A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0038

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-11-12

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

By the last Post, Letters have been recieved in this Town from Mr. Gillon and from a Passenger, Mr. Le Roy,1 by which and a note upon one of them by Mr. Lagoanere2 it appears that the South Carolina sailed form Corunna on the seventeenth of October, and that Captain Jackson and Mr. Trumbull3 are gone in an American Privateer to Bilbao, in order to take Passage from thence to America: so that the proposal I had the honor to make to your Excellency of sending Jackson here cannot take place.
The Goods remain here for Or[ders,]4 and for Cash or Credit to { 65 } buy or hire [the] Ships. If neither can be advanced by you[r] Excellency, there remains only one alternative, vizt either to sell a part to pay the freight of the rest, or let the whole remain here until Congress can give Orders concerning them. Your Excellency must be very sensible, that nobody on this side the Atlantic, except your Excellency, has Authority to give Orders to sell part of the Goods to pay the freight of the remainder.
These Goods would be such an heart-felt Comfort to our brave Countrymen in the Field the ensuing Winter, that I cannot but most ardently wish they might arrive in the Month of January or sooner, and therefore cannot but advise the sending of them, provided it is possible. The whole however must be submitted to your Excellency.

[salute] I have the honor to be,5 with great Respect, Sir your Excellencys most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PU:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “answd. 23d.” LbC (Adams Papers). Damage to the lower right corner of the RC resulted in the loss of parts of three words, which have been supplied from the LbC.
1. For Herman Le Roy, see vol. 10:115.
2. Michel Lagoanere was the American agent at La Coruña (vol. 8:297).
3. In the Letterbook JA canceled: “and my son.”
4. In the Letterbook JA canceled: “and for Mr De Neufville will write to your Excellency.” Jean de Neufville & Fils wrote to Franklin on 12 Nov. and advised him to buy the ships left behind by Gillon (Franklin, Papers, 36:49–50).
5. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0039

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-11-12

From William Jackson

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the honor to address your Excellency by the last post, in which letter2 I informed you that we should probably sail the 16. instant—but a sudden fresh in the river, which impedes the ship’s loading, will oblige us to wait for the next spring-tide.3
By a Vessel belonging to Mr. Tracy which arrived here yesterday in four weeks from America we have received very important intelligence. Mr. Tracy writes Mr. Gardoqui that the Count de Grasse having beat the British fleet commanded by Admiral Graves had returned to the Chesapeak, and having been reinforced by Count de Barras with the Rhode-Island squadron, had stationed his whole force consisting of 36 sail of the line, and a number of frigates so as to effectually command the Chesapeak and the rivers adjacent. General Washington, having previously ordered the Count Rochambeau with his troops to the Southward, had followed himself { 66 } with the elite of our army, which joined by the Corps under Genls. Stuben, La fayette, and Wayne, and a debarkation from the fleet, formed an allied army of at least 20,000 Men. His Excellency had embarked the troops at the head of Elk, landed in the neighbourhood of Cornwallis and completely invested him at York town in Virginia, where he had fortified himself as strongly as possible. Mr. Tracy says it was reported that Cornwallis had offered to capitulate on like terms with Burgoyne, but that General Washington held him to a surrender at discretion. I most heartily congratulate your Excellency on this very favorable aspect of affairs, and I felicitate myself with a hope that your Excellency’s views in coming to Europe will soon meet their well earned honor and success. The enclosed Gazette,4 which is the latest received, will give you farther particulars. I must profit of the few minutes before the post goes to carry my letter to the office. Your dear little Boy is very well—he wrote to you this morning5 by Mr. Bromfield, who returns to Amsterdam. Coll. Trumbull offers his most respectful compliments. I beg you will present mine to Mr. Thaxter.

[salute] I am with profound respect, and real regard, Dear Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant.

[signed] W. Jackson
Should you write Mr. Dana please to present my affectionate respects to him and your Son. I shall endeavor to write Mr. D. before I leave Europe. W.J.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Major Jackson 12th. Novr. 1781”; by JA: “ansd 1. Decr. 1781.”
1. For JA’s reply to this letter, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:248.
2. Probably Jackson’s letter of 26 Oct. (same, 4:235–238).
3. The twenty-gun Massachusetts privateer Cicero, Capt. Hugh Hill, sailed from Bilbao on or about 10 Dec., and arrived at Beverly, Mass., on 21 Jan. 1782. For references to the vessel and detailed accounts of its voyage to America, see same, 4:index.
4. Not found.
5. Not found.
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.