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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0035

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Massachusetts Board of War
Date: 1781-01-16

To the Massachusetts Board of War

[salute] Gentlemen

There are three Gentlemen, in the Mercantile Way, Mr. Sigourney, Mr. Ingraham and Mr. Bromfield, who are now in this City, and propose to reside here and establish a mercantile House. These Gentlemen are very well known in the Massachusetts, and therefore it is unnecessary for me to Say any Thing concerning their Characters. They have travelled a good deal in Europe, and I believe have been constantly in Pursuit of Business and usefull Information in the commercial Line. Their design of residing here, is well approved, and may be very usefull both to this Country and ours, by facilitating a Communication and Commerce Advantageous to both. Perhaps they may execute any Commission from the Honourable Board, more to their Satisfaction than a Stranger. I cannot therefore, especially as these are the first who have conceived such a design here, but recommend them to the Favourable Attention of these Honourable Board.1
1. There is no indication that anything came of JA's recommendation of the firm formed by Charles Sigourney, Duncan Ingraham Jr., and Henry Bromfield Jr., but it may have proceeded { 54 } from JA's visit to Sigourney and Ingraham on 13 Jan. (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:453). For JA's use of the firm to rent a residence, see his letters of 9, 11, and 13 April, all below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0036

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-17

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the Honor of receiving your favor of the 1st. instant1 by Mr. Searle, who arriv'd here two daies ago and intends to pursue his Journey tomorrow. You will receive by this post from our friend here2 a full account of the Amn. News such as we have it here by the two vessels arriv'd at L'Orient from Phila., and at Bourdx. from Maryland, tho' you must have more authentic intelligence in your own Letters.
For your amusement I send you a copy of a printed hand bill that was stuck up at the corners of the Streets and other public places in Phila.3
It has been always my Idea that an open acknowlegement of the Independence of Ama. by the several powers of Europe wou'd greatly contribute to bringing about a Peace; on this principle I have strongly urged that their H. Mightinesses shou'd commence an immediate Treaty with America and on our part, it appears to me that we shou'd use all our address in forwarding the business; since otherwise, there may be War between, G.B. Hold. Russa. Swedn. and Denmark this year and a peace between them the next, leaving the War still to rage in Ama. We have no English Post, since the 2d. instant nor any later intelligence from thence.
The humours where you are, do not seem as yet to be sufficiently afloat, but we may suppose they will become somewhat warmer as the Spring Advances.
With the highest respect I have the Honor to remain Dear Sir Your most Obliged & Obedt. Servt.,
[signed] W. L.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.
2. From Edmund Jenings, 18 Jan., below.
3. The enclosed handbill, copied in Lee's hand, circulated in late Oct. 1780. It concerned business dealings between James Mease and Benedict Arnold in 1778, when the former was clothier general of the Continental Army and the latter commanded at Philadelphia in the wake of the British evacuation. It charged that Mease purchased goods in excess of what was needed for public purposes and then, with his subordinate William West Jr., contracted with Arnold to sell the excess for their personal profit. The handbill included the text of the contract, which was dated 23 June 1778. The sentiments expressed in the handbill spurred the Pennsylvania Council, in a letter of 6 Dec. 1780, to place the matter before Congress. On 9 Jan. Congress resolved that Mease and West should be prosecuted in the name of the United States by the attorney general of Pennsylvania for the “abuse of office and breach of trust complained of” (PCC, No. 69, II, f. 306– 309; JCC, 19:40–41). There is no indication, however, that Mease and West were ever tried for their offenses.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0037

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-01-18

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 18 January 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 87–44. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:235–238.
Read by Congress on 19 Nov., this letter consisted of English translations of two placards or edicts of the States General dated 12 January. The first granted letters of marque and established bounties for Dutch privateers that captured or destroyed British warships or privateers. The second established the compensation due sailors maimed in the service of the Republic.
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 87–44). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:235–238.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0038

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1781-01-18

To Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

Yesterday I had the Pleasure of yours of the 7th. both the Packetts came Safe and in good order.2
As to a secret Address, you may direct under Cover, A Madame La Veuve du Mr. Henry Schorn, op de Agterburg wall by de Hoogstraat Amsterdam.
It is not possible to suppress all suspicions after the Conversation you heard:3 but your own Coolness and Judgment, will be Sufficient without any hint from me, to be cautious of mentioning these suspicions, untill Evidence shall appear.
The Newspapers are all paid for for a year, from the time of Subscription, which was in the Spring, it is not worth while to subscribe anew for the Gazette de France, nor for more than one foreign Gazette. As I take the English Papers here at a most horrid Expence, I wish you would pay Mr. Genet and let me know the Amount. My most cordial Respects to that Gentleman, for whom I have the highest Esteem. I think you may depend upon his Friendship and Sincerity. My Respects also to Dr. Folke, and thanks for the Newspaper. I have conceived a great Esteem for that young Gentleman. Mr. Edwards is gone to France, I shall get published the Contents of his Newspaper.
This Nation can hardly yet believe that the English are or will be at War with them. Instead of depending upon themselves they now look up to Russia and the northern Powers. If these Should fail them, which I think however they cannot, I know not what would be the Consequence.
But I shall never get a single Ducat, untill it is decided, whether the neutral Union will support the Republick. Every Party and Every Man almost is afraid to do the least thing, that England can complain { 56 } of and make a noise about, least the Blame of involving the Country in War should be thrown upon them. What I shall do I know not. Congress draws upon me, but I shall have no Resource, but from Dr. Franklin to pay a Farthing. If that fails me, I am undone. I wish our Countrymen would assume Courage enough, to augment the Taxes upon them selves, and reduce the needless Expences, so as to do without succours which are unattainable.
At least I think nothing will ever be done here, untill a <Party> Treaty is concluded, between the two Republicks. There are a Million Jealousies, about the Escault,4 about Trade with the Emperors Dominions, about the succession of the Empire or rather another Election in the House of Austria &c &c &c. Individuals dare nothing in this Country, untill the Countenance of Government is given, nor in any other part of Europe. A Treaty with this Country is so great a Work that it would acquire Time, and this is said not to be the proper time to talk about it.

[salute] Affectionately yours

1. In 1809 JA printed this letter in full in the Boston Patriot and followed it with a lengthy commentary (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 343–347). There JA wrote that he had procured “decent and convenient” apartments at the Widow Schorn's house at Agterburgwal by de Hoogstraat through the good offices of Alexander Gillon. He remained there from mid-Aug. 1780 through Feb. 1781. Near the end of his stay he learned that “there were some remarks among the Dutch, and some whisperings among the Americans in town, that Mr. Adams was in too obscure lodgings.” Such “nonsensical tittle tattle,” which he believed to be the work of “the English spies,” had, according to JA, no influence on his decision to leave, but see the anonymous letter of 7 April signed “Boston,” below. Adams also commented that Edmé Jacques Genet was “a zealous advocate for America, and very friendly to all Americans” and, together with his whole family, was “always very civil and very friendly to me,” and finally noted that he was the father of Edmond Charles Genet, the controversial minister from the French republic in the 1790s, who had since settled in the United States.
2. From Dana, 7 Jan., above. The “Packetts” probably included Dana's letter of 10 Jan., calendared above, and the enclosures mentioned therein. See also JA's letter of 18 Jan. to Arnold Henri Dohrman, note 1, below.
3. That is Dana's conversation with Silas Deane, for which see Dana's letter of 1 Jan., above.
4. The Scheldt River.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0039

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dohrman, Arnold Henri
Date: 1781-01-18

To Arnold Henri Dohrman

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour, to transmit you, a Letter from the Honourable the Committee of Congress for foreign Affairs, with a Resolution of Congress of the 21. of June last, appointing you Agent for the United States of America, in the Kingdom of Portugal, for the Transaction { 57 } of Such Affairs of the Said States as may be committed to your Direction.1 As I am, by the Misfortune of Mr. Laurens, at present fixed in this Place, I shall be particularly happy in your Correspondence, and have the Honour to be, with great Consideration, sir your most obedient and most humble servant.
[signed] John Adams
RC (Private owner, 1961).
1. JA quotes from the resolution enclosed in the Committee's letter to Dohrman of 11 July (JCC, 17:541–542; Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 15:425–426). Although Francis Dana did not mention them in his letter of 10 Jan., calendared above, the two documents were probably among those he forwarded as enclosures.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0040

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, William Temple
Date: 1781-01-18

To William Temple Franklin

[salute] Dear Sir

Your kind Letter of the Eleventh, came to my Hand Yesterday. I am much obliged to you Sir, for the News, you were So good as to communicate: but as I think with you, there are Circumstances in it, which are very suspicious, I shall not dare to make much Use of it, at present. There is however authentick Intelligence which is very comfortable.
I take this hand Bill &c to be pure, Fabrication, for the purpose of frightening Clinton, Cornwallis and Leslie.1 I am Sorry that our Countrymen imitate their Ennemies, in this dirty Trick of lying, which is ever considered as a Proof of weakness, and never answers the End. This instance however would do good, if it should give a hint to our Allies to adopt Such a Measure.
I am more particularly obliged to you, for the Form of a Bill Book you are So good as to send me. I had before formed a Book, nearly in the Same manner, in which I had entered all the Bills hitherto presented to me, and accepted by me, but there are Some particulars in yours, which are material Improvements upon mine, especially the Alphabet, which I shall avail myself of. You have explained it very handsomely as well as clearly, and I think I comprehend it perfectly.
The States General resolved last Fryday to grant Letters of Marque and yesterday they were given out. The Manifesto waits for the Courier from Petersbourg. The Dutch look up to Russia, or rather to the Neutral Union, more than they ought, perhaps, for although I hope they will be supported by the northern Powers, yet I think they are able, and I wish they were willing to depend more upon themselves.
{ 58 }
When shall we see the Unravelling of this great Plott? It will be a beau Spectacle, if 9 or 10 nations, should be at war with one, at once. At present I dont See, how, it can be avoided. The English as usual, have been so decided, and have committed the Dignity of the Crown and the Pride of the Nation So far, that I dont See, how they can rescind. And the Neutral Confederacy, are on the other Hand, So far pledged, that there is no Retreat. If the Power of Great Britain can rise Superiour to all this, her pretended Omnipotence, will no longer be thought an Hyperbole. With respectfull Compliments to his Excellency, I have the Honour to be, with great Regard, sir your most obedient Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams Jan. 18. 1781.”
1. The handbill has not been identified, but for what may have constituted the other intelligence Franklin enclosed, see John Bondfield's letter of 2 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0041

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Mazzei, Philip
Date: 1781-01-18

To Philip Mazzei

[salute] Dear Sir

I yesterday received yours of the 19 of October. Sometime Since I received the other of the 19th. of August.1 Both went to Paris and I being here, Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter forwarded, their Inclosures, according to my desire, but I am not able to say in what Vessel.
In Consequence of Mr. Laurens's Misfortune, I am ordered to reside in Holland for the present, and should be glad to be informed by you, whether it is probable, that any Money might be borrowed in Italy for the United States, by the Authority of Congress.
Your Letter for Governor Jefferson2 I sent with my Dispatches in the time of it, but I am not able to say by what Vessell.
The English are in a fair Way to have Ennemies enough. They dont love their Ennemies like good Christians, but they love to have Ennemies, and I think their Passion will be abundantly gratified. The Dutch are already added to the French, Spaniards, and Americans, and it is likely that the Russians, Sweeds and Danes will Soon increase the List. Will the English make a great Figure in the Contest?

[salute] I am &c.

1. Vol. 10:292–293, 81–82.
2. Mazzei to Thomas Jefferson, 19 Aug. 1780, not found (vol. 10:81–82; Jefferson,Papers, 3:557). See Mazzei's letter to JA of 28 March, below, for extensive quotations from Mazzei's letter to Jefferson.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0042

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-18

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have had the Honour of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 3d. Instant, it was full, Satisfactory and very Comfortable. I have had since the pleasure of seeing Colonel Searle, who I find is inspired with the same Sense of things, and has the same feelings for the Happiness of our Country, as your Excellency. He was therefore most Acceptable to me, and by Consequence I shewed Him every Attention in my Power for his own Sake and in Duty to your Excellencys Recommendation, for which I beg your Excellency would Accept my warmest Thanks. The making me Acquainted with this Gentleman and Mr. Dana has Confered a great Obligation on me, I find but few Such. I wish I Knew Many More of this Sort and I trust there are Thousands; there ought to be so for the Happiness of America.
The Conduct of the Empress of Russia is likely to be most Magnanimous. I congratulate your Excellency and all honest Dutchman Men thereon.
The Papers from London are not arrivd there are now four Posts due, but the Courier del Europe says, that 3 or 4 thousand french Troops Landed at Jersey and possessd themselves of the Town of St. Hellier, the Capital, which they took by Surprize, that they destroyed all the Shipping and killd 3 or 4 Hundred Men but were afterwards driven out with the Loss of 500.1 I am Sorry for the Event. But the Distrusction of the Corsairs in that Island cannot but be of great Advantage to the Common Cause. The Admiral at Portsmouth sent immediately on Advice of the Attack a Number of Ships of War. I think we shall hear some News of them for it blew about 6 days ago most violently at North, which I think will make some Havock at the Coast, which is surrounded by Rocks. I Know it Well.
I send your Excellency a printed Paper from Annapolis—You have perhaps receivd one before.2 It Contains much good news.
I have got acquainted with the Author of the Lettres Hollandoises.3 He lives in this Town. He seems most Willing to labour in the Support of the Common Cause, if your Excellency can furnish any Matter that may serve it I shall most readily Communicate it to Him. He does not understand English.
Affairs seem to be in such a Train in Holland that Mr. Searle thinks Your Character cannot be too much Known and therefore that Letters ought to be properly Addressd to your Excellency. I only wait for { 60 } your Excellencys Permission to show that Respect to your public Character, which I trust in God all the World will soon do, and especially our implacable Enemy. I am sure He cannot do better in his desperate Situation.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Faithful and Obedient Huml Sert.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings recd & ans. Jan. 20. 1781.”
1. This is an accurate account of the reports that appeared in the Courier de l'Europe of 9 and 12 January.
2. Since Joshua Johnson corresponded with Edmund Jenings, this may be another copy of the Maryland Gazette of 3 Nov., which Johnson had enclosed with his letter to JA of 9 Jan., above.
3. Dérival de Gomicourt, Lettres hollandoises, ou correspondance politique sur l'état présent de l'Europe, notamment de la République des Sept Provinces-Unies, 8 vols., Amsterdam, 1779–1781. Volumes 3 and 4 are in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0043

