Papers of John Adams, volume 8

To John Jay

To James Moylan

350 To John Paul Jones, 22 February 1780 JA Jones, John Paul To John Paul Jones, 22 February 1780 Adams, John Jones, John Paul
To John Paul Jones
dear sir Paris Hotel de Valois Feb. 22. 1780

I have the Pleasure to congratulate you, on your glorious success Since I left you at L'orient, and upon your Return to that Place, from whence I wish you safe to America.1

I obtained Permission from the Navy Board to send some small Matters home by an American Frigate now and then, and I have mentioned it to Dr. Franklin who has no Objection. We married men who run away from our Wives and Children must send them home something, to alleviate the Pains of solitude.

I have written to Mr. Moylan,2 and if you should be bound to Boston, and will be so good as to take a small Trunk for me, directed by me, to the Care of the Navy Board at Boston he will pack it up for me, and put it on board. It will much oblige me and a few of my Friends and be I hope no Inconvenience to you.3 If you cant conveniently take it, I should be glad if you would inform Mr. Moylan that he may not purchase the Things, and that I may wait another opportunity which will be probably from another Port. If you should take it and should go to Philadelphia, should be glad you would deliver it to Mr. Lovel or some other Massachusetts Delegate and pray him to send it, in the first Waggon to Boston. If you go to Boston, I hope you will do Mrs. Adams the Honour of a Visit, who will be glad to see Captn. Jones, and to hear from, him, who is with much Respect, your humble servant

Lbc (Adams Papers).


After his victory over the Serapis in late Sept. 1779, Jones went to the Dutch island of Texel and remained there until 31 Dec. Anglo-French conflict over Dutch neutrality forced him to assume command of the Alliance when the Serapis and the other ships in his fleet were put under the French flag, and to depart from Texel for La Coruña and finally Lorient, where he arrived on 19 Feb. (Morison, John Paul Jones , p. 251–252, 262–263, 269–271).


On this date (below).


In a letter of 28 Feb. (DSI: Hull Coll.) Jones agreed to carry JA's trunk. Neither Jones nor the trunk, however, went to America in the Alliance. Jones went to Paris in April and did not return to Lorient until early June. In his absence Pierre Landais, who faced a courtmartial for his actions during the battle with the Serapis, and Arthur Lee, who sought passage on the Alliance, conspired to undermine Jones' authority, with the result that, soon after Jones' return, Landais seized command and ultimately sailed for America. JA's trunk finally reached Philadelphia on 18 Feb. 1781 in the sloop Ariel, Jones' new command (Morison, John Paul Jones , p. 275–276, 293–295, 301–308; James Lovell to AA, 27 Feb. 1781, Adams Family Correspondence , 4:81–83).