From John Williams
Downing Street No. 4 27th. June 1778
Tho I have not the honor of a Parsonal acquaintance yet from your high Station and Character, and the Genteel as well as faithful conduct, you have Shewn to my Son1 who had the happiness of being Several years under your tuition, I take the liberty of Addressing you at this time, to express my Grateful Sense of your Goodness to him, and the Satisfaction I feel on hearing of your Safe arrival in France, and to congratulate you on the happy prospect of returning Peace Liberty and Safe[ty?] to the Country that gave us birth I mean the united States, where my best Affections ever were, and ever well be centered. I also beg the favour to be informed, should you have any opportunity by a Safe hand, whither you know any thing of my Son’s welfere and Family’s, as I have not had any certain intilligence from any of them Since I was last in Paris near a year go.
The Bearer Mr. Jona. Simpson2 who left Boston with Genl. Howe, having unhappyly from his youth, and inexperence, tho naturally of a Good Disposition been induced to address a late detestable, and Jusly detested Govr. but being now a True penitent, and wishing most earnestly to return to his Country and to his Allegiance, is Going to Paris to beg the best Advice upon this important business, and I am Sure he will be happy to be hon ored with your Directions. If he Should return to England I would beg to be favourd by him with what you may know of my Family. I shall leave this Kingdom as soon as a matter I have in Law can be Settled which I am in daily expectation of and indeed I have for Some Months past. I hope however it will be settled this Term. Therefore Should you have any commands here I shall be happy to receive them.
I am most Sincerely wishing you health & all posseble happiness Sir, Your much Obd. & Obld. Humble Servant
NB. Since I have wrote this above the news is Just arrived of three Ships of war belonging to France having been taken, by the English Fleet that Saild a few days ago under the command of Ad. Keppel on account of which Mr. Jona. Simpson has layd aside his intentions of going to Paris, and as my Friend who is an native of France is Just Seting out I have not time to Copy this over. Yrs. as before
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Jonathan Williams (1754?–1780), cousin of the Jonathan Williams who had been acting as an American commercial agent at Nantes. For further information about him and his father, former inspector general of customs at Boston, see vol. 2:104; JA, Legal Papers description begins Legal Papers of John Adams, ed. L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, Cambridge, 1965; 3 vols. description ends , 1:cxiii; and Sabine, Loyalists description begins Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, with an Historical Essay, Boston, 1864; 2 vols. description ends , 2:434.
2. Despite Williams’ plea on his behalf, Jonathan Simpson was an ardent loyalist. A 1772 graduate of Harvard, Simpson addressed Hutchinson in 1774, fled to Halifax in 1776, was proscribed by the Massachusetts General Court in 1778, and engaged in trade with Georgia and South Carolina during the British occupation. Ordered from South Carolina in 1784 as a loyalist, Simpson ultimately returned to Boston, where he died in 1834 (Jones, Loyalists of Mass. description begins E. Alfred Jones, The Loyalists of Massachusetts: Their Memorials, Petitions and Claims, London, 1930. description ends , p. 262; Sabine, Loyalists description begins Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, with an Historical Essay, Boston, 1864; 2 vols. description ends , 2:303).