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-19

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Honourable Sir

I am sorry, there appeared something suspicious to you in the paragraph, mentioned in your last Letter.1 If it had been send to me by some person or other, perhaps I would make no secret of it: But I can assure you on my word, the whole paragraph is of my own frame and contains my own sentiments on the subject. Nobody whosoever had any part in it nor any notice of it: And, when I shall have given you my reasons for thinking so, as I had expressed myself, perhaps you will find them more warrantable as before, altho' I will not say, there is no mistake in my ideas.
When I consider the extent of United-America, and the present state of Georgia, an unsettled Colony, without strength, in an un-wholesome climate, and in great part conquered by the British Army, it seems to me not improbable, that in the issue of the War America, with a view of forwarding peace and public tranquillity in the world, will consent, that Georgia with the two neighbouring Floridas (especially if those last Provinces are not conquered by Spain or France) form the British Dominions in the Southern part of North-America. The History of all ages proves in my opinion, that the end of all wars is a sort of middle-way between the different aims of the two contending Party's, and that they must give up something or other from their claims in order to make peace. It would be a more than common fortune indeed, if at the end of the War it was otherwise with America. Out of the number of seventeen Provinces, which revolted { 61 } against the Spanish Yoke, no more than eight obtained the aim of their endeavours, an acknowledged Liberty and Independence. How possible is it then, that at the peace an exterior limb will be clipped of from the American Confederation?
As to Vermont, I have spoken after the opinion given by Mr. Cornell in his Letter to Governor Green; an opinion, which co-incides with the ideas of some of your own Countrymen, whom I heared speak on the matter, and (if I am not mistaken) with the secret inclinations of the New-England States, especially of Massachusetts. Massachusetts, I suppose, would not be chagrined, if the extent of New-York (in this case an usurped extent by favour of the British Government) were a little diminished. Besides, the temper of Vermont, as I see by the public News-papers, is such, that it will never renounce its claims. (I think, you shall see it by the event.) And America is too prudent to hazard a domestick schism in the present circumstances. Is it not probable also, that for the sake of good harmony the United-States will satisfy Maryland in his objections against the last Act of Confederation? Such a prudence of conduct deserves, if I am right, the praise of every well-wisher of America.
I am sincerely and with great respect, Honourable Sir, Your Excellency's Most obedient and humble Servant
[signed] J. Luzac
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. J. Luzac. ansd. 22. Jan. 1781.”
1. JA's letter regarding Luzac's commentary in the Gazette de Leyde of 26 Dec. 1780 has not been found. For his reaction to Luzac's reasoning, as explained in this letter, see his reply of 22 Jan., and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0044

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-01-20

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I have just received your Favour of the 18th., and thank you for the good News. I dont believe any Thing of the story of the French Fleet and Army, at Carolina, but the Tide is turned and the Torrent will soon flow in the south.
The Actions of Trenton, Bennington and Kings Mountain are enough to shew, the total Impractibility of subduing America or any Part of it. In times of the greatest Pannic and Consternation that it is possible for the English to Spread and in Places where the Inhabitants are fewest, and most Scatterd when the English have had the most brillant successes it has ever been in our Power to assemble Men enough to attack and carry an Advanced Post, or Party, and by this means check their Progress and turn the Current of the Stream.
{ 62 }
In a Country of So many Mountains, Rivers and Forests, Three Thousand Men would be enough to ruin forty Thousand Invaders. They have nothing to do but retreat, and watch their opportunity to attack weak and exposed Posts or Partys one after another untill the whole are ruined.
There are certainly Some enlightened and Superiour Spirits in the Cabinet of Petersbourg. It cannot Surely be wholly owing to French Policy. I hear many French Gentlemen Say that Panin is wholly in the Interest of France. But I had rather consider him in the Interests of Wisdom and Humanity in general, disposed and able to Serve his Country, by promoting the Commercial and political Interests of Nations in general, which is the only Idea I have of a Patriot, or a great Politician. I hope the neutral Powers have extended their Ideas as far as America, for that Country is certainly the great Wheel in the political Machine of the World at present. What Measures shall We take to persuade them all that it is their Interest and Duty to acknowledge Us independent?
I have Seen Joly's Letters. He Seems to have Some Ideas, but he must be not only a maker of Memoirs and Projects, but a madman. I think Lord Stormont gave him more than he was worth.1
Pray how came Sir Jos. Y. by the Character of one of the greatest Ministers of the Age? What great Stroke has he Struck in 30 years? What great Thing has he done? He has discovered, of late years that he understood his Court, perfectly well. But does this alone constitute a great Minister? A Man who has been long in a Post acquires a Character by Prescription I think. A Name often and long repeated, becomes great.

Some judge of Authors names, not Works and then

Nor praise nor blame the Writings but the Men.2

I wish the Author of Lettres Hollandoises, (what is his Name?)3 success.
As to my publick Character it is well enough known. It is indifferent to me how your Letters are directed so I do but get them.
Not a Word from England, since the Beginning of the Month.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “llency 0. 1781.” The letter has been cut, resulting in the loss of most of the endorsement and possibly of additional text and JA's signature.
1. This sentence was interlined. JA refers to Joly de Saint Valier, Mémoire du Sieur Joly de St. Valier, lieutenant colonel d'infantrie, ou Exposé de sa conduite avant et depuis qu'il a quitté la France pour venir offrir ses services à sa Majesté le roy d'Angleterre, London, [1780]. Jenings had mentioned the author's work and asked JA's opinion of it in a letter of 30 Nov. 1780 { 63 } (vol. 10:388–389). Joly de Saint Valier, who supplied Sir Joseph Yorke with memoranda analyzing European affairs and suggesting courses of action, traveled to London in 1780 to offer his services directly to Lord Stormont, then secretary for the northern department and responsible for foreign affairs. The Mémoire resulted from Joly de Saint Valier's disappointment at Stormont's refusal to employ him further and the inadequacy of the £250 that he was paid for past services.
2. Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism, lines 412–413.
3. Dérival de Gomicourt.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0045

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Date: 1781-01-21

To Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Sir

I have not been able to find an opportunity to acknowledge the receit of the esteemed favour with which you honoured me on the 24 of December, untill now.2
I think it is very probable that the Several Causes you have enumerated cooperate to lessen the Credit of the United States, but I think at the Same time that it is because the Facts are misrepresented and exagerated, by the Friends of England. Let Us consider them for a few Moments one by one.
The Invasion of Georgia and of South Carolina, is the first. But why should the Invasion of these two States affect the Credit of the 13 more than, the Invasion of any two others. Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have been invaded, by Armies much more formidable, New York, Connecticutt, N. Jersy, Pensyllvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia have been all invaded before: but what has been the Issue? Not conquest. Not submission. On the contrary, all those States, have learned the Art of War, and the Habits of Submission to military Discipline, and have got them selves well armed, nay cloathed and furnished with a great deal of hard Money by these very Invasions. And what is more than all the rest they have got over the Fears and Terrors, that are always occasioned by a first Invasion, and are a worse Ennemy than the English: and besides they have had Such Experience of the Tyranny and Cruelty of the English as have made them more resolute than ever against the English Government. Now why should not the Invasion of Georgia and Carolina have the Same Effect? It is very certain, in the opinion of the Americans them selves that it will. Besides the unexampled Cruelty of Cornwallis has been enough to revolt, even Negroes. It has been Such as will make the English objects of greater Horrour there than in any of the other States.
The Capture of Charlestown is the Second. But why should the Capture of Charlestown, have a greater Effect than that of Boston, { 64 } or Philadelphia, the latter of which was of vastly more Importance to the common Cause than Charlestown.
The Loss of the Continental Frigates. This is a Grief to be Sure. But why were these 4 or 5 frigates of So much more Importance than, Several Times that Number that We had lost before. We lost Several Frigates with Philadelphia and shipping to a much greater value than at Charlestown. We lost Frigates with New York: but above all We lost at Penobscot, armed Vessells, to five times a greater amount than at Charlestown. Yet all these Losses, have been Suddenly repaired, in so much that our armed Vessells, in the Course of the last summer, have taken more Prizes than they ever did, by half. They did more dammage to the English than the whole maritime Power of France and Spain have done from the beginning of the War. We can afford to loose a great many Frigates, because they cost Us nothing. I am assured from an accurate Calculation from the publick Accounts, the Prizes taken by the Continental Navy have amounted to a large sum more than the whole Sum expended in Building equipping manning victualling and paying the ships from the Beginning of the War.
The Defeat of Gates. But why should this defeat, discourage America or weaken her Credit in Europe, more than the Defeat on Long Island—the Loss of Fort Washington,—the Defeat at Brandewine—at Germantown.—the Loss of Canada—Ticonderoga &c.—much greater Defeats and more deplorable Losses?
The Inaction of the combined Fleets of De Guichen and Solano. But if We consider, that the Spaniards got their Fleet and Army and Artillery Safe to America, to put their Dominions there in a State of Safety: that the French have convoyd home safe their Merchant Fleets—that De Guichen fought Rodney twice or three times, on equal Terms and the English gained no Advantage—and the French Fleet is now at Brest, under L'Estainge to keep the English in awe—perhaps it is better for the common Cause than if they had put more to hazard.
The decided Superiority of the English in the Islands. But if We consider the french and Spanish Ships that are still in the W. Indies and the disabled condition of the English Fleet, their Want of Men and especially the weakness of their Garrisons in their Islands and the Strength of the french and Spanish Garrisons We are sure the English are not in a Condition to attempt any Thing against them.
The Superiority of the English at N. York is but just sufficient to prevent their Ennemies from destroying them.
The Defection of Arnold, will be considered by every Man who { 65 } considers all the Circumstances that attended it as a Proof of the Weakness of the English and the decisive Strength and Confidence of the Americans.
When We consider the Crimes he had committed and the Unpopularity into which he had justly fallen—When consider that an officer of his high Rank, long services and brillant Reputation, was not able to carry over with a single officer nor soldier, nor even his own Valet, nor his Wife nor his Child,—When We consider the Universal Execration in which his Treason was held by the whole Army and the whole Continent—When We consider the Firmness and Dignity with which Andre was punished, We must conclude that the American Army and People stand Strong, as strong against the Arts and Bribes as the Arms and Valour of their Ennemies.
The Discontent of the Army. There never was an Army without Anxiety and a constant Agitation of hopes and Fears. When the Officers think their Pay is not enough, what can they do but represent them to Government for Redress. This has constantly been done. But what are the Discontents in the English Army and Navy? much greater I assure you than in the American service.
The Jealousy between the Army and the Body Politick, is not to be dreaded. It only Shews that the Spirit of Liberty is still alive and active in the People. The Baron Van der Capellen I am Sure will applaud, the People, for keeping a Watchfull Eye over the Army, to see that it does not ravish from them that Liberty for which all have been contending.
Mr. Neckar Seems to stand upon firm Ground, and the Changes in the French Ministry, probably have been for the better. But it is scarcely possible to believe that any Change in the French Ministry should do any considerable Injury to the common Cause. The Changes already made were because enough was not done. France's Importance, nay her Existence as a maritime and commercial Power, are so much at stake in this Business, that it is impossible she should forsake the Cause.
The Depreciation of the Paper Money is the most difficult to be answerd, because it is the most difficult to explain to a Gentleman who has not been in the Country and seen its operation. The Depreciation of the Money has been a real Advantage, because it is a Tax upon the People, paid as it advances, and therefore prevents the publick from being found in debt. It is true it is an unequal Tax and therefore causes, what your Friend G. Livingston justly calls Perplexity, but by no means disables or weakens the People from carrying on { 66 } the War. The Body of the People loose nothing by it. The Merchant, the Farmer, the Tradesmen the Labourer looses nothing by it. They are the Monied Men, the Capitalists, those who have Money at Interest, and live upon fixed Salaries, that is the officers of Government who loose by it, and who have born this Tax. This you see is an Ease and Relief to the People, at large. The Consequence of this depreciation has been, that while England has increased her national Debt Sixty Millions by this War, ours is not a tenth Part of it, not Six millions—who then can hold out longest?
This Depreciation has no Tendency to make the People Submit to G. Britain, because that submission would not relieve but increase the Perplexity—for submission would not procure Us Peace. We must raise Men and Money to fight France Spain Holland, Russia Sweden and Denmark. The Congress, instead of Attempting to Save the Paper Money, by hard Cash, has ordered it all in, at the depreciated Value, and this measure is adopted by the States, without any difficulty which is the only Method of Justice or Policy.
Nobody need fear that the English will seize the Moment when our Army shall be feeble for Want of Pay. There have been several Moments when our Army has been reduced to almost nothing, not for Want of Pay but from the Expiration of their Periods of Enlistment. These Moments the English Seized, and before they had sent half their Army to the West India Islands. But what was the Consequence? When our Army was reduced to a few Hundreds, and theirs more than double what it is now they marched through the Jerseys and what was the Consequence? Their Post at Trenton was attacked and taken, another Body of their Troops were attacked and defeated at Princetown, and G. Washington took Post at Morristown in their Rear, and they dared not move another Step the whole Winter.
The affairs of Trenton, Bennington and lately of the summit of Kings Mountain, prove beyond Reply, that if our Army is reduced ever so low, and theirs extend them selves ever so far their necessary advanced Posts are in our Power, in the Power even of an handfull of the Militia. No sir, their Power to hurt Us lies more in keeping hid in a fortified Seaport town protected by their Men of War, than by marching into the Country.
As to a total Failure of Specie, We are in no Danger of it. The English are furnishing Us with silver and Gold every day. What is become of all the Millions they have sent to America during this War? What of all the Cash that France Sends to pay and subsist their fleet and Army? The Truth is that silver and Gold now circulate freely in { 67 } America, and there are greater Quantities of it than any body in Europe imagines.
As to the danger of the Peoples submitting, from Indigence, the danger of that if ever there was any is past. In 1776 and 7—The People suffered, very much and the Army too for Want of Salt, sugar, Rum, and Cloathing. But at this day their Trade is so far extended, they make such Numbers of Prizes, and have introduced and established so many necessary Manufactures, that they have a plentifull supply. We have been more distressed for Want of Salt and Powder than any Thing else. But there is now an Abundance of both, manufactured in the Country and imported too.
As to the Ability of America to pay—it depends upon a few Words. America has between 3 and 4 Millions of People. England and Scotland have between five and six. The Lands in America produce as much as any other Lands. The Exports of America in 1774 were Six millions. The Exports of Great Britain in 1774 were 12 millions, including too a great Part of the Commodities of the Growth of America. England is two hundred millions in Debt. America is six Millions. England has Spent Sixty Millions in this War—America Six. Which People then are the Ablest to pay. Yet England has Credit America not. Is this from Reasoning or Prejudice?
Numbers of People—their Industry—the Quantity and Fertility of their Lands and the Value of their Exports, are the only Rules that I know of, to judge of the ability of a People to pay, Taxes and Debts. In all these Respects American Credit will bear the most rigorous Examination.
The Country that Lends them Money will get the most by it—their Principal and Interest will be safe and what is more they Money will be laid out among them in the Purchase of Cloathing and supplies, so that the Trade will be promoted by it.
When England and every other Nation of Europe, is obliged to borrow Money every year to carry on War, England to the Amount of her whole annual Exports, it is not to be wondered that America has occasion to borrow, a sum after 6 years War equal to a Twelfth or a twenty fourth Part of her annual Exports. With such a Loan We could carry on the War more at our Ease—our poor soldiers would be more warm and comfortable—but if We can not obtain it, We shall not have it to pay. And I am positively certain We can carry on the War, without a Loan, longer than G.B. can with.
You may depend upon it, sir I shall be cautious, and maintain the most Sacred Regard to Truth in my Representations to Congress. But { 68 } I dare not deceive them with false hopes. No Man living has more at heart than I have a friendly and a lasting Connection between the two Republicks. The Religion the Government and the Commerce of the two Countries, point out such a Connection—old Prejudices and Habits of Veneration for Holland in the Minds of all Americans, who have ever considered the Dutch as their Friends and Allies, (for it should be rememberd that We have been as long in Alliance and Friendship with this Country as England, and have as good a Right for what I know to the Benefit of the Treaties as the English) make the Americans wish for such a Connection. And therefore if the Truth will not warrant me in representing to Congress, so much Zeal and Warmth in this Nation for a Connection with America as I could wish, it will not be my fault but my Misfortune and my Grief.
LbC (Adams Papers), with two dated notations: “Philadelphia Feb. 9. 1795. The foregoing sketch was written to be sent to Van der Capellen de Poll but through hurry of Business I believe was never sent nor Copied. John Adams.” “Quincy Aug. 25. 1809. By a Letter I have recd. from Mr. Van der Kemp, I believe the Letter was copied and sent. The Note of Feb. 9. 1795 was I beleive a Mistake. John Adams.” The letter from François Adriaan Van der Kemp to which JA refers has not been identified, but it is likely that JA's note of 25 Aug. 1809 was done when he copied the letter for publication in the Boston Patriot, where it appeared on 22 Nov. 1809 (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 356–362).
1. The following preceded this letter as published in the Boston Patriot:
“All the gentlemen in Holland who were the most friendly to the American cause were excessively prone to have their spirits cast down into deep despondency, and absolute despair of our final success by any sudden news of unfortunate events. In one of these dispositions, the baron Van der Capellen wrote me a letter full of these causes of his own and others anxiety, to which I wrote him the following hasty answer.”
2. JA's reply to van der Capellen's letter of 24 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:428–433) is a point by point response to the questions raised there. It reprises, on a much smaller scale, many of the arguments JA made in the 26 letters he wrote between 4 and 27 Oct. 1780 in reply to the 29 questions Hendrik Calkoen posed in his letter of 31 Aug. 1780 (vol. 10:196–252, 99–117).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0046

