A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0098

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-12

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

Just in the moment I was sitting down to write to you, I had the pleasure of your's of the 8th. instant in which you acknowledge the receipt of mine of the 1st. and of another without date.1 I am glad the packet has reached you safely. There were no letters from Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Dana, or from any of our Friends in our quarter. The vessel which brought your letters, came from Philadelphia. The two papers mention'd to have been received in the duplicate, and which were not in the original, if I am not mistaken, were the Minister's last letter but one (the last I sent on after you to Holland) to you, and your last to him.2 I do not comprehend you, when you say “I am prepared in my own mind to receive from Congress, Resolutions of a different nature.” I will ask for the key spoken of in my last, the first time I see D.D. ||Benjamin Franklin||. I have communicated the whole I have received respecting a certain declaration; the omission you point out, is certainly of essential importance: for without it is supplied, nothing, if an occasion shoud offer, can regularly be done in the business. I beleive there will be full time to give a hint of this to the Committee of F.A. It is my present Intention to write to them this week, when I shall not fail to suggest that, as well as some other things, in which we certainly want information.3 I will talk with D.D. ||Benjamin Franklin|| and Funn ||James Searle||, upon the subject you desire; but I expect the former will be exceeding costive. I am glad to find you entertain so agreable an Idea of our Affairs. The three Croakers you name, are Men of very different characters. I have nothing to say about the Integrity of the first or the last of them. The middle one, has, I believe, much Integrity, Industry and good Sense. A very good apology may be made for his painting the distresses of our army in as strong colours as possible: yet I believe the Enemy { 145 } have made some additions to his letter, as they did to the applications of the Officers to the Governments. This an American paper charges them with doing. The first gentleman means to hold himself up as the great character who is to bring order out of chaos. You and I know him to be as vain glorious a mortal as lives.4 But what think you of V's||Arthur Lee's|| letters? Will he never learn any prudence? I am at a loss to know what Brux||Ralph Izard|| is about. We hear nothing of him. He has probably drank plentifully of the Waters of Lethe and become as calm as a Lamb.5 The omission of Francisco ||Silas Deane|| does not surprise me.6 He cannot look an honest Man in the face, whom he supposes to be acquainted with his conduct. I hope the great matters move on in a proper direction, though they advance with such deliberation. I have not yet learnt any thing about Davis. I rather suppose him to have arrived. One of the vessels from Marstrand is taken: the name I do not recollect.
I am exceedingly obliged to Mrs. A and Mrs. W. for their kind rememberance of me; and beg you to return them my warmest thanks whenever you write to them.7 I wish Mrs. D. had half the Philosophy of either of them: but her's seems to have forsaken her.
I am happy to have it in my power to enable you to contradict the report of the revolt of Genl. Ethan Allen with a number of the Inhabitants of Vermont, which the British are industriously circulating through Europe. I yesterday saw a young gentleman of Boston, son of Mr. Gawen Brown,8 who left Rhode Island on the 28th. of Decr: (the british accounts from N.Y. come no lower than the 20th. touching this matter) in a French Transport: who tells me before he left Boston, they had the report of this defection there—that it was not true—that Allen and some others of the Vermont Inhabitants were armed with a fixed determination to oppose the annexing that Country to the Government of N York chiefly; and that they insisted that keeping their independency as one State of the Union: but 'tis probable this matter will not be decided by battle. Congress seem to be acting with much prudence in it, and it may be finally agreed the people of that territory shall be adopted into the Union, as the properest measure to put an end to the contested claims of N.Y., M. and N.H. I see no evil from such a measure, but a contrary decision may be pregnant with mischief to the whole. Tho' Allen may want principle, yet I think he has sense enough to discern that his ruin woud be the consequence of such an Act of Perfidy. Mr. Brown tells me that money was scarce in our quarter, but that there was more { 146 } silver and gold passing than paper. He came away very suddenly, and secretly, as the departure of the transports (6) from Newport was communicated to very few, least the Enemy's fleet, which were cruising off the harbour, might get intelligence of it. They all sailed in the night, and escaped; five of them are arrived. He brings no letters—but says a good harmony subsisted between our people and the French Troops, and that the former were not thirsting after peace. I lately wrote to Mr. Thaxter who I am told continues at Leyden with the young gentlemen. My letter was directed to him at Amsterdam. I hope he has received it. I must desire you to direct Stevens9 to enquire always at the office for letters for me: as I wrote from thence, my friends may direct to me there. Please to present my regards to all our friends near you. I am, dear Sir, with much sincerity, your obliged friend & humble Servt
[signed] FRA DANA
P.S. Mr. Searle and the Abbés desire to be affectionately remembered to you.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Dana. Feb. 12 ansd 12. March 1781.”
1. Of [31 Jan.], above.
2. That is, the duplicate of JA's letter of 26 June 1780 to the president of Congress. Dana identifies the enclosures as the Comte de Vergennes' letter of 25 July 1780 and JA's of 27 July 1780. See JA's letter to Dana of 8 Feb., note 2, above.
3. When Dana wrote to the Committee for Foreign Affairs on 16 Feb., he noted that neither he nor JA had received powers to act regarding Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. 1780 permitting the U.S. to accede to the armed neutrality. At the end of his letter Dana reported that Franklin had just received official copies of the resolution (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:259–260).
4. As listed by JA in his letter of 8 Feb. to Dana, above, the three “Croakers” were Gen. John Sullivan, Col. Timothy Pickering, and Silas Deane. Pickering served as quartermaster general of an army always short of supplies, thus explaining Dana's defense of him. Despite Dana's reference to a newspaper report charging British tampering with the captured letters, there is no evidence that any alterations were made.
5. The river of oblivion in Greek mythology. For evidence that Izard had not become “calm as a Lamb,” see James Madison to Edmund Pendleton, 7 Nov. 1780 (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 16:303–305).
6. A reference to Silas Deane's failure to visit JA.
7. If Dana refers here to letters from AA and Mercy Otis Warren, no such letters have been found.
8. The artist Mather Brown, soon left Paris for London, where he studied under Benjamin West. In 1785 and 1788 he painted JA's portrait. The first has been lost, but the second, done at the behest of Thomas Jefferson, is at the Boston Athenaeum. Brown's father, Gawen, a loyalist, left Boston for England in 1775 (Andrew Oliver, Portraits of John and Abigail Adams, Cambridge, 1967, p. 46–52; Franklin P. Cole, Mather Books and Portraits through Six Early American Generations, 1630–1831, Portland, Me., 1978, p. 205–209).
9. For Joseph Stephens, JA's servant from 1778 to 1783, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:274; Adams Family Correspondence, 4:321.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0099

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-02-15

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

This Morning, the House of Botereau & Co. of this City, presented to me, Sixty Six Bills of Exchange drawn by Congress on the 26th. day of October last, in favour of Nathaniel Tracy, of Newbury Port, amounting to the Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds sterling, payable at Ninety days Sight.
I was obliged to ask the favour of the House, to wait untill I could write to your Excellency, to see if you can furnish the Funds to discharge these Bills. Without your Warranty, they must be protested, for I have not yet obtained a Single Ducat, nor any certain assurance of one.
I have at length fixed my Plan, and when it shall be made certain that the War with England is to continue the Prospectus will be published and the Experiment tryed. Some Persons think I shall get some Money. But there is no Certainty of it. If this People should make Peace with England which they will if they can, We shall get no Money at all. I think however that a Peace is impossible and therefore am not without hopes of borrowing Some Money.
I must request the Honour of your Excellencys answer by the Return of Post, because at that Time Mr. Botereau will expect an answer from me.1 With great Respect I have the Honour to be
1. Franklin replied on 22 February. For JA's acceptance of the bills, see his letter of 10 April to Franklin, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0100-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-15

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & Dear Sir

Sans vouloir rien opposer aux bonnes raisons que vous donnez dans votre faveur du 12e. pour la prompte publication de la Résolution du Congrès, j'aurois voulu au moins avoir pu pourtant la différer d'un ordinaire, pour les raisons que j'ai eu l'honneur de vous dire: et la Copie imprimée que vous avez, eût été un garant suffisant pour la démarche que j'aurois faite, pour vous faire entrer dès à présent en liaison avec un Ministre, et par lui avec sa Cour, avec lequel je crois que votre Commission vous liera tôt ou tard. Quant à présent, il ne se passe rien ici qui mérite votre attention. On attend un Courier vers la fin de ce mois, en réponse à la Réclame que la Rep. a faite par { 148 } Courier le 12e. Janv., des vaisseaux pris, et de l'assistance Stipulée.1 Ce Courier, je pense, apportera des Dépêches preparatoires à la paix ou à la guerre continuée avec l'Angleterre, selon que celle-ci se montrera raisonnable ou rétive.
J'ai un chiffre avec le Committé des affaires étrangeres, depuis le commencement de ma Correspondance avec le Congrès. Si Mr. Lovell S'est servi de celui-là, il me sera aisé de vous déchiffrer la Lettre qu'il vous a écrite, si vous voulez m'envoyer cette Lettre, ou une copie.2
Les affaires des Anglois Sont en mauvais état dans les Indes-or. Hyder-Aly-Can leur a pris Mahé, place qu'ils avoient conquise sur la France; les Marates les ont battus dans l'Arcote. Toutes leurs forces là ne consistent actuellement qu'en trois vaisseaux de Ligne et quelques fregattes. Les François appellés par Hyder-Aly-Can y Sont allés, forts de cinq vaisseaux de Ligne.3
J'espere, Monsieur, que vous avez envoyé ou enverrez encore, duplicat et triplicat de ce que vous avez eu la bonté décrire à mon sujet au Congrès, pour plus grande sureté en cas d'accident.4
Je Suis toujours à vos ordres, soit à Leide, soit ici, Soit à Amsterdam, & avec un très-grand respect Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur,
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0100-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-15

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

[salute] Honoured & Dear Sir

Without wanting to disagree with any of the good reasons you gave me in your letter of the 12th regarding the prompt publication of the resolution of Congress, I would, however, have wanted it to be postponed for at least another day, for all the reasons which I have had the honor to tell you. The printed copy that you have was a sufficient guarantee of the démarche that I could have made in order for you to form a liaison at the present time with a minister, and through him, with his court. I believe your commission will lead you to this liaison sooner or later. As for the present, nothing is happening here that is worth your attention. A courier is expected here near the end of the month, with a response to the reclamation that the republic sent by courier on the 12th of January regarding the captured vessels and the stipulated relief.1 I think this courier will bring dispatches preparatory for peace or for continued war with England, depending on whether or not that power seems reasonable or stubborn.
I have been using a cipher with the committee for foreign affairs since the beginning of my correspondence with Congress. If Mr. Lovell uses that one, I would be able to decipher any letter that he sends to you if you send me the letter or a copy.2
{ 149 }
In the East Indies British affairs are in a bad state. Hyder Ali Kahn has taken Mahé for France. The Mahrattas fought them at Arcot. Their forces there consist of only three ships of the line and some frigates. The French called in by Hyder Ali Kahn, arrived there five ships of the line strong.3
I hope, sir, that, for greater security in case of accident, you have sent or will send a duplicate and triplicate of your letter written to Congress on my behalf.4
I remain at your service, be it at Leyden, here, or at Amsterdam, and with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. The courier that was supposed to depart for St. Petersburg on 29 Dec. 1780 was delayed until 12 Jan. (from Dumas, 28, 29 Jan., both above).
2. Dumas' cipher bore no resemblance to that used by James Lovell in his correspondence with JA (Weber, Codes and Ciphers, p. 23–25, 580–587).
3. Dumas refers to the outbreak of the Second Mysore War in July 1780. The source of his information is unknown; detailed accounts of the opening battles between the army of Hyder Ali, Sultan of Mysore, and the forces of the British East India Company did not reach England until late March (from Edmund Jenings, 4 April, and note 3, below). Nor was the information provided altogether accurate. The British took Mahé and the other French possessions in India by early 1779 and retained them throughout the war with France. In addition, the French naval force in Indian waters undertook no significant operations in support of Hyder Ali or against the British in either 1780 or 1781 (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 124; B. Sheikh Ali, British Relations with Haidar Ali, 1760–1782, Mysore, India, 1963, p. 244–246; Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 235– 236, 239–240).
4. See JA's letter of 4 Jan. to the president of Congress, and note 6, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0101

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-16

From John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

Your favour of yesterday was recieved this morning. I am never more happy than in hearing, that things are in a good State in our Country, and that the People are in good Spirits, and bent on War. Those “Pauses and Stops” mentioned in yours of the 12th.1 would be very injurious to Us, and that Species of “Circumspection,” our Destruction. Every body here talks of Peace—it is not the Doctrine of the British Cabinet, and perhaps not the most wholesome one here. It is not however my business to say so. No Letters of Marque and Reprisals being as yet granted, gives Room to Suspicions that Propositions are on the Carpet. Americans know very well what British Propositions, Conciliation and amicable Conferences mean—mere Pauses for Breath. Whether they are to be of the same Nature towards this Country, may be easily determined from the profitable War they at present carry on against it.
Mr. Dana does not mention that he had wrote to You, nor does he { 150 } write any News. He wishes that Stephens may enquire at the Post Office, whether there are any Letters for him—he says there are two for him from America somewhere, but he cannot find them—he is very anxious to get them.
There is an English East India Man ashore at Catwich valued at Million—the Governor of Madrass was on board—the Prisoners are taken good Care of I have heard, being under a strong Guard.2
The young Gentlemen are very well and desire their Duty to You.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the most perfect Respect, Sir, your very humble Servt.

[signed] J Thaxter
1. JA's letters of 15 and 12 Feb. have not been found.
2. The East Indiaman General Barker went aground on the morning of 16 Feb. between Noordwijk and Zandvoort, two or three leagues northwest of Leyden. The vessel, valued at £200,000, was carrying Sir Thomas Rumbold, former governor of Madras (Gazette de Leyde, 20 Feb.; London Chronicle, 20–22, 22–24, 24–27 Feb.).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0102

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-18

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I sit down to acknowledge the Receipt of your Excellencys two Letters; one by the Post this day and the other by the preceding Mail.1 The New periodical Work, which I received this day is exceedingly well written and will I doubt not by your Excellencys Assistance and direction be soon turned to the Essential Service of our Country. L'Avocat Calkoens Defence of the Magistrates of Amsterdam is unanswerable, and in particular that part of it, that regards the Conduct of that City at the Time of the Revolution, ought to put to Silence and to Shame the Family, who had otherways remaind Simple Electors of Hanover. Is it not, Sir surprizing that He who calls Himself the Guarrantee of the belgic Constitution is so shamefully ignorant of it, and that He should have the Assurance to propose that the Body at large should leave any part to feel the Effects of his Malice and Fury?2
But there is one part of L'Avocat Calkoens Performance, which fixt my attention, and I must confess gave me some Uneasiness, as I am assured it will some time or other give your Excellency no small Trouble.
The Impression, which the Extent, Activity and force of America has given to the Europeans seems to inspire them with a kind of { 151 } dread or at least Jealousy of what it may one day become, and how much Europe in general may be effected by its increasing power and Grandeur. I have had this frequently objected to me by shallow Politicians, who have endeavoured to shew their Wit by a pretended foresight into things. I have told them in general that whatever greatness America may arrive at in the Course of Time, there is no present Cause of Fear. That so long as she Continues divided into so many Governments under Republican Constitutions, She cannot have the Spirit of Conquest, and so long as he has Vacant Lands, She will not feel the Use or Necessity of it. That Her Commerce however extensive it may be will tend to the Advantage and by no means be detrimental to these States, who have Wisdom to serve themselves and make a right use of it.
That the Politician disquieteth Himself in Vain to resist the Course of Nature. That if America has the inherent Means of Greatness, no power on Earth can prevent their operations and that their attempt like that of England will rather promote than retard it.
That it is Impossible to say what America may be, but that it is certain that Her force and resources under the direction of such an Ambitious People as the English, is the only Matter now to be dreaded by the Princes of the Continent, and that by Consequence, their only object in View ought to be the Seperation of America from Her, and rendered totally independant of all, that She may be servicable to all. And that she may hurt none in future Her Republican Systems should be maintained in the purest Manner.
I know not, Sir whether my Ideas are Conformable to your Excellency's. I have therefore put them down shortly on Paper for Correction. I have desired my Friend here to consider this Subject and if I shall be honored with your Excellencys Sense of it, I will impart it to Him. I wish the dread of America may not have Mischievous Consequences. It operates on Spain to a great degree and may have its effect on other powers. It is this which has I am affraid prevented the proper Exertions to bring about a general Acknowledgement of our Independancy. I know not the State of Affairs, but I think Spain might and ought to be made Easy—but I go beyond my Tether.
The Author of the Lettrés Hollandoises3 is desirous of begining his Seventh Volume with some short account of the present Situation of America. Can your Excellency give me hints that may serve for that purpose?
I suppose the Russian Courier has been long detained at Ostend by violent and contrary Winds as has Sir J York. The Winds blew for { 152 } three days most Violently at the S West Point, which tumbles a heavy Sea into Plimouth Sound, where there has been seven Ships laying to Join Darbys Fleet. The Anchorage is bad there, and we may have news from that Quarter. The Courier del Europe gives an account of the supposed revolt in America.4 I think it is meant to cover some unfavorable News to the English in Carolina.

[salute] I am with the greatest Respect, Sir your Excellencys most faithful & obedient Humb St.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “ansd 27 Feb. 1781.”
1. Of 9 and 11 Feb., both above.
2. George III.
3. Dérival de Gomicourt. See Jenings' letter of 18 Jan., and note 3, above.
4. The report on the revolt of the Pennsylvania Line was in the Courier de l'Europe of 9 February.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0103

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bicker, Hendrik
Date: 1781-02-19

To Hendrik Bicker

[salute] Sir

Your Questions to me, today, have induced me to communicate to you, in Confidence a Copy of my Commission.2
You See, that I have not the Title of Ambassador, nor of Minister Plenipotentiary, by Virtue of this Commission, nor have I in express Words, Power to make a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, much less a Treaty of Alliance offensive and defensive.
My Power is to negotiate a Loan: but it may be negotiated with any Person or Persons, Bodies Politick and Corporate, and the Congress promisses in good Faith to ratify and confirm, whatever shall be done by me in the Premisses, or relating thereto.
Dr. Franklin, Mr. Deane and Mr. Lee, who made a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and another Treaty of Alliance offensive and defensive, with the King of France, had not by their Commission the Title of Ambassadors, nor of Ministers Plenipotentiary.3
Now if it is necessary to make a Treaty in order to obtain a Loan I Suppose I have Power to do it, and accordingly, I would readily enter into Conferences upon the Subject, and if We could agree upon the Terms, one Article of which should be a Loan, I would not hesitate to execute a Treaty, and I should have no doubt of the Ratification of Congress.
You have however, a Copy of my Commission and you may judge for yourself, how extensive the Powers are which it contains. I have no objection to your shewing it, to such Person or Persons as you think proper, in Confidence. I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, Sir, your humble servant
{ 153 }
1. This date derives from similarities between this letter and JA's draft letter of 19 Feb. to the Duc de La Vauguyon, below, and JA's statement, following this letter as printed in the Boston Patriot, that “At this time I gave up my lodgings at Amsterdam, and removed to Leyden” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 390). JA received Bicker's reply of 21 Feb., below, at Leyden and since Bicker consulted with at least one person about JA's letter before making his reply it seems likely that he received it on 19 or 20 Feb., making the 19th the most likely date for the letter.
2. JA's commission to negotiate a loan, 20 June 1780 (vol. 9:452–453).
3. For the text of the commission, see JA's of 27 Nov. 1777, naming him one of three U.S. Commissioners in place of Silas Deane (vol. 5:333–334). It was identical, except for the date and names of the commissioners, to that issued to Benjamin Franklin in 1776 (Franklin, Papers, 22:634–635).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0104

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1781-02-19

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

As I have been informed that your Excellency has had occasion, lately to enquire, whether any Person now in the Republick had Authority to treat in Behalf of the United States of America with the States General of the United Provinces, I beg Leave to lay before you, a Copy of a Commission, which I have the Honour to hold from Congress.
Your Excellency will observe that in this Commission, I have not the Title <of Ambassador, Envoy> of Minister Plenipotentiary: but only that of Agent to negotiate a Loan: Nevertheless, the Power is full to do every Thing necessary to effect the Loan; and to this Purpose to treat with any Body Politick, and the Promise of Congress is absolute to ratify in good Faith whatever may be done, in the Premises or relating thereto.
Your Excellency will observe also, that there is no express mention in the Commission of a Treaty of Amity and Commerce nor a Treaty of Alliance offensive and defensive. Yet, if Such a Treaty should be necessary to accomplish a Loan, I suppose the Power is sufficient to negotiate and execute it, and Accordingly I Should not hesitate to enter into Conferences upon the subject, with Persons properly Authorized and even to execute in all the Forms a Treaty, one Article of which should be a Loan to the United States.
A Case, or indeed Several Cases may happen in a short time, in which it would be proper to carry into Execution that Article of the Treaty of Alliance between France and the United States, which Stipulates, that other Powers shall be invited to acceed to that Alliance.1 The Time may Soon arrive in which it would be proper to invite the states General, to such an Accession. I <should not Scruple to { 154 } join> Submit to your Excellencys Consideration whether, the inclosed Commission would not be Authority sufficient for me to undertake to represent the United States for such a Purpose Provided a Loan to the United States were made one Article of the Treaty. If your Excellency should be of this opinion, I shall be ready to act in Concert with you whenever the King shall judge proper to commence the Negotiation.
<Your Excellency will excuse, my not Writing in French, as I am not a Sufficient Master of that Language, to write in it.>
I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble servant2
Dft (Adams Papers); notation: “Sketch of a Letter. not Sent.”
1. Art. 10 of the Franco-American Treaty of Alliance (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:39).
2. JA probably did not send this letter immediately because he sought Hendrik Bicker's opinion of his powers before raising the issue with the French ambassador. The arrival of JA's commission as minister to the Netherlands on 25 Feb., however, made the queries in this letter irrelevant (to Hendrik Bicker, 1 March, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0105-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-19

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Les derniers papiers Anglois ont copié de la Gazette de N. York un long article au sujet d'une prétendue sédition d'un Corps de 2000 h. de l'armée du Gl. Washington. Quelque décréditée que soit, avec raison, cette source impure, cela ne laisse pas d'inquiéter ici ceux du bon parti, et de donner quelque espoir aux Anglomanes. Ayez donc la bonté, Monsieur, de me marquer en réponse, le plutôt le mieux ce que vous savez ou croyez du fait, et, en supposant qu'il y eût quelque chose de vrai, quelles en pourroient être les conséquences, afin que je puisse tranquilliser les faibles, et rabattre la joie des malintentionnés.1
Mercredi prochain les Etats provinciaux d' Hollde. se rassembleront. Il faut espérer que la Scene ici s'animera un peu alors. Le temps s'approche où nous devons avoir des nouvelles de Petersbourg.
Je suis avec grand respect, Monsieur Votre très humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0105-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-19

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

[salute] Sir

The latest English newspapers have copied a long article from the New York Gazette on the subject of an alleged mutiny of 2,000 men in General Washington's army. However discredited, for good reason, this impure source { 155 } may be, the news is cause for concern here for the good party and gives some hope to the Anglomanes. Please sir, answer me as soon as you know or are persuaded of the facts, and, supposing some of it is true, tell me what the consequences will be so that I may calm the weak and diminish the joy of the ill-intentioned.1
The provincial states of Holland will reassemble next Wednesday. One must hope that the scene here comes alive at least a bit. The time approaches when we ought to have news from St. Petersburg.
I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. The account of the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line that appeared in various London newspapers, including the London Chronicle of 8–10 Feb., came from New York's Royal Gazette of 6 January. The article referred to Washington as a lieutenant general of France and left little doubt that his army was disintegrating. For a fuller view of this event, see James Lovell's letter of 2 Jan., and note 6, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0106

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-20

From John Bondfield

By this days post we are advised of the sailing from Cadiz of the Spanish Fleet consisting of thirty Sail of the line to cruize off Cape St. Vincent prepered to intercept the English Fleet destind for Gibralter. Their wild Goose chase against that fortress employs Men ships and money that might be put to much more useful purpose. Two Dutch Couriers from Madrid and one for Versailes past thro this City yesterday. Their <mission is> dispatches are of course unknown to themselves of course only conjecture at their contents otherways nothing new. We have a Vessel that will leave this in a few Days for Virginia. We have had no arrivals later than them and the french frigate of 28 December. Our private Letters from Philada. are of the 20th.
Great Speculations are on foot in West India Goods. Tobacco has also taken a rise. By this we may depend the Ideas of the French are not for a Speedy Peace. With respect I am Sir Your very hhb. Servant
[signed] John Bondfield

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0107-0001

Author: Bicker, Hendrik
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-21

From Hendrik Bicker

[salute] Monsieur

Pour que je ne fusse trop preoccupé de mon sisteme, j'ai profitté de votre permission de consulter autrui, quoique seulement une seule { 156 } personne, mais qui en valloit bien dix en fait de connoissances Sur votre Commission du Congres des 13 Etats,1 mais malgré que Messieurs Franklin, Deane, Lee n'ont eu d'autres Titres que vous Monsieur, nous n'y pouvons trouver d'autre autorité ni d autres aggrements que de Lever de L'Argent et cela par toute L'Europe et principalement parmi des Particuliers, car il est un peu recherché de voulloir expliquer et etandre Les Parolles “with any Person or Persons Bodies politic and Corporate” qu'il seroit par le sousentandu de pouvoir Traitter avec des Souverains ou avec des Membres D'iceux.
Pardonnés ma franchise Monsieur et croies moi avec une parfaite consideration, Votre tres humble Serviteur
[signed] Bicker

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0107-0002

Author: Bicker, Hendrik
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-21

Hendrik Bicker to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

In order that I not be too absorbed in my own system, I profited from your permission to consult with others, and even though it was only with one person, he was worth at least ten in his understanding of your commission from the Congress of the thirteen states.1 But despite the fact that Messieurs Franklin, Deane, and Lee held no other titles than you do, sir, we cannot find any authority, either expressed or implied, to raise the money. And this is true for the whole of Europe, principally amongst the private bankers, since it would be stretching it a bit to undertake to explain and elaborate on the words “with any Person or Persons Bodies politic and Corporate” which would imply that there exists the power to negotiate with Sovereigns or with members of their courts.
Please excuse my frankness, sir, and believe me to be with perfect consideration your very humble servant
[signed] Bicker
1. See JA's letter of [ca. 19] Feb. to Bicker, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0108

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-22

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I received the Letter your Excellency did me the honour of writing to me the 15th. Instant, respecting Bills presented to you for Acceptance, drawn by Congress in favour of N. Tracey for 10,000 £ Sterling, payable at 90 Days sight; and desiring to know if I can furnish Funds for the Payment.
I have lately made a fresh and strong Application for more Money. I have not yet received a positive Answer. I have, however, two of the { 157 } Christian Graces, Faith and Hope: But my Faith is only that of which the Apostle speaks, the Evidence of Things not seen.1 For in Truth I do not see at present how so many Bills drawn at random on our Ministers in France, Spain and Holland, are to be paid; nor that any thing but omnipotent Necessity can excuse the Imprudence of it. Yet I think the Bills drawn upon us by the Congress ought at all Risques to be accepted. I shall accordingly use my best Endeavours to procure Money for their honourable Discharge against they become due, if you should not in the mean time be provided; And if those Endeavours fail, I shall be ready to break, run away, or go to Prison with you, as it shall please God.
Sir George Grand has return'd to me the Remainder of the Book of Promesses, sign'd by us, which his House had not an Opportunity of issuing. Perhaps the late Change of Affairs in that Country may open a Way for them.2 If on consulting him, you should be of that Opinion, I will send them to you.
Late Advices from Congress mention that Col. Laurens is coming over as Envoy extraordinary to this Court, and Col. Palfrey as Consul General. They may be expected every day.
I send enclos'd an Extract of a Letter from Mr. Bradford (relating to intercepted Bills) which may be of use if such should be presented to you.3
With great Respect, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B. Franklin
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers). For the enclosures, see note 3.
1. The complete verse, which seems applicable to Franklin's situation, reads: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews, 11:1).
2. Franklin refers to George Grand, older brother of Ferdinand, and the first (abortive) Dutch loan of 1778. It was undertaken by the Amsterdam firm of Horneca, Fizeaux & Co., which became Fizeaux, Grand & Co. following the death of Horneca in 1779. The “Book” originally contained 205 promissory notes, each valued at 1,000 florins and signed by Franklin, Arthur Lee, and JA. It was sent to Horneca, Fizeaux & Co. on 31 Aug. 1778 (vol. 6:60, 411–413). Between 22 Oct. 1778 and 2 Jan. 1779 they sold 51 notes (DNA: RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, p. 231).
3. John Bradford was the Continental agent for Massachusetts; the enclosures consisted of an extract from his letter of 27 Oct. 1780 and a copy of a congressional resolution dated 30 Aug. 1780 (Franklin, Papers, 33:465–466; JCC, 17:794–795). Bradford informed Franklin that a mail from Philadelphia to Boston had been intercepted at Stratford, Conn. It likely had included bills drawn on Franklin to the amount of $29,105 specie. Congress' resolution ordered Bradford to pay that sum to João Garcia Duarti, captain of the Portuguese snow Nossa Senhora de Carmo e Santo Antonio, as compensation for the seizure of his vessel in 1777 by the Mass. privateer Phoenix in violation of Portuguese neutrality. For documents concerning the case, see PCC, No. 44, f. 13–185; and Naval Docs. Amer. Rev., 10:9– 11, 22–23, 135–136, 318–320, 517–518, 664–665, 793–794.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0109

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-22

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honour'd Sir

May it please Yoúr Excellency! that we remove the doúbts which are laying on oúr mind for two letters we received for her from France, and which we have send for again yesterday to enclose them by a letter we had prepared bútt on which we gott only an answer today, that they were directed to yoúr Excellency, oúr Clarck had made the first mistake in sending them as usuall for which we begg yoúr pardon.1
The Notary Myliús mean while is preparing the form of the Bonds2 with a proper translation which will be ready for Yoúr Excellencys perúsal and a great many of the plans are already running aboút, bútt in Conseqúence of them enqúiries begin to be made for the translated power, which we all forgott before Yoúr Excellency left the town, we do not suppose this can do any harm as yett bútt both Myliús and we are of opinion that it would be best if we could be enabled to have it deposited there on monnday next,3 we should be sorry this should prove any way inconvenient to yoúr Excellency in her intended Joúrney; what Success we may further flatter oúr Selfs with, we will better judge off at the beginning of next month.
With all regard we have the honoúr to be most respectfully Honourd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and most obedient humble servant
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. The letters that the Neufvilles' clerk mishandled and enclosed with this letter were likely those of 1 Jan. from the president of Congress and 6 Jan. from James Lovell, both above. When he later published his correspondence JA indicated that he received Congress' letter, and presumably this one from the Neufvilles, on 25 Feb. (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 390–391).
2. See the Contract for a Loan with Jean de Neufville & Fils, [ 1 March] ; and also the Plan for the Negotiation of a Dutch Loan, [ca. 24 Feb.], both below.
3. 26 February. Receipt of this request probably initiated JA's abrupt departure from Leyden on 25 Feb. (to C. W. F. Dumas, 1 March, below).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0110

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-24

From John Jay

[salute] Sir

Since my last to you before you left Paris, I have been favored with no Letters from you except a few Lines sent me by Mr. Montgomery of Alicante, recommending that Gentleman as friendly to our Country.1
The enclosed is a Copy of an Act of Congress adopting the Regu• { 159 } lations proposed by the Empress of Russia,2 and of which I was desired to transmit Copies to you and Doctr. Franklin.
Agreable to the Directions of Congress I have communicated to this Court your appointment to execute the Business committed to Mr. Laurens, and requested their friendly Influence to promote your Operations. I have also desired my Friends the Messrs. De Neufville to afford you all the Aid in their power,3 and if on any Occasion it may be in my power to be useful, I beg that you will without Hesitation command my Services.

[salute] I have the Honor to be Sir with great Respect Your most obedt. & hble Servt.

[signed] John Jay
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers). endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jay 24th. Feby. 1781.” For the enclosure see note 2.
1. Jay's last letter was dated 17 July 1780 (vol. 10:6–8). No letter of recommendation for Robert Montgomery by JA has been found. See Montgomery's letter of 19 Feb. 1780 requesting that JA write him a letter of introduction to John Jay (vol. 8:341).
2. Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. 1780 (JCC, 18:905).
3. See Jay's letter to Jean de Neufville & Fils of 8 Jan. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:385–386).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0111

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-24

Plan for the Negotiation of a Dutch Loan

Plan of a Negotiation to the Amoúnt of One Million Gilders. at the Charge of the United States of North America.
His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary of the Said States of North America, &ca. &ca. &ca.
Specially aúthorized to make this Loan, shall distribúe One Thoúsand obligations, each of Thoúsand Gilders, at the intrest of five per Cent per Annúm, to be paid on Coupons of f25 at every Six Month.2
The reimbursement shall take place at the end of the Tenth Year and at every of the Four Years following, each Year a fifth part or two hundred Obligations, by the way of Lottery, to be made thereof in time.
For púnctúal payment of the intrest, and restitution of the principall the Said States will be engaged jointly, and each of them in Solidúm for the Whole.
The Obligations and Coupons will be sign'd by his Excellency John Adams Esqr. and Coúntresigned by Messrs. John de Neufville & Son, and prothocolled by the Notary Anthony Myliús, at whome the aúthenticq translation of the power, will be to be seen, and the ratification will be deposited.
{ 160 }
The subscription will be at the hoúse of the mention'd John de Neufville & Son at the first of March 1781. which will be the date of the Obligations.3
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Plan of a Loan.” Filmed at [1781–1782] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 355). This document is in the same hand as others received from Jean de Neufville & Fils.
1. This date derives from a notice in the Gazette de Leyde of 27 Feb. announcing a loan issued by Jean de Neufville & Fils. Dated 24 Feb. at Amsterdam, it followed almost exactly the points made in this document. The only significant addition was the final sentence: “La ponctualité, avec laquelle l'Amérique-Unie a payé les intérêts de l'Emprunt qu'elle a fait ici il y a trois ans, & la bonne-foi scrupuleuse avec laquelle elle remplit tous ses engagemens, malgré les difficultés qu'elle a à combattre, ne peuvent qu'encourager le Public à prendre part à un Emprunt aussi avantageux.” Translation: The punctuality with which the United States has paid the interest on the loan that it made here three years ago and the scrupulous good faith with which it has fulfilled all its engagements, despite the difficulties that it has had to overcome, can only encourage the public to take part in a loan so advantageous.
2. Note that the florin and guilder are interchangeable.
3. The announcement was intended to place the loan in the most favorable light, but two of its assertions deserve some comment. Its unqualified reference to JA as minister plenipotentiary, which is repeated in the loan contract of [1 March] , below, implies that JA was minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands. In fact, the allusion was to JA as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate Anglo-American treaties of peace and commerce. That this was the intended interpretation seems clear from JA's qualification of his status in his letters of 8 March, communicating Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. concerning the armed neutrality, to the members of the neutral confederation. To Prince Dmitri A. Gallitzin, below, Baron Gustaf Johan Ehrensvärd (LbC, Adams Papers), and Armand François Louis de Mestral de Saint Saphorin (LbC, Adams Papers), the Russian, Swedish, and Danish envoys to the Netherlands, JA wrote that he was “one of their [Congress'] ministers plenipotentiary.” In his memorial of 8 March to the States General, below, he declared that he was “a minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America.” JA did not receive his commission as minister to the Netherlands until 25 Feb. (to Hendrik Bicker, 1 March, below), and did not officially refer to himself in that capacity until his memorials of 19 April to the States General and William V, both below, in which he called for Dutch recognition of the U.S.
It is also significant that the quote from the Gazette de Leyde (see note 1) refers to the “ponctualité” with which the U.S. paid the interest on, rather than to the overall success of, the loan made by the American Commissioners in 1778 with Horneca, Fizeaux & Co. That loan was intended to raise 205,000 guilders, but brought in only 51 thousand. At an annual interest rate of 5 percent, this meant the yearly expenditure was 2,550 guilders, to which a commission was added. The United States could pay with such “punctualité” because there was so little to pay.
The London newspapers also took note of the proposed loan. The London Chronicle of 8–10 March contained an English translation of the notice. Dated 27 Feb. at Amsterdam, it omitted both JA's title—referring to him as “Esq.”—and the final sentence appealing for investors. In its issue of 6–8 March, the Chronicle included an item dated 27 Feb. at The Hague, reporting that “the new negotiation for a loan of a million of florins, in favour of the Americans, which is to be opened on the 1st of March, at the house of the widow Neufville and son, causes no little sensation at the Hague, though it is not generally thought the said loan will be so speedily filled as Congress and its partizans may wish.” The reference to “the widow Neufville” may indicate a translation problem, the French text reading “Mrs. [Messieurs] Jean de Neufville & Fils.” Finally, in its issue of 17–20 March, the London Chronicle announced that “by the last letters from Amsterdam, it appears, Mr. John Adams, has got his first loan of one million of florins filled.” For Benjamin Franklin's reaction to this report, see his letter of 7 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0112

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-25

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

The enclosed letter came to hand the last Evening; I was about breaking it open, agreable to your directions, but observing it marked Cadiz, and supposing it to be a mear private Letter, I desisted.1 If it shou'd contain any news from our Country, I doubt not you will advise me of it by the first opportunity. Mr. Bondfield, who has lately been at Paris, writes me from Bordeaux on the 20th. instant: “By this day's post from Cadiz, we are advised of the sailing of the Spanish Fleet to cruise off Cape St. Vincent, consisting of 30 Sail of the Line”—“Letters from England mention a suspension of the Condemnation of the Dutch Ships,2 and they are full of the Mediatrix's influence;3 notwithstanding these reports, every species of West-India produce are buying up at the most extravagant prices”—“By advices from Amsterdam the Indiana is purchased by the States-General,4 and the other Frigate on the Stocks, of the same Construction, is finishing with all possible diligence.” Thus far He. What real foundation there is for any part of his Intelligence, I know not.
May I venture to congratulate with you, upon the Commencement of a certain business. You are wholly silent on this head, but he, who stands between Knobb||Engelbert François van Berckel|| and V||Arthur Lee||, has mentioned the matter to Funn ||James Searle||, in a letter he received yesterday.5<However it rest with us, for ought we know.>6One, at a time, will do. Applicatio non deest.7 Francisco ||Silas Deane|| is here. The Relation of Missa ||John Jay|| has been for about a month past, in the Sea-Ports.8 Tis said he means not to visit this great City; at which, I much wonder, seeing he has come so far, and means to return back upon the same paces. The particular business I can learn nothing of.9 I hope the workmen have left open a passage for the Alewives, otherwise there is danger of the dam's being broken down by the people there abouts, who make use of them, not only in their families, but they are a great article for Bait: besides, if the superfluous water is not let off, it will, upon the first freshets, form such a head as will bear all down before it. Is it possible this danger can be overlooked by any of the proprietors of the Mill?
D.D.J. ||William Temple Franklin|| called upon me, and enquired with apparent agitation of spirits whether I had heard of the appointment of ——.10 I am afraid that he has been taken, and that the particular { 162 } business with which he was charged may be deranged by that accident. I suppose it was in the line of his profession; and that A.Z. ||Congress|| was at last convinced of the necessity, that, as he was to share at least equally according to the terms of the Copartnership, in the profits and losses, he ought to be consulted about the outfits, and the course of the voyage. The very mischeifs have in fact happened, for want of this measure, which Steady||John Adams|| pointed out to, Angelica ||Comte de Vergennes||, in the time of it; but her ear had been so long accustomed to the fulsome language of Adulation, that plain Truth and sound sense did not fail to disgust her. I believe they have however made an impression upon her mind. The folly of her conduct is plainly perceived by all the Family of Steady ||John Adams||, yet out of regard to the Interests of both Families, they prudently say little about it, and hope she will, upon mature reflexion, lay aside her Coquetry, and pursue her true Interests.
My dear Sir, I have been seriously reflecting upon the general State of our Affairs, and having settled it in my own mind, that it is highly probable I shall remain an idle Man, long enough to allow of a visit to AZ||Congress||, and to converse freely with him upon some things touching the commands he was pleased to honour us with, as also upon some other matters, which perhaps might be productive of some good. This Idea I have communicated to Funn ||James Searle||, who seems highly to approve of it, and has begged me to communicate it to you, without loss of time. I have my doubts upon the expediency of the measure—but if, upon full consideration, you approve of it, I wou'd, notwithstanding I so much abominate remounting Mules, and passing over the frightful precipices, set off on my journey resigned to my Fate. I wou'd perform it as quick as possible, and give in person an account of my transactions to you, on my return. In order to go with expedition, I wou'd apply to De Novo||Marquis de Castries||11 for a birth in one of his light carriages as far as tis possible to travel with them. He has one frequently passing towards the Seat of AZ ||Congress||, and I have no reason to think he wou'd not readily oblige me in this respect. After quitting that I cou'd take a Mule and trip it over the Mountains as before. Having once passed in safety those of Galice I shall not be much concerned about those which lay in my route. I lay this Idea before you with much diffidence and submit it to your friendly and better consideration. You will do me the justice to believe that I have no private views in this matter—my feelings, in the course of it, must undergo a very severe trial; yet I wou'd once more sustain it, if any benefit cou'd be { 163 } obtained by it. My reflections are uncomfortable, when I look over the Map. I am, dear Sir, with much respect and esteem your obliged Friend and obedient hble Servt:
[signed] FRA DANA
P.S. Has Mr. Grand advised you of my transfer?12 If so, you will please to cancel the Note.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “25. Feb. Dana ansd 12 Mar.”
1. This was Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter of 18 Dec., which has not been found. See JA's reply to Dana of 12 March, below.
2. Probably a reference to the Order in Council of 16 Feb., which appeared in various London papers on or about 17 Feb. (London Chronicle, 15–17 Feb.). Responding to a reciprocal order by the States General, it permitted Dutch ships found in British ports at the beginning of the war to return home. The only exceptions were those ships carrying contraband.
3. Catherine II in her role as mediator between Britain and its enemies. Her first involvement was with the joint Austro-Russian mediation of the Anglo-French war and her second was as sole mediator of the Anglo-Dutch conflict. The Austro-Russian mediation discussed here was the more important of the two because of its effect on European diplomacy and JA's diplomatic status. For the parallel effort to mediate between Britain and the Netherlands, see Jean de Neufville's letter of 2 March, and note 2, below.
The joint mediation grew out of a meeting on 16 Dec. 1780 between Lord Stormont, the British foreign minister, and I. M. Simolin, the Russian ambassador to Britain. There the Russian diplomat officially informed Stormont of the creation of the armed neutrality and provided him with a verbal explanation of its purpose. He indicated that Catherine II expected the belligerents to abide by its principles and hoped that a mutually acceptable basis would be found to end the Anglo-French war. At no time did Simolin indicate that his statements were to be construed as a proposal to mediate the Anglo-French war.
Simolin's meeting with Stormont came on the eve of Britain's declaration of war against the Netherlands. Since the principal, if unstated, reason for the war was the Dutch accession to the League of Armed Neutrality, Britain's declaration constituted a direct challenge to the armed neutrality and its architect, Catherine II. This meant that Stormont needed to find some means to forestall intervention by Russia and the other members of the neutral confederation on behalf of the Netherlands, avoid alienating Catherine any further, and not further isolate Britain diplomatically and militarily. Stormont's solution was clear from his reply to Simolin on 23 Dec., in which he chose to take the Russian's comments on settling the Anglo-French war as an offer to mediate it. The resulting Austro-Russian mediation came to nothing because Britain demanded that France renounce its treaty with the U.S. as a precondition for negotiations and would not countenance any participation by the U.S. The mediation attempt did, however, create a diversion and lessen the pressure that might otherwise have been brought against Britain to make peace. For a detailed examination of the joint mediation and the motives of those involved, see De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 264–288, 313–360.
Although JA never saw the Austro-Russian mediation as a viable option and expected it to fail, it significantly affected his efforts as a diplomat. France used the prospective mediation to convince Congress to replace JA as sole peace negotiator. The resulting five-member commission had instructions that seemed to tie any peace settlement to the dictates of French foreign policy. It also led to JA's journey to Paris in July to discuss with Vergennes the mediation and the role of the U.S. at any peace conference under its auspices. For JA's views on the Austro-Russian mediation as well as their effect on him, see Commissions and Instructions for Mediation and Peace, 15 June, Editorial Note; JA's second letter of 16 May to Congress, note 1 and references there; and his correspondence with the Comte de Vergennes in July, all below.
4. The frigate Indien, purchased by Alexander Gillon and renamed the South Carolina, was then being outfitted for a voyage to America.
5. Dana refers to JA's pending agreement with Jean de Neufville & Fils for raising a loan in the Netherlands. On the list of code names used by Dana, Neufville's name was { 164 } listed between van Berckel and Arthur Lee ([ca. 14 Jan.], above).
6. This passage was interlined and marked for insertion at this point, but then was canceled.
7. The diligence is not lacking.
8. Henry Brockholst Livingston, John Jay's brother-in-law and private secretary, visited Lorient and Nantes (John Jay: Unpublished Papers, 1745–1784, ed. Richard B. Morris, 2 vols., N.Y., 1975, 1980, 2:175–177).
9. The editors have been unable to divine Dana's meaning in the remainder of this paragraph.
10. William Temple Franklin may have been concerned about John Laurens' appointment as special minister to France and the effect that it would have on his position (vol. 10:294).
11. The French naval minister.
12. See Henry Grand's letter of 29 Jan., and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0113

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-27

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

On my Return from a little Excursion, I received yours of 18.
I dont know whether Calkoens, Pamphlet is unanswerable or not. There are two very sharp Pamphlets written against it, as they say.2 These People dont understand their own Constitution alike.
There is a Part of the Pamphlet, which disgusted me, as well as you. It is a Dutch affectation of Shrewdness. Nothing can be a greater Folly. However—The French Marine have it, to my certain Knowledge as well as Calkoen and the Spanyards. There is in Deed and in Truth an European Jealousy, and Envy of America. Weak wretched Man! Sagacious only to find out and make Causes of thine own Misery.
It has been, these two or three years, a philosophical Speculation as well as a political, to discover the true Cause of this European Suspicion. Is it natural? Men dont usually disquiet themselves about Evils, so distant in Futurity.
Who ever made himself uneasy about a Thing which was to happen 3 hundred years hence? However the Evil here Apprehended, never will nor can happen, unless a Silly Jealousy, should induce the Europeans to take unfriendly Measures, So as to excite ill Will.
I Suspect, that this Jealousy is artificial. That it is artfully managed by the Courts of Europe. These dread the Forms of Government in America. They dread that high Sense and Spirit of Liberty, and those popular Principles, with which America is full. They are afraid of their Spreading in Europe and propagating like a Contagion, So as to produce Revolutions.
But the People of Europe, and the Men of Letters ought for the <Same> opposite Reasons, to cherish America as their only remaining Barrier against Despotism. For if the Spirit of Liberty is Subdued in America there is now an end of it in the World.
{ 165 }
I am weary however of Speculation. I See that our poor Country must bid farewell to all Ideas of Peace. Warlike she must be or not exist. For she will be involved in eternal War, that is plain. Britains and French and Spanyards, and others will keep poor America the constant Sport of their infernal Politicks. Let Us warn our Countrymen therefore to be Soldiers and Seamen, and teach them to love War Since Europe will oblige them to it.
It will depend entirely upon Europe, whether America shall ever hurt it or not. If she treats America with Suspicion and Jealousy, Envy and Malice, she will necessarily, produce the Same Passions in America towards her. And she will bring it, to this question whether America shall be, desolated and totally depopulated, or not? It is easy to see that this is not in the Power of all Europe. European Jealousy however will have one Effect. It will keep America longer United. Without Unkind and ungenerous Treatment from Europe, God knows America will too soon divide and quarell with itself.
But it is not the Part of Policy or Philosophy, to torment itself with Prospects into such distant Futurities, I dont expect that America will turn the Earth into an Heaven or an Hell. This World will continue to be Earth and its Inhabitants Men, and Wars and Follies will abound as much as ever. We have full enough to do with those of the present Age. Dont let Us distress ourselves about those which are to happen a thousand Years hence.
Can you help me to borrow Some Money. This is the best Way to treat America, lend them some Money, which will all come back again, twice over with Interest. In the first Place it will all be Spent here—in the next it must all be paid here again. Will your Friend insert my Plan in his Leaf and give Us some Remarks upon American Credit?3 The Population, Industry, and the Extent and Variety of her Productions and Commerce, are the sources of her Wealth and Ability to pay. And Where there is Ability there is seldom wanting Inclination.
My Plan of a Loan, is a political Machine, which will set many Wheels in Motion. We shall See what Effect it will have. I hope, to see the Speculations of all the Journalists upon it. If it Succeeds it will promote Commerce, Politicks, and War, in our favour. If not it will compell Congress against their Inclination, to tax all Europe by laying Duties on their Exports. We might in this Way oblige Europe to pay the Expences of the War, for our Productions they must and will have at any Rate. If the Loan dont Succeed, America may be { 166 } forced to make an American Act of Navigation. We have it in our Power to manage Europe if she will be ill natured, but I hope she will be wise.
As to the present State of America, her Governments are now compleetly established and have as much Force as any in Europe at least. Her Army, is as numerous as usual, but the Cowardice of the English in keeping hid in New York and skulking about in their ships leaves our Army nothing to do, but grow discontented with an inactive Life, I suppose. The Navy of the Continent, seems neglected but the Privateers fare the better, for that, and make an incredible Number of Prizes. The Paper Money seems to be little talked of, as the silver and gold, Spent there by the English and french, are now circulating in sufficient quantities to serve for a Medium.4
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed at [1780–1781] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 353).
1. This date derives from JA's endorsement of Jenings' letter of 18 Feb., above, to the effect that he answered it on 27 February. Jenings replied to this letter “without a date” on 5 March, below.
2. Although they are not otherwise identified, these are probably anonymous pamphlets by Elie Luzac and R. M. van Goens entitled, respectively, Het Waare Dag-Licht van Het Politiek Systema der Regeringe van Amsterdam, uit de Vaderlandsche Historien opghelderd, Middelburg, [1781]; and Politik Vertoog over het Waar Sistema van de Stad van Amsterdam, 1781. For an analysis of their arguments in opposition to Calkoen's, see Leeb, Origins of the Batavian Rev., p. 150–154.
3. JA apparently wanted Jenings to persuade Dérival de Gomicourt to include the Plan for the Negotiation of a Dutch Loan, [ca. 24 Feb.], above, in Lettres hollandoises.
4. For earlier comments by JA on the importance of British and French expenditures in America as a source of specie, see his 15th letter to Hendrik Calkoen (vol. 10:238–239).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0114-0001

Author: Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-28

From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe

[salute] Monsieur

Il y a dix jours que l'honorable M. Searle m'a remis la Lettre que votre Excellence m'a fait l'honneur de m'écrire le trois janvier dernier.1 Je n'ai pu y répondre sur le champ parce que des occupations, des Courses, mille Embarras ne me l'ont pas permis. Mais j'ai vu M. Searle aussi souvent que je l'ai pu, et je veut bien des graces à votre Excellence et de son souvenir et de m'avoir procuré la Connoissance d'un Citoyen aussi estimable que M. Searle. Mon regret de ne pouvoir Le cultiver plus Longtems est infini; mais il part incessamment pour La hollande et je pars pour l'Amérique dans douze jours.
Je propose à votre Excellence de m'honorer de ses ordres pour Philadelphie et Boston. Je Crois qu'Elle est bien sûre que je m'acquiterai de tout ce dont Elle me chargera avec beaucoup de Zéle et d'empre• { 167 } ssement. Je lui demande encore ses recommendations comme choses qui m'honoreront infiniment auprès de ses Compatriotes et je prie votre Excellence de vouloir bien m'adresser son Paquet, le plûtôt possible, à Paris où je Le trouverai à mon retour d'un voyage de dix jours que je dois faire.2
Je vous prie, Monsieur, de vouloir bien agréer Les hommages du Respect et d'un tendre attachement avec Les quels je suis de Votre Excellence, Le très humble et très obeissant Serviteur
[signed] De Létombe
Ecuyer, Consul général de France à Boston.
Rue de l'Université à Paris.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0114-0002

Author: Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-28

Philippe André Joseph de Létombe to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Ten days ago Mr. Searle gave me the letter that your Excellency had the honor to write me on the 3rd of January.1 I could not answer it right away because business, events, and a thousand other obstacles prevented me from doing so. But I saw Mr. Searle as often as I could and would like to thank your Excellency for his remembrance to me and for the introduction to such an estimable citizen as Mr. Searle. I regret very much that I will not be able to cultivate our relationship any further because he is leaving for Holland and I am going to America in twelve days.
I ask your Excellency to honor me with the orders for Philadelphia and Boston. Be certain that it will be with much zeal and enthusiasm that I execute my post in America. Again I would like to ask that you recommend me to your compatriots. This would be a great honor. I beg you, sir, to please send the packet along to me as soon as possible in Paris, where I will find it upon my return from a ten-day trip that I must make.2
Please, sir, accept my tributes of respect and of a tender attachment with which I am, your Excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] De Létombe
Ecuyer, Consul général de France à Boston.
Rue de l'Université à Paris.
1. Not found.
2. See JA's reply of 11 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0115

