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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0193

Author: Adams, John
Author: San, Fernando Raymond
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Church, William Singleton
Date: 1780-11-19

To Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr Sr.

The Bundle by Mr. B[romfield] I received, and one or two Parcells since. Yesterday I received the N. Papers and yours of the 14th.
I wish to know, how Sir. J. Y. Mem. is considered among you. Will they declare this Republick in Rebellion, or not? Whenever my Lord H—h has charged Faction and Cabal, it has been followed Soon by outlawry, and Charges of Rebellion and War.1
Poor Arnold! Where are his Laurels?—So much for attempting to convert the Tory Ladies.2 I dont wonder, there is no Exultation. A poor crippled, Piece of frail Mortality, hobbling on Crutches can no longer be an active Soldier. Will he go out? If he does he will meet Riflemen, and Hunters.
This Defection is not So shocking, as the Example of the Son of the Count of Egmont, delivering up to the Spaniards that very Brussells where the Citizens dipt their Hankerchiefs in his Fathers Blood in order to preserve the prescious Drops.3
{ 359 }
It must have been a Bargain to march a Body of Men into Some Position to be Surrenderd up. As to a Body of 3000 Men, or their Officers being corrupted, I know better.4
Can you discover, whether Mr. [Laurens] had a Commission as Plenipo. or only to negotiate a Loan. This is a material Question.
Mr. Searle's desires his Respects to you.5
With great Regard yrs
[signed] F.R.S.
LbC (Adams Papers); directed to: “W. S. Church.”
1. See JA's letter of 16 Nov. to the president of Congress, No. 20, and note 4 (above).
2. For JA's previous reference to the “Tory Ladies,” see his letter of 14 July to Edmund Jenings (above).
3. The Duke of Alva executed Lamoral, Count of Egmont, in Brussels' main square on 5 June 1568. His son, Philip of Egmont, initially supported the Orangist rebellion, but ultimately returned his allegiance to Spain and in June 1579 led an assault on Brussels. The effort failed and he was forced to withdraw as the townspeople, who remembered his father, jeered (Gordon Griffiths, William of Hornes, Lord of Hèze and the Revolt of the Netherlands, Berkeley, 1954, p. 14–15, 30, 43, 59, 69–70, 80).
4. The London newspapers of 14 Nov., which Digges presumably enclosed with his letter of that date (above), carried the first reports to reach England of Benedict Arnold's treason. Although it has not been found, JA refers here to one of those reports.
5. Both this sentence and the dateline are in John Thaxter's hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0194

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, William
Date: 1780-11-19

To William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I am honoured with yours of the 15 and congratulate you on your Recovery, and that of your Family, mine have all luckily escaped hitherto.
The Relaxation of Mr. L.s Confinement is owing intirely to the Ministry getting Information that the opposition intended to make a Motion about him. This would have made so much Noise and excited so many Speculations, that they had reason to dread it.
Ten Thousand Men, if to be found will not repair the Waste made by sickness and the sword in N. A. and the W. I. last Year. But they will not obtain half the Number.
There cannot be three greater Absurdities, than the three Systems you mention. As to the last, I believe you are mistaken. I never Suspected any such System. I am Sure the Conduct was not calculated upon any Such Principle.
A Zeal for the Union of the 13 States, is in my opinion one of the first Duties of every American Citizen. For altho I am myself of opinion, that All the 13 would maintain their Independancy, if they were rent into two or three Divisions—yet there would be too much { 360 } Hazard of Britains prevailing over some—and if she should not prevail over any, yet the different divisions of the continent, would soon be at War, with each other.
The Resolves of the Associations merit Attention, but I Scarcely think the Debates worth reading. Even the Idol Fox is as crude, indigested, and little to be depended on in American affairs as the Ministry. Nothing in England merits the Attention of an Honest Man or a Lover of Liberty but the Committees, yet so many ignorant and unprincipled Men get Credit there, that I see no Prospect of their doing any Thing well.
Sir J. Y. Mem. is a Master Piece. It is a curiosity. We shall See how this Measure will end. Whether the Republick will join the armed Neutrality I know not, if they do not, it will be wholly owing to this memorial, and the British Ministry will have answered their End. But this will not content them. The King of England having declared War, against Mr. V. Berkel and the Burgomasters of Amsterdam, must go on, and Support the Dignity of his Character. If any Man or Men whom he has charged with Faction, Cabal, Sacrificing general Interests to private Views, Violations of the Law of Nations, Disturbance of the Peace &c. are ever forgiven, I shall be mistaken.
Is not Arnold an Acquisition—a Cripple, hobbling on Crutches, charged with Peculation, reprimanded at the head of the Army, and likely to be prosecuted at common Law, flying from Vengeance. Nothing can be a fuller Proof of Weakness, than such miserable shifts of Bribery and Treachery. The meanness of it, will make them despized by all Men. With great Regard, your humble sert.
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.