other. The Question in my Mind is whether the
french Admiral will risque his large Ships to be workd,
as they must be in an Engagement, in the Narrows —the
Width of the Channel is and its Depth at low Water.
I am told that this is a favorite Expedition of Count
d’Estaing himself, proposd by him & not Mr D,
to the french Court, and that his Reputation as a Politician
as well as an Admiral is at Stake. From the Character
I have recd of him, I make no Doubt he will answer
the highest reasonable Expectations of the King his
Master and of America. Mr Ds political Friends,
some of whom I suppose are in Boston, are disposd
to give him great Eclat on Account of the Aid afforded
us in sending this Squadron. His interest with
the french Ministry is represented as very forceable
in procuring it and the Newspapers mention the favors
conferd on him even by the King himself. The
Truth as I conceive it is, the total overthrow of
Burgoyns Army was an Event which it was thought would
produce Overtures from Britain, and France was apprehensive
of our listening to Terms & compromising Matters.
Hence it was, more than from any other Cause or the
Interest of any Individual that a Treaty was facilitated
& agreed to and to secure us in their Alliance & support
us in sending this Squadron, and the Purpose of M
Gerards Mission. We are informd that Eleven Sail
of Merchantmen & a Frigate have fallen into his Hands.
I have declind answering your Letter of the 26 of
June till I could assure you that the Sum you wishd
for was granted for the Use of your Department.
I now have the Pleasure of informing you that it will
be orderd as soon as it arrives from York Town.
It is every hour expected. The Marine Committee
have agreed that the Navy Board shall appoint Commanders
for Vessels of War under Twenty Guns.
1 July 18; the letter was dated July 11.
2 “That no answer be given to the letter of
the nth instant from the British commissioners.”
3 Silas Deane; Congress on July 11 was notified by
him of his arrival on the Languedoc.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
PHILAD Augt 11 -78
I yesterday had the pleasure of receiving your favor
by the post, covering the News papers and a Letter,
as you emphatically express it, “from one of
my closest Friends”; for all which I thank you
You ask me what occasiond the very sudden return of
Mr H.——1. I answer in his own
Word to me, His own Want of Health & the dangerous
Illness of his Lady. You say he arrivd quite
unexpected—you must surely be mistaken;
for he publickly said he had Leave of Absence from
his Constituents. You add, various are the Conjectures
for the true Cause. It is the Lot of a great
Man to have every Movement he makes critically scanned,