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-01

Contract for a Loan with Jean de Neufville & Fils

I the Subscribed John Adams, of Braintree in the County of Suf• { 168 } folk, in the State of Massachusetts in North America Esquire and Minister plenipotentiary of the United States of North America And According an Copy Authenticq and Translation of my original Commission or power deponed1 by Me under the Notary Anthony Mylius Especially Named and Authorized by the said States of North America being Assembled in a General Congress for to be their Agent for to Negotiate a Loan at the benefit of the said States with any person or persons States or Companys, the said States having promised to ratify and Confirm in good faith all what shall be done in this Matter or in that what by any means is relative to it.
So I have Concluded to Negociate a Loan in my said Quality in the name and at the benefit of the said United States of North America in the following Manner and to fix the Amount of the said Loan a Sum of a Million Holland Current Money and such in One Thousand Obligations Containing in the Capital One Thousand Gilders Each at the Interest of Five percent Yearly, to be reckoned from the first day of March of this Year 1781.
And that the said Capital is to be reimbursed and restituted in five terms Successively, to wit: Two hundred of this Obligations shall be Amortized at the End of the tenth Year after the date hereof and thus on the first of March of the Year 1791. And further at the end of every One of the then first Successively four Years a like number of Two hundred Obligations, So that at the end of the fourteenth Year and thus on the first of March 1795 this Loan shall be restituted and repaid in all.
Before the end of the tenth Year the said one Thousand Number of these Obligations shall be done together in a Box and then drawn out of the said Box in the presence of a Notary Publick and witnesses Two hundred Numbers which said Two hundred Numbers or Obligations so being drawn out are to be reimbursed when falls due together with the Intrest money due thereon And shall before the end of every one of the then first following Four Years be drawn again out of the said Box in the same Manner a Like Number of two hundred Numbers of Obligations that are not reimbursed for to be reimbursed and the Intrest money due thereon to be paid when falls due And in every Year three Monts before the time of falling due shall be Notified by the publick Newspapers what numbers are drawn out for to be reimbursed and repaid in that Year; The Intrest money is to be paid at the end of every Six months on Coupons or promissions in printing and for that purpose shall be given by each of the said Obligations twenty eight of the said Coupons or promissions Con• { 169 } taining each Twenty five Gilders, and in the last eight of the said Coupons or promissions shall be inserted, Provided the Number of this Obligation is not drawn Out and declared Redeemable.
Thus I the Subscribed John Adams Esquire do hereby Acknowledge in my said quality and in the name and behalf of the United States of North America, the said States to be well and truly indebted on the beforestanding Conditions and that hereafter following, to ............... a Sum of One Thousand Gilders Holland Current Money received to my Satisfaction by Messrs. John de Neufville and Son of Amsterdam Merchants as being thereto Authorised by these presents by Me in my said Quality as also to Contrasign the said One Thousand Obligations and Coupons or promissions of the Intrest, for to prevent all Counterfeiting or falsifying And I the Subscribed in my said Quality do hereby expressely desist of all Benefitions of Law Especially of the exception Non Numeratae pecuniae,2 And I do hereby promise in my said Quality and in the name and in the behalf of the United States of North America to restitute and repay the said Sum of One Thousand Gilders Holland Current Money to ......... or to the bearer of this on the end of one of the last five Years of that fourteen Years this loan shall Continue, to wit: in that Year the Number of this Obligation shall be drawn out and thus not before the end of the Tenth Year and also not after the end of the fourteenth Year; And the reimbursement of the said Sum and the payment of the Interest money shall be done promptly till the reimbursement of the Capital against the restitution of this Obligation and the Coupons or promissions of Interest, that then shall be still belonging thereto, at the house of Messrs. John de Neufville and Son of Amsterdam their Heirs or Successors.
For the Security of this whole Loan and particularly of this Obligation I the Subscribed John Adams Esquire in my beforementioned Quality and in the name and on the behalf of the said United States of North America do hereby bind the said United States Jointly and every one of the Same Separately and also all the Lands and Goods, Revenues and products of the same, Imports and Taxes already laid and raised and further to lay and to be raised in the Same, and thus of all the thirteen states of North America Jointly and of every one of them in Solidum for the whole, I the Subscribed thereto expressely desisting of the benefition Divisionis, also de duobus vel pluribus reis debendi, Signifying dividing of Debt, and that two or more being indebted together every one of the same is Obliged only for his Share; Obliging Me in my said Quality and in the name and on the behalf { 170 } of the said United States the Amounts of the Interest money, and of the reimbursements that are to do from time to time of the whole Loan and particularly of this Obligation, shall be remitted to the said Messrs. John de Neufville and Son their Heirs or Successors in good Bills of Exchange, Products of North America or in ready Money without deduction or diminution and in due time. And this Obligation shall never be Liable to any Charges or Taxes already laid in the said United States or any of the same or further to lay, Notwithstanding any War, Hostilitys or Breach might be Caused between the said States or any of the same on the one part and the States of this lands on the other side (that God forbid) And shall therefore the payment of the principal or Interest of this Obligation Never might be hindered or delayed in no manner and by No Means Promising in the name and thus for the said united States by them or on their behalf or any of the Same particularly shall never be Accepted or Concluded whether by the Making of any peace or otherwise any Convention or Treaty in Secret or Publick, whereby the performance of this should by prejudiced or wherein should be stipulated any thing in the Contrary of this; No but that in all Cases the Intrest money shall be paid and the principal reimbursed without any exception.
And I the Subscribed do hereby further promise and Oblige myself in my said Quality, this my engagement shall be ratified and Confirmed by the beforementioned United States Assembled in Congress, as Soon possible;3 Which Ratification shall be delivered to Messrs. John de Neufville and Son And deponed for the ease of the Lenders under the Notary Anthony Mylius where that Ratification together with the Authenticated Copy of the translation of my Original Commission or power shall remain untill the beforementioned Loan shall be reimbursed and repaid entirely.
In witness of truth I have Signed this with my own hand in my said Quality and thus in the name and on the behalf of the said United States of North America (after I had received and read an Authenticated Translation thereof,) In Amsterdam the first day of March in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty One.
Contrasigned
I the Subscribed Notary do hereby Certify the beforestanding Obligation is duly registered by Me, And that I Notary have Signed no more of the beforementioned Obligations than One thousand, { 171 } Containing each a Sum of One thousand Gilders and being Numbred from No. 1 till 1000, and that the Authen[ti]cated Copy and Translation of the above mentioned Commission or power are remaining under Me Notary
MS in John Trumbull's hand (CtY: John Trumbull Coll.). No copy of the document as executed by JA and Jean de Neufville & Fils has been found. It is not known when John Trumbull copied the MS, but it may have been when he resided with the Neufville family in July 1781 while visiting Amsterdam following his release from an English prison (The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 73–74).
1. An obsolete form of deposed (OED).
2. Or, as it usually appears, pecunia non numerata, meaning money not paid (Henry Campbell Black, A Law Dictionary Containing Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence Ancient and Modern, 2d edn., St. Paul, Minn., 1910).
3. JA informed Congress of this loan, although not of its details, in his letter of 19 March, below. Congress received that letter on 19 Nov., but there is no indication that it either received or approved the contract.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0116

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bicker, Hendrik
Date: 1781-03-01

To Hendrik Bicker

[salute] Sir

I received your Letter at Leyden,1 inclosing the Copy I had the Honour to Send you, and thank you, for your candid Judgment of its Extent and Import.
I have now the Honour to inform you, that on my Return to Amsterdam the 25 of Feb. I received a Letter from Congress inclosing another Commission in proper Form, containing full Powers to treat with their High Mightinesses, and to conclude and Sign a Treaty. I received also Authority to acceed to the Principles of the Armed Neutrality.2
I should now be Still more obliged by your candid Opinion what is the best Course for me to take.3 I have the Honour to be with great Esteam, sir &c.
1. Of 21 Feb., above.
2. Although JA indicates here that he received Congress' letter of 1 Jan., above, on 25 Feb. at Amsterdam, in 1809, when his letters appeared in the Boston Patriot, JA wrote, following his letter of [ca. 19] Feb. to Bicker, above, that “At this time I gave up my lodgings at Amsterdam, and removed to Leyden, where on the 25th of February, 1781, I received from the president of congress the following letter.” JA then inserted the letter of 1 Jan. and indicated that its enclosures had included his commission as minister to the Netherlands and the resolution of 5 Oct. permitting the U.S. to accede to the armed neutrality. He then declared that “Soon after the receipt of them, I returned to Amsterdam, and took lodgings again in the city tavern,” or Arms of Amsterdam (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 390–391).
3. No reply from Bicker has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0117

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-01

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

The Letters I received at Leyden, obliged me to leave you Sooner than I intended,1 but <I did not know>, I shall soon See you again, at the Hague.
I have received, important Dispatches from Congress, upon which I want your Advice. I hope it is no bad News. You will Say nothing, reflect well upon the Times, and be prepared to answer me, serious Questions upon public Affairs—nothing personal—nor selfish—nor little. I shall See you, in the Course of next Week—if nothing turns up, to prevent it, which I dont foresee. Dont raise your Expectations too high—remember—Nil Admirari.2

[salute] Adieu

1. These letters were of 1 Jan. from the president of Congress, 6 Jan. from James Lovell, 21 Feb. from Hendrik Bicker, and 22 Feb. from Jean de Neufville & Fils, all above. The first two were enclosed with the Neufville letter.
2. That is, wonder at nothing. Immediately after this letter, as printed in the Boston Patriot, JA wrote “I soon returned to Leyden, and determined to begin by communicating the resolution of congress to the ambassadors of the neutral courts; first to that from Russia” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 392). For JA's efforts in this regard, see his letters of 8 March to Dumas and Prince Gallitzin, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0118

Author: Neufville, Jean de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-02

From Jean de Neufville

[salute] Honourd sir

This will reach yoúr Excellency at his levee, I make no apologie for not forwarding it sooner while by the time I left her, and being after supper reading for dissepation I received an Account of a tiding from Rússia, by which the Emperess offerd her mediation;2 if this should appear (in consequence of what yoúr Excellency was pleased to enforce upon my mind) countrary to the intrest of America, I dare Say we have gand a great point for both Countries, and if well managed may produce the greatest happiness; we may be degenated from the vigoúr with which our Ancestors have defended their liberty; butt yoúr Excellency will find in this Republicq many worthy people not a disgrace to an intimate Alliance with America, witness withoút ceremony Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and obed hum servt.
[signed] J de Neufville
{ 173 }
1. JA received another note of this date from Jean de Neufville & Fils (Adams Papers) that wished him well on his imminent return to Leyden and gave a brief progress report on the loan.
2. On 1 March the Russian minister at The Hague, Prince Gallitzin, presented Catherine II's offer to mediate between the Netherlands and Great Britain. The States General accepted the proposal on 14 March, but Britain refused even to consider a mediated settlement. The British feared that any negotiations would compromise its position vis-à-vis the extension of neutral rights and that Russian efforts to end the Anglo-Dutch conflict would divert Catherine's attention from her mediation of the Anglo-French war. Russia, however, did not take Britain's refusal as final and undertook a new initiative at the end of Aug., for which see JA's letters to the president of Congress of 6 Aug., calendared below, and 13 Dec. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:43–44). The Gazette de Leyde of 2 March carried a brief notice of Gallitzin's demarché and on 6 March printed the French text. For an English translation, see the Annual Register for 1781, p. 310–311; but see also JA's letter of 18 March to the president of Congress, calendared below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0119-0001

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

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

L'incluse vous apprendra tout ce qu'il y a de nouveau ici. Nos amis ne sont guere contents du Mémoire Russe.1 Pour moi, je ne trouve pas que la Russie Soit blamable de ne pas se presser de secourir la Rep., jusqu'à-ce qu'elle voie que celle-ci arme tout de bon: autrement on pourroit bien ici lui laisser tout le fardeau de la guerre maritime, en ne se tenant que sur la défensive. Tout ceci traînera en longueur; et il n'y aura d'actifs que les Courriers qui trotteront entre ici et Petersbourg. Il me tarde d'apprendre Si votre Emprunt prend bien. Voilà la Russie, qui en ouvre un aussi de 3 millions de florins. Si vous avez des nouvelles de l'Amérique, je me recommande. J'ai l'honneur d'être avec un très grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0119-0002

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

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

[salute] Sir

The enclosed will tell you all that is new here. Our friends are hardly content with the Russian memorial.1 As for me, I do not think that Russia is to blame for not rushing in to save the republic until it is evident that the republic is well-armed. Otherwise the entire burden will be on the navy merely to hold its defensive position. All of this will drag things out and the only action will be that of the couriers going back and forth between here and St. Petersburg. I am impatient to learn news of your loan. Russia is asking for one also, for 3 million florins. I implore you to tell me of any news from America. I have the honor to be with very great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
{ 174 }
1. The enclosure has not been found, but it may have been Dumas' letter of 22 Feb. to the president of Congress, which he intended JA to send on to America (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:264). The final paragraph of that letter, dated 2 March, reported that the Russian ambassador had presented a memorial to the States General containing an offer to mediate the Anglo-Dutch war.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0120

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-05

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I had the Honor of receiving a Letter from your Excellency yesterday without a date1 in Answer to that, which I took the Liberty of writing of the 18 Ultimo and am Sorry to find your Excellency equally sensible with me of the Absurdity of the Idea taken up in Europe of the future formidableness of America. I was in Hopes, that my fancy on that Head was not well-founded and that the folly of European politicians was not so Universal, as I find it is. It has for some time occurred to me to put my thoughts on this Subject on Paper, and send it then to your Excellency. I am more disposed to it than ever, and will do it, if I shall have your Excellencys Leave. I took an opportunity yesterday afternoon, to speak on this Matter to my writing Friend Here. I opened myself to Him, in some degree on it. He has promised to consider it, and to examine well what Monsr. Calkroens has said thereon.2 He has likewise assured me, that He will insert your Excellencys Proposals, which I sincerely wish may have the Utmost Effect on the Capitalists. The richest of them in these Countries reside at Antwerp. If your Excellency could therefore Convey several Copies of your Plan there, it might answer good Purposes.
By a Letter from Spain3 I find the Emperor has offered his Mediation, and proposes, that the Empress of Russia should be joined with Him therein. How that can be I Know in the Situation, that Affairs are in. France perhaps would not object to it, altho it is probable this Matter comes originally from England, who wishes by Compliments to win the Empress over to her Views. The Emperor may propose to ingratiate Himself and get an Intimacy with Her and her Ministers to serve his other purposes—but what Necessity is there for any Mediator, and much less for two. England has no Object therein but to embroil Europe—it is certain that Couriers pass frequently between Vienna and London.
There is a report spread here, that the Emperor is sending 20000 Men into these Countries.4 If true, does this look like a peaceful Mediation? Will not France Holland and Prussia demand the reason of such a Measure at this Time?
{ 175 }
I am reading with most avidity Cerisiers Tableau de le Hollande.5 It gives the best Idea of the Dutch History and Constitution of any Book I have met with. I wish it was translated into English, every American might study it. He will learn by it and praise his own Constitutions, and be watchful over them and of the Conduct of Friends and Foes.
I shall be obliged to your Excellency to send me by some Hand coming this way the Play of Guilleaume Tell—I find it was acted last week at Amsterdam.6
Coll. Searle tells me He shall pass through this Town in his way to Holland the 20th. Instant.
I am fearful that the Spanish has met with some Accident by the Winds as it is said it Sailed from Cadiz the 6th. Ultimo. The English fleet is ready for sailing, tis given out, that it will Consist of 30 Ships of the Line—I cant think it possible. It is said there is a Misunderstanding between Commodore Johnstone and Col. Meadows, it is possible from the Temper of Johnstone.
Has your Excellency examind well the last Accounts from Carolina? All the Truth is not told—there seems to be much concealed—has your Excellency no News from Col. Lawrens—He must be much wanted in France.

[salute] I am with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellencys Most faithful & Obedient Humbl Servant

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings ansd. 12 march. 1781.”
1. Of [27 Feb.], above.
2. Jenings refers to the opinions he and JA held regarding Hendrik Calkoen's Système politique de la régence d'Amsterdam (to Edmund Jenings, 11 Feb., note 2, above), about which he had conferred with Dérival de Gomicourt.
3. Probably from William Carmichael. In his letter of 22 Feb. to the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Carmichael provided much of the information given in this paragraph and mentioned Jenings as a correspondent (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:265–266).
4. The Austrian Netherlands.
5. Antoine Marie Cerisier, Tableau de l'histoire générale des Provinces-Unies, 10 vols., Utrecht, 1777–1784.
6. Almost certainly the five-act tragedy by Antoine Marin Lemierre, which was first performed in 1766 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale). William Tell's resistance to the Austrian oppressor made him a hero to many Americans in the midst of their struggle against Britain. Similar sentiments were apparently abroad in the Netherlands, for the play's performance so soon after the outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch war could only be seen as anti-British and, by extension, anti-stadholder.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0121

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-05

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honoúrd sir

May we have the honoúr, to offer to Yoúr Excellency, the inclosed pack, received from Mr. Searle,1 who now is at Paris; and to join there { 176 } to the form of the Obligation and Coúpon,2 in which only a few púnctúations are to be alterd, and we hope to be able to send by the tomorrow scoot,3 the quantity of stamped ones, according to Yoúr Excellencys orders; meanwhile we send some of those form obligations to oúr friends in the different provinces, and we are Still in hopes of some better success, then hath appeared at the first days.
We múst soon now learn, what the answer of England will be on the offerd mediation, the Memoriall is publishd in all Gazettes, and the trúe meaning and intention in particúlar in the Nord Holland of this daÿ, to proceed with rigouroús measúres, in case England wont agree to honourable terms, we wish and do not doúbt bútt every good múst proceed there from in coúrse.
With Respectfúll Regard we have the honoúr to be Honourd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted Obedient Humble Servants.
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. Not found.
2. The draft contract of [ante 2 Feb.] includes the forms for the obligations and coupons; the final contract of [1 March] mentions them, but no printed copies have been found.
3. Or scout, a flat-bottomed Dutch river boat (OED).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0122-0001

Author: Chalut, Abbé
Author: Arnoux, Abbé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-06

From the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux

M. Searle nous à remis dans son tems, notre cher et estimable ami, la lettre donc vous l'aviez chargé pour nous,1 il a dû vous ecrire que nous étions très empressés à faire tout ce qui pourroit lui etre agreable, et qu'il a eu avec un des chefs de la ferme generale un entretien aussi long qu'il pouvoit le desirer. Il nous a paru être très Content du fermier general; nous sçavons que Celui-ci a été très satisfait de M. Searle. Vous sçavez que nous sommes à votre service dans toutes les choses qui dependront de nous, et que les personnes que vous nous adresserez trouveront dans l'amitié que nous avons pour vous votre zele pour les servir.
Nous avons eu le plaisir de diner quelques fois avec Mrs. Searle et dana, nous Les avons priés avec Cette Cordialité que vous nous Connoissez de nous faire Cet honneur là, toute les fois que Leurs affaires le leur permettrerent.
M. Searle est un bon et sage republicain il est bien digne de son pais et de la Cause que vous deffendez avec tant de vertu du gloire et de Succès. Il nous a dit qu'il se rendroit incessemment auprès de { 177 } vous, nous l'avons felicité de cet avantage, et nous desirons Sincerement qu'une circonstance heureuse nous procure le plaisir de vous revoir.
Le Compte rendu de M. Necker est sans doute parvenu jusqu'à vous.2 Il a fait ici la plus agreable sensation pour le bonheur de la france. Cet ouvrage decele le genie et la force du Courage d'un administrateur vertueux. Les françois qui aiment leur pais admirent avec reconnoissance les talents et les vertus de Ce Ministre des finances. Tous les ambassadeurs des puissances de l'europe qui resident à Paris se sont empressés d'envoyer dans leurs Cours plusieurs exemplaires de Ce Compte rendu. Nous pensons qu'il sera traduit dans toutes les langues. Les Anglois paliront en lisant Cet ouvrage, ils verront Ce qu'ils ne pouvoient pas Croire. Ils apprendront que la france par le bon état de ses finances et par le genie de Celui qui les administre, peut Soutenir encore bien des Campagnes, au bout desquelles l'Angleterre ne verroit que son epuisement. Depuis que Cet ouvrage a paru, Les gens sensés disent tout haut que M. Necker va accelerer le retour de la paix. Les Anglois n'ont fait jusqu'aujourdhui que des efforts impuissants. La reflexion les ramenera à des sentiments de raison, et dans l'état des choses, ils Sacrifieront a regret ces projets montrueux de Grandeur, qui Leur Couteront leur existence politique, S'ils continuoient de se ruiner pour les realiser. Il est vrai que leur Cupidité verra avec desespoir, les avantages des partagés entre les differentes puissances maritimes de l'europe. Cette peste et cette humiliation n'existeront aucune espece de Compassion, une orgueilleuse et tirannique domination n'en mente point. Rome et Cartage sont tombées de l'abus de la puissance dans le mepris. Tel sera le Sort de ces insulaires, Si l'europe eclairée Sur les droits agit selon Les interests.
Nous arretons ici nos reflexions, pour ne nous occuper que des sentiments que vous nous avez inspirez; nous vous aimons toujours. Nous ne Cesserons d'accorder à vos talents et à vos vertus l'estime que nous leur devons, nous vous aimons aussi dans vos enfants, embrassez-les tous les deux bien tendrement pour nous et recevez l'assurance de l'amitié de l'abbé chalut et de l'abbé Arnoux.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0122-0002

Author: Chalut, Abbé
Author: Arnoux, Abbé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-06

Abbé Chalut to John Adams: A Translation

Mr. Searle delivered to us, our dear and estimable friend, the letter that you put in his charge for us.1 He should have written to you that we have { 178 } been very eager to do whatever we can for him and that he had a long discussion with one of the heads of the farmers general. It seems to us that he was satisfied with this farmers general. We know that the latter was satisfied with him. You know that we are at your service for anything that may depend upon us and that anyone that you direct to us will find in our friendship for you, your zeal to serve them.
We had the pleasure of dining a few times with Messieurs Searle and Dana. We asked them to extend this cordiality, which you know is an honor for us, whenever their affairs permit them to do so.
Mr. Searle is a good and wise republican who is worthy of his country, and the cause that you defend with such virtue and success. He told us that he will be joining you soon, and we congratulated him on this good fortune since we sincerely wish circumstances would allow us the pleasure of seeing you again.
Mr. Necker's report has undoubtedly reached you.2 Here it has created an agreeable sensation for the happiness of France. This work reveals the genius and courage of a virtuous administrator. The French who love their country admire the talents and virtues of this minister of finance. All the ambassadors of the European powers who live in Paris are eager to send several copies of the report to their respective courts. We think it will be translated into every language. The English will pale when they read it, and will not believe their eyes. They will learn that France, because of its good financial state and because of the genius of its administrator, can again support campaigns at the end of which England will only find itself exhausted. Since this piece appeared, sensible people have exclaimed that Mr. Necker will accelerate the return of peace. The English have, until today, made only feeble attempts. Reflection will bring about reason, and with the state of affairs, they will sacrifice with regret their master plans of greatness, which will cost them their political life if they continue to destroy themselves in order to achieve it. It is true that through their greed they will see with despair the advantages shared between the different maritime powers in Europe. This plague and humiliation will know no compassion, since a proud and tyrannical domination can hardly be belied. Rome and Carthage fell from abuse of contemptuous power. Such will be the fate of these islanders, if enlightened Europe acts according to its interests.
Here we finish our reflections, so as not to occupy ourselves with sentiments other than those which you have inspired in us; we love you still. We continue to hold your talents and virtues in high esteem, to send love and tenderness to your two children, and to assure you of the friendship with which we remain the abbé Chalut and abbé Arnoux
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Abbés Chalut & Arnoux. 6th. March 1781.”
1. Not found.
2. This was Compte rendu au Roi par M. Necker, directeur général des finances, Paris, 1781. Faced with the increasingly difficult task of financing the war with England, Jacques Necker sought to make France more credit { 179 } worthy. Necker indicated in the preamble that to accomplish his task it was necessary to disclose the actual state of French finances and thereby remove the “mystère” surrounding them. He pointed to the enormous credit Britain enjoyed and attributed it largely to its form of government and the requirement to present the national budget each year to Parliament for approval. This made clear to potential creditors the resources that Britain had available to service a loan. Necker's Compte created an immediate sensation because of its sharp departure from past practice and thus was much in demand. The Gazette de Leyde of 2 March contained the preamble, included an additional excerpt in its issue of 6 March, and on 16 March announced that a new printing soon would be available for two florins.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0123

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-06

From Francis Dana

(No. 12.)

[salute] Dear Sir

I desired Mr. Searle when he wrote you a few days since, to present my best regards to you, and to acquaint you that I wou'd write in a few days. I have consulted D.D. ||Benjamin Franklin|| upon the resolution of AZ||Congress||, agreable to your desire, and he says, he thinks, it might be adviseable to communicate it to her Minister near you—that there is none now here to whom he cou'd communicate it.1 I went a little beyond my commission, and brought on some conversation touching a certain instruction, with which he was charged, not very distantly related to your's; I enquired what had been done upon it, and was answered, nothing—that he had communicated it, but as he supposed the matter which it concerned, was at a distance, he had not thought it worth while to press on a determination; and he seemed to think it wou'd be time enough when the period hinted at approached.2 I have obtained a copy of the Cyphers: this I shall not forward by post, as I expect a good private opportunity next week: When they were delivered to me, the Gentleman said, he had never been able to comprehend them. Whether I shall be able to do it, is uncertain. However I will make the attempt. I received the last evening a letter of the 6th. of Jany. a copy of which I will send enclosed. It is impossible to decypher it, because I cannot recollect the person whose family name is alluded to.3 I wish our friend had given a more modern instance for his clue. The list of letters received shall accompany his letter.4 I find an Account of your Loan is published in the Amsterdam Gazette of the 2d. instant:—Is the one Million already subscribed, and how much do you allow the Banker? I have a very special reason for this last part. Some people here, say it can't succeed. I know well what motives influence their opinions, or rather their declarations. Mr. Searle received your's of the 27th. of last { 180 } month, the last evening.5 It is a long while since I have been honoured with one from you. I was in hopes you wou'd have advised me of the Loan, so that I might have sent an account of it from hence to AZ||Congress||. Opportunities now offer more frequently from hence, than from your ports. I wrote you 8 or 10 days since, as I took no copy of that letter I am uncertain about its date.6 Colo. Lawrence's commission will probably take up about one half of the matter which lies upon my mind, hinted at in my last. I hope to have the satisfaction of seeing him here shortly. It is certainly of the utmost consequence that something shou'd be done. Appearances alone will not answer. Things grow more and more serious, and they must have a suitable attention paid to them. Steady's ||John Adams'|| Family perceive generally that this has not been done. As I shall write you again next week, I will close this, after begging your acceptance of my most sincere regards.
[signed] FRA DANA
P.S. Mr. S. will write you soon,7 and now desires his best regards.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dana. 6th. March 1781.” To the right of the endorsement is a note from the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux: “Le abbés Chalut et Arnoux ont pré M. Dana de leur donnes une loine de se lettre pour faire milles tendres compliments à M. Taxter.” Translation: The Abbés Chalut and Arnoux have requested Mr. Dana to allow them the use of his letter to render a thousand tender compliments to Mr. Thaxter. For the enclosure, see notes 3 and 4.
1. Because Russia was represented at Paris only by a chargé d'affaires, Franklin believed it would be better to communicate Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. 1780 regarding U.S. accession to the armed neutrality to Prince Gallitzin at The Hague (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:354; to Francis Dana, 8 Feb., above).
2. Probably a reference to Art. 10 of the Franco-American alliance providing for the accession of other nations to the alliance. JA had referred to it in letters to Edmund Jenings, C. W. F. Dumas, James Searle, and the president of Congress of 31 Jan., 2, 4, and 7 Feb., respectively, all above.
3. Benjamin Franklin wrote to Dana on 2 March and enclosed a copy of the cipher that James Lovell had sent to him on 24 Feb. 1780. Franklin's included a passage from Lovell's letter to him of 4 May 1780, which he had “try'd in vain” to decipher. Dana successfully decrypted Franklin's letter, but his success did him little good with regard to Lovell's letter of 6 January. The difficulty, which he indicated in his letter to JA of 16 March, below, that he had overcome, was that each cipher had a different key (Franklin, Papers, 34:412; 31:520–522; 32:354–355; JA, Papers, 9:270–273; Weber, Codes and Ciphers, p. 31–34, 590). The recipient's copy of Franklin's letter of 2 March, with its accompanying cipher key, is in the Adams Papers. It was probably among the documents that Dana sent under the care of a Mr. Themmen, presumably the “good private opportunity” mentioned earlier in this letter (from Francis Dana, 16 March, below).
4. In the enclosed letter of 6 Jan. to Dana, Lovell acknowledged Congress' receipt on 20 Nov. 1780 of JA's letters of 22 and 23 Aug.; on 27 Nov. those of 12 (2), 16, 17 (2) and 29 June, and 24 Sept.; on 30 Nov. that of 26 June; on 4 Dec. those of 24 Aug. and 4 Sept.; on 26 Dec. those of 7, 14, 15 (3), 19 (2), 22 and 23 July, 14 Aug., 16 and 19 Sept., 8 and 11 Oct. 1780. For these letters see vols. 9 and 10.
5. Not found.
6. From Dana, 25 Feb., above.
7. Searle's next letter was dated 14 March (Adams Papers); see Francis Dana's letter of that date, note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0124-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-07

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J'ai l'honneur de vous communiquer ci-joint, dans une Lettre au Congrès, ce que je vous avois lu ici de ma petite note.1
Après avoir bien réflechi sur ce qui a fait ici le sujet de notre entretien, je persiste dans l'idée qu'il vaut mieux ne faire pas usage de l'idée of the armed neutrality being a consequence of the American revolution, pas même dans votre Lettre à ceux d'ici.2 Ils le savent bien; et leurs Anglomanes nous en font un crime Tant mieux. On pourra faire valoir cette idée dans la suite. Mais dans ce premier coup d'Essay, je crois que le plus simple vaudra le mieux. Du reste, Monsieur, vous ferez toujours ce que vous jugerez à propos; et je délivrerai vos Lettres, quand vous me les enverrez, dans l'ordre dont nous sommes convenus.
J'enverrai incessamment à Mr. votre fils les cahiers qui manquent à ce que je lui ai remis ici.
J'ai l'honneur d'être avec un grand respect Monsieur Votre trèshumble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0124-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-07

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

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to communicate to you, through the enclosed letter to Congress, what I read to you from my short note.1
After much reflection on our conversation, I persist in the idea of not using the phrase of the armed neutrality being a consequence of the American revolution, even in your letter to those here.2 They are well aware of it and their anglomanes will think it a crime. It is better to use this idea in the next letter, but in the first attempt, I believe it is best to keep it simple. Besides, sir, you always do what you judge to be appropriate and I will deliver your letters, when you send them to me, in the order that we find agreeable.
I will send the remaining notebooks to your son very shortly.
I have the honor to be with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. This is Dumas' letter of 5 March to the president of Congress (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:273–274). Dumas noted that JA visited him on 4 March and informed him of the December dispatches that he received from Congress. Dumas was eager to assist JA and hoped that his efforts would be successful. When Dumas' letter reached Congress, James Lovell copied the paragraph and sent it to AA in a letter of 26 June (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:162–164).
2. Dumas' rendering of this passage in English makes it likely that it appeared in a draft announcement of Congress' resolution of 5 { 182 } Oct. regarding U.S. accession to the armed neutrality. No such announcement has been found, but see JA's memorial to the States General of 8 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0125

Author: Neufville, Jean de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-07

From Jean de Neufville

[salute] Honourd Sir

May we begg leave to address yoúr Excellency again, as yesterday we chose to do it by the scoot for Safety;1 and now we may be something more explicit, as oúr Letter may go intirely Safe by Mr. Taxton, who we heard just now from yoúr Sr. John to be in town.2 If we had known this we Certainly would have shown them the required notice.
Then what we had the Honoúr to mention, was the oúvertúre of a plan which had been made to ús very particularly, and which very near agreed with that I had the honoúr to propose in ruff already; and I wishd to súbmitt more plain to yoúr Excellencys júdgement; this cannot be done So well in writing; and after confronting the intelligences yoúr Excellency will have gatherd already, and those we may be able to give; she will be able to proceed to such measúres as she will think the most Convenient.
Secrecy is a great point, where for as yoúr Excellency proposed a travelling way of life, and only intended a little excúrsion, I was less anxioús in desiring her to honoúr ús with another visit, to which however the time is not so exceedingly pressing as I suppose bútt Yoúr Excellency should dispose there of to the utmost convenience; which we shall be glad to know, as it will direct ús in keeping or sending the bonds, for a great quantity of which we are sorry to say we do not foresee Yett Such a great haste as we had wished, bútt we are still in hopes it may come in Coúrse. With all devoted regard I have the honoúr to be Honourd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John de Neufville
1. Neither the letter of 6 March nor any reply by JA either to that letter or this one of 7 March has been found. It is impossible, therefore, to know the nature of the “oúvertúre” noted in the second paragraph as having been mentioned in the letter of 6 March.
2. Presumably John Thaxter and JQA.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0126

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-08

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I Send you the Letters.1 If any Thing is necessary to be added to the Memorial before the Signature, you will be So good as to add it. { 183 } I should be obliged to you for a Line by the Bearer, in Return, and the News, if any. My first Demarch you See, is on the Princes Birth day, which is no doubt a good omen both to his Highness and your servant.2 You will please to put a Wafer under the Seals.
[signed] John Adams
LbC (Adams Papers). Upon receiving his commission as minister to the Netherlands on 25 Feb., JA immediately began a new Letterbook (Lb/JA/16; Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 104), which he designated “Holland Vol. 2.” The first three documents copied were his commission of 29 Dec., the letter of 1 Jan. from the president of Congress, above, and Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. concerning the armed neutrality. These were followed, in the order given, by the seven documents mentioned in note 1. They, in turn, were followed by this letter of transmittal to C. W. F. Dumas.
1. The letters enclosed constituted JA's first démarche as minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands, although, as the documents show, he did not refer to himself in that capacity. His purpose was to request Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands to permit the U.S. to accede to the armed neutrality as proposed in Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. 1780. The seven documents comprising the démarche were all dated 8 March and included JA's first memorial to the States General, below, and letters to Prince Gallitzin, the Russian minister, below; Baron Ehrensvärd, the Swedish envoy; M. de Mestral de Saint Saphorin, the Danish envoy; the Duc de La Vauguyon, below; Engelbert François van Berckel, pensionary of Amsterdam; and Carel W. Visscher, soon to replace van Berckel as pensionary of Amsterdam. For the four letters not printed, all LbC's, Adams Papers, see the notes to the Gallitzin and La Vauguyon letters. The initiative failed for very practical reasons, namely that the U.S. was a belligerent rather than a neutral and for the signatories to permit the accession of the U.S. to the armed neutrality they must recognize U.S. independence and thereby become involved in a war with England. Nevertheless, it represented an uniquely American view of the armed neutrality as serving the long term interest of the U.S. to remain neutral in future European wars. This is clear from the letters to the diplomats as well as from the memorial to the States General, in all of which JA refers to the armed neutrality as reflecting a “reformation in the maritime law of nations.” For Catherine II's declaration of an armed neutrality on 10 March 1780 and a discussion of its provisions and the U.S. view of them, see vol. 9:121–126.
2. William V, Prince of Orange, was born 9 March 1748. Dumas intended to deliver the letters and the memorial on William's birthday, but in a letter of 9 March (Adams Papers) he explained that he had been frustrated by the absence of a “principal personnage,” probably the president of the States General, and postponed the execution of JA's orders until the 10th. That Dumas enjoyed the role assigned him is clear from JA's comments immediately preceding this letter in the Boston Patriot. JA wrote that “These papers I sent to Mr. Dumas, at the Hague, to be all delivered with his own hand, an office with which he was extremely delighted, because as he said it enabled him 'á commencer á jouer un Rêe public'” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 395). Presumably Dumas was happy because he could finally act openly in his capacity as an American agent.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0127

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gallitzin, Prince Dmitri Alexeivitch
Date: 1781-03-08

To Prince Dmitri A. Gallitzin

[salute] Sir

I have lately received from Congress, as one of their ministers plenipotentiary, their resolution of the fifth of October last, relative to the rights of neutral vessels, a Copy of which, I do myself the { 184 } Honour, to inclose to your Excellency, as the Representative of one of the high contracting Parties, to the marine Treaty, lately concluded, concerning this Subject.
As I am fixed by my duty for the present, to this part of Europe, I have no other Way of communicating this measure of Congress to the northern Courts, but by the favour of their Ministers in this Republic: I must therefore, request of your Excellency, if there is no impropriety in it, to transmit the Resolution to the Minister of foreign Affairs, of her Imperial Majesty.
Your Excellency will permit me to add, that I should esteem myself, very fortunate, to be the instrument of pledging, in form, the faith of the United States of America, to a reformation, in the maritime Law of nations, which does So much honour to the present Age.
I have the honour to be, with the greatest Respect and consideration, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (AVPR, Moscow, f. Snosheniia Rossii s Gollandiei, op. 50/6, d. 218, l. 24–25); endorsed: “à la Lettre du Pce. Gallitzin à la Hage au Vice Chancelier, en datée du 13 Mars 1781.”
1. This letter is virtually identical to those JA sent to Baron Gustaf Johan Ehrensvärd, Swedish minister to the Netherlands, and to Armand François Louis de Mestral de Saint Saphorin, the Danish minister to the Netherlands (both LbC's, Adams Papers). Russia, Sweden, and Denmark did not recognize the U.S. and thus their representatives, in their official capacities, could neither accept JA's letter nor reply to it. However, this did not prevent them from sending the letters received from JA to their respective foreign ministries (The United States and Russia: The Beginning of Relations, 1765–1815, ed. Nina N. Bashkina and others, Washington, 1980, p. 109).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0128

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1781-03-08

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inclose, a Copy of a Resolution of Congress of the fifth of October last, and to inform your Excellency, that I have this day communicated it, to their high Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces, and to the Ministers of the Courts of Russia Sweeden and Denmark, at the Hague.1
Your Excellency will permit me to hope for your Concurrence in Support of this measure, as there may be Occasion, and to assure you of the great Respect and Consideration, with which I have the Honour to be, Sir, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
{ 185 }
1. For the letters to the ministers, see JA's letter to Prince Gallitzin, 8 March, and note 1, above. Note that this paragraph is virtually identical to JA's letters of this date to Engelbert François van Berckel, pensionary of Amsterdam, and to Carel W. Visscher, soon to replace van Berckel in that position (both LbC's, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0129

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Netherlands, States General of
Date: 1781-03-08

Memorial to the States General

A Memorial To their High Mightinesses, the States General, of the United Provinces of the Low Countries.

[salute] High and Mighty Lords

The Subscriber, a minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America, has the Honour to lay before your high mightinesses, as one of the high contracting Parties to the Marine Treaty, lately concluded, relative to the rights of neutral Vessels, a Resolution of Congress of the fifth of October last, concerning the Same Subject.
As the American Revolution, furnished the Occasion, of a Reformation in the maritime Law of nations,1 of So much importance to a free communication, among Mankind by Sea, the Subscriber hopes it may not be thought improper that the United States Should become Parties to it, entituled to its Benefits and Subjected to its Duties. To this End, the Subscriber, has the Honour of requesting that the Resolution of Congress, may be taken into the Consideration of your High Mightinesses, and transmitted to the Courts of Russia, Sweeden and Denmark. The Subscriber begs Leave to Subjoin that he should esteem it, one of the most fortunate Events of his Life, if this Proposition should meet with the Approbation of your High Mightinesses, and the other Powers who are Parties to the neutral Confederacy, and he, be admitted, as the Instrument of pledging the Faith of the United States, to the Observance of Regulations, which do so much honour to the present Age.2
[signed] John Adams
1. Compare this sentence with that Dumas cited in his letter of 7 March, above.
2. Dumas presented this memorial to the president of the States General on 10 March, for which see his letter of that date, below. The memorial, however, was never placed before the States General because of JA's unrecognized diplomatic status and William V's opposition (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 160).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0130

Author: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-08

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dear Sir

It has been some Weeks since I have heard from you and indeed { 186 } near a month since I wrote myself.1 You may easily suppose the cause, and that I had nothing material to communicate.
In a former letter you mentiond to me your willingness to help Captains M——y or C——m to some pecuniary aid should they need it.2 The long confinement of these brave and unfortunate men makes every small donation welcome as it adds to their comfort. I have frequently aided them and if you chuse to oblige them with a trifle only mention the Sum and it shall be done. I can easily riemburse myself for that sum or any ballance that may be between us by a Bill on Mr. De N[eufvil]l[e]s, or, what is a better mode, He may give me the name of a House in London on whom I may call for the money on giving them my bill on Him. I am the more anxious for the Comforts of these two and other brave men (now near 600 in Prison) because the subscription money for their releif is on the last legs, nay by this time it must be exhausted.
The public papers will give you every tittle of news that I know as I have been for six or 8 days and likely to be for as many more out of Town on some business at a great annual Cloth Fair.
We seem all as blind as ever to our Interests, We laugh and ridicule away every peice of News that seems of serious import. We laugh at any mischeif the combind neutral league can do us— We laugh at any person who says Gibraltar is in danger, that Holland will go seriously to War against England, that the Combined fleets are nearly eaqual to ours, that we shall not be victorious in the West Inds. and North America, that Arnold will not conquer Virginia &c. &c. In short our folly seems to me more than ever unaccountable, and we are for the present more than commonly bouyd up by the prospects of pacification with Spain and Holland separately from France and Ama.
I will write you immidiately on my return to Town which I expect will be in 8 or 9 days and am in the interim very truly Yrs.
1. Digges' last letter to JA was of 11 Feb., above, while JA's last known letter to Digges was of 17 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:416–417).
2. In his letter of [28 Oct. 1780]JA offered assistance to Capts. John Manley and Gustavus Conyngham who were being held in Mill Prison at Plymouth (vol. 10:309).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0131

Author: Gillon, Alexander
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-08

From Alexander Gillon

[salute] Sir

Since I have been Honoured with Your Excellency's Reply of 12th November to my Application to You the same day in behalf of the State of South Carolina,1 fresh disappointments have arisen that { 187 } Caused unavoidable delays, and thereby Accumulating Expences. These disappointments could not be foreseen nor expected, and were, the delay of 280 Men, all the Ammunition, and Cloathing I had paid for ever since the 1st August last, and which were Collected at Dunkirk to be moved to here as soon as I directed, This I did the Moment the Ship was over all the Shoals: but to my Astonishment those Men were without my knowledge employed by the Chevalier de Luxembourg (who raised them for State Account) on the Jersey Expedition, whilst I was daily expecting them, till the Ice forced me to seek shelter in the Creeks near the Texel, at an amazing Expence of Lighterage, being Obliged to take all out of the Ship. By this movement only, The Ship was saved from a total Loss by the Ice, She is Yesterday come out of the said Creeks, and is now taking all in, with the utmost expedition: The Chevalier de Luxembourg is also forwarding the 280 Men, and the Materials—so that if Wind and Weather permit, we will be ready to sail direct for Boston, Rhode Island, or Philadelphia, in about Four Weeks.
This is the State of things, excepting the disagreeable necessity I find myself in for want of Monies to pay the Ship's disbursements here, every Shilling I had of the State's being expended and my Friends here having advanced as much as they could spare, on my present Security. I have now left nothing undone that forebodes Aid, nay, have even applied to the Regency of this City, also to the West India Company, in Behalf of the State of South Carolina, for a Loan of Fifty to One Hundred Thousand Guilders, Their Reply was no Relief, In this Case, Who can I apply to but to Your Excellency who has been partly an Eye Witness to my Struggles in Europe, for what? to Add my feeble Aid in so Glorious a Cause as we are all embarked in. It is for Your Country Sir that this Aid is required. And I am sure You adore that Country too much not to Enable me to Conduct a Ship to them that may prove of so much service to the Continent in Generall. Your Excellency may deem it wrong in me to trouble You on this Occasion, but Sir who is it we are to expect Aid and Relief from, if we do not procure it from Americans, Your Excellency I know is in want of Money for the Continent also, and may have none to spare for the distress'd State of South Carolina, but my Application to You now is not for Money. But As Your Excellency has opened a Loan on Bonds, payable in Ten Years, and that those Bonds are not all Placed yet, I would Propose to Your Excellency to let me have Fifty of these Bonds, for Account of the State of South Carolina—say, Fifty Thousand Guilders, in these blank Bonds, under such Instrument of { 188 } | view Writing as You will Judge consonant to my Powers from said State. For these Bonds Sir, I may procure the Monies from Old Friends and Acquaintances, that would not Subscribe to the Loan, nor that will not lend me Monies on Account of the State of South Carolina, because it is Invaded by Our Enemies.
Your Excellency observes it is not Cash I ask, neither that which can cause You any disquiet thereafter. And as Your former denial was at a time when You had not opened Your Loan, nor had Bonds ready, I am led to believe You will not refuse the Aid so easily now in Your Power to Grant, because you have no Authority for assisting me. Permit me to Observe Sir—That if Americans were only to serve their Country, when they had the highest Authority for it, more Irregularities would be the consequence than could now proceed from Your enabling a Ship in one of the States' Service to get home, and enabling upwards of One Hundred Americans to get to their Families from whom they have been drove these 2 or 3 Years to serve their Country. It is no merit in me to make this Remark, That had I only acted by Orders since this War begun, I should have returned to America long since neither have become Guarantee in my Name for the State of South Carolina, for upwards of Twenty Thousand Pounds Sterling, borrowed for them, and now expended for their Service—No Sir—This is no Merit, for one who has long been prepar'd to Sacrifice his Treasure and his Life for to do every thing in his power to serve the Country, either with or without Orders Neither was it Merit in the Honble. R. Izard Esqr. (to whom I had only similar Letters of Introduction as to You) when he joined me in his private Name, in a security of 400,000 Tournois, borrowed for the State, because both He and I conceiv'd it to be our Duty to assist Our Country whenever we had it in our power, either with or without Orders.
Your Excellency observes—That it would be a precedent for the Commissioners now in Europe from Massachusetts Bay, Virginia and Pennsylvania,2 if You was to Aid me. To that, Admit my observing, that none of these Commissioners are in the Situation I am in. I know none of them that has procured such a Ship for the Use of the Continent which has upward of £15,000 Sterling of usefull Goods on board on Credit, and which is so Situated that for the want of ƒ50,000 Ship Goods, and Men, will be detained. But allowing, Sir, they were in such State, I humbly conceive it would be a pleasing precedent You would establish, and that each State, as well as the Continent in General, would deem themselves under the greatest Obligations to { 189 } You for. Your Excellency may say—Why not sell those Goods? I have Sir, Sold some, at much less than they Cost—but was I to sell any now, I could not procure one Half of what they Cost, owing to the total stagnation of Trade—but This I will do, if Your Excellency thinks it will be more Convenient. Do You Take for Account of the Continent, all the Merchandize I have on board—which Consists of prepared Iron for Ship Building, Cordage, Canvas, Blanketts, Woollens, and Slops of all kinds, The Value Amounting to about £15,000 Sterling—Advance thereon, the Bonds I now Ask, and I will oblige myself to deliver these Goods, to the Order of Congress, at such Ports as you think these Articles are most wanted at, by the 1st. July next at farthest.
This, Sir appears to me, a Just and favorable Proposition, for no doubt Congress wants such Goods. You cannot have them Chose better nor have so good an Opportunity to Land them in America, it takes no Money from You, it is sending such Goods to Congress on a Ten Years Credit, that they else would not have, And it is helping the Continent in General, And the State of South-Carolina in particular, without any trouble or Inconvenience to Yourself, Thus the Goods would be either Mortgaged or Sold to You in behalf of Congress.
In short, Your Excellency now fully knows my Situation, and its Causes—Also, That it is You only that can enable the Ship to Sail, for without this—Your Aid, I see no prospect but of her laying where She is. I have done my utmost, have held out to the last, and if I cannot pay these Debts I must do as others have done, return Passenger the first Opportunity, and give an Account of a Three Years Absence, entirely devoted to the business I was sent on. But when I call to mind Your Excellencys firm Attachment to Your Country, and Your Humane disposition, I feel Comforted, firmly trusting that You will never loose such an Opportunity of serving Your Country, nor of Helping Your Brave, and suffering Countrymen now on board, thus prevent their coming on Shore, in the deepest Poverty (loosing their 8 Months, hard, and sore Labour), to beg perhaps daily Food from You, or any that would have Compassion on them for so are matters advanced now, that the Moment the Ship is Ready for Sea, and the Officers and Men see She is still detain'd I shall be ask'd the Reason; Honour and Justice will then lead me to tell them it is because I cannot procure Monies to pay the Ships Debts. That Said, Sir, I foresee every Officer and Man will not wait further hopes, but will quit the Ship and come to this Town to get to any place where they can get Food and Raiment, as not one of them has any other Shelter { 190 } or support but the Ship. The Consequences of this I can easier feel than describe. Thus, for Your Country's sake, for every Sake, enable me to avoid this Catastrophé, so fatal to the Honour, the Interest and the Credit of America, and of every American here. What a Triumph would not such an Event be to Our Enemies. As to My Fate, Sir, I must await it with the Hopes proceeding from this Confidence, That I have done all my humble Abilities could suggest and that I cannot blame myself for any Step I have taken, nay not even of having quitted a happy home for Three Years, bound myself as Security for the State, to the extent of my Fortune, and Involv'd myself in the danger of being every Moment sent to a Goal for debts I contracted for a Country that I have not the Honour of being a Native of.
Your Excellency will much Relieve and Oblige me to Honour me with Your Reply as soon as possible and to believe that I Am with the utmost Respect & Esteem Dear Sir Your Excellency's most Obedt., & most hble Servt.
[signed] A. Gillon
Commodore of the navy of the State of South Carolina
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Commodore Gillon. 8. March ansd. 10.”
1. Vol. 10:335–337.
2. These were Jonathan Loring Austin for Massachusetts, Philip Mazzei for Virginia, and James Searle for Pennsylvania. All were unsuccessful in their efforts to raise loans in Europe.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0132

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gillon, Alexander
Date: 1781-03-10

To Alexander Gillon

[salute] Sir

I have received the Letter which you did me the Honour to write me on the Eighth of this Month, requesting of me to furnish you with fifty obligations of the United States, to enable you to discharge the Debts of the Ship of which you have the command, in the Service of the State of South Carolina.
I have considered your Letter, Sir, and all the Arguments contained in it, with all that Attention and Respect which is due to your Character and the State in whose Service you are: but the more I have reflected upon them, the more clearly I have been convinced, of the Impropiety of my consenting to what you request. It would be an illegal and unconstitutional Step—without the Colour of Authority. It would be a precedent that would be not only pernicious but ruinous to the United States. In Short it would be no better than an Embezzlement of the public Money. It is quite Sufficient to Say this, to justify my final refusal.
{ 191 }
I might add to this Considerations of various other Kinds, but they are unnecessary, and it would be improper for me to mention in this Letter Things which ought to be kept Secret. I am myself in a Situation much more deplorable than, yours, because the danger to the public Credit of the thirteen United States is certainly of more Consequence and more melancholly, than the danger or the Loss of a single ship, whether She belongs to the United States or any one of them. If this whole matter were to be laid before Congress, the Delegates from South Carolina themselves, would be the first to justify me. I feel for you and your disappointments. I know your Exertions. But this can be no Excuse to me, to do a wrong Thing, knowing it to be so.

