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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


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Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0168

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-27

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

Since I had the Honour to communicate to you my Commission to their High mightiness, by which the general Affairs of America, in this Republick come under my direction, you may possibly be at some Uncertainty about your own Situation and the Continuance of that Small annual Sum which you have heretofore received from the Commissioners and the Minister at the Court of Versailles. In order to remove the Doubt as far as in my Power, I take this Method to inform you, that I <have no> am perswaded it is the Intention of Congress that you should continue your good services to their Cause if you have no Objection, and that you should have at least the Same allowance continued.1 I Suppose his Excellency Dr. Franklin will readyly continue to pay your Draughts as usual: but if he should not, and you choose to continue in the service of America under my direction2 I will undertake to do it, as long as I shall reside in the Republick3 at my own <Expence and> Risque, <and> untill the further order of Congress <, or untill I Shall depart from the Republick>.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with great Esteem and Respect, Sir your most obedient most humble servant

1. Dumas was paid a total of 17,842.19.9 livres for the period from 20 April 1777 to 10 Nov. 1780. The next payment to Dumas would be on 14 Nov. 1781, when he received 2,700 livres from Ferdinand Grand as authorized by Benjamin Franklin. He received seven additional payments of 2,700 livres through 16 May 1785 (DNA: RG 39, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787 [Microfilm, Reel No. 1, f. 10]).
2. The previous thirteen words were interlined.
3. The previous nine words were interlined.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0169

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-27

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I have just received yours, inclosing the Lettres Hollandoise, and thank you for your Attention.1 You give me great Joy by your Account of the Arrival of a Vessell from Boston—hope We shall soon hear of more.
As to the Loan, I am not indifferent about its Success. My own Reputation with Some People, in Europe and America will depend in Some measure upon it. But this has little Weight with me—it is of Importance to America, to have a Comptoir, or Banker in Amsterdam { 231 } upon whom Congress could occasionally draw, as they have at Paris and Madrid.
And my Instructions from Congress are Such as rendered it my indispensable duty to open a Loan, and try the Experiment.
If it does not Succeed, I shall have done my duty. But the Same Duty requires that I should write an Account to Congress, and to Dr. Franklin, of its Success. To Congress that they may draw their Bills in future upon Paris and Madrid. To Dr. Franklin that he may be able to obtain the Money of the Court of Versailles, to discharge the Bills I have already accepted. In this Case Mr. Grand the Banker in Paris, will give orders, as I expect to the House of Horneca Fizeau & Co at Amsterdam to pay the Bills. This, you See, will make it publick that my Loan has not Succeeded—and the whole will divert that Part of the Trade of America which would naturally have flowed to Amsterdam to France and Spain. I shall be mortified at this: but there will be one Consolation, We Shall have no Interest to pay, but what We please and where We please, for the Money obtained of those Courts, has been generously granted, without any terms whatsoever, respecting the Terms of Interest or the Time of Payment of Interest or Principal.
We shall be under more obligations at Paris and Madrid, and less else where. I am not therefore anxious, nor will I depart a Single doit2 from the Terms, if the whole falls through. I have already gone farther, than will be for the good of my Reputation, or promote the Intercourse between the two Countries.
The Secret Intelligence you give me, I am rejoiced to hear. It shall remain a Secret with me. I have a great deal of News too, which I must keep a Secret at present, but which holds out hopes of Great and good Things to our righteous Cause. I expect to learn more of it, every hour.3
I am with great Respect &c.
I inclose Mr. Hodgsons 3 Bills and your 8.
1. Of 26 March, above.
2. A small Dutch coin no longer in use that equaled one-eighth of a stuiver, which was itself equal to one-twentieth of a florin ( OED ; John J. McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600–1775: A Handbook, Chapel Hill, 1978, p. 44).
3. The nature of JA 's secret information is not clear, but he had not yet informed the Neufvilles—at least in an extant letter—of his commission as minister plenipotentiary and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his letters of credence to the States General and William V.