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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0075

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-12-06

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have delivered your Excellency’s Letter to Mr. de Neufville, and have written to him myself, making the proposals contained in your Letter to me. He answers me, that he thinks the proposals reasonable: but insists upon it, that he has not the commanding Interest in the Concern, and that nothing can be done but by the Owners at large, or by Mr. Van Harp as Ships Husband. He seemed alarmed at the Intention of stopping Payment, and will write You upon it.1 Mr. de Neufville the Son is set off this morning for Paris.
A single Bill of 550 Guilders was brought me yesterday drawn on Mr. Laurens 6th. July 1780—it is No. 61. I have asked time to write your Excellency about it, and hope for an Answer by the Return of Post. All the remaining Numbers of the Bills drawn upon me have been presented, and these I have accepted. There are not more than three or four.
The States General have unanimously guarranteed the five Millions, and I hope to have the honor before long of demanding an Answer to my former Memorial, and proposing another Matter of more Consequence still, according to a Paper which I transmitted You on the 26th, which I hope You have recieved. A Triple or Quadruple Alliance would probably accelerate the Negotiation for a Congress at Vienna—at least it would render the War more easy and secure.

[salute] I have the Honor to be,2 Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “Adams Dec 6. 1781.”
1. For the correspondence mentioned in this paragraph, see Franklin to Neufville & Fils, 26 Nov. (Franklin, Papers, 36:117); JA to Neufville & Fils, 3 Dec., above; Neufville & Fils to JA, 5 Dec., above; and Neufville & Fils to Franklin, 7 and 10 Dec. (Franklin, Papers, 36:212–216, 236–237).
2. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0076

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-06

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I am honour’d with your Excellency’s Letters of the 22d and 26th. past. The Proposal relating to the Goods was, you say, more unreasonable than you expected. It did not so much surprise me, who { 117 } possess a former Sample exactly of the same Stile and Sentiment, and I therefore think this to be of the same Author.1 His Professions of Disinterestedness with regard to his Shares, are in my Opinion deceitful, and I think that the less we have to do with that Shark, the better; his Jaws are too strong, his Teeth too many, and his appetite immensely voracious.
The Proposals of Ingraham & Bromfield appear more reasonable. I have communicated them to Mr. Barclay, the Consul, who is arrived here with full Powers to take into his Care any Property of the United States. He sets out to day for Amsterdam in order to take Care of those Goods, and will have the honour of delivering to you this Letter. You will, I am certain, afford him your Counsel, and all the assistance in your Power: I begin to see more Daylight with regard to our Funds, and believe I may be able to furnish him with sufficient to disengage the Goods and pay their Freight: But if he judges a Part of them less immediately necessary, and that they may be sold without too much Loss, to raise the Money wanted, that Method will I think be preferable.
I thank you for the Copy of the Instructions. I had received another, and communicated it to the Count de Vergennes.

[salute] With great Respect, I have the honour to be Sir Your most obedient and most humble Servt

[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin Decr. 6. 1781.”
1. That is, Jean de Neufville.
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.