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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0146

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-16

From Francis Dana

(No. 13.)

[salute] My dear Sir

The dispatches you will receive with this, were sent to me by Colo. Lawrens, last evening, some of them he brought from America, the others came in the Duke of Leinster directly from Philadelphia.1 If I have not a good oportunity before, I will send them on, next week, by Mr. Searle, who will then certainly set off for Amsterdam, unless he shou'd be too sick to travel. His indisposition has prevented his leaving this City earlier. I shall not be long after him. I hope to be with you, before the Commodore sails. I have additional reasons for returning to America, but with the view of remaining there, in the character of a private Citizen. If Colo. Lawrens does not clear up some difficulties in my mind, I think, my own honour will require it, sure I am, that my Interest will. I have not yet seen him. He arrived at Passy yesterday noon, and set off with the Dr. early this morning for Versailles. I am very sorry I had not an opportunity to talk with him before he went there: but so it has happened.2 I hope you and the whole family are well. I am at present much engaged in writing to America, and must beg you to excuse my breaking off abruptly. I am, dear Sir, your much obliged friend and obedient humble Servant
[signed] FD
P.S. I have at last discovered the key to both of friend Jemmy's Cyphers. The dispatches I shall commit to Mr. Themmen, a Dutch young Gentn. who was introduced to me by one of our Countrymen—he setts off for Holland tomorrow after noon, and goes thro' Amsterdam. I have no doubt but he will deliver them safe: in your absence he is instructed to deliver them to Mrs. De Neufville & Son.3 I am loth to detain them unnecessarily one moment. My own trust prevents my bringing them. I shou'd otherwise have done now, as before, with those brought by Mr. Searle. Dont write me except to advise one of Your receiving these dispatches; lest I shou'd have set off before your letter can reach here.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana. Paris. 16. March 1781.”
1. Among the letters Dana sent were Congress' of 9 Jan., above, with which were enclosed JA's letters of credence of 1 Jan. to the States General and to William V, both above; Congress' brief covering letter of 9 Jan. (Adams Papers), a duplicate of its letter of 1 Jan., above, and the letters enclosed therein; and possibly letters from James Lovell of 6 and 8 { 206 } Jan. and the president of Congress of 10 Jan., all above. He may also have included his letter from Benjamin Franklin of 2 March, with which was enclosed a key to the Lovell cipher (Adams Papers), for which see Dana's letter of 6 March, and note 3, above.
2. Dana probably wanted to speak with John Laurens before he came too much under the influence of Benjamin Franklin and the Comte de Vergennes.
3. Dana wrote to Jean de Neufville & Fils on 17 March, introducing Themmen and requesting that they forward the letters if JA was not at Amsterdam (MHi: Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, 1780–1781).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-17

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I received this Morning, your Favour of the 16. inclosing a polite Letter from the Duke de la Vauguyon.1
I hope to receive another from you this Evening, and that it will contain an Account of the Fate of my Memorial.2 Has it been laid before their high mightinesses or not? And what was done with it? Pray, has the president, by the Constitution of this Country, a right to pocket, Suppress, or deliver to the Statholder, Papers addressed to their High Mightinesses?
Is the delusion almost over? When will man kind cease to be the Dupes, of the insidious Artifices of a British minister, and Stockjobber. Peace, is a Tub, easily thrown out, for the Amusement of the Whale, while the Minister opens his Budjet, concerts his Taxes, and contracts for his Loan, and it never fails to be taken for a Fish.
This is the best Place for Business, in the World. I have written my Name, 8 or 9 thousand Times to papers, Since I Saw you. Pray do you know if Mr. de Neufville has any person at the Hague to dispose of my Obligations? If he has not, will you think of a proper Person, as a Broker, or Undertaker, or both, and inform me? I am with great Esteem, your sert
1. From Dumas, 16 March, Adams Papers; from La Vauguyon, 14 March, above.
2. Dumas wrote as promised on 17 March, below, but his reply to this letter was dated [ 20 March] , below. It was there that he specifically answered the queries posed in this and the final paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0148

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

As we doubt not of your having Letters by the Alliance our advices of course will serve only as repetition to relate. I shall therefore inlieu of giving request from you information. The Honble. J. L——s is he to superceed the D——r or Is his Buissness confined to a perticular object. { 207 } | view His bringing with him Mr. Jackson1 as secretary would give room to suppose him a residence. In that case the D<octo>r will of course go back in the Alliance. She will return positively the middle of April and will take all the ships then ready under her Convoy. Could Comodore Gillon get round in time to Join them would be a great reenforceir to this little Squadron which will consist of the Alliance
The Marquis de lafayet   28   eighteen Pounder  
The Luzern   18    
The Aurora   20    
The franklin   20  
The Venus   14    
beside four of five Armd Schooners and Briggs. And as the Marquis de lafayet will have what is of so much consiquence to the States the Cloathing their Arrival is of very great Moment.
The Venus will sail from hence at the end of the Month to join them.2 She goes to Boston the other Ships to Philadelphia.
We learn your Loan goes on to your Satisfaction. We are rejoiced to find the Dutch so ready to Acquiess in your demands which proves their regarding your welfare attatcht to their own. By last post we are advised they have offerd 12 milion florens to France to defray the Expence of a Stipulate Force of Ships and Men to go to the East Indies to Act in consort in them Seas against the Common Enemy.
Mr. T. Pain came passenger by [the A]lliance.3 His errand must be urgent to engage his Crossing the Atlantic at this time.
Can you point out any Line for young Vernon?4 He is a smart Youth but wants opportunity to improve should any opening offer for Petersburg or the other Northern States but particularly to that, as a secretary to an Envoy. His figure is in his favor and his Letters wish application in a line to his tast would soon be conform to his Station.

[salute] With respect I have the Honor to be Sir Your very hhb Servant

[signed] John Bondfield
We are affraid Mr. Palfrey is lost as the ship he embarked in saild from the Delaware the 21 Dcember and is not yet heard of on these Coasts.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence John Adams Esq Ministre plénipotentiaire des Etats-unis à Amsterdam”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “John Bondfield 17th. March 1781.” A slight tear has resulted in the loss of all of one word and part of another.
1. Maj. William Jackson of South Carolina was captured at the fall of Charleston in the spring of 1780 and exchanged later in the year. He then joined John Laurens on his mission to Europe, serving first as Laurens' secretary and then as his agent charged with getting the { 208 } South Carolina ready for sea. When the frigate sailed in July, Jackson was aboard and JA entrusted him with the care of CA, his fellow passenger. Jackson later served as George Washington's secretary and as surveyor of customs at Philadelphia, but is best known as the secretary of the Constitutional Convention (DAB).
2. The Venus would sail from Bordeaux to Lorient.
3. Thomas Paine accompanied John Laurens as an unofficial secretary and returned with him to the U.S. at the end of May (DAB).
4. Bondfield made a similar request regarding William Vernon Jr. in 1780 (vol. 9:330, 339).
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.