John Adams to Isaac Smith Sr.
Paris Hotel de Valois, Ruë de Richelieu March 16. 1780
I duly received your Favour of December the 12, and thank you for your Attention to the Widows, whose Letters came safe by the same Conveyance.1 The Way of Spain is a very good one to send light Letters containing any interesting Intelligence, but large Packetts mount the Postage so high as to make it too heavy. The Method of cutting out from Newspapers interesting Paragraphs, and inclosing them, would do well. The loose Leaves of the Journals of Congress, recent ones I mean, I should be glad to have in this and all other Ways.
When I was in Spain I formed an Acquaintance with Mr. Michael Lagoanere of Corunna, a Merchant of the best Character, most extensive Business, and first Fortune in that Place. If your Vessells should ever touch at Corunna or Ferrol, or Vigo even, they cannot be addressed to a better Man. I also became acquainted with the House of Joseph Guardoqui and Sons, who will take the best Care of any Letters or Papers that may be sent to me, and will send any Thing Mrs. Adams may want of small amount and draw upon me for the Money, at Paris.
I dont know whether this Letter will go by Mr. Brown, a young Gentleman who has been here some time, from America, or by the Viscount de Noailles. The latter is one of the most illustrious young Noblemen in this Kingdom, full of military Ardour and the most amiable Dispositions, in short fit to be as he is the Brother of the Marquis de la Fayette. Mr. Izzard also and Mr. Lee are going to Boston, where I hope they will be treated with all the Respect that is due to their well known Characters. I am, sir, with great Respect, your most obt.
RC (MHi:Smith-Carter Papers); endorsed: “John Adams Esqr. Paris March 16. 1780.” LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. Smith’s letter of 12 Dec. 1779 and the letters of “the Widows” it enclosed have not been found.
2. Elizabeth (1770–1849), youngest daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Storer) Smith; in 1813 she married Jonathan P. Hall of Boston. See Adams Genealogy.
3. Mrs. Gray was Mary (or Polly), another daughter of the Smiths. In 1777 she married Edward Gray, a Boston merchant, who died at the age of 29 in Dec. 1779; there is a brief obituary of him in the Continental Journal, 23 Dec. 1779, p. 3, col. 2. In 1782 his widow married Samuel Allyne Otis. See vol. 2:356, above, and Adams Genealogy.