[salute] I have the Honour to be with much Esteem & respect,

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0133-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-10

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J'ai porté ce matin vos divers paquets, en commençant, selon vos ordres, par le Pt. de L. h. P——.2 Sur les questions qu'il m'a faites, d'où elle venoit? Quel en étoit le contenu? &c. Je vous ai nommé, ainsi que le lieu actuel de votre séjour, et votre qualité de Minre. Plénipe. des Etats-Unis en Europe: J'ai dit le contenu en substance: et je lui ai laissé mon nom sur une Carte, et ma demeure. Quant aux trois Mines. du Nord, comme c'est aujourd'hui leur jour de Courier, je n'ai pu être admis que chez celui de Danemarc, qui m'a chargé de vous assurer, Monsieur, qu'il enverra votre Lettre à sa Cour. J'ai laissé aux deux autres, avec une Carte, celles qui étoient pour eux. Mr. le D. De la V—— m'a dit qu'il vous répondroit. J'envoie ce soir à notre Ami celle qui lui est destinée.3 J'ai l'honneur d'être avec un respect sincere, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0133-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-10

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

[salute] Sir

This morning I delivered your various packets, as you ordered, beginning with the president of their High Mightinesses.2 He asked some questions such as “where did this come from?” “What are its contents?” etc. I named you, as well as your current location, and your capacity as minister plenipotentiary of the United States in Europe. I told him the substance of what { 192 } the packet contained and left him a card with my name and residence. As for the three northern ministers, it was their mail day so I could only gain entry to see the Danish minister. He asked me to assure you, sir, that he will forward your letter to his court. I left the packets with a card for the two other ministers. The Duc de La Vauguyon told me he would respond to you. This evening I will send our friend his packet.3 I have the honor to be with sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. JA wrote a brief note to Dumas on 10 March (LbC, Adams Papers), enclosing copies of Congress' resolution of 5 October.
2. The president of the States General the week of 3–10 March 1781, was apparently a Mr. van Wadenoyen (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 160), although a letter of 14 March from Jean de Neufville & Fils names a Mr. Lohman as the president, below. On 28 April the London Courant reported that JA “had caused a memorial to be presented to their High Mightinesses by the Sieur Dumas, offering a negociation of a particular nature; but is said that no answer will be given, as the independency of the said States has not yet been acknowledged by the Republic.” For a similar report, see the London Chronicle of 26–28 April.
3. For the letter of 8 March to Engelbert François van Berckel (LbC, Adams Papers), see JA's letter to La Vauguyon of that date, and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0134-0001

Author: Woedteke, Charles Guillaume de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-10

From Charles Guillaume de Woedteke

[salute] Monsieur

Votre Excellence pardonnerés l'hardiesse de Vous incommoder de mon Ecriture.
Un certain Colonel Americain, qui a servi au Roi de Prusse comme Volontaire dans la derniere Guerre contre les Autrichiens a assuré a mon Frere le Major Prussien de Woedteke, que notre frere Frederic Guillaume de Woedteke ci-devant Capitain et Brigade Major au Services prussiennes étant mouru comme Colonel Americain a Philadelphia, où celui l'a vu ensevelier.1 Des certaines Occasions demandent de sçavoir sa Mort avec Cèrtitude, c'est pourquoi vont mes Prieres très-humbles a Votre Excellence de me procurer un Attest de sa Mort au plus vite. Peut-etre que notre Frere a servi au les Hautes Etats Americains sur un autre nom, c'est pourquoi seroit-il necessaire, de regarder cela, car on peut soupçonner, que son vrai nom Frederic Guillaume de Woedteke sera fondé dans ses Ecritures, et peut-etre on apprendra de ce Colonel Americain les Circonstances de sa Mort. Aussi on peut ajouter, que notre Frere a été au services Francoises Capitain et Inspecteur de la Cavalerie, et que sa Garnison a été a Paris.
Je prie Votre Excellence très-humblement, d'avoir la Grace de me { 193 } Procurer cet Attest, car les necessités de Famille le pretendent au plus vite, et puis que je ne connois Personne pour m'adresser qu'a Votre Excellence. Je resterai pour cette Grace toute ma vie avec le Respect le plus profond Votre Excellence très humble et très obeissant Serviteur
[signed] de Woedteke
Lieutenant au Services Prussiennes

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0134-0002

Author: Woedteke, Charles Guillaume de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-10

Charles Guillaume de Woedteke to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Your Excellency will please excuse the boldness of this inconvenience in my writing to you.
A certain American colonel, who served as a volunteer for the Prussian king in the last war against the Austrians, has assured my brother, Prussian major de Woedteke, that our brother Frederic Guillaume de Woedteke, formerly captain and brigade major in the Prussian Army has died with the rank of American colonel at Philadelphia where he was buried.1 Certain circumstances demand that his death be confirmed, so it is with my humble prayers to you, your excellency, that proof of his death be obtained as soon as possible. Perhaps our brother served the noble United States under a different name, making it necessary to look up his real name, Frederic Guillaume de Woedteke, in the conscription books and then possibly we can find out about the circumstances of his death from this American colonel. I will also add that our brother was in the service of the French as captain and cavalry inspector and that his garrison was in Paris.
I ask your excellency most humbly to please procure for me this proof as quickly as possible for his family. I do not know who else to turn to except your Excellency. I will remain, for this favor, with the most profound respect for the rest of my life, your excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] de Woedteke
Lieutenant au Services Prussiennes
RC (Adams Papers) endorsed: “L. De Wodleke's Letter. 10. March 1781.”
1. Frederic Guillaume de Woedteke (or Woedtke), whom JA had nominated to be a brigadier general in the Continental Army on 16 March 1776, died at Lake George on 28 July 1776 (vol. 4:39; The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, 1775–1783, ed. Philander D. Chase and others, 12 vols. to date, Charlottesville, 1985–, 3:357). No reply by JA to either this letter or another of 28 March (Adams Papers), again requesting a death certificate, has been found. Woedteke's brother also wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 10 March, for which see Franklin, Papers, 34:62– 63, 546–547.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0135

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de
Date: 1781-03-11

To Philippe André Joseph de Létombe

[salute] Sir

I recieved your favours of Feby. 4th. and 28th. but today. I am much { 194 } obliged to You for giving me the Opportunity to send the inclosed Letters to You.1
I am much afraid my Letters will not reach Paris before your Departure. You will be able to tell my Countrymen more than I know of publick Affairs.
I beg You to warn them against all Expectations of Peace. The Appearances of it are all deceitfully thrown out by the English, who are, under Pretence of it, endeavouring to embroil all Europe.
I have the Honour to be, with the sincerest Wishes for your good Voyage, and with the greatest Esteem & Respect, Sir, your humble Servt.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. These included JA's brief letters to AA and Isaac Smith Sr. of 11 March (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:89–91), and those of the same date to Samuel Adams (NN: George Bancroft Coll.) and Samuel Cooper (LbC, Adams Papers). All served as letters of introduction for Létombe and contained brief comments on the political situation in Europe and the Netherlands.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0136

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-11

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Sir

I received this Morning your Favour of Yesterday with the Inclosures.2 You Seem to think that the Loan has been opened too Soon: but I am not of that opinion. Better too Soon than too late. If it had been too late, you See, the time would have been pass'd and could never be recalled. But if it is only too Soon, there is nothing wanting but a little patience, to wait, and the true Time will come in its course.
I Should be obliged to you, to Send along the Obligations as Soon as convenient, that I may Sign them, and dispose of them. I can find persons in my travels who will take them, and give me the Money for them. I think to Stand my own Broker, Undertaker, and Banker. I Should be obliged to you if you would counter Sign, Some of the Obligations before you Send them to me, because there are persons ready to take Some of them. Dont be amused. The Mediation of Russia, cant interrupt or retard our Affair. If that Mediation produces nothing, and the War goes on, it will not effect our Loan.
If that Mediation produces, an Acknowledgment of American Independence, and an Acknowledgment of the Rights of neutral Vessels, as it is given out that it will, Surely this will not retard our Loan.3 In all cases be not deceived. I will not. My Business is to try the { 195 } Experiment, and to know whether We have Credit and Friends or not? If We find We have not, there is no harm done. Every one in that case will follow his own Taste, which you know there is no disputing.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, your most respectfull and obedient humble Servant

1. When he published this letter in the Boston Patriot, JA followed it with a commentary on the Neufville firm and the fate of the loan. “I found by experience, that there was in Holland a public and a secret doctrine among the merchants, capitalists and brokers, like those of the ancient Egyptian priests: and I am afraid there is something too much like it in all countries, and in all ages in society, which sometimes greatly embarrasses honest men and sincere enquirers after truth. A very respectable gentleman told me, 'If, sir, you were to write me a letter and ask my opinion whether Mr. De Neufville's house is a solid house, and Mr. De Neufville's credit a solid credit, I should answer you in the affirmative. Yes, a very solid house, and a very solid credit. Nevertheless I caution you, in confidence, to have a care.' Mr. De Neufville was generally, and I believe justly, reputed an honest, well meaning man: but the knowing ones thought he had not a clear head, and remembered various injudicious speculations in which he had been engaged, which had proved very disadvantageous to him. Such, however, was his public reputation, that I still flattered myself he would obtain something to help me discharge my American bills, and lessen the burden on the court of France, and in this I was encouraged by Mr. Luzac, Mr. Dumas, and several others of my friends, which occasioned my writing as I did in this letter. Again there was an ambitious burgomaster in Amsterdam, Mr. Rendorp, secretly in the interest of the stadtholder and the English, who found means upon this occasion and upon several others, to insinuate discouragement to Mr. De Neufville. And at this time he began to find by experience, that he should dispose of very few, if any, of my obligations, and was very desirous that I should impute his ill success, to the hopes of peace held out by a confused rumor which began to spread in Europe, of an intended mediation of the two imperial courts. After all, whatever was the cause, my hopes were blasted, as well as those of Mr. De Neufville. I obtained only the three thousand guilders which Mr. Luzac had promised me; and Mr. De Neufville obtained only two thousand among all his friends” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 399–400).
2. No letter of 10 March from Neufville & Fils has been found.
3. The Gazette de Leyde of 9 March reported that the two points JA listed were Catherine II's preconditions for the Russian mediation of the Anglo-Dutch war. Catherine, however, offered her mediation so that she could avoid assisting the Dutch, whose cause she abandoned when the British rejected the mediation proposal (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 302–309).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0137

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1781-03-12

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I dont know whether I have acknowledged yours of the 12th. Feby.: that of the 25th. came to me yesterday. The Letter inclosed was from Mr. I. Smith of 18 Decr.1 He says they were busily employed in raising their Quota for the Army during the War or for three Years, and that the other Provinces were doing the same. He says Mrs. Dana was well a few days before: that Davis had arrived after having thrown { 196 } over his Letters being chased by an American—this is all. I have Letters from the President and from Lovell—the last unintelligible—in Cyphers—but inexplicable by his own Cypher—some dismal Ditty about my Letters of 26th. July—I know not what.2
But my dear Sir, I hasten to the most interesting part of your Letter, your project of a repassage of the Mountains. I shudder at the thoughts of it, when I consider what a bad Traveller You are, and that Robbers by the Way may take You to their Dens. I dont know how to part with You. I want your Advice constantly now every day, yet I think You are doing more good where You are, than You could here. I know that by Conversation with A.Z. ||Congress|| You might do good: but there are so many hazards, that I dare not advise You. I think with You that We shall have nothing to do in our principal Department: yet the Mediations of the Emperor and Empress seem to require Attention from Us, altho' I am persuaded it is only the Artifice of England to embroil all Europe. I will communicate to You a secret—let it be kept so. I have recieved a Commission dated 28th. Decr. for this Republic. I want your Advice; but I can ask it by Letter while You are at Paris. I suppose it was the Intention of Congress that I should employ Dumas, as my Secretary, here, but have no Orders or Hints about it—there is no Commission to him, which makes me think that A.Z. ||Congress|| intended I should be at liberty to employ him or not, as I shall judge proper. I suppose A.Z. ||Congress|| intended to leave the Way open to employ him, by their not sending a Commission to You. Upon the whole, I dont know how to advise You: We will consider of it a little longer if You please.
I can give no Assurances or lively hopes of Money or Friendship in this Country. They are furious for Peace. Multitudes are for Peace with England at any Rate—even at the Expence and Risque of joining them in the War against France, Spain, America and all the rest. They are in a Torpor a Stupor, such as I never saw any People in before: but they cannot obtain Peace with England on any other Terms than joining her in the War, and this they will not because they cannot do. I sometimes think that their Affections would lead them to do it, if they dared.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. The letter from Isaac Smith Sr. has not been found, but JA's reply is dated 11 March (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:91).
2. These letters were of 1 and 6 Jan. respectively, both above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0138

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-03-12

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I am honoured with yours of 5. You will honour and oblige me much sir, by your Thoughts upon the Subject of European Jealousy and Caprice, hinted at.
You will see that the Empress has undertaken to mediate between E. and Holland, but she will not join the Emperors Mediation but on two Conditions Sine quibus non. These are 1. an Acknowledgment by England of American Independance. 2. An Acknowledgment by England, of the rights of neutral Vessells, according to the late marine Treaty.
I am fully of your Perswasion that England means nothing but to embroil all Europe. I dont wish she may Succeed, but I dont much care if she does. 1. because all Europe deserves to be punished for their criminal Inattention and Inactivity. 2. because I think America would loose no Advantage by it, but rather gain. However I believe rather that Europe will, have too much Wit to be duped.
The Tableau is a Mirror for America. It is an excellent Work, and the Author of it, whom I know very well, Seems a valuable Man.1
I am informed that the Colls. Laurens and Palfrey, were coming to France. The first as Charge d'Affair—the Second as Consul general. There is Some cause to fear that Palfrey is taken into N. York—Laurence was to come from Boston.
I learn nothing of Mr. A. Lee and Mr. Izard. Will you and your Friend2 consider the Subject of an Alliance between the United Provinces and the United States, and point out the Advantages, the Wealth of Commerce, the Power and Consideration, which would result to the former from such a Connection? Between you and me only, there is Reason for Such Speculation at this time.3
1. JA refers to Antoine Marie Cerisier and his Tableau de l'histoire générale des Provinces-Unies.
2. Probably Dérival de Gomicourt.
3. Presumably a reference to his commission as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the Netherlands.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0139

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-12

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it please Yoúr Excellency to receive by this Conveyance pro• { 198 } visionally two hundred of the bonds or obligations with the coupons there to belonging.
If it could be convenient, we should look úpon it as a favoúr if yoúr Excellency was so kind as to retúrn ús a very small part of them with her Sanction, we wish we may want before the Month of Aprill a greater qúantity then as yett we are Súre of, to gett placed, the úncertainty in Politicqs, after the offerd mediation of Rússia, keeps people in Súspense as farr as we can learn by the generall discoúrses, so we wish this, and some other matters may be soon publickly illústrated for the quieteness of people in generall, and especially for their encouragement as to the Loan.
With the highest regard we have always the honoúr to be Honourd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted And most obedient humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0140

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-13

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

With infinite pleasúre we always obey Yoúr Excellencys commands, and are preparing fifty bonds provisionally with their coupons, to be send tomorrow. As soon as it may be required we will take care to have a greater quantity ready. We will join these to a sufficient provisionall quantity of blancs of the Coupons, which Yoúr Excellency promisd to retúrn ús with the bonds when Sign'd.
May we thank yoúr Excellency most sincerely for her observations that the Loan hath not been opend to soon, this Releases oúr úneasiness of not succeeding in it as yett as we had wished; a proper time Certainly will Come on in Coarse and we wish it to be very soon, as much as it may lay in oúr power we will advance it.
There can remain hardly any doúbt butt the acknowledgement of American Independence and of a generall free Trade is the object of the Mediation of Rússia, and we for oúr Selfs have reason to rejoice in it, we coúld only wish that oúr Republicq had acted a greater part there in; as she was once able to resist her Enemy before alone, and now seems to creep before that same Nation, though she may depend on the Assistance of all the Other Powers.
How this Mediation turns, it certainly can do no harm to the American Caúse, and there fore can not affect the Loan, we hope we shall not be deceived, and will take the more Care of it by yoúr { 199 } Excellencys repeated Caútions, we think we go on very well, and as we have always and will act to oúr conscience, we can not be wrong; May yoúr Excellency Succeed to oúr wishes at every experiment she might chúse to try! We expect some intelligence next Week, which she will be acquainted with if answering oúr expectations.
With all Respectfull regard we have the honoúr to be Honourable Sir, Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and most obedient humble servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0141

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-14

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

This is just to acquaint you that Colo. Lawrens arrived at L'Orient on the 8th. instant in our Frigate the Alliance from Boston, and was to set off on the 10th. for this City; so that he may be hourly expected. If he has any Letters or Dispatches for us, he will doubtless bring them himself. No News of Colo. Palfrey. We fear the Shelalah is lost at Sea. I enclose a Philadelphia Newspaper of the 30th. Jany. by which I think it will appear Arnold is not doing any great things in Virginia—the old business of stealing Negroes and Tobacco, and burning defenceless habitations is their honorable employment. Jefferson proclamation will I beleive put an end to the modern paroles.2

[salute] Yours affectionately

[signed] FRA DANA
1. James Searle wrote to JA on this date to introduce Isaac Hazlehurst Jr., “a Native of Britain but a firm Friend to America, and an Enemy to Tyranny” (Adams Papers). Hazlehurst presumably carried the letters from Dana and Searle as well as Elbridge Gerry's letter to JA of 10 Jan., above, which reached Paris on the evening of 14 March (Dana to Gerry, 15 March, MHi: Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, 1780–1781).
2. Probably the Pennsylvania Packet of 30 January. It contained a report of 12 Jan. from Petersburg, Va., noting the burning of homes and abduction of slaves by troops under Benedict Arnold. It also included Gov. Thomas Jefferson's proclamation of 19 Jan. prohibiting any citizen of Virginia, “otherwise than when in arms,” from offering or receiving a parole from British forces that would “withdraw from his Country those duties he owes to it.” For the proclamation and the circumstances surrounding it, see Jefferson, Papers, 4:403–405.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0142-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-14

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

J'ay recu Monsieur la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'ecrire2 aussi que la Copie de la Resolution du Congres des etats { 200 } unis de l'amerique septentrionale qui y etoit jointe; vous m'annoncez que vous en avez donné une communication ministerielle au President de l'assemblée des etats generaux aussi qu'aux envoyés des cours de Petersbourg Stokholm et Coppenhagen et vous me priez d'appuyer cette demarche de mes Bons offices; Je Suis persuadé Monsieur que vous sentez parfaitement l'impossibilité ou je suis de la Seconder Sans un ordre exprès du Roy, quelque soit mon Zele personnel pour les vrays interests de l'amerique Septentrionale. Recevez Monsieur l'assurance tres sincere des sentiments de la consideration la plus Distinguer avec lesquels j'ay lhonneur d'etre votre tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0142-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-14

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I have received, sir, the letter which you did me the honor to write to me,2 and the enclosed copy of the resolution of the Congress of the United States of North America. You inform me that you have made an official communication thereof to the president of the assembly of the States General, and to the envoys of the courts of St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, and request me to support this step with my good offices. I am persuaded, sir, that you clearly perceive the impossibility of my seconding this measure without the express order of the king, whatever may be my personal zeal for the true interests of North America. Receive, sir, the very sincere assurance of the sentiments of the most distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Le Duc de la Vauguyons Letter. 15. March. 1781.”
1. Dumas sent this letter to JA under a brief covering note of 16 March (Adams Papers). Immediately preceding the translation of this letter in the Boston Patriot, JA wrote “Knowing perfectly well the game of the count de Vergennes and his ambassador, it was precisely what I expected” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 402).
2. Of 8 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0143

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-14

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Most Honourable Sir

May we begg leave to offer to Yoúr Excellency annexed to this present fifty bonds or obligations with the thereto belonging Coupons to which nothing is wanted butt to be signd by Yoúr Excellency; they are numberd from Númber 21 to 30, and from Number 131 to 170.
It will make ús easy if we may be acquainted they are in Yoúr Excellencys possession, and if we may know there are more wanted { 201 } we shall forward them directly. We as yett want bútt a very few, which we should be glad to receive the sooner the better, and the whole of what we did oúrselfs the honoúr to convey to Yoúr Excellency with the Compleat coupons to two hundred as soon as convenient for we may have every day some demand for them though as we múst judge from Circúmstances Amsterdam wont be at present the greatest markett.
We had the honoúr to answer Yoúr Excellencys last favoúr1 she gave me sufficiently to think, bútt was not clear enough to interprete a Letter written from the Hagúe and mentioning that Yoúr Excellency had been there and presented no memoriall, reflecting on what had passed I did not interprete this as it ware, that the memoriall had not been comunicated to the States; and from the dependence I made on the Confidence Yoúr Excellency honourd me with I should not more have troubled my head about it; if not another intelligence had come to me through the Same Channell today; that the Memoriall had been presented by Mr. Dúmas to Mr. Lohman president of the States for this week, and so certainly comunicated to the Prince of Orange, bútt not so certain wether to the States; the Contents we were also acquainted with and are sorry only that she rúnns the risq not to be Comunicated to their H. M. which intirely depends from the President, we wishd we were misinformed in this Circúmstance, bútt we know something of the measúres taken in this Country; for which reason we are in hopes, as we heard only in generall that the Memoriall had been Comunicated to the Ministers (the Letter was not Circúmstanciall on this matter,) that it was to the Coúrt of France and Rússia, and that those Coúrts will be directly Acquainted therewith. What becomes of oúr selfs we do not Care, oúr cheif anxiety is for the Republicq and the other trúe friends for America in her; this is oúr only reason for extending on this matter.2 I will have some information next week from other Provinces; and as for the present I begg only leave to add that neither any person belonging to the Regency of this City nor my Son had given me any intelligence of what passed at the Hagúe where I have always found the Report of the President to be of great influence; bútt this I doúbt not Yoúr Excellency múst be acquainted with.
We join to this again a pack of letters received for Yoúr Excellency,3 begging leave to assúre her that we have the honoúr to be with the most Respectfúll Regard Honourable Sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and most obed. huml. serts.
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
{ 202 }
1. Probably that of 11 March, above.
2. This account of the presentation of JA's memorial to the States General of 8 March, above, and of his letters to the French and Russian diplomats is somewhat confusing but conforms generally to Dumas' account in his letter of 10 March, above. The letter indicates that JA informed the Neufvilles of Congress' letter of 1 Jan., above, and the representations he planned to make as a consequence, but the source of their information on what transpired is unknown. Dumas is one possibility, for he sent them information on events at The Hague and in a letter of 7 March mentioned a visit from JA (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No.4, f. 323).
3. Not identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0144

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-15

From James Lovell

Confidential

[salute] Dear Sir

I wrote you a few days ago the Impromptú. I send much the same Papers now as then.2
Beg if the others have not arrived before this reaches you, that you will order Copies of the Resolves3 to be taken for your own and Mr. Danas Information. For really, Sir I cannot attend in Congress and on Committees, and have my Chamber continually full of Petitioners or Idlers, and yet without even a Boy-Clerk or one of the members of the standing Committee of for. Affairs present, embrace the Opportunities which occur of giving you Information, and which Opportunities are not subservient to the lethargic modes of C——ss.
Some Goods by Jones have come to hand damaged as you may well suppose. I hope they are in Quantity according to their Invoices which I have not seen at any Time. I spent Nights in wiping, drying and repacking if they may be said to have been packed, but I verily believe you put them up yourself. The Case was so far from full that I wonder the Articles were not rubbed to Ruin. However, after all these Snarls, the Damage will be much less than you will conjecture. I have forwarded Mrs. A's small Articles chiefly already and will continue my Care of the whole.4 I have acted the Will. Wimble5 for Madam and Co., Mr. Gerry and Mr. Peabody who were in need of it—Mr. G. is by far worst off.
I sent you, and will again send Copies of 2 fr: Letters and an Extract of one English to be contemplated as Snake-Rattles, tho they were not used, I believe, in a generous Way of Warning, which your old Blue-Hill-neighbours were in the Practice of. I do not think you can with Propriety make other Use of them than what I have above named, because I send them not officially; and I think it would be not proper so to send them.6
{ 203 }
I imagine you will think my Sentiment about the Timeliness of the Ratification are just,7 for you know thoroughly the late lying Conduct of the Br: Ministry and ministerial Writers.
Congress did not take a measure, on the Resolutions upon the late Transmission of your Correspondence; But Decency demands of the Committee what I have done to Inform the Parties. As you are not to be answered I presume you show no Forwardness to write. The Information goes better as I send it.
Connecticut has already given us the Power of laying and collecting an Impost of 5 pr. Ct. as a Fund for Payment of Interest and other Debts. I have no Doubt the Rest of the States will as readily come into the Measure, and that it will be followed by other Powers which we shall call for on the same Principles as we did for that; so that Congress will be evidently and substantially in Condition to borrow differently from former Practice which was Faith alone. Money Holders being accustomed to something more solid than that is reconed to be.
I have not lately had a Line from Mrs. A but shall doubtless have in two days. If this Vessel does not sail before I will add.

[salute] Yr. affectte:

[signed] JL
You have not confidentially said any thing of Monsr. D– “Concordia.”8
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers). addressed: “Hon John Adams Minister Plenipoy. now in Holland”; endorsed: “Confidential Letter.” This letter was originally filmed at [1783?] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 362). Lovell sent a number of enclosures, but only four extant documents in the Adams Papers can be identified with confidence as having been among them. For those documents see notes 6 and 8. For other documents that may have been enclosed, see note 3.
1. This date derives from the arrival at Congress on 15 March of Connecticut's legislation empowering Congress to lay an impost, which is mentioned in the second to last paragraph of this letter (JCC, 19:262).
2. Neither the letter nor its enclosures, which Lovell apparently sent on board the privateer brigantine Impromptu (PCC, No. 196, VIII, f. 34), have been found. The letter, however, was likely dated 9 March, the same day on which Lovell wrote to Benjamin Franklin and John Jay (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 17:43–44).
3. Among the resolves that Lovell likely enclosed with this letter were those of 12 Dec. 1780, commending JA for his representations on behalf of Congress' revaluation of the currency; 10 Jan. 1781, cautioning him about communicating his plenipotentiary powers to the British ministry; and 1 March, proclaiming that the ratification of the Articles of Confederation was complete (JCC, 18:1147; 19:41–42, 213–214). Lovell mentioned the first two in his letter to Franklin of 9 March and the third in his letter to Jay of the same date.
4. JA entrusted a trunk to John Paul Jones in Feb. 1780, prior to Jones' displacement as captain of the frigate Alliance. It arrived in Philadelphia aboard Jones' new command, the Ariel. For the trunk's much delayed passage, see JA's letters of 22 Feb. and 6 March 1780 to Jones and James Moylan respectively, and references there (vol. 8:350; 9:22). For its arrival and Lovell's efforts to forward the goods to AA and others, see John Paul Jones' letter of 10 Dec. (Adams Papers), and Adams Family Correspondence, 4:81–83, 85–86, 88, 102–103, 107, 114–115.
{ 204 }
5. A character in the Spectator who was revered for the services he rendered to others.
6. The French letters, for which translations were included, were those of 30 June and 31 July 1780 from the Comte de Vergennes to Benjamin Franklin. The English letter was an extract from Franklin's letter of 9 Aug. 1780 to the president of Congress (Franklin, Papers, 32:625– 627; 33:160–166; translations of Vergennes' letters are in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827; 4:18–19). Vergennes' first letter reflected his concern over JA's spirited support for Congress' revaluation of its currency on 18 March 1780, while the second resulted from his apprehensions over JA's proposals to execute his mission to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties. In both letters he asked Franklin to write to Congress in support of the French position. In his letter to Congress, which was probably not sent until sometime in Oct. 1780, Franklin wrote that JA thought that more “Stoutness and a greater Air of Independence and Boldness in our Demands, will procure us more ample Assistance.” For an examination of the events that produced the three letters, see vol. 9:427–430, 516–520; 10:258–260.
7. Lovell probably commented on the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in his letter to JA of 9 March, not found. Writing to John Jay on that date, Lovell indicated that the ratification “appears now like all the other Circumstances of our Rise and Growth: For the present is really the best of all Times for that particular Event. Our Enemies have been ripening themselves for this capital Mentitis” (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 17:44).
8. In his letter of 14 Dec. 1780, Lovell requested information about Dumas, who often used the code name Concordia in correspondence with Congress (Weber, Codes and Ciphers, p. 24–25; vol. 10:411–413). Lovell also referred to Dumas as Concordia in an undated list of letters received by Congress between 16 Jan. and 22 Feb. that was probably enclosed with this letter (filmed at [1782–1783], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 359). JA mentions both the list and Lovell's letter of [ca. 15 March] in his letter of 26 May to Dumas, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0145

Author: McCarty, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-15

From William McCarty

[salute] Sir

Having been taken the 25th. January last, in the Brig Active, on my passage from Philadelphia to L'Orient and Carry'd into England, The British took from me, all my private paper's and Bills of Exchange, among which were several setts, drawn by Congress, on Holland; Colo. Palfrey in the Shelaly, who had the Seconds, not being arrived, leaves me without any to Present untill I can receive the third or fourth from America. And as those who are in possession of the first of each sett, Indors'd payable to William McCarty & Co. may present them for Acceptance and Payment; I take the Liberty to request your Excellency, will have them Stopt, as my property, not having Indors'd any one of them.
I am with great Respect your Excellency's Most Obedt. & very humble Servt.
[signed] Wm McCarty1
1. William McCarty, a Canadian merchant, settled at Lorient and went into partnership with James Cumming to form the firm of Cumming & McCarty (Franklin, Papers, 35:482).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0146

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-16

From Francis Dana

(No. 13.)

[salute] My dear Sir

The dispatches you will receive with this, were sent to me by Colo. Lawrens, last evening, some of them he brought from America, the others came in the Duke of Leinster directly from Philadelphia.1 If I have not a good oportunity before, I will send them on, next week, by Mr. Searle, who will then certainly set off for Amsterdam, unless he shou'd be too sick to travel. His indisposition has prevented his leaving this City earlier. I shall not be long after him. I hope to be with you, before the Commodore sails. I have additional reasons for returning to America, but with the view of remaining there, in the character of a private Citizen. If Colo. Lawrens does not clear up some difficulties in my mind, I think, my own honour will require it, sure I am, that my Interest will. I have not yet seen him. He arrived at Passy yesterday noon, and set off with the Dr. early this morning for Versailles. I am very sorry I had not an opportunity to talk with him before he went there: but so it has happened.2 I hope you and the whole family are well. I am at present much engaged in writing to America, and must beg you to excuse my breaking off abruptly. I am, dear Sir, your much obliged friend and obedient humble Servant
[signed] FD
P.S. I have at last discovered the key to both of friend Jemmy's Cyphers. The dispatches I shall commit to Mr. Themmen, a Dutch young Gentn. who was introduced to me by one of our Countrymen—he setts off for Holland tomorrow after noon, and goes thro' Amsterdam. I have no doubt but he will deliver them safe: in your absence he is instructed to deliver them to Mrs. De Neufville & Son.3 I am loth to detain them unnecessarily one moment. My own trust prevents my bringing them. I shou'd otherwise have done now, as before, with those brought by Mr. Searle. Dont write me except to advise one of Your receiving these dispatches; lest I shou'd have set off before your letter can reach here.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana. Paris. 16. March 1781.”
1. Among the letters Dana sent were Congress' of 9 Jan., above, with which were enclosed JA's letters of credence of 1 Jan. to the States General and to William V, both above; Congress' brief covering letter of 9 Jan. (Adams Papers), a duplicate of its letter of 1 Jan., above, and the letters enclosed therein; and possibly letters from James Lovell of 6 and 8 { 206 } Jan. and the president of Congress of 10 Jan., all above. He may also have included his letter from Benjamin Franklin of 2 March, with which was enclosed a key to the Lovell cipher (Adams Papers), for which see Dana's letter of 6 March, and note 3, above.
2. Dana probably wanted to speak with John Laurens before he came too much under the influence of Benjamin Franklin and the Comte de Vergennes.
3. Dana wrote to Jean de Neufville & Fils on 17 March, introducing Themmen and requesting that they forward the letters if JA was not at Amsterdam (MHi: Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, 1780–1781).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0147

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-17

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I received this Morning, your Favour of the 16. inclosing a polite Letter from the Duke de la Vauguyon.1
I hope to receive another from you this Evening, and that it will contain an Account of the Fate of my Memorial.2 Has it been laid before their high mightinesses or not? And what was done with it? Pray, has the president, by the Constitution of this Country, a right to pocket, Suppress, or deliver to the Statholder, Papers addressed to their High Mightinesses?
Is the delusion almost over? When will man kind cease to be the Dupes, of the insidious Artifices of a British minister, and Stockjobber. Peace, is a Tub, easily thrown out, for the Amusement of the Whale, while the Minister opens his Budjet, concerts his Taxes, and contracts for his Loan, and it never fails to be taken for a Fish.
This is the best Place for Business, in the World. I have written my Name, 8 or 9 thousand Times to papers, Since I Saw you. Pray do you know if Mr. de Neufville has any person at the Hague to dispose of my Obligations? If he has not, will you think of a proper Person, as a Broker, or Undertaker, or both, and inform me? I am with great Esteem, your sert
1. From Dumas, 16 March, Adams Papers; from La Vauguyon, 14 March, above.
2. Dumas wrote as promised on 17 March, below, but his reply to this letter was dated [ 20 March] , below. It was there that he specifically answered the queries posed in this and the final paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0148

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

As we doubt not of your having Letters by the Alliance our advices of course will serve only as repetition to relate. I shall therefore inlieu of giving request from you information. The Honble. J. L——s is he to superceed the D——r or Is his Buissness confined to a perticular object. { 207 } | view His bringing with him Mr. Jackson1 as secretary would give room to suppose him a residence. In that case the D<octo>r will of course go back in the Alliance. She will return positively the middle of April and will take all the ships then ready under her Convoy. Could Comodore Gillon get round in time to Join them would be a great reenforceir to this little Squadron which will consist of the Alliance
The Marquis de lafayet   28   eighteen Pounder  
The Luzern   18    
The Aurora   20    
The franklin   20  
The Venus   14    
beside four of five Armd Schooners and Briggs. And as the Marquis de lafayet will have what is of so much consiquence to the States the Cloathing their Arrival is of very great Moment.
The Venus will sail from hence at the end of the Month to join them.2 She goes to Boston the other Ships to Philadelphia.
We learn your Loan goes on to your Satisfaction. We are rejoiced to find the Dutch so ready to Acquiess in your demands which proves their regarding your welfare attatcht to their own. By last post we are advised they have offerd 12 milion florens to France to defray the Expence of a Stipulate Force of Ships and Men to go to the East Indies to Act in consort in them Seas against the Common Enemy.
Mr. T. Pain came passenger by [the A]lliance.3 His errand must be urgent to engage his Crossing the Atlantic at this time.
Can you point out any Line for young Vernon?4 He is a smart Youth but wants opportunity to improve should any opening offer for Petersburg or the other Northern States but particularly to that, as a secretary to an Envoy. His figure is in his favor and his Letters wish application in a line to his tast would soon be conform to his Station.

[salute] With respect I have the Honor to be Sir Your very hhb Servant

[signed] John Bondfield
We are affraid Mr. Palfrey is lost as the ship he embarked in saild from the Delaware the 21 Dcember and is not yet heard of on these Coasts.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence John Adams Esq Ministre plénipotentiaire des Etats-unis à Amsterdam”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “John Bondfield 17th. March 1781.” A slight tear has resulted in the loss of all of one word and part of another.
1. Maj. William Jackson of South Carolina was captured at the fall of Charleston in the spring of 1780 and exchanged later in the year. He then joined John Laurens on his mission to Europe, serving first as Laurens' secretary and then as his agent charged with getting the { 208 } South Carolina ready for sea. When the frigate sailed in July, Jackson was aboard and JA entrusted him with the care of CA, his fellow passenger. Jackson later served as George Washington's secretary and as surveyor of customs at Philadelphia, but is best known as the secretary of the Constitutional Convention (DAB).
2. The Venus would sail from Bordeaux to Lorient.
3. Thomas Paine accompanied John Laurens as an unofficial secretary and returned with him to the U.S. at the end of May (DAB).
4. Bondfield made a similar request regarding William Vernon Jr. in 1780 (vol. 9:330, 339).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0149-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Je n'eus le temps hier au soir que de vous envoyer la Lettre que S. E. Mr. l'Ambr. de France m'avoit fait remettre pour vous en réponse de celle du 8e. courant que je lui avois remise de votre part.1 Mrs. les P—— d'A—— D—— et H—— m'ont tous chargé de vous témoigner leur reconnoissance de la bonté que vous avez eue de leur communiquer la Résolution du Congrès;2 et ceux d'A—— en particulier leur regret de ce que les circonstances actuelles ne leur permettent pas de répondre formellement aux Lettres que vous leur avez écrites. Celui de D—— étoit convenu avec moi, que nous ferions aujourd'hui un tour à Leide ensemble, et que j'aurois l'honneur de vous le présenter pour faire connoissance. Mais il a dû partir hier pour Dort. Ainsi ce sera pour une autre fois.
Le Contremanifeste de la Rep. à celui du Roi Britannique vient enfin de paroître.3 Vous le verrez bientôt paroître traduit dans les Gazettes françoises: ainsi je puis me dispenser de vous l'analyser. Il est long. Est-il aussi vigoureux que long? C'est ce dont vous jugerez. Je suis avec un grand respect, Monsieur Votre très humble & très obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Pardonnez la liberté que je prends de joindre ici un petit billet, pour que votre Domestique le remette à Mr. Luzac.4

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0149-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

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

[salute] Sir

I did not have the time last evening to forward to you the letter that His Excellency the French Ambassador gave me in response to your letter to him of the 8th instant.1 The Pensionaries of Amsterdam, Dordrecht, and Haarlem have all asked me to thank you for your kindness in sending them Congress' resolution.2 Those from Amsterdam, in particular, regret that the present circumstances did not permit them to respond formally to your letters. The one from Dordrecht agreed with me, that we should go to Leyden together, and that I would have the honor of introducing you to him. But yesterday he had to leave for Dordrecht. Perhaps another time.
{ 209 } { 210 }
The countermanifesto of the republic to that of the British king has finally appeared.3 You will see the translation soon in the French gazettes, so therefore I will refrain from analyzing it. It is long. Is it as vigorous as it is long? You be the judge. I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Pardon the liberty that I take in enclosing a small bill that your servant presented to Mr. Luzac.4
1. Dumas enclosed La Vauguyon's letter of 14 March, above, with a brief note of 16 March (Adams Papers).
2. For these letters to Engelbert François van Berckel and Carel W. Visscher (both LbC's, Adams Papers), see JA's letter of 8 March to La Vauguyon, and note 1, above.
3. A French translation of the countermanifesto, dated 12 March, appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 20 March; English translations of the document were widely printed in British newspapers, such as the London Chronicle of 24–27 March.
4. The enclosure has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0150-0001

Author: La Corbiere, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

From La Corbiere

[salute] Monsieur

Je viens de lire dans la Gazette de Berne No. 20 en datte du 10 mars article de la haye que V. Ex. est actüellement occupée en hollande de la levée d'un Emprunt d'un Million de florins pour les Etats unis de L'Amerique; Je m'etais bien doutté quils devaient étre dans le cas de faire une operation à peu près de ce genre, puisque jai eú l'honneur decrire à Mr. Le Docteur Franklin le 7e. du Court. la lettre dont je prend la liberté de vous envoyer Copie1 afin que V. Exell. examine si la proposition que je faisait ne serait pas mieux accueuillie du Public qu'un Emprunt qui ne presente que 5%. En ce cas, et si elle le juge à propos je lui enverrai le plan, où ce qui voudrait encore mieux je me rendrai tout de suitte en hollande pour en conferer avec V. Ex. car ces sortes de negotiations se traittent mieux par conversation que pas correspondance, surtout en ne donnant qu'un extrait bien succint coe. jai fait dans la lettre cy jointe. Je crois que V. E. sera contente des nouveauter et des attraits de mon Plan, il y a 10 années D'annuite, et 9 de Rentes Viageres qui sont en Coupons pbles. en porteur quoique sur des tetes differentes, et la 20eme. va jusqu'a la mort des Rentiers: En attendant ses ordres j'ai lhonneur detre très respectueusement Le très humble et très obeissant Serviteur,
[signed] De La Corbiere,

[addrLine] poste restante à Turin

P.S. Je presume que V. Ex. ne permettra pas que si jai à faire le Voyage D lhollande, ce soit à mes depens et que dans le cas ou mon { 211 } Plan serait mis en usage, il me sera payé une Commission que je laisserai regler par Mess. fiseaux & Grand qui peuvent etre les juges de la reussite a près la communication que je crois quil conviendra qui leur soit faitte en choisisant leur maison pour le Payement des Rentes de ce qui se placera en hollande, et je dirai a qui il faut s'adresser a Genes, car il faut bien prendre garde quil y a dans cette Ville de grands partisant de . . . .
[signed] Le dit C.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0150-0002

Author: La Corbiere, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

La Corbiere to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I just read in the Gazette de Berne, No. 20, dated the 10th of March from The Hague, that your Excellency is currently in Holland occupied in raising a loan of 1 million florins for the United States of America. I suspected that such an operation was taking place so I had the honor to write to Doctor Franklin on the 7th of this month, a copy1 of which I take the liberty of enclosing here, in order that your Excellency can determine whether my proposal would not be better received by the public than a loan at 5 percent. If this is the case, I will send the proposal, or better still, I can come immediately to Holland to confer with your Excellency because these sorts of negotiations are better served through conversation than through correspondence, especially since the enclosed letter contains only a succinct extract. I believe that Your Excellency will be pleased with the novelty and appeal of my plan: there are 10 years of annuities, nine years of annuity interest which are in coupons payable to the bearer, and the twentieth lasts until the death of the lenders. While awaiting orders, I have the honor to be very respectfully, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] De La Corbiere

[addrLine] poste restante à Turin

P.S. I presume, should I have to make a trip to Holland, that your Excellency will permit it only at my own expense, and that if my proposal is put to use, I will be paid a commission which could be arranged by Messieurs Fizeaux & Grand. They can be the judges of the success of the proposal after the communication that I believe will be made to them by agreeing to choose their house for annuity payments made in Holland, and I will say to direct letters to Genoa, because it is a necessary precaution in this city of partisans of
The said C.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. La Corbiere wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 7 March and again on 14 March. Both letters deal with La Corbiere's plan for a lottery to support the loan, see Franklin, Papers, 34:130.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0151

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Sir

The reason, why I have not called on Your Excellency for seeing together the House I had spoken of, is that it is doubtful, as I have been informed, whether it is yet to be let or not, a Lady being at present in treaty about it with the Proprietary. If they do not agree, I will hear further of it, and have the honor of informing Your Excellency instantly.
This time at least I have proved a true Prophet: The Manifesto at length had appeared in dias luminis auras.1 After You will have perused it, I beg it back to morrow.
I am always with great respect, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient humble Servant
[signed] J: Luzac
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams, Esqr.”; endorsed: “[] Luzac. 17. March 1781.” A corner of the MS is missing, resulting in the loss of a portion of the endorsement.
1. In the golden light of day.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0152

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-17

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourable Sir

May it not displease Yoúr Excellency; that forwarding the inclosed Letters,1 we repeat again oúr reqúest, that we may be favoured with the rettúrn of a few bonds, as to be in the possibility to deliver them when asked for; we were obliged to promise two of them for Wednesday next; so we begg to receive them before that time and some more as soon as convenient; we have seen by the publicq papers the Broker Yoúr Excellency chose to employ,2 and wish all may do well in time; we have obtained nothing from oúrs butt good promisses as yett.
May the Vigouroús measúres, their H. M. declare in their Manifesto to be forced to adopt against England safe and establish the honoúr of the Republicq, in which the Spirit of the people in generall flatters oúr hopes.
We have the honoúr to be with the most devoted regard, Honourable Sir Yoúr Excellencys most Obedient and most humble Servants.
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. Not identified.
2. The Gazette de Leyde of 16 March advertised “L'Emprunt d'Un Million de Florins de Hollande, à 5. pour-cent d'intérêt, à la charge des { 213 } Etats-Unis de l'Amérique, par Mr. Jean Adams, Ministre-Plénipotentiaire des dits Etats, étant ouvert actuellement au Comptoir de Mrs. Jean de Neufville & Fils à Amsterdam, l'on peut se procurer des Obligations ou Portions dans le dit Emprunt chez le Courtier Abraham Lasoubs à Leide, chez lequel l'on en peut aussi voir le Plan & les Conditions.”

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0153

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-03-18

To the President of Congress

Leyden, 18 March 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 78–93. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:306–313.
This letter was read in Congress on 19 Nov. and consisted of English translations of the States General's countermanifesto of 12 March and Prince Gallitzin's memorial to the States General of 1 March. The countermanifesto was a point by point rebuttal of Britain's manifesto of 20 Dec. 1780 that justified its declaration of war against the Netherlands (to the president of Congress, 1 Jan., calendared above). In their response the Dutch declared that they, not the British, were the aggrieved party. The Netherlands had maintained a strict neutrality under the law of nations at great cost to itself in a situation where to favor Britain would have meant war with France. The Anglo-Dutch war did not result from Dutch violations of the law of nations or a refusal to grant the assistance required under the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1678. Neither did it stem from the sanctuary given John Paul Jones at Texel in 1780, St. Eustatius' status as a conduit for trade with the United States, or the Lee-Neufville treaty of 1778. Instead, Britain began the war because it refused to accept and respect Dutch neutrality and, most importantly, the republic's decision as a sovereign state to accede to the armed neutrality. The Netherlands, therefore, was entitled to take whatever action was necessary to defend its sovereignty and resolve its grievances.
In contrast to the countermanifesto, Prince Gallitzin's memorial offered hope for peace. It emphasized Catherine II's interest in resolving the misunderstanding between Britain and the Netherlands and her willingness to mediate the conflict impartially. Gallitzin indicated that the same memorial put before the States General was being presented to the British ministry and that Russia hoped for an affirmative response from both parties.
In a paragraph inserted between the Dutch manifesto and the memorial, John Adams wrote that he found it “remarkable that their high Mightinesses, after so long delays, have chosen for the Publication of this Manifesto, a Time when the Mediation of the Empress is depending.” For additional information on the countermanifesto and the memorial, see Jean de Neufville's letter of 2 March, and note 2, above; and that from C. W. F. Dumas of 17 March, and note 3, above.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 78–93). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:306–313.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0154

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-03-19

To the President of Congress

Duplicate

[salute] Sir

I have recieved your Excellency's Letter of the first of January, with { 214 } the Commission and Instructions inclosed. I am very sensible of this fresh Instance of the Confidence of Congress, and shall do every thing in my Power to discharge the Duties of this new Trust; but I am obliged to say, that no Commission that ever was given required more Patience, Fortitude and Circumspection than this: virtues, which I much fear have not fallen in sufficient Quantities to my Share.
I have experienced since my Residence in this Republick, a great Change in the external Behaviour of several Persons of Rank, who upon my first arrival recieved me with distinction; but from the Moment of the publication of the Papers taken with Mr. Laurens1 have been afraid to see me. The Nation has indeed been in a violent fermentation and Crisis. It is divided in Sentiments. There are Stadthoudarians and Republicans: there are Proprietors in English Funds, and Persons immediately engaged in Commerce. There are Enthusiasts for Peace and Alliance with England, and there are Advocates for an Alliance with France, Spain and America, and there are a third Sort, who are for adhering in all things to Russia, Sweeden and Denmark. Some are for acknowledging American Independence, and entering into Treaties of Commerce and Alliance with her: others start at the Idea with Horror, as an everlasting Impediment to a Return to the Friendship and Alliance with England. Some will not augment the Navy without increasing the Army: others will let the Navy be neglected rather than augment the Army. In this perfect Chaos of Sentiments and Systems, Principles and Interests, it is no wonder there is a Languor, a Weakness and Irresolution that is vastly dangerous in the present Circumstances of Affairs. The danger lies not more in the hostile designs and exertions of the English, than from Seditions and Commotions among the People, which are every day dreaded and expected; if it were not for a standing Army and Troops posted about in several Cities, it is probable there would have been popular Tumults before now. But every body that I see appears to me to live in constant fear of Mobs, and in a great degree of uncertainty, whether they will rise in favour of War or against it: in favour of England or against it; in favour of the Prince, or of the City of Amsterdam; in favour of America or against it. I have ventured in the midst of these critical Circumstances, pressed as I am to get Money to discharge the Bills of Exchange which Congress have drawn and I have accepted, to open a Loan: but this is looked upon as a very hardy and dangerous measure; which nobody but an American would have risqued, and I am obliged to assure Congress, that People are as yet so much afraid of being pointed out by the Mob, { 215 } or the Soldiery, as Favourers of this Loan, that I have no hopes at all of succeeding for several Months, if ever.
I have been advised to do nothing in Consequence of my Commission to the States at present, for fear of throwing before the People new Objects of division and dissention. I have however communicated to their high Mightinesses, and to the Ministers of Russia, Denmark, Sweeden and France the Resolution of Congress of the Fifth of October, relative to the principles of the neutral Confederation. The Memorial and Letters I have transmitted to Congress.2
Whenever I shall communicate to their high Mightinesses the full Powers of Congress, the Course will be this—they will lie long upon the Table—then taken ad referendum, that is sent to the several Provinces, Cities and Bodies of Nobles, who compose the Sovereignty, or as some say the Deputies of the Sovereignty: these will deliberate; and deliberate, and deliberate, and probable some will be for and some against making a Treaty, at least it is supposed that Zealand and one or two other Provinces will be against it. But in the mean time, there will be much Communication and Negotiation among Individuals at least, between this Country and Russia, Sweeden and Denmark upon the Subject; and if it is true, as I am informed in a Letter from Mr. Gerry,3 that a Minister is appointed to the Court of Petersbourg, as I hope it is, and that the same Minister, or some other is impowered to treat with Sweeden and Denmark, it is not impossible, I think it indeed probable, that We may succeed with these four Nations at once; for let me add, there is not in my apprehension the least prospect of a general Peace. England is at her old Game of Seduction and Division, and is labouring under the Pretence of employing the Emperor of Germany and the Empress of Russia in Mediations for Peace, insidiously to embroil all Europe in the War.4 From Motives of Philanthropy, I hope She will not succeed, unless the same feelings of Humanity should prompt me to wish all Mankind at War with that Nation for her Humiliation, which is, at this time, if ever one was Hostis humani Generis.5

[salute] I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 94–96); endorsed: “Letter 19 March 1781 John Adams Read 19 Novr.”
1. For the documents taken from Henry Laurens, most notably the Lee-Neufville treaty of 1778, and the British government's use of them, see JA's letter of 27 Oct. 1780 to the president of Congress, and note 3 (vol. 10:306–308).
2. These were JA's memorial to the States General of 8 March and his letters of the same date to Prince Gallitzin, Baron Ehrensvärd, M. de Mestral de Saint Saphorin, the Duc de La Vauguyon, Carel W. Visscher, and { 216 } Engelbert François van Berckel; for which see JA's letters of 8 March to C. W. F. Dumas, Prince Gallitzin, and the Duc de La Vauguyon and his memorial to the States General, all above. The PCC contain two sets of copies of these documents in John Thaxter's hand, but there is no indication when they arrived or with what letters to Congress they were enclosed (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 45, 49, 63, 67, 74, 76, 143; Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 257, 258, 260, 262, 264, 266).
3. Of 10 Jan., above.
4. This was JA's last commentary on the then current proposals to mediate the Anglo-Dutch and Anglo-French wars until his second letter of 16 May to the president of Congress, below. This two-month gap may reflect his view that peace was not going to be restored through mediation. It is interesting in view of the effect that the proposed Austro-Russian mediation of the Anglo-French war would have on his future diplomatic activities.
5. An enemy of the human race.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0155

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-19

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

The inclosed Extracts, are of So much Importance, that I send them to you, for your opinion whether it is prudent to communicate them to the Russian Minister, or not.1
The Intelligence is such that I can make no official Communication. If you think it will do any good, and no harm or at least more good than harm, you may communicate it in Confidence to Friends.
Mr. Dana's Commission, which perhaps is to treat with any or all the northern Powers, is to come by Coll. Palfrey and Duplicates by young Coll. Laurens, as I conjecture.
I have read the Manifesto with Pleasure, because it is a reasonable and a manly Performance. It would have been better perhaps without the last Clause, which will be taken both by Freinds and Ennemies as a Sigh for Peace with England, but much may be Said in Excuse of it. I wish too they had left out their Disapprobation of Amsterdam. It was not necessary, and it never did their high mightinesses any honour, at least I venture to think so.2

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] John Adams
RC and enclosure (DLC: C. W. F. Dumas Papers); endorsed: “Leide 19e. Mars 1781 Mr. J. Adams.” For the enclosure, see note 1.
1. The extracts refer to Francis Dana's appointment as minister plenipotentiary to Russia. The first was from Elbridge Gerry's letter of 10 Jan., above. The second extract was from James Lovell's letter of 6 Jan. to Dana, a copy of which Dana enclosed with his letter of 6 March to JA, above. Lovell wrote “I will prove to you in a private Way that I have much Esteem for you, and desire to promote your Reputation, in your Commission, either the old or the new.” The “old” commission was probably that of 20 June 1780, empowering Dana to act in JA's place if he could not undertake the negotiation of a Dutch loan (JCC, 17:537). Below the extracts, JA wrote, “My Letter came Via Cadiz, from Marble head. Mr. Danas, by a Lugger from Philadelphia to L'orient.”
2. In the final paragraph of the countermanifesto, the States General expressed their hope that Britain would soon return to its former moderate and equitable sentiments and their determination to effect a reconciliation with their former friend and ally when such { 217 } should transpire. Earlier in the document the States General provided a lengthy explanation and defense of their actions with regard to the Lee-Neufville treaty of 1778, which centered on its disavowal of Amsterdam's action and its referral of the matter to the provincial courts of Holland (to the president of Congress, 18 March, calendared above).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0156

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-19

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have recived your Excellencys Letter of the 12th. Instant. It afforded me much Consolation being much depressed at the possible ill turn affairs might have taken if the Empress had in the least Started aside from Her noble System. But I find, she is Steady, and by consequence our Malicious Enemy may be brought to Submit to what is reasonable and Just.
I Hope however, that Holland will not be amused by the Talk of Peace, and relax in her Preparations—Lord North hath already gained something by the report, and will gain more, if the Negociation is spun out to any length. If England attempts to do it, the Con[fe]derated Powers ought to take the Alarm, for it will shew most Evidently the Scheme of the common Ennemy.
When I consider the State of the English Navy, the Temper of Holland and the Northern Powers, and the fleets at Brest and Cadiz, I think it is Impossible that the Grand Squadron as it is called, can leave the coasts of England defenceless, and go to the relief of Gibraltar. If it does go, it must be on the Certainty, that the Northern Alliance mean to do nothing, or it is proposed to grant it the Terms demanded—for what accidents may Happen to the Ships before they can return to the Channel. What might not be done during its Absence! If there was the least Spirit of Enterprise, the Antient Affair at Chatham would be trifling to what might be done.
If your Excellency has an Opportunity of seeing the three last Numbers of the Lettres Hollandoise, your Excellency will see the Proposals published therein and that I have talked to the Author on certain Subjects. I must talk to Him Again thereon.
The Hint which your Excellency gave me of what might Happen affords me the greatest Joy. Immediately on the receipt of your Excellencys Command I put the Thoughts, which Occurred to me, on paper and take the Liberty of inclosing them.1 More may be said thereon and if your Excellency approves of the general Outline I will renew the Subject and get it published Here. The more strokes given, if they are rightly given, will make the Nail go better.
I find the Emperors Minister at Madrid is most intimate with { 218 } Cumberland. But Cumberland has some fair daughters. I Hope it is they alone, who Attract his Excellency no great Harm will be done.

