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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0173

Author: Adams, John
Author: San, Fernando Raymond
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Church, William Singleton
Date: 1780-11-07

To Thomas Digges

[salute] Sir

Yours of the 24. 27 and 31. Ultimo came altogether last night. The Note in that of 27 is of <much Use> much Importance to me. I wrote, Sometime ago, to see if any Thing could be done by Way of Exchange.2
If a certain Sett, are governed wholly by Passion, it must be confessed they have as constant a gale of it, as a Tempest so furious, will in the ordinary course of Nature admit of. C'en est fait—as you Say. There are Letters here for a certain Friend,3 can you find out what is to be done with them?
I will bring my Boys acquainted with the young Gentleman you mentioned in a former Letter,4 whose father does them much honour. Will you, indulge the Feelings of a Father so far as to send me Lillys Grammar and Clarks latin Exercises,5 for the use of these young folks. Have you Seen the Publication of the Burgomasters?6 what do the wise ones think of it?
The English nation Seems in a fine Way. Such Characters as my Lord Hilsborough and Loughborough, with a long list of &cas. shooting up, perpedicularly, in Government, and Burke, Pownal, Hartley &c. unable to obtain Seats even in the Commons. People and Government Seem wonderfully cordial and harmonious.
With great Esteem
[signed] F.R.S.
LbC (Adams Papers); directed to: “W. S. C.”
1. The date is in John Thaxter's hand.
2. For Digges' letter of 24 Oct., not printed, and the note in his letter of 27 Oct., see that letter, and note 1 (above). For JA's letter regarding Henry Laurens' exchange, see that of 14 Oct. to Benjamin Franklin (above).
3. Presumably Henry Laurens.
4. Probably the son of Richard Champion; { 329 } see Digges' letter of 26 Sept., and note 7 (above).
5. These were William Lily, A Short Introduction of Grammar . . . of the Latin Tongue, and John Clarke, An Introduction to the Making of Latin; comprising . . . the Substance of Latin Syntax, both of which were standard texts, with numerous editions. Digges' letter of 14 Nov. (below), indicates that he was sending off the books, but JA's letter of 17 Dec. (below) reported that they had not yet arrived. In fact, JA may never have received them because of the outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch war in December. For copies of Lily and Clarke owned by JQA, but probably not obtained through Thomas Digges, see Worthington C. Ford, ed., A Catalogue of the Books of John Quincy Adams Deposited in the Boston Athenaeum. With Notes on Books, Adams Seals and Book-Plates, by Henry Adams, Boston, 1938.
6. For this, see JA to the president of Congress, 27 Oct., No. 18, note 3 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0174

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-11-07

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have recieved yours of the first. Will You be so good as to explain to me, what is meant by “Instructions to endeavour to inspire American Agents at Madrid, with Distrust and Jealousy of one another, at present employed in Europe?”
What the armed Neutrality will come to, I know not.1 I believe it would have been much easier to have negotiated all the Maritime Powers of Europe into an Acknowledgment of American Independence, and even into a War in support of it, than it will be to accomplish the Armed Neutrality. Who the real Author of this Idea was, I know not: but he did the English a favour by it, for all that have agreed to the Armed Neutrality might have been as easily persuaded, to take a decided part against England, and even Holland and Portugal would have joined them in that Measure at least as soon as in this.
At present they have pledged themselves to a Neutrality, so that they cannot decide with Honour. I wish however that Congress had a Minister at Petersbourg, at least to try if any thing could be done or any discoveries made.
The Bruits of a Treaty between the United Provinces and United States, are as true as most of the Bruits.
This Moment your favour of the sixth was delivered me. I am very much obliged to You for the Sight of Mr. Lees Letter. His Arrival in America will have considerable Consequences, and upon the whole will do much good both to himself and his Country. He wanted to see his Countrymen face to face, and make his Observations upon the Spot. I am very glad to find his Reflections so philosophical. I had not learnt before your Letter that General Green had left the { 330 } Army. Green is my Friend and I am his. I have had a long Correspondence with him, and never one Word or Look unfriendly. Notwithstanding this, the Time has been in Congress, when I would have given my Vote for his Dismission from the Service: and if it is true that he wrote lately a Letter to Congress that I have heard of, I hope Congress have dismissed him.2
There is at times a Turbulence in some of the Officers, that must be suppressed. It does no harm to dismiss them when there is Cause. The Cause and Country are strengthened by it. They go home, converse with their Neighbours, learn better Principles, and get into a better Temper, are obliged to march out with the Militia, and are chosen into Offices at Home &c.
De Guichen returning with 22 Ships!3
[signed] John Adams
RC (in John Thaxter's hand Adams Papers); endorsed: “Hl. J.A. 7 Nov. 1780.”
1. Compare JA's assessment of the League of Armed Neutrality here with that in his letter to Jenings of 15 April (above).
2. Jenings' brief letter of 6 Nov. (Adams Papers) contained an extract from a letter to Jenings from Arthur Lee. Since it contained a reference to Nathanael Greene's resignation it may have been written at about the same time as Lee's letter of 10 Sept. to JA, for that letter also mentioned the incident (above).
3. Guichen had reached Cádiz on 22 Oct. (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 189); JA probably learned from newspaper reports that he was returning from the West Indies, for the Gazette de Leyde carried a report to that effect on 10 November. JA, of course, would have preferred that Guichen either remain in the West Indies or, reinforced by Ternay's fleet, mount an expedition against the British forces at New York or Charleston.
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, 2017.