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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0176-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-07

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

[salute] Sir

You will have seen from today's supplement to the Gazette de Leyde that I followed your instructions to the letter and had the extracts concerning Mr. Laurens inserted.1 Only the last two or three lines, where White-Eyes is charged with the ignominious treatment inflicted upon Mr. Laurens, have been omitted, for including them would have risked exposing ourselves.
Moreover, I am very grateful, sir, for this communication, of which I have made such good use prior to its publication here, which makes a difference. For this reason, as well as my personal interest in the fate of Mr. Laurens, I ask for your continued generosity in sharing any further news you receive. I promise to publish or suppress it, depending upon what you judge necessary for the welfare of Mr. Laurens, whose ill health concerns me the most. I hope to make a small trip to Amsterdam and see you there in perfect health. In the meantime, I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Dumas
{ 333 }
1. With his letter of 3 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers), JA had sent Dumas extracts from Thomas Digges' letters of 6, 10, and 17 Oct. (all above). For copies, apparently by Dumas, of JA's letter and the extracts, see PCC, No. 101, I, f. 109–113.

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0177

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1780-11-09

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of yours of the 7. Inclosed are a few more Extracts, concerning the Treatment of Mr. Laurens. You will publish Such Parts as you judge proper.1 This Event will have more Serious and lasting Consequences than are immagined. It is therefore proper that the facts should be preserved. It may be prudent to observe a delicacy concerning White Eyes. But Europe in general is much mistaken, in that Character. It is a pity that he should be believed to be so amiable. The Truth is far otherwise. Nerone Neronior,2 is nearer the Truth. I shall be very happy to see you at Amsterdam—and am with much respect, your humble sert.
1. For the extracts previously sent to Dumas and printed in the Gazette de Leyde, see Dumas' letter of 7 Nov., note 1 (above). The extracts enclosed with this letter were likely from Thomas Digges' letters of 20, 27, 31 Oct., and 3 Nov. (all above), but the Gazette of 14 Nov. contained only a brief excerpt, in French, from the letter of 3 November.
2. More like Nero than Nero.

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0178

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Fitzpatrick, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-11-10

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr. Sir

Nothing material occurring, I did not write you on the last post day.1 Things were then in a train for other communications and I am in hopes to add something to this letter in the Evening before I seal it, from our friend.2 Mr. S[ear]les letter and some late ones from home via Nantes got to Him.
Mr. L——ns treatment remaind with usual and unabated rigour till the 8th Instant. His Son and Mr. Manning were unexpectedly on that day allowd to pay Him another half hours visit, which the Deputy Governor permitted to be extended to one whole hour; and the same day He got an order to be permitted to walk round the Tower whenever He chose to apply to the Deputy Governor to do so.3 His Son and friend were watchd as before by two Warders, as He will continue to be whenever He walks out. His health and spirits are good. During the first part of His illness, and while He was very bad, He had a visit from the Lords Hillsborough and Stormont—a Jesuitical visit no { 334 } doubt, and with a visible meaning to pump and get out of Him what they could. This circumstance without any particulars of the visit has got out to me, the prisoner expressing the extreem Complaisance of His ministerial visitors, particularly in the point of the cringing Complimentary offers of services from Lord H——, in which I dare answer, the Scotchman4 was not behind hand. I cannot account for this sudden lenity toward the prisoner in no other way (for they very lately peremptorily and rudely refusd the son a second visit to His Father) but from a Whisper going about that the Opposition meant to take up the ill treatment shewn Mr. L, and to move Parliament for a mittigation of the severity shewn him, that He be permitted parole on giving bail &c. &c. This was in agitation, and I had some conversations with particular men about it. Its getting to the ears of ministers would be enough for them to give one lenitive order to Mr. L., and the granting him to walk out for air in the Tower, might be brought in argument that He is not a Close Prisoner or rigorously treated. These wretches tho they seldom look further than their noses after great national concerns, are nevertheless clever enough at these little kind of tricks.
We have no News but what you will see in the papers. Our grand fleet when last heard of was somewhere about Scilly. The Carola. and Wst. Inda. fleet to sail in 10 or 12 days, also one from Cork with transports to carry about 7 or 8000 men, the portion of 2000 or 2,500 of which are intended for Chas. Town, and I see no likelyhood of any others going to other parts of the Continent.
I am with very great regard yrs
[signed] W. Fitzpatrick
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mynheer De Heer Ferdinand Raymond San Ten huyze van de Heer Hendrick Shorn Amsterdam”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. W. S. C. 10th. Novr. 1780.”
1. The post day was probably the 7th, Digges' last letter was of the 3d (above).
2. Henry Laurens.
3. The permission to walk about the Tower was reported in the London newspapers around 10 Nov., see the London Courant of that date. In his “Narrative,” Laurens indicates that he was informed of the order on 8 Nov., but he does not mention a visit by his son and William Manning on that day, nor does he indicate any visit by Lord Hillsborough and Lord Stormont since his confinement in the Tower on 6 Oct. (Laurens, “Narrative,” p. 25–29).
4. That is, David Murray, viscount Stormont.
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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/