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considerd by Congress: I think however that You have their fullest Confidence.
Congress have not yet determined whether to remove eastward or southward; both are talked of, but your Remarks respecting the Navy, are conclusive in my Mind, in Favour of the former.
The great objects of Attention in Congress are Oeconomy and Resources. Necessity dictates their Measures, and I hope will produce salutary Effects. the Departments of the Muster and Barrack Masters are abolished and the Business of the former annexed to the office of Inspector. Generals Schuyler and Mifflin and Colo Pickering are appointed a Committee,1 with full Powers to inform themselves by Inspection or otherwise of the State of the Staff Departments, to call on any of the officers thereof for Information, to discharge all persons therein that are supernumerary or delinquent, to break up unnecessary issuing Posts and establish others where requisite, to stop all Issues of Rations not indispensibly necessary for the Service, and in Conjuncture with General Washington to reduce the Number of Horses and Waggons in the Service and Expence of Transportation, and to adopt a general Reformation of the Departments. the States are to be also called on for their respective quotas of Supplies and authorized to stop all purchases by continental officers, when Measures are adopted for complying with the Requisitions of Congress; and to induce the States to purchase cheap, they are to be credited equal prices for Articles of the same Kind and quality, and in proportion for other Articles.
I inclose You the News papers containing three sensible Letters by a Gentleman in Maryland on "Appreciation," and can give You nothing new, excepting certain Information from the Court of France that by their Interposition the british Court have failed in their Applications for Recruits to the several Powers of Germany.
The Massachusetts Delegates are sitting in Congress by Vertue only of a Certificate of their Appointment from the Deputy Secretary. They have never aspired to be commissioned, but wish not to loose their Rank as warrant officers.
1 Journals of the Continental Congress, xvi. 77, 79.
I observe your Apprehensions relative to a new Q[uarter] M[aster] G[eneral], but have no Reason to suppose them well grounded, altho the Matter has been suggested in Congress. I remain Sir with every Sentiment of respect your Friend and hum Ser. E. GERRY
JOHN ADAMS TO JAMES WARREN
PARIS, Feby. 23d, 1780
DEAR SIR, -The French Court seem to be now every day more and more convinced of the good Policy, and indeed the Necessity of prosecuting the War with Vigour in the American Seas. They have been and are making great Preparations accordingly, and are determined to maintain a clear Superiority.
M. de la Motte Piquet has with him, the Hannibal, the Magnifique, the Diadem, the Dauphin Royal, the Artesien, the Reflectir, and the Vengeur, and if M. de Grace has joined him from Chesapeak Bay, the Robuste, the Fendant and the Sphinx, in all ten Ships of the Line.
M. de Guichen is gone to join him, with the Couronne, eighty Guns, the Triomphant, eighty, the Palmier, seventy-four, the Victoire, the Destin, the Conquerant: the Citoyen, the Intrepide, the Hercule, the Souverain, all of seventy-four; the Jason, the Actionaire, the Caton, the Julien, the Solitaire, the St. Michel, the Triton, all of sixty-four. The Frigates the Medée, Courageuse, Gentille and the Charmante, all of thirty-two. He had above an hundred Sail of Vessels under his Convoy, and the Regiments of Touraine and Enghien, of more than thirteen hundred Men each, and the second Battalion of Royal Comtois and of Walsh of seven hundred Men each — making in the whole more than four thousand Troops. Besides these, there are seven more preparing at Brest to sail.
Messs. Gerard, Jay and Charmichael are arrived at Cadiz in a French Frigate, the Confederacy having been dismasted and driven to Martinique. The Alliance carries this with Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard, who will no doubt be treated with all Respect at Boston.
Notwithstanding the Commotions in England and Ireland, the Success of Prevost at Savannah, and of Rodney off Gibraltar, and even the silly Story of Omoa in South America,1 is enough to embolden the Ministry to go on with a Debt of two hundred Millions already contracted, to borrow twelve or fourteen Millions a Year in the Beginning of a War with France and Spain, each having a greater Navy than they ever had, each discovering a greater fighting Spirit than they ever did before, and obliging the English to purchase every Advantage at a dear Rate.