[salute] I am Sir your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obt. Humble Servt.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed, on the final page of the enclosure: “Mr Jennings March 19. ansd. 21. 1781.” JA's reply was actually dated 22 March, below.
1. In the enclosed commentary, Jenings sought to calm Dutch fears about the emergence of an independent United States as a serious economic rival. For the foreseeable future, he argued, the U.S. would be occupied with developing its vast, unsettled territories; it would be an exporter of raw materials and importer of European manufactures. This, together with the Dutch commercial tradition, precluded the U.S. from competing successfully with Dutch merchants for the carrying trade. Indeed, Jenings went so far as to deny any desire on the part of Americans to compete commercially, particularly in the East Indies. If the Netherlands was to take full advantage of the opening of the American market, Jenings continued, its vital interests demanded that it follow France's lead, recognizing the independence of the U.S. and concluding a commercial treaty with the new nation. Such action would advance the principles of the armed neutrality. It would also diminish the chances for a British victory and the consequences that such an event would have for neutral commerce and access to the American market. Jenings' arguments should be compared with those Jean Luzac advanced in his preface to JA's Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie, Amsterdam, 1780 vol. 10:148–152.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0157

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-19

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourable Sir

May we thank Yoúr Excellency for the Obligations she was so kind as to retúrn ús by Mr. Thaxter. The best way we foúnd to remedy the doúble númbers we have send to yoúr ExcellencŸ, would be that Mr. Thaxter númberd oúrs again conformably in Cifer under oúr written númbers, and signd them.
We had the honoúr to forward yoúr Excellency; No. 21 to 30, those may easily be Alterd in the Cifers we now received adding a Zero 0. to each.
No. 131 to 170. could be 231 to 270 altering the 1 of the húndreds only in a 2.
This will be more easy then to alter oúr written Numbers; and they may all fúrter be alike as we will continúe to Number in Screptis, and in Cifer, we wish to have Yoúr Excellencys approbation there on, to prepare a larger quantity and to finish those we have received.
With the most respectfúll Esteem we have the honoúr to be Honourable Sir, Yoúr Excellencys most devoted obedient humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0158-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-20

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J'ai l'honeur de la vôtre du 17; et celui d'y répondre, que par la Constitution le Présidt. n'a point le Droit de Supprimer les Papiers adressés à L. H. P., ni de les remettre à un autre. Mais L. H. P. mêmes, peuvent, Si elles le jugent à propos, se dispenser, ou différer, de répondre à de telles Pieces. Or vous vous souvenez sans doute, Monsieur, que je vous ai prévenu, que tel pourroit bien être le parti qu'ils prendroient, sur-tout dans le cas présent, où l'Angleterre n'a pas donné de réponse encore aux ouvertures de la Russie. Les Ministres admis ici sont dans l'usage, quand ils s'adressent au Président, de douer en même temps, par politesse, une Copie de leur Mémoire au Gd. Pensionaire d'Hde. Mais vous savez que celui-ci doit encore réponse à la Lettre qui lui avoit été écrite par la Commission Plénipe. Américaine de Paris en 1778;2 je n'ai donc pu, ni ne puis, vous conseiller, ni déconseiller de suivre cet usage, lequel d'ailleurs j'ignorois, ne l'ayant appris qu'aujourd'hui: car je ne crois pas qu'il répondroit à la Lettre que vous lui auriez écrite, ou que vous lui écririez encore à ce sujet.
J'ai écrit à Mrs. De Neufville, pour savoir s'ils ont établi ici un Correspondant pour y négocier de vos Obligations: et j'attends leur réponse là-dessus, que je me ferai un devoir de vous communiquer. Ce que je sais, c'est qu'ils ont fait passer ici des plans de la Négociation, en ayant vu un entre les mains d'un Négociant ici.
Je sens que la tâche de signer tant de milliers de fois son nom, est autant de mille fois moins agréable, que celle de rédiger une Constitution. Si c'étoit une occupation que je pusse partager avec vous, je vous offrirois, Monsieur, ma présence à Leide pendant cette huitaine, ou il n'y a rien à faire ici, parce que les Etats d'Hollde. sont séparés.
Je conviens avec vous, que la paix, dont on parle tant, n'est qu'une amorce pour faire des dupes. Mais je ne saurois dire quand l'illusion finira. Je voudrois seulement que cela, et le repos de l'Amérique, dépendissent de moi.
Rien n'est encore décidé de la Cour de Justice d'hollde. Et je commence à douter que l'on décide jamais cette affaire.
Dans ce moment je reçois l'honnorée vôtre d'hier. Je vous remercie de la communication, qui me fait grand plaisir. Je crois que le plus prudent est de ne rien dire de cela sur-tout à l'Envoyé de Russie, jusqu'à-ce que Mr. Dana ait reçu sa Commission. Si quelque raison { 220 } imprévue me faisoit changer d'idée, je vous le marquerai. J'ai l'honneur d'être avec un grand respect, Monsieur Votre très très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
P.S.
Cette Lettre étoit écrite; et j'allois la porter à la poste hier; lorsque je fus détourné par le bruit qui commençoit à se répandre de la prise de St. Eustache par les Anglois.4 Cela s'est confirmé en plein ce matin. Il faudra voir quelle sensation cela fera non seulement sur la nation en général, mais aussi, et sur-tout, à Amsterdam.
On m'a donné avis d'un autre projet des Anglois contre la Repe. Je l'ai communiqué ce matin à une personne en grande relation avec la Cour. Nous verrons si l'on m'en saura quelque gré: et si cela est, je vous en ferai part, ainsi que de l'impression que je remarquerai qu'aura fait ici l'affaire de St. Eustache.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0158-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-20

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

[salute] Sir

I have the honor of your letter of the 17th and respond to it here. According to the Constitution the president has neither the right to suppress papers addressed to Their High Mightinesses nor the right to deliver them to anyone else. But Their High Mightinesses themselves can, if they deem it appropriate, refrain from, or delay responding to such papers. Now you no doubt remember, sir, that I warned you that they might take such a course, especially in this case where England has not yet responded to the Russian overtures. When the ministers admitted here address the president, they supply, as a courtesy, a copy of their memorial to the grand pensionary of Holland. But you know that the latter must still respond to the letter that was written to him by the American plenipotentiary commission at Paris in 1778.2 I could not and cannot advise, nor advise against, following this practice, of which I had no previous knowledge until today because I do not believe that he would respond to the letter that you would have written, nor that you will write again on this subject.
I wrote to Messieurs de Neufville to find out if they have established a correspondent here to dispose of your obligations. I am waiting for their reply to this so that I can communicate it to you. I do know that they have begun arrangements for it, having myself seen a plan in the hands of an agent here.
I feel that the task of signing one's name thousands of times is a thousand times less agreeable than writing a constitution. If it were an occupation that I could share with you, sir, I would have offered my presence in Leyden during the past week, since there is nothing to do here with the States of Holland separated.
{ 221 }
I agree with you, that the peace being talked about is nothing but bait to trap dupes. But I cannot say when this illusion will be over. I only wish that this and peace for America depended on me.
Nothing has yet been decided by the Court of Justice of Holland, and I am beginning to doubt if they will ever decide on this affair.
I just received your letter of yesterday. Thank you for this communication which gave me great pleasure. I believe that it would be most prudent to say nothing about this to the Russian envoy until Mr. Dana has received his commission. If any unforeseen reason makes me change my mind, I will tell you. I have the honor to be with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
P.S.
This letter being written, I was going to the post office yesterday when I was distracted by spreading reports that the English had taken St. Eustatius.4 It was confirmed this morning. It will be necessary to see what effect this will have on the nation in general and especially on Amsterdam.
I have been alerted to another British plan against the republic. I communicated it this morning to someone with close access to the Court. We will see if they are obliged to me and if so, I will tell you about it and also about any impressions I have concerning the St. Eustatius incident.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Son Excellence Monsieur J. Adams Esqr. M. Plenipe. des E.U. au soin de Mr. Thaxter, chez Mr. Wellers au Langebrugh, vis à vis le Manlelhuys Leyde.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas [21]st. March 1781.” Part of the endorsement was lost when a portion of the page was cut away.
1. In Dumas' letterbook this letter and its postscript are dated “20, & 21 Mars” (Algemeen Rijksarchief, Eerste Afdeling, C. W. F. Dumas Coll., Inventaris 1, f. 412).
2. This is the Commissioners' letter of 28 April 1778 to Pieter van Bleiswyck, Grand Pensionary of Holland. The Commissioners announced the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and indicated their willingness to conclude a similar agreement with the Netherlands vol. 6:61–62. For Dumas' account of his presentation of that letter on 14 May 1778 and van Bleiswyck's response, see vol. 6:85–99.
3. Dumas wrote the postscript on a separate, much smaller sheet of paper.
4. On 3 Feb., a force commanded by Adm. Rodney and Gen. Vaughan seized the Dutch islands of St. Eustatius, St. Martin, and Saba, capturing 150 ships, including several American armed vessels and confiscating merchandise valued at two to three million pounds sterling. It was a disaster for the Netherlands and particularly for the merchants of Amsterdam who were heavily involved in trade with the U.S. through St. Eustatius. But it also resulted in heavy losses for many British merchants who, under the terms of various acts of Parliament, could trade with the Dutch island and were as heavily involved in this commerce as their Dutch counterparts. Rodney, mesmerized by the prospect of so much prize money, remained at St. Eustatius for three months to collect the confiscated goods and dispatch them to England. In the end, however, his capture of the island resulted in his financial ruin, for the British merchants successfully sued for compensation of their losses (DNB; Edler, Dutch Republic and the American Revolution, p. 181–189; Mackesy, War for America, p. 416–417). On 13 March reports of Rodney's capture of St. Eustatius appeared in the London Gazette Extraordinary and by the 23d a translation of those accounts appeared in the Gazette de Leyde.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0159

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-21

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I have received your favour of the 19th. and will direct Mr. Thaxter to number your Bonds again in figures under your written Numbers and Sign them, and to make the other alterations, according to your Proposal.
Alass poor Statia! But as Providence orders Us unpleasant Potions of Medicine to cure our distempers, So I hope this apparent Misfortune will open the Eyes of the blind; will convince the credulous of their Weakness, in placing any Kind of Confidence in the Justice, the Honour, the Moderation, or Humanity of Great Britain, Virtues which exist only at this time in their own vainglorious Writings and Speeches. I hope also it will accellerate an immediate and direct Commerce with America, and what is of more importance to this Country as well as to that, a Solid Alliance. I hope further, that this Insult to the neutral Confederation will prompt them to take a decided Part, which their own Dignity Honour and Interest demand, and forth with join France Spain and America, in Pursuit of the two greatest Objects of the Negotiations and Wars of the present Age, American Independance and the rights of neutral Vessells. Once more I hope, that this unexampled outrage, to the Law of Nations to public faith, and every Sound Principle among Men, will induce even the great City of Amsterdam to act a more decided and vigorous Part, then she has done. Her Example will be followed with Ardour by every other Member of the Sovereignty, all of whom I have reason to believe, are Slackened in their resolution by the feebleness and Irresolution of that City. I have the Honour to be &c.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0160

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-21

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

The Capture of St. Eustache, which was to be expected, and the immense Acquisition of Property in the Ships taken will surely rouse the antient Spirit of the Dutch, which was always greatest in Times of the greatest Calamity. Or will this Misfortune be wickedly turned against the Friends of the Independance of the States? I am anxious to hear how this News will be recievd in Holland. Your Excellency Observes, that the Inhabitants of St. Eustache were lulled into Se• { 223 } curity by the reports of Captn. Byland.1 His Instructions surely must have been very particular to have made Him act in that manner. Your Excellency sees too the Malicious pleasure, that Rodney takes in finding the blow will be most felt by Amsterdam. The internal and external Ennemies of Holland act wonderfully in Concert. The blow is certainly a great one, and will be felt by the French and Americans too, but it will be felt by the English likewise, who had a considerable Property in the Island and Ships. It ought surely rouse the Dutch and all Powers to the Utmost. I know not the State of the Preparations where you are, but if the Dutch had ten ships of the Line ready, they ought to be sent to the Downs, which they would soon clear of the Ennemy. They might then lay a fortnight at the Mouth of the Thames, and wait until they are joined by 10 Ships more, and sail together through the Channel and join the Ships at Brest, and thereby make a considerable Squadron to wait the return of the English fleet from Gibraltar. Should the English meet with the Spanyards they may be beat, the Ships will certainly be much shattered, and thereby become an Easy prey to a fresh force at the mouth of the Channel.
How, Sir, will Russia Act on this Event? Will not the Empress take a decided Part? When She insists, that the Independancy should be the basis of Her Mediation, She seems to have laid the foundation of the Conduct now to be held, if it cannot be had by her mediation, it ought to be so be her Acting publickly and Hostilely. The Times require that the insultd Powers should have one Object or Else they will continue to Act without Vigor and without concert. So long as they do so, England is warranted in her pursuit of what otherwise appears a mad and desperate Game. She sees, that the great force against Her is not used with Spirit and Judgment. She sees that Each State in Enmity to Her has private and different Views; and therefore the formidable Combination may be baffled and defeated, but if it would have the same one Object in View, An Object which will assure to all, what all wish to Attain, the Independancy of America, it would have a sure and certain rule for the Directions of its Operations. Until that is done, England will persist and may triumph Altho to her Ruin.
It is plain, Holland must submit or Else Act with Vigor, and what an opportunity has She at this moment of making a decisive Stroke, if she was prepared and had not a Mill Stone about Her neck! The whole of the English force is supposed to have left the Kingdom, and thereby Her Coasts are exposed to depredations and Attacks. Should the English Fleet be beat by the Spanish or french Squadrons, England { 224 } must be ruined at Home whilst She rejoices at her foreign Successes, but she depends on her secret Friends, which embarrass the operations of the Dutch. The taking of St. Eustache will I think produce some great Event one way or other. I wait with Anxiety to hear it. Will Russia Sir, amuse Herself with the Idea of a Treaty? How could She suffer Johnstones Squadron to sail evidently with the intention to Attack the Dutch in the East? Does she not see that England means not to come into the Terms proposed? I wish the United States had a Man in a public Character at Petersburgh, Could not Mr. Dana do much good there? His manner and his Knowledge would draw the Attention of that Court. The Conduct of England is such, as to alarm all and promises a fair reception to any one Acting for the general Interest of Europe. Why should not the Northern Powers adopt at least and at last my favorite Idea, and lay an Embargo on all English Ships now in the Sound,2 and prevent others entering in. This alone would finish the War as it would have Stopped its Continuance long since. There is something in Politics beyond a Plain Mans Comprehension.

[salute] I am with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellencys Most faithful & Obedient Humble Servt.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Edmund Jennings Esqr. 21st. March 1781.”
1. Capt. Frederik Sigismund van Bylandt, commanding the 38-gun frigate Mars, arrived at St. Eustatius on 1 Feb., two days before Rodney and Vaughan reached the island. He apparently brought no warning of impending hostilities between the Netherlands and Great Britain (J. Franklin Jameson, “St. Eustatius in the American Revolution,” American Historical Rev., 8:699–700 [July 1903]; Rodney to Phillip Stephens, 4 Feb., London Chronicle, 13–15 March). For van Bylandt's account of his actions as well as the surrender of St. Eustatius, see the Gazette de Leyde of 27 March.
2. The Oresund Strait, connecting the Kattegat and the Baltic.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0161

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-21

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it not displease yoúr Excellency that by this present we tútch upon the unhappy afair of St. Eústacia, we do realy pity them who will be loosers thereby, as it will be a terrible stroke and rúin many people, thank heaven oúr own loss and that of oúr frinds can not be by farr so great in this moment then it could have been; and we would willingly have sacrificd a múch larger Súmm in Case we could have prevented this generall Calamity, which by all probability should not have happend, if as the stronger Tories confess them Selfs oúr Navy had been sooner in a better order as it could and ought to have been.
{ 225 }
Yoúr Excellency will certainly be informed that Coll. Lawrence Arrived in Eúrope. We heard it by some of oúr American Letters that came over in the same Vessell, and that a greater force was raised in America so as to act offensively which gave ús great pleasúre.
May all those tidings inflúence oúr Loan, and rise the Spirits of the Dútch, so as not to be seduced to an entire ignominy.
With all respectfúll regard We have the honoúr to be Honourd Sir, Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and most Obedient húmble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0162

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1781-03-22

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I have recieved several Letters from You, but have been so busy signing my Name, that I could not answer.
I give You Joy of Laurens's Arrival—it is a great Event. I hope he brought You an important Paper, which Lovel mentions in his Letter to You, and Gerry in an excellent one to me.1
I rejoice Sir in your Honour, and in the public Good, but I feel myself weakened and grieved at the present loss of a Treasure of Advice and Ability. I hope to see You here in your Route.
Pray commit to writing all your Observations on our first Errand and give them to me. I hope your old Commission is not superseded.2 In Case of Negotiation, of which however there is no likelihood for Years, I shall summon You. Mr. Laurens must have Letters and important Papers for me. I hope to have them soon. There is no one knows the banking Comn.3 but Mr. De Neufville and me—it is not more however than Precedent—but let them lye about it if they will—I am not afraid of their Lyes. Statia is gone—and the Dutch are yet dead—when they will come to life I know not.
[signed] J.A.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (MHi: Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr. Jno. Adams's Letter Dated 22d. March 1781 Recd. 1st. April (No. 9.).”
1. Following the word “Paper,” Dana placed a mark and wrote in the left margin: “My Commission as Minister Plenipo: for Russia is alluded to.” JA refers to James Lovell's letter to Dana of 6 Jan. (see Dana's letter of 6 March, note 4, above) and Elbridge Gerry's letter of 10 Jan., above.
2. The “first Errand” was JA's mission to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, for which Dana held a commission as JA's secretary (JCC, 15:1128, 1172). Congress did not revoke Dana's previous commission; in fact, in June 1781 they appointed him secretary to the expanded peace commission in the event that negotiations began before he departed for Russia (JCC, 20:699).
3. The abbreviation is in JA's hand. He may refer to Congress' resolution of 28 Oct. 1780 authorizing him to accept bills of exchange drawn on Henry Laurens (vol. 10:311–312).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0163

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-03-22

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

With great pleasure have I recieved yours of the 19th, with its Inclosures. I wish I could answer more at large, but in addition to a thousand other Objects crowding upon me at present, I have had to write my obscure Name nine and twenty thousand times to Obligations and Coupons, which I expect will give me before it is ended a great Name at least, if not a great deal of Money.
I am exceedingly pleased with your thoughts, all but one. You hold up the Idea of restraining from the East: this Idea never will do. America will never consent to any Restriction whatsoever, but will finally insist on a right to trade with every Nation that will trade with her. For God's sake let us beat down every Idea of Restriction. I am demonstratively certain, it is the Interest of every Power in Europe to take off every restriction from American Trade. It will be longer in this Case before the Trade of America will interfere with that of any Nation, than if it is clogged. Nitimur in vetitum, Semper cupimusque negata.1 The Idea of the least restraint is a Poison: it will lay a foundation for embroiling Europe and America for ever: it will occasion another horrid War in seven Years—so would a Truce.
The last Letters Hollandoise are very good—go on I pray You.
[signed] J.A.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In the Letterbook, only the first three words of the quotation were included. In the recipient's copy JA inserted the entire passage. The quotation reads: we always strive after what is forbidden and desire the things refused us (Ovid, Amores, Bk. III, chap. 4, line 17).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0164

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-22

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it please Yoúr Excellency. That we acknowledge the receipt of her most esteemd favoúr,1 the sentiments expressd there in are most liberall, we are in hopes they may prevaill with oúr people, bútt nationally considered, we confess, we are mostly to slow in oúr motions, the generall, feel the English injury, they are sensible of its soúrce, bútt seem to múch abashd by the loss, to move as yett; may they be awaken'd in time! to prevent destrúction and preserve liberty with smaller fortúnes.
May we also thank Yoúr Excellency for the aproving of oúr arrange• { 227 } ment aboút the Obligations, we are still in great hopes the loan will succeed bútt not so soon as we wished, the Statia affair múst decide we think great things, and may accelerate American Independence, and the rights of Neútrall Vessells.
The English seem determind that Amsterdam shall pay therefor, it wónt be oúr faúlt.
Mr. Hodshon hath send ús the inclosed Bills, which we have the honoúr to forward for Acceptance, mean while with all respectfúll regard we have the honoúr to be Honourd Sir! Yoúr Excellencys most devoted And most Obedient humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. Of 21 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-24

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I received last night your favour of the 22d., inclosing three Bills of Exchange which I have accepted and return inclosed. I have also received another Letter on the Affair of St. Eustatia.1 I Sincerely condole with you, on the Loss of that Island both as it affects the publick and as it must probably more or less affect your private Interest.
There is great Pains taken to represent this as a fatal Blow to the United States of America, at which I can do nothing but laugh. In my private opinion it will be better for America. The Property taken in that Island, I shrewdly suspect, belonging to English Scotch and Irish Merchants, was more than all that belong to french Americans and even Dutch, altogether. In this I may be mistaken, but in all Events the American Property there was not much.
However after the insidious Artifices of the English in holding out false appearances of a disposition for Peace, shall have amused 8 or 9 nations for a little while, when they discover themselves to have been only duped and mocked by English Impudence this outrage, with others cannot but Unite all the maritime nations in one decisive League, in support of the Freedom of Commerce, and American Independance, without which it is evident to demonstration that the Liberty of the Seas cannot longer exist.
Put American again in dependance on England, and it would be in their joint Power in twenty years, to conquer all the <Possessions> { 228 } Establishment of the Spaniards French Dutch and Portuguese in the East and West Indies in Spight of all that the rest of Mankind could do to prevent it. <With great Respect, I have the Honour to be, &c.>
I would not advise the Powers of Europe, therefore, to let America be reduced to the Necessity, of proposing Terms to Great Britain. With great Respect, I have the Honour to be &c.
1. Probably Edmund Jenings' letter of 21 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0166

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-26

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it please yoúr Excellency that we thank her for the most kind reception I had the honoúr to meet with. I am sorry my time is so múch taken úp in this moment that I could not make my visit longer and accept of the honoúr offerd me; there is no news aboút the loan; I am very much pleased Yoúr Excellency is so indifferent aboút it for the present, as I can scarcely doúbt it will do in good time. We have learnd patience and perseverance; and repeat often Horaces known system jústúm et tenacem propositi virum,1 what will bring oúr people we hope in Spirits, is the Arrival of a Vessell belonging to Boston; yoúr Nation Honourd Sir we hope will be the example to oúrs, in many respects, and we are determind never to act únworthy to both, we begg leave to join again to this present Some papers which came to oúr hands for Yoúr Excellency2 and have the honoúr to be with all devoted Regard, Honourd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most obedient and most humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
We hope Mr. Charles will be Soon recoverd.3 May we begg oúr compliments to both the Gent. and Mr. Thaxter. Yr. Ex. be pleased so To.
After what we had the honoúr to mention, may we begg leave to add that we should not be surprised there was some idea at the Hagúe to make domesticall matters úpp,4 if so we think we shall know it, as we do suppose a certain person came on púrpose to sound me, and some others, this I thought will give yoúr Excellency pleasúre to know, butt may I begg at the Same time that it may remain the deepest Secret with yoúr Excellency own Self, as any enquiry even might Spoill the whole, I dare Say if we are not to Sanguine different opportunitys offer to serve the good Caúse, and yoúr Excellency may { 229 } depend on that we shall be and are sufficiently on oúr guard not to be Amúsed, carrying on every measúre which may promote any good in the present circúmstances.
1. The complete passage, as usually cited, reads: Iustum et tenacem propositi virum / non civium ardor prava iubentium, / non voltus instantis tyranni / mente quatit solida (Horace, Odes, Bk. III, Ode iii, lines 1–4). That is, “The man tenacious of his purpose in a righteous cause is not shaken from his firm resolve by the frenzy of his fellow citizens bidding what is wrong, not by the face of threatening tyrant” (Horace, The Odes and Epodes, with an English Translation, by C. E. Bennett, Cambridge, 1952, p. 178–179).
2. Presumably the Lettres hollandoises, for which see JA's reply of 27 March, below.
3. CA was ill from March through at least the end of May with what JA described as a “tertian fever,” a form of malaria characterized by paroxysms of fever at 48-hour intervals. John Thaxter described one of CA's paroxysms in a letter to JA of 5 April (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:97–98, 108, 121).
4. It is unclear what this reference to “domesticall matters” means, but it may be efforts to reconcile the positions of the stadholderian and patriot parties so as to mount a concerted effort against Britain.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0167

Author: Adams, John
Author: San, Fernando Raymond
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Date: 1781-03-27

To Thomas Digges

[salute] Sir

I am very much obliged to you, for the Trouble you have kindly taken in Sending me Gazettes, Pamplets, and Books, but the alteration of Circumstances, has rendered the Communication So difficult and expensive that I am obliged to desist. Two or three Packets which you mentioned in Letter1 not long Since have not arrived, nor have I heard any Thing of them.
The Gazettes cost me by the Post, at a Rate of two hundred Guineas I believe a Year, and I am now in a Situation where I have found a Way to have all the Papers at a very Small Expence comparatively. So that I Should be obliged to you to Stop immediately, the two Papers the Morning Herald and General Advertiser, and also the Sending of any more Books and Pamphlets. You will be So good as to send me a minute of the Ballance between Us, and whatever it may be in your favour, I will take measures to discharge immediately. I should be obliged to you, however, for the Continuance of your Favours and the good News of the times. I am with great Respect, Sir, your obliged, humble sert
[signed] F.R.S.
LbC (Adams Papers). JA directed this letter to “Mr. W. Singleton Church,” one of Digges' aliases. He initialed it as Fernando Raymond San, his own seldom used alias, for which see vol. 9:8, 12.
1. From Digges, 11 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0168

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-03-27

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

Since I had the Honour to communicate to you my Commission to their High mightiness, by which the general Affairs of America, in this Republick come under my direction, you may possibly be at some Uncertainty about your own Situation and the Continuance of that Small annual Sum which you have heretofore received from the Commissioners and the Minister at the Court of Versailles. In order to remove the Doubt as far as in my Power, I take this Method to inform you, that I <have no> am perswaded it is the Intention of Congress that you should continue your good services to their Cause if you have no Objection, and that you should have at least the Same allowance continued.1 I Suppose his Excellency Dr. Franklin will readyly continue to pay your Draughts as usual: but if he should not, and you choose to continue in the service of America under my direction2 I will undertake to do it, as long as I shall reside in the Republick3 at my own <Expence and> Risque, <and> untill the further order of Congress <, or untill I Shall depart from the Republick>.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with great Esteem and Respect, Sir your most obedient most humble servant

1. Dumas was paid a total of 17,842.19.9 livres for the period from 20 April 1777 to 10 Nov. 1780. The next payment to Dumas would be on 14 Nov. 1781, when he received 2,700 livres from Ferdinand Grand as authorized by Benjamin Franklin. He received seven additional payments of 2,700 livres through 16 May 1785 (DNA: RG 39, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787 [Microfilm, Reel No. 1, f. 10]).
2. The previous thirteen words were interlined.
3. The previous nine words were interlined.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0169

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-27

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I have just received yours, inclosing the Lettres Hollandoise, and thank you for your Attention.1 You give me great Joy by your Account of the Arrival of a Vessell from Boston—hope We shall soon hear of more.
As to the Loan, I am not indifferent about its Success. My own Reputation with Some People, in Europe and America will depend in Some measure upon it. But this has little Weight with me—it is of Importance to America, to have a Comptoir, or Banker in Amsterdam { 231 } upon whom Congress could occasionally draw, as they have at Paris and Madrid.
And my Instructions from Congress are Such as rendered it my indispensable duty to open a Loan, and try the Experiment.
If it does not Succeed, I shall have done my duty. But the Same Duty requires that I should write an Account to Congress, and to Dr. Franklin, of its Success. To Congress that they may draw their Bills in future upon Paris and Madrid. To Dr. Franklin that he may be able to obtain the Money of the Court of Versailles, to discharge the Bills I have already accepted. In this Case Mr. Grand the Banker in Paris, will give orders, as I expect to the House of Horneca Fizeau & Co at Amsterdam to pay the Bills. This, you See, will make it publick that my Loan has not Succeeded—and the whole will divert that Part of the Trade of America which would naturally have flowed to Amsterdam to France and Spain. I shall be mortified at this: but there will be one Consolation, We Shall have no Interest to pay, but what We please and where We please, for the Money obtained of those Courts, has been generously granted, without any terms whatsoever, respecting the Terms of Interest or the Time of Payment of Interest or Principal.
We shall be under more obligations at Paris and Madrid, and less else where. I am not therefore anxious, nor will I depart a Single doit2 from the Terms, if the whole falls through. I have already gone farther, than will be for the good of my Reputation, or promote the Intercourse between the two Countries.
The Secret Intelligence you give me, I am rejoiced to hear. It shall remain a Secret with me. I have a great deal of News too, which I must keep a Secret at present, but which holds out hopes of Great and good Things to our righteous Cause. I expect to learn more of it, every hour.3
I am with great Respect &c.
I inclose Mr. Hodgsons 3 Bills and your 8.
1. Of 26 March, above.
2. A small Dutch coin no longer in use that equaled one-eighth of a stuiver, which was itself equal to one-twentieth of a florin (OED; John J. McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600–1775: A Handbook, Chapel Hill, 1978, p. 44).
3. The nature of JA's secret information is not clear, but he had not yet informed the Neufvilles—at least in an extant letter—of his commission as minister plenipotentiary and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his letters of credence to the States General and William V.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0170

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-27

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May we begg leave to mention to Yoúr Excellency that nothing materiall hath happend Since oúrs of Yesterday. The greatest news we now múst expect from the Hagúe as oúr States will be Assembled, for we múst not mind for false reports, Súch as that which had been spread to day that [Vlissingen?] was taken by the English, by and by I hope we will learn not to be intimidated, and then see the Spirits of the Dutch people rise. The Captúre of St. Eústacia hath múch affected oúr monied people, and hindred ús to compleat the whole loan, we are Sorry for it as it would have been a matter of as great an importance for the publicq as satisfaction to oúr Selfs, If we may carry all matters to oúr Wishes they will do well at the end. With all Respectfúll Regard we have the honoúr to be Honourd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted and most obedient humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0171

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1781-03-28

To John Jay

[salute] Sir

It is so long since I wrote You, that I am almost ashamed to recollect.1 I have been in the most curious Country, among the most incomprehensible People and under the most singular Constitution of Government in the World. I have not been able to write You, what could or would be done here, because I was not able to discover, nor did I ever yet find one Man in the Country, who would pretend to say what Course the Republic would take.
At this moment, altho' I think there cannot be a Peace between them and England; yet I dont see a probability of their being in earnest in the War for some time.
I can tell You one thing however for certain, that the Conduct of Spain has great Influence here. Her delay in acknowledging our Independence contributes amazingly to the Indecision of the Republic. If Spain had fully entered into the System this Country would soon follow.
I must therefore beg of You to communicate to me as much concerning this Subject, as You are at Liberty to do.2 All Nations it is to be feared will wait for Spain, and thus prolong the Evils of War { 233 } to unnecessary lengths. My best Compliments to your Family, and believe me to be, with great Esteem, Sir, your most obedient Servant
[signed] John Adams
Inclose for me to Messs. De la Lande & Finje, Merchants in Amsterdam.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (NNC: John Jay Papers); endorsed: “Recd. 4 May. 1781 John Adams 28 March 1781 recd 4 May 1781.”
1. JA's last extant letter to Jay was dated 15 May 1780 (vol. 9:315–316).
2. In his Letterbook, on the page immediately following this letter, JA began, but did not complete, another letter of 28 March to an unidentified person (LbC, Adams Papers). He wrote: “The Delay of Spain, in the Business of Mr. Jay has a very bad Effect upon all Europe. If you know the Cause—or what train the negotiation is in, pray communicate it to me. I have written to Mr. Jay, to day, but shall have an Answer Sooner from you.” In fact, JA did not write again to John Jay until 26 Nov. (NNC: John Jay Papers), and Jay did not write to JA until he replied to that letter on 15 Dec. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0172

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-28

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Dear Sir

Your much esteemed letter of the 18. of January, which on account of my late journeys was sent after me from Florence to Pisa, Leghorn, and Genoa, and from Genoa to Florence again, Pisa, and Leghorn, has at last found me here. I had imagined, that in consequence of Mr. Laurens's misfortune you would of your own accord continue in Holland longer than you at first intended, and am glad to hear that you have been ordered so to do, as I hope it will be for our good. At least, if any good is to be made of the Dutch, you are in my opinion the properest person to bring them to it. You will probably persuade them to lend us some of their money, but you won't, I am afraid, so easily succeed to rise up their martial spirits. By your letter it seems, that you have better notion of their warlike operations, than I have. If you could tell me any thing agreable on that, or any other account, I wish you would do it, and I assure you, Sir, that I am far from assuming to trouble you to satisfy my curiosity; I am confident that I can turn to good account any information of things, which are likely to be of service directly, or indirectly, to our glorious Cause.
In answer to your question on the probability of borrowing money in Italy for the United States by the authority of Congress, I beg leave to offer to your perusal part of those 2. letters to my State, which I had inclosed to you unsealed, and which having been forwarded by Mr. Dana I find you did not see.1
Part of letter 21. dated Genoa, August 19. 1780.2
{ 234 }
“You are sensible of the importance of convincing these Nations of our firmness and abilities to support our Independency. I heartly wish you will not fail to keep me thoroughly and constantly acquainted with whatever passes on our Continent. I have paved the way here, as far as the present circumstances would admit, for the execution of your future orders; have comunicated the business to the person3 I mentioned, who has promised me his friendly assistance; shall set out for Florence in a few days, where I expect to meet with a favourable reception from the Person in question, who can be of a great service to us, both with money, and his great credit; but nothing can be done, you know, untill I can give satisfaction on the situation of our affairs, and receive my powers, which must be well authenticated, and perfectly clear.
“In my last conversation with Dr. Franklin I understood, that out of the 6. per cent one was intended to pay for commissions, brockerage, and other expences, which I find are unavoidable; but I find likewise that they generally amount to 3, or 4 per cent at first, once for ever, which is much cheaper to the borrower than one per cent annually. This is what has been done for the Queen of Hungary, the Ducal Chamber of Milan, and others in like cases. Want of money is not now confined among the belligerent Nations; it seems to be a general case. I hope however that we shall enjoy as good a credit as any other, provided we can give a good account of our firmness to support our glorious Cause. I long to hear from my Country, and to receive your commands, which I hope will be conceived in so ample a form as to avoid the danger of putting a stop to the business &c. &c.”
Part of letter 22. dated Florence, October 20. 1780.4
“In letter 20. dated Paris, June 22d.,5 I said that I should set out for Genoa and Florence, and do all my endeavours to pave the way for executing such orders as I might receive. So I have done, and with as much success in both places, as I could almost wish, considering that I have nothing to show to corroborate what I say in regard to my Commissions. I have greatly lessened here and there the credit of british reports to our disadvantage; and had I my powers a loan-office would probably have been opened in Genoa to take in subscriptions for us before I left it. Some money-men there, and an eminent merchant were determined to send you on your terms the goods I was ordered to purchase for tobacco, and to make use of the Emperour's flag, which they say they can easily obtain; but they wanted to be assured that after so long an interval you might not { 235 } have altered your mind. This, you know, Sir, is more than I can do; and my ignorance of the footing, on which our State and Continental Loan-Offices are at present, puts out of my power to encourage adventurers in any thing, as they cannot expect an advantage by it, unless they send a much larger capital than they can fetch back, for the reasons mentioned in letter 8,6 and I cannot tell them how they can now dispose of their money in America. Here, where I am since the 13. of September, I have been assured that every thing will be done in our favour, which prudently can be done. It is very mortifying for me to be still deprived of my Commissions and Instructions, and was not my character well known it is probable that I should be looked upon as an impostor, since so many ships are arrived from America, and even from Virginia, without ever a letter for me. I must soon return to Genoa to keep in good humour our new Friends, as I find that writing alone don't answer the purpose as well as I could wish. I shall soon after come back, and then go to Rome, Naples, and Sicily, having been assured that something can be done in all those places. Until I receive your positive orders I have no other rule to go by than to act to the best of my judgment. You know, Sir, my situation, and my feelings for our Country. To be deprived of the power of being of real service at this time is cruel, and my state of uncertainty gives me more uneasiness than I can express. &c. &c.”
I was again at Genoa, as I mention in the beginning of this letter, and have been eye-witness of the large sums those people have lately imployed in France. They have even put some money in England. They won't keep their money unimployed, and have been tempted by the advantagious annuities of France, and the high interest given by the other. I cannot as yet succeed to persuade them that England cannot continue much longer to pay the interest of such exorbitant debt. The virginity of that Nation in point of bankeruptcy is of so great service to them, that many people won't open their eyes to look at the impossibility of continuing so; and I dare say you will find many such where you are.
I am of opinion that some money can be borrowed in Italy, notwithstanding the large quantity which has been employed ever since I arrived; but in order that I may persuade them to it, it is requisite that I should be well acquainted, as I have often repeated, with the present sistem of our Finances, and the situation and prospect of our affairs in general.7
In mine of the 19. of October I had the honour to inform you that the people here inclined to lend their money rather to Congress, than { 236 } to an individual State, which I likewise mentioned to Govr. Jefferson in a private letter of the 27th. of the same month.8 But if I should have the honour to serve the United States in this, I wish that you would undertake to justify my conduct with the Executive of my own State (by whom I was sent cheafly to borrow money for Virginia) although I have not as yet received the duplicates of my Commissions and Instructions, or rather new ones as I ought to receive in consequence of what I wrote to them, and am still without an answer to any of my letters.
You will please to remember, Sir, that Dr. Franklin tried to raise money in Italy at 6. per cent per annum without effect, and to observe in the extract of letter 21, that I expect to raise it on easier terms. Permit me to observe that on application of the kind, either for Congress, or for a single State, from a person who has not the advantage of conversing familiarly with these people, would not only have no chance to succeed, but would be of a great prejudice to my endeavours.
I send this to Mr. Favi, desiring him to give it to Mr. Dana, who no doubt has the means of convaying it safe to you. I wish you will let me know in your next favour9 how to direct hereafter, that I may write to you in a more direct line. Letters for me must always be directed at Florence, and for better security they should be sent to Mr. Favi.
Want of resolution in the Dutch, either from pusillanimity in the Nation, or corruption in those who are at the helm of affairs, must have, I think, much disgusted the Empress of Russia, if she has ever been in earnest. I cannot flatter myself with the prospect of any good from the Northern Powers. Should you continue to think of them, as it appears you did when you wrote to me, I would be greatly obliged to you for the comunication of your reasons, not merely to satisfy my wishes, but likewise to help me to support my arguments. In expectation of soon receiving the honour of your commands, I am most respectfully, Sir, your Excellency's most Obedient & most Humble Servant
[signed] Philip Mazzei
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Mazzei 28th. March 1781.”
1. Mazzei included this and the preceding paragraph in his letter to Thomas Jefferson of 8 April (Jefferson, Papers, 5:375–376). For material from that letter to Jefferson that Mazzei sent on to JA, see his letter of 31 May to JA, and note 3, below.
2. Mazzei to Jefferson, 19 Aug. 1780, not found (Jefferson, Papers, 3:557). Mazzei enclosed the letter to Jefferson with his to JA of 19 Aug. 1780 (vol. 10:81–82).
3. Possibly Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, whom Mazzei mentioned in his letter to JA of 19 Aug. 1780 (vol. 10:81–82).
4. Original letter to Jefferson, not found (Jefferson, Papers, { 237 } 4:51–52). Mazzei enclosed the letter to Jefferson with his letter to JA of 19 Oct. 1780 (vol. 10:292–293).
5. Jefferson, Papers, 3:458–460.
6. Mazzei to Jeffeson, 4 March 1780 (same, 3:310–312). The inhibiting factors were the high costs of freight and insurance coupled with the uncertain price of tobacco in Europe.
7. Mazzei included this and the preceding two paragraphs in his letter to Jefferson of 8 April (same, 5:376).
8. Not found.
9. No reply by JA to either this letter or those of 24 and 31 May, both below, has been found. Indeed, JA's next extant letter to Mazzei is of 3 July 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers), and that is in reply to Mazzei's of 21 May 1782 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0173

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-28

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourable Sir

We begg leave to thank yoúr Excellency for her most obliging favoúr of Yesterday, with the inclosed bills Accepted, may we begg the same favoúr for 7 Others since received and here annexed. We shall not troúble Yoúr Excellency with any new proposalls respecting the Loan, observing she wishes not to exceed the terms already proposed; we had the honoúr to acquaint yoúr Excellency that we should have gone through with it if St. Eústacia had not been taken, so it was, for oúr Leonard1 had pretty near the engagement ready provided we would sacrifice oúr Comission, which Certainly we would have done; we could not yett Since resúme the negotiation, bútt oúr good will in every Object respecting to America and to Yoúr Excellency will always excúse oúr endeavoúrs if they dont Súcceed we are not however at a loss for some good expectations, bútt Republicae nostrae ad exemplúm, totus componitús orbis,2 in slow motion. We had the honoúr to observe before to Yoúr Excellency that in case a circúlation could be admitted we made no difficúlty to pay the bills then drawn, as we are now comfirmd in the ideas we then had that oúr people wants to consider, no generosity guides narrow minds; we wont give úp the hopes however of Succeding; butt would be less anxioús if we had the ressoúrces in oúr Selfs which the Coúrt of France hath, and could dispose of so many millions; and on this consideration, we may expect as individúals that oúr will at least will be taken for deeds; we can not expect to interfere with the Comission of those who Advance the money as Mr. Grand is the Banker in Paris it is natúrall his hoúse here should have that preference, as they have always done most of the bússiness for the French Coúrt, and oúr wishes were that American Conections might be centred in oúr Republicq withoút Any intermediation, and this we hope still to promote.
If this should have a bad effect on the American loan in this Republicq we could only be sorrow for it and it may; the French at { 238 } least some among them will like it; bútt after the publicq Comotions here will be settled, we may be steadier in oúr attatchments, they prove in generall as light as we are heavy; we thank Yoúr Excellency for the preference given to ús, and will deserve the same for never the Coúrt of France can blame Yoúr Excellency for the terms, we have convincing proves that doctr. Franklin offerd larger then we ever desired from Yoúr Excellency.
Oúr private Negotiations are going on, when they are open and clos'd we are, when not we can keep oúr guard as well as others. May we give Yoúr Excellency joy on a generall good prospect, for the Caúse of Liberty in which we flatter oúr Selfs to have the Same though perhaps through different Channels, and could it not be possible that oúr Ideas came from the Same Source.
The Letters enclosed3 we forward according to oúr duty And have the honoúr to be with all respectfúll regard Honourd sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted obedient húmble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
The 7 bills mentiond is 1 For Mr. Hodshon 6 For ús.
1. Jean de Neufville's son Leendert, or Leonard.
2. The whole world has been arranged according to the example of our republic.
3. The enclosed letters have not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0174

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-03-29

To the President of Congress

Leyden, 29 March 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 287–294. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:335–337.
Read in Congress on 19 Nov., this letter consists of an English translation of the memorial that Baron de Lynden, the Dutch envoy at the Swedish court, presented on 28 Feb. to Count Ulrik Scheffer, the Swedish foreign minister. The points set down in the memorial, which the Dutch also sent to Denmark and Russia, are essentially those contained in the States General's countermanifesto of 12 March (to the president of Congress, 18 March, calendared above). It emphasized that Britain's decision to initiate hostilities was not the result of any Dutch transgression, such as the Lee-Neufville treaty, but rather the States General's decision to accede to the armed neutrality. The Netherlands was at war because it had sought to preserve and protect its neutrality, therefore it was incumbent on the other members of the armed neutrality to come to its aid under the terms of the agreement.
Unfortunately for the Dutch, their hopes for assistance from members of the armed neutrality were in vain. In response the Swedish foreign minister { 239 } | view suggested that Sweden, Denmark, and Russia jointly propose an armistice and a return to the status quo ante-bellum. This undertaking would be supported by the naval forces of the three powers and would force Britain to reflect seriously on the consequences that the continuation of the war with the Netherlands would have on its relations with the Northern Powers (Scott, ed., Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, p. 370–374).
Catherine II rejected any notion that the armed neutrality should intervene effectively in the Anglo-Dutch war. She was no more willing than the Swedish foreign minister to risk war with Britain, but neither was she willing to permit either the League of Armed Neutrality or the Netherlands to become inconvenient obstacles to her effort to mediate between Britain and France (same, p. 375–380; De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 309–311; first letter to the president of Congress, 23 June, below).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 287–294). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:335–337.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-03-29

To the President of Congress

Duplicate

[salute] Sir

It is of Importance to the People of America to observe how much lighter their own Burthens are than those of their Enemies, and for this Reason, I have every Year since I have been in Europe taken Notice of the new Taxes laid annually in Perpetuity upon the People of Great Britain by Parliament, in Support of Tyranny, in addition to all former Debts and Taxes.1 One sixth Part of the new Taxes of this Year, would be more than sufficient to pay the Interest of the whole Sum which America will this Year expend in Support of Liberty.
The new Taxes consist in an additional duty of five per Cent upon all Articles subject to the duty of Excise, except Malt, Soap and Candles and green Leather, valued at   150,000   £ Sterlg.  
Seven per Cent upon the Drawbacks at the Custom house.   167,000    
role="text"an additional Duty of one Penny three farthings upon each Pound of Tobacco   61,000    
a Duty of an half penny upon each Pound of Sugar   326,000    
  704,000    
The Interest of the new Loan is said to amount only to   660,000    
which leaves a Surplus of   44,000    
{ 240 }
There cannot be a more striking Contrast than that between the Conduct of Lord [North] and Mr. Neckar. The abilities of the former as a Financier consist wholly in laying on new Taxes without End: those of the other lie in finding Resources for vast Expences without laying any new Burthens on the People. Mr. Neckar is laying a foundation for a Credit in France as solid as that of Great Britain, by stating to the Public, the Expences and Revenues. This is the only solid Foundation of public Credit. America will never obtain a Credit of any Consequence in Europe, until She has a Credit at Home. It is demonstrable that the People of America are able to lend to Congress every Year, more than Money enough to carry on the War and pay all Expences. What is the Reason they do not? The Reasons are plain: first, they have not known that the public Money was expended by any fixed Rule, so that they could judge how much it amounted to: secondly, they did not see any certain Prospect of the punctual Payment of Interest or Principal at a fixed Value. All the Art of financieering in America lies in ascertaining with precision, by a fixed Standard, how much our Expences are: next ascertaining what our Income is: thirdly, how much must be borrowed: fourthly, how to assure the Payment of Interest and Principal.
If Taxes could be laid by Congress upon Exports and Imports, and upon the Consumption of Articles of Luxury, Convenience and Necessity as they are in Europe, America would be able to raise more every Year in Taxes, than She has ever Spent in one Year. Nay We might oblige Foreigners to pay all the Expences of the War, and establish a Credit much more solid than that of Great Britain, because We have not such a debt to begin with. But without recurring to this System, which might injure our Commerce as well as our Liberties, it is unquestionably owing entirely to Regulations of Prices, Embargoes, and stamping an arbitrary Value upon what had no Value, that has hitherto ruined our Credit. But when all these Systems shall be totally abolished in the several States, and Measures shall be taken to lay annual Taxes of a certain Value, and those Taxes mortgaged for the Payment of Interest, there is not a doubt but every State may obtain Credit enough for the Necessities of its Inhabitants.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 123–126); endorsed: “Letter 29 March 1781 John Adams Read 19 Novr.”
1. For previous reports by JA on the British budget and the loans and taxes necessary to support it, see his letters to the president of Congress of 1 March 1779 (vol. 8:1–2) and 27 March 1780 { 241 } (calendared, vol. 9:86–87). The new taxes described in this letter are those Lord North presented to Parliament on 14 March in support of his budget. The figures are in the form in which they appeared in the various London newspapers, such as the London Chronicle of 13–15 March.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0176-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-30

From C. W. F. Dumas

J'ai bien reçu l'honneur de votre Lettre du 27e. et vous suis trèsredevable de l'obligeante intention qui vous a engagé à me l'écrire.
Je n'ai pu voir encore personne pour savoir ce qui se passe, n'ayant pas trouvé les gens chez eux, et aussi parce que j'ai été indisposé depuis deux jours. Je sortirai ce soir pour tâcher de m'instruire.
Si vous allez à Amsterdam, ayez la bonté, Monsieur, de m'avertir du jour de votre départ, et du temps que vous serez absent de Leide: c'est une précaution nécessaire dans ces temps, ou il se peut présenter d'un jour à l'autre quelque évenement qui puisse m'engager à aller vous parler à Leide; et je ne voudrois pas faire de course inutile.
Quand vous m'écrivez par la poste, mon nom seul suffit sur l'adresse, parce qu'il est connu là. Mais par les barques, il est bon d'y ajouter chez Made. la Veuve Loder;1 autrement des Lettres risquent de se perdre.
On fait bâtir actuellement pour l'Amirauté d'Amsterdam des Vaisseaux de guerre sur des Chantiers privés. Un seul Constructeur à Sardam a offert d'en bâtir Six. Je suis avec un grand respect Monsieur, Votre très-humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0176-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-30

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

I have received the honor of your letter of the 27th and am indebted to you for your obliging intentions which prompted you to write me.
I have not been able to see anyone to find out what is going on because no one has been in and also because I have been indisposed for the past two days. I will go out this evening to try to learn something.
If you go to Amsterdam, have the kindness, sir, to inform me of your departure date, and the length of time that you will be absent from Leyden. It is a necessary precaution these days, since some event may present itself that I must come to tell you of at Leyden and for which I would not like to make a useless trip.
When you write to me through the post, it is only necessary to write my name on the address because everyone knows it. But if the letter is carried by boat, it is good to add chez Made. la Veuve Loder.1 Otherwise the letters risk being lost.
{ 242 }
They are currently building ships of war for the Admiralty of Amsterdam in private shipyards. A shipbuilder in Zaandam offered to build six. I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. Dumas' wife Marie, whose first husband was named Loder (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 48).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0177

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-31

From James Lovell

[salute] Dear Sir

I send you a few Prints and the last monthly Journals yet from the Press.1 The Enemy will give you one of the most candid accounts of the naval Engagement on the 16th. that I have at any time seen in Rivington's royal Gazette. Our Allies have conducted most gallantly: a Fog which seperated their Ships a few days before the Engagement deprived them of the Opportunity of giving an immense Turn to our southern Affairs. However, their proved Zeal and Activity have so impressed the Enemy, that the british Fleet has not ventured to remain in Cheseapeak to push the Advantages which had fallen to them by the Chance of War.2 We have some pretty possitive Information of a severe Cannonade of three hours at Sea on the morning of the 24th. after the british had gone down the Bay of Cheseapeak, at present I suspect that both the Severity and Continuance are heightened by Imagination from some single Engagement between two Frigates. It cannot be the Rhode Island Squadron.
I have not heard from your Lady of late. I shall have Opportunity in a few days, I think, to send what Jones brought for her.
We impatiently wait for your Comments upon the british Conduct at St. Eustatia and the Manner in which Their H. Ms. of the U Provinces receive it.

[salute] I am affectionately yours

[signed] James Lovell
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Honble. John Adams Minister Plenipoy. of the U Ss. of America now in Holland”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Lovell. 31st. March 1781.”
1. Besides the enclosed prints and journals that have not been identified, this letter may have contained copies of two letters from Nathanael Greene to the president of Congress, dated 10 and 16 March respectively. The first described Greene's preparations for and anticipation of an engagement with Cornwallis' army; the second described the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on 15 March. There are copies of these letters, in a clerk's hand, in the Adams Papers under the date of 31 March, the day on which they were read in Congress (JCC, 19:335).
2. James Rivington's New York Royal Ga• { 243 } zette of 28 March contained a detailed account of the battle on 16 March off the Virginia Capes at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay between fleets commanded by Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot and Como. Destouches.
The battle was not as decisive as Lovell indicates. Destouches obtained a tactical advantage and severely damaged three of the British vessels, thereby obtaining superiority over the British. He did not, however, press his advantage and, instead, returned to the French base at Newport. This permitted the British to retire to Lynnhaven Bay, just inside the Virginia Capes, and maintain control over access to the Chesapeake while they repaired their ships and regrouped (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 170–174).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0178-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-02

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous voudrez bien avoir la bonté de joindre le Postcrit ci joint à ma derniere Lettre pour le Congrès.1
Deux personnages, sur lesquels je puis me fier, m'ont promis de s'informer touchant le sort de votre Meme. à L. H. P. Mr. Visser croit qu'il a été remis par le Président au Committé secret de L. H. P., qui est toujours compose des premiers Députés des provinces respectives. Si vous êtes à Leide, je pourrai bien y faire un tour pour vous faire une visite à la fin de cette semaine.
Je suis avec un très-grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0178-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-02

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

[salute] Sir

Could you kindly attach the enclosed postscript to my last letter for Congress.1
Two people, whom I can trust, have promised to keep me informed of the fate of your memorial to the High Mightinesses. Mr. Visscher believes that it was given by the president to the secret committee of the High Mightinesses, which is always composed of the first deputies of each province. If you are at Leyden, I could visit you at the end of this week.
I am with very great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 2d. April 1781.”
1. This was Dumas' letter to Congress of 22 March (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:322–323). There he commented on the agreement of the Dutch provinces to Russia's mediation offer, the impending court decision regarding the role of the Regency of Amsterdam in the Lee-Neufville treaty, the capture of St. Eustatius, and rumors that Britain had refused the Russian mediation offer. In the postscript, dated 2 April, Dumas indicated that he was expecting interesting news from St. Petersburg and noted a proposal by Amsterdam merchants to send representatives to Britain to plead for the return of goods seized at St. Eustatius, a course of action the merchants of Rotterdam rejected.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0179

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-03

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it please Yoúr Excellency; to receive with the assúrance of oúr most respectfúll regard, the compliments of Mr. Ch. H Themmen of Groninqúe, who charged ús there with in a Letter; and promises to procúre ús by his frend a packet for Yoúr Excellency, which Mr. Francis Dana from Paris charged ús to forward;1 whe shall comply there with the moment we receive it; it hath been left as Mr. Themmen writes at Valenciennes, by a mistake, from whence he hath Claimed it, and refers to Mr. Hazlehúrst, who should in Short be here, for fúrther information.
We begg leave to remember to Yoúr Excellency the 7 Bills we had the honoúr to inclose last week,2 and though we have not received any Accoúnt aboút them, we can not persuade oúr Selfs they can have miscarried.
As to the Loan, we hope Yoúr Excellency won't take it Amiss that we could not conclude úpon anything as yett; we observed already, that withoút the Captúre of St. Eústacia we should have placed the whole on some terms of different payments, we should even have sacrificed oúr Comission, we wish some happy event may bring ús soon so farr again for oúr undertakers wont come to Any proposalls at present; We found oút one however, who offerd to assist ús, and to dispose from time to time of as many obligations as he Could, with an allowance of 2 p Ct. butt he insisted úpon a Credit of a month for what he should take, even with the bonds in his hands, if it would remain a trifling matter, as it should be, in the beginning, we should not mention a word aboút it for would trúst it to him, bútt it would directly go higher then oúr Comission would Amoúnt to, this offer then we are obliged again to lay before yoúr Excellency for her Contemplation; we have a great prospect with this man of going farr if we could agree to such terms as would make it sufficiently his intrest, for he himself should take the half p Ct. brokerage and allow the 2 p Ct. to others he employd, for which reason he refúses to pay directly withoút Some other Complication, and be it even small there is always risk in giving credit. This we thought it our duty to acquaint Yoúr Excellency with; she may depend upon that oúr own glory will not permitt ús to leave any thing unattempted to obey her orders in the most effectúall manner as we have the honoúr to be most devot• { 245 } edly Honorable Sir Yoúr Excellencys most Obedient and most humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. From Dana, 16 March, above.
2. In their letter of 28 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0180

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-04

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

By a London Newspaper receivd this Day by the way of Margate (for the two last posts are not Arrivd) I find that Tarlton has been defeated by Genl. Morgan near 96.1 The Congress has published an Account of it, which I suppose the English Ministry will secrete, but it appears by private Letters, that a number of men have been Killed or taken Prisoners. That Tarletons own regiment is almost entirely cut to peices—that He was near being taken Prisoner Himself and that his Baggage is destroyed. Rivington endeavours to make light of the Action, but shews at the same time, it was a serious One—when the Vessel left N York, which was the 25th. of Febry Genl. Philips was preparing to embark with 5000 Men,2 supposd for Virginia.
By the same Paper we have an Account that a french Vessel with Dispatches from the Mauritius is taken and carried to England, but by some papers found in her it appears that Hyder Ally having collected an Army of 80000 Horse had laid Siege to Arcot, that the Colonels Baillie and Fletcher attempting to go to its relief were totally defeated with the Loss of 400 Europeans and 4000 Seapoys, that Arcot was taken together with Pondicheri and that the whole Province of Arcot was in the Hands of Hyder Ally, Col. Munro having with Difficulty got back to Madras.3
I have the Honor of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 22d. Ultimo and shall Carefully attend to the political Rule laid down therein.
What a pleasant trouble has your Excellency had in writing your Name 29 Thousand times for such a purpose—give me leave to beg your Excellency would send me some Copies of your proposals in Dutch—I have been spoken to on the Subject.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt
[signed] Edm: Jenings
P.S. I send a duplicate of this to Leyden.4
{ 246 }
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jennings 4th. April 1781.” Dupl (Adams Papers). Jenings sent one copy of this letter to Amsterdam and another to Leyden. Because JA was in Amsterdam 5–7 April, it is likely that he received the copy sent to Amsterdam first. The editors have designated the copy sent to Leyden as the duplicate.
1. The Battle of Cowpens took place approximately fifty miles north of Ninety Six, S.C. On the morning of 17 Jan., Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, commanding a force of 1,100 infantry and cavalry, attacked 800 regulars and militia commanded by Gen. Daniel Morgan. The Americans decisively defeated Tarleton, inflicting over 800 casualties and driving him from the field. This victory was notable not only for being “one of the few tactical defeats suffered by British regulars during the war,” but also for the attrition of the forces available to Cornwallis (Middlekauff, Glorious Cause, p. 470–476; Mackesy, War for America, p. 405; The Toll of Independence: The Engagements and Battle Casualties of the American Revolution, ed. Howard H. Peckham, Chicago, 1974, p. 79). The report on the battle that Jenings read and commented on appeared in the 27 March editions of the London newspapers and was taken from Rivington's Royal Gazette of 23 Feb. (London Chronicle, 27–29 March). It was intended to counteract the “Exaggerated accounts ... published by the rebels.” In fact, the first accounts in American papers were taken from a letter of 24 Jan. from Daniel Morgan to Nathanael Greene in which Morgan accurately described the battle and the magnitude of his victory (Pennsylvania Gazette, 14 Feb.; Boston Independent Chronicle, 22 Feb.). By 31 March accounts of the battle more accurate than that in Rivington's paper reached England in the form of letters from Lord Cornwallis and Lt. Col. Nisbet Balfour, commandant of Charleston (London Chronicle, 31 March – 3 April).
2. In the duplicate, Jenings omitted the remainder of this sentence.
3. On 29 March London newspapers, including the London Courant, Morning Herald, and London Chronicle, carried the first detailed accounts of the defeats suffered by the British East India Company and its military forces at the beginning of the Second Mysore War. These accounts were accurate and form the basis for Jenings' report here and in the duplicate, where the phrasing was slightly different. Hyder Ali continued to occupy the Carnatic—the area along the southeastern coast of India centered on Arcot and Madras—and the British forces remained confined to the East India Company's base at Madras (B. Sheikh Ali, British Relations with Haidar Ali, 1760– 1782, Mysore, India, 1963, p. 225–257).
4. The postscript to the duplicate reads: “I send a duplicate of this to Amsterdam. I have desird Msrs. De Neufville to send me some of the Proposals.”

