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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0312

Author: Bracht, Herman van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-30

From Herman van Bracht

[salute] Sir

I have the honour to return you, with many thanks the collection of the constitutions of America, which you was So obliging as lend me, the translation of the pieces I wanted to compleat the whole, is finishd, and the printer Mr. F wanner of this city, is making all possible diligence with the Impression, So that I hope it will be publish’d in a month or two.1
The readiness and politeness with which you acquiesed to my { 473 } former request encourages me to ask Some more favours from you. It appears to me that the Treaty of commerce now on the carpet between the States of America (and which I presume will be Soon concluded) and this Republic, would form a very proper appendix to the present publication, if it Strikes you in the Same light, and you Should think it Sufficiently advanced to insert it, I would request a copy of it as Soon as possible. But This I must leave intirely to your discretion—but another request I have to make, in the printers name as well as my own, as it depends intirely upon your Self, I hope you will not refuse: as the first part of the work was dedicated (I think with great propriety) to the pensionary Van Berkel and with his permission, it Will afford the printer and me great Satisfaction, if he may be allowd to dedicate this part to you.2
I observe by the 11 Article of the Treaty of commerce with France that the plenipitentiaries have taken care that the Americans Should not become liable to the Droit daubaine and Droit le Detraction. This induces me to take the liberty of informing you that a Similar unjust Law prevails in the cities of Holland, by which they have a right to demand (and this not less than 10 perCt) upon all heritages, as well abintestato as extestamento which, fall within and are carried out of their Jurisdictions, an act of Injustice founded upon a remnant of that enormous power possess’d by the old Courts of Holland, and however adapted it may have been to those feudal times, I am persuaded it is at present impolitic; Indeed most of the cities are So Sensible of this, that they have mutually desisted from this right upon each other, but Foreigners are Still liable to it, It is calld het regt van Exu or Exu geld.3
Congratulating you Sir on your admission as Envoy plenipitentiary by the States, assuring you of my constant esteem en Sincere offers of my Service I remain Sir Your Most obed: Servt.
[signed] Herman van Bracht
1. Van Bracht returned The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; . . . , Phila., 1781, that JA lent him in February (to van Bracht, 1 Feb., above). Translated into Dutch, it formed the second volume of Verzameling van de Constitutien . . . van Amerika, . . . , 2 vols., Dordrecht, 1781–1782, which appeared in August (from van Bracht, 12 Aug., Adams Papers). Two sets of the edition are in JA ’s library at MB ( Catalogue of JA ’s Library ).
2. JA replied on 3 May ( LbC , Adams Papers), indicating that he thought it inappropriate to publish the Dutch-American treaty prior to its ratification, but consenting to the proposed dedication so long as “nothing be said offensive to any one.”
3. The droit d’aubain was the right of the French king to seize the property of deceased foreigners. The droit de detraction was a tax paid on property moved out of France. Americans were exempted from both by Art. 11 of { 474 } the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Miller, ed., Treaties , 2:10–11). An exemption, similar to that in the Franco-American treaty and presumably intended to cope with such laws as mentioned by van Bracht, was included as Art. 6 of Congress’ plan of [29 Dec. 1780] for a treaty with the Netherlands (vol. 10:452), and was included as Art. 6 in the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce concluded on 8 Oct. 1782 (Miller, ed., Treaties , 2:65–66).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0313-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-30

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Dans l’embarras de notre déménagement, qui aura lieu demain, je n’ai plus qu’un coffre sur lequel je puisse vous écrire la présente. Vous verrez par l’incluse de Mr. Nolet de Schiedam, et par la copie de ma réponse provisionnelle, ce que vous jugerez à propos de leur répondre Vous-même.1 En vous souvenant cependant, que vous avez accepté un Déjeuner chez Mr. et Made. Boreel ici, le 6e de May. On m’a dit, que ces Messieurs de Schiedam donneront un repas de 100 couverts, et qu’il y aura beaucoup de personnes de Rotterdam. Je dois vous faire souvenir aussi, que ces Messieurs voudroient savoir le jour une semaine d’avance, à cause des préparatifs. Si vous pouviez donc, dès à présent, leur fixer un jour de la 2e semaine du mois de may, vous leur feriez grand plaisir. Je pense que le meilleur seroit, Monsieur, que vous leur indiquassiez l’heure où vous serez à Delft dans votre voiture, afin que vous puissiez entrer là dans leur Yacht, si vous ne voulez pas qu’il vienne vous prendre ici; ce qui, selon moi vaudroit encore mieux. Vous prendrez après cela le parti qui Sera le plus de votre goût. Quant à moi, je n’ai pas la moindre objection ni repugnance à rester ici ce jour-là, et tenir compagnie à ma femme et à ma fille, pendant la fête, à laquelle nous serons charmés d’apprendre la satisfaction que vous y aurez eue, ainsi que Mr. Thaxter que nous saluons cordialement.

[salute] Je suis avec un grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble et très-obéissant serviteur

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0313-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-30

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

[salute] Sir

With all the commotion of moving tomorrow, I have only a trunk on which to write this letter to you. You will see from the enclosed letter from Mr. Nolet of Schiedam, and from the copy of my provisional reply, what will be necessary in your own response.1 Meantime, I would like to remind you that you have accepted a dinner invitation at Mr. and Mrs. Boreel’s home here on the 6th of May. I was told that the people from Schiedam { 475 } are preparing a meal composed of 100 dishes, and that there will be many people from Rotterdam there. I must also remind you that you need to choose a date one week in advance, because of all the necessary preparations. Now, if you could choose a date during the second week of May, they would be greatly pleased. I think it would be best, sir, if you indicate the time that you will be in Delft in your carriage, so you can continue on in their yacht if you do not want them to come here to get you. I think this would be better. You can decide, after that, to do whatever pleases you. As for me, I do not have the least objection or reluctance to stay here on that day, in the company of my wife and daughter, during the celebration. We will be delighted to learn of the pleasant time you will have had there, as well as Mr. Thaxter, to whom we send our cordial regards.

[salute] I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
RC and two enclosures (Adams Papers). Filmed at (3 April 1782 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356).
1. In a letter of 29 April addressed to Dumas as JA ’s secretary (JA, Works , 7:577–578), Jacobus Nolet invited JA to a dinner in his honor to be given by the merchants of Schiedam in the first or second week of May. Dumas replied on 30 April (Adams Papers) that he was an American agent in correspondence with Congress and that John Thaxter was JA ’s secretary. Thaxter was thus the proper person to apply to with regard to the proposed dinner. Nonetheless Dumas indicated that the pressure of events and business would likely prevent JA ’s attendance. JA replied to Dumas on 2 May (||available in Papers of John Adams, vol. 13; || Works , 7:578–579), indicating his desire to be excused from the “affectionate, as well as polite invitation do dine at Schiedam,” but he left the matter in Dumas’ hands. On 8 May, Dumas informed the city of Schiedam that JA would be unable to attend but that he was fully sensible of the honor and friendship for himself and the United States manifested by the invitation (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 2, f. 470).