Adams Papers

To John Adams from Francis Dana, 14 March 1781

From Francis Dana

Paris March 14th. 17811

Dear Sir

This is just to acquaint you that Colo. Lawrens arrived at L’Orient on the 8th. instant in our Frigate the Alliance from Boston, and was to set off on the 10th. for this City; so that he may be hourly expected. If he has any Letters or Dispatches for us, he will doubtless bring them himself. No News of Colo. Palfrey. We fear the Shelalah is lost at Sea. I enclose a Philadelphia Newspaper of the 30th. Jany. by which I think it will appear Arnold is not doing any great things in Virginia—the old business of stealing Negroes and Tobacco, and burning defenceless habitations is their honorable employment. Jefferson proclamation will I beleive put an end to the modern paroles.2

Yours affectionately


RC (Adams Papers).

1James Searle wrote to JA on this date to introduce Isaac Hazlehurst Jr., “a Native of Britain but a firm Friend to America, and an Enemy to Tyranny” (Adams Papers). Hazlehurst presumably carried the letters from Dana and Searle as well as Elbridge Gerry’s letter to JA of 10 Jan., above, which reached Paris on the evening of 14 March (Dana to Gerry, 15 March, MHi: Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, 1780–1781).

2Probably the Pennsylvania Packet of 30 January. It contained a report of 12 Jan. from Petersburg, Va., noting the burning of homes and abduction of slaves by troops under Benedict Arnold. It also included Gov. Thomas Jefferson’s proclamation of 19 Jan. prohibiting any citizen of Virginia, “otherwise than when in arms,” from offering or receiving a parole from British forces that would “withdraw from his Country those duties he owes to it.” For the proclamation and the circumstances surrounding it, see Jefferson, Papers description begins The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen (from vol. 21), John Catanzariti (from vol. 24), Barbara B. Oberg (from vol. 29), and others, Princeton, 1950– . description ends , 4:403–405.

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