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0181

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-04

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

The expection of the french Letters made it to late yesterday, so that oúr Letters reached to late even for the post, where for we múst begg Yoúr Excellencys pardon to have only forwarded the Same to day by the Way of Harlem, we receivd English Letters since, a great deal of good news seem to be in the papers both from the Continent and the East Indies. We think they make largely úpp for the boasted of afair of St. Eustacia; we have gott lately letters miscarried going to the Hagúe, so we begg yoúr Excellency to excúse oúr Caution not to extend on some particúlars, which were Comúnicated to ús, they relate to illúcidate some matters which alas we are to openly convinced of already; and by which means we may hope every thing will túrn well at last and to oúr Wishes.
{ 247 }
We have the honoúr to be with the most devoted Esteem Honorable Sir Yoúr Excellencys most Obedient and most húmble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0182

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-04-06

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

This Day the Skipper of a Trech Schuit, brought me, your Excellencys important Dispatches by Coll. Laurens. The Coll. delivered them to Mr. Dana at Paris, with perfect Propriety. Mr. Dana with equal Propriety delivered them to a Gentleman of Character, who undertook to deliver them at Amsterdam, but unfortunately forgot them at Valenciennes. From Valenciennes they travelled partly by Post, partly by the dilligence and partly by the Trech Schuits, that is the Barks which ply in this Country in the Canals, and by a Kind of Miracle arrived Safe. I had been apprized of them and their Misfortune, long before they reached me, and Suffered Torments enough on their Account, altho I took all the Precautions in my Power to recover them.1
Their wonderfull Preservation affords some hopes, that they are destined to do good. Yet the Prospect is but distant.
I am very Sensible of the Honour done me by these fresh Instances of the Confidence of Congress, and most Sincerely wish it were in my Power to give any Encouragement of Success. But my Proposals for a Loan, although apparently well received by the Public, have as yet had no success, and I have no Power to discharge the Bills of Exchange, drawn upon Mr. Laurens and me and excepted, but from Mr. Franklin.2 The War has Struck Such a Damp and Gloom, excited So great a Fermentation, and so many apprehensions, of popular Commotions and many other dangers some real and some imaginary, that I think Still as I have constantly written to Congress, We shall find no private Credit, untill We are publickly received by the States and the Prince, and when that will be I know not. I fear it will be long, but shall soon try the Experiment. The Powers and Credentials are perfect, and Mr. Dana's appointment to Russia will aid me, if any thing can. The delay of Spain is an obstruction to Us here and every where.
If one were to judge by the Paragraphs, which appear in the English Newspapers and in the Courier du Bas Rhin, one would think that { 248 } there was a most malignant Spirit against Mr. Vanberkel, and the Burgomasters of Amsterdam, and a determination to Sacrifice him if possible. I rather think however that these Paragraphs are the Fabrication of some of the old Instruments of Sir Joseph Yorke—they are not most certainly the sense of this nation, in whose Estimation in General the Gentlemen of Amsterdam Stand high.3
I will not dissemble however to Congress, the Councils of this People are the most inscrutable, of any I ever Saw. There is a Standing Army, and that is marched and cantoned about in new Places. This Army, and every civil officer, in publick Trust is Supposed, to have a decided Inclination to England, and against America, but especially against France. There are mutual Suspicions of Designs of Innovation, but I hope not well founded. All this together with the Novelty of War and the defenceless State of the Nation, intimidates every Body.
I have the Honour to be
LbC (Adams Papers). There is no copy of this letter in the PCC.
1. The dispatches included Congress' letter of 9 Jan. and its enclosed letters of credence to the States General and William V. For their delayed arrival, see the letters from Francis Dana of 16 March and Jean de Neufville & Fils of 3 April, both above.
2. JA is referring to Congress' resolutions of 2 and 28 Oct. 1780, authorizing him to accept bills of exchange drawn on Henry Laurens, copies of which he had received earlier (from Francis Dana, 10 Jan., calendared above), and probably to Congress' resolution of 3 Jan. 1781, authorizing the Board of Treasury to draw bills on JA (JCC, 19:20). The last, although there is no specific reference to it, was probably included in the packet from Congress that JA had just received.
3. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 30 March carried four items from the Netherlands, all false. It reported that a majority of the States General condemned the States of Holland for the Anglo-Dutch war, but did not announce the condemnation for fear of inciting unrest; that insurrectionists destroyed the houses of van Berckel and others favorable to the American cause; that van Berckel's property had been confiscated; and, finally, the Stadholder's decision to force the gates of Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0183

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1781-04-06

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency, that I have received from Congress a Commission, to their High Mightinesses with full Powers and Instructions to <treat with their high mightinesses, concerning> to conclude a Treaty of Amity and Commerce.
I have also received Letters of Credence as a Minister Plenipotentiary to <their High Mightinesses>, the states General, and to <his Most Serene Highness the> Prince of Orange,1 and have made all the Communication to <both that is in my> their high Mightinesses and { 249 } to his most Serene Highness, that is in my Power, untill it is determined whether I shall be received or not.2
By the 10 Article of the Treaty of Alliance, between the King and the United States3
I do my self the Honour to communicate this to your Excellency for your Information, that if any Circumstances should occur, in which the United States may be of service to the common Cause, your Excellency may know where to apply, and that you may have an Opportunity of knowing the sentiments of his Majesty if you judge proper. I shall always be ready to concur with your Excellency whenever it is necessary or proper, that the United States should be made Parties, in any Transactions for the common Good. I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect and Consideration, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble Servant
LbC (Adams Papers); notations at the top and bottom: “not sent nor copied.” When JA decided not to send this letter he drew a line through the text.
1. JA incorporated the text to this point into his letter of 16 April to La Vauguyon, below.
2. The second half of this paragraph indicates that JA considered announcing his commissions to the States General and William V without first seeking the advice of the French ambassador.
3. JA presumably intended to insert here the text of Art. 10, which provided for admission to the alliance of other powers “who may have received injuries from England” (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:39). JA had long seen this provision as a means to persuade France to aid the U.S. in obtaining recognition and assistance from other powers. He had considered taking it up with La Vauguyon in a letter of 19 Feb., above, which he did not send, and would take it up in earnest in his letter of 1 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0184

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-06

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Letters from Cadiz inform us of the arrival of a Vessel at that port from Baltimore she left the Bay the 16 february. The Capt. reports more than we can well Credit, that Arnold had made great distruction in the circuit he had taken which had rouzed the Virginians that a Body of Six Thousand Men had got betwixt him and his Shiping and they were in dayly expectation of his being Burgoign'd. The Americans had gaind a considerable advantage over the Enemy in So. Carolina, and that the affairs in general were in a flurishing State the New Emissions were Current without depreciation and the Royal Interest every where declined. The Ann and Luzern saild from Lorient the 27th. as did the Alliance and the Marquis de la fayet, the 29th. The safe arrival of the two last ships will give great satisfaction to the States the Marquis de la fayet having on Board all the Clothing provided by J. Williams consisting of eight Thousand Suits made up { 250 } and cloth to make up 4000 more a quantity greatly short of that mentiond by Genl. Sulivan in his intercepted Letter which if it containd what realy the States expect so great a difficientcy will be a provoking disapointment.1
We flatterd ourselves Holland would have created a divertion in the North Seas we do not find a single Ship yet at Sea. Letters from Madrid of the 30th. mention the appearance of the Spanish Fleet off Cadiz. Spain has not force to oppose to the Fleet under Darby who will enter Gibraltar without Oppossien. The french Fleet from Brest Saild the 23 of course only a day After the English Fleet left Silly2 a rencontre of them Fleets is not improbable.3 With respect I have the Honor to be Sir your very hbb Serv
[signed] John Bondfield
1. John Sullivan's letter of 15 Nov. 1780 to Meshech Weare was intercepted and subsequently printed in London newspapers (from Edmund Jenings, 5 Feb., and note 3, above). Sullivan complained that the army was “almost Naked” because of the unaccountable failure to send uniforms purchased in France for 49,000 troops (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 16:339).
The Marquis de Lafayette, a French ship purchased by Leray de Chaumont in 1780 and then chartered by Jonathan Williams, was to transport approximately 500 tons of clothing and military supplies to America. Although it sailed with the Alliance, the Marquis de Lafayette became separated from the frigate on 29 April and four days later the British frigate Endymion captured it after a three-hour battle. For a detailed history of the Marquis de Lafayette and Benjamin Franklin's efforts to send the supplies purchased in France to the U.S., see Claude A. Lopez, “Benjamin Franklin, Lafayette, and the Lafayette,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 108 (1964):181–223.
2. The Isles of Scilly.
3. Bondfield's hopes for an engagement between Grasse and Darby were not fulfilled. The French fleet sailed from Brest on 22 March, at which time Darby was still waiting off the Irish coast for the victualers to join him from the depot at Cork. Darby's fleet reached Gibraltar on 12 April and, although the supply ships unloaded under fire, accomplished the relief with relative ease because the Spanish fleet elected to remain in Cádiz (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 222–225; Mackesy, War for America, p. 388–389).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0185

Author: Boston
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-07

From “Boston”

[salute] Dr Sir

Persuaded as I am that the mentioning the Observations I have lately heard made by many respectable men of this place, will be taken in a proper light, I should think it Treason to our States, to Conceal the most trifling Circumstance that the Communicating of to you, could either benefit or prejudice. As besides things that are Matter of Opinion, will never reflect on your private Character, whom all that are acquainted with it as well as I am will and must ever hold in the highest respect.
The remarks I allude to, which is repeatedly made and lately in my { 251 } presence where a Member of this Regency happen'd to be—Was that your appearance, as a publick Character here, from States, which already Commands the Admiration as well as Attention of Europe; Was not Sufficiently Splendid or respectable, for to Support with proper dignity the Character of an Ambassador so as to gain that respect and Credit, which we want, from this Capital; and whose Confidence in the present Moment is of essential Service to the Support of our Credit. Some supposed the Allowance of our States was not Sufficient to enable you to sustain the Character of an Ambassador or Envoy, with proper dignity, and that your own fortune added thereto could not Supply the defficiency, whilst others said our Enemies, were base enough to assure our States could not Support you properly, and that out of the Small Allowance they made you, you Wished to save as much of it as you Could. Which Accounted, for the mean lodgings You had put up with, which where no ways suited to receive or entertain (as must be done in your Situation) those Members of the Regency as well as other respectable Characters here, whose friendly Support in many instances we stand so much need of.
Though I am well persuaded the best Motives sways your Actions, and that you wou'd even Sacrifice fortune and every thing that's dear to you to that first of all Considerations the good of our dear, ever dear Country—and that there surmise in every particular is ill founded, I cannot but wish as does every American, that those reasons, which have determined you to keep in so retired a State may soon cease, and that we may close the Mouth of Slander by seeing you have a decent House for your Residence, Carriage and that requisite State as Dr. Fr. which though of more Expence to the States of A. yet will be of Infinite advantage to Collect and connect the friends of our Cause and make them be more known, which will be great Service In many Instances I know of. I have gone farther than mentioning the remarks I have heard, since I have added my own wishes, but I submit both to your Consideration as I am persuaded, you are Nevertheless assured of that respect and Affection borne you by him, whom you know without his Subscribing any otherways than
[signed] Boston1
1. This letter may have influenced JA's decision two days later to commission the firm of Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield to procure a residence “suitable for a Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to receive and entertain Company” (to Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield, 9 April, below).
The text and signature suggest that “Bos• { 252 } | view ton” was an American whom JA had met in Amsterdam. The author may be the same person who, calling himself “Monitor,” wrote to JA on 20 May 1782 (Adams Papers). This is one of several anonymous letters written during this period critical of JA's activities in the Netherlands and designed to divide the U.S. Peace Commissioners.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0186

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-07

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Among the late intercepted Letters from London, is one from the Army Agent there to the Traitor Arnold, by which it appears that his Bribe was 5000 £ Sterling, in Bills drawn on Harley & Drummond, who are the Contractors for furnishing the Army with Money. Inclos'd I send you a Copy of that Letter, and shall send you others by next Post.1
The English Papers tell us, that you have succeeded in your Loan. Be so good as to inform me if it is true. It will give me great Pleasure. I obtain'd here, before Col. Laurens's Arrival, a Promise of 6,000,000 for our Army, to which I hope his Sollicitations will make a considerable Addition. The Marquis de la Fayette sail'd the 27th. past, under Convoy of the Alliance, with a fair Wind, and a Cargo for the Publick, of Arms, Clothing, &c. valued at 1,000,000 .
With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
1. The packet Anna Theresa, bound from Falmouth to New York, sailed on 15 March. Soon thereafter a French frigate captured it and carried it into Lorient. The crew threw the mail overboard, but it failed to sink and the crew of the frigate retrieved it. The mail included numerous letters from Lord George Germain and others to officials in America. At least sixteen of the intercepted letters found their way into Franklin's hands and he enclosed them with a duplicate of his letter of 12 March to the president of Congress, which reached that body on or about 16 July (London Chronicle, 5–7 April; JCC, 20:750–751; PCC, No. 51, I, f. 777–828). Many of the letters soon appeared, some with editorial commentary attached, in American newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette (25 July; 1, 15, and 29 Aug.; 1 Sept.) and the Boston Independent Chronicle (16 and 23 Aug.).
Franklin's enclosure has not been found, but from his description it clearly was James Meyrick's letter to Benedict Arnold, dated 30 Jan., Parliament Street, London. Meyrick gave an account of his investment of £5,000 in bills of exchange drawn on Harley & Drummond that he received from Arnold. A French translation of the letter, possibly supplied by JA, appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 20 April. For additional intercepted letters Franklin sent to JA, see his letter of 29 April, note 2, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-04-08

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I returned last night to Leyden, and would Set off this morning for the Hague, if particular Reasons did not oppose.
{ 253 }
Having Something, a little interesting to communicate to you, I should be very much obliged to you, if you could come here to morrow morning. I should be glad of your answer this Evening, because if any thing makes it inconvenient to you to come here, I will go to the Hague, and be with you by Noon. It would be much better however for you to come here if you can.1

[salute] Adieu.

[signed] J. Adams
Tr (PCC, No. 101, I, f. 176)
1. No reply from Dumas has been found. He and JA may have met as late as 13 April. For the dating of that meeting, as well as its results, see Dumas' letters of 14 and 26 April, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0188

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield (business)
Date: 1781-04-09

To Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield

[salute] Gentlemen

I am engaged in some Affairs, which will oblige me to be absent from Amsterdam for some days if not for some Weeks, but when I return it will be necessary for me to have an House to put my Head in and Furniture, suitable for a Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to receive and entertain Company &c. not in the Style of Sir J. Y. of 80.000 Guilders a Year, but however decent enough for my Character in Europe to dine in, with a Republican Citizen.
Will You Gentlemen do me the favour to hire me an House and purchase me Furniture? You may get me the most suitable House You can find, and You need not hesitate at any Price less than 3.000 Guilders a Year. You will however use your Prudence in getting the best House that is to be had, at as cheap a Rate as may be.
As to Furniture, it will not be necessary to get every thing at once, but You must get the necessary Kitchen Furniture, Four Beds suitable for Gentlemen to lodge in, and two at least suitable for Servants. There must be Chairs Tables &c. for one large Room to receive Company, and Chairs and Tables for another Room to do Business. I shall want a prudent skillful Man Servant to take Care of the House, Kitchen and Cellar. If I could find a Man and his Wife, who would live in the Kitchen and be capable of taking the Care of every thing, it would be most agreable to me.
I beg your Answer as soon as possible. I will chearfully allow You what Commissions you please upon this Business, and I ask the favour of You to take this Trouble upon You, rather than Mr. De Neufville, who I suppose would oblige me, because You are better acquainted with American Ideas.
{ 254 }
Mr. De Neufville, or the House of Horneca, Fitzeau & Co. will I presume furnish You the Money, or I will send it to You as You choose—the sooner the better. If it does not agree with your affairs to undertake this Business, I should be obliged to You to let me know immediately, that I may desire some other to do it.1
I am Gentlemen with Esteem and Respect, your Friend & Hble Servant.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. The firm accepted JA's commission in a letter of 10 April (not found) and soon found a suitable residence. Writing to Benjamin Franklin and Edmund Jenings on 27 April, both below, and to AA on 28 April (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:108), JA announced that he had taken a house in Amsterdam “upon the Keysers Gragt ... near the Spiegel Straat.” For an engraving of the house in 1781 or 1782 and a photograph taken in 1960, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:ix, facing 322. JA resided there until May 1782, when he moved to The Hague.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0189

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-04-10

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Relying on your Virtues of and Graces of Faith and Hope, I accepted SSix Bills to the Amount of ten thousand Pounds Sterling, drawn in favour of Mr. Tracy.1
I have recieved Advice from Congress of more Bills drawn upon me: when they arrive and are presented, I must write You concerning them and desire You to enable me to discharge them: for I am sorry to be obliged to say, that although I have opened a Loan according to the best Plan I could, and the Plan and the Loan seems to be countenanced by the Public, yet there is little Money obtained, scarcely enough to defray the Expence of Obligations and Stamps; and it is daily more and more clear to me, that We shall never obtain a Loan here, until our Independence is acknowledged by the States— 'till then every Man seems to be afraid, that his having any thing to do in it, will be made a foundation of a criminal Process or a Provocation to the Resentment of the Mob.
The Time is very near when some of the Bills I accepted become payable. I must intreat your Excellency's Answer to this as soon as convenient,2 and to point out to me whether You choose that the House of Fitzeau & Grand & Co. or any other should pay the Money. It is a most grievous Mortification to me to find that America has no Credit here, while England certainly still has so much; and to find that no Gentleman in public Life here dare return me a Visit, or answer me a Letter, even those who treated me when I first arrived { 255 } here with great Politeness. I am entreated however to keep this secret; but have no Motive to secrete it from You. On the contrary You ought to know it.
I am told there will be great Alterations very soon, but I have seen by Experience, that no Man in this Country knows what will be in the morrow.
Let me ask the favour of You, Sir, to give my best Respects to Coll. Laurens and Mr. Franklin.
I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams. April 10. 1781.”
1. For the 66 bills drawn in favor of Nathaniel Tracy, see JA to Franklin, 15 Feb., above.
Franklin replied on 21 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield (business)
Date: 1781-04-11

To Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield

[salute] Gentlemen

I am this Moment favoured with your's of the 10th.1 and thank You for the readiness with which You have undertaken to get me House as soon as may be.
I will add to the former Trouble if You please, that of procuring me a good Cook, male or female, I care not which, and two Men Servants: one that is capable of managing the Affairs of an House, and one for a Valet de Chambre and Footman: and also the Trouble of hiring me a genteel Carriage, a Light Coach of four Places with suitable Horses and Coachman, also Three Suits of Cloaths, one for the Coachman and one for each Man Servant: they must be Liveries, such as my Servants wore at Paris—deep blue Cloth Coat and Breeches, a Scarlet Cape on the Coat, and a Sleef turned up with Scarlet, and Scarlet Waistcoats—an Hat and Great Coat for each. I will leave it to You to agree for the Wages of these Servants: but it must be agreed with them to leave their Cloaths with me, as all others do in this Country, when they leave me.
Perhaps Madam Chabanel2 would give You any Advice or Information You want, or Mr. De Neufville.
I inclose two Receipts to serve for one for four hundred pounds Sterling, which I presume the House of Horneca Fitzeau & Co. will pay You upon Sight. In looking for an House, if a suitable one cannot be had for three thousand Guilders or under You may go higher.
I have determined to reside at Amsterdam, for the facility of trans• { 256 } acting the Business of the Merchants who have Bills of Exchange upon me, and for the pleasure of seeing more of our Countrymen, than I could see in any other City and for the pleasure of some agreable Acquaintances I have formed at Amsterdam. But our Countrymen ought to be apprized that there is unhappily some difference of Sentiment between the Court at the Hague and the City of Amsterdam and that my residing at Amsterdam may be liable to Mis<representation>interpretation, if the Motives of it are not understood.
I am Gentlemen with much Esteem your Friend & Hble Servt.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.
2. The Adamses met Madame Chabanel soon after their arrival at Amsterdam in 1780 and often enjoyed her hospitality Adams Family Correspondence, 4:148; JQA, Diary, 1:76–89passim).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0191

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-11

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourable Sir

May we thank yoúr Excellency for her obliging favoúr, which brought ús the Bills accepted, that which Yoúr Excellency refers to ús; we will write to Doctr. Franklin aboút as yoúr Excellency directs, supposing it to be agreable so as to keep the parties by themselfs;1 We shall have again to join some gazettes to this; and for the moment we are happy to see that every thing seems to go well According to Circúmstances, bútt as for the Loan we are Sorry we still remain in the same situation, we wish some good Accoúnt may alter this matter also soon for the better.
With all Respectfúll Regard we have the honoúr to be, Honourable Sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted obedient humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. In a letter of 10 April (LbC, Adams Papers), JA returned seven bills of exchange that Jean de Neufville & Fils had sent to him in a letter of 28 March and inquired about in another of 3 April, both above. JA accepted six of the bills, but with regard to the seventh he requested that the Neufvilles write to Benjamin Franklin to determine if he already had accepted it. They did so on 11 April (Franklin, Papers, 34:529–530).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0192

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield (business)
Date: 1781-04-13

To Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield

[salute] Gentlemen

It will be necessary for me to have, Tea Geer and Coffee Geer and Knives and Forks and Table Linnen.
{ 257 }
I believe a dozen and half of Tea Cups and Saucers and as many Coffee Cups— <as many Silver Tea Spoons, and an equal Number of larger Spoons> —a Set of Table Cloths and Napkins—whether there is half a dozen Table Cloths or a Dozen I dont know in a set. Two dozens of Knives and Forks. I know not what the Cost of all these Things will be—all I can Say is that if the Cash you have is not enough more will be ready, <upon your orders>, at a minutes Warning. I wish you to be particularly carefull about the House—that it be in a good and pleasant Situation, that it be large roomly and handsome, fit for the Hotel des Etats Unis de L'Amerique. If it is necessary to go higher than three thousand Guilders a Year you may. Yet I should think that an House, quite Sufficient might be had for that, or less. It is possible that I may be obliged to remove from this House, to another City and so to pay double Rent. But I should very chearfully pay double Rent, in such a Case, though I should regret leaving Amsterdam. And there is so much Uncertainty in Affairs, that I must expect to be subjected to Some unforeseen Losses and Expences of this sort. This is new Work to me, having never troubled my Head about the Furniture of Houses but you are much better Judges than I am and I request you to get me every Thing that you judge will be necessary, for me.
<Your humble sert>.
I mentioned in a former Letter, Furniture for one Room, I now add for another because it will be necessary to have two Rooms decently furnished, besides one for Business. And there must be Some Furniture in the Bed Chambers. I hope <to Spend many agreable Hours> with you and <all> other Americans <in this House><and that We shall consult>, and Friends of America <yours with Esteem><America>, in this House <and that We shall> to consult <many honest><together> Some honest Plans for the good of our Country.
With great Regard &c.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0193-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-14

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Quoique je n'aie encore vu personne, je prends néanmoins la plume, pour avoir l'honneur de vous dire, qu'après y avoir bien murement pensé depuis que nous nous sommes quittés, il me semble que vous ne pourrez vous passer, pour éviter tout blâme et inimitié, lorsque { 258 } vous viendrez ici pour la démarche en question, de faire votre premiere visite chez M. l'A—— de F—— afin de lui donner connoissance verbale de votre derniere Commission et Lres. de Cr——, et de la nécessité indispensable où vous vous trouvez d'en donner connoissance directe et immediate à ceux à qui elles s'adressent. Ainsi, sans soumettre la démarche même et son détail essentiel à d'autre vue et détermination que la vôtre seule, vous conserverez l'amitié et les bons offices personnels (qu'il faut bien distinguer des Ministeriels, pour lesquels il faudroit un Ordre de sa Cour), que pourra vous rendre la seule personne qui soit dans le cas, pour le présent, de les avouer et témoigner hautement. Au lieu que l'omission de cette politesse diplomatique, et l'aveu froid qui s'ensuivroit immanquablement vis-à-vis de ceux ici, qui déferent de plus en plus aux avis de l'A——, qu'on n'a aucune connoissance de votre mission, &c. feroit sûrement un effet plus ou moins nuisible et mortifiant, en détruisant, ou du moins reculant pour longtemps, ce que nous voulons avancer. Voilà, Monsieur, ce que je crois devoir vous conseiller positivement, tant pour votre agrément personnel dans la suite, que pour le bien de la chose, comme une chose qui ne sauroit être d'aucune mauvaise conséquence, ni, ce que vous appellez a precedent.
On me mande de Paris: “Nous allons vous envoyer une Escadre au Texel. Elle sera bien commandée. Nous commençons à espérer, que les 5 Vx. de Ligne et les 2 m. hommes que nous envoyons au Cap, y arriveront avant Johnston, qui d'ailleurs n'est pas de force à se mesurer avec nos 5 Vx.
J'ai l'honneur d'être avec un très-grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0193-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-14

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

[salute] Sir

Although I have still not seen anyone, I am nevertheless taking up my pen to have the honor to tell you, after much deliberation since we left each other, that it seems to me that you cannot pass up, in order to avoid all blame and enmity in coming here for the démarche in question, an initial visit to the French ambassador in order to inform him verbally of your latest commission and letters of credence and of the absolute necessity that this information be conveyed by you directly and immediately to those to whom these letters are addressed. Therefore, by not making the actual démarche, and its essential details, subject to any other viewpoints and objectives other than yours alone, you will conserve the friendship and personal good offices (we must distinguish this from ministerial duties, for which there needs to { 259 } be an order from his court) that will render you the only person in this case, for the present time, to acknowledge and attest openly to them. Whereas an omission of this diplomatic courtesy, and the cool reception which would inevitably follow vis-à-vis those here who defer more and more to the opinion of the ambassador, and whereas he does not have any knowledge of your mission, etc., this would certainly produce an injurious and mortifying effect and destroy, or at least delay for some time, what we want to advance. This, sir, is what I believe to be positive advice, not only for your subsequent personal approval, but also for the good of the cause, and a strategy that will have no bad consequence nor, as you say, a precedent.
I received news from Paris: “We are sending a squadron to Texel. It will be well commanded. We are beginning to hope that the five ships of the line, and the 2,000 men that we sent to the Cape, will arrive before Johnstone, who does not have enough forces anyway to measure up to our five vessels.”
I have the honor to be with very great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0194-0001

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-15

From Antoine Marie Cerisier

[salute] Monsieur

Nous recumes, il y a quelques jours, les Gazettes Anglaises que j'ai l'honneur de vous envoyer. Comme elles ne peuvent être pour notre comptoir, j'ai présumé que c'était une partie de celles que nous avons demandés pour vous. Je vous supplie de ne pas trouver mauvais, si j'ai tardé si longtems de vous les envoyer; nous avons attendu que quelquun vînt les reclamer, et pensé que vous viendriez peut-être en cette ville dans peu.
Je serais bien flatté de savoir ce que vous pensez des derniers nos. du politique Hollandais.1 Je serais encore plus charmé si vous aviez quelques observations à me faire dont je puisse profiter pour les nos. suivans. Ne pourriezvous pas insinuer à Mr. Luzac d'en faire quelque mention dans Sa Gazette, afin que l'ouvrage fût demandé hors de ce pays.
Quelquun a observé que je n'etois ni bon Anglais, ni bon français et que j'étois encore meilleur Américain que Hollandais. Ce que je sais c'est que j'ai les principes de la liberté trop profondément gravés dans le coeur, pour jamais trahir la cause où je crois l'avoir trouvée et pour jamais déguiser mes sentimens.
J'ai l'honneur avec respect & vénération De votre Excellence Le très humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] A. M. Cerisier

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0194-0002

Author: Cerisier, Antoine Marie
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-15

Antoine Marie Cerisier to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Several days ago we received the English gazettes which I have the honor to send to you. Since they could not be for our agency, I presumed that they were part of those that we ordered for you. Please forgive me for the delay in sending them to you. We waited for someone to claim them and thought that perhaps you would come to our city soon.
I would be flattered to know what you think of the last issues of the Politique Hollandais.1 I would be even more delighted if you had any observations to make to me from which my subsequent issues might profit. Perhaps you could hint to Mr. Luzac to make mention of my work in his gazette in order to get subscribers outside of this country.
Someone observed that I am neither a good Englishman nor a good Frenchman and that I am a better American than Dutchman. What I know is that the principles of liberty are deeply imbedded in my heart and that I would never betray this cause nor ever disguise my sentiments.
I have the honor to be, with respect and veneration for your excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] A. M. Cerisier
1. The first issue of Cerisier's Le politique hollandais was published on 12 February. JA made numerous contributions to this pro-Patriot and pro-American publication which appeared in six volumes through 12 Jan. 1784. JA's library at the Boston Public Library contains vols. 1–4 (Catalogue of JA's Library; for additional information on Le politique hollandais, its publication and influence in the Netherlands, see Handelingen en Mededeelingen van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde te Leiden over het Jaar 1882, W. P. Sautijn Kluit, “Le Politique Hollandais,” p. 1– 36). The most recent issue, that of 9 April, compared the Dutch and American Revolutions, much as JA had done in his replies to Hendrik Calkoen in 1780 (vol. 10:196–252). In the course of his remarks on the American Revolution, Cerisier stated “c'est le peuple collectivement qui donne le mouvement à toute la masse: Ce n'est ni Washingthon, ni Gatès, ni Lée, ni les deux Adams &c. qui ont animé ce vaste corps: Ils ont eux-mêmes reçu leur impulsion de la grande machine, dont ils se sont trouvés, par leurs talens seuls, les principales parties....” Translation: It is the whole people who have given the movement its mass; it is neither Washington, nor Gates, nor Lee, nor the two Adamses &c. who have animated the vast body: they, themselves, have received their direction from the great machine, of which they find themselves, by their talents, the leaders.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0195

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-04-16

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I yesterday had the honour of your's of the seventh. The letter inclosed is a bitter satire on the nation which produced it. Is it possible that Arnold should shew his Face among Men after such a Letter? If it is not a bribe it is robbery committed in the American Service: for it is well known, that Arnold had no such Sum when the War began. He is now employed in stealing Tobacco and Negroes— { 261 } so is Cornwallis: a fair employment for Peers—for Arnold is the Peer of them all. I think the Southern States will have the Honour after all, of putting the Continent in a right Way to finish the Business of the War.
All the Papers English, French and Dutch assure the World that I have succeeded in a Loan. I wish they would prove their Words. I am told it will do by and by: so I am that the nation will act vigorously by and by. I wish both may prove true: but I have not one Grain of your Faith nor Hope.
There are Capitalists who believe Us able and honest to pay, and that We shall prevail, and they have Inclinations enough they say, to the Loan: but the true motive of their Conduct is fear of being pointed out to Mobs and Soldiers, as Persons who have contributed to the Commencement or Continuance of the War with England.
I wrote You some days ago that I had not succeeded at all and requesting your Orders how the Bills accepted should be paid.1 Some of them become payable the beginning of May, and on the fifteenth of that Month, the sixty six Bills amounting to ten thousand pounds sterling, which were drawn in favor of Mr. Tracy, become due. I congratulate You on your Success at Versailles. If Spain would make a Treaty with Mr. Jay it would assist Us here. Every body asks, why does Spain delay? You and I know very well but cannot tell. But so it is—one always negotiates ill when one is not in a Condition to make oneself feared. If America could dissemble enough to threaten other Nations with a return to Great Britain they would be ready to hang themselves to prevent it: but America is too honest and sincere to play this Game. England would have all the Mountains of Mexico and Peru in a few Years if America should join her. Yet We are slighted. God forgive them, and enable America to forget their Ungenerosity.
America has fought Great Britain and Ireland for Years and not only Great Britain, but many States of Germany, many Tribes of Indians, and many Negroes their Allies. Great Britain has been moving Earth and Hell to obtain Allies against Us, yet it is improper in Us to propose an Alliance. Great Britain has borrowed all the superfluous Wealth of Europe in Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and some in France to murder Us, yet it is dishonourable in Us to propose to borrow Money. By Heaven I would make a Bargain with all Europe, if it lay with me. Let all Europe stand still, neither lend Men nor Money nor Ships to England nor America, and let them fight it out alone. I would give my Share of Millions for such a Bargain. America is treated unfairly and ungenerously by Europe. But { 262 } thus it is. Mankind will be servile to Tyrannical Masters and basely devoted to vile Idols.

[salute] With Great Respect, Sir, Your obedient Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams April 16. 1781.”
1. Of 10 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0196

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1781-04-16

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency, that I have received from Congress, full Powers and Instructions to treat with the States General, and to conclude a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, consistent with the Relations already formed between the United States and France. And, that I have also received a Letter of Credence, as a Minister Plenipotentiary to their High Mightinesses; and another, to his most Serene Highness the Prince of Orange. With the greatest Respect and Consideration I have the Honour to be, Sir, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble servant
LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “Sent the Same day by Commodore Gillon who was bound to the Hague on a visit to the French Ambassador.”
1. In his 1809 letters to the Boston Patriot, JA wrote: “About this time, considering the connection between the United States and France, it was very obvious that prudence required I should communicate my design to the French ambassador. I was not, however, without apprehensions of the consequence of it, for I could not doubt that the count de Vergennes had information of my appointment sooner than I had, and I had a thousand reasons to believe that my whole system in Holland, and even my residence in it, was disagreeable to him. I might presume, and I did presume, that the duke had instructions from the count to counteract me. But the inconveniences that would arise from concealing my design from the French ambassador, appearing to overbalance those in the other scale, I wrote to his excellency ...” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 431–432).
At some point, perhaps to prove that he was working in consultation with La Vauguyon, JA sent two copies of this letter, both in John Thaxter's hand, to Congress (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 127; Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 255).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0197

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Van der Kemp, François Adriaan
Date: 1781-04-17

To François Adriaan Van der Kemp

Mr. Adams's Compliments to Mr. Van der Kemp1 and asks the favour of his Company this Evening at the golden Lyon, to Spend the Evening and Sup with a chosen few of honest Americans.
RC (PHi: John Adams Letters).
1. For François Adriaan Van der Kemp, a Mennonite minister and supporter of the U.S. and Patriot causes, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:456.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0198-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-17

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

J'ay recu Monsieur La Lettre par laquelle vous m'informez que le Congres des etats unis de l'amerique septentrionale vous a revetu du Caractere de Son ministre plenipotentiair auprès des etats generaux des provinces unies. J'ignore Si vous vous proposez de presenter vos Lettres de créance a Leurs hautes puissances dans ce moment mais si telle est votre intention je desirerois bien avoir lhonneur de vous entretenir auparavant et vous communiquer des vues qui me paroissent interesser essentiellement La Cause Commune.1
Soyez Bien persuadé je vous prie Monsieur de la verité des sentiments inviolables de la consideration tres distinguée avec Les quels j'ay Lhonneur d'etre Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] Le duc de La Vauguyon

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0198-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-17

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I received your letter, sir, informing me that the Congress of the United States of North America has bestowed upon you the character of minister plenipotentiary to the States General of the United Provinces. I do not know if you propose to present your credentials to their High Mightinesses at this moment, but if it is your intention to do so, I would like to speak with you about it and tell you my views regarding the common cause.1
Please be persuaded, sir, of the sincerity of my inviolable sentiments of distinguished consideration, with which I have the honor to be your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Le duc de La Vauguyon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Le Duc de la Vauguyon 17th. April 1781.”
1. On the 19th, JA journeyed to The Hague, took lodgings at the Parliament d'Angleterre, and announced his arrival to La Vauguyon (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 432). The ambassador responded, requesting JA to meet with him that evening between six and seven o'clock (Adams Papers). JA described his meetings with La Vauguyon on 19 and 20 April in a letter of 21 Feb. 1782 to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Robert R. Livingston (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:192–199), but the most detailed account of the conferences is found in his 1809 letters to the Boston Patriot.
“I went immediately to the Hague, and made my visit to the hotel de France. The duke entered at once into conversation with me to dissuade me from presenting my credentials. He detained me two hours. I answered all his questions, and replied to all his arguments. But as is usual, neither was convinced, and I took my leave with as full a determination as ever to pursue my plan. The next morning at eight o'clock, the duke appeared at my lodgings ... and renewed his efforts to divert me from my purpose. He went over all the ground we had trod the day before, and ran about all Europe, especially the northern maritime confederation, to find arguments against the step I proposed to take. Although his topics { 264 } appeared to me extremely frivolous, I listened to them with all the respect which was due to the ambassador of France, and to the personal character of the duke which I sincerely esteemed. It is but justice to say, that in all my intercourse with the duke de la Vaguion, I was uniformly treated by him, his duchess, their children and domestics, with the utmost politeness, and indeed with the freedom and familiarity of friendship.
“In this transaction I committed two faults: 1. In not insisting that these discussions should be in writing. 2. In not committing them to writing when they were fresh in my mind. The only excuse that can be made for both is, that I had not time. Too many objects pressed upon me at once. At the distance of eight and twenty years, it would be in vain to attempt a recollection of them by memory, and they must be lost forever, unless some future Dalrymple or Fox, after a century or two, should find access to the diplomatic archieves of France, and there find some account of them in the duke's dispatches to his court.
“The duke detained me between four and five hours at this second interview, urging all the time his objections and reasons against my going to the states. There was no solidity in them; I knew them to be mere pretexts.
“At last, when he found I was not convinced, he desired me to postpone my visit to the president of their high mightinesses, until he could write to the count de Vergennes and have his opinion. I answered, by no means: Why? Because I know beforehand the count's opinion will be point blank against me; and I had rather proceed against his judgment without officially knowing his opinion, than with it, as I am determined in all events to go. The duke had one resource still left. It was to persuade me to join him or let him alone, in writing a request to the king of France, that he would order his ambassador to unite with me, in my endeavors to obtain an acknowledgment of my public character. I answered again, by no means: Why? Because monsieur le duke, if I must speak out in plain English, or plain French, I know the decision of the king's council will be directly and decidedly against me; and I am decidedly determined to go to the president, though I had a resolution of the king in council against me, and before my eyes. Besides, the moments are critical, and there is no time to be lost—whereas, the correspondence and negociations you propose may be spun out for years. Moreover, I think that neither the king nor his ministers ought to commit themselves in this business. What! said the duke? Will you take the responsibility of it upon yourself? Indeed, monsieur le duke, I will; and I think I alone ought to be responsible; and that no other ambassador, minister, council or court, ought to be answerable for any thing concerning it. 'Are you willing to be responsible then?' Indeed I am, and upon my head may all the consequences of it rest. 'Are you then determined?' Determined, and unalterably determined I am.
“The duke upon hearing this, changed his countenance and the tone of his voice, and said very pleasantly—well I can say no more. If you are determined, and actually go to the states general, though it will be against my opinion and advice, and although I can give you no assistance in my official capacity, yet as a man and an individual, I will give you all the countenance in my power. I thanked his excellency for his declaration, which I received in the most friendly manner; and assured him it was all the aid I expected or desired, as I fully agreed with him that neither his public character or the conduct of his court ought in any manner or degree to be compromised in the affair”
La Vauguyon's letters of 11 and 15 May 1781 to the Comte de Vergennes largely substantiate JA's recollections. The ambassador thanked Vergennes for approving his effort to dissuade JA from presenting the memorials and assumed that Vergennes was not surprised by JA's refusal to take his advice. La Vauguyon also described his efforts to avoid any misunderstanding with the Dutch government, indicating that he had made it absolutely clear to its leading members that JA acted without the support or approval of France and that he, personally, had received no communication or instructions from Paris on the subject (F. J. L. Krämer, ed., Archives ou correspondance inédite de la maison d'Orange-Nassau, 5th ser., 3 vols., Leyden, 1910–1917, 2:468–469, 478).
It seems clear that JA would not have discussed his memorials with La Vauguyon if Dumas had not written on 14 April, above, regarding the indispensable necessity of informing the ambassador. Commenting further on his decision to present the memorials to the States General and William V, JA wrote: “I had been very busily and confidentially employed in consultations with my Dutch friends, many of whom were members of the sovereignty, and among the best characters and { 265 } most respectable men in the nation. I had not taken a step without their advice and full approbation. They were unanimously of my opinion that our American negociations both for a political and commercial connection, and for a loan of money, should be kept as distinct as possible from all French influence” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 438). This seems to explain both JA's initial decision not to consult with the French ambassador concerning the memorials and his later declaration that he would take full responsibility for the initiative and neither desired nor expected the official approbation or assistance of France.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0199

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-17

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Hounoured Sir

We found out by the bring in that the Amsterdam Leyden and Utrecht Newspaper are all belonging to Your Excellency and have accordingly the honour to forward them; the English papers of yesterday went by the [ . . . ]1 this morning having unfortunately come to late yesterday for which we are to make many apologies for our Clerk that was charged with them; We suppose however that the Leyden paper will be superflouous now and beg your Excellencys orders about it.
Might we beg at the same time to be informed by Your Excellency whether Mr. Saml. Hillegas was yet treasurer of Congress in Jany. 1779 and whether Loan Certificates signed by him under that date be of value.2 We should be extreemly obliged to your Excellency for that intelligence being asked about it and not willing to assure any thing we are not absolutely Certain off.
We have the honour to be with great respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Obedient & Very humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville Son
Many people inquire about the time of Your Excellencys coming in town. May we give them and entertain some hopes of its being soon? Our french letters being just come in We find that a Vessel has arrived at Cadiz from Marylnd which she left 10 feby with the report that 6 or 7000 Virginians had assembled between Arnold and his shipping and that they were in the greatest Ardor to fight that traitor; May we trouble your Excellency with the inclosed.3
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. John De Neufville Fils 17th. April 1781.”
1. This word cannot be read.
2. Michael Hillegas was appointed Continental treasurer in 1776 and treasurer of the U.S. in 1777, a post he held until 1789 (DAB). His son Samuel was one of a number of people he appointed in Dec. 1776 and May 1777 to sign the currency and other financial instruments that Congress issued (JCC, 6:1046; 7:354).
3. The enclosure has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0200

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-18

From Francis Dana

I feel myself happy that Congress have made it my duty to consult your Excellency upon the Mission with which they have charged me for the Court of Petersburgh. To this end I have already laid before you, all the papers which I have received from Congress, any way relating to it, and also my correspondence with his Excellency the Comte De Vergennes, and Dr. Franklin upon the same subject, as well as my letters to the President of Congress from the time I received this Commission.2 From all these your Excellency will be fully instructed in the several matters on which I wish to have your advice; but to bring some of them more immediately under your view, I beg leave to state the following questions.
Whether, all circumstances considered, your Excellency thinks it expedient for me to proceed to Petersburgh in the character of a private Citizen of the United States only, and to wait there for a favourable moment to announce my publick Character?
Or, Whether, previous to my going in such a character, you judge it expedient for me to communicate my design to Prince Gallitzin, the Russian Ambassador at the Hague (secreting from him at the same time, my publick Character) and to take his opinion thereon; according to the intimation given to me by the Comte De Vergennes, at our conference?3
Whether it is adviseable to communicate my real Character to the Court of Petersburgh, and to ask their permission before I undertake the journey?
Whether, in case you think it adviseable for me to proceed to Petersburgh, in a private character only, without further communications to any one, You conceive it to be the Intention of Congress, that I shou'd present their resolutions relative to the rights of Neutral Vessels, to the Court of Petersburgh on my arrival there, or whether this is left to my discretion, to be regulated by the then State of Affairs at that Court?
Your Excellency will readily perceive the propriety of my writing to you on this business, altho' we have already had a conference upon it, and of my requesting your sentiments in writing also.
I shall be happy to make a more particular Communication of my own sentiments and views, in further conversation, if you think it needful, before you give me yours.
{ 267 }
I am with the greatest Respect and Esteem your Excellency, most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] FRA DANA
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana ansd.”; by CFA: “April 18th 1781.”
1. Francis Dana left Paris on the morning of 8 April (Franklin, Papers, 34:515).
2. Dana received his commission, instructions, and letter of credence as minister to Russia from John Laurens on 15 March. His instructions required him to consult with Benjamin Franklin and JA regarding his mission and recommended that he also confer with the French government. The letters referred to here, which describe in considerable detail Dana's conversations with Franklin and Vergennes, are those to Congress of 24, 28, and 31 March, and 2 and 4 April; to Vergennes of 31 March and 2 April; and to Franklin of 6 April; as well as letters of 1 April from Vergennes and 7 April from Franklin (JCC, 18:1166–1173; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:325–327, 333–334, 344, 349–351, 343–344, 348, 352–353, 348, 353–354; Franklin, Papers, 34:514–519).
3. Franklin first raised the issue of whether Dana should inform the Russian government of his mission before departing for St. Petersburg. He believed that Dana should ask the Comte de Vergennes whether such a course was advisable. Dana disagreed. He feared that Vergennes would recommend it and that to do so would force the Russian government to take official cognizance of Dana and, perhaps, prohibit him from going to St. Petersburg. Franklin reconsidered and decided it necessary only to inform the French government of the intended mission. When Dana met with Vergennes on 4 April, the foreign minister recommended only that he inform Prince Gallitzin at The Hague of his intention to go to Russia as a private citizen (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:325–327, 333–334, 349–351; Franklin, Papers, 34:517–519). For JA's answers to this question and the others Dana posed, see his reply that immediately follows.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0201

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1781-04-18

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I am at no Loss, what Advice to give you, in answer to the Questions in your letter of this day, because they relate to a Subject, on which I have long reflected, and have formed an opinion, as fully as my Understanding is capable of.
I think then that it is necessary for you to prepare for a Journey to Petersbourg without Loss of Time, that you travel in the Character of a Gentleman, without any distinction of public or private, as far as the Publication of your Appointment already made in France will admit.
I Should think it altogether improper to communicate your Design to the Prince de Gallitzin of travelling to Petersbourg as a private Gentleman, Secreting from him at the Same time your publick Character. It would expose you to Something very disagreable. The Prince would ask you, why you asked his Advice? when it is well known that private Gentlemen travel, without Molestation in every Country in Europe. Besides the Ambassador, I have reasons to believe, would not, give you any Advice, without Instructions from his Court, and this would require so much Time, that the most favourable Opportunity, which now presents itself would be lost. And after applying to { 268 } the Prince, and being advised against the Journey or to postpone it for Instructions from Petersbourg, it would be less respectfull to go, than to go now, when the Circumstances of the Times are very favourable.
The Same Reasoning applies equally against Writing to Petersbourg beforehand. The best opportunity would be lost, and the Court would never encourage you to come untill they had determined to receive you, and you would have no Opportunity to assist the deliberations upon the subject, by throwing in any Light, by answering Objections or explaining the Views of Congress.
After your Arrival at Petersbourg, I should advise you, unless upon the Spot you discover Reasons against it, unknown to Us, at present, to communicate your Character and Mission to Count Panin, or the Minister of foreign Affairs in Confidence,1 asking his Advice,2 but at the Same time presenting him a Memorial ready prepared for the Empress. If he informs you, that it is best for you to reside there as a private Gentleman, or to travel for a Time into Sweeden or Denmark, or to return here to Holland, where I shall be happy to have your Company and Advice, take his Advice.3 The United States of America have nothing dishonourable to propose to any Court or Country. If the Wishes of Congress which are for the good of all Nations, as they apprehend, are not deemed by such Courts or Nations consistent with their Views or Interests, of which they are the Supreme Judges, they will candidly Say so, and there is no harm done. On the Contrary Congress will be applauded for their Candour and good Intentions.
You will make your Communication to the French Ambassador of Course, according to your Instruction.4
This Method was taken by this Republick, in her Struggle with Spain, nay it was taken by the Republican Parliament in England and by Oliver Cromwell. It was taken by Switzerland and by Portugal in similar Cases with great success. Why it should be improper now I know not.
I conceive it to be the Intention of Congress that you should communicate their Resolutions relative to the Rights of neutral Vessels, and I am the more entirely of this Opinion, because I have already communicated those Resolutions to their High Mightinesses the states General and to their Excellencies, the Ministers of Russia, Denmark and Sweeden, at the Hague,5 in Pursuance of the Letters I had received from the President,6 and I should now think it im• { 269 } proper in me, to Sign a Treaty according to those Resolutions if invited thereto, because it would be interfering with your department.
America, my dear Sir has been too long Silent in Europe. Her Cause is that of all Nations and all Men: and it needs nothing but to be explained to be approved. At least these are my Sentiments.
I have Reasons in my Mind, which were unknown to their Excellencies the Comte De Vergennes, and Mr. Franklin when You consulted them: Reasons which it is improper for me to explain at present. But the Reasons I have given appear to me conclusive. No Measure of Congress was ever taken in a more proper Time, or with more Wisdom, in my Opinion, than the Appointment of a Minister at the Hague and at Petersbourg. The Effects of it may not appear in Sudden and brillant Success: but the Time was exactly chosen and the happy fruits of it will appear in their Course.
Although I shall be personally a sufferer by your Appointment, yet I sincerely rejoice in it for the publick Good.
When our Ennemies have formed Alliances, with so many Princes in Germany and so many Savage nations against Us—When they are borrowing so much of the Wealth of Germany, Italy, Holland Switzerland, to be employed against Us, no wise Court or reasonable Man can blame Us, for proposing to form Relations with Countries whose Interest it is to befriend Us.
An Excess of Modesty and Reserve, is an Excess still. It was no dishonour to Us to propose a Treaty to France, nor for our Ministers to reside there more than a Year without being acknowledged. On the Contrary all wise Men applauded the Measure, and I am confident the World in general will now approve of an Application to the maritime Powers, although We should remain without a public Reception as long as our Ministers did in France and Spain; nay although We should be rejected.
In this Case Congress and their Constituents, will all be Satisfied. They will have neglected no Duty in their Power, and the World will then see the Power and Resources of three or four Millions of virtuous Men, inhabiting a fine Country, when contending for every Thing, which renders human Life worth Supporting. The United States will then fix a Medium, establish Taxes for the Payment of Interest, acquire the Confidence of their own Capitalists, and borrow Money at home, and when this is done they will find Capitalists abroad willing enough to adventure in their Funds.
With ardent Wishes for your Health, and Success, I have the { 270 } Honour to be Dear sir, your Excellencys most obedient & most humble servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC (MHi: Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “J: Adams to F: Dana April 18th. 1781 Mission.”
1. Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin was Catherine II's first minister of the college of foreign affairs. Dana would deal with either him or his deputy, Ivan A. Osterman (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 17–18).
2. The remainder of this sentence was interlined.
3. JA directed his response in the remainder of this paragraph and in much of the rest of the letter, less at Francis Dana's request for advice than to a statement Benjamin Franklin made in his letter of 7 April to Dana (Franklin, Papers, 34:517–519). There Franklin wrote that “I have long imagined that we let ourselves down in offering our Alliance before it is desired; and that it would have been better if we had never issued Commissions for Ministers ... till we had first privately learnt whether they would be received, since a Refusal from one is an actual Slight, that lessens our Reputation, and makes others less willing to form a Connection with us.”
4. Dana's instructions ordered him to confer with the French minister at St. Petersburg, Charles Olivier de Saint Georges, Marquis de Vérac (JCC, 18:1170; Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:133).
5. See the memorial to the States General and JA's letter to Prince Gallitzin, both of 8 March, above.
6. The remainder of this sentence was interlined.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0202-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-18

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Je fus hier au Soir chez un ami de poids, qui, Sur ce que je lui témoignai ma surprise de ce que votre Mémoire1 avoit été remis au Greffe, c'est-à-dire, comme jeté ou rejeté, comme on me l'avoit fait entendre me dit, que l'expression étoit outrée, et que ce qui étoit remis là étoit considéré comme déposé jusqu'à nouvel ordre.
On attend tous les jours des Dépêches de Petersbourg; et l'on est assuré d'avance qu'elles seront Satisfaisantes. J'espere d'en savoir davantage vendredi au soir.
On me fit demander hier au soir votre adresse; ainsi je ne doute pas que vous n'ayiez reçu aujourdhui une Lettre de certaine part, et quelle ne soit cordiale et polie.2 Je n'ai pas encore fait visite à cette part-là; je vous en dirai la raison quand nous nous verons; et vous l'approuverez. Je persiste dans ce que je vous en ai écrit dernierement.3
Je viens d'apprendre, que Mrs. Searle et Dana sont avec vous. Si vous avez la bonté de me donner demain de vos nouvelles et des leurs, je me ferai un devoir de vous visiter et de les complimenter Samedi matin. Mais je voudrois être Sûr auparavant que nous ne nous manquerons, ni ne croiserons: or l'un ou l'autre pourroit arriver, Si { 271 } vous veniez ici, ou Si vous alliez à Amsterdam, dans le temps que j'irois à Leide.
Je crois que les Etats d'Hollde. se sépareront Vendredi pour un peu de temps.
J'espere que Mr. votre fils est rétabli,4 et qu'il pourra venir voir notre belle foire avec Mr. son frere et Mr. Thaxter. Elle mérite bien aussi votre présence, et celle de Mrs. Searle et Dana, aux quels je vous demande la permission de présenter ici mes respects. Je Suis toujours avec tout celui qui vous est voué, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0202-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-18

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

[salute] Sir

Last evening I visited an influential friend who, upon learning my surprise that your memorial1 was back at the clerk's office and, as I understood it, was considered thrown out or rejected, told me that the expression was exaggerated and that the memorial was left there for brand new consideration.
Everyday we expect the dispatches from St. Petersburg. We were assured in advance that they would be satisfactory. I hope to know more about this Friday evening.
Last night I was asked for your address. I do not doubt that you received a letter today from a certain party and that the letter was cordial and courteous.2 I have not visited this person yet and will tell you why when we see each other. You will approve. I persist in what I wrote to you about it last time.3
I have just learned that Mr. Searle and Mr. Dana are with you. If you would be so kind as to give me your news and their news tomorrow, I would make it my duty to visit and congratulate you on Saturday morning. But I would like to be certain first that we do not miss each other or pass each other because someone could arrive here or in Amsterdam during the time that I am traveling to Leyden.
I believe that the states of Holland are adjourning on Friday for a short time.
I hope that your son is recovered4 and will be able to come to our beautiful fair with his brother and Mr. Thaxter. You should come and see it also, as well as Mr. Searle and Mr. Dana, to whom I wish to send my regards. I remain, sir, with all of my devotion, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. Memorial to the States General, 8 March, above.
2. From the Duc de La Vauguyon, 17 April, above.
3. From Dumas, 14 April, above.
4. CA.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0203

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bleiswyck, Pieter van
Date: 1781-04-19

To Pieter van Bleiswyck

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour to inclose to your Excellency a Copy of a Memorial2 to their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces.
With the greatest Respect and Consideration, I have the Honour to be, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers). LbC (Adams Papers)
1. Signed by JA, this is likely the copy of the letter he presented to van Bleiswyck, Grand Pensionary of Holland, on 4 May together with a copy of his memorial to the States General, below, both of which van Bleiswyck returned. For JA's meeting with van Bleiswyck on the 4th, see his letter of 7 May to the president of Congress, below. For the dating of this letter and the memorial, see JA's memorial to the States General, 19 April, note 1, below. JA wrote a virtually identical letter to Hendrik Fagel, secretary to the States General (Adams Papers), but after his conference with van Bleiswyck decided that a meeting with the secretary was pointless.
2. At this point in the Letterbook are the canceled passages: “<, which I had this day the Honour of presenting>, to <the President of>.”

