A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.