Author: Rush, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-21

From Benjamin Rush

[salute] My Dear Sir

Your favor of Sepr. 20 from Amsterdam came safe to hand. The contents of it were of so important a nature that I took the liberty of publishing them in our newspapers.1 They were known from the republican and liberal Spirit of the sentiments, to be yours, and were well received by the public. I am happy in finding that your once unpopular name, now gives weight to opinions and measures not only among the democratics of the Eastn., but the aristocratics of the Southern states. I wish in your letters to your correspondents in { 69 } congress you would urge them to entertain a proper sense of their own dignity, and to act upon all occasions, especially in their intercourse with foreigners, and the Servants of Monarchs as the Sovereigns of our country. I wish to see America acquire a national character—and instead of receiving—to impart manners and customs to the Strangers of every description who reside among us. A Republican State should be to the monarchical governments what a good Christian should be with respect to the fashions of the world. A Spirit of too much conformity proves equally ruinous to the principles and Characters of them both.
In spite of our ignorance and blunders, we continue to support our independance. The exportation of flour has had an amazing effect upon our agriculture—trade—and money. The last paper nearly equal to gold and silver, and if no more than the ten millions voted March 18th. 1780 are emitted there is no danger of further depreciation.2 I wish you would bear a testimony against a second inundation of paper money among us. I have heard many things against the iron age, but I have no conception of greater political and moral evils than the paper Age has introduced in the Space of five years into our country.
The mutiny of the Pensylvania line has had no effect upon the minds of whigs or tories. It appears upon examination that most of them were entitled to their discharge above a Year ago. They are still devoted to our cause, and such of them as do not reinlist, will add to the Strength and defence of our country by entering on board privateers, or other vessels of war.
Tell the friends of America where ever you go, that in Philada. within 100 miles of the head quarters of the British army, we live as peaceably and comfortably as our bitterest enemies can possibly do in the neighborhood of St. James in Westminister.
My dear Mrs. Rush thanks you for your polite attentions to her in all your letters. She joins with me in sincere wishes for your health and happiness.

[salute] Adieu—my dear friend. Yours most sincerely & respectfully

[signed] Benjn Rush
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Rush Jan. 21. 1781.”
1. JA's letter, in which he commented on the role of women in the Revolution, the British loan of 1781, and the parliamentary election of 1780 (vol. 10:165–166), appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal of 17 Jan. 1781 under the heading: “Extract from a Gentleman in high office under the United States, dated Amsterdam, Sept. 20, 1780.”
2. For Congress' revaluation of its currency on 18 March 1780, see Benjamin Rush's letter of 28 April 1780, and note 4 (vol. 9:247–249).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0047

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Luzac, Jean
Date: 1781-01-22

To Jean Luzac

[salute] Sir

I have received your favour of 19 and am much obliged to you for your frank and candid Account of the Paragraphs mentioned.
I could not wish, if it were in my Power, to diminish the Utmost Freedom of Speculation upon American Affairs, and especially yours, which are generally with a great deal of Knowledge of the Subject, and upon honest and amiable Principles.
But in this Case, I hope your Conjectures will prove to be mistaken. Georgia is so connected with Carolina, that it is impossible ever to give it up. And Vermont is So situated, that the Southern States can never agree, that it should be distinct on Account of the Ballance of Votes. I dont know that it is the Secret Wish of the New England States, that Vermont Should be distinct. I rather think otherwise. I am Sure it would be better both for Vermont and all the States, if, the Inhabitants of it would consent to be divided between N. York, N. Hampshire and Massachusetts, or come altogether under any one of them. However I dont mean to enter into a discussion of the question, for which I might perhaps be justly censured. I am glad to find that those Ideas were not held up to the public by any one who meant to do mischief or to carry any Point.1

[salute] I am with great Esteem

1. JA's polite acceptance of Luzac's assurance that the speculations in his letter of 19 Jan., above, and in the Gazette de Leyde of 26 Dec. 1780 indicated no ebb in his support for the American cause does not wholly conceal JA's uneasiness with the attitude underlying such comments. His frustration was all the greater because Luzac had acted as publisher of and had contributed a preface to Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie (Amsterdam, 1780), the French version of JA's Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe ... into Common Sense and Intelligible English, which was about to be published in London (from Edmund Jenings, 31 Jan., below). If such men as Luzac, whose pro-American sympathies were beyond question, continued to see the American Revolution through a filter colored by the Dutch experience in their revolt against Spain, then JA must have wondered whether he had made any progress in his efforts. For further evidence of JA's frustration, see his reply of 21 Jan. (and note 1, above) to Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's letter of 24 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:428–433).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0048-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-22

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Fidele à ma promesse, j'ai l'honneur de vous donner connoissance, que le Courier attendu est arrivé hier au Soir de Pétersbourg, avec { 71 } la nouvelle de la signature a la Convention entre les Ministres de la Russie et ceux de la rep. le 3 de ce Mois.1 Ainsi tout est en ordre. Si vous avez quelque chose de nouveau, quant aux affaires de l'Amérique, faites m'en part, de grace: car il importe de pouvoir donner ici intelligence pour intelligence le plus souvent possible. J'écris a la hâte, et suis obligé d'être court.
Je suis avec beaucoup de respect & d'attachement, Monsieur, Votre très-humble & très-obéissant servit
[signed] Dumas
P.S. On avoit, il y a quelques jours par lettre d'un procureur d'ici, à un Avocat d'Amst., proposé aux Négocians d'Amstm. d'envoyer, conjointément avec ceux de Dort et Rotterdam, des Députés ici, demander protection extraordinaire pour le Commerce. Ceux d'Amstm. ont repondu être parfaitement contents de la protection ordinaire de leur Régence, et vouloir s'y tenir, sans innover. L'affaire en est restée là. Je vous en informe Monsieur, parce que je fais que l'affaire a été mal debitée parmi le public à Amstm. Comptez sur la vérité du fait. Je le tiens de source.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0048-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-22

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

[salute] Sir

As promised, I have the honor to inform you that the expected courier arrived last night from St. Petersburg, with news of the signing of the convention between the Russian ministers and those of the republic on the third of this month.1 Therefore everything is in order. If you have any news regarding American affairs, please let me know, since it is necessary here to supply intelligence for intelligence as often as possible. I write in haste and am obliged to be short.
I am with much respect and attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
P.S. A few days ago, by a letter from an attorney here to a barrister in Amsterdam, a proposal was made to the merchants of Amsterdam that they send deputies to The Hague, jointly with those from Dordrecht and Rotterdam, to demand extraordinary commercial protection. Those from Amsterdam answered that they were satisfied with the protection provided by their Regency and wished to retain it without further changes. The affair has gone no further. I inform you of this, sir, because I believe the matter was not well received by the people of Amsterdam. You can rely on this being true. I have a reliable source.
1. The convention was signed on 24 Dec. 1780 O.S. or 4 Jan. 1781 N.S. (Scott, ed., Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, p. 346–350).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0049

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-22

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Honourable Sir

I could not return You the Papers, which Mr. Thaxter was so obliging as to deliver us early this morning, without giving You my best and sincerest thanks for the attention, You had in communicating to us so fresh and so important an intelligence.1 Our love for truth and liberty induced us, from the very beginning of the American Contest, the first (I dare say) amongst the European News-Writers, to relate with candour and fidelity every circumstance of the glorious struggle of the United States for their Rights and Independence: And as such I claim the continuation of your favours, not less than as being with great respect and a well-meant attachment, Honourable Sir, Your Excellency's Most obedient and very humble Servant
[signed] J. Luzac
1. JA enclosed the “Papers” Luzac refers to in a letter to John Thaxter (not found), to which Thaxter replied on 23 Jan., reporting on his delivery of the items (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:69). Probably the material included the Maryland Gazette of 3 Nov., which Joshua Johnson enclosed with his letter of 9 Jan. (and note 2, above) and from which Luzac printed extracts in the Gazette de Leyde of 23 and 26 January. For additional items that JA may have enclosed, see John Bondfield's letter of 2 Jan., above, and Francis Dana's of 10 Jan., calendared above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0050-0001

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-22

From Jean de Neufville & Fils, with a Draft Contract for a Loan

May it please Yoúr Excellency that we now lay before her the papers she hath charged us with to prepare for a Loan, we shall have the honoúr to undertake for and in behalf of the United States of North America; we have discused the Same on the Advice of Some people accústomed to regulate money matters, on which they have been corrected by a Lawÿer, we should be verry happy if yoúr Excellency would be so Kind as to honoúr ús with her remarks, there on, for they Should not be only Satisfactory on one Side. And when we come further to consult other Lenders there may be some few remarcks to be made on expressions or otherwise, being we think and are in hopes this may do very weal.1
The last periode of the Ratification and aprobation of Congress of { 73 } this loan is taken from the Contents of Yoúr Excellencys power;2 there is another piece it seems reqúired to be filled úp in the blanck Space, where it is mentioned this should be also Annexed to the Original Obligation, here it means a single attest of Yoúr Excellencys powers by Some publicq Minister which would at all events be very easy to be procúred.
Further we flatter oúr Selfs that Yoúr Excellency will be intirely Satisfied with the publicq terms containd in this plan, and as to the private, for Comissions allowances &ca. as Yoúr Excy. hinted to ús her terms would be generoús, we have no doúbt to agree with them, as we never were únreasonable, and always devoted to do every thing which could be agreable to yoúr Excellency and to Congress.
We múst begg leave for some Deficiency in the English of this plan, it is a translation from the Dutch, and where forms and laws are not the Same, the verball translations múst sound Strange in any other Language; this however we thought to be reqúired in a transaction of this natúre which is to serve for the Dutch.
With the most perfect Regard and Esteem we have the honoúr to be Honoúrd Sir, Yoúr Excellencys most devoted & most obedient húmble Servant
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers). The enclosure consists of three pages, each divided into two columns, with the text of the contract in the right column and additions and corrections entered in the left column.
1. It is not known when JA authorized Jean de Neufville & Fils to prepare a proposal for an American loan, but he visited Jean de Neufville on 15 Jan. (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:455).
2. This presumably refers to JA's commission of 20 June 1780 to negotiate a loan in the Netherlands in place of Henry Laurens (vol. 9:452–453). Compare the closing to this contract and that of the commission.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0050-0002

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-22

Enclosure: A Draft Contract for a Loan

[addrLine] His Excellency [] Esqr
President of the Generall Congress of the United States of North America

[salute] To all those who should read or hear this present greeting.

While as the generall Congress of the United States of North America, in which the supreme Legislatúre of this extensive coúntrie Resides, hath Resolved for the benefitt of the common wealth to borrow abroad a certain súmm of money and to make a loan;1 and as Congress hath aúthorised and qualified, and do aúthorize and qualify there to by force of this present Mr. John de Neufville & Son at Amsterdam.
Know Ye Everyone, that Said Congress of the United States of North America hath declared in her Session of []to owe and be indebted well and honestly2 to Mr. Jno. de Neufville & Son of Amsterdam a Súmm of three Million Gilders Holland Currency having been lended that summ by them and thús with exclúsion of All { 74 } exceptions of non numerated pecúniae3 and all others whatsoéver for the time of ten Years at the intrest of five per Cent per Annum or also to their choice at the intrest of 4 pr. Cent and for the remainder 1 pr Ct. during the ten Years a Certain quantity of [] Acres of Land, which Could be devided between the Lenders by Lotery,4 for which intrest and reimbursement of the Capital Súmm Congress by her Said Person hath engaged and mortgaged as she engages and mortgages by this present generally all the lands and possessions through all the United States, with their income Revenue and prodúction.
Fúrther more especially a súmm of twelve million Gilders in the neat proceeds of so many of the produce of oúr State as Tabaco Rice Indigo Grain Ashes <Timber> &ca. as will neat this Súmm5 which produce and effects regularly will be send to John de Neufville & Son of Amsterdam to be sold there and Converted into money for Accoúnt of Congress. Vizt.6
For the Amoúnt of five hundred thoúsand Gilders every Year during the first six years, out of which the intrest every year shall regularly be payd and the first revenúes every year remain boúnd for the payment of the said intrest.
Further shall be remitted for the Amoúnt of Two million Two hundred and fifty Thousand Gilders every of the four years following, out of which not only the intrest will be paid, and there fore they be bound bútt even So múch as will pay off 25 pr. Ct. of the money borrowd under the same terms and conditions, so that at the end of the tenth year this whole loan will be payd off and abolishd.
Congress further hath declared to qualify and authorise so as she qualifies and aúthorises Said John de Neufville & Son, by Negotiating of this Súmm of money to divide this Originall and the whole of this súmm in smaller obligations and so in smaller summs and to furnish and sett them off to whome they might think fitt, Which obligations will be signed by [] as these so aútorised in particular Contrasignd by a Sworn Notary Publicq and acquitted by said John de Neufville & Son, which portions or obligations when possessed with those formalities, will be reckond and acknowledged of an equal proportionall force with this Originale. Further will be approved all and every thing which Mrs. John de Neufville & Son will think best for the benefitt of our States in regard to this Negotiation in regard to the regular payment of the intrest and the reimbúrsement of the money borrowd at the fixed periodes, all agreable to the herefore mentiond agreement and intention.
In Confirmation of which all I have sett my hand to this present { 75 } and Caused the great Seal of the United States to be affixed thus done in Congress at Philadelphia
[signed] [] President
[signed] by Comand of His Excellency [] Secy.
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). The enclosure consists of three pages, each divided into two columns, with the text of the contract in the right column and additions and corrections entered in the left column.
1. At this point are two and one-half lines of canceled text that cannot be read.
2. The italicized passage probably was intended for deletion, or at least alteration. In the left column appears a canceled passage: “to be lawfully indeb” and, beneath it, the words “to owe Lawfully.” Compare the text here with the corresponding, but differently worded, passages in the draft contract of [ante 2 Feb.] and the final contract of [1 March], both below.
3. The italicized passage may have been intended for deletion.
4. The passage from “or also to their choice” to this point appears in the left column.
5. The preceding five words appear in the left column.
6. Benjamin Franklin rejected a similar proposal made to him by Jean de Neufville & Fils in Feb. 1779, largely because he objected to the provisions described in the preceding two paragraphs. For his comments see Franklin, Papers, 28:629–631; 36:248–252.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0051

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Church, William Singleton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-23