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0204

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Netherlands, States General of
Date: 1781-04-19

Memorial to the States General

Copy

A Memorial To their High Mightinesses, the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries.2

[salute] High and Mighty Lords

The Subscriber has the Honour to propose to your High Mightinesses, that the United States of America, in Congress Assembled, have lately thought fit to send him a Commission (with full Powers and Instructions) to confer with your High Mightinesses, concerning a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, an authentic Copy of which he has the Honour to annex to this Memorial.3
At the Times, when the Treaties between this Republick and the Crown of Great Britain, were made, the People, who now compose the United States of America, were a Part of the English Nation; as such, Allies of the Republick, and Parties to those Treaties; entitled to all their Benefits, and chearfully submitting to all their Obligations.
It is true, that when the British Administration, renouncing the ancient Character of Englishmen for Generosity, Justice and Humanity, concieved the design of subverting the political Systems of the { 273 } | view { 274 } Colonies; depriving them of the Rights and Liberties of Englishmen, and reducing them to the worst of all Forms of Government; starving the People, by blockading the Ports and cutting off their Fisheries and Commerce; sending Fleets and Armies to destroy every Principle and Sentiment of Liberty, and to consume their Habitations and their Lives; making Contracts for foreign Troops and Alliances with savage Nations to assist them in their Enterprise; casting, formally, by Act of Parliament, three Millions of People at once out of the Protection of the Crown: then, and not 'till then, did the United States of America, in Congress Assembled, pass that memorable Act, by which they assumed an equal Station among the Nations.
This immortal Declaration, of the fourth of July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, when America was invaded by an hundred Vessels of War, and, according to Estimates laid before Parliament, by fifty five thousand of veteran Troops, was not the Effect of any sudden Passion, or Enthusiasm; but a Measure, which had been long in deliberation among the People, maturely discussed in some hundreds of popular Assemblies, and by public Writings in all the States: it was a Measure, which Congress did not adopt, until they had recieved the positive Instructions of their Constituents: it was then unanimously adopted by Congress, subscribed by all its Members, transmitted to the Assemblies of the several States, and by them respectively accepted, ratified and recorded among their Archives: so that no Decree, Edict, Statute, Placart or fundamental Law of any Nation was ever made with more Solemnity, or with more Unanimity or Cordiality adopted, as the Act and Consent of the whole People, than this: and it has been held sacred to this day by every State with such unshaken Firmness, that not even the smallest has ever been induced to depart from it; although the English have wasted many Millions, and vast Fleets and Armies in the vain Attempt to invalidate it. On the contrary, each of the thirteen States has instituted a Form of Government for itself, under the Authority of the People; has erected its Legislature in the several Branches; its Executive Authority with all its Offices; its Judiciary Departments and Judges; its Army, Militia, Revenue, and some of them their Navy: and all these Departments of Government have been regularly and constitutionally organized under the associated Superintendency of Congress, now these five Years, and have acquired a Consistency, Solidity and Activity, equal to the oldest and most established Governments. It is true, that in some Speeches and Writings of the English it is still contended, that the People of America are still in Principle and { 275 } Affection with them: but these Assertions are made against such evident Truth and Demonstration, that it is surprising they should find at this day one Believer in the World. One may appeal to the Writings and recorded Speeches of the English for the last seventeen Years to shew, that similar Misrepresentations have been incessantly repeated through that whole Period, and that the Conclusion of every Year has in fact confuted the confident Assertions and Predictions of the beginning of it. The Subscriber begs Leave to say from his own Knowledge of the People of America, (and he has a better right to obtain Credit, because he has better Opportunities to know than any Briton whatsoever) that they are unalterably determined to maintain their Independence. He confesses, that notwithstanding his Confidence through his whole Life in the virtuous Sentiments and Uniformity of Character among his Countrymen, their Unanimity has surprised him: that all the Power, Arts, Intrigues and Bribes, which have been employed in the several States, should have seduced from the Standard of Virtue so contemptible a few, is more fortunate than could have been expected. This Independence stands upon so firm and broad a Bottom of the Peoples Interests, Honour, Consciences and Affections, that it will not be affected by any Successes that the English may obtain either in America, or against the European Powers at War, nor by any Alliances they can possibly form, if indeed in so unjust and desperate a Cause they can obtain any.
Nevertheless, although compelled by Necessity, and warranted by the fundamental Laws of the Colonies, and of the British Constitution; by Principles avowed in the English Laws, and confirmed by many Examples in the English History; by Principles interwoven into the History and public Right of Europe in the great Examples of the Helvetic and Batavian Confederacies and many others, and frequently acknowledged and ratified by the Diplomatic Body; Principles founded in eternal Justice and the Laws of God and Nature: to cut asunder forever all the Ties which had connected them with Great Britain; yet the People of America did not consider themselves as seperating from their Allies, especially the Republick of the United Provinces, or departing from their Connections with any of the People under their Government: but, on the contrary, they preserved the same Affection, Esteem and Respect for the Dutch Nation in every Part of the World, which they and their Ancestors had ever entertained.
When sound Policy dictated to Congress the Precaution of sending Persons to negotiate natural Alliances in Europe, it was not from any { 276 } failure in Respect, that they did not send a Minister to your High Mightinesses with the first whom they sent abroad: but, instructed in the Nature of the Connections between Great Britain and the Republick, and in the System of Peace and Neutrality, which She had so long pursued, they thought proper to respect both so far, as not to seek to embroil her with her Allies, to excite Divisions in the Nation or lay Embarrassments before it. But, since the British Administration, uniform and persevering in Injustice, despising their Allies, as much as their Colonists and fellow Subjects; disregarding the Faith of Treaties, as much as that of Royal Charters; violating the Law of Nations, as they had before done the fundamental Laws of the Colonies, and the inherent Rights of British Subjects; have arbitrarily set aside all the Treaties between the Crown and the Republick, declared War, and commenced Hostilities, the settled Intentions of which they had manifested long before, all those Motives, which before restrained the Congress, cease, and an Opportunity presents of proposing such Connections, as the United States of America have a Right to form, consistent with those already formed with France and Spain,4 which they are under every Obligation of Duty, Interest and Inclination to observe sacred and inviolate; and consistent with such other Treaties as it is their Intention to propose to other Sovereigns.
A natural Alliance may be formed between the two Republicks, if ever one existed among Nations.5
The first Planters of the four Northern States found in this Country an Asylum from Persecution, and resided here from the Year one thousand six hundred and eight to the Year one thousand six hundred and twenty, twelve Years preceeding their Migration. They ever entertained, and have transmitted to Posterity, a grateful Remembrance of that Protection and Hospitality, and especially of that religious Liberty they found here, though they had sought them in vain in England.
The first Inhabitants of two other States, New York and New Jersey, were immediate Emigrants from this Nation, and have transmitted their Religion, Language, Customs, Manners and Character. And America in general, until her Relations were formed with the House of Bourbon, has ever considered this Nation as her first Friend in Europe, whose History and the great Characters it exhibits, in the various Arts of Peace, as well as Atchievements in War by Sea and Land, have been particularly studied, admired and imitated in every State.
{ 277 }
A Similitude of Religion, although it is not deemed so essential in this as it has been in former Ages to the Alliance of Nations, is still, as it ever will be thought a desirable Circumstance. Now it may be said with Truth, that there are no two Nations whose Worship, Doctrine and Discipline are more alike, than those of the two Republicks. In this particular therefore, as far as it is of Weight, an Alliance would be perfectly natural.
A Similarity in the Forms of Government is usually considered as another Circumstance, which renders Alliances natural: and although the Constitutions of the two Republicks are not perfectly alike, there is yet Analogy enough between them to make a Connection easy in this respect.
In general Usages, and in the Liberality of Sentiments in those momentous Points, the Freedom of Inquiry, the Right of private Judgment and the Liberty of Conscience, of so much Importance to be supported in the World, and imparted to all Mankind, and which at this Hour are in more danger from Great Britain, and that intolerant Spirit which is secretly fermenting there, than from any other Quarter, the two Nations resemble each other more than any others.
The Originals of the two Republicks are so much alike, that the History of one seems but a Transcript from that of the other: so that every Dutchman, instructed in the Subject, must pronounce the American Revolution just and necessary, or pass a Censure upon the greatest Actions of his immortal Ancestors; Actions which have been approved and applauded by Mankind, and justified by the Decision of Heaven.
But the Circumstance, which, perhaps in this Age, has stronger Influence than any other in the formation of Friendships between Nations, is the great and growing Interest of Commerce; of the whole System of which through the Globe, your High Mightinesses are too perfect Masters for me to say any thing that is not familiarly known. It may not however be amiss to hint, that the central Situation of this Country; her extensive Navigation; her Possessions in the East and West Indies; the Intelligence of her Merchants; the Number of her Capitalists and the Riches of her Funds, render a Connection with her desirable to America. And on the other Hand, the Abundance and Variety of the Productions of America; the Materials of Manufactures, Navigation and Commerce; the vast Demand and Consumption of the Manufactures of Europe, of Merchandizes from the Baltic, and from the East Indies, and the Situation of the Dutch Possessions in the West Indies, cannot admit of a doubt, that a { 278 } Connection with the United States would be useful to this Republick. The English are so sensible of this, that, notwithstanding all their Professions of Friendship, they have considered this Nation as their Rival in the American Trade: a Sentiment which dictated and maintained their severe Act of Navigation, as injurious to the Commerce and Naval Power of this Country, as it was both to the Trade and the Rights of the Colonists. There is now an Opportunity offered to both to shake off this Shackle forever. If any Consideration whatever could have prevailed with the English to have avoided a War with your High Mightinesses, it would have been an Apprehension of an Alliance between the two Republicks: and it is easy to foresee, that nothing will contribute more to oblige them to a Peace than such a Connection once completely formed. It is needless to point out particularly, what Advantages might be derived to the Possessions of the Republick in the West Indies, from a Trade opened, protected and encouraged between them and the Continent of America: or what Profits might be made by the East India Company by carrying their Effects directly to the American Market: how much even the Trade of the Baltic might be secured and extended by a free Intercourse with America, which has ever had so large a Demand, and will have more for Hemp, Cordage, Sail Cloth and other Articles of that Commerce: how much the national Navigation would be benefited by building and purchasing Ships there: how much the Number of Seamen might be increased, or how much Advantage to both Countries to have their Ports mutually opened to their Men of War and Privateers and their Prizes.
If therefore an Analogy of Religion, Government, Original, Manners and the most extensive and lasting Commercial Interests can form a Ground and an Invitation to political Connection, the Subscriber flatters himself, that in all these Particulars, the Union is so obviously natural, that there has seldom been a more distinct Designation of Providence to any two distant Nations to unite themselves together.
It is further submitted to the Wisdom and Humanity of your High Mightinesses, whether it is not visibly for the Good of Mankind, that the Powers of Europe, who are convinced of the Justice of the American Cause (and where is one to be found that is not?) should make haste to acknowledge the Independence of the United States, and form equitable Treaties with them, as the surest Means of convincing Great Britain of the Impracticability of her Pursuits: whether the late Marine Treaty, concerning the Rights of neutral { 279 } Vessels, noble and useful as it is, can be established against Great Britain, who never will adopt it nor submit to it but from Necessity, without the Independence of America: whether the Return of America, with her Nurseries of Seamen and Magazines of Materials for Navigation and Commerce, to the Domination and Monopoly of Great Britain, if that were practicable, would not put the Possessions of other Nations beyond Seas wholly in the Power of that enormous Empire, which has long been governed wholly by the feeling of its own Power; at least without a proportional Attention to Justice, Humanity or Decency. When it is obvious and certain that the Americans are not inclined to submit again to the British Government on one hand, and that the Powers of Europe ought not and could not with Safety consent to it, if they were, on the other: why should a Source of Contention be left open for future Contingencies to involve the Nations of Europe in still more Bloodshed; when, by one decisive Step of the Maritime Powers, in making Treaties with a Nation long in Possession of Sovereignty, by Right and in Fact, it might be closed.
The Example of your High Mightinesses would, it is hoped, be followed by all the Maritime Powers, especially those, which are Parties to the late Marine Treaty: nor can an Apprehension, that the Independence of America would be injurious to the Trade of the Baltic be any Objection. This Jealousy is so groundless, that the reverse would happen. The Freight and Insurance in Voyages across the Atlantic are so high, and the Price of Labour so dear in America, that Tar, Pitch, Turpentine and Ship Timber can never be transported to Europe at so cheap a Rate, as it has been and will be afforded by Countries round the Baltic. This Commerce was supported by the English before the Revolution with difficulty, and not without large Parliamentary Bounties. Of Hemp, Cordage and Sail Cloth, there will not probably be a Sufficiency raised in America for her own Consumption in many Centuries, for the plainest of all Reasons, because those Articles can be imported from Amsterdam, or even from Petersbourg or Archangel cheaper than they can be raised at Home. America will therefore be for Ages a Market for these Articles of the Baltic Trade.
Nor is there more Solidity in another Supposition, propagated by the English to prevent other Nations from pursuing their true Interests, that other Colonies will follow the Example of the United States. Those Powers, which have as large Possessions as any beyond Seas, have already declared against England, apprehending no such Consequences. Indeed there is no Probability of any other Power of { 280 } Europe following the Example of England, in attempting to change the whole System of the Government of Colonies, and reducing them by Oppression to the Necessity of governing themselves. And without such manifest Injustice and Cruelty on the Part of the Metropolis, there is no danger of Colonies attempting Innovations. Established Governments are founded deeply in the Hearts, the Passions, the Imaginations and Understandings of the People, and without some violent Change from without to alter the Temper and Character of the whole People, it is not in human Nature to exchange Safety for Danger, and certain Happiness for very precarious Benefits.
It is submitted to the Consideration of your High Mightinesses, whether the System of the United States, which was minutely considered and discussed and unanimously agreed on in Congress in the Year one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, in planning the Treaty they proposed to France, to form equitable Commercial Treaties with all the Maritime Powers of Europe, without being governed or monopolized by any: a System which was afterwards approved by the King, and made the Foundation of the Treaties with his Majesty: a System to which the United States have hitherto constantly adhered, and from which they never will depart, unless compelled by some Powers declaring against them, which is not expected; is not the only means of preventing this growing Country from being an Object of everlasting Jealousies, Rivalries and Wars among the Nations. If this Idea is just, it follows, that it is the Interest of every State in Europe, to acknowledge American Independency immediately. If such benevolent Policy should be adopted, the new World will be a proportional Blessing to every Part of the old.
The Subscriber has the further Honour of informing your High Mightinesses, that the United States of North America in Congress Assembled, impressed with an high Sense of the Wisdom and Magnanimity of your High Mightinesses, and of your inviolable Attachment to the Rights and Liberties of Mankind, and being desirous of cultivating the Friendship of a Nation, eminent for its Wisdom, Justice and Moderation, have appointed the Subscriber to be their Minister Plenipotentiary to reside near You, that he may give You more particular Assurances of the great Respect they entertain for your High Mightinesses, beseeching your High Mightinesses to give entire Credit to every thing, which their said Minister shall deliver on their Part, especially when he shall assure You of the Sincerity of their Friendship and Regard. The original Letter of Credence, under the Seal of Congress, the Subscriber is ready to deliver to your High { 281 } Mightinesses, or to such Persons as You shall direct to recieve it. He has also a similar Letter of Credence to his most Serene Highness the Prince Stadtholder.6
All which is respectfully submitted to the Consideration of your High Mightinesses, together with the Propriety of appointing some Person or Persons, to treat on the Subject of his Mission, by
[signed] John Adams
MS in John Thaxter's hand, with date and signature by JA (Adams Papers); notation: “Copy of Memorial of 19 April 1781.” A nearly identical MS and two MS French translations in John Thaxter's hand are also among the Adams Papers. JA probably intended to present the MSS to Pieter van Bleiswyck and Hendrik Fagel on 4 May, see JA to the president of Congress, 7 May, below. LbC (Adams Papers), preceded by a French translation in JA's hand. Lb/JA/16 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 104) also contains two Dft's dated [ca. 27–29 March] and [ca. 6 April]. For differences between the Dft's and the MS, see notes 3 and 6.
1. JA deliberately dated the memorial 19 April, the sixth anniversary of the opening battles of the American Revolution. The allusion to Lexington and Concord would be obvious to Americans and also would remind the Dutch people of their own revolt against Spanish rule. Note that exactly one year later, on 19 April 1782, the States General recognized the United States.
JA also may have intended to present the memorial on 19 April, but events delayed its delivery until 4 May. The memorial was completed prior to 13 April, the day Dumas translated the text into French (LbC, Adams Papers). JA's ultimate decision to inform the French ambassador of his intentions, however, and his subsequent meetings with La Vauguyon, which did not take place until 19–20 April, as well as William V's absence from The Hague between 18 and 24 April all would have delayed its presentation (from La Vauguyon, 17 April, above; Gazette de Leyde, 17, 27 April).
2. JA was fully aware that the States General would not accept a memorial from the minister of a nation as yet unrecognized, but he nevertheless went through the motions of presenting it. Then, to insure that his initiative would not disappear into the labyrinth of the Dutch political system, JA published the memorial in English, French, and Dutch editions. He chose to rely on public opinion to influence the various provincial states and the instructions they would give their representatives in the States General. Clearly it was a departure from normal diplomatic practice and when JA later described it as resembling the unexpected tactics of a militia against a regular army, the memorial of 19 April became the epitome of “militia diplomacy” (to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 21 Feb. 1782, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:192–199).
Even more significant perhaps than its appearance as a pamphlet was the memorial's wide publication, despite its length, in European and American newspapers. See, for example, Le politique hollandais, 14 May; Gazette de Leyde, 15 May; Mercure de France, 26 May and 9 June; London Courant and Westminster Chronicle, 21, 22, and 23 May; Courier du Bas Rhin (from Dumas, 18 May, below); Boston's Independent Chronicle, 27 Sept.; Massachusetts Spy, 4 Oct.; and the Pennsylvania Gazette, 10 October. The appearance of the memorial in so many different publications, particularly in Europe, gives it an importance beyond that of a simple, if unorthodox, diplomatic initiative. It is likely that the memorial was the most widely published piece JA ever wrote. More importantly, its succinct explanation of why the American colonies chose to throw off British imperial rule, including several telling passages on the Declaration of Independence and the sort of relationship that the U.S. envisioned with Europe, was likely the first such account that many Europeans read.
3. In the drafts, JA preceded the announcement of his commission as minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands with an account of his appointment as minister to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty. The enclosed copy of JA's commission of 29 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:449) has not been positively identified, but it may be that which is at the South Carolina { 282 } Historical Society and bears the notation: “Leyden April 19. 1781. A true Copy attest. John Adams.”
4. In the printed English version, A Memorial. To their High Mightinesses, the States General of the United Provinces of the Low-Countries, [Leyden, 1781], the preceding phrase reads “consistent with the Treaties already formed with France & Spain.” JA wanted the word “Treaties” replaced with “Relations,” see JA to Dumas, 19 May, and Dumas' reply of 23 May, both below. He personally corrected John Trumbull's copy of the Memorial [Leyden, 1781], now at the Massachusetts Historical Society, by writing the word “Relations” in the margin. He also must have corrected the Memorial he enclosed in his first letter of 16 May to the president of Congress, below, because when the Pennsylvania Gazette printed the memorial on 10 Oct. it used the word “Relations.” JA apparently failed to make the correction in the copy he sent to AA on 22 May because the Boston Independent Chronicle of 27 Sept. retained the word “Treaties” (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:122). When JA published the memorial in 1782 as part of his Collection of State Papers, he evidently used the Memorial as his source, because the word “Treaties” and the differences indicated in note 5 are repeated.
5. In Memorial [Leyden, 1781] this sentence reads “If there was ever among Nations a natural Alliance, one may be formed between the two Republicks.”
6. In the first draft the preceding six paragraphs do not appear. There the final substantive paragraph states that even if the States General refused or postponed its acceptance of JA's credentials, the law of nations still obligated it to extend to him their protection as a minister of a sovereign state passing through their territory. This statement also appears in the second draft, where it originally formed the final paragraph of the memorial. There, however, it was canceled and the paragraph beginning “The Subscriber has the further Honour to inform Your High Mightinesses” was added. The letters of credence to the States General and William Vreferred to here are dated 1 Jan., both above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0205

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: William V, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the Netherlands
Date: 1781-04-19

Memorial to William V, Prince of Orange

A Memorial To his most Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange and Nassau, Hereditary Statholder and Governor of the Seven United Provinces of the Low Countries.

The Subscriber has the Honour to inform your most Serene Highness, that the United States of America, in Congress assembled, impressed with a deep Sense of your Wisdom and Magnanimity, and being desirous of cultivating the Friendship of your Highness and of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands, who have ever distinguished themselves by an inviolable Attachment to Freedom and the Rights of Nations, have appointed the Subscriber, to be their Minister Plenipotentiary at your Court, that he may give You more particular Assurances of the great Respect they entertain for your Highness, and for the People over whom You preside as Statholder, beseeching your Highness to give entire Credit to every thing, which their said Minister shall deliver on their Part, especially when he shall assure You of the Sincerity of their Friendship and Regard. The original Letter of Credence, under the Seal of Congress, he is desirous of the Honour of delivering whenever and in whatever manner { 283 } | view { 284 } your Highness shall judge proper to recieve it.1 He has the further Honour of informing your Highness, that the said United States have honoured him with full Powers to form a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the States General, and also with Letters of Credence as Minister Plenipotentiary to their High Mightinesses. In Consequence of which he has done himself the Honour to present a Memorial, a Copy of which is here annexed.2
The Subscriber in the discharge of these Trusts considers himself rather as proposing a Renovation of old Friendships than the Formation of new ones, as the Americans have ever been the good and faithfull Allies of this Nation, and have done nothing to forfeit its Esteem. On the contrary they are confident they have a better title to it, as they have adhered stedfastly through every Trial to those Principles which formed and supported the Connection, Principles which founded and have supported this Republick, while others have wantonly abandoned them.
The Subscriber thinks himself particularly fortunate to be thus accredited to a Nation, which has made such memorable Exertions in favour of the Rights of Men, and to a Prince, whose illustrious Line of Ancestors and Predecessors have so often supported in Holland and England those Liberties for which the United States of America now contend: and it will be the Completion of his Wishes if he should be so happy as to recommend the Cause of his Country to the favorable Attention of your most Serene Highness, and of this People.
[signed] John Adams
MS in John Thaxter's hand, with date and signature by JA (Adams Papers); notation: “[Me]morial to the Prince of Orange [19] April 1781. [Pres]ented but not recd, and never [pub]lished.” For JA's presentation of the MS to William V's secretary, see his letter of 7 May to the president of Congress, below. A portion of the MS has been cut off, resulting in the loss of portions of the endorsement, but not the text of the memorial.
1. JA's letter of credence to William V, 1 Jan., above.
2. Memorial to the States General, 19 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0206

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-21

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Agreable to my Faith I have obtain'd a Promise of Money sufficient to pay the Bills you have accepted, and shall accordingly accept those you draw on me for that purpose. I request only that you would send me immediately a List of the Bills, and of the Times of their becoming due, that I may be always provided, and that as the Money will come { 285 } gradually into my hands, you would not draw upon me for the whole Sum at once, but for the Sums as they become demandable of you. Mr. Grand will write by this Courier to the House of Fizeaux & Grand to take your Bills in that way, and furnish you with the Money. Mr. Neufville has written to me about another Bill that is come into his Hands, which he desires me to accept or engage to pay.1 There seems to me a Risque in doing so without seeing the Bill, as our Enemies are not too honest to attempt Counterfeiting. I wish therefore that you would look at it, and if you find it good accept it.
I must now beg you would concur with me in writing earnestly to Congress, to hazard no more Drafts where they have no Funds. I believe there is hardly another Instance in the World of a People risquing their Credit so much who unfortunately have so little, and who must by this Proceeding, if continued, soon have none at all. The Necessity of their Affairs is the only Excuse for it. This Court is our firm Friend, but the best Friends may be wearied, and worne out, by too frequent and unexpected Demands. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
1. See Jean de Neufville & Fils to JA, 11 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0207

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-22

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

It is so very long since I had the Honor of hearing from your Excellency, that I am fearful your Excellency is out of order.1
I take the Liberty of informing your Excellency, that I shall leave this place the Tenth of next Month, in order to Conduct my Nephew2 to Nantes, where He will embark about the first of June for America. Should your Excellency have any Commands I can Answer for Him, He will execute them most Faithfully.
We have no News here. It is Supposed the Spanish fleet after having put on shore its Sick and taking refreshments the 27th. Ultimo put to sea again the 4th. Instant.
The Merchants and Traders of these Countries have laid before the Governor a memorial, wherein they state their losses by the English to amount to four Millions of Florins. Dispatches are sent to Vienna and to London on this Account.
I have reason to think your Excellency has recieved the Packet, which was negligently left at Valenciennes, and about which I was very Uneasy. I shall be glad to hear truth thereof confirmd.3
{ 286 }
I am with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm. Jenings
1. JA's last letter to Jenings was of 22 March, above.
2. Either John or Matthias Bordley, sons of John Beale Bordley, Jenings' half-brother (JQA, Diary, 1:38).
3. See JA's letter of 6 April to the president of Congress, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0208

Author: Searle, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-22

From James Searle

[salute] Sir

Having recieved so many proofs of your Friendship and Civility to me personally, and being fully convinced as I am of your Ardent desire to be usefull to your Country and to render every Service in your power to each individual State, I beg leave as Agent for the State of Pennsylvania for the purpose of procuring a Loan of money in Holland for the use of that State to ask in this manner your opinion whether my longer Stay in Europe For the purpose abovementioned is likely to be attended with the Success that might be wished. I have already communicated to you my instructions from the President, Speaker of the Assembly, and Council, and have also informed you of the Steps I have taken to comply with their Instructions by every means in my power; It woud be unnecssary to tell you that my endeavours have been altogether unsuccessfull both in Holland and France, and from any thing I can find there is not the least prospect of my Succeeding in procuring Money on Loan for the State of Pennsylvania for a long time to come, if at all in Holland, or indeed from any other part of Europe. Thus disagreably circumstanced if you shoud be of opinion that there is but little or no prospect of my Succeeding in any reasonable time, (and for my own part I am clearly of that opinion) I shall think it my duty to return by the first good opportunity to America and give an account of the Situation of matters in Europe respecting Loans of money.1
I hope Sir for your indulgence in the liberty I take with you which nothing but the distress of mind I find myself sinking under coud induce me to do. I am with every Sentiment of Respect & Veneration Dr. Sir Your most Obliged & Obedt. Servant
[signed] James Searle
1. For Searle's official account of his efforts to raise money in France and the Netherlands, in which he mentions the assistance JA provided, see his letter of 23 July 1782 to William Moore, President of Pennsylvania (Penna. Archives, Series 1, 9:589–591).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0209-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-26

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Je n'ai rien, pour le coup, de nouveau à vous marquer, Si ce n'est, que je viens d'apprendre qu un certain nombre de Marchands de la grande ville fera enfin la basse démarche auprès du Mre. Br. d'envoyer des Députés à L—— négocier la restitution de ce qui leur appartient des effets capturés à S. E. Quelques bons Patriotes, quoi, qu'ils y perdent aussi, ont refusé de souscrire à cette Députation, à la tête de laquelle Sera Mr. H—— .1 Ceux de Rm. ont refusé aussi de participer à cette petitesse. J'espere que votre démarche, dans la premiere Semaine du Mois prochain, relevera par ses bons effets le courage des autres. Je viens de mettre au net ma Traduction, pour l'avoir prête à remettre à l'Imprimeur dès que vous le jugerez à propos après la démarche faite.2 J'en suis toujours plus content; et je me persuade de plus en plus, que vous avez raison de ne pas vouloir différer davantage. Il est bon d'ailleurs que cela se fasse lorsque les Etats d'Hde. se trouveront assemblés ici: Or ils le seront le 4 du mois prochain. Ayez la bonté, Monsieur, de vouloir m'avertir quand vous quitterez Amst., et quand vous comptez de vous rendre ici pour la Démarche. J'écris ce soir à Bruxelles à une Maison dont on m'a donné l'adresse, et qui se charge ordinairement de faire venir des effets de Paris à bon compte par des Rouliers, afin de Savoir leurs conditions, et l'adresse de leur Correspondant à Paris. Dès que j'aurai réponse, je vous en ferai part; et alors vous pourrez avoir vos Coffres quand vous voudrez et sûrement. Mes respects, S'il vous plait, à Mr. Searle, et à Mr. Gillon, S'il est à Amstm. Je suis avec tout celui qui vous est voué pour toujours, Monsieur Votre trèshumble & trèsobéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Le Courier qu'on attend ici de Petersb. n'est pas encore arrivé.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0209-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-26

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

[salute] Sir

I have nothing new to relate to you except that I just learned that several Amsterdam merchants will make a démarche to the British minister to send deputies to London to negotiate restitution for their belongings captured at St. Eustatius. Several good patriots, even though they also suffered losses, refused to participate in the deputation, headed by Mr. H——.1 Those from Rotterdam also refused to participate in this pettiness. I hope that your { 288 } démarche, during the first week of next month, will elevate the courage of others through its goodness. I just finished my translation so that I will have it ready for the printer when you need to send it after the démarche.2 I am still very happy with it, and am persuaded more and more that you were right not to make any more changes. It is good, moreover, that this is taking place while the Dutch states are assembled here, which they will be on the 4th of next month. Have the kindness, sir, to warn me when you are to leave Amsterdam, and when you plan to come here for the démarche. Tonight I am writing a letter to an establishment in Brussels, for which I was given the address, in order to get their terms, and their Parisian correspondent's address, for transporting goods from Paris by wagon. As soon as I get a reply from them, I will tell you about it and maybe then you could have your trunks sent to you when you like. Give my regards, if you please, to Mr. Searle, and to Mr. Gillon, if he is still in Amsterdam. I am with all that is devoted to you, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
The expected courier from St. Petersburg has not arrived yet.
1. No démarche was made. “Mr. H–” remains unidentified.
2. This was Dumas' French translation of JA's memorial to the States General dated 19 April, above, but presented on 4 May. Jean Luzac was JA's original choice for translator, “but Mr. Dumas was very desirous of performing that service” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 430). Dumas' original translation has not been found. The copy that JA entered into his Letterbook includes the notation: “Traduit par ordre de S. E. à Leide le 13 avril 1781, Sur un original anglois Signé de S. E. par C. W. F. Dumas A.D.E.U.” Translation: Translated by order of His Excellency at Leyden, 13 April 1781, from the original English signed by His Excellency, by C. W. F. Dumas, Agent of the United States.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-04-27

To Benjamin Franklin

I have received your Excellencys Letter of the 21. and will Send you the List of the Bills, and of the times of their becoming due according to your desire, as soon as I can make it out. I will examine Mr. De Neufvilles Bill, and if it is good, accept it.
From the time I received from Congress, their orders to borrow Money here, I have constantly, in my Letters, requested that no draughts might be made upon me, untill there should be News from me that I had Money to discharge them. This Request I shall repeat. But the Cries of the Army for Cloaths, induce Congress to venture upon Measures, which appear hazardous to Us. However, by the Intelligence I have, they had grounds to expect, that the Draughts hitherto made would be honoured.1
I sometimes think, paradoxical as it may Seem, that one set of Bills protested would immediately procure Congress, a large Loan. No { 289 } Bills are in better Credit than these. There is an Appetite here, for American Trade, as ravenous as that of a shark for his Prey. And if they Saw danger of having this Trade broke up, they would do much to save it.
I have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency, that I Sometime ago, received from Congress, full Powers to conclude with the States General of the United Provinces of the low Countries, a Treaty of Amity and Commerce. And that I have very lately received a Letter of Credence as Minister Plenipotentiary, to their High Mightinesses and another to his most Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange. Being thus fixed to this Country for the present I have taken a House in Amsterdam, on the Keysers Gragt, near the Spiegel Straat, for the Convenience of our Countrymen who may have occasion to visit me, and of the Merchants who have Bills upon me, untill their High Mightinesses, shall have taken the necessary time to deliberate upon it, and determine to acknowledge the Independance of the United States, enter into Treaty with them and receive me at the Hague. If this should happen, I hope We should obtain a Credit here: but We never shall before. I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers;) endorsed: “J. Adams. April 27. 1781.”
1. It is unclear what intelligence JA possessed that indicated that Congress had grounds to expect its bills to be honored.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0211-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-04-27

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received yours of the 22. Will you be so kind as to give me the Address of your Nephew, that I may be able to convey to him, Letters for America, as I may have opportunity before he Sails.
At present I know not what to write from this Country. We are now to wait untill the 20th. of June and then see great Things.1
The Packets you mention reached me, the Sixth of this Month, after many hair breadth 'Scapes in Dilligences Post offices, and Treck Schuyts. One would conclude, by their good Fortune they were destined to do good. Time will discover, but there must be a great deal of it.
We are told that Things are in a good Way here: but I wish I could see more Proofs of it. It requires more Patience, to be here than any where.
{ 290 }
It is a misfortune that We have not the American Account of Tarletons defeat. The Militia of the Carolinas begin to feel themselves. I fancy the British Troops will have enough of them, before long.
Clinton Seems to be going down Hill. It is high time for him to publish his Apology, in Imitation of Burgoine and How.2
The Maxim of Lucullus's soldier “Let him mount Breaches who had ne'er a Groat,” is adopted by all of them.3 Cornwallis's Fortune, is to be made next. Clintons Abilities and indeed his Activity and Exertions have been much inferiour to those of Burgoine and How. And Cornwallis's when he gets the Command in Chief will be less still.
There is an hourly Expectation of News from Petersbourg which is Supposed to be good. The Empress is still believed to be firm and wise.
The English have little Consolation left, but to gnash their Teeth and cry Rebel. What a Pleasure they take in pronouncing that Word! Since it is all the Pleasure they have left, it is a Pity to envy it, to them. They now make it every other Word in all their Writings and Speeches. Rebel Rebel Rebel, Rebel.4 They remind me of a mad Woman I once saw who had no Comfort but in pronouncing the Words “oh dreadfull, dreadfull dreadfull.” She would pronounce this Word all day and all night.
I have taken an House on the Keysers Gragt near the Spiegel Straat, and am about becoming a Citizen of Amsterdam—unless their High mightinesses should pronounce me a Rebel, and expel me their Dominions, which I believe they will not be inclined to do.
Mr. Winslow Warren the son of my Friend, who would not be Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, will call upon you.5 I should be particularly obliged to you to shew him Brussells.
Inclosed are Some broken Hints, which I wish you would enlarge upon in detail, you know where.6 It is a subject at present of critical Importance. I have not time at present to digest, it, or I would be more particular.
Say what they will a Connection with America, is no indifferent thing to this People. In my Opinion their Independance, depends upon that of the U.S. Should America return to the English—or remaining independent, should this Republick despise or neglect America untill a Peace, is made between her and England this Republick would loose gradually her Manufactures her Baltick Trade her African Trade, her Greenland Fisheries and even her coasting { 291 } Trade. The Devil is in the Dutch to be so stupid and insensible to their situation, if they dont awake, they will sleep the sleep of Death.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams April 27. 1781.” Enclosure filmed at 23 April (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 354).
1. The significance of 20 June is unknown.
2. Like John Burgoyne and William Howe, who published pamphlets in 1780 defending their actions in America, Henry Clinton soon wrote his own account, entitled Narrative of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, K.B. Relative to His Conduct during Part of His Command of the King's Troops in North-America, Particularly to that which respects the unfortunate Issue of the Campaign in 1781, London, 1783.
3. Horace, Epistles, Bk. II, Ep. ii, line 40 (Horace: Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica with an English Translation, by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, 1947). One of Lucullus' soldiers saved a sum of money, which was then stolen. After he acquired new riches through valor on the battlefield he uttered this line when asked to once again risk his life and fortune.
4. Compare JA's observations here on the British use of the word “Rebel” with those in his 12th, unpublished, “Letter from a Distinguished American” regarding the use of the word “Rebellion” (vol. 9:584–585).
5. James Warren was chosen lieutenant governor in 1780, but refused to serve under John Hancock (vol. 10:368).
6. Jenings promised to discuss the enclosure with Dérival de Gomicourt, publisher of Lettres hollandoises (from Jenings, 30 April, below). There is no evidence that the piece was published.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0211-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-04-23

Enclosure: Draft of an Article

[salute] Sir

It is often Said in this Country, “We have nothing to gain by this War.” But who is to gain? If Holland has nothing to gain, it has much to loose, and the Question now is not what is to be gained, but was it to be Saved and defended. This Republick, may loose all her Possessions in the East and West Indies: she may loose her Navigation and Commerce: she may loose her Baltick Trade: her Greenland Fishery; her African Trade; her Manufactures, her Weight in the commercial and political scales of Europe; nay she may loose her Independance, and be conquered and divided among her Neighbours. The Question is whether these Objects are worth defending?
What would be the Consequence to this nation if America should return to the Domination and Monopoly of Great Britain? What would be the Consequence, if an ungenerous Treatment of America should oblige the Congress, to purchase Peace and Independance of Great Britain by Sacrifice of the Commerce of this Republick? What would be the Consequence if the Congress should propose to the K. of G.B. “Acknowledge our Independance, and We will enter into a Treaty with you, not to trade directly or indirectly with the Dutch.” It would be better for America to do this, for the sake of a speedy Peace, than to continue to be made a Spectacle like a Match at Cock fighting or Bull or Bear Baiting, as they are to People who are almost as much interested in their Independance as they are them selves.
Notwithstanding our fond Attachment to England, her Rivalry has been a source of terrible Evils to this Country. While America was in Connection with the British Empire, it was an enormous Tree, by the side of a small shrub which extracted and exhausted the Nutrition of the soil, and prevented the Circulation of the Juices in the Bush, untill one Sprig and branch of it after another died away, and it was in danger of perishing even to the Root.
What was the flourishing state of our Manufactures forty years ago? And into what decay are they fallen now? What is the Cause of this?
Because the English, having such a vast demand for Manufactures in America, and being able to sell them there at what Price they pleased, and to get American Productions the Materials of Manufac• { 292 } tures and Commerce, as cheap as they pleased, their Manufactures received such an Encouragement, that they were able to Undersell Us, at the foreign Marketts. Have not our Numbers of seamen been diminished too, by Similar Means and those of England increased.
What is the Cause of the Decay of our Possessions in the West Indies, Surinam Coracoa &c. Was it not because they recieved no Advantage from a Commerce with the Continent of America?
Was it not because the superiority of the English Possessions in that Country, obstructed their Trade and Growth.
What was the Effect of this Rivalry or superiority in the East Indies?
What the Effect in Africa?
What would be the Effect upon all these Interests if, America were to return again to the Obedience and Monopoly of G. Britain? What would be the Effect of it upon the Baltic Trade, upon our Manufactures, our Greenland Whale Fisheries, our African Trade, or East India and West India Possessions!
There is a current opinion here, that We should wait untill England has acknowledged American Independance, and then make a Treaty with the United States. But are We sure, that America will then make a Treaty with Us? By no Means. She will have no Motive to it. On the Contrary there is great danger, that England will sooner or later offer to acknowledge America Independance, on Condition that she will agree to Sacrifice the Dutch, and in such a Case America would be a Fool if she did not Accept it.
But We will then lend her Money. I answer then she would not Accept of Money from you. The American Debt if this War should continue 20 Years, will be part of it paid off, the very first Year of Peace. Instead of borrowing Money after Peace they will instantly set about paying off the Capital, of the Debt contracted during the War.
Suppose a Peace. England has acknowledged American Independance and made a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States, Similar to that between France and them. What Motive will they have to make one with us? None. They will tell us you meanly neglected Us and despised Us in our distress, now take your own Course. We will trade with you as much as is for our Convenience, but We will bind ourselves to nothing. We can have Hemp Cordage Sail Cloth from Russia Sweeden and Denmark, or we can take them of England. We dont want your Friendship now. And it is probable, that America, having by Treaty a Right to trade with France and England, that England and America would run away with all our Baltick Trade. Whereas, it is now in our Power, to turn this Trade { 293 } into such a Channell, by making a Treaty with America, that We should continue in Possession of it, after a Peace. We shall continue to Supply France and Spain and America with those Articles. Whereas, if We refuse it We shall very soon see American ships supplying France and Spain with stores from the Baltick.
We are lending vast Sums of Money to England, and have lent them Ships to enable them to murder Americans. We have prohibed Supplies to Americans, with a partial Rigour. And We may depend upon it if this system is pursued, this Country is undone. We are preparing Vengeance for ourselves and Posterity, which both the English and the Americans will take in full Tale.
What will become of our Greenland Fishery, if America were again joined to England? This would be undermined by degrees, like our Manufactures.
Power and Wealth, like those of G. B. united with America, grow and multiply rapidly, at the Expence of all around them. Like an overgrown mercantile House in a particular City, they draw away the Business and Profit from all inferiour Merchants.
It is in England a recommendation to an Estate in the Country, that there is no lord within ten mile. The great Fish Eat the little ones.
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams April 27. 1781.” Enclosure filmed at 23 April (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 354).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0212

Author: Laurens, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-28

From John Laurens

[salute] Sir

I have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency copies of a { 294 } representation made to me by Commodore Gillon on the subject of the frigate South Carolina—and a memorandum of articles settled and agreed upon between us.1 My motives for engaging in this business are That the excellence of the conveyance enables me to transmit immediately a part of the Specie destined for the United States, which would otherwise have been the object of a future and uncertain epoch. That the greatest part of her present Cargo consists in articles which I am directed to forward to America on Continental account. That She will have a considerable vacancy for an additional Cargo of the same kind. That the said Cargo can be obtained immediately in Holland—and That the arrival of a Ship of her force and peculiar good qualities on the American Coast will be a very valuable acquisition. With respect to the State of South Carolina, there is a prospect of considerable benefit to her, from having her Ship at sea in condition to profit by cruising—and She will have her share in the advantages that will result to the general interest, in common with the other Members of the Union.
Mr. J. de Neufville has engaged to provide and ship the additional Cargo, on Continental account, agreeable to an Invoice delivered him, by the 20th. of May on the most reasonable terms. The confidence placed in him by Your Excellency was my only inducement for accepting the offer of his services on this occasion.
It appeared to me adviseable both for the sake of authenticity—and in order that a controul should be placed in the most respectable hands—to trouble your Excellency with drawing the bills for the payment of the new purchases and the Cargo already on board—the former to be made payable to Mr. Neufville & Co. at six months sight—and not to be drawn until the whole of the supplies are embarked, and the proper invoices and vouchers are delivered to Your Excellency. The latter to be made payable to Commodore Gillon at six months sight, and to be drawn upon his application—the whole to be addressed to our Minister plenipotentiary at this Court.
I expect to obtain two millions of livres to arrive in Holland in time to be transmitted by the South Carolina. Two millions more will be sent in the frigate destined to reconduct me, which I hope will sail in all the next month.2 Five millions will be procured at Vera-Cruz or the Havannah to be conveyed by a frigate to be detached for that service from the french W. Indies. This is the distribution of pecuniary succours for the present moment.3 The epochs are to be fixed as near as possible for farther transmissions. Captn. Jackson, Aide de Camp to General Lincoln, An Officer of merit, intelligence, and { 295 } activity, has at my request and from zeal for the service undertaken the journey to Holland in order to accelerate as much as possible the whole of this business. I entreat your Excellency's advice to this Gentleman—and it is with the confidence inspired by your distinguished public services that I sollicit your protection and assistance as far as may be required, in a matter the success of which is so essential to the interests of the United States.
I should have had the honor of introducing myself to Your Excellency and announcing the objects of my mission by Mr. Dana, but unluckily for me he left Paris at a moment when I was closely occupied at Versailles. I have much to regret that my short stay in Europe will deprive me of an opportunity of cultivating a particular acquaintance with your Excellency, whose public and private character have inspired me with so much veneration. It will in some degree console me if your Excellency will render me in any way useful to you in America—and favor me with your particular commands for that Country.
I have the honor to be with the most profound respect Your Excellencys most obedient and most humble servt.
[signed] John Laurens
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers;) endorsed: “John Laurens Esqr. 28 April 1781. ansd. 8. May 1781.”; docketed by CFA: “John Laurens Esqr. 28. April 1781.” Following Laurens' signature John Thaxter copied JA's note of 18 June to Benjamin Franklin, below. For the enclosure, endorsed: “Agreement between Coll Laurens & Comr. Gillon”; see note 1.
1. Alexander Gillon's representation has not been found. The enclosed agreement, dated 28 April and in John Laurens' hand, documents Laurens' promise to purchase on Congress' account £10,000 worth of goods from the cargo of the frigate South Carolina, thereby enabling Gillon to pay off his creditors and sail for the U.S. In return, Gillon agreed to surrender the original invoices to Laurens' agent, provide the maximum cargo space for Congress' goods by removing all nonessential items from the frigate, load the ship expeditiously, and proceed directly to Philadelphia by the northern route around Scotland, thereby avoiding British privateers lurking in the English Channel. The agreement served the needs of both men, but it was never executed as intended because of Gillon's actions as commander of the South Carolina, and the differing expectations of Laurens and Franklin regarding the funds available for their use.
2. Laurens sailed from Brest on 1 June aboard the French frigate Résolue, in company with two transports: the Cibelle and Olimpe (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:692). The Boston Continental Journal and Weekly Advertiser of 30 Aug. reported that the three vessels reached Boston on 25 August.
3. Congress charged Laurens to procure additional money and supplies for the war effort. His efforts in this regard had decidedly mixed results visàvis the financial situation of the U.S. in Europe (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:317–321, 355–356, 364–366, 382–384, 391–392, 416–417, 467–468, 484–486). The French government had already loaned the U.S. four million livres for 1781 and, responding to appeals by Benjamin Franklin, granted an additional six million livres as a gift. This money was to be used for military supplies, including those Laurens was to procure, and to pay the bills of exchange Congress drew on its ministers abroad. Laurens judged the ten million livres already provided to be insufficient and asked that additional funds be raised in France by a loan guaran• { 296 } teed by the French government. Vergennes thought Laurens' demands excessive, and refused to allow the U.S. to borrow in France where it would interfere with the government's own efforts to finance the war. The two sides finally agreed that France would guarantee a loan of ten million livres (five million florins) to be raised in the Netherlands, but to Laurens' dismay, France refused to advance him the money before the loan was completed. Moreover, the States General did not approve the project until 3 Dec. (from Dumas, 3 Dec., Adams Papers), and the funds became available only in early 1782. Even then the loan yielded less ready cash than anticipated because much of it went to replace the goods lost when the Marquis de Lafayette was taken.
The loan's delay presented Laurens with a major problem because he wished to send its proceeds, in the form of specie, to the U.S. As he indicates in this letter, two million livres were to go in the Résolue, two million in the South Carolina, and an additional five million livres to be obtained from Cuba and Mexico. Spain was to be reimbursed from the money raised in the Netherlands. When Spain refused its assistance and the loan was delayed, Laurens turned to the six million livres that Franklin had obtained. By doing so, however, Laurens precluded Franklin from paying either Congress' bills of exchange or the cost of the supplies Laurens purchased for transport to the U.S. on the South Carolina and other vessels. It is clear from Franklin's letter of 29 April, below, that he did not fully understand what Laurens was doing. When the consequences of Laurens' actions became clear in late June, Franklin wrote to William Jackson on 28 June to inform him that he was stopping the specie that was intended to go by way of the South Carolina. To do otherwise, he wrote, would be to risk “ruining all the credit of the States in Europe, and even in America, by stopping payment” of bills of exchange (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:523). See also JA's letter to Franklin of 18 June and Franklin's letter to JA of the 30th, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-04-29

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

The Bearer of this Mr. Winslow Warren, is the Son of my Friend Major General Warren of the Massachusetts. He is, on all Sides of Families the most ancient and honourable and meritorious of that Part of America. And the Young Gentn. himself is amiable and has Merit.1
I should be vastly obliged to you, if you would shew him Brussels.
Pray shall We have the Pleasure to see you here in a few days?2 You know it would be a very great one both on publick and private Considerations to your Fnd & Sert
[signed] John Adams
1. In a letter to Mercy Otis Warren dated 28 April—but, if JA's dating is correct, probably done on the 29th—Warren wrote, “I took leave of Mr. Adams this morning as he was just seting out for Leyden with his Coach and four, many servants, gay livery—his equipage I think much too Dutchifyed.” He also noted that when he had visited The Hague, “Mr. Adams introduced me to a Mr. Dumas a disagreable dirty old fellow—they say he is sensible: very serious, too much so” (MHi: Mercy Otis Warren Papers). JA also wrote William Temple Franklin on 29 April to introduce Warren (PPAmP: Franklin Papers).
2. In a letter of 26 April, Francis Dana invited Jenings to accompany him on his mission to St. Petersburg. Replying on 3 May, Jenings accepted Dana's offer and agreed to join him at Amsterdam by the middle of the following week. Ultimately Jenings declined Dana's proposal and JQA took his place. Dana, JQA, and a servant began their journey on 7 { 297 } July. Writing to the president of Congress from Berlin on 28 July, Dana indicated that Jenings' indecision delayed his departure from Amsterdam by a month (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 2, f. 157–159; JQA, Diary, 1:89; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:610–613).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0214-0001

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-29

From Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Monsieur

L'orsque j'eus l'honneur de Vous voir dernierement a Amsterdam j'ai pris la liberté de Vous preter une Lettre et quelques papiers que Son Excell: le Gouverneur Trumbull m'avoit envoiés, et que Vous Souhaitiez de lire. Comme je Serois charmé de les avoir de retour Vous me fairiez plaisir de les remettre (quand Vous n'en aurez plus besoin) a Monsr. Tegelaar, de qui Vous apprendrez que mon role est fini, et que mon affaire restera apparemment indecise et moi exclu de la Regence pour toujours. Je Serois obligé de passer les bornes d'une lettre pour Vous donner un recit tant Soit peu circonstancié des duretés, que l'on m'a faites depuis 3 ans. L'occasion S'en presentera dans peu. En attendant je me console aisement d'etre exclu d'une Regence dans laquelle je ne Saurois plus etre utile aux Interets des deux Peuples et ou je n'ai jamais cherché aucune fortune, et c'est avec bien de Contentement, que je quitte le Monde politique ou j'ai eprouvé tant d'amertumes.
J'ai l'honneur de Solliciter la Continuation de Votre Amitié tandis que je ne cesse d'etre avec un parfaite estime de Votre Excellence le tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] J D Van der Capellen

