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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0216

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1780-12-06

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

I have received your Favour of 28 of Octr. and am very glad to hear of your Recovery from Sickness.
The Non Arrival of the Cloathing, is a great Disappointment and Misfortune in America.
The British Ministry are never at a Loss. You see they were very ready to discover how Mr. Laurens was to be treated. They will easily know how to treat Mr. Trumbull and Mr. Tyler. If Americans had understood their Parts as well, Mr. Trumbull and Tyler would never have trod British Ground, nor Mr. Laurens have been trusted in a cock boat. Live and learn.
The Wine I hope you have not sent, as I shall not have occasion for it. If it is gone, I must beg you to write a Line to Mr. Henry Grand, and desire him to take the Care of it.
{ 391 }
The Changes in the Marine Department,1 will I hope have good Effects, in many Points of View, but not knowing the Character of the new Minister, must wait for Time to bring forth Truth. I am with great Esteem yours
1. That is, Gabriel de Sartine's replacement as naval minister by the Marquis de Castries; see Bondfield's letter of 28 Oct., and note 3 (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0217

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cooper, Samuel
Date: 1780-12-06

To Samuel Cooper

[salute] Sir

I have received your very agreable Letter of the 8th of September.1
Nothing could give me more Satisfaction than to learn the peaceable Establishment of the New Constitution. I Sincerely wish Mr. Hancock happy in his important office. Much will depend upon the Wisdom and Firmness of the first Governor, and much upon the Impartiality, and Liberality with which he hearkens to the Advice of Such, as have Abilities and Dispositions to give the best. There are Characters, in the Massachusetts very able, if they draw together, to conduct the State through every Perplexity and Danger: but if any little or great Animosities should estrange them from each other, the Consequences will be disagreable. They may be very pernicious.
I am impatient to see the Lists of Council, senate, and Assembly. The Attention of Nations is turned to the Massachusetts more than ever. That Commonwealth has a great Trust in its Hands, and I hope will be able to give a good Account of it. It has hitherto answered the highest Expectations.
Their high mightinesses have at length determined to acceed to the armed Neutrality. The K. of Prussia, will acceed to it. It is believed that his Letters to the Prince of Orange, induced his most serene highness to relax his opposition, because it is Supposed that he had Influence enough to have prevented the Republick from acceeding if he had been determined.2 At present however, the Dutch are much intimidated. They are afraid of every Thing. But above all Things, of giving Us a Credit.
As to Peace there is not a Thought nor a Word Spent about it. The War will last Several Years. If America were to seek Peace or even Reconciliation, and even if France would consent that she should, Great Britain would grant her no other Terms than unlimited Submission. Depend upon it, there never was more Malice, or deceit, { 392 } nor more wicked Designs than that whole Nation entertains against Us at this moment.
1. JA received this letter (above, and note 1) sometime prior to 28 Nov., for on that date a portion of Cooper's letter appeared in the Gazette de Leyde.
2. JA's statement reflects rumors exaggerating Frederick II's influence on William V regarding the League of Armed Neutrality. Certainly Frederick favored a Dutch accession to the league, but the decisive factor for both William V and the States General was the continued British assault on Dutch commerce (Edler, Dutch Republic and the American Revolution, p. 146). Prussia acceded to the armed neutrality in May 1781 (James Brown Scott, ed., The Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, N.Y., 1918, p. 397–403).
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.