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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0225

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Laurens, John
Date: 1781-05-08

To John Laurens

[salute] Sir

I have received the Letter you did me the Honour to write me, on the 28th. of April. I <most> Sincerely congratulate you, on the most essential Aid you have obtained from the Court of Versailles, who upon this Occasion have done as much Honour to their own Policy, as essential Service to the United States. By a Conduct like this, which it is easy for France to hold, and which does as much service to the common Cause as the Same Sum of Money possibly could in any other Way, a Foundation will be laid of Affection and Confidence which will last long after this War shall be finished. I wish that other { 311 } Nations had as much Wisdom and Benevolence as France, indeed as much Knowledge of their true Interests. In this Case the Burden upon France would be less.
I accept with Pleasure the Trust with which you Honour me, but I Shall not think my self at Liberty to draw any Bills in Consequence of it, untill the Invoices and Vouchers, are produced to me, to the Satisfaction of Major Jackson, who will be so good as to give me his Approbation in Writing. I am very happy to find that it is in your Power to assist Commodore Gillon upon this occasion, whose Industry, Skill and Perseverance, have merited every assistance that can be legally given him.
Major Jackson, Sir shall have every Advice and Assistance in my Power to afford him, and I am much mortified that I am not to have an opportunity of shewing you, in Person, the Respect which I have for your Character, as well as that affection which I feel for the son of one of the worthiest Friends I ever had. Alass! When will he be able to obtain his own Liberty, who has so nobly contended for that of others?1
I have communicated my Credentials to the States General, who after the Deliberations which the Form of their Constitution requires, will determine whether they can receive them or not. It will probably be long, before they decide. It is of vast Importance to obtain, if possible, an Acknowledgment of our Independance, by the maritime Powers, before the Conferences for Peace Shall be opened. Otherwise, it is not possible to foresee, how many Intrigues and how much Chicanery, We may have to encounter.
I have the Honour to be, with very great Esteem and Respect, sir your most obedient and most humble servant.
1. Henry Laurens.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0226

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-10

From William Jackson

[salute] Sir

Commodore Gillon has applied to me by letter requesting that I would furnish Captain Joyner1 with bills of exchange on Paris for Twenty thousand Guilders which sum he says is required to pay the ship accounts of the South Carolina frigate, and is necessary to fit her for sea. As this sum appears to be requisite for the purposes mentioned in Commodore Gillon's letter to me, I have to request that { 312 } Your Excellency will please to grant bills to that amount, drawn in the manner stipulated by Colonel Laurens in his agreement with Commodore Gillon, with the exception of their being made payable to the order of Captain Joyner, who is authorised to receive them, and for which Commodore Gillon has made himself accountable.2
I have the honor to be, with perfect esteem and respect, Your Excellency's most obedient Servant.
[signed] W. Jackson
A set of bills of exchange for twenty thousand Guilders on that exchange, to be drawn payable to the order of Captain Joyner on His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire at six Months sight.3
1. John Joyner, an experienced seaman, accompanied Alexander Gillon to France in 1778. In 1781 he was captain of the frigate South Carolina under the command of Como. Gillon as flag officer of the South Carolina Navy. In May 1782, in order to avoid legal claims, Gillon gave Joyner full command of the frigate, a post he held until its capture in Dec. 1782 (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate “South Carolina”: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, Salem, 1929, p. 27; Laurens, Papers, 15:182).
2. The exchange rate for this transaction was apparently two livres per guilder or florin, for when Jackson wrote to JA on 25 May to acknowledge the bills of exchange drawn on Benjamin Franklin, it was for 40,000 livres tournois (Adams Papers). In a letter of 25 May, JA informed Franklin that the bills were being drawn on him rather than Fizeaux, Grand & Co. in Amsterdam because the bankers thought the six months wait until the bills became payable was too long (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 470–471).
3. This sentence is written on a separate slip of paper.
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.