Papers of John Adams, volume 10

From Benjamin Rush

From William Lee

From Francis Dana, 27 August 1780 Dana, Francis JA


From Francis Dana, 27 August 1780 Dana, Francis Adams, John
From Francis Dana
Dear Sir Paris Augt: 27th 1780

I have been made very happy by the letters you forwarded to me. I presume you must have been also, by those you wou'd receive by the same hand. Pray give my regards to Mr: Guild.1 You make no mention whether you have paid Messrs: de Neufville and Son the £60 sterling agreable to our proposal, nor whether there are any vessels going from Amsterdam for Massachusetts.2 If so I shall give further orders to those Gentlemen immediately. I enclose a short memorandum of Messrs. Gardoquis draft on you.3 I carried the Drs: last draft in your favour to Mr. Grand, and desired him to carry the whole to your Credit, which was done accordingly. I yesterday waited on the Dr: to beg for myself, and very readily procured a draft in my own favour; so that you will consider the last you obtained; as appropriated solely to your use. I have th'ot it adviseable to give you this information that you may order your affairs accordingly. Please to give my love to the Children. Admiral Geary went into Port with his whole Fleet, except two, on the 18th instant. This Mr. Genet communicated to me in the time of it.4 The combined Fleet sail'd from Cadiz the 30th. ultimo and you see what has taken place on the 939th. instant.5 Perhaps we may receive some few deductions. But it is a very happy stroke on many accounts which will be obvious to you. No news yet from our poor Country. God bless it, and soon put an end to all its distresses. I remain, Sir, with the greatest respect and most sincere friendship Yours, &c,

Fra Dana

RC (Adams Papers). This letter occupies the fourth page of a four-page document, endorsed “Mr Dana August 27th 1780.” The first three pages contain letters, neither of which are printed, from the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux of 26 Aug. and John Thaxter of 27 August. The abbés visited Thaxter on the 26th and probably left their letter with him to be sent on to JA. Since their letter filled only part of the first page, Thaxter and Dana used the remainder for their letters. The abbés' letter expressed their regret at receiving no news of JA and his sons and their hope that he would soon return to Paris. For Thaxter's letter, see note 5.


Benjamin Guild delivered numerous letters from AA, AA2, and others to JA, JQA, and CA at Amsterdam on 19 Aug. (JQA, Diary , 1:57; Adams Family Correspondence , 3:326, 334–335, 361; from Samuel Cooper, 23 May, note 6, above). Guild also carried letters for Francis Dana, one of which was of 26 May from Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant. Dana acknowledged this in a letter of 22 Sept. (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook), and indicated that he had received the letters carried by Guild on 25 Aug., but no letter from JA forwarding them has been found.


In a letter of 25 July to Jean de Neufville & Son, which was carried by JA to Amsterdam, Dana had indicated that JA would pay them for goods shipped to America at Dana's order (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook), but see JA's letter of 2 Sept. (below).


In a letter to Joseph Gardoqui & Sons of 20 Aug., Dana acknowledged receiving a letter from the firm to JA and indicated that he had paid the enclosed bill (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook). The last known letter to JA from Joseph Gardoqui & Sons was of 10 June (above), but it is unlikely that Dana refers to that letter, since in his letter he refers to a letter of 5 Aug. directed to him. If that is the case then neither the letter nor the memorandum referred to by Dana has been found, but a partial account of JA's expenses for the period from Dec. 1779 to 10 June 1782 indicates that a bill from Joseph Gardoqui & Sons for 928L was paid on 19 Aug. 1780 (MH-H: Schaffner Collection).


This information was apparently contained in a note from Edmé Jacques Genet of 24 Aug. that Dana acknowledged in a letter of 25 Aug. (MHi: Francis Dana Letterbook).


This refers to the French translation of the London Evening Post's (22–24 Aug.) account of the capture of a large portion of the British convoy bound for the East and West Indies by the combined French and Spanish fleet on 9 Aug. that was contained in John Thaxter's letter of 27 Aug. (not printed, see descriptive note). There Thaxter indicated that Dana had just received the report from Edmé Jacques Genet, but see also William Lee's letter of 27 Aug. (below). The total loss was enormous: 61 ships valued, with their cargoes, at £1,500,000, and 3,000 prisoners (Mackesy, War for America , p. 357).