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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0032

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-10-27

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I had last night the honour of your Letter of the 22d and I most heartily congratulate the French Court and Nation, on the acquisition of a Dauphin.1
The Ships which the South Carolina, was to have taken under her Convoy, are Still here.2 I am told, that the Ships are the best that are to be had: that they are to be sold at a reasonable Rate, so reasonable that the difference, between the Purchase and the Freight is inconsiderable. So that the general opinion here, Seems to be that the best course to be taken would be to purchase the ships which on their arrival in America would Sell for more than their Cost, and Send them on, without Loss of Time. But in order to accomplish this, there must be cash to pay the Purchase; And after all, they may be taken and all lost: but it is said the Season of the year advances fast, when there will be little danger of British Cruisers, upon this Coast. There are American Masters of Vessells here, of good Reputation, who would be very glad to take the command, at least of one of them.
As this whole Transaction arose in France, under the Authority of your Excellency and Coll Laurens, I have never considered myself as having any Power over those Goods or Ships, any more than over the Casks of Gold and Silver, which were Sent here by Mr Neckar, to go by the Same South Carolina, and which that minister had given Mr Jackson an order to receive, but which notwithstanding your Excellency thought still So far under your Jurisdiction, as to give orders, that it should not be delivered to him.3
If I were to advise however my advice would be this to send Jackson here again who was sent here before to conduct the Business. If your Excellency could Spare the Money to purchase the Ships, to { 54 } do it, and send them to Sea. If not to sell part of the Goods to pay the Freight of the rest, or sell the whole and pay the Money to your Excellencys order. Or if your Excellency sees fit to give Mr De Neufville, or Messrs Fizeau & Co, or any other Person the Conduct of the Business, it will be equally Satisfactory, to, sir, your Excellencys most humble and obedient Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams. Octr 27. 1781.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In the Letterbook JA canceled:
“and I wish that the Prince may be as good a F in when in the Course of Time which I hope however will be a long one, he shall be called to the Throne, may be as good a Friend and ally, to the United States of America, as his august Father and receive from them an equal Return of Friendship, and affection.”
2. In the Letterbook this was the first sentence of a new paragraph, the remainder of which, except for one sentence, JA canceled:
<They could not have Sailed with any rational Prospect of escaping the British Fleet before the Texell, if they had been ready: but the [ . . . ] of> The Freight is not paid, nor is any Charter Party Signed. <I am told that one of the first Points of Dispute between Mr Gillon and Mr Jackson, was who should Sign the Charter Parties. Jackson insisted that by the Contract with Coll Laurens, Gillon was to carry the Goods, and as he could not do that his Engagement obliged him to be at the Expence of the Freight. This was refused.>
3. See Franklin to JA, 30 June, and note 1 (vol. 11:399–400).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0033-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-27

From C.W.F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

N’attribuez qu’à la peine que j’ai eue de me procurer la Brochure que vous m’avez demandée,1 Si je ne n’ai pas répondu plutôt à l’honorée vôtre du 18. Certainement elle n’est pas imprimée ici, où tout le monde la méprise, et où elle n’est connue que des Libraires à qui on l’avoit envoyée pour en vendre ce qu’ils pourroient. J’ai donc été obligé d’attendre qu’elle vînt de Rotterdam, d’où on me l’a fait venir, parce que c’est là qu’elle a été publiée par quelque Anglois ou Anglomane. Vous verrez que c’est effectivement une piece à mépriser, et qui ne mérite aucune attention, encore moins une réfutation, de notre part.
I am very glad, Dear Sir, that you have found shut the gates of the other Mansion. What had you to do that way? You Know your Business is to open the Gates of general Peace, when Britain will be reduced to seek for it. I am very much obliged to Dr. Oosterdyk and the Bark, that they have not suffered your feet, stumbling on the dark Mountains: because I will have them, together with mine, when we will have pacified Europe, climb up to the Top of your Blue Mountains and crowned with oaken Boughs, survey and bless from thence the glorious Empire of Liberty, with its happy Sons and Daughters.
{ 55 }
Jeudi dernier (après s’etre amusé pendant la 15ne. précedente à délibérer, et enfin résoudre contre certaine adresse au Peuple2) on a mis sur le tapis dans le Sanhédrin la Missive du D—.3 Alcmar et Hoorn ont accédé aux 8 villes qui sont contre lui. La premiere a parlé plus vigoureusement que toutes les autres. Avec tout cela, comme j’ai vu hier matin passer devant mes fenêtres une partie de ces Messieurs, pour entrer dans leurs Yachts, j’en ai conclu qu’ils ont laissé le tapis, pour aller selon leur coutume, pendant quelques jours délibérer sur leurs Napes et Draps de Lit.
J’ai lu une Réponse de certain Peuple à certaine adresse, que je voudrois que vous pussiez lire aussi. Vous y verriez que ce peuple n’a rien à craindre de son bon Chef, par la raison que pour bouleverser un Etat, il faut être un grand homme. Vous penseriez aussi avec moi, que si jamais on attrape l’Auteur de l’Adresse, il ne pourroit mieux faire que de choisir celui de la réponse, pour le Consoler dans sa derniere heure.
Tout ceci amuse en attendant les nouvelles plus importantes, qui doivent nous venir d’Amérique.
Je suis toujours seul ici, et par conséquent attaché chez moi. Mais je crois que le mauvais temps obligera bientôt ma femme à revenir, et alors je ne manquerai pas Monsieur de profiter de votre obligeante invitation, et de regler avec vous, au coin du feu, les grands interêts des Nations.
Voici une petite Drôlerie au sujet d’une Lettre pitoyable, qui avoit été écrite contre Mr. De L—. Cela pourra vous amuser un instant.

[salute] Je suis Monsieur, toujours, & pour toujours, avec grand respect, Votre très-humble & très-obéisst. serviteur

[signed] Dumas
On m’a fait l’honneur de m’adopter Membre Extraordinaire de la Societé Amore patriæ, qui vient de publier un nouvel Ecrit très sensé, en Hollandois, sur la différence entre Anonymes et Libelles—De hoc et pluribus coram.4
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/