From John Thaxter
Leyden 9th. Feby. 1781
I had the honour of yours of Yesterday a few Moments past.1 I was happy to learn, that the News from our Country is agreable. The Extract from Charlestown furnishes another instance of English Barbarism—another Trait of Despair.2
Resolution> Thanks you mentioned were very justly deserved, and an Acknowledgment that ought not to have been omitted. There is another Correspondence, which has an equal Claim to thanks, and I am confident will meet with them.3 Testimonies of this kind ought to produce some Twinges somewhere.
I pray You to accept of my best Thanks, Sir, for your kindness in offering to answer any Draughts of mine for Money. I ought to be fully persuaded of that, as I am. The Reason of my requesting Mr. Dana to do it was, that he was to make a payment to the same Person. viz Mr. Williams of Nantes.
Will You give me Leave to add my Request to that of Mr. Luzac for the American Papers, if convenient. He wishes much to see them.
The Letter You inclosed was from Mr. Charles Warren, Son of your Friend the General, dated the 3d. of November. He mentions that Mrs. A. and Family were then well. This is a Stroke of Madam W’s. Policy, in setting her Son to write to me. He is an amiable young Gentlemen—and the Letter is so exceedingly complimentary, that I find myself ensnared, and shall be obliged to place an Answer under the Eyes of a good tho’ I hope not a severe Judge.
The Young Gentlemen are well. Ils travaillent avec beaucoup d’ardeur, et ils avancent très bien.6 They desire their Duty.
I have the Honour to be, with perfect Respect, Sir, your most humble Servt.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in an unknown hand: “Mr. Thaxter 9th Feb. 1781.”
1. Not found.
2. Thaxter may be referring to an item appearing in the Gazette de Leyde of 9 February. An extract from a letter dated 26 Nov. 1780 at Charleston described an attack against a British garrison at Augusta, Ga., by Georgia and South Carolina militiamen led by Col. Elijah Clark and Lt. Col. James McCall. The attack began on 14 Sept. and ended on the 18th when British reinforcements arrived from Ninety Six, S.C. According to the letter, the British then hanged 13 American prisoners and turned a number of others over to their Indian allies (The Toll of Independence: Engagements and Battle Casualties of the American Revolution, ed. Howard H. Peckham, Chicago, 1974, p. 75).
3. That is, JA’s correspondence with the Comte de Vergennes in July 1780 about the exercise of his commissions to negotiate Anglo-American treaties of peace and commerce. For that correspondence, see The Dispute with the Comte de Vergennes, 13–29 July 1780, and references there (vol. 9:516–520); for Congress’ criticism of JA’s position therein, see the letter of 10 Jan. from the president of Congress, above.
4. Thaxter, JQA, and CA were living with Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. For a sketch of Waterhouse, detailing his lengthy and often intimate relationship with the Adamses, see Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 4:32–34.
5. It is not known exactly when Capt. William Haydon of the Juno sailed, but he carried letters and merchandize between AA and JA in 1781 (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 4:94, 133–134, 240, 241).
6. That is, they work with great enthusiasm and make excellent progress. On 11 Feb. Thaxter wrote to inform JA that on 29 Jan. CA had been accepted as a student at the University of Leyden, as JQA had been earlier (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 4:79–80).