Nicolas Toussaint Lemoyne des Essarts to John Adams: A Translation
Paris, 7 September 1778
I have the honor to send you the first volume of my work.1 You will see, in my preliminary discourse, that I propose to do a history of the tribunals of all nations, to deal with their major laws, and to give an account of the functions of their magistrates. The United States has its courts, laws, and magistrates. I take the liberty to ask you, sir, to provide me with the material necessary for my article on the tribunals of the United States. No one is in a better position than you, sir, to do me this service. Since my second volume is almost printed and the article on the United States will appear in the third, I would be much obliged if you could kindly send me, as soon as possible, the details necessary to enable me to write a history of your tribunals, their operation, and the manner in which justice is rendered in the entire United States. I shall be eternally grateful for this help.
I am, with respectful consideration, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
Lawyer, member of several academies,
author of the journal des causes celebres,2
Rue de Verneuil near that of Poitiers.
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Nicolas Toussaint Lemoyne Des Essarts (1744–1810), a lawyer, as well as prolific author and editor, sent JA the first volume of his nine-volume work, Essai sur l’historie générale des tribuneaux des peuples tant anciens que modernes, Paris, 1778–1784 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale description begins J. C. F. Hoefer, ed., Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1852–1866; 46 vols. description ends ). The copy sent by Des Essarts is in JA’s library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends ). There is no indication that JA responded to Des Essarts’ request for information on the American judicial system.
2. Causes célèbres, curieuses et intéressantes de touts les cours souveraines du royaume was published in Paris, 1773–1789.