John Adams to Richard Cranch
Passi August 6th. 1778
My dear Brother
I have long wished for an Opportunity to write to you but the thousand things that have surrounded me have prevented. Mr. Williams has promised me to write you concerning your Affairs and I suppose he has done it. I am not able to inform you of anything concerning them.1
There is a Society here resembling the Society of Arts &c. in London. It is called “Le Societe libre d’emulation.” It gives Rewards to every Inventor of Improvement in Mechanicks and other Arts. I will send you by another Opportunity the Regulations of it. They have done me the Honor to elect me a Member as well as Doctor Franklin and Dr. Lee. In my Case it was a meer Compliment, because my Avocations having been very different I have never turned my Thoughts much to such Speculations. If they had chosen you, the Consequence would have been Honor to the Society and Benefit to Mankind. I have thought however that if I could not gratify my Vanity upon this Occasion I might possibly become accidentally an Instrument of some good to my Fellow Men by introducing some of your Discoveries to the Society. I therefore beg of you to send me a Draught upon paper or a Model2 in Wood of your Card Machine and Spermacaeti Machine with Explanations in Words of the various parts, or any other of your Speculations that you may think fit. I will engage to introduce them to the Notice of the Society and possibly they may grant Rewards. At least you will do good. It will be for the Reputation of our Country here. It will strengthen the Connection between the two Nations and be in other Respects usefull to the World. It shall be known that I am not the Author, and it shall be known who is. The Reputation and the Benefit shall be yours, and I shall think myself very happy in being the Channell of Conveyance. Remember me with the tenderest Affection to my Sister and the Children and to all our Connections and believe me with the utmost Esteem & Affection,
PS I have paid Mr. Williams of Nantes 141 Livres 9 Sols for you, which you may if you please repay to my Wife. He has sent the things you wrote for to you.3
Memoire des Fournitures faites par le Roy Horloger du Roy a Monsieur Williams.
|1 Grosse de clef de Cuivre en couleur prix||22|
|6 douzaines & demi de ressorts de montres conformes aux echantillons a 10 10s. la douzaine||68||5|
|2 Grosse de Crestaux [pour?] montre a 6 6s.||12||12|
|2 douzaines de pendant de Montre & une doze: de Boucles en argent||38|
|pour la Caisse & tembalage||12|
Payé par Monsieur Adams
signé J Williams Jr.
RC (MHi:Cranch Family Papers); unsigned; text and appended “Memoire” in the hand of Jonathan Loring Austin, currently serving as JA’s secretary; endorsed: “Letter from the Hon. John Adams Esqr. at Passi Augt. 16th.  1778.”LbC (Adams Papers); lacks “Memoire.”
1. Doubtless Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin and an American commercial agent at Nantes; he has been identified earlier in the present series and appears frequently in JA’s Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends .
2. This word is taken from LbC text. Austin miscopied it in RC as “Mould.”