A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0071

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Searle, James
Date: 1781-02-04

To James Searle

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the Honour of yours of 24 Jan. only yesterday.1 F. ||Silas Deane|| is indeed arrived here, but I cannot learn that R.R. ||Edward Bancroft|| is. I have not been honoured with a Visit, as yet, nor have I seen him.
There is a Courier arrived from Petersbourg, who carried the News of Sir Yorkes leaving the Hague. Alls well in the north.
{ 106 }
The Spirit here waxes warmer. A new Play is brought upon the Stage called De Ruyter, in which the English are treated as you would wish them, and every Line, in which they are So, is applauded, a tout rompre, that is in plain English to make all Split.2 I will observe your recommendation concerning Mr. Bromfield who is still here. I wish I were at Paris with you, it is more agreable there than here yet, as well as more healthy.
If the neutral Confederation Should become belligerent, would it not be a proper Time, for France and America to join, in proposing to the nations that compose it, to acknowledge American Independance? There is an Article in our Treaty to this Purpose. Dr. Franklin has authority to treat with any Power in Europe, at least the Commissioners had, and I Suppose the Dissolution of the Commission has not annulled that Authority. I wish you would converse with the Dr. upon the subject. If he thinks he has not Power, would it not be proper, to write to Congress upon the Subject? If Something of this sort is not done, the northern Powers, may settle their War, and leave Us Still to fight it out. The Article I refer to is the 10 of the Treaty of Alliance. “The most Christian King, and the United States agree to invite or admit other Powers, who may have received Injuries from England, to make common Cause with them and to acceed to that Alliance, under Such Conditions as shall be freely agreed to and settled between all the Parties.” Pray talk about this with Mr. Dana. There never can be a more inviting opportunity, than the present to execute this Article of the Treaty.
1. Searle's letter of 24 Jan. has not been found.
2. Michiel Adriaansz de Ruiter, tragedy by Johannes Nomsz, 1781. Michiel Adrienszoon de Ruyter, the greatest admiral of his day, won fame for the defeats he inflicted on the British during the Second and Third Dutch Wars (1665–1667, 1672–1674), and particularly for his 1667 raid on the Chatham dockyards on the Medway River, only ten miles from London (The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, ed. Peter Kemp, N.Y., 1976). In an undated letter Antoine Marie Cerisier invited JA to attend “la Tragedie de De Ruiter,” performed in Dutch, that was playing for the final time that day (Adams Papers, filmed at [1782], Microfilms, Reel No. 359).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0072

Author: Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-04

From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe

[salute] Sir

I have answer'd, three days ago, at Paris the Letter I have been honour'd from your Excellency by the honourable James Searle Esqer.1 My heart is full of gratitude and desires nothing more than to deserve to be instructed with your Excellency's absolute confidence.
{ 107 }
I shall be at Paris Saturday next. Will sett out for Brest at the End of the following week from whence I hope to sail towards Phyladelphia and Boston, as soon as winds will permit it. I beg your Excellency to send me his Commands at Paris directely and take the Liberty to remind, I have promises of letters for Madam Adam's, honorable Samuel Adam, doctor Cooper &c. Any thing wich your Excellency will prescribe me to do or to say in America, you my depend upon, I shall omit none being desirous to give proofs by facts of all the sentiments of attachement and Respect with which I am Yours Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] De Létombe
P.S. honorable Laurens2 and colonel Palfrey Consul général were expected every moment and there was no News of them.
Your Excellency may direct his Letters to me Either at M. Dana, or to myself at Paris, but I begg it to be done without any delay.
1. Neither JA's earlier letter to Létombe, who was going to the U.S. as French consul at Boston, nor Létombe's reply of 1 Feb. has been found.
2. Col. John Laurens.
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.