Adams Papers

To John Adams from James Lovell, May 1778

From James Lovell

[May 1778]1

My dear Sir

In aid to your scrutiny after the real robber of the Commissioners Dispatches, I send what I think a good Confirmation of Folgiers honesty. By comparing the Governor’s2 letter with Folgier’s Examination you will find the Governor led into a mistake about the number of Seals broken, by Folgiers forgetting that the outside Cover of the whole had anything more than “Dispatches” wrote on it. He told us differently 2 days after we had sent an Express to Nth. Carolina. I am glad he did forget it at first as it strengthens eventually the nature of the Evidence.

You must not wonder that I make so much of this matter. It is of the highest Importance to you to be guarded against Bosom-Traitors yourself and to tear them from your Colleagues. I must add that no one here thinks Folgier’s Employment by them a discreet Choice, tho he does not appear to be the Arch Traitor. Affectionately your Friend

James Lovell

May 25th. 1777 The Commissioners refer to Letters of March 14 and Apr. 9th. which have never reached Us, nor any Letter since May 25th.3

RC (Adams Papers) addressed: “To The Honble John Adams Esqr. Paris”; docketed: “Mr. Lovell”; in another hand: “25 May 1777”; by JA: “This date is a Mistake. It Shd. have been 1778.”

1This letter was very likely written in May 1778, between the 16th and the 28th. In his letter to Lovell of 26 July (below), JA acknowledged this letter and another of the 16th, while on the 28th the congress voted to pay Folger the balance of his account (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 11:544–545).

2Neither the express sent to Gov. Caswell nor his reply has been found, but see James Lovell to JA, 13 Jan., note 5 and references there (above).

3That is, in their letter to the Committee for Foreign Affairs of 25 May 1777, the Commissioners had referred to the two letters mentioned by Lovell. On the RC the two dates have been underlined and in the margin is the notation: “not come to hand March 1778 J. Lovell” (PCC, No. 85).

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