Adams Papers

From John Adams to the President of the Congress, 11 September 1778

To the President of the Congress

Passi September 11. 1778


I have the Honour to inclose to Congress, the latest Gazettes. We have no other Intelligence than is contained in them.

Since the 11. July the Date of Lord Howes Letter, announcing the Arrival of the Compte D’Estaing off Sandy Hook,1 We have not a syllable from America by Way of England. In France We have nothing from America Since 3 July. This long Interval leaves a vast Scope for Imagination to play, and accordingly there is no End to the Speculations, prompted by the Hopes and Fears of the Nations of Europe. We are Weary of Conjectures, and must patiently wait for Time to end them. I have the Honour to be, with very great Respect, sir your most obedient servant2

John Adams

RC (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 17); docketed: “Letter from J. Adams Sept. 11. 1778. Referred to Comee on foreign affrs.” LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “favd by 1st Lt in the service of So Car. and by Capt John Gale.”

1Howe’s letter, as printed in the English newspapers, reached JA and the other Commissioners on 30 Aug. (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:319; see also London Chronicle, 22–25 Aug.).

2This letter was probably that read before the congress on 12 Dec. (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 12:1214).

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