James Lovell to Abigail Adams
March 21st. 1780
I most sincerely rejoice with you on the safe Arrival of Mr. Adams in Spain after so short a Passage tho’ attended with some Hardships.
In addition to the News in the Prints I venture, upon some confidential assurances from the worthy Genl. Lincoln, to excite your Hopes as to our affairs in that Quarter.1
It is recommended to redeem the continental Currency at 40 for 1 and to model the Tender Laws equitably. It is a Thing of uncertain Event and the Balance of Blessings and Cursings consequent cannot shortly be fixed. It is one of those Decisions about which much very much may and will be said on both Sides. I believe that most of those who said nay here on the Determination were glad it was carried against them. I cannot see how the Continent can suppose that Congress has any separate Interest to guide their Determination on this important Point.2
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln’s defense of Charleston, S.C., had no such happy outcome for the American cause. See Massachusetts Historical Society, Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Benjamin Lincoln Papers, Boston, 1967, p. 11–13 and passim; see also note 1 on JA to Isaac Smith Sr., 26 May, below.
2. See Congress’ resolutions of 18 March (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 16:262–267). For their background and sequels see E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790, Chapel Hill, 1961, chs. 3–4. See further below, Richard Cranch to JA, 26 April; John Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug., especially note 5.