A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0228-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-30

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

[salute] Sir

The letter with which you have honored me of 21 May is very precious, for it has given me the opportunity, which I long desired, of entering into direct correspondence with you.
It was only by chance and through public channels that I learned of your fortunate return from America, for which I congratulate you and would have done so sooner had I known that you were at Paris. I was quite mortified when I went to Passy last summer and did not find you there. Mr. Brown2 of Charleston, with whom I often had the pleasure taking very pleasant walks around Paris, told me that you also found these walks agreeable and frequently took them. If he remains at Passy please let me send him my most cordial regards.
I thank you, sir, and Mr. Franklin for the letter attributed to Mr. Clinton.3 I will communicate it to the newspapers. But I cannot hide from you that in reading over this piece I concluded that it was forged and the gazetteers will see it as such without my telling them. It is impossible that Clinton could have written it. When an authentic piece of news does arrive, such as the lifting of the siege of Charleston, etc., I rely on your kindness, and that of Mr. Franklin, to send it to me first. It is not only for the newspapers that I make this request, for I always begin by making use of such news in the manner most beneficial for America. I will be delighted, sir, to be able to serve you in return anytime and anywhere, either here or elsewhere, and will regard it as a favor if you will provide me with the opportunity.

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

[signed] CGf. Dumas
RC (Adams Papers). This letter originally was dated and filmed at [May–June 1780] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 352).
1. This date is derived from the serial publication of the forged letter from Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, mentioned in the third paragraph, in the Gazette de Leyde on 30 May, 2 June, and 6 June. In his letter of 6 June (below), Dumas indicated that he had sent the letter to the Gazette for publication.
2. For Joseph Brown Jr., see Adams Family Correspondence, 3:302.
3. For the forged Clinton letter, see JA's letter of 21 May to Dumas, and note 2 (above).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.