Adams Family Correspondence, volume 3

Cotton Tufts to John Adams

John Adams to Abigail Adams

John Adams to Richard Cranch, 6 August 1778 JA Cranch, Richard John Adams to Richard Cranch, 6 August 1778 Adams, John Cranch, Richard
John Adams to Richard Cranch
My dear Brother Passi August 6th. 1778

I have long wished for an Opportunity to write to you but the thousand things that have surrounded me have prevented. Mr. Williams has promised me to write you concerning your Affairs and I suppose he has done it. I am not able to inform you of anything concerning them.1

There is a Society here resembling the Society of Arts &c. in London. It is called “Le Societe libre d'emulation.” It gives Rewards to every Inventor of Improvement in Mechanicks and other Arts. I will send you by another Opportunity the Regulations of it. They have 71 image done me the Honor to elect me a Member as well as Doctor Franklin and Dr. Lee. In my Case it was a meer Compliment, because my Avocations having been very different I have never turned my Thoughts much to such Speculations. If they had chosen you, the Consequence would have been Honor to the Society and Benefit to Mankind. I have thought however that if I could not gratify my Vanity upon this Occasion I might possibly become accidentally an Instrument of some good to my Fellow Men by introducing some of your Discoveries to the Society. I therefore beg of you to send me a Draught upon paper or a Model2 in Wood of your Card Machine and Spermacaeti Machine with Explanations in Words of the various parts, or any other of your Speculations that you may think fit. I will engage to introduce them to the Notice of the Society and possibly they may grant Rewards. At least you will do good. It will be for the Reputation of our Country here. It will strengthen the Connection between the two Nations and be in other Respects usefull to the World. It shall be known that I am not the Author, and it shall be known who is. The Reputation and the Benefit shall be yours, and I shall think myself very happy in being the Channell of Conveyance. Remember me with the tenderest Affection to my Sister and the Children and to all our Connections and believe me with the utmost Esteem & Affection,

Your Brother

PS I have paid Mr. Williams of Nantes 141 Livres 9 Sols for you, which you may if you please repay to my Wife. He has sent the things you wrote for to you.3

Memoire des Fournitures faites par le Roy Horloger du Roy a Monsieur Williams.

1 Grosse de clef de Cuivre en couleur prix 22
6 douzaines & demi de ressorts de montres conformes aux echantillons a 10  10s. la douzaine 68 5
2 Grosse de Crestaux pour montre a 6  6s. 12 12
2 douzaines de pendant de Montre & une doze: de Boucles en argent 38
pour la Caisse & tembalage 12
£141 9

Payé par Monsieur Adams

signé J Williams Jr.

RC (MHi:Cranch Family Papers); unsigned; text and appended “Memoire” in the hand of Jonathan Loring Austin, currently serving as JA's secretary; endorsed: “Letter from the Hon. John Adams Esqr. at Passi Augt. 16th. sic 1778.” LbC (Adams Papers); lacks “Memoire.”

72 1.

Doubtless Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin and an American commercial agent at Nantes; he has been identified earlier in the present series and appears frequently in JA's Diary and Autobiography .


This word is taken from LbC text. Austin miscopied it in RC as “Mould.”


This letter was acknowledged by Cranch in a reply dated 11 June 1779, below, but without mention of the watchmaker's supplies listed in the mémoire which follows; these were captured at sea, as JA reported to AA, 6 Nov. 1778, below.