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0214-0002

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-29

Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

When I had the honor to see you last in Amsterdam, I took the liberty of lending you a letter and some papers that you wished to read that were sent to me by his Excellency Governor Trumbull. Since I would very much like to have them back, it would give me pleasure if you could return them (when you are finished with them) to Mr. Tegelaar, with whom I no longer have a role. Also my business will remain undecided and I will be excluded from the Regency forever. It would take much more than the limitations a letter will permit to give you a detailed account of the difficulties that I have endured for the past three years. The occasion will present itself soon. Meantime, I readily console myself from being excluded from a Regency for which I could no longer be useful to the interests of two peoples and from which I never sought any fortune. It is with much contentment that I leave the political world where I experienced so much bitterness.
{ 298 }
I have the honor to ask for the continuation of your friendship while I never cease to be, with a perfect esteem for your Excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] J D Van der Capellen

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0215

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-29

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I received the Letter you honour'd me with of the 16th. Instant. I had written to you on the 21st. which I hope you have received, that I would accept and pay your Bills, only desiring you to furnish me a List of them with the Times of their becoming due, and that you would draw, not for the whole at once, but for the Sums as wanted, and thro' the House of Fitzeaux & Grand. Since the receipt of your last, I have taken Measures to be ready for the Payment of your 66 Bills due the middle of May for 10,000 £ sterg. We have obtained the Promise of 20 Millions Aid for the current Year, so that not only the Bills above mentioned will be regularly paid, but such others as you may draw on me at the Request of Col. Lawrens, to get the Indien out and compleat her Lading. But as this Sum will be swallow'd in the Bills already drawn by Congress, and the Supplies going out, it is still necessary to entreat them not to continue that distressing Practice.1
I inclose you Extracts of two Letters ministerial found in the same Pacquet with the former, written in the fond Belief that the States were on the Point of submitting, and cautioning the Commissioners for Peace not to promise too much respecting the future Constitutions.2 They are indeed cautiously worded, but easily understood when explained by two Court Maxims or Assertions, the one of Lord Granville's late President of the Council, that the King is the Legislator of the Colonies; the other of the present Chancellor3 when in the House of Commons, that the Quebec Constitution was the only proper Constitution for Colonies, ought to have been given to them all when first planted, and what all ought now to be reduced to. We may hence see the Danger of listning to any of their deceitful Propositions, tho' piqu'd by the Negligence of some of those European Powers who will be much benefited by our Revolution. I have the Honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
This will be handed to you by Major Jackson a worthy Officer in { 299 } the Service of the States, whom I beg leave to recommend to your Civilities.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Exy. Dr Franklin April 29. 1781. ansd. May 8. 1781.”
1. See John Laurens' letter of 28 April, and note 3, above.
2. For the letters taken when the Falmouth-New York packet Anna Theresa was captured, see Franklin's letter of 7 April, note 1, above. Franklin's enclosures have not been found, but they were likely letters of 7 March from Lord George Germain to the British Peace Commission headed by Sir Henry Clinton and from William Knox, undersecretary of the American Department, to James Simpson, the royal attorney general of South Carolina. Germain observed that “the narrow limits to which you have reduced your exceptions, and the generality of the assurances you have given of a restoration of the former constitutions, were, I doubt not, well considered and judged necessary and expedient; but as there are many things in the constitutions of some of the colonies, and some things in all, which the people have always wished to be altered, and others which the common advantage of both countries required to be changed, it is necessary to be attentive that either your acts or declarations preclude any disquisition of such subjects, or prevent such alterations being made in their constitutions, as the people may solicit or consent to.” Knox warned that “there is a great probability of a negociation being solicited by the inhabitants of the revolted provinces, if not by the Congress; and ... as you have so full a knowledge of the republican disposition of the Americans, and their aversion to monarchy, I doubt not that you will be able to prevail with the Commissioners not to make any concessions which may have a tendency to confirm them in those principles, and prevent any amendment of their constitutions, for the purpose of creating distinctions of ranks, and to draw them nearer to the model of the British government, which must certainly be more beneficial to the people, as it will strengthen their connection with this country, and prevent the return of the like calamities as they now suffer” (PCC, No. 51, I, f. 813–818).
3. Edward Thurlow.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0216

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-30

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

Arriving this moment, I received your Favour of 26; and am happy to find that you continue in the Same Sentiments. I am Still of the Same mind too, and I Shall call on you, tomorrow, when we will arrange all Things. I wish you would loose no time, in getting a certain Paper, well translated into Dutch.1

[salute] I am as usual, Yours

[signed] John Adams
Tr (PCC, No. 101, II, f. 181).
1. JA's memorial of 19 April, above, was translated into Dutch by Wybo Fynje, editor of Delft's Hollandsche Historische Courant and brother-in-law of Jean Luzac (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 430; Adams Family Correspondence, 4:117).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0217

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-04-30

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I had yesterday the Honor of receiving your Excellencys Letter of { 300 } the 27th. Instant, which afforded me the greatest pleasure, as it assured me of your Excellencys Health, which I was fearful was affected, and shewed at the same time that you were in Spirits. The natural and political Climate of the Country, where your Excellency now is, being foggy a Man must have a stout Heart and strong Body to bear up against its effects. Your Excellency has them both for

Sanctus Amor Patria del Animum et Animam.1

I shall immediately pay attention to your Excellencys Hints, and shall hold a Talk thereon with my Friend This Evening.
I doubt not but that your Excellency has receivd an Account from Paris of the whole of the affair of Tarelton and the operations of the french fleet, as a Ship is Arrivd with Dispatches from Boston.
I shall set out from Hence with my Nephew about the tenth of next Month for Nantes. Your Excellencys Letters directed to me, will be faithfully deliverd.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys most Faithful Humb. Sert.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. Sacred love of homeland, spirtual and physical.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0218

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1781-05-01

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

By the Tenth Article of the Treaty of Alliance between France and America, the most Christian King and the United States agree, to invite or admit, other Powers, who may receive 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.
It will be readily acknowledged that this Republick has received Injuries from England: and it is not improbable that Several other maritime Powers, may be Soon, if they are not already in the Same Predicament. But whether his Majesty will think fit to invite this Nation at present, to acceed to that Alliance, according to the Article, must be Submitted to his Wisdom.
It is only proper for me to Say, that whenever your Excellency shall have received his Majestys Commands, and shall judge it proper to take any Measures, either for Admitting or inviting this Republick to acceed, I shall be ready in behalf of the United States to do, whatever { 301 } is necessary and proper for them to do, upon the occasion. I have the Honour to be, with perfect Respect, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble sert.
1. Compare this letter with JA's unsent letter to La Vauguyon of 6 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0219

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-03

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

On the first of May I went to the Hague, and wrote to his Excellency Peter Van Bleiswick Esqr. Grand Pensionary of Holland, that having something of Importance to communicate to him, I proposed to do myself the Honour to wait on him the next Morning at half after eight, if that Time should be agreable to him: but if any other Hour was more convenient, I requested his Excellency to mention it. The Answer which was not in writing was, that half after eight should be the Time.1
Accordingly the next Morning I waited on him, and was politely recieved. I informed him that I had asked his permission to make him this Visit, in order to inform him, that I had received from my Sovereign the United States of America full Powers to treat with the States General, and a Letter of Credence, as a Minister Plenipotentiary to their High Mightinesses, and another to his most Serene Highness the Prince; and that it was my Intention to communicate those Powers and Letters to their High Mightinesses and to his most Serene Highness on Friday next the fourth of May.
His Excellency said he would acquaint the States General and his Highness with it: that in his private Opinion he thought favourably of it, but that he must wait the Orders of his Masters: that it was a Matter somewhat delicate for the Republick: but I replied, as to the delicacy of it in the present State of open War between England and Holland, I hoped that it would not be any Obstacle—that I thought it the Interest of the Republick as well as of America. His Excellency rejoined one thing is certain We have a common Enemy.2
As this was a Visit simply to impart my design, and as I knew enough of the delicate Situation and of the reputed Sentiments of this Officer, to be sensible that he did not wish to enter into any very particular Conversation at this time upon public Affairs, I here arose to take my Leave. His Excellency asked me if I had any good News from America? I answered none very late. He then said he would be { 302 } very glad to form an Acquaintance with me. I answered this would be very flattering to me, and then took my Leave.
Tomorrow morning I propose to go to the President of the States General, to Secretary Fagel and to the Secretary of the Prince. This moment for the first Time I have recieved the Congress Account of General Morgan's glorious Victory over Tarleton.3
I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect and Consideration, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 129–130).
1. JA's letter of 1 May has not been found. Dumas carried the note to van Bleiswyck and presumably delivered the grand pensionary's message to JA (Dumas to the president of Congress, 1 May – 13 July, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:393).
2. Dumas accompanied JA when he visited the grand pensionary on 2 May, probably to serve as an interpreter. His account of the meeting is virtually identical to JA's (same, 4:393).
3. On 3 May, JA apparently received an account of the Battle of Cowpens taken from a letter of 24 Jan. from Gov. John Rutledge of S.C., to his state's delegates at Congress. John Thaxter wrote to Edmund Jenings on 4 May (Adams Papers) to provide Jenings with an extract from Rutledge's letter, indicating that it had been sent by Thomas Bee, a South Carolina delegate, to an American in Paris, who passed through Leyden on 3 May. The American was probably William Jackson, who carried Benjamin Franklin's letter to JA of 29 April, above, and to whom Bee had written on 9 February. For more information on Rutledge's letter see Bee's letter of 9 Feb. to John Laurens (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 16:692– 693). An extract from Rutledge's letter appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 11 May; for the full letter see South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 18 (July 1917): 131–133.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0220

Author: Neufville, Jean de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-03

From Jean de Neufville

[salute] Honourd Sir

May I begg leave to inform yoúr Excellency of the invitation I have gott on a súdden to vizit Paris for a few days, where I had the honoúr to wait on His Excellency B Franklin, who did me the honoúr to receive and treat me with the utmost politeness. I have mentioned again the Bill which yoúr Excellency had projected that we should Accept, as belonging to the former parcell bútt Mr. Franklin said that he would write to yoúr Excellency on that matter, to Accept likewise this bill; so we doúbt not bútt this will be settled.1
I had also the honoúr to wait on Colonell Laúrens. He was so obliging as to allow me the money we advanced to Comodor Gillon and also the remainder of what the Comodor was in want for the Colonell should write to yoúr Excellency aboút it2 and we doubt not bútt on the Comodores proper application he will be assisted, as well as we, We never could have expected a more gracioús relieve for { 303 } which we certainly acknowledge Yoúr Excellencys favoúrs as we know she had been concernd in the matter, and if I had not determind in the moment I sett oút I would not have failed to ask for Yoúr Excellencys comands. My readiness to be employd in this bússiness for the Comodor brought me a reward not indifferent to my principles to see myself employd in a Comission for some supplys for Congress, Colonel Laúrens favourd my hoúse there with, and having already prepared a great part there off, I múst sett oút again to procúre the remainder, leaving my son at the head of the hoúse; I do not expect I shall be long detaind before I am able to retúrn, and then I shall not faill to pay my personall respects to Yoúr Excellency at the American Hotel in Amsterdam; with my best Wishes and exertions for all what can be noble and [respirat?] liberty I have the honoúr to be with perfect Regard and Esteem, Honoúrd Sir Yoúr Excellencys most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] John de Neufville
1. See Benjamin Franklin's letter of 21 April and JA's reply of the 27th, both above.
2. See John Laurens' letter of 28 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0221-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-06

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

La même personne1 qui m'avoit donné l'avis, que vous m'aviez en partant laissé le maître de suivre,2 me dit hier matin qu'après y avoir bien pensé, il y trouvoit un si grand inconvenient qu'il me le déconseilloit très-sérieusement, comme une démarche incompatible avec le Caractere que vous venez de déployer; en un mot qu'il ne convient pas que vous vous abaissiez à faire parvenir ainsi indirectement la piece en question, qui paroîtroit cependant manifestement venir de votre part. J'ai donc pris, avec son avis et approbation un autre parti, qui remplira également le but de faire connoître à la Nation la parole qu'on lui porte. Des 500 Exemplaires, j'en remettrai 300 au Libraire qui a soin de l'imprimer, avec permission d'en faire son profit, en les envoyant à ses Correspondants dans toutes les Provinces, et les distribuant aussi ici. En même temps j'en ferai parvenir des Copies aux Gazettiers, afin qu'ils puissent en faire usage. Il restera 200 Exemplaires, dont je vous réserva 100, et j'en garderai 100 pour en distribuer à ceux qu'il est à propos qui en aient d'abord. L'Impression sera achevée Mercedi: et j'attends l'honneur de votre prompte réponse, pour savoir si vous approuvez ce parti, que je crois le plus convenable; { 304 } afin de le mettre en exécution sans perte de temps. La même personne m'a dit, que la Délibération dans les provinces sur la note en question ne se fera pas avant 3 ou 4 semaines. Par la même raison susdite, et de l'avis de la même personne, j'ai omis la Commission: mais je la montrerai aux Amis Sûrs. Je suis curieux de savoir ce qui s'est passé entre vous, Monsieur, et la derniere personne que vous avez visitée avant de partir.3 S'il vous arrive de bonnes nouvelles, je me recommande. Permettezmoi de placer ici mes respects pour Mr. Searle, pour Mr. Dana et pour Mr. Gillon. J'aurai l'honneur de répondre à Mr. Dana demain ou après-demain.
Vous pouvez, Monsieur, faire remettre vos Coffres de hardes et Caisses de Livres, à l'adresse de Mrs. Fred. Romberg et fils à Bruxelles, chez Mrs. Hemery freres, rue St. Denys à Paris. Vous avez vu, par la Lettre de Mrs. Romberg, que je vous ai montrée, qu'ils auront soin du reste, c'est-àdire, qu'ils se chargent du transport de vos effets, de Paris à Amsterdam, moyennant £12 de France le Cent pesant. Il sera nécessaire d'écrire en même temps à Mrs. Romberg, pour les avertir, afin qu'ils sachent à qui ils doivent les envoyer à Amsterdam: car ils ignorent que c'est pour vous, et votre adresse au juste.
J'ai l'honneur d'être avec un très grand respect, Monsieur, Votre très-humble & trèsobéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0221-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-06

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

[salute] Sir

The same person1 who notified me that you left me in charge of forwarding the démarche,2 told me yesterday morning that, after much thought, he finds it contains a big drawback. He advised very seriously against submitting it because it is a démarche that is incompatible with your character. In a word, he does not believe that you should lower yourself by sending the piece in question indirectly, which evidently would appear to be from you anyway. I have therefore taken a different action, with his advice and approval, which will fulfill the goal to make the word known to the nation. Of the five hundred copies, I will send three hundred to the bookseller who is in charge of the printing, with permission to take advantage by sending copies to his correspondents in all the provinces, and by distributing them here also. At the same time, I will send copies to the gazetteers, in order that they make use of it. There will remain two hundred copies, of which I will reserve one hundred for you and keep one hundred for those who should receive it first. The printing will be done on Wednesday. I await the honor of your prompt reply, to see if you approve of this course of action, which I think is more appropriate. Then it can get under way without losing any more time. The same person told me that the deliberations in the provinces { 305 } on the piece in question will take 3 or 4 weeks. For this same reason, and because of the advice of this person, I have omitted the commission, but will show it to trustworthy friends. I am curious to know what happened between you, sir, and the last person that you visited before you left.3 You can thank me if you received good news. Please give my regards to Mr. Searle, Mr. Dana and Mr. Gillon. I will have the honor to respond to Mr. Dana tomorrow or the next day.
Sir, you can send your trunks of clothes and cases of books to the address Mrs. Fred. Romberg et fils à Bruxelles, chez Mrs. Hemery freres, rue St. Denys à Paris. You saw in the letter I showed you from Messrs. Romberg, that they will take care of transporting your things from Paris to Amsterdam for 12 French livres per hundredweight. It will also be necessary to write to Messrs. Romberg to inform them to whom and to what address the trunks should be sent in Amsterdam because they do not know that it is going to you since they are ignorant of both.
I have the honor to be with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. Dumas' advisor has not been identified.
2. Dumas refers to his translation of JA's memorial of 19 April, above.
3. The Duc de La Vauguyon.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0222

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-07

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

On the fourth of May I did myself the Honour to wait on Peter Van Bleiswick Esqr., Grand Pensionary of Holland, and presented him a Letter containing a Copy of my Memorial to the States General &c.1 His Excellency said that it was necessary for me to go to the President and Secretary of their High Mightinesses, and that it was not customary for foreign Ministers to communicate any thing to the Pensionary of Holland. I told him that I had been advised by the French Ambassador to present Copies to him, and they were only Copies which I had the Honour to offer him. He said he could not recieve them: that I must go to the President: but says he, it is proper for me to apprize You that the President will make a difficulty or rather will refuse to recieve any Letter or Paper from You, because the State You say You represent is not yet acknowledged to be a Sovereign State by the Sovereign of this Nation. The President will hear what you have to say to him, make Report of it to their High Mightinesses, and they will transmit it to the several Provinces for the deliberation of the various Members of the Sovereignty. I thanked his Excellency for this Information and departed.
{ 306 }
I then waited on the President of their High Mightinesses for the Week the Baron Linde de Hemmen, a Deputy of the Province of Guelderland, to whom I communicated, that I had lately recieved from my Sovereign, the United States of America in Congress assembled, a Commission with full Powers and Instructions to treat with the States General concerning a Treaty of Amity and Commerce: that I had also recieved a Letter of Credence as Minister Plenipotentiary to their High Mightinesses, and I prayed him to lay before their High Mightinesses either the Originals, or a Memorial2 in which I had done myself the Honour to state all these facts and to inclose Copies.
The President said that he could not undertake to recieve from me either the Originals nor any Memorial; because that America was not yet acknowledged as a Sovereign State by the Sovereign of this Country: but that he would make Report to their High Mightinesses of all that I had said to him, and that it would become the subject of deliberation in the several Provinces: that he thought it a matter of great Importance to the Republick. I answered that I was glad to hear him say that he thought it important: that I thought it was the Interest of the two Republicks to become connected.
I thanked him for his politeness and retired, after having apprized him that I thought in the present Circumstances, it would be my duty to make public in print my Application to their High Mightinesses.
I had prepared Copies of my Memorial &c. for the Secretary Mr. Fagel: but as the President had refused to recieve the Originals, I thought it would be inconsistent for the Secretary to recieve Copies, so I omitted the Visit to his Office.
I then waited on the Baron de Ray, the Secretary of the Prince, with a Letter addressed to his most Serene Highness, containing a Memorial, informing him of my Credentials to his Court, and Copies of the Memorial to their High Mightinesses: the Secretary recieved me politely, recieved the Letter and promised to deliver it to the Stadtholder. He asked me where I lodged: I answered at the Parliament of England, a public House of that Name.
Returning to my Lodgings, I heard about two Hours afterwards that the Prince had been to the Assembly of the States General for about half an hour; and in about another Hour, the Servant of the House where I lodged announced to me the Baron de Ray: I went down to the Door to recieve him, and invited him to my Room. He entered and said that he was charged on the part of the Prince with his Compliments to me, and to inform me, that as the Independence of my Country was not yet acknowledged by the Sovereign of his, he { 307 } could not recieve any Letter from me and therefore requested that I would recieve it back, which I did respectfully. The Secretary then politely said he was very much obliged to me for having given him an Opportunity to see my Person, and took his Leave.3
The President made Report to their High Mightinesses as soon as they assembled, and his Report was ordered to be recorded: where-upon the Deputies of each of the seven Provinces demanded Copies of the Record to be transmitted to the respective Regencies for their deliberation and decision; or in the technical Language of this Country, it was taken ad referendum on the same day.4
The next morning I waited on the French Ambassador, the Duke de la Vauguion, and acquainted him with all the Steps I had taken. He said he still persisted in his Opinion that the Time was not the most favourable, but as the Measure was taken, I might depend upon it he would, as an Individual, support and promote it to the utmost of his Power.
It would take a large Space to explain all the Reasons and Motives which I had for choosing the present Time in preference to a later: but I think I can demonstrate, that every Moments delay would have been attended with danger and inconvenience. All Europe is in a Crisis, and this Ingredient thrown in at this Time will have more Effect than at any other. At a future Time I may enlarge upon this Subject.5

[salute] I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect, Sir your most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, f. 133–136). LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “Note Feb. 20. 1782. The late Evacuation of the Barrier Towns and Demolition of their Fortifications, may Serve as a Comment on the D. de la Vauguions opinion against the Point of time but if it shews that he was right for his Country, it shews also that I was right for mine, and the Dutch only have been wrong in being blind.” The notation indicates that JA consulted his Letterbook when he wrote to the secretary for foreign affairs on 19 and 21 Feb. 1782 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:185–189, 192–199). See also note 5.
1. After forewarning van Bleiswyck of his intentions on 2 May (to the president of Congress, 3 May, above), JA returned to his residence at Leyden and set out from there on the morning of 4 May. Upon arriving at The Hague, JA met with Dumas who, as he had on 2 May, accompanied JA on his rounds, presumably to act as his interpreter. JA's account in this letter of his meetings with the Grand Pensionary, Pieter van Bleiswyck; the president of the States General, Baron Lynden van Hemmen; and William V's secretary, Thomas Isaac, Baron de Larrey, is substantially the same, although longer, than that by Dumas in his letter of 1 May – 13 July to the president of Congress (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:393–394). See also note 4.
In a letter to Levi Woodbury, dated 20 Feb. 1835, Benjamin Waterhouse recalled JA's departure.
“I never shall forget the day and the circumstances of Mr. Adams's going from Leyden to the Hague with his Memorial to their High Mightinesses the States General dated, whether accidentally or by design April. 19! I { 308 } know not. He came down into the front room where we all were—his secretary, two sons, and myself—his coach and four at the door, and he full-dressed even to his sword, when with energetic countenance and protuberant eyes, and holding his memorial in his hand, said to us, in a solemn tone—'Young men! remember this day—for this day I go to the Hague to put seed in the ground that may produce good or evil—GOD knows which,'—and putting the paper into his side-pocket, he steped into his coach, and drove off alone—leaving us, his Juniors solemnized in thought and anxious; for he had hardly spoken to us for several days before—such was his inexpressible solicitude”
(DLC: Woodbury Papers).
2. Diplomatic propriety required that the original, not a copy, be presented to the States General, the body for which the memorial was intended and from which action was requested. The original manuscript has not been located.
3. On 8 May the Gazette de Leyde contained a brief note indicating that it had learned that JA, in his character of minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands, had visited the president of the States General and several other gentlemen. All that could be said at present of the démarche, however, was that it offered the Republic connections with the American confederation, particularly with regard to commerce.
4. Dumas' letter of 1 May – 13 July to the president of Congress and reports in newspapers, such as the Mercure de France of 2 June, indicate that the deputies from Zeeland did not take a copy of the president's report to communicate to their constituents (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:394).
5. JA's most comprehensive statements on the memorial of 19 April, may be found in his letters of 19 and 21 Feb. 1782 to the secretary for foreign affairs. In those letters JA mounted a spirited defense of his memorial to the States General and argued that Joseph II's 1781 abrogation of the Barrier Treaty of 1715 justified his decision to present a memorial, as well as its timing (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:185–189, 192–199; and 25 Feb. 1782 to James Lovell, LbC, Adams Papers).
During the negotiations to end the War of the Spanish Succession three Barrier Treaties, each guaranteed by Great Britain, were negotiated to protect the Netherlands against invasion by France. The third, which superseded the others and was signed on 15 Nov. 1715, allowed the Dutch to garrison fortresses in the Austrian Netherlands at the towns of Namur, Tournay, Menen, Furnes, Warneton, Ypres, and Knokke, and, with Britain, maintain a joint force at Dendermonde. The outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch war in 1780 meant that Britain had neither the power nor the inclination to meet its obligations. As a result, Joseph II unilaterally abrogated the Barrier Treaty and demanded that the Dutch garrisons depart, which they did in November. Joseph II's ability to demand and enforce the evacuation, and France's unwillingness to oppose the humiliation of a potential ally, exposed the weakness of the Netherlands and was a severe blow to Dutch pride (Cambridge Modern Hist., 5:459; Orville Murphy, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes: French Diplomacy in the Age of Revolution, 1719–1787, Albany, 1982, p. 405– 414; Edler, Dutch Republic and the American Revolution, p. 203; vol. 9:286).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0223

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-05-07

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear sir

I have this moment received yours of 6th.
I have no Objection against your Plan. I informed the Grand Pensionary and the President that I should think it my duty to publish my Memorial. I persist in the Same opinion. The manner is indifferent to me. I shall avow the Publication. Your omission of the Commission will be agreable to me.
I communicated to the last Person I saw at the Hague all that I had done. He still persisted in the opinion that the time was a little { 309 } too early, but this Point apart approved of every step I had taken, and promised to support it, “comme Homme.” I never had a more agreable or satisfactory Interview, with him.1
I Shall be agreably Surprized, if the Provinces determine so soon as in 3 or 4 Weeks. The Time, for them to take is their own. I shall wait it, with entire Respect, if it should be Eight or ten Weeks.
If other People will allow me to judge for myself in what I am responsible for, they will always find me willing to allow them the same Prerogative.
I have the Honour to be, with great Esteem & Respect, sir, your most obedient & most humble sert.
[signed] John Adams
RC? (Adams Papers). This letter may not have been sent.
1. The Duc de La Vauguyon.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0224

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-05-08

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of yours of the 29th. of April, and according to your desire, have inclosed a List of the Bills accepted with the Times of their becoming due, and Shall draw for the Money to discharge them, only as they become payable, and through the House of Fizeaux & Grand.1
I Sincerely congratulate you, upon the noble Aid obtained, from the French Court for the currant Service of the Year. Aids like this, for two or three Years, while the United States are arranging their Finances, will be a most essential Service to the Common Cause, and will lay a Foundation of Confidence and Affection between France and the United States, which may last forever and be worth ten times the Sum of Money. It is in the Power of America to tax all Europe, whenever She pleases, by laying Duties upon her Exports, enough to pay the Interest of Money enough to answer all their Purposes. England received into her Exchequer four hundred Thousand Pounds sterling, in Duties upon the Single Article of Tobacco imported from Virginia, annually. What should hinder the Government of Virginia, from laying on the Same, or a greater duty on the Exportation. Europe would Still purchase Virginia Tobacco if there were 8 Pounds per Hogshead duty to be paid. Virginia alone, therefore could in this Way easily pay, the Interest of Money enough to carry on the whole War for the 13 states for many Years. The Same Reasoning is applicable to every other Article of Export.
{ 310 }
Yesterday were presented to me [by Mr. de Neufville]2 fifty Bills of Exchange, for Eleven hundred Guilders each, drawn by Congress upon me on the 27 day of January 1781 at Six Months Sight.
And on the Same day other Bills from No. 37. to No. 76 inclusively, drawn on me on the Same 27 day of January 1781, for Five hundred and Fifty Guilders each, payable at Six Months Sight, were presented, to me. I asked Time to write to your Excellency to know, if those Bills, and the others drawn at the same time, can be discharged by you. If they can not, it will be wrong to accept them, for I have no Prospect at all of getting the Money here, unless the States General, who have taken the Independance of America Ad Referendum should determine to acknowledge it.
About the Same Time that their High Mightinesses took the Acknowledgment of the Independance of the United States ad Referendum, Mr. Van Berkel demanded a Declaration of his Innocence or a Tryal,3 whether the two Affairs will aid, or counteract each other I cant tell.
I have the Honour to be, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble servant
1. Fizeaux, Grand & Co. wrote to JA on 10 May to request payment of bills amounting to 77,000 ecus or 231,000 livres, which they converted into 100,340.12.8 florins at the rate of 52.125 stuivers per livre (Adams Papers). The bills paid were the 66 that Franklin approved in his letter of 29 April, above. JA wrote his reply of the same date at the bottom of the note from Fizeaux, Grand & Co., there stating that “Mr. Adams returns Compliments to Mr. Fizeaux and informs him that his acceptations are in Bank.” On 17 May the bankers returned the paid bills to JA (Adams Papers). Later on 10 May, JA wrote to Franklin to inform him of the transaction (Franklin, Papers, 35:50).
2. This interlined passage is heavily smudged.
3. Engelbert François van Berckel was removed from political office in March. See Dumas' letter of [12 Jan.], and note 8, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0225

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Laurens, John
Date: 1781-05-08

To John Laurens

[salute] Sir

I have received the Letter you did me the Honour to write me, on the 28th. of April. I <most> Sincerely congratulate you, on the most essential Aid you have obtained from the Court of Versailles, who upon this Occasion have done as much Honour to their own Policy, as essential Service to the United States. By a Conduct like this, which it is easy for France to hold, and which does as much service to the common Cause as the Same Sum of Money possibly could in any other Way, a Foundation will be laid of Affection and Confidence which will last long after this War shall be finished. I wish that other { 311 } Nations had as much Wisdom and Benevolence as France, indeed as much Knowledge of their true Interests. In this Case the Burden upon France would be less.
I accept with Pleasure the Trust with which you Honour me, but I Shall not think my self at Liberty to draw any Bills in Consequence of it, untill the Invoices and Vouchers, are produced to me, to the Satisfaction of Major Jackson, who will be so good as to give me his Approbation in Writing. I am very happy to find that it is in your Power to assist Commodore Gillon upon this occasion, whose Industry, Skill and Perseverance, have merited every assistance that can be legally given him.
Major Jackson, Sir shall have every Advice and Assistance in my Power to afford him, and I am much mortified that I am not to have an opportunity of shewing you, in Person, the Respect which I have for your Character, as well as that affection which I feel for the son of one of the worthiest Friends I ever had. Alass! When will he be able to obtain his own Liberty, who has so nobly contended for that of others?1
I have communicated my Credentials to the States General, who after the Deliberations which the Form of their Constitution requires, will determine whether they can receive them or not. It will probably be long, before they decide. It is of vast Importance to obtain, if possible, an Acknowledgment of our Independance, by the maritime Powers, before the Conferences for Peace Shall be opened. Otherwise, it is not possible to foresee, how many Intrigues and how much Chicanery, We may have to encounter.
I have the Honour to be, with very great Esteem and Respect, sir your most obedient and most humble servant.
1. Henry Laurens.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0226

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-10

From William Jackson

[salute] Sir

Commodore Gillon has applied to me by letter requesting that I would furnish Captain Joyner1 with bills of exchange on Paris for Twenty thousand Guilders which sum he says is required to pay the ship accounts of the South Carolina frigate, and is necessary to fit her for sea. As this sum appears to be requisite for the purposes mentioned in Commodore Gillon's letter to me, I have to request that { 312 } Your Excellency will please to grant bills to that amount, drawn in the manner stipulated by Colonel Laurens in his agreement with Commodore Gillon, with the exception of their being made payable to the order of Captain Joyner, who is authorised to receive them, and for which Commodore Gillon has made himself accountable.2
I have the honor to be, with perfect esteem and respect, Your Excellency's most obedient Servant.
[signed] W. Jackson
A set of bills of exchange for twenty thousand Guilders on that exchange, to be drawn payable to the order of Captain Joyner on His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire at six Months sight.3
1. John Joyner, an experienced seaman, accompanied Alexander Gillon to France in 1778. In 1781 he was captain of the frigate South Carolina under the command of Como. Gillon as flag officer of the South Carolina Navy. In May 1782, in order to avoid legal claims, Gillon gave Joyner full command of the frigate, a post he held until its capture in Dec. 1782 (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate “South Carolina”: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, Salem, 1929, p. 27; Laurens, Papers, 15:182).
2. The exchange rate for this transaction was apparently two livres per guilder or florin, for when Jackson wrote to JA on 25 May to acknowledge the bills of exchange drawn on Benjamin Franklin, it was for 40,000 livres tournois (Adams Papers). In a letter of 25 May, JA informed Franklin that the bills were being drawn on him rather than Fizeaux, Grand & Co. in Amsterdam because the bankers thought the six months wait until the bills became payable was too long (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 470–471).
3. This sentence is written on a separate slip of paper.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0227

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-11

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I am honoured with your Excellency's Letter of the 27th. past, acquainting me with your Appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to the States General, on which please to accept my Compliments and best Wishes for Success in your Negociations.
We have just received Advice here, that M. la Motte Picquet, met with the English Convoy of Dutch Ships taken at St. Eustatia, and has retaken 21. of them. The Men of War that were with them escaped; after making the Signal for every one to shift for himself.1
A Vessel is arriv'd at L'Orient from Philadelphia which brings Letters for the Court down to the 25 of March; Mine are not yet come up. M. de Renneval, from whom I had all the above Intelligence, tells me they contain no News of Importance.
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
{ 313 }
1. The convoy from St. Eustatius consisted of 34 merchant ships protected by 2 ships of the line and 3 frigates under the command of Como. William Hotham. La Motte-Picquet's force of 6 ships of the line intercepted the convoy on 2 May and took, depending on the source, 21 or 22 of the merchant vessels. News of the disaster reached London on 15 May and caused an immediate fall in the stock market (London Chronicle, 12–15, 17–19 May; James, British Navy in Adversity, p. 305–306; Mackesy, War for America, p. 392–393).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0228-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-12

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous aurez reçu par Mrs. De Neufville un paquet contenant 25 Exemplaires du Meme. dans les trois Langues. Aujourd'hui je vous envoie un autre paquet sous couvert de Mr. Van Arp,1 contenant une 15ne. de chacun. J'en ai encore 60 que j'ai mis à part pour vous, et que je vous enverrai quand je saurai si vous les voulez avoir tous à Amsterdam, ou si vous aimez mieux les trouver ici ou à Leide. Moimême j'en ai distribué, et envoyé çà et là 140 ou 150; le reste, c'est le Libraire qui en a fait des Envois dans les principales villes. Nous verrons à présent la sensation que cela fera. Pour éviter toute affectation, je me suis tenu chez moi aujourd'hui, et je ne parlerai pas le premier du Mémoire, quand je verrai compagnie. Le Libraire m'a montré une Lettre où on lui apprend que le Hollandois, et peut-être aussi le François, ont été réimprimé à Amsterdam.
Il est arrivé des Lettres de Petersbourg, très-favorables pour la rep., et très-défavorables aux Anglois et aux Anglomanes; et c'est justement pour cela, m'a-t-on dit, qu'on ne veut pas que le public en sache le contenu.
Je serois bien aise de savoir quand vous quitterez Amsterdam, Monsieur, pour revenir faire un voyage à Leide ou à Lahaie; non qu'il y ait quelque chose à présent qui demande votre présence, mais parce que je me propose de faire aussi un petit tour à Amsterdam, dans quelque temps d'ici; et je ne voudrois pas y aller quand vous n'y seriez pas.
Je suis avec un grand respect, Monsieur Votre três-humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0228-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-12

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

[salute] Sir

You should have received a package from Messrs. de Neufville containing 25 copies of the memorial in three languages. Today I am sending another package under the name of Mr. van Arp1 containing 15 copies of each. I have 60 more that I am keeping for you and will send them to you when I know { 314 } you want them in Amsterdam, or if you prefer, here or in Leyden. I myself have distributed and sent out about 140 or 150. As for the remainder of the copies, the publisher sent them to the main cities. Soon we shall know the sensation it causes. To avoid any affectation, I am staying at home today and when in company, I will not be the first to mention the memorial. The publisher showed me a letter stating that it will be reprinted in Amsterdam in both Dutch and French.
Some letters arrived from St. Petersburg that are very favorable for the republic and very unfavorable for the English and Anglomanes. It is precisely for these reasons that it would be better if the contents of the letters were not made public.
I would be pleased to know, sir, when you are leaving Amsterdam for a trip to Leyden or to The Hague. Not that there is anything that demands your presence here for the moment, but rather because I am planning a trip to Amsterdam soon and I would regret missing you there.
I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. Probably either Jan or Matheus van Arp, Amsterdam merchants.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0229

Author: Greig, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-12

From Henry Greig

[salute] Sir

By a vessel to my address from Philadelphia in 40 days I received with my own Letters, the Packet I have now the pleasure herewith to transmit you. There were also under my care, four Volumes of Congress Journals for 1778, for the Honble. Dr. Franklin, Mr. Jay, Mr. Dana and yourself, together with those for November and decemr. last Year. I shall be glad to know in what manner you would chuse them forwarded, and when I do, it shall immediately be complied with.1
Capt. Magee left the Delaware in the afternoon of the 25 March, and three days before that, there had been an Engagement 'twixt the French and Engl. Squadrons off Cape Charles; but the issue was not known.2 Before He left Town, the Marquis La fayette, with 1500 Men light Infantry with some Pieces of Artillery from the Grand Army, passed Philadelphia in their way to Virginia, where the Enemy was coop'd up in Portsmouth and Cornwallis retreating in the Carolinas before Generals Green and Morgan, as fast as he advanc'd.
Can I at any time render you or Friends any Services in these parts please to Command me.
I have transacted all that business in the mercantile Line that has reached Sweden from America, Since the Commencement of the War, and am known to many of this class of Gentlemen in various { 315 } parts of the Continent—Particularly, to Rt. Morris, John Ross, T. Willing, John Wilincks Esqrs. at Philadelphia and the principal Houses at Boston. This Vessel will sail for the latter place toward the middle of next month Should You have any dispatches to forward.3
I am with due respect Sir Your most obedient and humble Servant
[signed] Henry Greig
The postage of the Packet is f3 which may be paid to messrs: John de Neufville & Sons.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “H. Greig. 12. May 1781. Gottenbourg”; notation by John Thaxter: “Letter from Mr. Lovell, inclosing two or three curious Letters.”
1. Grieg also forwarded letters to Franklin and Jay. See JA to Franklin, 23 May, below.
2. For the battle between Arbuthnot and Destouches off the Virginia capes on 18 March, see James Lovell's letter of 31 March, and note 2, above.
3. There are no further letters between JA and Greig in the Adams Papers. JQA visited Göteborg in Jan. 1783 and dined with Greig (JQA, Diary, 1:168).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0230-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-13

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Après la Lettre que j'ai eu l'honneur de vous écrire hier, n'ayant plus rien à vous apprendre, pour le présent, des affaires publiques, mon intention étoit de vous écrire à loisir la semaine prochaine seulement, sur un arrangement à prendre quant à moi personnellement, en conséquence de ce que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de me dire la derniere fois qu'il en a été question entre nous, arrangement qui j'espere vous plaira, et applanira les difficultés qui pourroient s'opposer à vos bonnes intentions pour moi.1 Ce qui me fait mettre la plume à la main aujourd'hui n'est donc que pour enveloper l'incluse que S. E. M. l'Ambr. de France vient de m'envoyer pour Vous par Son Secretaire, en me recommandant de vous l'envoyer d'abord.2 Le Nom du Ministre qui est Sur le Couvert, me fait conjecturer qu'il y a de l'interessant; et j'espere aussi qu'il n'y aura que de l'agreable pour vous. Je Suis toujours avec autant d'attachement que de respect, à la hâte Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Ayez la bonté, Monsieur, de m'accuser la reception de l'incluse.3

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0230-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-13

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

[salute] Sir

After the letter that I had the honor to send to you yesterday, my intention was not to write again until next week since there is no news to relay. This { 316 } | view exercise of personal reserve, a consequence of what you had the honor to tell me the last time this was a cause for concern, is an arrangement that I hope will please you, and will smooth out the difficulties which could oppose your good intentions for me.1 What has made me take up my pen today is the attached enclosure from his excellency the French ambassador just sent to me by his secretary, with the request that I send it to you at once.2 The name of the minister on the cover makes me believe that it is of interest and I hope it will be only good news for you. I remain, with as much attachment as respect, hastily, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Please have the kindness, sir, to acknowledge the receipt of the enclosure.3
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 13th. May 1781.”
1. JA had last commented on Dumas' status as American agent at The Hague in his letter of 27 March, above. Dumas raised the subject again in his letter of 23 May, below.
2. Laurent Bérenger, La Vauguyon's secretary, delivered Philip Mazzei's letter of 28 March, above, the receipt of which JA acknowledged in his reply to Dumas of 19 May, below.
3. This sentence is written in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0231

Author: Grand, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-14

From Henry Grand

[salute] Sir

I herewith take the Liberty to send you the State of your Account currt. by which you owe me 24742. 2.11.1 After you have examined it and found it right I shall be obliged to you to remitt me your draft on Dr. Franklin for the amount that we may be ballanced.
I have wrote twice to Mr. Williams at Nantz but to no Effect to Know his disbursments to the 6 Cases of Wine you have in my cellar, in order to repay them to him, and to be able to give you credit for one of the 6 Cases that I have taken for my own use.2
Constantly devoted to your service I remain with great Regard Sir Your most obt. hble. servt.
[signed] Grand
1. The enclosed account has not been found. See JA's reply to Ferdinand Grand, 19 May, below.
2. For the wine sent by Jonathan Williams, see vol. 10:323, 369–370, 414–415.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0232

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-16

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to inclose Copies of the Memorials, which I had the honor to present on the fourth instant to the President of their High Mightinesses, and to the Secretary of his most Serene High• { 317 } ness.1 The former has been published in English, French and Dutch; and has been favourably recieved by the Public: but the public Voice has not that Influence upon Government in any part of Europe, that it has in every part of America, and therefore I cannot expect that any immediate effect will be produced upon the States General. They will probably wait, until they can sound the disposition of the Northern Powers, Russia particularly, and if they should not join in the War, their High Mightinesses will probably be willing to be admitted to accede to the Treaty of Alliance between France and America.
The Dutch Fleet of about ten Sail of Vessels from the Texel and the Maese has sailed. The News from the southern States of America of continual fighting, in which our Countrymen have done themselves great Honour, the Capture of half the Convoy under Hotham by de la Motte Piquet, and the destruction made at Gibralter by the Spaniards, have raised the Spirits of this Nation from that unmanly Gloom and Despondency, into which they were thrown by the Capture of St. Eustatia, Demorara and Essequibe.2 But after all, this Country at present is divided in Sentiments: it is an Alexandrine that like a wounded Snake drags its slow length along.3

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC and enclosures in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 141–142). For the enclosures, see note 1.
1. In the PCC the copies of JA's memorials of 19 April to the States General and William V, both above, likely inclosed with this letter are separated, perhaps because the memorial to the States General is undated. In the PCC this letter accompanies JA's memorials to the States General of 8 March and to William V of 19 April (No. 84, III, f. 97–110, 147–148, 143– 144). JA also sent the Duc de La Vauguyon copies of his memorials under cover of a note dated 14 May (LbC, Adams Papers); the ambassador acknowledged it on the 16th (Adams Papers).
2. The encouraging news reports JA refers to all appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 15 May. British privateers had taken the Dutch settlements on the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers in Guiana in late Feb. and early March. Reports of their capture appeared in the London Gazette of 23 April and were reprinted in Dutch newspapers, including the Gazette de Leyde of 4 May.
3. Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism,” lines 356–357.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0233

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-16

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

There has been much said in the public Papers concerning Conferences for Peace, concerning the Mediation of the Emperor of Germany and the Empress of Russia &c. &c. &c.
I have never troubled Congress with these Reports, because I have { 318 } never recieved any official Information or Intimation of any such Negotiation, either from England or France, or any other way. If any such Negotiation has been going on, it has been carefully concealed from me. Perhaps something has been expected from the United States, which was not expected from me.1
For my own part, I know from so long Experience at the first Glance of Reflection, the real designs of the English Government, that it is no Vanity to say they cannot decieve me, if they can, the Cabinets of Europe. I have fully known that all their Pretensions about Peace were insidious, and therefore have paid no other Attention to them than to pity the Nations of Europe, who, having not yet Experience enough of British Manoeuvre, are still imposed on to their own danger, disgrace and damage.
The British Ministry are exhausting all the Resources of their Subtilty, if not of their Treasures, to excite Jealousies and Divisions among the neutral as well as belligerent Powers. The same Arts precisely that they have practised so many Years to subdue, decieve and divide America, they are now exerting among the Powers of Europe: but the Voice of God and Man are too decidedly against them to permit them much Success.
As to a Loan of Money in this Republick, after having tried every expedient and made every proposition, that I could be justified or excused for making, I am in absolute despair of obtaining any, until the States General shall have acknowledged our Independence. The Bills already accepted by me are paying off as they become due, by the Orders of his Excellency Mr. Franklin: but he desires me to represent to Congress the danger and inconvenience of drawing before Congress have information that their Bills can be honoured.2 I must intreat Congress not to draw upon me, until they know I have money. At present I have none, not even for my Subsistance, but what I derive from Paris.
The true Cause of the Obstruction of our Credit here is Fear, which can never be removed but by the States General acknowledging our Independence, which, perhaps in the Course of twelve months they may do, but I don't expect it sooner.
This Country is indeed in a melancholy Situation—sunk in Ease— devoted to the Pursuits of Gain—overshadowed on all sides by more powerful Neighbours—unanimated by a Love of military Glory, or any aspiring Spirit; feeling little Enthusiasm for the Public; terrified at the loss of an old Friend, and equally terrified at the prospect of being obliged to form Connections with a new one: encumbered with a { 319 } complicated and perplexed Constitution, divided among themselves in Interest and Sentiment, they seem afraid of every thing. Success on the Part of France, Spain and especially of America raises their Spirits, and advances the good Cause somewhat: but Reverses seem to sink them much more.
The War has occasioned such a Stagnation of Business, and thrown such Numbers of People out of Employment, that I think it is impossible things should remain long in the present insipid State. One System or another will be pursued: one Party or another will prevail—much will depend on the Events of the War. We have one Security, and I fear but one, and that is the domineering Character of the English, who will make Peace with the Republick upon no other Terms, than her joining them against all their Enemies in the War, and this I think it is impossible She ever should do.

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 137–140); endorsed: “Amsterdam Letter 16 May 1781 J Adams Read Oct 3. —no real Intention in Gr: Br: to negotiate —despair of getting Money till the Dutch Governmt. acknowledges our Indep. —Dutch not animated at present.” LbC (Adams Papers); notation in John Thaxter's hand: “one Copy delivered Capt. Newman and another sent to Mr. Joshua Johnson at Nantes.” For letters JA sent with Capt. Joseph Newman of the Gates, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:index; for that sent to Joshua Johnson, see JA to Johnson, 24 May, below.
1. For the origins of the proposed Austro-Russian mediation of the Anglo-French war, see Francis Dana's letter of 25 Feb., note 3, above. The French government had been considering the proposal since January and had given its approval, which it conditioned on Congress' consent and American independence being non-negotiable. JA correctly assumed that the Comte de Vergennes did not wish to deal with him, but with Congress. In a letter of 9 March Vergennes ordered the Chevalier de La Luzerne to obtain Congress' approval of the mediation. More importantly, La Luzerne was to convince the Congress that it should circumscribe JA's activities as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties by ordering him, in the execution of his powers, “to receive his directions from the Count de Vergennes” (JCC, 20:562–569). On 28 May, La Luzerne met with a congressional committee. The results of that meeting were Congress' adoption on 15 June of the Joint Commission to Accept the Mediation of Russia and Austria; Joint Commission to Negotiate a Peace Treaty; and Instructions to the Joint Commission to Negotiate a Peace Treaty, all below.
Vergennes' determination to avoid dealing with JA regarding the mediation is evident from his conversation with Benjamin Franklin on 10 March. There he informed Franklin of the mediation and asked him to seek Congress' concurrence. Franklin apparently was surprised by this request, for he told the foreign minister that he supposed that JA “was already furnished with Instructions relating to any Treaty of Peace that might be proposed” (Franklin, Papers, 34:445–446).
Almost three months passed until JA received any communication from the French government regarding the mediation. See Laurent Bérenger's letter of 5 June and JA's correspondence with Vergennes in July, all below.
2. See Benjamin Franklin's letter of 21 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0234

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-17

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 17 May 1781. LbC Adams Papers. printed: JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 455.
This letter is not in the PCC and was probably never sent. It contains a list, according to nationality, of vessels paying tolls to Denmark in 1780 for passage through the Oresund Strait connecting the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. According to this report, published at Copenhagen, five nations—the Netherlands, Sweden, Britain, Denmark, and Russia—accounted for 7,654 of the 8,294 ships.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0235-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-18

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Depuis ma derniere du 13e. qui en renfermoit une de France pour vous, je Serois en peine de son sort, Si je ne savois que Mrs. De Neufville ont reçu le paquet qui la contenoit.
Le Mémoire est présentement Suffisamment connu par toute la République, et par toute l'Europe, tant par les Envois du Libraire, que par les Gazettiers qui l'ont répété à l'envi l'un de l'autre. Le Courier du Bas-rhin a doublé sa feuilles, pour ne pas morceler, dit-il, cette Piece interessante. Les reflexions qu'il y a ajoutées, come, que le Président a accepté le meme., et lui a servi de Parrain, Sont de son cru, et nullement du mien, qui lui ai simplement recommandé de ne rien changer.
Du reste, la Piece est généralement approuvée, même par ceux à qui elle ne fait pas plaisir: et l'homme que j'ai apposté pour me rapporter ce qu'on en dit, m'a protesté n'avoir pas entendu un mot de critique, mais beaucoup d”éloges. Quant aux suites qu'elle pourra avoir, tout le monde garde là-dessus un profond silence.
Ce Matin Mrs. d'Amstm. ont fait à l'Assemblée d'Hollde. une forte et sérieuse Remontrance, qui, parfaitement inattendue et imprévue, a consterné les uns et fait plaisir à d'autres. J'en aurai copie demain ou après-demain et ne manquerai pas de vous faire part de son contenu.1
En attendant, je dois finir malgré moi, pour ne pas manquer la poste. Je Suis avec un très grand respect Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0235-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-18

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

[salute] Sir

Since my last letter of the 13th, with the enclosure from France directed { 321 } to you, I have been somewhat troubled because I did not know that Messrs. De Neufville received the packet that contained the enclosure.
The memorial is sufficiently known throughout the republic and Europe at this time. This is due to the dispatches from the publishers as much as it is to the vying newspapers that have repeated its publication. The Courier du Bas Rhin has doubled its pages so as not to divide up this interesting piece, or so it says. The added remarks stating that the president has accepted the memorial and has also sponsored it, are replies from the editor, and have nothing to do with me, who simply recommended that nothing be changed.
Moreover, the piece has gained general approval, even with those who do not find it pleasing. The man that I sent out to report back on the public's response has not heard a critical word but rather several words of praise. As for the possible repercussions, everyone is waiting in silence.
This morning, Messrs. of Amsterdam made a strong and serious remonstrance at the Assembly of Holland, which was perfectly unexpected and unforeseen, and has dismayed some and pleased others. I will have a copy of it tomorrow or the next day and will inform you of its contents.1
Meantime, I must finish this letter so I do not miss the post. I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. For Amsterdam's remonstrance, see JA's letter of 24 May to the president of Congress, calendared below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0236

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Date: 1781-05-19

To Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Sir

I have the honour of your Letter of the twenty ninth of April, and will look up the Papers You mention as soon as possible, but I have been removing so often, that at this moment I know not where to lay my hand on them.
I am very sorry to learn that You are to be excluded longer from the Regency, where the Abilities and good Principles of the Baron Van der Capellan could not fail to be eminently useful to the Cause of his Country and of all good Men: and I hope that the Obstacles will be removed sooner than You imagine.
The political World furnishes much Vexation and little Satisfaction to a Man of Probity and Delicacy, and nothing but a strong Sense of Duty, and an ardent Philanthropy can ever prevail with such a Character, to endure the Mortification he meets at every Step of his progress, in stemming the Torrents of Corruption, which roll every where. But to such a Man, the Reflection that some Evils have been { 322 } warded off, and some Advantages obtained, will be a Consolation under many disappointments and humiliations. I should be happy in the Continuance of your Friendship, being with much Esteem and Respect, Sir, your most obedient Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (Algemeen Rijksarchief, Papers of van der Capellen, No. 29A, p. 245).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0237

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-05-19

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received two Letters from you, one covering a Letter from Leghorn.1
In the English Copy of the Memorial, there are several Errors of the Press, and one which is very material. The Word Treaties with France and Spain, instead of the Word Relations.2
Please give my Compliments to Mr. Manson the Redacteur of the Courier du Bas Rhin, for the Honour he has done to this Memorial in giving an Additional Sheet to his subscribers, for the Sake of it, and for the respectfull Manner in which he mentions it.
It has been very well received here. But whether it will ever have any other Effect than a little applause in Words I know not. One Thing I know, if it is disregarded, the Posterity of this People, will wish that their Ancestors had laid it more to heart, for it is no rash opinion that not only the Prosperity but the Existence of this Republick depends upon an early Connection with America.
This will be thought extravagant, by that national Pride and self Sufficiency, which is common to all, but those who have reflected upon the Combination of Causes and Effects in the political and commercial World, and who have looked forward to see how these must operate in Futurity, will easily see, that this Republick will be totally overshadowed and exhausted, on both Sides, that of France as well as that of England, if she does not by forming an early Connection with America, turn a share of its Commerce into this Channel. After a Peace with England it will not be in the Power of Policy to affect it. Now it might be easily done—by a Treaty and a Loan. I have the Honour to be &c.
1. These are Dumas” letters of 13 and 18 May, and Philip Mazzei's letter of 28 March, all above.
2. See JA's memorial of 19 April to the States General, and note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0238

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Grand, Ferdinand
Date: 1781-05-19

