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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0040

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-19

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Dear Sir

The inclosed,1 which you will be so Kind as to peruse, seal, and send to its destination, will inform you with my situation, my views, and my wants. Among the last I have thought proper not to mention the money necessary to bear my expences, as they know that I live on what I can raise on my own credit, which cannot honorably continue too long. You see, Sir, in what need I am of information. I wish Mr. Dana had lent me the journals of Congress; they would have { 82 } been of great use. Pray, be at the trouble of sending me a true account of our affairs as soon as you can, that I may be able to satisfy the Grand-Duke,2 which is a point of great consequence. They have no other accounts of American affairs in this Country, but such as they receive from England. A prudent and wise nobleman in this City observed to me, with great reason founded on experience, that “Onesta è sempre La causa di colui che parla solo.”3
The bearer of this is Mr. Celesia, the very person to whom I told you I intended to open my bosom, which I have done with that confidence, which is to be placed in those few beings, who to an exquisite mind join the most excellent heart. He intends to spend about 2 months in Paris, then to come home, where I hope to meet him on my return from Florence. As he is modesty itself, and almost as reserved as you are, I think proper to warn you that you will find in him profound common-sense, and general knowledge. He is an ornament to his Country, and his opinion is highly esteemed. I therefore would have desired the favour of you to furnish him with the best accounts you can relative to our glorious Cause, exclusive of the mutual satisfaction, which I am happy in procuring you both of conversing with each other. If you have an opportunity I wish you will introduce to him our friend Mr. Favi, to whom you will please to give any letters or papers for me, as I don't chuse to trust to the incorruptibleness of clerks in Post-Offices. With my respects to Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxtarr I have the honour to be with respect & esteem, Dr. Sr. Your Excellency's most Obedient & most Humble Servant
[signed] Philip Mazzei
1. The enclosure was likely Mazzei's letter to Thomas Jefferson of this date (from John Thaxter, 23 Sept., below). Mazzei mentions such a letter, which concerned his efforts to raise a loan for Virginia, in his “Representation” of 1784, but the letter has not been found (Jefferson, Papers, 3:557).
2. Presumably Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, later Leopold II, emperor of Austria.
3. That is, an honest man is a lonely man. For JA's use of this quotation in essentially the same sense as Mazzei does here, see his letter of 4 Oct. to C. W. F. Dumas, note 4 (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0041

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-20

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr. Jenings having gone out of Town, has left in my care a packet for you that came to him last Monday by the Post; by the marks on it, I fancy it has come from Antwerp. You will please to direct, whether it shall be forwarded to you in Holland or kept here 'till your return.
{ 83 }
We have not any certain advices of Monsr. Ternay, but it appears that orders are already sent out to prosecute the War with vigor in N. Carolina and Virginia, the ensuing Fall, Winter and Spring for which purpose Genl. Provost has sail'd, or is now about to sail, on his return to that quarter and I understand is to carry some Frigates to aid their operations on Cape Fear River: If there are any opportunities from where you are, it will be well to put America on her guard against this plan. It is said that the Enemy are sounding the disposition of the house of Bourbon, thro' the medium of Sardinia1 and have thrown out some loose propositions for accommodation; the basis of which is, the sacrifice of Ama. to scotch resentment; thus on all sides they are attempting to divide and of course to accomplish their views against all the parties.2 I wish you an agreeable Journey and with my respects to your Sons, I have the honour to remain with very great regard Dr. Sir Your most Obedt. Hble: Servt.
[signed] W: Lee
P.S. Can't you prevail where you are to have a Convoy sent with some Dutch Merchant Ships to America. Such a measure would be of more utility and more decisive, than a simple acknowlegement of our Independence.
1. For an earlier report on the proposed Sardinian mediation, see JA's letter of 17 April to the president of Congress, No. 46, and note 1 (above).
2. To this point, this paragraph served as the basis for the second paragraph of JA's letter of 23 Aug. to the president of Congress (No. 3, below).
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/