From Thomas Digges

I am without any of your favours for some time. Not a word of news to write about that concerns your country. We English yet think that the Mynheers will trukle to, and we are even so idle as to suppose Russia will be with us. Four mails are due from Holland, and we are extreemly anxious for the Answer to our memorial. If it is possible to get it before it comes out in the foreign news papers, pray inclose it to me. I am informd a warrant for apprehending Mr. W——rr——n is out and report says he is taken up for some improper correspondence with Mr. Ty——r their letters being intercepted and produced against W——n.1
I am yrs &c. &c.
[signed] W. S. C.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsr. Ferdinand Raymond San Chez Monsr. Henri Schorn Amsterdam”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Church 23d. Jany. 1781.”
1. Winslow Warren, the son of James and Mercy Otis Warren, was captured on his passage to Europe in 1780 and later was involved in the events surrounding John Trumbull's arrest for treason in Nov. 1780 (vol. 9:289; 10:365–366). According to the London Courant of 30 Jan., Warren was arrested on 23 Jan. on a warrant for high treason, taken to the { 76 } “Public-office in Bow-street,” searched, and then released after a short interrogation by Lord Hillsborough about his innocuous correspondence with John Steele Tyler. Warren described the incident, as well as his later detention for four days at Margate, as he was about to sail for Ostend, in a letter of 28 April to Mercy Otis Warren (MHS, Procs., 65 [1932– 1936]:252).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0052-0001

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-24

From Bidé de Chavagnes

[salute] Mon cher monsieur

Le capitaine chavagnes est trop flatté de lhonneur de votre connoissance, et vous a voué des sentiments trop sinceres pour ne pas vous reiterer linterest quil prendra toujours a votre santé a celle de vos chers enfents et de monsieur dena, et vous souhaiter tout le bonheur que vous meritez, je desirerois bien après vous avoir vu travailler fructueusement pour votre nation qui ne peut pas estre en meilleures mains pouvoir vous repasser a boston auprés de votre aimable famille, mais jay tout perdu dans monsieur de sartines, et nayant pas lhonneur de connoitre monsieur de castries, je crains de n'estre plus employé que comme simple capitaine en second sur les vaisseaux.1 Cependant mon rang, mes services et un frere tué les armes a la main pourroint me faire esperer de commander un vaisseau du 3e. rang2 ou une fregatte en canons de 18 si lon en construit pour opposer a celles de cette force de nos ennemis communs qui prennent nos fregattes en canons de 12 livres. Aprés avoir eté au ferol un mois ou l'on ma demandé de vos nouvelles, ensuite a cadix d ou jarrive bien fatigué dans l'armée de monsieur le comte d estaing. Bien faché dans pres de 4 mois de mer de navoir pas pus prendre un seul batiment anglois. Je voudrois bien aller voir un moment madame chavagnes et vaquer a mes affaires. Je ne scais pas si je pourray obtenir cela. Je le fais demander a mr. le marquis de castries. Je desirerois bien même pouvoir aller a paris ou je serois bien flatté d'avoir lhonneur de vous voir, mais au service on ne fait pas tout ceque l'on veut. Jay appris avec plaisir a mon arrivé que les hollandois s étoint declarés contre nos ennemis communs cela pourroit vous procurer une paix avantageuse qui vous rendroit a votre chere patrie. Voila les voeux que je fais pour vous, et que vous jouissiez ainsi que vos chers enfents d'une bonne santé. Continuez moy vos souvenirs et amitiés et soyez bien persuadé des sentiments du sincere et respectueux attachement avec lequel jay l'honneur d'estre Mon cher monsieur Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes
capne. des vaux. du roy de france
{ 77 }
Mr. de goesbriant est plus heureux que moy. Il est a boston.3

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0052-0002

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-24

Bidé de Chavagnes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] My dear sir

Captain Chavagnes is very flattered by the honor of your acquaintance and promises to you the most sincere sentiments in reiterating the interest he has in your health and that of your dear children and Mr. Dana, and wishes you all the happiness you deserve. I would like it very much if, after having seen you work so fruitfully for your country, which could not be in better hands, I could return you to Boston, close to your amiable family. But having lost everything with Mr. Sartine and not having the honor to know Mr. de Castries, I fear being employed only as first lieutenant on the vessels.1 However, my rank, my service, and a brother killed in battle enables me to hope to command a third rate ship of the line2 or a frigate of 18 pounders if they are built to oppose the forces of our common enemies, who took our frigates of 12 pounders. After having been in Ferrol for a month, where I was asked for news about you, I went to Cádiz where, in the Comte d'Estaing's fleet, I arrived very tired and very angry that in nearly four months at sea we did not take a single British ship. I would very much like to see Madame Chavagnes and attend to my affairs. I do not know if I can do this. I will ask the Marquis de Castries. I would like also to go to Paris where I would be honored to see you, but in the service one can not do all that one wants. I learned with pleasure upon my arrival that the Dutch have declared themselves against our common enemies, which could bring an advantageous peace for you to bring back to your dear country. These are the wishes I have for you, and that you and your dear children are enjoying good health. Keep in touch and be well persuaded of the sincere and respectful attachment with which I have the honor to be, my dear sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes
capne. des vaux. du roy de france
Mr. de Goesbriant is happier than I am. He is in Boston.3
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “C. Chavagne. recd ansd 24 Jan. 1781.” JA's reply of 24 Jan. has not been found.
1. Gabriel de Sartine's replacement as naval minister by the Marquis de Castries in Oct. 1780 left Chavagnes with no source of patronage (vol. 10:311).
2. This was a ship of the line of 70 to 84 guns.
3. Chevalier de Göesbriand, formerly of La Sensible, was serving as second lieutenant on L'Actionnaire, a 64-gun ship of the line, part of Grasse's fleet in the West Indies (vol. 9:41; Les Combattants français de la guerre américaine, 1778–1783, Paris, 1903; repr., Washington, 1905, p. 204).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0053-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-24

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear & Honoured Sir

Pour Satisfaire à ma promesse de vous informer de tout ce qui se { 78 } passera d'essentiel, gagner du temps, et m'épargner la peine, souvent presque insupportable, de copier trop de fois les mêmes choses, je prends le parti de vous adresser ouverte ma Lettre au Congrès, afin que vous puissiez la lire, et avoir la bonté de la joindre à la premiere que vous écrirez vous même en Amérique.1 Si cet arrangement à votre approbation, je continuerai de temps en temps d'en user de-même; ce qui me soulagera beaucoup.
J'espere que vous jouissez d'une parfaite santé, et me recommande pour de bonnes nouvelles, quand vous en aurez. Je regrette tous les jours de ne pouvoir jouir de la douceur de votre estimable Compagnie et entretien, on your fireside.
J'ai oui dire, que le Courier arrivé le 21 avec le Traité, a risqué d'être arrêté en passant par un endroit du pays d'Hanovre, et qu'il ne s'est tiré d'affaires qu'en jargonnant quelques mots Russes, qui le firent prendre pour Russe.2
J'ai l'honneur d'être avec grand respect & un attachement inviolable, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0053-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-24

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

[salute] Dear & Honoured Sir

In order to keep my promise of sending you all essential news, to save time, and to spare me the sometimes intolerable task of copying the same things too many times, I decided to send my letter to Congress to you, so that you can read it, and then be kind enough to enclose it with your next letter to America.1 If this arrangement meets your approval, I will continue to do it from time to time; it would give me much relief.
I hope you are enjoying perfect health, and can send good news when you have it. Everyday I regret not having your estimable company and conversation, on your fireside.
I heard it said that the courier who arrived on the 21st with the treaty risked being stopped while passing through someplace in Hanover. He escaped the situation by speaking a few words of Russian and was therefore taken for a Russian.2
I have the honor to be with great respect and inviolable attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. This is probably the letter Dumas began on 19 Dec. 1780 and finished on 23 Jan., and which Congress received on 19 Nov. (PCC, No. 91, I, f. 483–486). Since JA's letters to the president of Congress written between 25 Nov. 1780 and 18 Jan. 1781 also arrived on 19 Nov. 1781, it seems likely that JA enclosed Dumas' letter with those letters.
2. Because George III was the elector of Hanover, transit of the treaty by a Dutch courier involved some risk.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0054

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-24

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have had the Honour of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 20th. Instant, I receivd it with the greatest pleasure for I think it marks, that your Excellency is in Spirits, may You ever continue so, it will be a good Sign to me, that our Country is well.
I this day receivd a Letter from Madrid dated the 8th.1 There are complaints in it of not hearing from Holland or France; the Abbé Hussey2 was expected that night or the next morning with fresh Propositions and Intelligence, for He is a double Spy. His and his Coadjutors Motions will be Watchd.
There is Money enough to pay the Bills already drawn by Congress or at least accepted—the Blockade of Gibraltar continues with tolerable Success—the fleet at Cadiz gains weekly an Accession of Strength—the Court appeard Satisfied with the News of the Dutch War.
The Mail that sailed from England the 16th. is taken, so that we have no News.
A Remonstrance has been made from Hence against the detaining the Goods of Emperors Subjects taken in dutch bottoms, and the Court of London has orderd them to be restored. It is reported, that Sr. J. Y[orke]. was last week at Ostend on his way to England. I will inquire about it. I fancy He will be made a Lord and sent to Compliment the Emperor. It is understood at Madrid, that his Ministers favor England, and that there is some Negotiation going on between Vienna and London.
I am told that the Duke of Brunswic Wolfenbuttle is at his Command at Lille.3 To be sure He ought to be there, for it is a very important Post.
There is a Report, that a Portuguesse Indiaman is arrivd at Lisbon, which says the french have taken 10 or 12 English Indiamen and carried them to the Isle of Bourbon. We have reports to the English have taken four dutch ones.
Your Excellency has twice put to me a very important Question i.e. how shall we induce the Powers of Europe to acknowledge our Independency? I Know not the political Means, but the rational ones are obvious to me. That it is the only way to prevent England from domineering over the rest of Europe. That No Engagement, she may now make not to insult the World <depends on> will be Kept, if ever { 80 } She recovers Again the force of America; she will then plead the Law of Necessity which forced Her to make them as not binding; and the Laws of Convenience and Power to break them. Politically speaking She will be right and the Powers of Europe will have no pretence to complain if they are now such Idiots, as not to See the Consequences of her Success against America. What does She enter into this War for? Why has She almost exhausted herself? Why Has She plunged Herself into War with the House of Bourbon, to whom She is now ready to make any Sacrifices? Why has she irritated the Powers of the North? Why has She Attacked Holland? But that she Knows, what ever is sacrificed to these powers for Peace, will be easily regained, if She can again direct the force of powerful America. There is no Security therefore for the World, but that America should be Independant of England. All Europe is astonished at Her Boldness and is apt to judge from it That She has the means of extricating herself from the Difficulties, which She daily plunges herself in. They are amused and terrified by it but One ought to Know that the whole proceeds from her desperate Conditions and that it is Neck or Nothing with her, and whilst One sees, the Game she plays, One ought to meet her in his way. One ought to play the same dice with Her, and same bold Game, and she will be frightnd at the sum she stakes. The Powers ought to think or be taught to Know, that England <is> will be omnipotent with America and Nothing without it, and therefore that it is There Interest to Acknowledge its Independance, and that they ought to do it with one Concurrent Voice. The Day they do it, finishes the War. It gains what the several Powers want and secures them in the Possession of it for Ever, without that being done All is ineffectual. France Knows this and France can Bring it about; but she has perhaps some paltry Game to play; if she had not she would have done it before with these powers, or have done it herself by giving Effectual Assistance to America.
The Author of the Letters &c is named Rivalis.4 I will speak to him of this Subject.

[salute] I am with the greatest Sir Your Excellencys Most devoted & Obedient Humble Sert.

[signed] Edm. Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings ansd 31. Jan 1781.”
1. This letter has not been found. It was likely from William Carmichael, with whom Jenings previously corresponded (vol. 10:182–183). Carmichael's letter of 4 Jan. to the Committee for Foreign Affairs touched on many of the same points Jenings referred to here (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:227– 228).
{ 81 }
2. For Thomas Hussey and his role, with Richard Cumberland, in negotiations between Britain and Spain, see vol. 9:361–362.
3. For William V's chief advisor and commander in chief of the Dutch army, Louis Ernst, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, see vols. 6:99; 9:96.
4. Dérival de Gomicourt.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0055

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-01-25

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I have to acknowledge the Receipt of your Favours of the 15 and 24. the latter inclosing a Letter to Congress, which I will do myself the Honour to inclose with my first dispatches. This method will be very agreable to me, if you choose to continue it.
There are Bruits here, of a 74 gun ship with Six homeward bound East Indiamen taken from the English by some french Men of War near the Cape of good Hope. The Report comes from Lisbon: but merits confirmation.
I dont See or hear any Thing of the Manifesto yet, nor about another Thing, which gives me more Anxiety than any other, the determination of the Court of Justice of Holland, upon the Conduct of Amsterdam.
I have fixed my Eye upon that Court of Justice, because I think that the full Justification of the Regency of Amsterdam, ought to be inserted in the Manifesto. The British Manifesto cannot be answered without it. The World will never think the Republic in Earnest, untill this is done. Keeping it in Suspence, is considered as a design to keep open a Passage to retreat. It is treating, notre Ami,1 with great Indignity, and in some measure depriving the Publick of his Council and Assistance at a time, when it is most wanted.
It is Suffering the Spirit of the People to subside, and their Passions to cool, a matter of the last Importance, in War. “There is a Tide in the affairs of Men, which taken at the Ebb leads on to Fortune.”2
However, the Maxims of Government here are different, from most other Countries: and the nation itself, and its Rulers, must be the best Judges of its Interest, Duty and Policy.
My Mind has a long Habit, of looking forward and guessing what future Events will be the Consequence of those that are passed, and altho We are very short sighted, yet We can Sometimes reason upon Sure Principles and prophecy, with a good degree of Certainty. Upon this plan then what will be the Conduct of the neutral Union and what that of England? I cannot See but the neutral Confederacy must demand Restitution of all the Dutch Ships upon Pain of War. And { 82 } England must, unless she departs from every maxim that has governed her, not only throughout this Reign, but Several others, before it; unless she departs from the Character of the nation too, as well as the Maxims of the Court, refuse to restore the Dutch Ships. The Consequence will be Russia, Sweeden, Denmark Holland, France, Spain and America, all at War against England at once, a rare and curious Phenomenon to be Sure!
But what will be the Consequence of this? Peace? By no means.
The neutral Union, moving Slowly, and unused to War, at Sea, will depend upon Englands giving up, and will not exert themselves. England, whose Navy, has lived among flying Balls, for Sometime, will be alert and active, and do a great deal of Mischief, before her Ennemies are properly Arroused. I think, in the End, they will be arroused and the Consequence of it, will be, that England, will be ruined, and undergo a terrible Convulsion. Say, are these Reveries, wholly chimerical? You are Sensible that our Country America, has two objects in view, one is a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, at least, with this Republick: the other is a Loan of Money.
You will be so good as to keep these Points always in View, and inform me if you discover, any Disposition towards both or Either, in Persons capable of effecting it, or putting Things in a Train for that Purpose.
The Court is Supposed to be decided against America, but is this certain? It has had an Inclination towards England, but having got over that, why should it be against America? I am perswaded that nothing can be done without the Court.
Do you think it would be prudent in me, to endeavour to get introduced to one or more Persons in Power, the grand Pensionary of Holland, or any Members of the states General, in order to have Some Conversation upon American Affairs? Do you Suppose I should Succeed, if I were to attempt to obtain Such a Conference? If it is the Interest of the two Republicks, to connect themselves together, as you and I believe it to be, it would not be amiss to have these Interests explained mutually, and Objections, if there are any, considered and obviated.

[salute] I am Sir respectfully and affectionately yours.

