Papers of John Adams, volume 18

The American Commissioners to Paul R. Randall

From Thomas Jefferson

From John Adams to the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux, 8 July 1786 Adams, John Chalut, Abbé Arnoux, Abbé
To the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux
Mes chers Amis— July 8th. 1786 1

Permettez moi de vous presenter Mon Ami monsieur John Trumbull Fils du Governeur Trumbull et cidevant Colonel au service des Etats Unis— Il a l’Ambition noble de consigner a l’immortality les Evenemens de notre Histoire par son Pinceau— vous verrez son Warren et son Montgomery— Mr. Trumbull est un Citizen tres estimable, et Je vous prie de l’assister avec vos Bontés

J. A—
My dear friends 8 July 1786 1

Allow me to present to you my friend Mr. John Trumbull, son of Governor Trumbull and erstwhile colonel in the service of the United States. He has the noble ambition of immortalizing the events of our history with his 379 paintbrush. You will see his Warren and his Montgomery. Mr. Trumbull is a very praiseworthy citizen, and I pray you to assist him with your hospitality.

J. A—

LbC in WSS’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messieurs Les Abbes / Chalut & Arnoux—”; APM Reel 113.


This letter is unusual in being one of the very few from JA to any correspondent written in French. He also wrote to the Comte de Sarsfield on 7 July and to the Marquis de Lafayette on the 8th to introduce John Trumbull, but those letters were in English (both LbC’s, APM Reel 113).

Trumbull was traveling to Paris, where he would reside with Thomas Jefferson, to have his paintings “The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack of Quebec” and “The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill” engraved ( AFC , 7:153–154; Jefferson, Papers , 10:251–252). Besides the letters of introduction, Trumbull carried JA’s letters to Jefferson and John Paul Jones of 16 and 17 July, respectively, both below.