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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


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Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-01

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

The Letters I received at Leyden, obliged me to leave you Sooner than I intended,1 but <I did not know>, I shall soon See you again, at the Hague.
I have received, important Dispatches from Congress, upon which I want your Advice. I hope it is no bad News. You will Say nothing, reflect well upon the Times, and be prepared to answer me, serious Questions upon public Affairs—nothing personal—nor selfish—nor little. I shall See you, in the Course of next Week—if nothing turns up, to prevent it, which I dont foresee. Dont raise your Expectations too high—remember—Nil Admirari.2

[salute] Adieu

1. These letters were of 1 Jan. from the president of Congress, 6 Jan. from James Lovell, 21 Feb. from Hendrik Bicker, and 22 Feb. from Jean de Neufville & Fils, all above. The first two were enclosed with the Neufville letter.
2. That is, wonder at nothing. Immediately after this letter, as printed in the Boston Patriot, JA wrote “I soon returned to Leyden, and determined to begin by communicating the resolution of congress to the ambassadors of the neutral courts; first to that from Russia” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot , p. 392). For JA 's efforts in this regard, see his letters of 8 March to Dumas and Prince Gallitzin, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0118

Author: Neufville, Jean de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-02

From Jean de Neufville

[salute] Honourd sir

This will reach yoúr Excellency at his levee, I make no apologie for not forwarding it sooner while by the time I left her, and being after supper reading for dissepation I received an Account of a tiding from Rússia, by which the Emperess offerd her mediation;2 if this should appear (in consequence of what yoúr Excellency was pleased to enforce upon my mind) countrary to the intrest of America, I dare Say we have gand a great point for both Countries, and if well managed may produce the greatest happiness; we may be degenated from the vigoúr with which our Ancestors have defended their liberty; butt yoúr Excellency will find in this Republicq many worthy people not a disgrace to an intimate Alliance with America, witness withoút ceremony Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and obed hum servt.
[signed] J de Neufville
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1. JA received another note of this date from Jean de Neufville & Fils (Adams Papers) that wished him well on his imminent return to Leyden and gave a brief progress report on the loan.
2. On 1 March the Russian minister at The Hague, Prince Gallitzin, presented Catherine II's offer to mediate between the Netherlands and Great Britain. The States General accepted the proposal on 14 March, but Britain refused even to consider a mediated settlement. The British feared that any negotiations would compromise its position vis-à-vis the extension of neutral rights and that Russian efforts to end the Anglo-Dutch conflict would divert Catherine's attention from her mediation of the Anglo-French war. Russia, however, did not take Britain's refusal as final and undertook a new initiative at the end of Aug., for which see JA 's letters to the president of Congress of 6 Aug., calendared below, and 13 Dec. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:43–44). The Gazette de Leyde of 2 March carried a brief notice of Gallitzin's demarché and on 6 March printed the French text. For an English translation, see the Annual Register for 1781, p. 310–311; but see also JA 's letter of 18 March to the president of Congress, calendared below.