[signed] John Adams
1. Engelbert François van Berckel, Pensionary of Amsterdam.
2. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act IV, scene iii, lines 218–219. There the second line reads “which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0056-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-28

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

J'ai l'honorée vôtre du 25e., dont le contenu m'a fait grand plaisir, non seulement par l'approbation que vous donnez de vous adresser de temps en temps des Lettres pour le Congrès, mais aussi par l'entretien agréable que m'ont procuré les matieres interessantes dont elle est remplie.
Il faudra attendre, que la prise des vaisseaux des Indes Anglois près du Cap de B. E., par l'Escadre françoise, se confirme, pour la croire.
Il est apparent que le Manifeste ne paroîtra ici, qu'après la réponse de Petersbourg au Courier depêché d'ici le 29 Dec. pour donner connoissance à l'Imperatrice de celui du Roi d'Angle. et pour demander le secours de cette Princesse, &c. En attendant, il n'y a pas grand mal que cette Piece n'ait pas encore paru: on ne m'en a pas dit grand bien; et l'on espere qu'on la changera en mieux.
La Décision de la Cour d'Hollde. ne pourra avoir lieu qu'autour du milieu de Février; et l'on n'en est nullement en peine. Du reste, je pense comme vous, que toutes ces lenteurs sont mauvaises; et qu'on s'en trouvera mal.
Vos Réflexions sur la conduite que tiendront les nouveaux Alliés d'un côté, et l'Angle. de l'autre, ont beaucoup plu à un Membre des E. G., à qui je n'ai pu refuser d'en donner un Extrait en françois: car il n'entend pas l'Anglois.
Je ne perdrai pas un instant de vue les deux Objets dont vous me parlez, Monsieur: et plût-à Dieu, que je pusse dès ce moment vous inviter ici. Il faut voir le tour que prendront les choses, le. entre cette rep. et l'Angle.: 2e. entre la même et la Russie, &c. Je crois que vous avez décidé le premier de ces points, et que l'Angleterre ne se ralâchera point vis-à-vis de la rép. Je pense aussi comme vous quant à l'autre; et que l'Impce. ne peut plus reculer, mais qu'elle prendra hautement le parti de la Rep., et, par consequent, qu'il y aura guerre entre elle et l'Angle. Dans ce cas-là, et dès que cette guerre auroit éclatté, il conviendroit d'agir auprès de l'Impératrice, comme chef de l'Alliance, pour faire reconnoître l'Amérique à la fois par les 4 puissances: et mon opinion est, que cela ne seroit pas difficile alors, du moins de la part de l'Impce. Mais tant qu'il y a encore quelque possibilité à raccommoder les choses, de maniere que cette Rep. reste neutre avec les 3 Couronnes du Nord, on ne peut rien entamer de pareil. Voyons donc arriver le nouveau Courier de Petersb.; et selon { 84 } le tour que prendront les choses, il ne me sera peut-être pas difficile de vous ménager une Entrevue, en lieu tiers, qui pourroit conduire plus loin.
Le second objet dépend en grande partie du premier: et la facilité à cet égard seroit infiniment plus grande, lorsqu'il existeroit un Traité d'amitié, &c.
Je suis avec le respect & l'attachement le plus sinceres, Monsieur, Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0056-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-28

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

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

I am honored with your letter of the 25th, the content of which gave me much pleasure, not only because you agreed to send my letters on to Congress from time to time, but also because it was filled with agreeable conversation about interesting matters.
We must wait for confirmation about the taking of the British East Indiamen off the Cape of Good Hope by the French squadron, before it can be believed.
It is apparent that the manifesto will not appear here until after St. Petersburg responds to the courier dispatched from here on the 29th of December to inform the Empress about the King of England's manifesto and to request her assistance. While no great evil has occurred because this piece has not yet appeared, neither has much good, and one hopes that things will change for the better.
The decision of the court of Holland cannot take place until around mid-February and no one is troubled by this in the least. Nevertheless, I agree with you that all of these delays are bad and will be regretted.
Your reflections on the conduct of the new allies, on the one side, and of England, on the other, greatly pleased a member of the States General, to whom I gave an extract in French since he cannot understand English.
I will not lose sight for an instant of the two matters you spoke of to me, sir, and may it please God that I may invite you to continue to do so from now on. We must watch the turn of events, first, between this republic and England, and second, between the same and Russia, etc. I believe that you decided on the first of these points, that England will not concede anything regarding the republic. As for the second point, I agree with you that the Empress cannot draw back but instead will openly take the side of the republic, and consequently there will be war between her and England. In this case, and if this war were to erupt, it would be advisable to act closely with the Empress as the head of the alliance to gain recognition for America from all four powers simultaneously. My opinion is that this would not be difficult as far as the Empress is concerned. But since there remains a possibility that matters can be reconciled so that this republic, together with the three northern crowns, remains neutral, such an initiative can not be { 85 } undertaken. Let us wait for the arrival of the next courier from St. Petersburg and, then, according to the turn of events, perhaps I will be able to arrange an interview, in a neutral place, that could advance things further.
The second point depends largely on the first, and the facility to achieve it would be infinitely greater if a treaty of Amity, etc., existed.
I am with the most sincere respect and attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0057

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-28

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received your favor of the 20th. instant which disappointed me a good deal, for I had received much pleasure from being told by Mr. Searle that you were fully vested with the same powers that Mr. Laurens had, which occasion'd my writing what I did in my last.1 I must confess that I can't be perfectly easy, however favorable things may appear, while the War continues and the Independence of America is not acknowleged by more than one power in Europe. After open War is raging, I can't see what greater mischeif any of the powers of Europe can apprehend from the resentment of G. Britain.
The general prospect of Affairs in Ama. is favorable, from the last advices, and promise more important intelligence soon; The principal embarrassment of Congress seems to be the want of money, which cou'd be easily supply'd where you are, if there are powers to borrow and they are willing to lend. I send you a Crisis which perhaps you may think worth being translated and published in Holland.2
The Dutch must use more activity than they have hitherto done and depend more on their own strength and exertions, than on that of their neighbors; or they will certainly suffer a great deal; for I conceive, the guarantie of every power in Europe will hardly make them amends for the immense loss their Commerce may sustain, and the plunder &c. of their Asiatic and W. India possessions; all which, they may easily prevent, by a timely and proper exertion of their own strength.
You have no doubt seen the Treaty of the armed neutrality, are the contracting powers bound by it to enter into a War with England in favor of Holland?3
There is no reason that I know of, for apprehending the Emperors interference in favor of England, yet it will be certainly wise and prudent in the Dutch to pay every attention to him and to watch { 86 } narrowly every thing that passes in that quarter, which is the only one that has not, or will not declare openly against G. B.
The winds have for some days been fair and yet we have no English Mail here since that of the 12th.
I have the Honor to be with great Esteem Dr. Sir Your most Obliged &c. Adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. W. Lee 28th. Jany. 1781.”
1. JA's reply of 20 Jan. to Lee's letter of the 17th Jan., above, has not been found. JA's commission as minister to the Netherlands authorizing him to conclude a treaty of amity and commerce did not arrive until mid-March (to the president of Congress, 19 March, below).
2. Probably Thomas Paine's The Crisis Extraordinary, which was published in Philadelphia in Oct. 1780 (Evans, No. 16918). JA sent the copy he received from Lee to John Thaxter who, in a letter of 1 Feb., indicated that he had submitted it to Jean Luzac for publication (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:73); see also Thaxter's letter of 7 Feb., below. No Dutch or French translation published in the Netherlands has been found.
3. That, of course, was the crux of the problem facing the Netherlands. The armed neutrality, to which it formally acceded by virtue of the convention signed at St. Petersburg on 4 Jan., provided for reprisals in the event of belligerent depredations on the commerce of the neutral nations comprising the League of Armed Neutrality. By the date of its accession, however, the Netherlands was no longer a neutral power, but rather a belligerent, and for Russia, Sweden, or Denmark to go to its aid meant war with England, something that none of those powers was willing to risk. For JA's comments on the armed neutrality and the implications of the Dutch accession to it, see his letters of 25 Nov., 25 Dec. and 28 Dec. 1780 to the president of Congress (vol. 10:371–372, 433–435, 442–443).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0058-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-29

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Dans ma Lettre d'hier il y a une erreur qui doit être redressée. Ce n'est point parce qu'on attend un Courier de Petersbourg, que le Manifeste n'a pas encore été publié, mais parce que les villes d'Amsterdam et de Dort ne sont point contentes de celui qui est dressé, ne le trouvent pas assez fort, et veulent qu'on en fasse un autre. Voilà la seule raison qui a retardé celui-ci; et l'on en fera un autre.
Votre prédiction, Monsieur, d'une convulsion dont l'Angleterre est menacée,1 pourroit bien s'accomplir plutôt que vous ne pensez. Les grains sont fort chers en Angleterre. Ce qui coûtoit cent, est aujourd'hui à 175. La Livre de pain coûte à Londres 10 pence: on y craint une Révolte.
Probablement la rep. fera dans peu la démarche de demander à la France le secours de ses forces aux Indes orientales. On l'a proposé au St–r, qui l'a approuvé.
Le Courier expédié d'ici à Petersb. pour demander les secours de la Convention, n'est parti qui le 12 de ce mois, ainsi il ne pourra guere être de retour que vers le 20e. du prochain.
{ 87 } | view
On garnit nos côtes contre des descentes qui paroissent peu à craindre à cause des bancs qui les bordent. Vous êtes, Monsieur, à même plus que moi de voir si la même diligence est employée pour l'équipement de la Flotte. Je suis avec le plus vrai respect & attachement Monsieur Votre très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0058-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-29

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

[salute] Sir

In yesterday's letter I made an error which must be corrected. It is not the awaited arrival of the St. Petersburg courier that has delayed the publication of the manifesto, but rather that the cities of Amsterdam and Dordrecht are not satisfied with the current one. They find it too weak and want it redone. This is the only reason for its delay, and another one will be drafted.
Your prediction, sir, that England may be threatened by an uprising,1 may happen sooner than you think. Grain is very expensive in England. It used to cost one hundred and today costs one hundred and seventy-five. A pound of bread costs ten pence in London. A revolt is feared.
It is likely the republic will soon make a démarche requesting French assistance for its forces in the East Indies. It was proposed to the Stadholder, who approved it.
The courier sent to St. Petersburg to request assistance under the convention did not leave until the 12th of this month and therefore he could not possibly return sooner than the 20th of February.
Our coasts are garrisoned against attack which we hardly fear because of the shoals that line them. You, sir, are even more able than I am to see if the same diligence is applied to outfitting the fleet. I am with the most genuine respect and attachment, sir, your very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. In JA's letter of 25 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0059

Author: Grand, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-29

From Henry Grand

[salute] Sir

By order and for Account of M. Fr. Dana I am to credit your Account for 2658.16.10 which I have already done, and said Money will rest at your Disposal.1 Said Gentleman has likewise remitted me 4 Loan office Bills amounting to 2390. for your Account also, and for which you will have credit when in cash.
No Body has yet drawn on me, Sir for the Madeira Wine I have in my Cellar belonging to you, and could wish however to have the { 88 } Invoice of said Wine to enable me to give it any apreciation for Sale, in case Purschasers should present themselves.2
I am with due Respect Your most obt hbl st
[signed] Grand
1. See Francis Dana's letter of [31 Jan.], below. This transfer of funds caused considerable confusion in JA's account. The matter was not finally settled until Henry Grand's letter of 31 May 1782 (Adams Papers).
2. For the wine, see vol. 10:414–415.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0060

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-01-31

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I have to thank you for your Favours of 28 and 29 which arrived untouched, by any hand too inquisitive.
The extraordinary demand for Bread in England will be a great Advantage to America. It will raise the Price of it, by increasing the demand, in those Countries which trade directly or indirectly with America, and will raise the Price of it consequently there.
We have always Said in America “By and By will come a Leane Year for Grain in Europe and then the Powers of Europe will begin to think Us of Some Consequence.” There will I fancy be next Spring and Summer a vast Exportation of Grain from America, which will be an Advantage to our Credit. And if there should be another short Crop next year and the year after, in England and in other Parts of Europe, in that Case they will have an opportunity of Seeing some-what of the Resources of America—for in the midst of All the Difficulties of this War, Grain enough will be found in America to Supply all the Deficiency in Europe.
Pray what are the News from Vienna? That the English are labouring with all their might and intriguing with all their subtelty, and bribing with all the Money they can Spare, to draw in the House of Austria to Some Connection with them, I am very well perswaded. That the old Jealousy, Envy and Rivalry of that House towards the House of Bourbon, is not all extinct I believe—that it now pleads in favour of England I guess. But as the Emperor is a Man of Sense I rely upon it, he will not be taken in. If he Should be, it will only make the War, more passionate against England, And he will get nothing in the End but broken Bones.
The News from all Quarters in America is agreable. “All's Well” as the Sentinels cry at Sea. The Mass. Constitution gives new vigour to the state and its Neighbours.
Have you seen the Vie prive de Louis 15? It has been printed in 4 { 89 } Volumes, this month. I have read it through with as much Ardour and Impatience, as I did in my youth the Character of Lovelace in Clarissa Harlow and with more Indignation.1
This Work is a Sublime Compliment to America, as well as to Louis 16th. It is So to the reigning Monarch in Proportion, as his private Life, is a contrast to that of his Predecessor. But no Wisdom, no Virtue private or publik, no Exertions or Activity whatsoever in the Prince, Ministry, or Nation could have raised France out of that profound degree of Contempt, Misery and Debasement in which Louis the 15 left it, to that Pitch of Reputation, Opulence, and Power where it now stands, without the Seperation of America from Great Britain and her Alliance with France.
Let it be remembered by every Frenchman, that the first Congress was held the Same Year that Louis 15 died. That France had Seen Eleven Years of Peace and instead of rising out of the Misery in which the Peace of 1763 left her, she sunk deeper and deeper. That her Prosperity and Glory commenced with her connection with America and has grown with a Rapidity that surprizes all Europe ever since.
When other Nations shall read this Work and make the proper Reflections they will draw the natural Inferences. Such as 1. That France can never desert America. 2. That she ought to exert herself, with Zeal and that she will do it too. 3. That other nations, will do wisely to imitate the Example of France. 4. That the sooner they form Connections with America the more wisely they will act.
Pardon this abominable Writing. I cannot transcribe it.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] John Adams
RC (DLC: Dumas Papers); endorsed: “Amst. 31e. Janv. 1781 Mr. J. Adams.”
1. JA refers to Mouffle d'Angerville's Vie privée de Louis XV, ou principaux événemens, particularités et anecdotes de son règne, 4 vols., London, 1781, a copy of which is in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library). Robert Lovelace was the unscrupulous rake who courted the title character in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe and brought both to a bad end.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0061

