To Edmé Jacques Genet
June 1st. 1780
Rodney himself, it seems did all. He fought and beat six Ships. Pray, why did not the Rest of his Fleet beat the rest of the French Fleet over whom they had the Superiority.1
This Way of giving Extracts of Letters only, leaves room to suspect.
But I think, by his own Account, he has nothing to brag of. Three drawn Battles wont maintain the Lordship of the Water.
Drawn Battles wont do.
I hope, however, France and Spain will follow up their Plan—they are in the right way—for God sake let the second Division at Brest be expedited, and from Rochfort too.
Pray can You give me Notice of a safe Conveyance to America? I want to send duplicates of all my dispatches.
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. In his first letter of 1 June to the president of Congress (No. 75, calendared, below), JA wrote that “this Morning, a Friend at Versailles sent me the English Papers of 26 and 27 May” that included Adm. Rodney’s letter of 26 April describing the Battle of Martinique of 17 April. The “Friend” was probably Genet, and this letter serves as an acknowledgment of Genet’s kindness, although Genet’s covering letter has not been found. JA’s commentary on Rodney’s “victory” was repeated in his letter to the president, and parallels critical accounts that appeared in London newspapers such as the London Courant of 27 May. See also, Thomas Digges’ letter of 26 May, and note 2 (above).