A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0183

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-06

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

I do not ask you to consider this as a letter to you. I have writen so much for several days that I am absolutely beat out; and my health besides begins to fail me. A most constant head ach hangs upon me, and almost stupifies me: Consider this therefore only as a cover of the enclosed letters. I shall probably trouble you more frequently in this way than I have ever done; but it must be upon the express condition that you will assure me in your next without fail, that you will minute the postage to my account: otherwise I must send my letters into other hands which I wou'd not wish to do. The one mark'd Triplicate is a Copy of that of which you have already by the post of last Friday received the original and duplicate.1 You will pay an attention to this and let all three be sent by different vessels. Another parcel you will receive thro' other hands by this post are originals. Adieu my dear Sir, I hope you are happier at the Hotel des Etats Unis than I am here, about to be left by your Son2 the only Countryman I have here, and to add to this, by a faithful domestic who will not weather out with me another of these frightful midnight Winters. Do say I had better quit the stage and return to America, since I am no longer at liberty to pursue the plan you and I think the best, as well as most consonant to the honour and dignity of the United States even tho' it shou'd not succede. Depend upon it nothing can or will be done here till our Independance is acknowledge by England, under such a line as is chalked out to me. My Friend, may piddling politicks never disgrace our Councils. But this system is the offspring of you know what. Adieu once more I am sick at heart.
[signed] FRA DANA
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis &a à son Hotel A la Haye”; endorsed: “ansd Sept. { 441 } 29.”; by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dana 26th. August 1782. O.S.”; stamped: “AMSTERDAM.” Filmed at 26 Aug., Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 357.
1. The letters included the triplicate of Dana's letter to Robert R. Livingston of 30 Aug. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:679–680), the original and duplicate of which went by the post of Friday, 30 Aug., with Dana's letter to JA of that date, above. They also included Dana's letter to Livingston of 5 Sept. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:700–702; from Dana, 16 Sept., below).
2. JQA also wrote to JA on 6 Sept. regarding the various possibilities that were being considered for his return to the Netherlands (AFC, 4:378).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0184

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-09-07

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have recd, your Letter with other Slips for which I thank you and another Since.1
I take constantly the Morning Post, Morning Chronicle London Courant and have taken the Evening Post, but Shall change it Soon for the General Advertiser. The Couriers de L'Europe and du Bas Rhin, the French Gazettes of Hague Leyden and Amsterdam and all the Dutch Gazettes. Is this to be a News Monger? I take em to send to a far Country.
If the Loss of the Royal George is ominous, the Thing typyfied will Sink with it a great many more Prostitutes. It twinges however upon ones Nerves to joke upon so dismal a Catastrophe.
You are welcome to explain to our Friend any Thing you please. I hope to see him here again, at least I shall hear from him on his Way to Calais. I have lately two Letters from him in answer to two of mine.2
It is Said in one of the Papers that Mr Franklin is sick have you heard any Thing of it?3
It is not wonderful that the English find the Gentn at Spa Shrewd4—dont they find him patriotic and honest too? dont they find him Sagacious in foreseeing so clearly, that Holland would never acknowledge American Independance—dont they find him exact in affirming that the Dutch had told Mr Adams, that they were interested against it? They find him profound no doubt in discovering that the northern Powers, would be rivalled in their Trade by America independant more than by America subject to G. Britain. They find him refined no doubt in representing our Country is ruined—and Sublime as well as pathetic, in his dolourous Lamentations over fallen England. They find an unusual Dignity in the Conduct of a Man, who signs a Treaty with France whose direct End is American Independence, and then advices to give it up. To be sure { 442 } all these Things are shrewd—and many more. A flippant Tongue and a fluent Pen, are enough to obtain the Character of Shrewd, without any Judgment in the Head or Solidity in the Heart. To be Sure a greater Chaos of Cruelities Absurdities and Inconsistences, were never put together in tollerably smooth Language than appears in his Letters.
1. Jenings' letters of 1 and 5 Sept., both above.
2. Henry Laurens' letters were of 25 and 27 Aug. in reply to JA's of 15 and 18 Aug., respectively, all above.
3. See Thomas Barclay's letter of 4 Sept., above.
4. For the publication of Silas Deane's “intercepted” letters, see vol. 12:204. Compare JA's comments here with those made to Francis Dana in February, same, p. 226.
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.