Papers of John Adams, volume 11

From John Thaxter

To C. W. F. Dumas

126 To Francis Dana, 8 February 1781 JA Dana, Francis


To Francis Dana, 8 February 1781 Adams, John Dana, Francis
To Francis Dana
Dear Sir Amsterdam Feb. 8. 1781

I had yesterday the Pleasure of receiving two Letters from you, one dated Feb. 1. and one without a date, but I suppose written the day before.1 With these I received the Packetts, but there are in them no Letters from my Wife. The Resolution of Congress of the 12 of December, gives me great Pleasure, as it proves that We had the good Fortune to be possessed of the true Principles of Congress and to enter fully into their Views in the Resolutions of last March respecting the Paper Money: but I cannot recollect what were the two Papers, in the Duplicate, more than in the original, there is no minute in the Book to shew.2

I assure you Sir I have not had more Satisfaction in the Resolution, than in the affectionate manner in which Mr. Lovel and you, have communicated it to me. I am prepared in my own mind to receive from Congress Resolutions of a different Nature, but of these We will Say nothing untill We see them.

I must beg you to send me a Key to the Cyphers; the Letter is wholly unintelligible to me for want of one. I see by the Journals, that We are authorized to acceed to the Principles of the Empress of Russia but I find no Commission for that Purpose nor any Resolution of Congress authenticated by the Secretary or the Committee.3 Will you talk with D D Benjamin Franklin and Fun James Searle, about what is proper, to be done?

All Accounts from all Parts of America shew that a great Spirit reigns tryumphant. A Vigour an Elasticity, Appears in all Parts not with standing the Croaking of Sullivan Pickering, and Francisco Silas Deane.4 The last has been here and gone away without doing me the Honour of a Visit. Rodney and Vaughans Repulse is a grand Stroke a ballance for 5 or 6 Jersey affairs.5 All Things, in all Quarters conspire to shew that the English will have their fill of glorious War. Gillon's hour of Sailing is uncertain, not for a long time I fear. Do you learn any Thing of Davis's Arrival, or Capture, or loss?6 If I had a Commission, as Minister here, I verily believe I would borrow Money, without it, no Man ever will, in any considerable quantity.

LbC (Adams Papers).


Of 31 Jan. , above.


JA refers to the duplicate of his letter of 26 June 1780 to the president of Congress and to the notations in his Letterbook regarding the dispatch of the duplicate, as well as the original and triplicate of that letter. For the documents enclosed with the three copies of the letter, the dates on which each reached 127Congress, and the notations in JA's Letterbook, see the letter of 26 June, the descriptive note, and note 8 (vol. 9:477–479).


JA had not yet received Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. 1780 ( JCC , 18:905–906), a copy of which the president of Congress enclosed with his letter of 1 Jan., above. See also JA's letter to Dumas of 8 Feb. , and note 2, below.


JA is referring to the complaints and/or pessimism of the three men regarding the conduct of the war: Deane in his conversations with Dana at Paris (from Dana, 1 and 31 Jan., both above); Timothy Pickering in a letter of 20 Nov. 1780 to Gov. Trumbull of Connecticut; and John Sullivan in a letter of 19 Nov. to the officers of the New Hampshire Line. In the cases of Pickering and Sullivan, JA had presumably seen their letters, which had been intercepted and published in the London newspapers (London Chronicle, 27–30 Jan.; see also Jenings' letter of 5 Feb., and note 3, above).


Rodney's repulse at St. Vincent more than made up for the defeat of the French effort to invade the island of Jersey (from Francis Dana, 31 Jan. , above; from Thomas Digges, 9 Jan. , calendared above).


For Capt. Edward Davis of the Dolphin, with whom JA had sent letters and merchandize to AA, see vol. 10:75.