Adams Papers

To John Adams from James Lovell, 10 February 1778

From James Lovell

Feb 10th. [1778]

My dear Sir

The week after Mr. C—— was appointed secretary,1 I saw the P.S. of a letter to Mr. S.A. in which he is said to be a very unworthy person, but he has so good a Character in the estimation of Congress and from Maryland Gentlemen, that I did not think proper to move for a power of Suspension to be given to the Commissioners, as I find it is the opinion of some here that the secretary should be independent.

I hope you will either give me your opinion before you go or write very early upon having conversed with Dr. Fr. and Mr. Lee.

I did not know whether the Commercial Committee had forwarded to you the Resolve of yesterday, therefore I send it on the other page.2 We are most horridly spunged3 by Mr. Le Balme and others who resigning their Commissions apply in forma pauperis or on pretences of a variety of kinds.4 I do not think it will do to make the Resolve hinted at by Dr. F. to me “that the Commissioners should be directed not to give even a letter of civil Introduction to any Foreigner,”5 but such letters are pleaded as a sort of implied Convention. Avoid them. Affectionately Yours


RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble John Adams Esqr.”; docketed by CFA: “Lovell J. Feby 10th 1778.”

1On William Carmichael, see Lovell to JA, 22 Nov. 1777, note 1 (above).

2A resolve empowering and directing the American commissioners to appoint commercial agents in France and elsewhere in Europe.

3Robbed (OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends ).

4On 13 Feb. the congress voted to pay La Balme $910 to settle all his claims and to inform him that his services were no longer required (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 10:157).

5See Lovell to JA, [post 17 Dec. 1777], note 6 (above).

Index Entries