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-01-31

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

Your Favour of 24 is received. I wish that Madrid would put an End to Husseys and Cumberlands Masquerades. They do no good, if they do no harm.
I think it is pretty certain that the English Ministry, are Seeking a Connection with the Emperor, but as there is nothing to be gotten { 90 } by a Connection with them but broken Bones if he has as much Sense as he is reputed to have, he will rather choose to sleep in a whole Skin.
The Duke of Brunswick Wolfenbuttle is not a Lille, but at the Hague.
Your Reasoning to Shew the Policy, the Justice and necessity of acknowledging American Independence, is conclusive to all the maritime Powers, and it is probable they are all Sensible of it. But whoever does it must have War with England, and this Startles them all. They choose to arrange Matters in such a system that all may go to War at once, if any do. And this takes time.
But if the armed Neutrality were all at War, against England, the Question is, whether they would all acknowledge our Independance? To be sure they all mean it, it is their Interest! and it is a part of their System!1 But Such is the Caution, the Timidity, and the Sloth, that I expect they would put it off. They will say We will treat you like Friends, but it is time enough. We dont know what may happen. Wait for the general Conferences of Pacification. Then We will take your affairs into Consideration.
I think however that Congress, should send a Minister to each of the Maritime Courts, or at least one Authorized to treat with all of them. Whether they will do it or not I cant Say. I fear they will be much divided about their foreign affairs.
By the Treaty France has agreed to join America, in proposing to other Powers, to acknowledge our Independancy.2 If Congress or any Minister of Congress properly authorized were to propose this to France she could not and would not refuse it. Why it has not been done I know not. The Unfortunate Division about foreign affairs, will account for many Things. I hope however that Something or other will turn up to make them more unanimous. If Mr. L. and I. do not find the Majority of their opinion, in one Point, their Information may make Gentlemen more of a Mind in many others.3
Have you read the Vie privee de Louis 15. It is just published here in 4 Volumes. I have devoured it, with the Utmost Greediness. History, Romance, or Libel, it is very entertaining and instructive. It is the greatest Compliment to America that ever was made. When We see the Distress the Ruin, the Humiliation and Debasement, of the French Nation and Monarchy, up to the very Moment, when America, was Severed from Great Britain and began to cultivate a good Understanding with France, when We see that from the Same { 91 } Moment France began to revive, and has been increasing in Reputation, Wealth Commerce, and Power, ever since and her flourishing and prosperous Condition at this day, America, ought to appear in her own Eyes as well as those of the French and then rest of the World, as a nation and Country whose Friendship and Alliance is worth cultivating. I dont mean by this however to diminish the Glory of the present Monarch whose Wisdom has taken Advantage of the Benefits which Providence offered to him.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] John Adams
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency. John Adams Esqr. Jany. 31. 1781.”
1. The preceding eight words were interlined.
2. JA refers to Art. 10 of the Franco-American Treaty of Alliance (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:39), the implementation of which he took up with the Duc de La Vauguyon, the French ambassador to the Netherlands, in a letter of 19 Feb., below.
3. This reference to Arthur Lee and Ralph Izard, severe critics of Benjamin Franklin who had recently returned to America, is unclear. JA presumably means that because Franklin was the proper person to propose widening the Franco-American alliance, their strictures on Franklin's conduct might move members of Congress to demand that he be more assertive. If this was JA's hope, he was doomed to disappointment. By 1781 changes in membership and the growing influence of the French minister, the Chevalier de La Luzerne, had largely dissolved congressional divisions over the proper course of American foreign policy in Europe. For additional information, see Commissions and Instructions for Mediation and Peace, 15 June, Editorial Note, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0062

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-31

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I write you at present principally to communicate the following intellegence from Martinique. It is just given to me by our good Friends the two Abbés,2 who tell me it may be depended on, as they had it from Mr. Neckar's Office.
La derniere Convoi parti du Ferrol, est arrivé ici le 14. Xbre. il manque peu de batiments—Le 4 Vaisseaux venue de St. Doming. sous les ordres de Monsr. Le Chevr. D'Albert St. Hippolite sont arriveé a St. Pierre.
L'Amiral Rodney a attaqué la nuit du 16 en 17 St. Vincent. Il avait à terre 4000 hommes compris les Troupes de Marine. Le debarquement s'est fait dans la matineé du 16. Les Anglais ont eté répoussé avèc perte et obligés de se rembarquer. M. de Blanch le Lande Lt. Colonel du Regiment de Viennois3 a defendu cette Isle contré l'amiral Rodney et le general Vaughan. Il avait pris depuis 2 jours le comman• { 92 } dement de cette Isle. Les Carribes se sont comporté avèc beaucoup de Valeur.
Cette novelle a eté aporteé par la Frigate la Carèq [Cérès?] commandeé par le Baron de <Bouvebelles> Bonbelles capitaine de Vaisseaux arrivé à Rochfort le 27. Janv. 1781.4
I have desired Mr. Grand to transfer from my Account to your Credit 2658.16.10 Livrs. the amount of the Note I gave you just before I left Holland; and to advise you of it, which when he shall do, you will please to cancel my Note.5 I have received Mr. Thaxter's two Letters.6 Your bills are lodged as you desired with Mr. Grand. Please to tell Mr. Thaxter I am ready to answer his drafts for the sums he mentions, as soon as he will draw upon me for them, or any others he may have occasion for. I have heard nothing about either of them here.
Mr. Searle is now with me, and desired to be particularly remembered to you, and to assure you he is daily more and more convinced of the baneful effects of Francisco's ||Silas Deane's|| conversation. He is gone with his clerk for Holland, I believe by the way of Ostend.7 I beg you to present my regards not only to all our Countrymen with you, who merit them, but to all our good Friends of Holland.
I am, Dear Sir, with the most sincere respect & attachment Your most obedient humble Servant and much obliged Friend
[signed] FRA DANA
RC (Adams Papers); filmed at [January 1781], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 354.
1. This date is derived from Dana's letter of 1 Feb., below.
2. For Abbés Arnoux and Chalut, friends from JA's residence in France and occasional correspondents, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:59.
3. “Viennois” here and “Bonbelles” in the next paragraph are written in an unknown hand.
4. Translation:
The last convoy to leave Ferrol arrived here on 14 December, lacking only the four vessels bound for St. Domingue under the command of the Chev. D'Albert St. Hippolite, which have arrived at St. Pierre.
Admiral Rodney attacked St. Vincent on the night of 16–17 December, disembarking the 4,000 men constituting his landing force. The landing was made on the morning of the 16th. The English have been repulsed with losses and obliged to reembark. M. de Blanchelande, Lt. Colonel of the Viennois Regiment, has defended this island against Admiral Rodney and General Vaughan. He took command of this island only two days before. The Caribbeans have conducted themselves with much valor.
This news was brought by the frigate Cérès commanded by Baron de Bonbelles, Capitaine de Vaisseaux, which arrived at Rochefort on 27 January 1781.
5. See Henry Grand's letter of 29 Jan., above.
6. Neither of John Thaxter's letters have been found.
7. Silas Deane left Paris for the Netherlands on or about 23 Jan. and returned on 21 Feb. (Papers of Silas Deane, 1774–1790 [N.Y. Hist. Soc., Colls., vols. 19–23], 5 vols., N.Y., 1887– 1891, 4:276, 290). JA's letter of 4 Feb. to James Searle, below, seems to indicate that Deane was traveling with his close friend Dr. Edward Bancroft (vol. 6:14).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0063

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-31

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Four mails arrived yesterday, by them we find that Eleven East Indiamen are arrived at Brookhaven in Ireland. A Ship is arrived from N York, but no news transpires. The English Minister seems to be ready to pardon the Dutch on condition they submit. He treats them as He did the Americans, and will I Hope receive the same Treatment as from our Countrymen. One of the Court news papers says there is an appearance of matters being settled with Holland, as England will deliver out no more letters of Marque. If this is true, it may perhaps be produced by the remonstrance of the Russian Minister, who is abused grosely in the English Papers. The Troops are shipped for the fleet going to America as I beleive those are for the East Indias. Lille and Antwerp are too near to one Another. A Correspondence may be easily Kept up between those two towns.1 It ought to be attended to.
I am Sir Your Excellencys most faithful & obt. Hb. Sert
[signed] Edm: Jenings
Be pleased to turn over.
P.S. I find the Translation of the Memorial &c. is published in England.2 It comes out in a good Time. A very Hearty good sensible Friend desires He may have the Authors leave to publish Notes and Additions, if it goes to a Second impression—his Integrity Principles and Knowledge may I think be trusted.3
1. Jenings' meaning here is unclear. He may be referring to a possible correspondence between Sir Joseph Yorke, who had been at Antwerp (from Dumas, 15 Jan., above), and the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, whom Jenings had reported to be at Lille in his letter of 24 Jan., above.
2. This is JA's A Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe upon the Present State of Affairs Between the Old and New World into Common Sense and Intelligible English, London, 1781. For its origins and JA's drafting of it, see vol. 9:157–221; Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 2, above; and JA's letter to Jenings of 11 Feb., below.
3. Jenings may be referring to the publisher of the pamphlet, John Stockdale, but the Translation received no second printing.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0064

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-31

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the Honor of writing to you the 28th. but omitted answering your Quere about the Southern States determining to embody Ne• { 94 } | view { 95 } groes as an Army.1 I never heard of such an Idea but in the letter forged, as from Genl. Clinton,2 nor do I immagine such a one will ever be entertain'd seriously in those States, for exclusive of many reasons against it that appear unanswerable, those who know the nature and talents of those people, know well that all the art of Man can never make them even tolerable Soldiers.
It is said that France has lately engaged to guarantie all the Dutch Possessions; if so, as a Quid pro Quo, surely it has been insisted on by France that the States General shall immediately acknowlege the Independence of America: if this has been omitted it will not be a subject of much pleasure to me. We have here the London papers to the 26th. by which it appears that on the 25. public dispatches had been received from N. York to Decr. 20, but not a syllable good or bad had transpir'd that I see, tho' former ministerial papers say, an advice from N. Y. the 20 Nov. that all the Grenadeirs, and light Infantry of the British Army were immediately to embark to the number of 5 or 6000 Men for So. Carolina and we see that the reinforcements from England for N. York are already embark'd at Portsmouth to sail with Darby and all the Ships of Force they can muster, which will not exceed 20 or 25 Ships of the Line at the utmost, as a Convoy; The East India Ships and the expedition under Govr. Johnstone and Genl. Meadows and supplies for the W. Indias go at the same time; when Darby has seen this valuable Convoy, perhaps the most valuable and important that has sail'd from England during the War, to a certain distance, he is either to attempt the releif of Giberalter or to convoy back the 11 East Indiamen lately arriv'd safe in Ireland, to the value of above 3 Millions sterling, while the French and Spanish Fleets, each of them singly superior to anything England can put to Sea in Europe, are Snug in Cadiz and Brest.3
The Dutch War hardly created a Debate in the Ho. of Comns. where the address to the King, promising support &c., as usual, was carried with[out] even a division.4 There was some debate in the Ho. of Lords, but the address passed there by a greater majority than on many other occasions lately and from the general complexion of their minds, I am apt to beleive they have determin'd already to attack unawares, the Russian Swedish and Danish Ships, as they have done those of Holland, if they find that those 3 Powers, mean to take any part with the Dutch. Nothing but sound beating will recover these Madmen from their Frenzy.

[salute] Adieu

{ 96 }
P.S. I have lately observ'd that they have imprison'd in England some Captains and Sailors taken with American Commissions as Pirates and have order'd them to be tryed as such.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. W Lee 31st. Jany. 1781.”
1. JA apparently asked this question in his letter of 20 Jan., which has not been found.
2. The forged letter from Lt. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, dated 30 Jan. 1780 at Savannah, was widely published in Europe and the U.S. It reported that North Carolina had determined to augment its forces by using slaves as soldiers. For the letter and its publication, see vol. 9:331, and references there.
3. The Channel Fleet, commanded by Adm. George Darby and composed of 28 ships of the line, 2 of fifty guns, and several frigates, was being sent to relieve Gibraltar. It sailed on 13 March. Accompanying it part way was a smaller force commanded by Como. George Johnstone composed of 2 ships of the line, 3 fifty-gun ships, and several frigates. It was to attack the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope and carried three infantry battalions under the command of Gen. William Medows. Owing to various delays, Johnstone's expedition did not reach the Cape until after a French squadron under Bailli de Suffren had arrived and landed its troops, thereby making a seaborne assault a dubious venture at best. The only positive result of the expedition from the British standpoint was that Medows, having learned of the outbreak of the Second Mysore War and the dire situation of the British forces, acted on his own initiative and took his troops to India (Mackesy, War for America, p. 388–390). For lists of the vessels making up the two task forces, see the London Chronicle of 13–15 March.
4. For George III's message of 25 Jan. “relative to the Rupture with Holland,” its supporting documents, and the debates in both Houses of Parliament, see Parliamentary Hist., 21:960–1106. In fact, both Houses approved the message without division.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0065

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-02-01

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 1 February 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 244–254. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:244–248.
In this letter, read in Congress on 19 Nov., John Adams provided an English translation of the Convention for an Armed Neutrality that Russia and Denmark signed on 28 June [9 July N.S.] 1780. It was, according to Adams, “one of the most brilliant Events, which has yet been produced by the American Revolution.” He then commented on the Convention's provisions with regard to contraband and noted that Sweden had acceded to it on 21 July [1 Aug. N.S.] 1780 followed by the Netherlands on 5 [i.e. 4] Jan. 1781. For additional information regarding the accession of Denmark and Sweden to the armed neutrality, see Adams' letter of 14 Aug. 1780 to the president of Congress (vol. 10:68–74).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 244–254). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:244–248.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0066

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-01

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

The enclosed letters of our Friend, of the 12th. and 14th. of last Month, the Resolution of Congress of the 12th.1 together with the journals of Congress for Septr. and Octr. and a number of News• { 97 } papers down to the 19th. Decr. came to hand yesterday eveng. These, all together, wou'd make a large budget to no good purpose, I have cut out of the papers, every peice of intelligence of which, I imagine, you are not fully informed, and shall send them on, as also the Journals. No person cou'd receive a more sincere satisfaction, than I do, in having an opportunity to forward to you, a Resolution of Congress which reflects so much honor upon you as the distinguished Servant of our Country. I have long been a Witness that it is not unmerited. I wish, to make the matter more certain in my mind, you wou'd inform me of the subject of your letter on which this honourable testimony is grounded, and also of the two papers received in the duplicate.2 A short hint will suffice. I am fearful you are not furnished with a proper key to your cyphers: if that shou'd be the case, I will endeavour to procure one, you know where.3 Mr. Searle and I dined yesterday with the Abbés; they all desire their sincere regards to you, as does Mr. Adinet4 who has just left me. I wrote you yesterday to communicate some news brought from Martinique, &c. Please to inform Messrs. Ingraham and Sigourney, that the Amsterdam Capt. Magee and the Rambler, Capt. Lovett, from Gottenbourgh, are safe arrived: the first at Boston, in 44 days, who carried in with him a prize ship ladened with provisions and dry goods—the last at Beverly in 48. days.5 I think they were concerned in these vessels. Pray let me know when the Commodore will probably sail. I am, dear Sir, with the greatest respect and esteem, your much obliged Friend and obedient humble Servant
[signed] FRA DANA
P.S. I find no mention in the American Papers of the victory which the British tell us, from a Charlestown Gazette of the 27th. Novr.; Tarleton had gained over Genl. Sumpter—'Tis possible it may be true, but not probable.6
1. For James Lovell's letters of 12 and 14 Dec. 1780, his first as a member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, and Congress' resolution of 12 Dec. 1780, see Lovell's letters of 2 and 6 Jan., and references there, both above.
2. See JA's letter of 26 June 1780 to the president of Congress (vol. 9:477–479).
3. Dana refers to the cipher Lovell used to encrypt parts of his letter of 14 December. The source for a “proper key” was probably Benjamin Franklin. For Lovell's cipher and the difficulties that JA had in using it, see vol. 9:271–272; Adams Family Correspondence, 4:393–399.
4. For Addenet, who had served JA as a translator, see vol. 9:411–412.
5. The Massachusetts privateers Amsterdam, Capt. James Magee, and Rambler, Capt. Benjamin Lovett, reached their respective ports on 14 Nov. 1780 (Independent Chronicle, 16 Nov. 1780; Allen, Mass. Privateers, p. 74, 248).
6. For a report on the battle at Blackstock Plantation, S.C., on 20 Nov., see Thomas Digges' letter of [9 Jan.], calendared above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0067

