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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0070-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-03

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

[salute] Honoured & Dear Sir

I have received your letters of 31 January and 2 February together this morning.
I am very delighted that all's well in America. In response, I tell you, that all's well at St. Petersburg, because I heard on good authority the day before { 105 } yesterday, that an express post arrived the day before that from the minister of that Court in response to the departure of Sir Joseph Yorke, and that the dispositions of this said Court have not changed at all because of this news in regard to and in favor1 of this republic. One expects then, with perfect security, equally satisfying responses regarding the British manifesto, and the reclamation of the vessels taken from the Republic,2 but not before the end of this month or the beginning of the next.
Here is a letter that Messrs. De la Lande & Fynje received yesterday for you from St. Petersburg.3 They sent it to me from Amsterdam, but I do not know why, since they must know where you live. I will ask them the reason for this singularity, and when I find out, I will tell you. Mr. Silas Deane passed by here the day before yesterday on the way to Amsterdam4 and brought me a packet on behalf of His Excellency Mr. Franklin, which included three letters for His Excellency Mr. Laurens, with the request by Mr. Franklin that you retain them.5 Since these letters would make my packet too large for the post, and, since I think they are not urgent, I will wait to send them on to you with Mr. Gillon, when he passes through here from Rotterdam.
My wife and I are touched by your obliging kindness, sir, in sending our daughter, through Mr. Gillon, the four volumes on the theater of Madame Genlis.6
I will wait until tomorrow or the day after to respond to your last two letters. The mail, which is about to leave, does not permit me to express anything further today, except the sincere respect and attachment with which I remain as always, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Dumas
1. The preceding three words in the French text were interlined.
2. The remainder of this sentence in the French text was added later.
3. This is Stephen Sayre's letter of 10 Jan., above.
4. The preceding five words in the French text were interlined.
5. The letters for Henry Laurens were enclosed with Franklin's letter to Dumas of 18 Jan. (Franklin, Papers, 34:287–289).
6. Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de Saint Aubin, Comtesse de Genlis, Théâtre à l'usage des jeunes personnes, 4 vols. 1779–1780. The copy that JA sent to Dumas' daughter may have been that which he purchased at Paris on 19 March 1780 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:436).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0071

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Searle, James
Date: 1781-02-04

To James Searle

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the Honour of yours of 24 Jan. only yesterday.1 F. ||Silas Deane|| is indeed arrived here, but I cannot learn that R.R. ||Edward Bancroft|| is. I have not been honoured with a Visit, as yet, nor have I seen him.
There is a Courier arrived from Petersbourg, who carried the News of Sir Yorkes leaving the Hague. Alls well in the north.
{ 106 }
The Spirit here waxes warmer. A new Play is brought upon the Stage called De Ruyter, in which the English are treated as you would wish them, and every Line, in which they are So, is applauded, a tout rompre, that is in plain English to make all Split.2 I will observe your recommendation concerning Mr. Bromfield who is still here. I wish I were at Paris with you, it is more agreable there than here yet, as well as more healthy.
If the neutral Confederation Should become belligerent, would it not be a proper Time, for France and America to join, in proposing to the nations that compose it, to acknowledge American Independance? There is an Article in our Treaty to this Purpose. Dr. Franklin has authority to treat with any Power in Europe, at least the Commissioners had, and I Suppose the Dissolution of the Commission has not annulled that Authority. I wish you would converse with the Dr. upon the subject. If he thinks he has not Power, would it not be proper, to write to Congress upon the Subject? If Something of this sort is not done, the northern Powers, may settle their War, and leave Us Still to fight it out. The Article I refer to is the 10 of the Treaty of Alliance. “The most Christian King, and the United States agree to invite or admit other Powers, who may have received Injuries from England, to make common Cause with them and to acceed to that Alliance, under Such Conditions as shall be freely agreed to and settled between all the Parties.” Pray talk about this with Mr. Dana. There never can be a more inviting opportunity, than the present to execute this Article of the Treaty.
1. Searle's letter of 24 Jan. has not been found.
2. Michiel Adriaansz de Ruiter, tragedy by Johannes Nomsz, 1781. Michiel Adrienszoon de Ruyter, the greatest admiral of his day, won fame for the defeats he inflicted on the British during the Second and Third Dutch Wars (1665–1667, 1672–1674), and particularly for his 1667 raid on the Chatham dockyards on the Medway River, only ten miles from London (The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, ed. Peter Kemp, N.Y., 1976). In an undated letter Antoine Marie Cerisier invited JA to attend “la Tragedie de De Ruiter,” performed in Dutch, that was playing for the final time that day (Adams Papers, filmed at [1782], Microfilms, Reel No. 359).
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/