To Jonathan Williams
Paris June 10. 1780
I have received yours of 23 of May, and I thank you for the Newspaper it contained. I have received the Resolutions at large, attested by Mr. Thompson, by the Way of Cadiz and another set from London.1 I pretend not to be Master of the whole system of Congress, nor of all the Facts, and Reasons upon which it is founded. But I think my self sufficiently informed, to give it as my opinion, that it is the best Thing that Congress could do. An Army they must have. They must prevent their Cities from being burned and their Citizens from being butchered. It is their duty also to see, that the public should not be wronged by the depreciation of the Paper. This they have done. It is their duty also to see that Individuals should not suffer Injustice. This I believe they have done, and I am sure they will do, to the utmost Extent of their Power, by general Laws.
Some Persons here have been alarmed: but I think it was without understanding the Subject. I have the Pleasure, now to hear the opinion of Judicious, well informed Men who approve and Admire the Plan. Strangers have no Reason to expect any Distinction in their favour from the native and resident Citizens2—and it is very clear that the Money had got down as low as 40 for one. And most Persons, who are [possessed?] of it, got it at a cheaper rate. I am &c yours.
LbC (Adams Papers).
1. The copies received by JA have not been found, but they were of the resolutions adopted by Congress on 18 March, intended to revalue the currency. See Benjamin Rush’s letter of 28 April, and note 4 (above).
2. The issue of the equal application of the resolutions to both Americans and foreigners (i.e. Frenchmen) led to a heated exchange between Vergennes and JA. For Vergennes’ attack on the application of the revaluation to the French, see his letter of 21 June; and for JA’s detailed and spirited defense, see his reply of 22 June (The Revaluation Controversy, 16 June – 1 July, below).