Papers of John Adams, volume 10

To Edmund Jenings, 1 December 1780 JA Jenings, Edmund


To Edmund Jenings, 1 December 1780 Adams, John Jenings, Edmund
To Edmund Jenings
Dear sir Amsterdam Decr. 1st 1780

I thank You for your favour of the 20th. of November.

I am really weary of reading such Follies as Motions to address the King for Peace. They are only delusions to the People of England, the People of America, and all the other Nations of the Earth. The Case of Mr. Laurens, and those of Mr. Trumbull and Tyler, among Millions of other Incidents shew, with whom We have to do.

The States General have acceeded to the Armed Neutrality, and disavowed the Conduct of Amsterdam, which I suppose is intended to trim between the two Parties in the Republick, and between the belligerent and Neutral Powers. Whether they will keep themselves in Peace by it, Time will shew.

I dont see the practicability of the British Ministry seizing upon the Dutch Money in their Funds. How can they distinguish it?

Arnold's Desertion is no loss to Us nor Gain to our Enemies. I am shocked and grieved however, as well as You, that such an Example should be exhibited to the World, of so much Bravery and so much Baseness, in the Character of a Native of America. He had forfeited the Esteem of his Country: he had incurred her Displeasure and her Censure, and then he sold himself to her Enemy, wounded, maimed and mutilated as he is. Much good may do them. I wish to God, that every such Plunderer, would go over after him. I expect that several others will. We shall be purified and strengthened by it.

Mr. Amory's Packet I have sent by the Way of St. Eustatius: the Duplicate I will send by a better Opportunity.

I think We must prepare our Minds and Hearts for another Scene 390of Exultation and Triumph among our Enemies. We shall soon have the News, I fear, that they have taken Post at Portsmouth in Virginia—and by this means the Nation will be thrown into a fermentation of Joy—they will believe that all the Trade of Cheseapeak Bay, will be their's—that Virginia and Maryland will be theirs in addition to Georgia and the two Carolinas &c. &c. &c.

This will be delivered You by my Friend Mr. Dana,1 whom You will find 2 worthy of your Friendship.

Affectionately your's

John Adams

RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency John Adams Dcr. 1. 1780.” LbC (Adams Papers).


On this day JA also wrote to William Lee at Brussels to introduce Francis Dana (LbC, Adams Papers).


A copying omission, supplied from the Letterbook.

To the President of Congress, No. 25, 1 December 1780 JA President of Congress Huntington, Samuel


To the President of Congress, No. 25, 1 December 1780 Adams, John President of Congress Huntington, Samuel
To the President of Congress, No. 25

Amsterdam, 1 Dec. 1780. Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 321–324). LbC almost entirely in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:176–177.

This letter, received by Congress on 19 Nov. 1781, contained the order of battle of the combined French and Spanish fleets at Cádiz. The information, probably taken from the Gazette de Leyde of 1 Dec., was copied into the Letterbook by JQA immediately below JA's brief opening paragraph. It is the first known instance where JQA, acting as his father's secretary, copies a letter to Congress.

Dupl in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, II, f. 321–324) LbC almost entirely in JQA's hand (Adams Papers). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:176–177.)

To John Bondfield, 6 December 1780 JA Bondfield, John


To John Bondfield, 6 December 1780 Adams, John Bondfield, John
To John Bondfield
Sir Amsterdam 6 Decr. 1780

I have received your Favour of 28 of Octr. and am very glad to hear of your Recovery from Sickness.

The Non Arrival of the Cloathing, is a great Disappointment and Misfortune in America.

The British Ministry are never at a Loss. You see they were very ready to discover how Mr. Laurens was to be treated. They will easily know how to treat Mr. Trumbull and Mr. Tyler. If Americans had understood their Parts as well, Mr. Trumbull and Tyler would never have trod British Ground, nor Mr. Laurens have been trusted in a cock boat. Live and learn.

The Wine I hope you have not sent, as I shall not have occasion for it. If it is gone, I must beg you to write a Line to Mr. Henry Grand, and desire him to take the Care of it.


The Changes in the Marine Department,1 will I hope have good Effects, in many Points of View, but not knowing the Character of the new Minister, must wait for Time to bring forth Truth. I am with great Esteem yours

LbC (Adams Papers).


That is, Gabriel de Sartine's replacement as naval minister by the Marquis de Castries; see Bondfield's letter of 28 Oct., and note 3 (above).