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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0219

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1780-12-06

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I thank you, for yours of 30 Nov. I return the two Letters from Mr. L. I had the Honour of one, from him, by each of those opportunities, nearly to the Same Purpose.1
Your kind concern for our Health is very obliging. I shall cover me with Flannels and Furs, like a Dutchman. A Mans Feelings, Soon remove all the Ridicule of it.
The “Pensees” will Serve to excite a Curiosity after the Memorial.2Many have read it, with Pleasure. But the Narrative of General How has made the greatest Impression here. All who have read it Say, that it is a demonstration of the Universal Abhorrence of British Govt. and of the Impracticability of Subduing or gaining America.
The Letters of Joly, I have never heard of.
G. Washington was at Bergen, very near N. York on the 9th of October.
We expect within a few Weeks to hear from Petersbourg that the neutral Confederation, is compleated and that the King of Prussia has Signed it. His Letters to the Prince probably brought this Republick into it. What Part will England Act, towards it? Rush on the thick Bosses?3
How many Troops will England be able to Send out in all? To the Islands, the Continent, Quebec, &c.? And by what Time will they be ready?
If France and Spain Should keep their whole combined Fleet in { 394 } the Channell next Year, will not the English Merchant Fleets be in some danger?
If they should send a Superiour Fleet to N. America, would not the whole British Power be in danger?
If American Commerce and Privateers, should extend themselves next year, farther than they ever have done would not the English suffer, Somewhat? What have they got last year, but Preservation from total Ruin by a series of Miracles? Can they be sure that such a series will continue?
1. The letters that JA enclosed with this letter have not been found, but “Mr. L.'s” letters to him were probably those of 10 and 28 Sept. from Arthur Lee (both above), to which JA wrote his first and secondseparate replies on 6 Dec. (both below).
2. That is, Thomas Pownall's Memorial.
3. That is, to throw itself against the shield raised by the armed neutrality (OED).

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0220

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1780-12-06

To Arthur Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received your Favour of September 10th and am very glad to hear of your Visit to Braintree and Plymouth. I have traced your Path as far as Governor Trumbulls at Lebanon. I hope you found, Things in the Eastern States, as well as all others agreable. Govr. Trumbulls son and Mr. Tyler, are taken up in England and committed for high Treason. This will cure the Silly Itch of running over to England, but how shall We relieve these Gentlemen, who behaved as prudently in England as any body could. Mr. Laurens's Confinement is relaxed only by one Walk in the Yard, a day.
The States General have acceeded to the armed Neutrality. It is Said that the Prince was induced to acquiesce, by Letters from the King of Prussia, who convinced him that he would make himself too responsible, if he held out against it. The States of Holland excepting Harlem and Dort, have disavowed the Treaty between Amsterdam and your Brother. Sir Josephs Memorial is not yet answered.
The Disasters in Carolina, the Inactivity of France and Spain, the Desertion of Arnold, the rough Treatment of Mr. Laurens, &c., but above all, the Publication of Mr. Laurens's Papers, and Sir Josephs Memorial, have totally annihilated our Credit here, at least for the present. No Man, dares any Thing, least he should be charged with aiding and abetting and comforting Rebellion. We have nothing to depend upon but ourselves, and Providence.
{ 395 }
The English are making a Bluster, about Sending Troops. They talk of Ten Thousand—and are trying to hire Transports here. But, We know, how they annually execute these Threats. Shall be always glad to hear of your Welfare and the News from our Country, from want of which We suffer very much.
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.