Adams Papers
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From John Adams to Edmund Jenings, 7 October 1780

To Edmund Jenings

Amsterdam Octr. 7. 1780

Dear Sir

Mr. Bowdoin, a gentleman of Virginia, is passing through Brussells in his Way to France. He is a young American of good Character here, and I have the honour to recommend him to your Notice.

Pray what think you, of the Face of affairs? According to present Appearances a year or two more, will probably deliver our country from the Ennemies within it, tho it may not bring Peace. The K. of England has so much Spirit and Firmness, that it is not to be expected he will make Peace.

The English have commenced Hostilities as usual, without a declaration of War against the Dutch in St. Martins,1 but I suppose this will be pocketed like all former Insults. The Dutch however are some what enraged at it, for the present. I have not so regular Intelligence from England here as I had in Paris, but I suppose the ministry are omnipotent in Parliament although the omnipotence of Parliament, and of the British Navy, Seems to be Somewhat reduced.

I am sir respectfully yours

John Adams

Between you and me, I shall stay here, untill the Arrival of Mr. Laurens if it is till Spring.

RC (Adams Papers).

1The Gazette de Leyde of 6 Oct. contained a brief report, followed by more detailed accounts in the issue of 10 Oct., of a British descent on the Dutch half of the West Indian island of St. Martin. According to the reports, seven British warships appeared off the island on 9 August. The British commander, stating that he was acting under the orders of Adm. Sir George Rodney, demanded that the Dutch governor surrender the American vessels anchored in the roadstead and, to enforce his order, landed two hundred marines and threatened to burn the Dutch settlement. Having no recourse, the governor capitulated. The report in the issue of 6 Oct. was followed by the observation that there was apparently no limit to the British navy’s abuse of its power.

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