From Pierre Landais
Brest 9 March 1779
I have had the honour of your favour of the 1st Instant,1 and recollect with pleasure, the social hours we passed together at Genl. Whipple’s.2 Indeed it would not be an easy matter for me to forget a person, in my estimation, of your consequence; and am very happy to find the acquaintance that commenc’d there, is likely to be increased, by the honor and satisfaction of your Company as passenger, in my Ship.
I shall do all in my power to accomodate you and your little Son, and by your acceptance of the place that is most agreeable to you, either in the Cabin or State Room. And do assure you, that nothing that tends to your convenience, can incommode me.
I am now waiting for orders from his Exclly. Doctor Franklin, necessary before I can proceed to refitt the ship for Sea: and I shall be attentive to give you timely notice, that Your baggage &c. may come in Season.
I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Sir Your most obedient humble Servant
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.
2. The first meeting between JA and Landais, captain of the frigate Alliance in 1779, had occurred in Dec. 1777 at Portsmouth, N.H., where JA was arguing before the New Hampshire Maritime Court for the defendants in the famous case of Penhallow and Treadwell v. Brig Lusanna and Cargo. Landais had served in the French navy and had been a member of Bougainville’s circumnavigation expedition of 1766–1769. As he noted and recorded in his Diary, however, JA doubted that Landais’ personal traits fitted him for command (Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:2–3; 2:366, 375). Ultimately JA’s hope of returning to America on the Alliance was frustrated by the arrival of orders keeping the vessel in France (see Franklin to JA, 24 April, below).