This has given an Occasion to his Friends to hide the true Reason of his being recalled, & to hold up in the News Papers an ostensible one, supposing it to be more for his Reputation.
Our Affairs even in France wore a gloomy Aspect during the last year until the News of our Army at the Northward being completely victorious. This was the decisive Language which commanded our Success in the Cabinet of France. To this we are indebted for the Acknowledgmt of our Independence, the Treaty and the french Fleet. Mr D is complimented with having procurd this Fleet, and his “spirited Exertions” like those of other Great Men have been puffd off in the News Papers. Unthinking Men may be amusd with a Golden Snuff Box &c. After all they are mere Things of Course, especially in the Honey Moon of National Matrimony.
Since Mr Ds Return as well as before, there have been Suggestions of his Misconduct in France; and among other things, of his Misapplication of publick Money. I cannot say whether these Suggestions are well grounded or not. Congress is devoting every Hour to an Enquiry into the Grounds of them which can be spared from an Attention to other great Affairs, particularly the Finances. The Conduct of an honest Man will bear the strictest Scrutiny. If the Friends of Mr D have any Suspicions of his being tardy, I am inclind to think they will be more apprehensive of a Detection from the Vigilance & Integrity of Dr Lee than any thing else. On such occasions it is not unusual for the most unblemished of Characters & sometimes the Lives of the best of them to be sacrificd in order to prevent “Transactions dark & mysterious” from being brot into open Light.
I have written this Letter in Confidence & shall continue the Subject when I can find Leisure. Adieu.
1 Cf. page 47.
[Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]
Philade Oct 14 — 78
In my last I inclosd a News paper containing certain Queries calculated, as I conceive, to blast the Reputation of a truly virtuous Man.