A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0185

Author: Boston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-07

From “Boston”

[salute] Dr Sir

Persuaded as I am that the mentioning the Observations I have lately heard made by many respectable men of this place, will be taken in a proper light, I should think it Treason to our States, to Conceal the most trifling Circumstance that the Communicating of to you, could either benefit or prejudice. As besides things that are Matter of Opinion, will never reflect on your private Character, whom all that are acquainted with it as well as I am will and must ever hold in the highest respect.
The remarks I allude to, which is repeatedly made and lately in my { 251 } presence where a Member of this Regency happen'd to be—Was that your appearance, as a publick Character here, from States, which already Commands the Admiration as well as Attention of Europe; Was not Sufficiently Splendid or respectable, for to Support with proper dignity the Character of an Ambassador so as to gain that respect and Credit, which we want, from this Capital; and whose Confidence in the present Moment is of essential Service to the Support of our Credit. Some supposed the Allowance of our States was not Sufficient to enable you to sustain the Character of an Ambassador or Envoy, with proper dignity, and that your own fortune added thereto could not Supply the defficiency, whilst others said our Enemies, were base enough to assure our States could not Support you properly, and that out of the Small Allowance they made you, you Wished to save as much of it as you Could. Which Accounted, for the mean lodgings You had put up with, which where no ways suited to receive or entertain (as must be done in your Situation) those Members of the Regency as well as other respectable Characters here, whose friendly Support in many instances we stand so much need of.
Though I am well persuaded the best Motives sways your Actions, and that you wou'd even Sacrifice fortune and every thing that's dear to you to that first of all Considerations the good of our dear, ever dear Country—and that there surmise in every particular is ill founded, I cannot but wish as does every American, that those reasons, which have determined you to keep in so retired a State may soon cease, and that we may close the Mouth of Slander by seeing you have a decent House for your Residence, Carriage and that requisite State as Dr. Fr. which though of more Expence to the States of A. yet will be of Infinite advantage to Collect and connect the friends of our Cause and make them be more known, which will be great Service In many Instances I know of. I have gone farther than mentioning the remarks I have heard, since I have added my own wishes, but I submit both to your Consideration as I am persuaded, you are Nevertheless assured of that respect and Affection borne you by him, whom you know without his Subscribing any otherways than
[signed] Boston1
1. This letter may have influenced JA's decision two days later to commission the firm of Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield to procure a residence “suitable for a Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to receive and entertain Company” (to Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield, 9 April, below).
The text and signature suggest that “Bos• { 252 } | view ton” was an American whom JA had met in Amsterdam. The author may be the same person who, calling himself “Monitor,” wrote to JA on 20 May 1782 (Adams Papers). This is one of several anonymous letters written during this period critical of JA's activities in the Netherlands and designed to divide the U.S. Peace Commissioners.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0186

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-07

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Among the late intercepted Letters from London, is one from the Army Agent there to the Traitor Arnold, by which it appears that his Bribe was 5000 £ Sterling, in Bills drawn on Harley & Drummond, who are the Contractors for furnishing the Army with Money. Inclos'd I send you a Copy of that Letter, and shall send you others by next Post.1
The English Papers tell us, that you have succeeded in your Loan. Be so good as to inform me if it is true. It will give me great Pleasure. I obtain'd here, before Col. Laurens's Arrival, a Promise of 6,000,000 for our Army, to which I hope his Sollicitations will make a considerable Addition. The Marquis de la Fayette sail'd the 27th. past, under Convoy of the Alliance, with a fair Wind, and a Cargo for the Publick, of Arms, Clothing, &c. valued at 1,000,000.
With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
1. The packet Anna Theresa, bound from Falmouth to New York, sailed on 15 March. Soon thereafter a French frigate captured it and carried it into Lorient. The crew threw the mail overboard, but it failed to sink and the crew of the frigate retrieved it. The mail included numerous letters from Lord George Germain and others to officials in America. At least sixteen of the intercepted letters found their way into Franklin's hands and he enclosed them with a duplicate of his letter of 12 March to the president of Congress, which reached that body on or about 16 July (London Chronicle, 5–7 April; JCC, 20:750–751; PCC, No. 51, I, f. 777–828). Many of the letters soon appeared, some with editorial commentary attached, in American newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette (25 July; 1, 15, and 29 Aug.; 1 Sept.) and the Boston Independent Chronicle (16 and 23 Aug.).
Franklin's enclosure has not been found, but from his description it clearly was James Meyrick's letter to Benedict Arnold, dated 30 Jan., Parliament Street, London. Meyrick gave an account of his investment of £5,000 in bills of exchange drawn on Harley & Drummond that he received from Arnold. A French translation of the letter, possibly supplied by JA, appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 20 April. For additional intercepted letters Franklin sent to JA, see his letter of 29 April, note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-04-08

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I returned last night to Leyden, and would Set off this morning for the Hague, if particular Reasons did not oppose.
{ 253 }
Having Something, a little interesting to communicate to you, I should be very much obliged to you, if you could come here to morrow morning. I should be glad of your answer this Evening, because if any thing makes it inconvenient to you to come here, I will go to the Hague, and be with you by Noon. It would be much better however for you to come here if you can.1

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] J. Adams
Tr (PCC, No. 101, I, f. 176)
1. No reply from Dumas has been found. He and JA may have met as late as 13 April. For the dating of that meeting, as well as its results, see Dumas' letters of 14 and 26 April, both 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, 2018.