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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

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Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0177

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-31

From James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

I send you a few Prints and the last monthly Journals yet from the Press.1 The Enemy will give you one of the most candid accounts of the naval Engagement on the 16th. that I have at any time seen in Rivington's royal Gazette. Our Allies have conducted most gallantly: a Fog which seperated their Ships a few days before the Engagement deprived them of the Opportunity of giving an immense Turn to our southern Affairs. However, their proved Zeal and Activity have so impressed the Enemy, that the british Fleet has not ventured to remain in Cheseapeak to push the Advantages which had fallen to them by the Chance of War.2 We have some pretty possitive Information of a severe Cannonade of three hours at Sea on the morning of the 24th. after the british had gone down the Bay of Cheseapeak, at present I suspect that both the Severity and Continuance are heightened by Imagination from some single Engagement between two Frigates. It cannot be the Rhode Island Squadron.
I have not heard from your Lady of late. I shall have Opportunity in a few days, I think, to send what Jones brought for her.
We impatiently wait for your Comments upon the british Conduct at St. Eustatia and the Manner in which Their H. Ms. of the U Provinces receive it.

[salute] I am affectionately yours

[signed] James Lovell
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Minister Plenipoy. of the U Ss. of America now in Holland”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Lovell. 31st. March 1781.”
1. Besides the enclosed prints and journals that have not been identified, this letter may have contained copies of two letters from Nathanael Greene to the president of Congress, dated 10 and 16 March respectively. The first described Greene's preparations for and anticipation of an engagement with Cornwallis' army; the second described the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on 15 March. There are copies of these letters, in a clerk's hand, in the Adams Papers under the date of 31 March, the day on which they were read in Congress ( JCC , 19:335).
2. James Rivington's New York Royal Ga• { 243 } zette of 28 March contained a detailed account of the battle on 16 March off the Virginia Capes at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay between fleets commanded by Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot and Como. Destouches.
The battle was not as decisive as Lovell indicates. Destouches obtained a tactical advantage and severely damaged three of the British vessels, thereby obtaining superiority over the British. He did not, however, press his advantage and, instead, returned to the French base at Newport. This permitted the British to retire to Lynnhaven Bay, just inside the Virginia Capes, and maintain control over access to the Chesapeake while they repaired their ships and regrouped (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence , p. 170–174).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0178-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-02

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous voudrez bien avoir la bonté de joindre le Postcrit ci joint à ma derniere Lettre pour le Congrès.1
Deux personnages, sur lesquels je puis me fier, m'ont promis de s'informer touchant le sort de votre Meme. à L. H. P. Mr. Visser croit qu'il a été remis par le Président au Committé secret de L. H. P., qui est toujours compose des premiers Députés des provinces respectives. Si vous êtes à Leide, je pourrai bien y faire un tour pour vous faire une visite à la fin de cette semaine.
Je suis avec un très-grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0178-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-02

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Could you kindly attach the enclosed postscript to my last letter for Congress.1
Two people, whom I can trust, have promised to keep me informed of the fate of your memorial to the High Mightinesses. Mr. Visscher believes that it was given by the president to the secret committee of the High Mightinesses, which is always composed of the first deputies of each province. If you are at Leyden, I could visit you at the end of this week.
I am with very great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 2d. April 1781.”
1. This was Dumas' letter to Congress of 22 March (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:322–323). There he commented on the agreement of the Dutch provinces to Russia's mediation offer, the impending court decision regarding the role of the Regency of Amsterdam in the Lee-Neufville treaty, the capture of St. Eustatius, and rumors that Britain had refused the Russian mediation offer. In the postscript, dated 2 April, Dumas indicated that he was expecting interesting news from St. Petersburg and noted a proposal by Amsterdam merchants to send representatives to Britain to plead for the return of goods seized at St. Eustatius, a course of action the merchants of Rotterdam rejected.
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