. Came to Hand Passy Oct. 28.”
1. This letter to Samuel Cooper Johonnot likely went with another of this date to Benjamin Franklin (Private owner). There JA asked Franklin to look after Johonnot and indicated that, in the absence of any remittances from Gabriel Johonnot, he would take responsibility for the boy's expenses. For Gabriel Johonnot's efforts to send JA funds to reimburse him for his expenses in acting as Samuel Cooper Johonnot's guardian, see his letter of 8 Sept. (above). In a letter of 12 Nov. (Adams Papers), Johonnot sent JA his father's bill of exchange (not found) for his endorsement. JA returned the endorsed bill with his letter to Benjamin Franklin of 7 Dec. (PPAmP: Franklin Papers), and informed Gabriel Johonnot of his action in a letter of the same date (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. That is, the Pechignys, proprietors of the school attended by Samuel Cooper Johonnot, which JQA and CA had attended before leaving for the Netherlands.

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0156

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1780-10-24

To the President of Congress, No. 17

[salute] Sir

I have recieved several Letters from London, concerning Mr. Laurens.1 It is certain that he has been treated with great Insolence by the Populace in his Journey from Dartmouth to London, and that he is confined to a mean Appartment in the Tower, denied the Use of Pen and Ink, and none of his Friends have been able to obtain Leave to visit him, excepting his Son and Mr. Manning, and those positively limited to half an Hour. He is ill of a Lax, much emaciated, and very invective against the Authors of his ill Usage. I saw last night a Letter from Mr. Manning himself,2 so that there is no doubt of the Truth of this Account. This deliberate, this studied manifestation to all the World of their Contempt and Hatred of all America, and of their final { 306 } determination to pursue this War to the last Extremity, cannot be misunderstood. The Honour, the Dignity, the essential Interests and the absolute Safety of America, require that Congress should take some Notice of this Event. I presume not to propose the Measures that might be taken because Congress are in a much better Situation to judge.3
I have waited, in hopes of Mr. Laurens's Arrival, but now all hopes of it are extinguished, I must fix upon a House and settle the Conditions, in Pursuance of my Commission. No Time has been lost: it has all been industriously spent in forming Acquaintances, making Enquiries and taking Advice of such Characters as it is proper to consult. The present State of things affords me Hopes, but from a particular Order of Men. These I have endeavoured to gain, without giving Offence to any others, and I am not without hopes of obtaining something, though I much fear it will be short of the Expectations of Congress.
I am not at Liberty as yet to mention Names: hereafter they will be known.
I cannot with too much Earnestness recommend it to Congress, to take Measures if possible, to send some Cargoes of Produce to Amsterdam or St. Eustatia, for the purpose of paying Interest—a little of this would have a great Effect.
I ought not to conclude without repeating my Opinion, that a Commission to some Gentleman of Minister Plenipotentiary is absolutely necessary.
I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 309–311); docketed: “No. 117 John Adams Oct 24. 1780 Recd. Jany. 29. 1781 farther account of the treatment of Mr. Laurens—and Hints of sending Produce to Holland for Payment of Interest.”
1. See Thomas Digges' letters of 3, 6, and 10 Oct. (all above).
2. Not found.
3. It is not known whether JA's plea for action regarding Laurens' captivity had any effect. But beginning on 2 March 1781, Congress considered several measures to obtain Laurens' release and on 14 June authorized Benjamin Franklin to offer Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne, on parole since his capture at Saratoga, for Henry Laurens (JCC, 19:227–228, 345; 20:620–623, 647–648). Nothing came from this proposal.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.