To Ferdinand Grand

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I received your Favour of May 14th. inclosing my Account, which I will examine, and compare with my own, and write you about it, as Soon as I can.1 In the mean time I am puzzled about the first Article. Mr. Dana's Account and mine Should be kept Seperate, and the Writing which I gave you, in February 1780 was designed for that End, So that I would be charged with 5/7 and Mr. Dana with 2/7 of the Thousand Pounds Sterling which by the Resolve of Congress, Mr. Franklin was to furnish Us with.2
The three last Articles in the Account viz the Commission at Amsterdam of 186:14: 9 the Courtage 46:15: 9 and the Ports de Lettres 127:10: 0 I think ought not to be charged to me, but to the United States. I wish you would be So kind as to Speak to Dr. Franklin about it. I am allowed by Congress a certain Sum Per Annum, (as is Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jay <and Mr. Dana>,) <out of which I am to discharge all &c.> which is to be in full to me for Services and Expences. So that I ought to receive of the United States, the whole Sum, free of all these Charges, which if necessary as I suppose they are ought to be born by the United States.
I think Dr. Franklin will be of opinion that these Articles ought to be charged to the United States and not to me. However if his Excellency is of a different opinion, the Charges must stand.
The Article of Credit of 22 Jany 1781, by Mr. Dana 2658:16:10 is right being Money that I lent him at Amsterdam.
I should be obliged to you likewise if you would Speak to Dr. Franklin, whether it is necessary for me to draw upon him, afresh, as you have my Receipts for the Money I received at Paris and as I have given two Receipts to serve for one, for each sum that I have received here of the House of Fizeaux & Grand. I should think that my Receipts produced to Dr. Franklin would be Vouchers sufficient for him to allow you those Sums. <But if his Excellency is of a different opinion, I shall comply with his.>
I have not hitherto received the Account of my Salary, and I shall never receive a farthing more than that, and therefore I should think that my Receipts for that would be sufficient. But if his Excellency is of a different Opinion, I shall comply with his.3
I have wrote to Mr. Williams too to desire him to draw upon you for the Pay for the Wine. I know not why he neglects it. <If the { 324 } Madeira is Sterling enough to drink Prosperity to the United States, and Dr. Franklin and you will accept of it, between you it is at your service.>
I want to get my Books and Cloaths the former from the Hotel de Valois, and the latter from Passy, to Amsterdam if possible. The Expence of Removal will be considerable I Suppose but this I must bear. Is there any Way to remove them without being Searched? There is nothing but Books and Baggage. But if they are visited upon the Road They will be two thirds stolen, as was the Case when my Trunks came from Brest. With great Regard to you and the Family, sir, your most obedient servant
1. The letter of 14 May, above, was from Ferdinand's son, Henry. See the revised account in the Grands” letter of 23 Nov. (Adams Papers).
2. JA set down the sums to be paid to himself and Francis Dana in a letter to Ferdinand Grand of 29 Feb. 1780 (private owner, 1982). The terms were determined by Congress” resolutions of 4 and 15 Oct. 1779 (JCC, 15:1145, 1179–1180).
3. See Franklin's letter of 11 June, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0239

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-19

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I received the Honour of yours, with an Account of the Bills you have to pay.1 I have accepted your Drafts for 77,000 Crowns, at 15 Days Date. The Shortness of the Term is inconvenient; and as our Money comes to hand by Degrees, and these unexpected Demands from Holland and Spain oblige me to anticipate our Funds, for which Anticipation I pay an Interest of five Per Cent, I wish you would for the future draw at two or three Usances; because this would ease me in providing for the Payment; and tho” the Discount is consider'd in the Rate of Exchange, yet as that is but 4 Per Cent in Holland, and is here 5. the Publick would save by it One per Cent: which in such large Transactions, amounts to a Sum worth saving. I write on this Head to Messrs. Fizeaux & Grand.
I was much surprized to find by your Letter that the Congress continue drawing so largely on you, without knowing whether you have any Funds in hand. You mention Numbers from 37 to 76 inclusively. Perhaps all the preceding Numbers, and many succeeding Ones may soon appear also. I am never informed what to expect and therefore know not what to provide for. To demand greater Sums of the Ministry than I can shew that I shall want, would have an ill { 325 } appearance, when I must be sensible of the vast Expence the War occasions, and their Difficulties in supplying it; and to be coming continually with After-claps succeeding each other without End, is extreamly disagreable to them as well as to me. They usually form their Plans at the Beginning of the Year, and appropriate their Funds; this Arrangement once made, new and unforeseen Demands disturb it, and call for new Consultations and Determinations, and means of procuring new Funds; all which give Trouble, and put Friends out of Humour. The Aid granted for this Year, is, as you observe, noble: We are purchasing with it a variety of necessary Articles demanded by Congress. But the Uncertainty of what Demands they may think fit to make by way of Bills, must oblige us to hold our Hands, and retain something to face those unimaginable Drafts; for absolutely I cannot go to the Minister for more this Year. Last Year Mr. Lovel wrote to me, that the Congress were very sensible of the Difficulties this wild Drawing subjected me to; and that if I could obtain wherewith to answer the Drafts then made, I might rely upon it no more would be issued, 'till the Congress were informed that I had Funds to answer them: I communicated this Letter to the Minister with my fresh Demand; I inclose a Copy of his Answer.2 You will by it, feel something better my Situation, when the Congress not only continue drawing on me, but all their Drafts on you and Mr. Jay come upon me for Payment. I am really afraid that by these Proceedings, we shall, as the saying is, ride a free Horse to Death. But to the Point, the Bills you mention must be paid; and if you accept them I will answer your Drafts for that Purpose as they become due. But to enable me to do this, I must as I observed before, diminish the intended Supplies; there is no other Method to be taken.
I have, with you, no Doubt that America will be easily able to pay off not only the Interest but the Principal of all the Debts she may contract this War. But whether Duties upon her Exports will be the best Method of doing it, is a Question I am not so clear in. England raised indeed a great Revenue by Duties on Tobacco. But it was by Virtue of a Prohibition of Foreign Tobaccoes, and thereby obliging the internal Consumer to pay those Duties. If America were to lay a like Duty of 5 Pence Sterling Per lb. on the Exportation of her Tobacco, would any European Nation buy it? Would not the Colonies of Spain and Portugal and the Ukraine of Russia furnish it much cheaper? Was not England herself obliged for such Reasons to drop the Duty on Tobacco she furnish'd to France? Would it not cost an immense Sum in Officers &ca. to guard our long Coast against the { 326 } smuggling of Tobacco, and running it out to avoid the Duty? And would not many even of those Officers be corrupted and connive at it? It is possibly an erroneous Opinion, but I find myself rather inclined to adopt that modern one, which supposes it best for every Country to leave its Trade entirely free from all Incumbrances. Perhaps no Country does this at present: Holland comes the nearest to it; and her Commercial Wealth seems to have increased in Proportion.
Your Excellency has done me the Honour of announcing to me your Appointment: I hope soon to return the Compliment by informing you of my Dismission. I find the various Employments of Merchant, Banker, Judge of Admiralty, Consul &ca. &c. beside my Ministerial Function, too multifarious and too heavy for my old Shoulders; and have therefore requested Congress that I may be relieved: for in this Point I agree even with my Enemies, that another may easily be found who can better execute them.3
In my last I mentioned to you, that M. De la Motte Piquet's Squadron took 22 Sail of the 34 coming to England from St. Eustatia. It is now said that a St. Malo's Privateer, having taken two more, was encouraged by the Admiral to leave the Prizes under his Care, and pursue the rest; which he did, and falling in with two American Privateers and another French Privateer, they took between them all the rest, so that not one of the 34 will arrive in England. If this be true, the Ships that convoyed them will be able to render but a poor Account of their Conduct.
I send you the late Accounts we have from America of the Action between Des Touches and Arbuthnot, Greene and Cornwallis. Your causing them to be inserted in the Dutch Papers, may prevent the Effect of false and exaggerated Reports from England.4
I shall wish to know from you, when you think it proper, the Proceedings of the States in your Affair; and have the Honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency's Most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
Col. Laurens set out yesterday for Brest on his Return. The most perfect Harmony subsisted between us during his Residence here.— I shall want as soon as possible Information of the Arrival of the Purchases you make at his Request to send in the Indienne.5
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Franklin. May 19 1781.” For enclosures sent with this letter, see notes 2, 4 and 5.
{ 327 }
1. Franklin is replying to JA's letters of 8 May, above, and 10 May (Franklin, Papers, 35:50).
2. James Lovell's letter was likely that of 7 Sept. 1780, in which he explained the circumstances that led Congress to resolve on 9, 23, and 30 Aug. to draw additional bills on Franklin and declared “I think I can venture now to assure you that not a single Draught more will be made upon you, let the Occassion be ever so pressing.” Franklin enclosed copies of that letter, another from Lovell of 15 Aug., and Congress' resolutions with his letter to Vergennes of 19 Nov. (Franklin, Papers, 33:259– 260, 193–194; 34:28). Vergennes replied on 26 Nov., and it is probably that letter that Franklin enclosed. There Vergennes expressed his exasperation at Congress' decision to draw so heavily on Franklin but promised to provide funds to preserve Franklin's credit on the assumption that Congress would hold to its pledge not to issue additional bills (Adams Papers, filmed at 26 Nov., Adams Papers Microfilms, Reel No. 353; Franklin, Papers, 34:72–73). Despite Lovell's assurances, on 19 March Congress authorized an additional issue of $55,333.33 in bills of exchange, which was equal to approximately £12,500 at the exchange rate specified in the resolution (JCC, 19:278–279).
3. Franklin wrote to the president of Congress on 12 March to request that someone be appointed in his place because of his age and infirmities. Congress rejected the request on 19 June (Franklin, Papers, 34:446–448; JCC, 20:676). See also Franklin's letter of 16 Aug., below.
4. Enclosures not found. For more information on their content, see JA's reply of 23 May, below.
5. Franklin wrote this paragraph on a separate slip of paper.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0240

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-21

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 21 May 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 151–157. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:424–427.
This letter contained an English translation of Frederick II's ordinance of 30 April regarding navigation and commerce. The preamble to the ordinance declared that Prussia would remain neutral in the war then in progress and was in agreement with the principles set down by Catherine II in her declaration of an armed neutrality. It also noted that the Northern Powers— Denmark, Sweden, and Russia—had agreed to allow Prussian ships to join their convoys. The seven articles that followed specifically set down the conditions under which Prussian subjects could trade with the belligerent powers. Of particular significance was the fact that naval stores were not to be included among the goods generally denominated as contraband, which Prussian vessels were prohibited from carrying. On 19 May, Prussia went further and signed a convention with Russia by which it acceded to the armed neutrality (Scott, ed., Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, p. 397–403).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 151–157). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:424–427.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0241

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-23

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 23 May 1781. RC in John Thaxter's handPCC, No. 84, III, f. 159. printed: JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 465.
This letter requested Congress to offer relief to the owners of an unnamed Dutch vessel captured by a British warship or privateer, recaptured by an American privateer, and then sold. This letter may refer to the Dutch brig Union, about which John Adams had written to William Greene, governor of Rhode Island, on 9 May (LbC, Adams Papers). There Adams requested Greene's assistance for Johannes de Lover & Sons of Amsterdam, the owners of a vessel captured by { 328 } the Revenge, a British privateer commanded by a Capt. Kentith, then recaptured and taken into Providence. Unfortunately the papers enclosed with Adams' letter to Congress have not been found, and there is no additional extant correspondence between Adams, Congress, and Greene on the matter.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 159). printed: (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 465.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0242

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-05-23

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have the honour of your Letter of the 19th. with its Inclosures, and I thank your Excellency for the pains You have taken to communicate the News from America, which I think can scarcely be called bad, tho' General Green lost the Field. I had before recieved and published in the Amsterdam Gazette the same accounts. The Gazetters are so earnest after American News that I find it the shortest method of communicating the Newspapers to all.1
I have recieved from Congress, their Resolution of the third of January 1781, to draw Bills upon me in favour of Lee and Jones at six months sight for the full amount of the ballance due on the Contract made with them, for a Quantity of Cloathing for the Army. I have also a Letter from Mr. Gibson, of the Treasury Office of January 28th., which informs me that the amount of Jones and Lee's account is sixteen thousand, two hundred and forty four pounds one shilling sterling.2
I have just recieved from Gottenbourg the inclosed Letters, one to your Excellency and one to Mr. Jay.3 I recieved both unsealed with a direction to take Copies. I have put my own Seal upon that to your Excellency, and request the favour of You to put your's upon that to Mr. Jay, and to convey it in the safest manner. It contains matter of great Importance, which ought to be carefully concealed from every Eye but your's and Mr. Jays, for which reason I should be cautious of conveying it, even with the dispatches of the Spanish Ambassador, especially as there are intimations in Mr. Lovells Letter of too much Curiosity with regard to Mr. Jays' dispatches, and as Mr. Jay himself complains that his Letters opened. I hope this Instruction will remove all the Difficulties with Spain, whose Accession to the Treaty would be of great Service to the Reputation of our Cause in every part of Europe.
It seems to me of vast Importance to Us, to obtain an acknowledgment of our Independence from as many other Sovereigns as possible, before any Conferences for Peace shall be opened: because if that Event should take place first, and the Powers at War with Great { 329 } Britain, their Armies, Navies and People weary of the War and clamouring for Peace, there is no knowing what hard Conditions may be insisted on from Us, nor into what Embarrassments British Arts and Obstinacy may plunge Us.
By the tenth Article of the Treaty of Alliance, the contracting Parties agree to invite or admit other Powers who may have recieved Injuries from Great Britain to accede to that Treaty. If Russia, and the Northern Powers, or any of them, should be involved in the War in support of the Dutch, would it not be a proper Opportunity for the Execution of this Article? Or why would it not be proper, now to invite the Dutch?
I have the Honour to inclose a Memorial to their High Mightinesses. My Mission is now a Subject of deliberation among the Regencies of the several Cities and the Bodies of Nobles, who compose the Sovereignty of this Country. It is not probable that any determination will be had soon. They will probably confer with Russia and the Northern Powers about it first. Perhaps if those come into the War, nothing will be done, but in Concert with them. But if those do not come into the War, this Republick I think will readily accede to the Treaty of Alliance between France and America: for all Ideas of Peace with England are false and delusive. England will make Peace with the Dutch upon no other Condition than their joining her in the War against all her Enemies, which it is impossible for them to do even if their Inclinations were that Way, which they are not. The public Voice here is well decided against England.
I have the Honour to be much of your Excellencys Opinion respecting Duties. I mentioned Tobacco to shew what Duties America was able to bear. Whatever Sums a People are able to bear in Duties upon Exports or Imports upon the Luxuries, Conveniences or Necessaries of Life, they are undoubtedly able to raise by a dry Tax upon Polls and Estates, provided it is equally proportioned. Nay more, because the Expence of collecting and guarding against Frauds is saved.
Our Countrymen are getting right Notions of Revenue, and whenever these shall become general, I think there can be no difficulty in carrying on the War.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams. May23. 1781.”
{ 330 }
1. JA refers to the Battle of Guilford Court House on 15 March. The source of his information may have been a newspaper enclosed in Joshua Johnson's letter of 8 May that has not been found, but to which JA replied on 24 May, below. The Pennsylvania Gazette of 4 April contained two letters from Gen. Nathanael Greene that were read in Congress on 31 March and ordered printed (JCC, 19:335; see also James Lovell to JA, 31 March, and note 1, above). The two letters were translated and printed in the Gazette de Leyde of 22 May as from a Philadelphia paper. The battle itself was ostensibly a victory for Cornwallis, for he defeated Greene's much larger American army and occupied the field at the battle's conclusion. He did so, however, at the cost of one quarter of his army, troops that could not be replaced. Unable to pursue Greene's force and convinced of the futility of further operations in the Carolinas, Cornwallis retreated to Wilmington, N.C., whence, on 25 April, he began his march into Virginia and ultimately to Yorktown (Mackesy, War for America, p. 406–407).
2. Neither the resolution of 3 Jan. nor the letter from John Gibson have been found. Early in 1780, Thomas Lee and John Coffin Jones, Boston merchants, contracted to provide clothing to the Continental Army. Because it was unable to pay for the goods provided, the Board of War initially refused their bill and referred it to Congress, which accepted it and ordered payment. On 3 Jan., by which time the account was over six months in arrears, Congress resolved to draw bills of exchange on JA in favor of Lee and Jones for the amount of the contract (JCC, 19:19–20).
3. The letters enclosed with Henry Greig's letter of 12 May, above, have not been identified. JA's comments in this paragraph make it likely that they were from James Lovell, but none of his letters written in March to JA, Franklin, and Jay seem to warrant JA's concerns about them. See, however, Lovell's letters to Franklin and Jay of 9 March (Franklin, Papers, 34:435–436; Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 17:44), and to JA of [ca. 15 March], above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0243-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-23

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

En réponse à l'honorée vôtre du 19e. je pourrai vous faire voir quand il vous plaira que l'expression Treaties with France and Spain est dans la Copie Angloise manuscrite que vous m'aviez remise ici, et qui a servi à l'Imprimer.1
J'ai assuré de vos complimens Mr. Manson2, en le priant de les garder pour lui: car, entre nous, il faut prendre garde que ces Messieurs ne nous exposent pas. Ils ne sont pas tous aussi discrets que Mr. Luzac, ni aussi prudents, ni même aussi sincerement nos amis: et ils font volontiers confidence au public de ce qui les flatte.
Voici ce que Mr. V——r m'a remis pour vous le faire tenir de sa part. La Traduction françoise en va paroître incessamment, et je ne manquerai pas de vous l'envoyer. Cette piece vous plaira par Sa force. Je vous informerai de ce qui s'ensuivra.3
Vous savez, Monsieur, la discretion avec laquelle j'attends depuis plus de cinq ans l'accomplissement des promesses du Congrès en consideration de mes fideles services, pour lesquels j'avois accepté avec joie les ordres positifs non sollicités. J'ai eu l'honneur de vous insinuer, dans quelles difficultés cruelles cette discrétion m'a enveloppé, et qui augmenteront Si je ne suis aidé. Vous savez la petite { 331 } allouance que je reçois de Paris; et vous êtes convenu avec moi que je devois avoir effectivement beaucoup de peine à vivre avec cela: aussi ne le puis-je; et il faut d'année en année que j'y mette du mien, et plus que du mien; ce qui me rend misérable jusque chez moi. Vous Savez aussi que le Congrès m'avoit destiné le Secrétariat de cette Légation sous Mr. Lawrens, avec 500 £. st. d'appointement. Vous me promites Monsieur, l'hiver dernier à Amsterdam, que si vous receviez une Commission pour cette Rep. comme celle de Mr. Lawrens, vous feriez à mon égard ce qu'eût fait Mr. Lawrens. Enfin vous m'avez dit ici, que sans le défaut de finances vous me feriez jouir des appointemens qui m'étoient destinés. Je crois avoir trouvé un moyen d'applanir cette difficulté, en vous proposant de me fournir 2 obligations de mille florins de l'Emprunt ouvert chez Mrs. De Neufs., et de me permettre de tirer Sur Mrs. De Neufville, pour votre compte, en un ou deux payemens, aux termes qu'il vous plaira de fixer dans le cours de cette année 1781 ce qui manqueroit de 300 £. st., déduction faite des 2000 florins en dites Obligations. De cette maniere, en continuant toujours de tirer sur Mr. Franklin ce que je Suis accoutumé d'en recevoir, je jouirai provisionnellement cette année des 500 £. St: qui m'étoient destinés; et vous ferez agréer au Congrès sans difficulté, ce qu'il avoit intention de faire, et ce que vous m'avez dit de pouvoir faire en vertu de vos pouvoirs. Ce dont votre grand crédit auprès de lui, mérité à tant de titres me confirme d'autant plus d'être assuré.
De cette maniere, l'intérêt des Obligations me mettra en état de payer celui d'une dette que j'ai été forcé de contracter dans le service des Etats unis, et pour lequel une petite Terre, la seule ressource de ma famille en cas de ma mort, est hypothéquée, et je pourrai en même temps mettre un peu plus d'aisance dans mon oeconomie ici. Je vous devrai mon repos si vous pouvez donner les mains à cet arrangement; et je ne doute pas que vous ne le puissiez. J'attens que vous ajouterez à cette faveur celle d'une prompte réponse, qui fera cesser les peines journalieres, qui me rendent, je vous le jure, la vie excessivement amere.
On m'assure que d'autres villes, et même des provinces, vont suivre l'exemple de la Remontrance d'Amsterdam. Je vous en donnerai connoissance à mesure.
Vous trouverez sur le feuillet ci joint la substance de ce que j'ai écrit à Manson, au sujet d'une sotte Traduction prétendue nouvelle et anterieure à la mienne qui a paru dans le Politique Hollandois.4
Je suis avec un très grand respect & l'attachement le plus sincere, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obéissant Serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0243-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-23

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

[salute] Sir

In response to your honored letter of the 19th, I will show you, when you wish, that the expression Treaties with France and Spain was included in the English manuscript copy that you left with me, and that was used by the printer.1
I gave Mr. Manzon2 your compliments and asked that he keep them to himself, because, between us, we must be certain that these gentlemen do not expose us. They are not as discreet, nor as prudent, as Mr. Luzac is, and are not sincerely our friends. They would confide in whoever flatters them.
Here is what Mr. V——r gave me for you on his behalf. The French translation will appear at anytime now and I will not fail to send it to you. The strength of this piece will please you. I will inform you of what it entails.3
You know, sir, of the discretion with which I have waited more than five years for the fulfillment of promises made to me by Congress for my faithful services. Services which were positive orders gladly accepted, not solicited. I had the honor to tell you of the harsh difficulties that resulted from this discretion, difficulties that will increase if I do not receive help. You know of the small allowance that I receive from Paris, and you agreed with me that it is very difficult to live on that alone. Well I cannot, and each year I have to supplement the allowance more and more with my own money, which in turn is making me miserable at home. You also know that Congress had intended that I act as this delegation's secretary under Mr. Laurens with a 500 pounds sterling salary. You promised me, sir, last winter in Amsterdam, that if you were to receive a commission for this republic like the one for Mr. Laurens, you would do for me what Mr. Laurens would have done. Finally you said to me here that if finances were not lacking, you would give me my promised salary. I believe I have found a way to smooth out this difficulty by proposing to you that you furnish me with two obligations of a thousand florins from the loan opened by Messrs. Neufville. Then you could permit me to withdraw from your account with the Messrs. Neufville the remaining 300 pounds sterling in one or two payments according to terms set by you for the year 1781, the deduction being offset by the 2,000 florins in said obligations. By doing this, and by continuing to draw my usual amount from Mr. Franklin, I would receive the 500 pounds sterling that was promised to me as my yearly salary. By the virtue of your powers you could persuade Congress to agree to this without difficulty since this was their intention. Your great standing there, rewarded with so many titles, assures me that this will be confirmed.
By doing this, the interest of my obligations will allow me to pay a debt that I was forced to take on, in my service to the United States, by mortgaging a small parcel of land which is the only family resource in case of my death, and at the same time will help me with finances here. I would be very grateful if you could help with this arrangement; I do not doubt that { 333 } you can. I will await a prompt response from you, which will end my daily pain, which, I swear to you, is making life very bitter.
It is said that other cities, as well as provinces, will follow the example of the remonstrance at Amsterdam. I will send confirmation of this as it happens.
You will find, on the enclosed page, the substance of what I wrote to Manson regarding a foolish so-called new translation, that was done prior to my translation, and that appeared in the Politique Hollandais.4
I am with great respect and sincere affection, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas May 23. 1781. ansd26.” For the enclosure, see notes 3 and 4.
1. See JA's memorial of 19 April to the States General, and note 4, above.
2. Jean Manzon, editor of the Courier du Bas Rhin.
3. The enclosure, presumably from Carel W. Visscher regarding Amsterdam's remonstrance to the States of Holland on 18 May, has not been found.
4. No. 14 of Le politique hollandais included a French translation of JA's memorial of 19 April. In the enclosure Dumas described the memorial as it appeared in Le politique hollandais as a travesty and delineated every variation from his own translation of the memorial, which was authorized by JA, published in pamphlet form, and distributed to the Gazette de Leyde and other Dutch papers for publication.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-24

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 24 May 1781. RC in John Thaxter's handPCC, No. 84, III, f. 163–168. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:431–433.
In this letter John Adams provided an English translation of Amsterdam's address of 18 May to the States of Holland. The city's deputies noted the ineffectual measures taken thus far to prosecute the war against Britain and particularly the inability of the Dutch navy to protect the nation's commerce. Such a state of affairs was unworthy of the Dutch Republic and puzzling to the Northern Powers from whom aid was being sought. The only way to correct the situation was to enter into negotiations for an alliance with France, redouble efforts to convince the Northern Powers that their assistance was absolutely necessary, and make effective use of the nation's resources against the British enemy. In his two final paragraphs (printed as one in Wharton), Adams called it a “manly address,” reflecting “the old Batavian Spirit.” It owed its appearance, Adams believed, to “the presentation and publication of my memorial to the States General, which was more universally and highly applauded than was expected by me or any one else.” Adams, like the Gazette de Leyde when it published Amsterdam's address on 25 May, noted that there was no mention of the Dutch-American treaty proposed in his memorial. He attributed the omission to ongoing deliberations, but see his letter of 26 May to Dumas, below.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 163–168). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:431–433.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Johnson, Joshua
Date: 1781-05-24

To Joshua Johnson

[salute] Dear Sir

I have recieved your obliging Letter of May 8th. with the Newspaper inclosed, for which please to accept my thanks.1 The English meet a warm reception at the Southward where they have already had reason and will have more to repent of their rashness. I congratulate You upon the Accession of Maryland to the Confederation and upon the general good prospect of Affairs. Our Country rises superiour to all her difficulties, and I hope in another Year to see her shine.
Will You please to transmit the inclosed Letter to Congress by the first opportunity?2 My Compliments to your good Family and to all the good Americans at Nantes.
With great Respect and Esteem I have the honour to be, Sir, your humble & obedient Servant.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Johnson's letter has not been found.
2. JA's second letter of 16 May to the president of Congress, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0246-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-24

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Les Etats d'Hollde. ne pourront former une Résolution, que dans 15 jours ou 3 semaines; car ce ne sera qu'alors que sera l'Assemblée prochaine demandée à la fin de la proposition dont voici la Traduction. En attendant cette Proposition a déjà fait une grande impression, et beaucoup de peine aux Anglomanes.
J'espere, Monsieur, que vous pourrez acquiescer à ma demande d'hier; et par-là vous me tirerez à tous égards d'une peine qui m'ôte le repos, et la facilité d'agir courageusement. Il me semble aussi qu'une centaine de £. St. de plus ou de moins en argent comptant dans la dépense de l'Amérique, ne peut pas déranger sensiblement les Finances des E.U. en Europe, puisque d'ailleurs c'étoit l'intention des E.U. que je jouisse de toute la somme des 500 £. st. dont j'offre de prendre 2000 florins en obligations. Si avec cela vous avez la bonté de vous mettre entierement à la place, vis-à-vis de moi, de ce que Mr. Lawrens avoit le pouvoir de faire pour moi, en me conférant par un Acte provisionnel, en attendant que le Congrès le confirme par un Acte formel, le poste de Sécrétaire de cette Légation avec l'appoin• { 335 } tement de £ 500 £ st., vous me mettrez entierement l'esprit, et celui de ma famille en repos; je vous en aurai une obligation constante que je n'oublierai certainement jamais, et mon Zele et mon attachement pour votre personne, aussi bien que pour le service des Etats-Unis vous le prouvera constamment.
Je suis avec le respect le plus sincere, Monsieur, Votre très-humble & très obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0246-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-24

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

[salute] Sir

The States of Holland will not be able to form a resolution for another fifteen days or three weeks. This is because the next assembly finally demanded a translation of the proposal. Meantime this proposal has made a great impression and has caused the Anglomanes a lot of pain.
I hope, sir, that you will be able to acquiesce to yesterday's proposal, and by doing so you will alleviate the pain which keeps me from any rest and from acting courageously. It seems me to that £100 sterling, more or less, cannot matter much in the finances of the United States in Europe, and besides that, it was the intention of the United States that I receive a salary of £500 sterling, 2000 florins of which I offered to take as a loan. If you could act on my behalf, as Mr. Laurens would have done for me, in naming me secretary of the legation, with a salary of £500 sterling, by a provisional act until Congress formally confirms my post, this would be a great relief to me and my family. I would have a steadfast obligation to you that I would never forget, and my zeal and affection for you, as well as for the service of the United States, would continue to prove this true.
I am with the most sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0247

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-24

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Dear Sir

Mr. Dana's journey to Russia (the first notice of which I have it in Mr. Favi's Letter of the 6. instant) will probably have retarded my answer to your Excellency's favour of the 18 of January. I hope Mr. Favi has forward it to you through a safe channel.1 I send this, through the french Minister at this Court, to a gentleman in the bureau of Mr. de Vergennes, who is desired to convey it safe to you without delay. I long to hear from you, my dear Sir; I am in the greatest uneasiness for our Virginian friends; I hear nothing from { 336 } them; I am almost distracted. You will probably blame me for want of spirit. Pray, excuse my feelings, or my weakness if you will term it so; but you may be assured, Sir, that I should be quite another man if I was with them. I wish I could fly. My anxiety for my dear adopted Country grows greater in proportion to my distance from it, and the improbability of getting there during the storm. Our last news here are very alarming. Do, Sir, relieve me if you can from the present state of uneasiness as soon as possible, and believe that I shall ever be thankfull to your kindness. Don't deprive me of the honour of your commands, the executing of which will at any time make me happy, and permit me to subscribe myself most respectfully, Dr. Sr., Your Excellency's most Obedt. & most humble Servant
[signed] Philip Mazzei
1. Mazzei's letter of 28 March, above, was forwarded by Laurent Bérenger to Dumas to JA (from Dumas, 13 May, above).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0248

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-25

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 25 May 1781. RC PCC, No. 84, III, f. 169–170. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:435–436.
John Adams provided an English translation of a convention signed at Versailles on 1 May by the Comte de Vergennes and the Dutch ambassador, Lestevenon van Berkenrode, establishing the conditions under which French or Dutch vessels recaptured from the British by privateers or warships of the respective countries would be returned to their owners. It was in Adams' view “the first Step towards more intimate Connections, between this Republick on one side and France and the United States of America, on the other.”
RC (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 169–170). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:435–436.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0249

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-05-26

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I am honoured with yours of the 23d., and percieve by it that the Error I mentioned was not of the Press but of the Copy.1
I am very much obliged to Mr. Vr. for the proposition, which I have since read with vast pleasure in the French Translation.2 It breathes the true Batavian Spirit and must have great effects. I think it was right not to mention America, whatever the venerable Magistrates might think upon that Subject.
You mention that You have waited five Years the Accomplishment of the promisses of Congress, in Consideration of your Services. I am wholly unacquainted with any promise that Congress ever made You, and therefore can make no Answer to this part of your Letter.3
{ 337 }
You say farther, that I know that the Congress had destined You the Secretaryship of this Legation under Mr. Laurens, with 500 £ St. of Appointment: in this You are certainly mistaken. I never knew nor heard of this. Mr. Searle once mentioned to me, that Mr. Lovell had in a Letter to You, said something about 500 £ St. a Year:4 but nothing that I heard about the Secretaryship. Since the Receipt of your Letter I have enquired of Mr. Searle, and am informed by him, that the Congress appointed no Secretary of Legation under Mr. Laurens: that they voted him an Allowance of 500 £ a year for the maintenance of a Clerk or private Secretary, and accordingly he brought one over with him Major Young: but that Congress afterwards altered this and reduced the allowance for a Clerk to 350 £ St.5
You say that I promised You last Winter at Amsterdam, that if I should recieve a Commission for this Republick like that of Mr. Laurens, I would do with respect to You, what Mr. Laurens would have done.
I told You, that in my Opinion it was not probable that Congress would send me a Commission for this Republick: that Congress would undoubtedly send a Minister here now a War was broke out, but it was most likely it would be some other Gentleman. It was however possible, they might send one to me, and in such a Case, I should chearfully do for You, as far as any thing should be left to my discretion, whatever Mr. Laurens would have done.
You add, that I told You at the Hague, that if it were not for want of Finances, I would give You the Appointments that were destined You. I told You, that if there were any Money here at my discretion to spend for the public, I would pay You myself instead of leaving You as I was obliged to do, to recieve of Dr. Franklin. The Sum was to be, whatever I could discover to be the Intention of Congress, and until then, the Sum which Dr. Franklin has allowed until the farther orders of Congress. But I have not to this Hour any such money.
You speak of my grand Credit with the Congress, as being sufficient to procure a Justification of the measure You propose. But Sir, I assure You I have No Credit with Congress to boast of. If I ever enjoyed a Share of the Confidence of my Countrymen, this was acquired by a most scrupulous attention and Obedience to their principles, views and orders, and the Moment I should depart from this Line of Conduct, and presume to make arrangements and Establishments without their Orders, I should lose all—much greater services, Sacrifices and Hazards than mine, would not be a Fund of Merit sufficient to redeem me.
{ 338 }
I have also recieved your Letter of the 24th, and thank You for the Translation of the Proposition of Amsterdam.
In this Letter You repeat the Idea, that the Secretaryship of this Legation was intended for You. This Idea is entirely new to me; and it appears to be so far from well founded, that Congress are getting out of the practice of such Appointments. They have left Mr. Franklin's Legation without such a Secretary, and they have taken from me the Secretary of my Legation for making Peace:6 and as Mr. Searle informs me they never had it in Contemplation to appoint a Secretary of Legation here. I have recieved no notice or instruction of any such appointment, nor any Intimation what are the designs of Congress towards You. There is no Allowance made to me, but what was given me as Minister for Peace, and there is no Provision made for Secretary public or private, not even for a Clerk, and I maintain my own private Secretary as I ever have done at my own Expence.
Upon the whole it is absolutely out of my Power to do any thing whatsoever, with respect to You, until I have the Orders of Congress.
I have recieved a Letter from Mr. Lovell, in which he has inclosed a list of Letters recieved in Congress and among others one from You, dated Octr. 4th. and recieved January 24th., against which Mr. Lovell has marked “Concordia”: in the Letter to me Mr. Lovell says “You make no Remarks upon Mr. Dumas's Concordia.”7 These Hints may contain something to your purpose, but I dont understand them.
I have the Honour to be with much Esteem and Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. See JA's memorial of 19 April to the States General and note 3, above.
2. See Dumas' letter of 23 May and note 5, above.
3. No actions by or letters from Congress indicate that it intended Dumas to be the secretary of the U.S. minister to the Netherlands. Dumas” expectations may have been fostered by Benjamin Franklin. On 2 Oct. 1780, Franklin wrote Dumas that he should not be concerned about his position in the Netherlands, for its scope was likely to be increased, rather than diminished. On 9 Oct. Franklin indicated that James Searle would recommend to Laurens that Dumas be appointed his secretary. Franklin declared that he knew of no one more deserving or qualified for the position, but that the choice was left to the minister who was empowered to pay a salary of £500. Dumas replied to Franklin on 20 Oct., indicating that he would have accepted the secretaryship under Laurens and would do so under whoever was appointed in his place. Finally, in a letter to Franklin of 9 Nov. Dumas wrote of the secretaryship as being intended for him (Franklin, Papers, 33:354–355, 385, 435–437, 513).
4. James Searle delivered to Dumas James Lovell's letter of 10 July 1780 in which Lovell offered to do everything he could to see Dumas appointed agent of the U.S. at The Hague. Lovell mentioned neither the secretaryship nor a salary of £500 (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 15:421–422; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:452).
5. Congress set the salary for Laurens” sec• { 339 } retary at £500 on 6 Nov. 1779, but no indication has been found as to when or if it was lowered to £350 (JCC, 15:1248).
6. That is, by appointing Francis Dana minister to Russia.
7. See Lovell's letter of [ca. 15 March], and note 8, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0250

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Fizeaux, Grand & Co. (business)
Date: 1781-05-26

To Fizeaux, Grand & Co.

[salute] Gentlemen

I have the Honour of your Letter of the 17th. instant, inclosing the 66 Bills of Exchange accepted by me, amounting to Bf. 109780, which you have paid, and for which you, have debited the Account of the United States of America.1
I Yesterday received your other Favour of the 25th. instant,2 inclosing 17 Bills of Exchange, Accepted by me amounting to Bf. 16,220 which you have paid, for the United States of America, and charged to their Account.
You request my Approbation of these Payments, and it is justly due to you. You request also my Approbation of your Negotiation of my Draughts on Dr. Franklin. I take it for granted Gentlemen, that this deserves to be approved, but at present it seems to me, that this, is a Matter, that, belongs to his Excellency Dr. Franklin to judge of, and to him I Submit it. If, however it is necessary for me, to examine, that matter I will do it, but at present I am but a Tyro in the Negotiation of Bills of Exchange. I am much obliged to you for your kind Enquiry after my Health, which is much better. I have the Honour to remain, very respectfully, Gentn., your Humble servant.
1. From Fizeaux, Grand & Co., 17 May (Adams Papers). See JA's letter of 8 May to Benjamin Franklin, note 1, above. JA gives the amounts of the bills of exchange in banco florins or bank money as opposed to current money. Most foreign exchange transactions were stated in bank money, while most everyday commercial transactions were in current money. A banco florin was worth more than a florin in current money and the difference was stated as a percentage called the agio or opgelt. For example, using the average agio for 1775 of 4.70 percent, the 66 bills of exchange valued at 109,780 banco florins were worth 114,939.66 florins in current money (John J. McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600–1775: A Handbook, Chapel Hill, 1978, p. 43–44, 51).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0251

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-27

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 27 May 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 173–176. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:448–451.
John Adams provided an English translation of a report made to the States General regarding the Dutch East India Company's request for escorts for { 340 } its vessels and the supplies needed to arm them. The report noted the wretched state of the Dutch navy, the East India Company's importance to the Republic, and the consequences, including the loss of Dutch colonial possessions, if nothing were done. The report recommended purchasing or leasing additional warships to safeguard the company's ships and overseas possessions. Adams concluded his letter by stating that he transmitted
“such State Papers entire, because Congress will be able from them to collect the real State of things better than from any Remarks of mine. The State of the Republick is deplorable enough. There is but one sure path for it to pursue, that is instantly accede to the Treaty of Alliance between France and America. They see this, but have not the firmness to venture upon the measure. Indeed the military Character, both at Land and Sea seems to be lost out of this Nation. The Love of Fame, the Desire of Glory, the Love of Country, the Regard for Posterity, in short all the brilliant and sublime Passions are lost, and succeded by nothing but the Love of Ease and Money: but the Character of this People must change, or they are finally undone.”
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 173–176). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:448–451.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-29

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

The English, by the capture of St. Eustatia, seem to have committed the most compleat blunder of all. There was found in that Island a greater quantity of Property belonging to the Britons themselves, than to the French, Dutch, or Americans. They have broke up a Trade, which was more advantageous to them, than to any of their Enemies, as it was a Channel through which British Manufactures were conveyed to North America, and much provisions and assistance to their Fleets and Armies in the West Indies. As the British Merchants were warranted by an Act of Parliament to trade to this Island, all those who are Sufferers by its capture are clamouring against Government and especially against Rodney and Vaughan, for illegally seizing their Property, and threatning these Commanders with as many lawsuits as there are Losers. But what completes the Jest is, that De la Motte Piquet has carried safe into Brest two and twenty of the Vessels loaded with the spoils of St. Eustatia, which Rodney had sent under Convoy of Commodore Hotham and four Ships of the Line: so that Rodney after having lost his booty is like to have lawsuits to defend and very probably the whole to repay to the Owners. Thus the Cards are once more turned against the Gambler;1 and the Nation has gained nothing but an addition to their Reputation for Iniquity. This is good Justice. There is room to hope for more instances of it; because their Fleets are coming home from the West { 341 } Indies, and the Spanish Fleet of thirty Sail of the Line under Cordova is again at Sea, and it is hoped the French Fleet will soon go out again.
The English Fleets are so fully employed by the French and Spaniards, that the Dutch might do a great deal if they would: but something in this Machine is fatally amiss. The Patriots weep, but all in vain. The Fleets and Ships that sail, are said to have Orders to act only on the defensive. The Courtiers say that Amsterdam is the Cause of the War; the friends of Amsterdam say the Courtiers are corrupted by the English. Some say the Prince declares he will never do any thing against the English: others say that he has authorized the French Ambassador to assure the King his Master, that he was ready to make arrangements with him: others report sayings of the Princess that the Conduct of some of the Courtiers will be the ruin of her Family. All these Reports serve to no purpose, but to shew the Confusion and Distraction of the Country. However, there must be a Change soon for better or worse, for hunger will break down all ordinary Fences.
I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 177–178).
1. Adm. Sir George Rodney had a reputation for gambling, which, prior to his victories over the Spanish in Jan. 1780 and the sale of the prizes resulting therefrom, left him heavily in debt (vol. 8:320; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0253-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-29

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J'ai l'honneur de vous envoyer ci-joint un numbre encore du Mémoire, de peur que vous n'en manquiez: car on m'en demande encore fréquemment, et j'en distribuerai tant qu'il m'en restera.
Je vous remercie de la maniere explicite et franche dont vous me répondez Sur ce qui me regarde. J'aurai l'honneur de vous écrire plus au long pour justifier mes deux dernieres sur ce sujet, tant à l'égard de ma situation, que sur ce que je croyois que vous en saviez.1
A la premiere occasion qui me procurera l'avantage de vous voir, Monsieur, je vous ferai lire dans mes Copies, celle de ma Lettre au Congrès, du 4 Oct. 1780, oú je rends compte des affaires politique, et de ma Situation, ainsi que de mes besoins.2 Je n'y vois, et n'y vois absolument rien qui puisse expliquer ce que Mr. Lovel entend par ces mots: you make no Remarks upon Mr. Dumas's Concordia. Tout { 342 } ce que je Sais là-dessus, et Mrs. Searle et Dana le savent aussi, c'est que mes nombreuses Lettres au Comitté étoient toujours Signées au lieu de mon nom, par le mot de Concordia, et que je ne signe mon nom que depuis que j'écris directement au Président.
Je n'attends que la dissolution de la présente Assemblée d'Hollde., pour vous aller rendre mes devoirs à Amstm. En attendant, je Suis avec tout le respectueux attachement qui vous est voué, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Ce paquet, Monsieur, vous parviendra par Mr. Van Arp,3 à qui j'envoie une Vingtaine du Mémoire dans les trois Langues, qu'il me demande, outre le nombre que je lui en ai déjà envoyé ci-devant.3

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0253-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-29

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

[salute] Sir

I have the honor to send you the enclosed copies of the memorial in case you do not have enough. Since I am frequently asked for them, I will distribute the remaining copies.
Thank you for the explicit and frank response to my concerns. I will have the honor to write to you at length, in order to justify my last two letters regarding my situation, and what I believe you know of it.1
Next time I see you, sir, I would like you to read my letter to Congress of 4 October 1780, in which I give accounts of political affairs, my situation, and my needs.2 I see absolutely nothing in my letter that could explain what Mr. Lovel intends by his words: you make no Remarks upon Mr. Dumas's Concordia. All that I know about it, and all that Messrs. Searle and Dana know about it, is, that in my numerous letters to the committee, I signed the word Concordia instead of my name. I only sign my name when writing directly to the president.
I await the dissolution of the current Assembly of Holland before sending news to you at Amsterdam. Meantime, I am with respectful affection, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
This packet, sir, will be delivered by Mr. Van Arp, to whom I sent about twenty copies of the memorial in the three languages. He asked for these copies in addition to the ones I sent previously to him.3
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence Monsieur J. Adams, Min. Plenipo: des Etats-Unis, &c. &c. Amsterdam.”
1. JA's letter of 26 May responded to those from Dumas of 23 and 24 May, all above.
2. PCC, No. 93, I, f. 472.
3. Written on a separate slip of paper, this note of transmittal was probably enclosed with the memorials, but is now attached to the letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0254

Author: Fizeaux, Grand & Co.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-30

From Fizeaux, Grand & Co.

[salute] Sir

We have been honourd with your very esteemd favour of the 26th. Instant acknowledging receipt of your sundry acceptations amounting in all to Bf 126,000. and approving our payment of them for account of the United States of America.
We inclose anew your following acceptations which we have discharged for said account
4 of the 24th. Instant Amounting to   Bf 2200.    
11 of the 28th. do.   6050.    
  Bf 8250.   together  
for which we have debited the United States of America; We beg the favour of your acknowledging receipt of these Effects and approve our payment thereof.
Of your acceptations due the 28th. Instant there remains Still undischarged Bf 9888. which we expect every moment to be tenderd us for payment, this Sum with those we have already cleard, and of which we have given you the particulars, amount to Bf 144138. and the produce of your draughts on Paris to 135440.12. 8.
To balance nearly this object we take the liberty of inclosing three blank draughts on his Excellency Dr. Franklin in our favour for
Bf 2200.   }   together Bf 7000. at 2 usances.  
2300.  
2500.  
If you approve of it, we request you'll please to return them signd, and as tomorrow is the day for Negotiating on France We shall advise you as also Dr. Franklin what they'll have produced, it is at his Excellency's particular request that we have dated these draughts at 2 Usances.1
Inclosed a letter directed to us by Dr. Franklin for One Mr. Jackson, as this gentleman is perhaps better Known to you, Sir, than to us, We take the liberty of recommending it to your Care.2
We remain very respectfully Sir Your most obedient & very humble Servants
[signed] Fizeaux Grand Comp.
1. In his reply of 1 June, JA thanked the firm for its efforts on behalf of the United States and enclosed the three drafts on Franklin for Bf 7,000. He also informed Franklin in a letter of the same date (both LbC's, Adams Papers).
2. Franklin's letter to William Jackson has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0255

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-31

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 31 May 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 181–182. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:461.
John Adams provided an English translation of a memorial presented to the States General on 28 April by the Danish envoy, Mestral de Saint Saphorin. The diplomat called on the Dutch government to evacuate the Volta River forts of Creve Coeur and Good Hope and thereby end its encroachment on the Danish establishment along the African coast in present day Ghana.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 181–182). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:461.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0256

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-05-31

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 31 May 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 185–187>. printed : Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:463–464.
John Adams provided Congress with English translations of declarations by the cities of Dordrecht and Haarlem in support of Amsterdam's declaration of 18 May to the States of Holland. Noting the lament of the deputies from Haarlem at the silence of the other towns represented in the States of Holland, Adams ended his letter with “hearty Wishes that this dumb Spirit may be soon cast out.”
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 185–187). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:463–464.)

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0257

Author: Mazzei, Philip
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-31

From Philip Mazzei

[salute] Dear Sir

I have perused with the greatest satisfaction your most sensible and eloquent memorial to the Dutch united States, especially as it contains many things, which I much wanted to have published to the World in an occasion likely to obtain the general observation. I wish that your sound reasoning may awake the Dutch from their ignominious Lethargy, and that I may be mistaken in the opinion I always had, and still continue to have of them. If it is true that Admiral Zoutman, who was a going to sail, received a countrorder just the day before the English Convoy went by the Tezel, there remains no doubt about the mean principles in the majority of those who have the management of publick affairs. Considering the importance of that Convoy, and how easily it might have been taken by Zoutman, it seams quite clear that the british Ministry would not have ventured it with 2. fregates, if they had not been previously assured that the Dutch would not disturb it. Their Mightness have at last put to sea a fleet, which cannot resist the fire of 3 ships of the line.1 It is astonishing that people may be so blinded by avarice, as not to see that their bad policy must finally be the ruin of their private as well as publick { 345 } interest. I heartly pity those poor people there, who are in the right side of the question. Should their party be likely to gain ground, you will certainly be one of the first to know it; in which case I most earnestly beg the favour of you, Sir, to let me have the first notice of it, that I may return the compliment &S 8 ÷4эMpΔV≠6,2 through whom I am pretty well informed of the dispositions of the most interesting Powers of Europe. He one day, after having said that the Dutch had calculated more like merchants than like politicians, expressed a great desire to know what they are about, and what they really intend to do. From what I know it appears to me that the other European Powers are not displeased to see France and England weakening themselves, and that all our hopes must rest on our own firmness and perseverance, on the friendship of France, and on the ruinous state of the british finances.
As to the british finances I beg leave to trouble you with some remarks I wrote about 2 months ago to confute the false assertions and wrong conjectures of english partisans.
In the year 64; when the british national debt was 140 millions, in a conversation where several insisted that another war would unavoidably bring on a general bankerupcy, the famous Grenville in opposition to them said, that as long as England could pay the interest of her debt her credit would be good, and that from his accurate survey into the matter he could assure that she could bear an additional debt of 40. millions, which sum could not be expended in a war if they would only mind their own dominions and keep to the sea, as they had no business to trouble themselves with the Continent. The resource of England to pay the interest of a new debt is the creation of new taxes. When the Minister proposed last year in Parliament the new taxes to pay the interest of the new-borrowed money, he declared that the produce would overballance the interest, because he had calculated on the presumption that the articles newly taxed would be used, imported, and manufactured in the same quantity as usual. It was easy to forsee that there would be a considerable deficiency, as both reason and experience teach, that the use of things must diminish in proportion to the increase of price, and the more or less need the people have of them. The produce of the tax on glass has been trifling to what the minister had sat down in his account, and the deficiency on the whole amounts to a large sum, which the Minister has at last thought proper to own in Parliament. He has however declared that the new taxes shall not be onerous to the { 346 } Nation. To be sure, to answer that purpose, he must think of laying them in the Islands discovered by Cook. The presumption is more childish than impudent. How is it possible that a Nation who last year could not pay 7, will easily pay 8 in this? The trial is made; England can no more pay the interest of her debt; and when the ballance must be paid with the help of the new-borrowed money, bankerupcy is approaching with gigantick steps. There is a certain limit in every thing, beyond which is not possible to go; all new taxes will produce something, but nothing like the sum wanting by them, and the produce of the old must necessarily fall short in proportion to the increase and weight of the new. The Minister says that he wants for the present year no less than 18. millions, and that the lenders must have 7. per % profit. Supposing that he should really want no more, and that considering the profit on the lottery-tickets, and other temporary advantages, the publick should only pay 5 1/2, the annual interest will at any rate be about a million. The wealth imported by plunder is of little service to the publick. The gainers are but a few in proportion to the rest who are all sufferers, and the taxes are paid by all. The gainers may contribute some thing more than they did by the greater comsuption, but the sufferers must on the other hand be more sparing. Those who grow rich by plundering their enemies, or their own publick, don't let the publick share with them; they don't even let the publick have their money at a reasonable interest; the money men on the contrary take the advantage of the publick wants. An anecdote worth considering is the fall of the publick funds on account of the preceding war. Before the declaration in 56. the 3 per % had never been lower than 103 and 104, and only fell at 101. at the time of the declaration. After so glorious a war, so honorable a peace, and so many advantagious conquests, they never were, after the conclusion of the peace in 63, higher than 83 and 84, if we except a few months immediately after the peace. This anecdote, considering the difference of the times, joined to the monstruous increase of the national debt, offers now a very dismal prospect of the future to any englishman who is as yet in his senses. A general bankerupcy is unavoidable. It is true that many sensible people are of opinion that it will give England a new life, and it may be so; but who can forsee the consequences of so terrible a shake? Certain it is that it must pass a number of years for the remedy to produce its good effects.
As to the pretended florishing trade of England nothing can be { 347 } more false. The truth is that the few goods which are now exported from England, sell upon average about 20 per % lower than in time of peace, 'though the quantity manufactured is very small in proportion to what it was, and the necessaries of life are much dearer. I have seen at Leghorn the lists of prices, and have compared them. This piercing wound to the british manufactures, which by all appearances will be incurable, is however of a very great help to the Ministry to carry on their present extreme efforts; since a great many thousands journey-men have been obliged to enlist into the service to avoid starving, besides those who have been tempted to go to sea by the prospect of gain. The appearance of the Dutch harvest has been a great resource for the views of the british ministry. And I am of opinion that even Spain has hitherto been of service rather than disservice to them. A dissertation on the subject, if it could be decently done, would in my opinion easily confute the magnified power of England in resisting to so many enemies. And as the advantages, which the English have derived from the war with the 2 said nations, must cease, their approaching ruin is still more visible. To say that it won't be the case, because they go on still, 'though the general conjecture had not given them so long a life, is the same as to presume that a man deeply in consumption will be cured; because he did not die so soon as it had been supposed. All unprejudiced men taking the trouble to look into it, will see that the evil is incurable, but the exact time of death is not to be predicted. On the same false principle it might be said that the great financer Grenville was wrong in regard to the 40. millions, as the additional debt is already above 60, and they still go on. It is even to be supposed that Grenville in his calculation considered America as part of the british Empire, and that he rated the interest of the 40. millions at no more than 4. per %, which was the highest the publick had paid till then. But all that don't prove that he was wrong. To be sure he did not pretend to say what might be done in a state of despair. It is clear that the Ministry think only of the present, and disregard intirely what is to come. Not only a Nation, but even an individual can do wonderful efforts in any one of this actions, if he don't care to ruin, or kill himself. The efforts of a Nation actuated by the enthusiasm of liberty, 'though it be a mere illusion, will always be a great thing. But it is not possible to continue long in a stretched position. To deny the approach of National bankerupcy on the supposition that if it was so nobody would lend their money to Government; is another false argument. { 348 } We must observe that the national faith in money matter is still unstained. This is universally known; but it is not every one who will, or can see deeply enough into the matter as to be sensible of the impossibility of continuing so. The Nature of their Government is likewise very favorable to their credit, as few are those who as yet comprehend the many and great fundamental errors that are in it. But perhaps the high interest is the strongest inducement, as we dayley see in private contracts people blinded by it running the risk of losing their capital rather than to lend their money at a moderate premium on safe ground. There is even room to suppose a secret understanding between the minister, and the few large subscribers, who appear to be willing to subscribe for a much larger sum than required, 'though probably they run no risk of a farthing, and serve only to bring in a number of fools, to every one of whom they appear to transfer part of their pretended bargain out of mere friendship. It is certain that the money comes in very slowly, which would not be the case if the subscription was fair. In France on the contrary the credit is as high now as it was low in the past reign. There they go to subscribe with the money in hand, and often have obliged of late to carry it back. While I was in Paris Mr. Busoni, a banker, being ordered by some of his corrispondents in Genoa to take 900,000 livres in a new loan at 5 per %, and knowing the difficulty of getting them, he applied to Marquis Caraccioli, the Neapolitan Ambassadour, desiring that he would ask it as a favour of Mr. Necker, his intimate friend. Mr. Necker, after having promised, was obliged to beg of the Marquis to return him his word for the half of the sum, a favour he had been obliged to beg, and had obtained from other friends.3 I have been assured that the late loans have been filled with more eagerness than ever, and the Nation is not as yet taxed of a farthing more than in time of peace. These are the fundamental points, on which we can with some certainty build our notion of the future, and not certain dayley events, often accidental, which cannot bring on material consequences in the present system of things.
I beg to be excused for having troubled you so long, Sir, on a subject, with which you are, no doubt, much more conversant than I am; especially as I have only translated in broken english part of a political piece I wrote in my native language. My motive was that of employing myself in any thing, which might be of service directly, or indirectly, to our glorious Cause. If my way of reasoning should meet with your approbation, it would be very flattering for me, and would { 349 } encourage me to continue to make use of my pen in like cases. I don't intertain the least doubt about the perseverance of my new countrimen, and hope that no one of them would ever think of uniting again with a Nation, who in spite of some temporary sparks of fortune, could not help involving us in her ruin and