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

Draft Contract for a Loan with Jean de Neufville & Fils

Today the [] Apeared before me [] Notary Publicq the Honorable John Adams Esqr. of the City [] in the State [] in North America at present Residing in the City of Amsterdam in the quality as constitued by Congres of the United States of North America their Agent, and as such specially aúthorised to negotiate moneys in behalf of the said United states, as it apears by the Copie Extract Aúthentically Annexed to the Originall of the present, as also by [] likewise orginally Annexed to the Originall of this present.
And Confessed he the Said Esqr. Apeared in his mentiond quality, and thús for and in behalf of the said United States to have negotiated and received from and for Such to be well and lawfully indebted to Mrs. John de Neufville & Son the Súmm of One Million Gilders Holland Currancy received and perceived in ready money renúntiating for Súch expressly from not having received the Money or the Valúe thereoff.2
Which súmm of One Million Gilders, he the Said Appeared in his said quality and thús for and in the name of the United States of North America, promisses and engages to restitúe and repay lawfully withoút any redúction or damage to the Said Mrs. John de Neufville & Son in Amsterdam or to them who might succeed in their rights with an intrest at 5 p Ct. per Annúm to be Coúnted from this date and fúrther in the manner and on Condition as follows.
First, that of this Loan no restitútion, nor repayment Shall be made, dúring the time of the Ten first Years, butt at the end of the tenth Year the first reimbúrsement shall be made of 20 per Ct. or Two hundred Thousand Gilders, and so consecútively at the end of each of the following four Years a like Súmm of Two hundred Thoúsand Gilders, Such that at the end of the Foúrteenth Year this Whole debt shall entirely be repaid, and at every repayment the intrest of the reimbursed Capitall will cease.
The Intrest shall be paid at every Six Month, at 2 1/2 p Ct. and thús at 5 p Ct. per Annum And for that purpose the summs reqúired for the intrest, as well as for the mentiond rimbursements will be remitted to the Said Mrs. John de Neufville & Son their Heirs, or them who might be in their rights, by or for Congress of the United States of North-America either in good bills of Exchange on Eúrope or in { 99 } Prodúce of North America, all so múch in time, that the money for those bills or Prodúce múst and shall be in Cash and received before the money for the intrest or the summs stipúlated to be rimbursed become dúe.
Second—That the before mentiond Mrs. John de Neufville & Son should be aúthorised and qúalified as he the Said Esqr. apeared in his mentiond quality doth aúthorise and qualify them by this present, to allow shares of intrest to any other person or persons, in this loan, and to negotiate money from them on obligations of one thousand Gilders Holland Currency each, and such only under the sole hand-writing of Said Mrs. John de Neufville & Son, provided the number of those negotiated Obligations or shares of intrest may not exceed the qúantity of One Thousand, And that the same obligations or shares of intrest shall be prothocolled3 by a Notary Publicq residing in this City.
And he the said Esqr. apeared in his mentiond quality did promise that the bonds or obligations thus distribued shall be considerd by him apeared in his mentiond quality and thús by Generall Congress of the United States and by each State separate, of the same force and valúe as if he the Said Apeard had signd and Sealed them with his own hand and Seal; Consenting further the mentiond Esqr. Apeared, that with the same obligations or shares of intrest, shall be given oút orderly to pay of this present, obligation, and that fúrther such arrangements may be made aboút the repayment or rimbursement of the money as the Said Mrs. John de Neufville & Son shall think proper:
For the Complyance and fulfilling of which he the said Esqr. apeared in his Said quality and thús in the name of the before mentiond Generall Congress representing the United States of North America declard specialy to bind all and every one of the Said United States jointly and each of them separate, for the whole with renúnciation of all and every benefitts of law contrary to this present, and especially of the benefitt, de duobus vel pluribús veis debendi,4 or—separating debts; and fúrther all the revenúes and produces rising in the Same States, or any of them, likewise all charges and Taxes in the Same states and every one of them, already laid on and perceived or to be layd on and per[c]eived in futúre Engaging again he the Said Esqr. apeared in his Said quality for all superfluity as such might be reqúired by the Said Mrs. John de Neufville & Son or rather the further concernd in this Loan, than this Loan shall be especially ratified and wholly approved by the United States of North America, { 100 } jointly and each separate, to efectúate the same ratification and aprobation as soon as possible, and thús to procúre a dúe prove, thereof to the Said Mrs. John de Neufville & Son, their successors, or them who might come in their rights, and súch in behalf of the joint concernd in this Negotiation or Loan.
Actúm Amsterdam5
No.6
We the Underwritten John de Neufville & Son as to this purpose especially aúthorised and qúalified by the forestanding Obligation Confess by this present, and on the footing and in Conformity of the abovestanding Obligation, to have received oút of the hands of a Súmm of One Thousand Gilders Holland Currency for a share of the forestanding Negotiation of one Million Gilders in behalf of the United States of North America at the intrest of 5 p Ct. per Annúm, and may this intrest be perceived at every Six Month for 2 1/2 p Ct. to be reckond from this date and to last úntill the repayment and not fúrther.
And shall this rimbursement take place in this manner, that at the end of the tenth Year after the date of the forestanding Generall obligation, two hundred shares of intrest or obligation shall be drawn out by lot, in the presence of a Notary Publicq and witnesses, which then will be rimbursed, and the intrest be payd úntill the intire reimbúrsement and not longer, and so at the end of every of the three following Years when again such a drawing by lott rimbúrsement and repayment shall take place, and at the end of the fourteenth Year the then remaining Two hundred shares of intrest shall be rimbursed and then this Whole Negotiation at an end.
Amsterdam
This belongs to the Number of One Thousand shares, mentiond in the Next Standing Obligation and doth the Capital of the shares by me prothocolled not exceed the Summ of One Million Gilders mentiond in the Same Originall obligation.7
MS (Adams Papers). Filmed at [1781–1782], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 355. The MS consists of four pages, each divided into two columns, with the text of the contract in the right column and additions and corrections entered in the left column.
1. Dated from JA's letter to Jean de Neufville & Fils of 2 Feb., below, which approved the translation and printing of the “obligations and Coupons” contained herein. This draft is radically different from Neufville's proposal of 22 Jan., above. Note that the amount to be borrowed was lowered from three to one million guilders and that Neufville & Fils no longer demanded the mortgage of all American lands as security or the consignment of { 101 } twelve million guilders in American produce. Compare this draft with the contract of [1 March], below.
2. This paragraph's meaning is unclear. Presumably once the obligation had been signed it could not be claimed that the money had not been paid. See the 5th paragraph of the contract of [1 March], and note 2, below.
3. An obsolete form of protocol. Its meaning here, taken from old Scottish and French practice, is to register a contract (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).
4. That is, the states were collectively responsible for the whole debt, rather than only that part which might be apportioned to an individual state. See also the explanation in the contract of [1 March], below.
5. Done at Amsterdam.
6. Written in the left column, opposite the first line of the following paragraph.
7. This paragraph was written in the left column, below the last paragraph in the right column.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0068

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

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

Having adjusted the Form of the Obligations to be given in the proposed Loan,1 nothing remains but to agree upon the other Terms, respecting the Commission to be allowed, to your House, for receiving the Money from the Lenders, and paying it out upon the Draughts of Congress, and paying the Interest half Yearly to the Lenders, and finally paying off and discharging the Obligations.
I have had much Conversation upon this Subject, with Several Gentlemen of Character and Experience, and am advised, that one Per Cent, to the House for receiving the Money, and paying it to the orders of Congress—one Per Cent for paying off the Interest and one per Cent for Paying of the Principal finally to the Lenders is a just and reasonable Allowance. This I am willing to allow.
There is the affair of Brokerage also which will require Some Explanation between Us.
I should be glad if you would inform me, how much you expect to be allowed for Brokerage, when you engage and employ the Broker?2
But there is one Point that I beg Leave to reserve to myself and to any other Minister or Agent who may be Sent here in my stead. It is this, that I while I Stay and my Successor after me, shall have a right to employ any Broker that I or he may choose, and whenever one or the other may think proper, to dispose of the Obligations, or as many of them as I or he may think proper, and to allow what Brokerage We shall find necessary. The Money however received upon them to be paid into the Hands of your House.3
I should be glad of your Answer, as soon as may be and in the meantime, I have no farther Objection to your getting the Form of { 102 } the obligations and Coupons translated into Dutch and printed, with all Expedition.4
I have the Honour to be, with great Respect Gentlemen your most obedient and most humble servant
1. See the draft contract for a loan, [ante 2 Feb.], above.
2. Any loan raised in the Netherlands involved three separate entities. First was the banker or bankers, in this case Jean de Neufville & Fils, who undertook to raise the loan and assumed responsibility for the contract, printing the obligations, receiving and paying out monies, and other matters relating to the loan. The bankers then secured the services of a broker who offered the loan or portions of it on the bourse; for his services he received a percentage of the amount he handled. The third person, often called the undertaker, purchased portions of the loan from the broker at a discount, depending on the negotiability of the securities, and sold loan certificates to individual investors (Pieter J. van Winter, American Finance and Dutch Investment 1780–1805, transl. James C. Riley, 2 vols., N.Y., 1977, 1:45–46).
3. JA interlined this sentence.
4. In 1809 JA printed this letter in the Boston Patriot and followed it with this explanation of his effort to raise a loan through Jean de Neufville & Fils (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 377–378):
“Such was the dejection and despondency of the whole nation, that I was candidly told by all the gentlemen in whom I had any confidence, that a loan was desperate, except Mr. De Neufville, who was very confident that he could obtain a considerable sum, and was extremely importunate with me to open a loan in his house. That gentleman's politeness and hospitality drew all Americans to his house, and he made them believe that he could do much, if I would authorise him. I had spies enough upon me, from England, France, and America too, very ready to impute blame to me. Congress were constantly drawing upon me, and there was the utmost danger that their bills would be protested. If this event should happen, I knew that representations in private letters would go to America and to France, that this fatal calamity was wholly owing to my negligence and obstinacy in refusing to open a loan in Mr. De Neufville's house. I thought it my duty, therefore, to try the experiment. It could do no harm, for we had certainly at that moment, no credit to lose. The loan was opened, and all the industry, enterprise and credit of Mr. De Neufville, never disposed of more than five obligations, amounting to five thousand guilders, three thousand of which were lent by Mr. John Luzac, who had previously promised me to advance that sum whenever my loan should be opened, though it should be in the house of Mr. De Neufville. I was not disappointed, however, in the result, because I had absolutely no expectations.”
Nicolaas and Jacob van Staphorst, the principals of an Amsterdam mercantile firm that would take part in JA's loan in 1782, disagreed. They met JA in 1780 soon after his arrival in the Netherlands (vol. 10:190–191) and sought to advise him on financial matters. In a letter of 24 Nov. 1785 to the secretary for foreign affairs, the van Staphorsts made clear the nature of their objections to an American loan in 1781:
“We acquainted him [JA] with great Regret, the Impossibility of Undertaking Same at this Period with the Probability of Success, and the disagreable Consequences that would ensue from a Failure. Which his Excellency appeared to take in good Part, and promised not to proceed further in this Business without speaking to us on the subject. A short time however convinced us the little Dependence Mr. Adams's Promises merited. For this Gentleman instead of following the Stream, by accommodating himself to the Dispositions and conciliating the Confidence of the Hollanders, which might been easily secured to the great Benefit of the United States; on the contrary attempted to force Matters, and with an Opinionatedness peculiar to himself, risqued to overset every Measure. He in consequence thought fit, contrary to the best Advice, which had been given him to open a Loan at the House of Messrs. John de Neufville & Son, Which was generally clamoured against, as we advised him would be the Case. We soon discovered from what passed, that Mr. Adams was much inclined to give Ear to such Persons as flattered him, and Spoke agreable to his Wishes, which not being our character, nor in our Opinion consistent with the Interest of the United States, it was not { 103 } surprizing that Mr. Adams and Us were not so frequently in Conversation together, and that we sought less the Company of a Man whose way of Thinking corresponded so little with our own” (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 4, f. 684–699).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0069

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

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

Nulla Dies Sine Lineâ,1 said a great Geometician and you are so good an American, that you will agree with me, that We ought to let no day nor Hour pass in which We can do any Service to our Country, without embracing the opportunity. Such an Occasion as the present when the popular Affections and even the sentiments of Men in Power, Seem to be turning towards America.
When I landed in Spain I was told by the Vice Roy of Gallicia that he had received orders from the Court of Madrid, to treat all Americans, who should arrive within his Government as the best Friends of Spain.2
Would it not be Wisdom and Policy as well as Humanity for their High mightinesses to publish Some Permission to Dutch Men of War, Privateers, Letters of Marque and even Merchantmen, to carry their Prizes into American Ports and even to trade with that Country? and also Some Permission to American Privateers and other Vessells to come freely into the Ports of this Republick, bring in their Prizes, sell them and even have them condemned in the Courts of Admiralty? What reasonable objection or Argument can there be against this? What dammage can it do the Republick? Cant We continue to have this suggested to all the northern Courts?
By the 10 Article of the Treaty of Alliance with France, “the most Christian King and the United States agree, to invite or Admit other Powers, who may have received Injuries from England to make common Cause with them, and to Acceed to that Alliance, under Such Conditions as shall be freely agreed to and settled between all the Parties.”
Is not this a proper opportunity for Congress to propose to the King of France, to join in such an Invitation to all the neutral Powers, as We yet call them, tho it Seems they are all within a Hairs Breadth of being belligerent Powers. What think you of this?

[salute] Adieu

[signed] John Adams
RC (DLC: Dumas Papers).
1. Let no day pass without something done.
2. See JA's Diary entry for 15 Dec. 1779 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:409).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0070-0001

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

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & Dear Sir

J'ai les honorées vôtres des 31e. Janvr. et 2e. fevr. reçues toutes les deux à la fois ce matin.
Je suis bien charmé that all's well in America. En revanche, je vous dirai, that all's well at Pertersb. Car je sai de bonne part, qu'avanthier un Exprés est arrivé avanthier delà, au Mine. de cette Cour-là, en réponse à la notification du départ de S. J. Y., et que les dispositions de la dite Cour à l'égard et en faveur1 de la rep. n'ont nullement été changées par cette nouvelle. On attend donc, avec une parfaite sécurité, des réponses également satisfaisantes, quant au Manifeste Britannique, et à la réclame des Vx. pris à la Rep.2 mais pas avant la fin de ce mois, ou le commencement du Suivant.
Voici une Lettre que Mrs. Dela Lande & Fynje ont reçue hier pour vous de Petersbourg,3 et qu'ils m'envoient d'Amst. ici, je ne comprends pas pourquoi. Car ils doivent savoir votre demeure. Je leur demanderai la raison de cette singularité; et quand je la saurai, je vous en donnerai connoissance. Mr. Silas Deane passant ici pour Amstm. avanthier4 m'a apporté de la part de S. E. Mr. Franklin un paquet, dans lequel il y avait trois Lettres pour S. E. Mr. Lawrens, avec ordre de Mr. F– n de vous les faire tenir.5 Comme cela feroit un paquet un peu gros par la poste, et que ces Lettres, à ce que je pense, ne pressent pas, j'attendrai que Mr. Gillon repasse ici de Rotterdam, pour vous les envoyer par lui.
Je Suis avec mon Epouse sensible comme nous le devons à votre obligeante bonté, Monsieur, pour ma fille, à qui Mr. Gillon a remis les 4 volumes du Théatre de Made. Genlis.6
Je me réserve de répondre demain ou après-demain à vos deux dernieres.7 La poste, qui va partir, ne me permet rien de plus aujourd'hui, que le respect et l'attachement sincere avec lesquels je suis pour toujours, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

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

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

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

[salute] Honoured & Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0071

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

To James Searle

[salute] Dear Sir

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

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0072

Author: Létombe, Philippe André Joseph de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-04

