Papers of John Adams, volume 5

To James Bowdoin

From Joseph Palmer

To James Warren, 16 April 1777 JA Warren, James To James Warren, 16 April 1777 Adams, John Warren, James
To James Warren
April 16. 1777

An unfortunate Vessell has arrived from France. The brave Fellow who commanded her, is blown to Pieces in her. A French Nobleman who came in her, got on Shore and brought the Letters.1

We have Letters from our Commissioners of the Sixth of Feby.2 —much in the Same Strain with the former of Jany. 17. tho not quite so encouraging. They say there is an universal Apprehension that We shall submit. They had not heard of the Turn of Affairs at Trenton. A Letter from London says, “So many Bankruptcies were never known. Two W.I. Houses have failed for one Million two hundred Thousand Pounds.3 Stand firm, say our Friends in England, and nothing can hurt you.” The British Ministry are very angry with France for the Assistance she gives Us and threatens to declare War. A Quarrell between the Ministry and the Court of Spain, about the Mussketo Shore.4—a fresh Quarrell bet. Turks and Russians.5

RC (MHi:Warren-Adams Coll.); docketed: “April 16 1777.”


For some details of this episode see JA to AA, 13 April ( Adams Family Correspondence , 2:209–210).


The Commissioners wrote three letters of this date, two to the Committee of Secret Correspondence and one to the president. One discouraging item was the suspension of the tobacco agreement reached by the Farmers-General with the Commissioners earlier (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 2:261–265; JA to James Warren, 31 March, note 2, above).


The Commissioners' letter says eight hundred thousand not two hundred thousand pounds.


See Intelligence from London, 31 Jan. (above).


Mentioned by the Commissioners, this quarrel, they felt, made it unlikely that Britain would be able to obtain Russian mercenaries.