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pany, are soon to renew their meetings for the winter, and you will undoubtedly be one of the first subjects of our conversation. I spent in August some time with an amiable family near Winchester.” The house in the garden, that you used to frequent, often brought you to our remembrance. You can scarcely imagine with what respect and affection you are talked of there.
I have heard, with particular concern, of the death of Dr. Winthrop. To this we are all destined, but the virtuous will be happy in better regions. The clouds gather frightfully over this country. I am waiting for the issue with anxiety, but at the same time with much complacency in the reflection, that at this most important period I have endeavoured to act the part of a faithful and good citizen. Accept, my dear friend, these lines as a testimony of my affectionate remembrance. May Heaven preserve you, and grant you the best enjoyments. With great regard, I am ever yours,
TO JOHN PAUL JONES.
Capture of the Serapis. – JMisconduct of Captain Landais. – Prizes sent to Bergen.
Passy, 15 October, 1779. DEAR SIR,
I received the account of your cruise and engagement with the Serapis, which you did me the honor to send me from the Texel. I have since received your favor of the 8th, from Amsterdam. For some days after the arrival of your express, scarce any thing was talked of at Paris and Versailles, but your cool conduct and persevering bravery during that terrible conflict. You may believe, that the impression on my
• Probably the family of the Bishop of St. Asaph.
mind was not less strong than on that of others; but I do not choose to say in a letter to yourself all I think on such an occasion. The ministry are much dissatisfied with Captain Landais, and M. de Sartine has signified to me in writing, that it is expected that I should send for him to Paris, and call him to account for his conduct, particularly for deferring so long his coming to your assistance; by which means, it is supposed, the States lost some of their valuable citizens, and the King lost many of his subjects, volunteers in your ship, together with the ship itself. I have, accordingly, written to him this day, acquainting him that he is charged with disobedience of orders in the cruise, and neglect of his duty in the engagement; that, a court-martial being at this time inconvenient, if not impracticable, I would give him an earlier opportunity of offering what he has to say in his justification, and for that purpose direct him to render himself immediately here, bringing with him such papers or testimonies, as he may think useful in his defence. I know not whether he will obey my orders, nor what the ministry would do with him, if he comes; but I suspect that they may, by some of their concise operations, save the trouble of a court-martial. It will, however, be well for you to furnish me with what you may judge proper to support the charges against him, that I may be able to give a just and clear account to Congress. In the mean time it will be necessary, if he should refuse to come, that you should put him under an arrest; and in that case, as well as if he comes, that you should either appoint some person to the command, or take it upon yourself; for I know of no person to recommend to you as fit for that station. I am uneasy about your prisoners; I wish they were safe in France.” You will then have completed the glorious work of giving liberty to all the Americans that have so long languished for it in the British prisons; for there are not so many there, as you have now taken.
I have the pleasure to inform you, that the two prizes sent to Norway are safely arrived at Bergen. With the highest esteem, I am, &c.
P. S. I am sorry for your misunderstanding with M. de Chaumont, who has a great regard for you.
TO JAMES LOWELL.
Paul Jones’s Cruise.— Lee and Deane. — Prices taken
The foregoing is a copy of my last. I have now before me your several favors therein mentioned, viz. of June 13th, July 9th and 16th, and August 6th. I received the Journals of Congress from January 1st to June 12th, which you took care to send me; but the first and second volumes which you mention, are not yet come to hand. I hear they are at Madrid. I know not how they came there, nor well how to get them from thence. Perhaps you can easier send me another set.
As I hear of the arrival of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, by whom I wrote a long letter to your Committee, I presume you have received it, and that it is not necessary to send more copies. By this opportunity I write largely to the President. You ask, “Will no one, under a commission from the United States.” &c. Enclosed I send you a copy of the instructions I gave to Commodore Jones, when it was intended to send with him some transports and troops to make descents in England. Had not the scheme been altered by a general one of a grand invasion, I know he would have endeavoured to put some considerable towns to a high ransom, or have burnt them. He sailed without the troops, but he nevertheless would have attempted Leith, and went into the Firth of Edinburgh with that intention, but a sudden hard gale of wind forced him out again. The late provocations by the burning of Fairfield and other towns, added to the preceding, have at length demolished all my moderation; and, were such another expedition to be concerted, I think so much of that disposition would not appear in the instructions. But I see so many inconveniences in mixing the two nations together, that I cannot encourage any further proposal of the kind. This has ended better than I expected; and yet a mortal difference has arisen between Captains Jones and Landais, that makes me very uneasy about the consequences. I send you the journal of the cruise. I am glad to understand, that Congress will appoint some person here to audit our accounts. Mine will give but little trouble, and ‘I wish much to have them settled. And, for the future, I hope I shall have none to settle but what relate to my expenses. The quarrel you mention, between Mr. Deane and Mr. Lee, I have never meddled with, and have no intention to take any part in it whatever. I had and have still a very good opinion of Mr. Deane, for his zeal and activity in the service of his country; I also thought him a man of integrity. But if he has embezzled public money, or traded with it on his private account, or employed it in stockjobbing, all which I understand he is charged with, I give him up. As yet, I think him innocent. But he and his accusers are able to plead their own causes, and time will show what we ought to think of them. I send you with this, a piece written by a learned friend of mine on the taxation of free States, which I imagine may give you some pleasure. Also a late royal edict, for abolishing the remains of slavery in this kingdom. Who would have thought, a few years since, that we should live to see a king of France giving freedom to slaves, while a king of England is endeavouring to make slaves of freemen. There is much talk all over Europe of an approaching peace by the mediation of Russia and Holland. I have no information of it to be depended on, and believe we ought to lay our account on another campaign, for which I hope you will receive in time the supplies demanded. Nothing is wanting on my part to forward them; and I have the satisfaction to assure you, that I do not find the regard of this court for the Congress and its servants in any respect diminished. We have just heard from Norway, that two of the most valuable prizes taken by the Alliance, Captain Landais, in the squadron of Commodore Jones, are safe arrived at Bergen, viz. the ship from London to Quebec, laden with naval stores, and that from Liverpool to New York and Jamaica. They were letters of marque, of twenty-two guns and eighty-four men each; I wish we may get them safe to America. The squadron itself is got into Holland, with the two prize menof-war, where they are all refitting. Great damage has been done to the English coal trade, and four hundred prisoners have been taken, which will more than redeem the rest of our people from their captivity in England, if we can get them safe from Holland to France; but I suppose the English will endeavour to
* The number of prisoners was five hurdred ard four.