Sartine to the Commissioners
Marly, 6 June 1778. printed:JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:129–130 (JA’s English translation); for the French text, see JA, Works description begins The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1850–1856; 10 vols. description ends , 7:15–16. Sartine here injected himself into the Commissioners’ dealings with Bersolle and John Paul Jones. The Minister of Marine called on the Commissioners, “for the conservation of your Credit,” to reconsider their refusal to honor Jones’ bill drawn on Bersolle and to pay for the supplies sent to Jones from the royal magazines. Sartine also requested reimbursement for purchasers of goods stolen by Jones’ crew from one of his prizes, the Lord Chatham, and later recovered. Finally, he recommended that the Commissioners determine whether Jones’ imprisonment of Thomas Simpson had been proper.
Adams believed that Sartine’s intervention was unwarranted, reflecting the general effort to circumvent the orders of the Commissioners and the congress in order to “throw the American Business and Profits into the hands of the Tools of the Minister and his Understrappers” (Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:130).