Our Navy officers must not expect to pick & chuse for themselves. They ought to be content with the Appointments given to them. It is true Appointments should be made with more Discretion than I think they can be by any Men at three or four hundred Miles Distance. For this Reason I moved that they should be made by the Navy Board, which obtaind in a certain Degree as you have seen or will see by a Letter from the Marine Committee. Had this been the Case before Olney would have remaind in the , Resistance & Bush must have waited for another. If the Queen of France is a better Vessel it will turn out not to the Disadvantage of Olney. While we have more officers in Commission than Ships, there must be Disappointments, Envy, & Suspicions (oftentimes unreasonable) of each other. This is the Make of Man, and we may as well think of stopping the Tide as altering it. The Appointment of Landais affords an ample Subject for the Observations of Speculatists and the Resentment of Navy officers. I think he is, as you observe an ingenuous & well behaved Man, and if he is an able & experiencd officer, as we are assured he is by those whose Duty it is to give us the best Intelligence, it is a pity that two very good Lieutenants shd have the Ship & the Service on that account. I hope others may be found to fill their places. “It is an opinion that I was Landais’ chief Patron.” On this occasion you discover your self, as you are disposd to do on every occasion, partial in my favor. If I was in any Degree instrumental in promoting Capt Landais, it was because I really thought he would be of eminent Use to our Navy. And I question whether it would not have been thought a well judgd Appointment, if there had not been a fanciful Predilection in favor of Another. Even the Name of the Ship may have given Disgust to some Men. I hope when Manly is provided with such a Ship as will please him the Difficulties or Obstructions in the Way of getting the Alliance manned will be removd. I am very sure your Exertions will not be wanting to promote the Service.
1 Recently of the Ship Hancock. The record of his court martial was laid before the Continental Congress on August 5, and ordered to be referred to the Marine Committee for filing among its papers.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philada July 1778
My dear sir/
It is but seldom I can find Leisure to write a long Letter. You must excuse me if I give you my Thoughts as I am able to recollect and adjust them into any Order. I find -------- to be an excellent Member of Congress. He is a thorough and zealous Republican, and an able Supporter of the publick Liberty. I am satisfied it would be for the great Benefit of our Country, if you and he were to form an intimate Connection with each other. This I am very desirous of, because I have no Idea of your being long secluded from the publick Councils. He will go home shortly.