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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0096

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Church, William Singleton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-11

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr Sir

My long silence has not been owing to any want of regard or attention to you, but has been solely occasiond by the imprudence and folly of some young men, whose conduct has produced a general hunt after Amns., the stoppage of letters, seizure of baggage &c. &c.—and it seems as if it would never have an end. The last who went from here Mr. W[arren] may have explaind in part what has happend. I am sorry to say, entre nous, that the bad refugee company that He kept here was in great measure the cause of his trouble and he seemingly got what He deservd. His imprudence and that of Mr. B[rai]ls[for]d will most likely be the cause of Trumbulls confinement many months longer than it otherways would, and I am very sorry for Him, because He is the only prudent and discreet Amn. I have seen here for a long time back. I wish to God they were all either gone or taken up, and that my Countrymen woud not permit their fools to come abroad.
The Bearer1 will explain his case and situation to You, He seems a clever deserving man and may stand in need of Your advice and recommendation how to act in the business He is upon, which is the recovery of some debts due to Him in Holland. Please to mention Him to Mr. Jan Spuyt, to whom He may be of service.
He will explain the state of things here better than I can do in the short space I have to write. He is Captain G—— r—— sh from your neighbourhood in this kingdom. Please to appologise to Mr. Spuyt for my want of time to write Him. The times are too much against us yet to open the contraband commerce which we formerly dealt in successfully, and I do not yet know the charges of sending goods via Ostend.
I have lately forwarded you four or five parcells books by that rout. I send them to Mr. Frs. Bowens mert. Ostend2 with an under cover For Messrs. De N[eufvil]le & son which also covers another direction to Mr. Schorn. I some time ago forwarded a letter from Mr. Jones to Mr. S—— rle.3 Pray inquire of Mr. S– le if He ever got it for having no answer, there is uneasiness about it.
{ 143 }

[salute] I am yrs mo Respectfully

[signed] W. S. C.
I sent yesterday a small parcell pamphlets to Ostend as above.
1. Probably Capt. Samuel Gerrish of the Aurora. Gerrish was captured in July 1780 and sent to Mill Prison at Plymouth, from which he escaped on 28 Dec. 1780 (Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 73). In view of Digges' continuing efforts to aid American prisoners and even to aid and abet the escape of fugitives from British authorities it would not have been unusual for him to entrust a letter to Gerrish's care (vol. 9:12; 10:155, 166–167, 339, 366, 399–400; from Thomas Digges, 8 March, below).
2. For Francis Bowens' role as an intermediary for packages from Digges, see vol. 9:273, 306–307.
3. Probably William Jones, a noted British lawyer and opponent of the American war. Digges probably enclosed Jones' letter to James Searle in his own letter of 14 Nov. 1780 to JA (vol. 10:314–315, 339–340).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0097

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-02-12

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I have received yours of the 9 and 10th. of this month. The Resolution of Congress is printed and published in the publick Journal of Congress and of Course in all the American News papers, and all the other Newspapers of the World. Congress have a Secret Journal, in which, they enter every Thing that they mean to keep Secret, and a publick Journal which is printed every day. Whatever is inserted in this Congress mean and intend, Shall be made known immediately to all the World. Accordingly whatever any European Novellist can find, in this Journal is free Booty. It was necessary moreover that this Resolution Should be published in Europe without Loss of Time, for the Government of American Frigates, Privateers and Letters of Mark, who before this Resolution did not hold themselves bound by the armed Neutrality, any more than Spain does now towards Denmark. Moreover a Publication of it here was all the Use that could consistantly be made of it, at present as I have not received any Authenticated Copy of the Resolution other than the Journal.
I know not the Motives which Mr. De Neufville had in inviting you to Amsterdam, unless it was for the Sake of good Company, which is Motive enough. I am now very busy, in finishing my Plan of a Loan, when it is done, I will go to Leyden and either wait on you at the Hague, or ask the Favour of you to meet me at Leyden.
I have it not in my Power, at present, to do any Thing more than Mr. Franklin has done, that is refer you to Congress, respecting the Subject of Money. I think however, it will not be long before, Somebody or other will have Power, to decide upon that matter, here.
{ 144 }
Pray have you a Cypher from Mr. Lovel? I have a long Letter from him, which is absolutely unintelligible to me, for want of his Cypher.1
I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, sir your most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
1. From James Lovell, 14 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:411–414).
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.