A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0243-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-07-24

C. W. F. Dumas to the Commissioners: A Translation

[salute] Gentlemen

Because the Grand Facteur forgot to return my news from Germany on the 31st, I was obliged to translate in haste that which I sent that day. Here are some excerpts.1 The English papers and the letters from Amsterdam are filled with the allegation that the French have declared war on England. The British stocks fell about 2 percent in Amsterdam; there are no buyers even. It is reported that the Dutch vessels from St. Eustatius and Curacao that were conducted into Plymouth have been released. I would be greatly relieved if it were confirmed because the merchants, our great friends, are interested in a large portion of the vessel from Curacao bound for Zeeland. Otherwise, I would be rather pleased to see the British anger our phlegmatic Batavians with their attacks.
I have just received the packet you had the kindness to send me, gentlemen, on behalf of the honorable Committee of Secret Correspondence. Its content makes me very happy, especially since I see that all the letters I wrote them, through Y, reached them, one after another prior to 2 May, and have proved to be all the more agreeable in that they filled a gap of almost one year, during which several mishaps had deprived them of yours.2
I will continue to put to good use every available occasion here to add to our friends and weaken the enemy which is a Goliath and I but a small David with some pebbles for my weapon. With that, however, I have already significantly weakened it and hope finally to demolish it or at least make it more manageable.
On Monday I will perhaps deliver the treaty to the Grand Pensionary and send it also to Amsterdam. Two copies are being made for this purpose in which, by an order of the House3 (which the Grand Facteur had the kindness to read to me and in which I had the refined pleasure of hearing myself referred to by the flattering expression: friend of Mr. Franklin), Articles 11 and 12 will be omitted for reasons which the Grand Facteur explained to me, and which I will not repeat here since you know them already. I am, with the most respectful devotion, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] D
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed, not by JA: “Dumas 24 July 78.”
1. These were extracts from dispatches sent by the Dutch representatives in Vienna, London, Paris, and Berlin. In letters of 29 June, and 1 and 8 July, Count Dagenfeld reported from Vienna on the impending war in Bavaria and the departures of the Prussian minister and William Lee. Reports on British and French naval movements were contained in letters from Count Welderen from London on 14 July and from Mr. Berkenrode from Paris on 12 July. Count Heide wrote from Berlin on 14 July that the British minister had accused the French of being the aggressor in the naval action of 22 June, the French minister stating the contrary, and reported on the movements of the Prussian Army against Austria. Dumas also noted dispatches from Madrid, Lisbon, Cologne, St. Petersburg, and Constantinople, none of which contained anything of importance.
{ 315 }
2. The letter from the Committee for Foreign Affairs to Dumas was that of 14 May, while Dumas' letter Y was that of 16 Dec. 1777 (PCC, No. 79, 1; No. 93,1).
3. That is, the French Foreign Ministry.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Cushing, Thomas
Date: 1778-07-25

To Thomas Cushing

[salute] Dear sir

I had this Day the Pleasure of your Letter by Captain Barnes, of June 9.1 I did myself the Honour, when in Boston to call at your House, but was told you was ill and could not be seen, upon which I sent in my Name, as the Fashion is, intending to call at another opportunity, but was dissappointed.
I had a very disagreable Passage, to this Country, passing through many Dangers, from the Wrath of Neptune and Boreas, as well as from that of Bellona and her Britons;2 But had at last sufficient Cause for Gratitude to a Power superiour to them all, in a safe Arrival, in good Health, and in the Midst of good News.
I thank you sir for the Newspaper, you incased to me, containing the Resolutions of Congress, upon the British Bills, Resolutions, which have been highly esteemed and applauded in Europe, as has also their Address to the People, and their prompt and polite Ratification of the Treaty.
As to News sir, altho there has been no formal Manifesto published as yet, either by the Court of Versailles or London, yet the two Nations are at actual War, and the King of France has given orders to all his ships of War, to attack the English at sea, whenever they are found.
We are in hourly Expectation of important News from America. The Count D'Estang must have arrived long ago—and he must have been, probably thirty days before Admiral Biron. Was Lord Howes Force sufficient to make a stand, at New York, or else where against D'Estang, untill Birons Arrival? In short We expect Something very good or very ugly from America, but I am not so sanguine as you know I have been sometimes, which it will be.
I cant bear the Histories I read of the impudent Excursions from Philadelphia and Rhode Island, burning Vessells and Houses. Will America suffer such a Race of Tormentors so contemptible as they are at present in Comparaison of what they have been, to plague her much longer?
I am grieved to the Heart at the Diversity of Sentiment, con• { 316 } cerning our Constitution: but I have <one> a Consolation, in knowing that Disputes in our state are not usually carried to that Pitch of Heat, Rancour and Extravagance, that sometimes happens in other Places, and I therefore hope, that Harmony and Unanimity will in Time take Place.

[salute] Be so good as to make my Compliments acceptable to all our old Friends, and believe me to be with much Respect, sir your most obedient, humble servant

P.S. The Abby Reynel3 is writing an History of this Revolution, and is very desirous of obtaining authentic Documents. Can you help him to any?
1. Cushing congratulated JA on his arrival in France and the success of the Commissioners in negotiating the treaties with France (Adams Papers, not printed here).
2. Boreas, Greek god of the north wind; Bellona, Roman goddess of war.
3. Guillaume Thomas François, Abbé Raynal (1713–1796), philosophe and author of the widely read and reprinted Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes, Amsterdam, 1770, had apparently begun the preparation of his Révolution de l'Amérique, 1781 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). JA sent a Dutch translation of that work, Stattsomwenteling van Amerika, Uit net Fransch, Amsterdam, 1781, to AA in a letter of 9 Oct. 1781 (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:224–225, and note 4).
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, 2018.