John Adams to William Jackson
Amsterdam Oct. 20. 1781
Your Letter, Sir, of the 26 Ult. I received last night, and should have [been] astonished at its date and Contents if I had not seen yours to Mr. De Neufville, of the same date, which he received three days before.
I had ever1 taken Mr. Gillon, for a Man of Honour, drawn insensibly into difficulties by a Train of Disappointments: but I cannot reconcile his Conduct upon this occasion.—But it is to no Purpose to enlarge upon this Subject.—What is become of the Dispatches to Congress? There were on board half a Cart Load from me. All my Letters to Congress for 6 or 8 months were there.
Your Account of the Health, and especially of the good Behaviour of my dear Charles, gives me great Pleasure.
I can give you, no Instructions what to do with him. If you have a Prospect, of a Passage soon to America, and can conveniently, take him with you, I suppose that would be most agreable to him. In this Case, if you go to Paris, I wish you would leave him in the meantime, in the Care of Mr. Johnson or Mr. Williams at Nantes, or Mr. Cummings at L’orient,2 desire those Gentlemen to give him a Latin or a French Master, and draw upon me for the Expence. But if you should come to Amsterdam, bring him with you: but in this Case Mr. Charles must lay aside his Thoughts of going to America, untill I go.
I am extreamly sorry you are likely to be embarrassed with the Care of this Child, in Addition to all your other Vexations.
My best Regards to Mr. Searle and Coll. Trumbull. I have received some Letters for Mr. Searle from his Excellency Governor Reed. Should be glad of Mr. Searles directions where to send them.
With great Esteem, I have the Honour to be Sir your most obedient & obliged humb. sert.
Pray what do you intend to do, with the Continental Goods left here?
LbC (Adams Papers).
1. MS apparently reads “even.”
2. Joshua Johnson (1742–1802), of Maryland and London, whose daughter Louisa Catherine (LCA) was in 1797 to become the wife of JQA; the Johnsons resided at Nantes during the later years of the war, and JA and JQA became familiar with their household there when awaiting passage to America in the spring of 1779 (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:300, 357–359; Adams Genealogy).
Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), a merchant at Nantes, identified in vol. 3:72, above.
James Cummings, an American merchant at Lorient (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:357, 370; George H. Lincoln, A Calendar of John Paul Jones Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, Washington, 1903, p. 159).