Adams Papers

From John Adams to Samuel Adams, 20 September 1780

To Samuel Adams

Amsterdam Septr. 20. 17801

My dear Sir

Your Favour of the 10th. of July, is received.2 Mr. Searle, who is yet at Paris, I hope to see soon here. Am happy to learn that the People of Massachusetts have accepted the Constitution: May they be wise in the Choice of their Rulers, and happy under them. The Constitution, and the Address to the People have much Respect Shewn them in Europe.

The Accounts from various Parts of the Activity and Ardour of the People, are very pleasing and promise good Success. But I fear, that, without a clearer Superiority of naval Strength, nothing decisive will be done. The Accounts of Embargoes distress me, because they discourage Trade and Privateering, and I expect more benefit from them than from Exertions at Land. Nothing will ever be done to effect, untill the Allied Powers, apply all their Attention to the destruction of the British Commerce, Transports and Marine. I hope soon to see M. Laurens with a Commission of Plenipotentiary to their high mightinesses. This would be a great political Stroke, and have great Effects, many Ways.

The English are now all drunk. The Run of Elections indicate Continuance of War, and the most desperate obstinacy. The Nation however is impotent. The Loss of their E. and W. India fleets is a severe Blow. May they Soon have Repetition upon Repetition of such strokes.

Yours affectionately

John Adams

Mr. Lee and M. Izard are both with you, eer now I presume. My Regards to them, if you please. Mrs. Izard and Mr. W. Lee’s Family are well.3

RC (NN: George Bancroft Coll.); endorsed: “From Mr J Adams Paris Sept 20 1780 Copied & ExC.”

1In addition to this letter and those to Samuel Cooper, Samuel Huntington, and Benjamin Rush (all below), JA wrote to Joseph Reed (LbC, Adams Papers) in reply to Reed’s letter of 10 July, introducing James Searle (Adams Papers).

2Suggesting that it be published in the Gazette de Leyde, JA enclosed Samuel Adams’ letter of 10 July (above) in his to Jean Luzac of 20 Sept. (LbC, Adams Papers). Luzac translated and printed a portion of the letter in the Gazette de Leyde of 29 September.

3This sentence was written in the left margin.

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