The Premiums and Bounties that they are obliged to give to raise Men, both for the Service by Sea and Land, and the Interest of Money they borrow, are greater than were ever given in any former Wars, even in the last Year of the last War. This cannot always last, nor indeed long. Yet I dont expect to see Peace very
I have sent a Trunk to the Care of the Navy Board, for my dear Mrs. A[dams], in which is something for Mrs. W[arren]. Pray write me as often as possible, and send the News papers to me. Your Friend and Servant,
JOHN ADAMS TO JAMES WARREN
PARIS, HOTEL DE VALOIS,
RUE RICHELIEU, Feby. 28, 1780 DEAR SIR, — I have written so fully to Congress and to particular Friends before, and have so little time now, that I have little more to do than make up a Letter for the Bearer to deliver
The Marquis de la Fayette is going to Boston in a Frigate and surely he wants no Recommendation of mine; his own Merit and his Fame are enough. He has been the same Friend to us here that he was in America. He has been very assiduous to procure Cloaths and Arms for our Army and to promote our Interest in every other way within his Circle. I can tell you nothing from I In Honduras, Central America.
Madrid as yet. But I do hope Mr. Jay will succeed. England may possibly try to get Russia and Denmark to negotiate for Peace, but she will not sue merely because she will not consent to such Terms as every American holds indispensable. Holland is very angry, but does not resent. She has been very ill treated, but cannot avenge herself. I beg that every Word I say to you about Peace may be kept secret, because I shall write to Congress upon that subject all that is proper for me to say to any Body in America.
I have written you by the Alliance, which will sail soon. Landais is at Paris. Jones goes in the Alliance. Your son is on board, by this time inured to the [indecipherable] to War. We have not yet learned who are our delegates this year, nor how the Constitution goes on.
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO MERCY WARREN
Febry. 28, 1780
By Capt. Sampson there came two Letters, one from Mr. Lee, one from a Mr. Gellée,1 to Mr Adams; by Mr. Lee's I find that affairs go on in the old course at Passy, the Counsel there is composed of the same Honorable Members, says Mr. Lee, as when you left it, “with the reinforcement of Samll. Wharton,2 Samll. Petrie and the Alexanders,3 a match is concludd between one of the daughters and Jonathan Williams; this August and natural family compact will I hope promote the publick as well as private Interests."
There is a party in France of worthless ambitious intrigueing Americans, who are disposed to ruin the reputation of every Man whose views do not coinside with their selfish schemes. of this you will be satisfied when I tell you that mr. Gellée writes thus,
1 N. M. Gellée, secretary to Dr. Franklin.
2 Member of the firm of Baynton, Wharton and Morgan.
3 Robert, William and Alexander John Alexander, sons of William Alexander, Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
4 Mariamne Alexander.
After your departure reports were circulated here that you were gone to England and that during your Station here, you had entertaind an Illicit correspondence with the British Ministry. it was even published here that mr Samll. Adams had headed a conspiration and contrived to surrender Boston to the English. In vain did I endeavour to shew them the absurdity of the former opinion, by your embarking in the same ship with the Chevalier, but you know the people in this country are in general very Ignorant of American affairs which give designing Men an opportunity to shew their Malignity.
How happy, my dear Madam, would America have been, had it been her Lot, to have contended only with foreign Enemies, but the rancour of her internal foes have rendred the task of the patriot peculiarly difficult and Dangerous.
I some times contemplate the Situation of my absent Friend, honourd as he is at present with the confidence of his Country, as the most critical and hazardous Embassy to his reputation his honour, and I know not but I may add life, that could possibly have been entrusted to him. I view him beset with the machinations of envy, the snares of treachery, the malice of dissimulation. and the clandestine stabs of calumny.
can the Innocence of the dove or the wisdom of a more subtle animal screne him from all these foes? can the strictest integrity and the most unwearied exertions for the benifit and happiness of Mankind secure to him more, than the approbation of his own Heart,
all other applause without that would be of small estimation, yet one would wish not to be considerd as a selfish designing Banefull foe, when they have worn out their lives in the Service of their country.
Those who envy him, his situation see not with my Eyes, nor feel with my Heart, perhaps I feel and fear too much.
I have heard this winter of a Letter from a Lady 1 to her son containing strictures upon Lord Chesterfields Letters. I have not been favourd with a sight of it, tho I have wished for it. a collection of his Lordships Letters came into my Hands this winter which I read, and tho they contain only a part of what he has
I Mrs. Warren.