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To John Adams from James Lovell, 31 August 1779

From James Lovell

31st. of Aug. [1779]

Dear Sir

I yesterday received yours of May 14 from L’Orient1 and Aug. 13th. from Braintree with several valuable Papers. I hope to be able to write shortly to you on those Topics which are the Subject of your Correspondence with de Vergennes. At present, as I have been for several days past, I am engaged in a severe wrestling Match with a Chap who has laid many on their Backs here lately. He is known in the Country you have just arrived from by the name of Trépas. I must own he appears to gain upon me particularly Today, tho I follow the advice of Sr. Jas. Jay and two other Gentlemen my Colleague Holten and Mr. Peabody of New Hampshire.2 I give none of this History to my Family. And I desire you will use it only as an apology to you for saying no more now.

James Lovell

I now send Papers which in my last I desired you to forward to A L.3

RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Lovell 31. Aug. 1779.”

1Not found.

2Despite the the usual translation of trépas, in a poetical sense, as death, Lovell meant that he had been ill. Sir James Jay was the older brother of John and had been knighted in 1763 by George III when he offered the King the governors’ address from King’s (now Columbia) College. Jay, Samuel Holten, and Nathaniel Peabody were all physicians (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ).

3See Lovell to JA, 24 Aug. (above).

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