Papers of John Adams, volume 13

From Edmund Jenings, 6 June 1782 Jenings, Edmund JA


From Edmund Jenings, 6 June 1782 Jenings, Edmund Adams, John
From Edmund Jenings
Brussels June 6th. 1782 Sir

I recievd yesterday your Excellencys Letter of the 1st Instant. I am sorry to hear that your Excellency is sick in Body your Heart is am sure not so, I see that is sound by all your Actions.

I sent your Excellency a Receipt from one of our unfortunate Countryman in prison; If I remember right Mr Sawrey wrote on it, recommending to your Charity 7 of those, who were releivd in March last: Their Names are Lewis Glover Jer: Bass Samuel Curtis Ths Vinton, Gregory and Samuel Clark and W. Horton.1 I wait your Excellencys order thereon.

My Friend B2 informed me about a week or ten Days Ago that He had had an Anonymous Letter sent Him to Caution Mr Lawrens against Your Excellency. I wrote immediately to Him to transmit it to me, He has sent the Copy thereof to Mr Lawrens. He tells me it 99came by the foreign Mail—I shall enquire whether He can discover from what Country. The wretches are at their Dirty work—perhaps Mr Ridley may know the Hand. La Voici.3

I sent in the Course of last week, four Letters for Mr Lawrens under Cover to your Excellency, I have another for Him from London, which I shall keep until further orders.

I am Happy to hear that Mr Dana and his Companion have an opportunity of seeing respectable Company. However I like not the Court at present.

A Courier from England for France past through ostend 8 days ago.

Allair, who was put into the bastill sometime ago, makes frequent visits in Holland.4 He ought to be watchd. I am well assured that He has a Pension from the English King, paid by his Minister here.

I am with the greatest Consideration, Sir Your Excellencys, Most Obedient Humble Servant,

Edm: Jenings

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); enclosure endorsed: “Receiv'd May 17: 1782 by the foreign Mail EB.”


The seven prisoners listed here were of special interest to JA because all were the sons of his Braintree neighbors. For JA's previous correspondence with Jenings regarding their relief, see vol. 12:249–250, 371–372, 382–383.


Edward Bridgen.


Here it is. For this and other anonymous letters that Henry Laurens came to believe were the work of Edmund Jenings, see Monitor to JA, 20 May, note 1, above. JA received this letter and its enclosure on 7 June, for when he went to Amsterdam on the 8th he followed Jenings' advice and showed the enclosure to Matthew Ridley. Ridley includes a summary of the anonymous letter in his journal (MHi) but gives no indication that he recognized the handwriting. JA also apparently was unable to identify the handwriting, but for his opinion regarding the letter's source, see his reply to Jenings of 7 June, below.


For an earlier mention by Jenings of Peter Allaire, a New York merchant and British agent, see vol. 12:26–27, 28, and references there.