A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0082-0002

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-10

Bidé de Chavagnes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] My dear sir

The interest I take in you and your health, as well as that of your dear family, is too sincere and constant to keep me from writing to you and to ask you for any news. Also, I would like to reiterate my sentiments of at• { 124 } tachment that you, yours, and your compatriots have inspired in me. I wrote you at Paris a while ago,1 but you apparently did not receive my letter, which expressed just how much I was aware of the happy events and success against Lord Cornwallis. Accept my personal congratulations. If Mr. Sartine, to whom I am infinitely obligated, had remained at the ministry, I would have been able to contribute myself by commanding a ship, or at least a large frigate, in the successful and good operations. But your poor little captain Chavagnes cannot obtain either a commanding post or a leave to go to Paris. He is going to a ship as second in command. I just left the Bien Aime and am now on the Royal Louis2 heading, I believe, for Cadiz to join the Spanish. A good peace for America will give you happiness, and will give happiness to Madame Chavagnes and me. I would be even happier if I could return you and your dear little family back to Boston, happy and healthy. If this could one day happen, it would give me great pleasure. I continue today, and will in the future, in assuring you of my sincere and lasting devotion with which I have the honor to be, my dear sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes
capne. des vaux. du roy
My address is on board the said vessel bound for Cadiz.
Remembrances and compliments to Messrs. Dana and Thaxter.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Capt. Chevagne 10th. Decr. 1781.”
1. Not found.
2. The Bien-Aimé was a 74-gun ship of the line; the Royal-Louis had 110 guns (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 374).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0083

Author: Jones, John Paul
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-10

From John Paul Jones

[salute] Dear Sir

After the command of the Alliance was usurped at L’orient, I received on board the Ariel, the two packages from Mr. Moylan, containing the articles you directed him to send to your Family. On my arrival at Philadelphia, I delivered them to Mr. Lovell, agreeable to your request.1 I had, last Summer, the honor to be unanimously elected by Congress to the command of the America, and am now superintending the Building.2 I was sorry my duty obliged me to pass through Boston without paying Mrs. Adams a visit at your country Seat. If I can this Winter I will do myself that honor.3 I had the honor to see Mrs. Dana here lately: She was on a visit to her friend Miss Stevens, who is on the point of Marriage with our Parson.4 Please to mention this with my respects to Mr. Dana.
I congratulate you on the glorious capture of Lord Cornwallis and { 125 } his whole Army. That conquest sets the friendship of France in the noblest light, does the greatest honor to humanity, frees a distressed Country, and adds lusture to the combined Arms, while Victory binds the brows of our happy chiefs with her Unspotted Laurels!
Among the great events that have sprung from our glorious Revolution, The World has seen with astonishment, the Belgia5 roused from their lethargy of a Century, and forced to draw the long-reluctant-Sword, or renounce for ever all pretention to National Character. May it fall with double Death on the heads of their insolent Enemies, and never again be sheathed till, in mercy to Mankind, they are effectually humbled! If I am honored with any Letters from you, please to address under cover to the Minister of Finance Philadelphia.6 I am, Dear Sir, with great respect Your Excellencie’s most Obedient and most humble Servant,
[signed] PAUL JONES
NB. I presume you are already acquainted with the bearer Major Sherburne, who lost his Leg on the Rhode Island expedition?7
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “recd 11. aug. 1782.”
1. See James Lovell’s letter of [ca. 15 March], and note 4 (vol. 11:202–204).
2. Congress appointed Jones to the command of the ship of the line America on 26 June (JCC, 20:698), but he never sailed as her captain. For the fate of the America, which was ultimately turned over to France, see vol. 10:25.
3. For AA’s description of Jones upon meeting him in 1784, during her residence in France, see Adams Family Correspondence, 6:5–6.
4. Sarah Stevens married Joseph Buckminster, minister of Portsmouth’s First or North Church, on 24 March 1782 (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:367).
5. The Dutch.
6. JA replied to Jones on 12 Aug. 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers).
7. Maj. John Samuel Sherburn of the New Hampshire militia lost his leg at Quaker Hill on 29 Aug. 1778 during the battle of Newport (Heitman, Register of the Continental Army).
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.