From Philippe André Joseph de Létombe

[salute] Sir

I have answer'd, three days ago, at Paris the Letter I have been honour'd from your Excellency by the honourable James Searle Esqer.1 My heart is full of gratitude and desires nothing more than to deserve to be instructed with your Excellency's absolute confidence.
{ 107 }
I shall be at Paris Saturday next. Will sett out for Brest at the End of the following week from whence I hope to sail towards Phyladelphia and Boston, as soon as winds will permit it. I beg your Excellency to send me his Commands at Paris directely and take the Liberty to remind, I have promises of letters for Madam Adam's, honorable Samuel Adam, doctor Cooper &c. Any thing wich your Excellency will prescribe me to do or to say in America, you my depend upon, I shall omit none being desirous to give proofs by facts of all the sentiments of attachement and Respect with which I am Yours Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant
[signed] De Létombe
P.S. honorable Laurens2 and colonel Palfrey Consul général were expected every moment and there was no News of them.
Your Excellency may direct his Letters to me Either at M. Dana, or to myself at Paris, but I begg it to be done without any delay.
1. Neither JA's earlier letter to Létombe, who was going to the U.S. as French consul at Boston, nor Létombe's reply of 1 Feb. has been found.
2. Col. John Laurens.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0073

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-02-05

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of 31. Jan. is arrived. A Courier is arrived from Petersburg, who carried the Notice of Sir Yorkes leaving the Hague. All's well in the north.
The Courtiers in England, who indeed compose the nation, flatter themselves they shall raise the Devil in Holland. They may raise a Spirit but it will be a good one. The Symptems are very Strong. If popular Rage gets loose it will not dewitt,1 John Adams, John De Neuville and Van berkel as the Anglomans hoped, but the Anglomans themselves. However, I think there will be no Commotions but all will go well.
The Translator, is very willing that any Notes and Additions may be made. If you get one of the Books pray send it by the Post. The Translator, has circulated many Things here, the Memoire, Hows Narrative and Burgoines, &c. These have had a wonderfull Effect here. And there are so many Wits at Work, that good Sentiments will prevail here in time.2

[salute] Adieu

{ 108 }
1. For Johan de Witt, see vol. 9:96; 10:355; and for JA's apprehension that he might share de Witt's fate, see vol. 10:438.
2. In this paragraph JA refers to himself as the translator of Thomas Pownall's Memorial. The “Memoire” is probably the French version of JA's translation, Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amerique-Unie, for which see JA's letter to Luzac of 22 Jan., note 1, above. The works by Gens. William Howe and John Burgoyne were The Narrative of Lieut. Gen. Sir William Howe, ..., London, 1780; and A State of the Expedition from Canada, ..., London, 1780. JA had used both works extensively in his replies to Hendrik Calkoen in Oct. 1780 (vol. 10:196–252). For JA's role in the translation and publication of the Narrative in the Netherlands in 1781, see his letter of 9 March 1823 to François Adriaan Van der Kemp (JA, Works, 10:407–408) and vol. 10:208 , and references there.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0074-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-05

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

La Lettre ci-jointe au Congrès1 répond en grande partie aux honorées votre du 31e. Janv. et 2 fevr.
Je pense avec vous que la disette de grains en Europe, et notamment en Angle., fera beaucoup de bien à plusieurs Egards à l'Amérique. J'ai déjà fait, et je ferai encore bon usage, de tout ce que vous me marquez dans ces Lettres.
Je n'ai pas encore vu la vie privée de Louis XV. Mais je n'en sens pas moins la verité de vos observations concernant la Fce., et notamment, qu'elle ne pourra ni ne voudra jamais abandonner l'Amérique. Quant à ce que nous devons faire vis-à-vis des autres nations, j'ai dit mon sentiment dans l'incluse: et ce n'est pas le mien seul; c'est aussi celui de l'A–r. de fce. et d'un autre personnage de cette rep. Ce sera certainement aussi celui de notre Ami,2 si vous lui en parlez.
Pour ce qui est de la Démarche que vous voudriez être faite par L. h. P. au sujet des Vx. de guerre, Lettres de Marque, Prises, et Vx. marchds. respectifs de ces Etats ici et des Etats unis, je ne vois, comme vous, aucune objection raisonnable qui puisse être faite contre cela, ni rien que de salutaire qui en pût resulter pour les uns et les autres. Attendons seulement le moment où nous puissions le suggérer avec succès tant à cet Etat qu'aux autres: ce moment n'est peut-être pas bien éloigné, sur-tout celui où l'on pourra faire valoir l'article 10, dont vous parlez, du Traité entre la France et l'Amérique, dont je voudrois bien avoir une Copie: car je n'ai que le Traité de Commerce où cet article ne paroît pas. Avant ce moment les propositions qu'on feroit à tous ces égards à L. h. P. ne feroient que les embarrasser, et leur occasionner des delibérations qui ne finiroient rien.
La fin de votre Lettre du 2 répond à toutes vos demandes, savoir que les Puissces. Neutres sont, à un cheveu près, prêtes à devenir { 109 } belligérantes. Attendons donc qu'elles aient passé ce cheveu: et alors tout ira de soi-même.
Il est certainement plus que temps que le Congrès propose à la France, de se joindre à lui dans l'invitation à faire à ce sujet aux autres Puissces. Et S'il faut premierement écrire pour cela au Congrès, cela seroit insupportablement long, sa réponse viendroit comme la moutarde après dîner. J'aime mieux espérer, que vous avez déjà des pouvoirs suffisans, et Mr. Franklin aussi pour une telle invitation. Ditesmoi, de grace, ce qui en est. J'ai des pardons à vous demander Monsieur pour ne vous avoir pas encore fourni les copies promises. Daignez me faire un peu de credit encore à cet égard. Je suis seul, et n'ai personne qui m'aide à copier une ligne.
Je suis, Monsieur, avec un grand respect Votre très-humble & très obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
J'espere que la mienne d'avanthier, avec la Lettre de Petersbourg, vous est bien parvenue.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0074-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-05

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

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

The enclosed letter to Congress1 is mainly a response to your letters of 31 January and 2 February.
I agree with you that the grain shortage in Europe, and especially in England, will be advantageous to America in many ways. I have already made good use of the information you gave me in these letters and will continue to do so.
I have not yet seen the Vie privée de Louis XV. But I do not believe any less in the truth of your observation concerning France, most notably, that it could never, nor would ever, abandon America. As for what we must do regarding the other nations, I have expressed my sentiment in the enclosed letter, and it is not mine exclusively. It also is the sentiment of the French ambassador and another figure of this republic. It will certainly be the opinion of our friend,2 if you speak to him.
As far as the démarche that you would like Their High Mightinesses to make regarding ships of war, commissions, prizes and merchant ships belonging to these states and the United States, I agree with you that no reasonable objection can be made against it. It could only be profitable for both sides. Let us wait for the moment when we can suggest this with as much success to this state as to the others. That moment cannot be very far away, especially the one that could validate article 10 of the Treaty between France and America, of which you spoke. I would like to have a copy of it since I only have the Treaty of Commerce, which does not contain this article. Before the proper moment, any proposition made to Their High { 110 } Mightinesses would only hamper the deliberations and cause them to accomplish nothing.
The end of your letter of the second answers all your questions, knowing that the neutral powers are on the verge of becoming belligerent. Let us wait for this to pass and everything will stand to reason.
It is certainly past the time for Congress to ask France to join it in making a proposal to the other powers. If it is necessary to write Congress for permission, it would take far too long, and the response would arrive like mustard after dinner. I like to hope that you have sufficient powers, and Mr. Franklin also, to make such an invitation. Tell me please if it is true. I beg your pardon, sir, for not supplying the promised copies to you. Give me a little more credit in this regard. I am alone and no one can help me copy a line.
I am, sir, with much respect, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] Dumas
I hope that you received my letter of the day before yesterday, with the letter from St. Petersburg.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas. ansd. Feb. 6. 1781.”
1. Dumas' letter of 5 Feb. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:250–251). For the postscript dated 6 Feb., which Wharton did not print, see Dumas' letter of 7 Feb. to JA, and note 1, below.
2. Engelbert François van Berckel, Pensionary of Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0075

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-05

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honor of receiving this Day your Excellencys Letter of the 31st. Ultimo.
The deferring the Acknowledgment of our Independancy to the Turns which a Negociation for a general Peace may take is in my opinion a very weak and perhaps Unfriendly Plan. I am confident this Measure would tend most to bring England to a general Accomodation, for it would take from Her every resource and every Hope that her present delusion gives Her of recovering America by continuing a War which she carries on to the insulting and outraging all Europe. Your Excellency is convinced of it. I wish others were so too and acted accordingly.
I should think Sir Joseph York left Antwerp on knowing the Accession of Zealand to the opinion of the other Provinces. I am told He is to quit this Town this Morning and go to Ostend. We expect the Russian Embassador over. Will He not be soon followed by the Danish and Swedish Ones?
We talk here that Rodney with 3000 Men has been repulsed at St. Vincent, that the French are very Active in Asia, and that Pensacola is { 111 } taken,1 if Gibralter was so, the Fleet at Cadiz might do most excellent Service.
This is certainly the Moment for Active and Honest Agents to appear in all the Maritime States. I am sure, if Congress knew the State of Things, it would Adopt the Measure. We should now be well receivd even at Morrocco, the Prince of which seems to be a Man of Liberality and Spirit.2 A Connection with Him is worth Cultivating and indeed, it is Necessary, that it should be.
Has your Excellency seen a Number of intercepted Letters from Messrs. Sullivan Lee Lovel Lyman &c? They were published in the last London papers,3 if they have not come to hand, I will do myself the Honor of sending them to your Excellency.
England has applied for Leave to import grain from this Country, but has been refused. She then can have it from no place and she will be soon distressed by the want of that Article. Next Winter the City of London may want Coals. Let the Dutch look to that, I find they have begun with the Colliers.4
I find by the London Papers, that the English have lost four more frigates. It is said, that Monsieur de Ternay is dead, and that Monsr. Rochambeau is to come home.
I shall soon have an opportunity of reading throughout la Vie privée de Louis XV. I have read Parts of it.
Four or five English officers in the Service of the East India Company have arrivd here in a miserable Condition, they were taken and robbed either in passing through the Eastern Country or on the Red Sea. It is probable they were entrusted with the dispatch which, it is supposed, the Company sent last Spring to Commence Hostilities against the Dutch. If so, some Mischief is stopped.
I am Sir with the greatest Respect, Your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings recd & ansd. Feb. 8. 1781.”
1. Although there were numerous reports about Pensacola in the newspapers, it did not fall until 9 May (Mackesy, War for America, p. 416).
2. Mohammed III, Emperor of Morocco, has been described as the “most progressive and least piratical of the Barbary potentates.” It was with him that Thomas Barclay, in 1786, concluded a Treaty of Peace and Friendship for the United States that JA and Thomas Jefferson signed in Jan. 1787 (James A. Field, America and the Mediterranean World, 1776–1882, Princeton, 1969, p. 32; Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:185–227).
3. The letters Jenings refers to were intercepted at Stratford Landing, Conn., and subsequently printed in James Rivington's New York Royal Gazette on 18 and 27 Dec. 1780. Those that appeared in the Royal Gazette Extraordinary of 18 Dec. were reprinted in London newspapers on or about 27 Jan. (London Chronicle, 25–27, 27–30 Jan.). The letters, not all of which were reprinted in London, were by John Sullivan, Arthur Lee, James Lovell, Daniel Lyman, Timothy Pickering, Ezekiel Cornell, and Samuel Adams. For a list of those { 112 } that Lt. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton sent to Lord George Germain, see Davies, ed., Docs. of the Amer. Rev., 1770–1783, 16:458; and for those by members of Congress, see Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 16:338–341, 352–353, 359–361, 363–366, 368–369, 370–371, 374.
4. Probably a reference to a newspaper report that a Dutch privateer had taken two loaded colliers off Flamborough Head (London Chronicle, 30 Jan. – 1 Feb.).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0076

Author: Tudor, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-05

From William Tudor

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the Honour of your Letter by Monsieur Jean Baptiste Petry about six Weeks since,1 and should before this Time have acknowleged the Receipt of it, had a favourable Opportunity presented but so many of our merchant Ships are captured that a Letter goes subjected to too much Hazard which is transmitted by a private Vessel; This goes by The Alliance and I hope will arrive safe, for the Loss of this Frigate would almost annihilate our Navy.
Should You ask what Part the Americans have been acting this last Summer, I can only say much such a Game as our Allies, that is, doing Nothing. Strange to tell, and more vexatious to reflect that Britain has held at Defiance France and Spain, and even made Conquests in America, unassisted by any foreign Force excepting a few German Mercenaries, and without one single maritime Power to aid, or even wish her Success!
The naval Force under Monsr. Ternay was so unequal to that of the British, after the Arrival of Admiral Graves who reached Sandy Hook as early as the French Squadron got to Newport, that the former's Design was frustrated, and the Army and Navy of our Ally has had the Mortification of being circumscribed within the Harbour and Island of Rhode Island ever since their Arrival.2 Our own Exertions with regard to raising and maintaining a respectable and efficient Army have been shameful, and the Convulsions now dividing our Army in the Jerseys have painfully taught Us the Folly of not making timely Provision for the paying, cloathing and feeding our Soldiers.3 The Wisdom which is acquired by Experience (and all we have in America is from this Source) is slowly and very often dearly purchased. The contracted Views, mercenary Incentives, and shallow (internal) Politicks of this Country has spun out the War to a distressing Length. Upon a Requistion from Congress for the compleating our Battalions against the Opening of next Campaign, we are now giving from twenty to thirty Guineas a Man for Recruits (paper Money will not do in this Business) and yet I am afraid this State's Quota will fall very short.4
{ 113 }
Our Army under General Washington has been miserably fed during the Campaign; This has been partly owing to the French Armament at Rhode Island; their Money being so much better than that of the Continent, the Farmer and Grazier have been induced to drive their Cattle and transport their Forage to Newport instead of the North River. At home the People are grumbling under the Weight of their Taxes, which are now become quarterly and burthensome. Should the next Campaign end as despicably as the present has, I dread the Effect. The Country are vexed to find 72 Sail of the Line blockading Gibralter, when, divided into Squadrons, they might be employed in Operations so much more conducive to the general Interest of the Alliance.5 France and Spain by acting meerly a defensive Part, with a View to stifle the Jealousies of their European Neighbours, may protract the War and exhaust the Resources of Great Britain, but America has neither Patience nor Strength for a Trojan War. They want some capital Stroke to rouse their enfeebled Spirits.
The Treason of Arnold has taught Us a Lesson of Vigilance and Caution; and the hanging Major Andre convinced the Enemy that our Commanders possess Firmness and Spirit. The Renegado is now in Virginia spreading Devastation, but we hope will soon be scourged.6 The Eastern Counties of that State have long wanted something to animate and nerve them. The Success our southern Troops have met since the Misfortune and Misconduct of General Gates in August, will tend to convince the Virginians that to conquer is to be determined.
We have lost a great Number of Sailors this Summer who have perished in the Prison Ships at New York, and We begin very sensibly to feel the Want of that hardy and valuable Mass of Men. Congress has lately published an Act for Retaliation, but it is too negligently inforced.7 Americans have learnt to fight, but they are yet to acquire Inhumanity.
To what cause is it owing that the Dutch have never yet sent any Cargoes to this Continent? Merchants of Speculation and Enterprize might have made for a year past very large Profits by the Sale of almost any European Manufactures. Could our Trade be carried on in neutral Bottoms, our Seamen Might then be employed soly in privateering, infinitely more to the Advantage of America than in navigating merchant Vessels.
The Wheels of our New Commonwealth are well in Motion, and revolve with tolerable Ease. If We had a few more Men of real { 114 } Abilities and extensive Views to aid, the Government by being more respectable would naturally be more energetic.
The Clamours of Creditors have at Length produced a Repeal of the Tender Act in this State, and People in future are to pay their Debts in Paper according to the Rate it bears to Silver, this will help that Currency exceedingly.8 And the principal Reason of Paper Money not depreciating these seven Months (continuing during this Period at 75 for 1) has been owing to the Laws granting an unconfined Circulation to Coin.
About six Weeks ago a very unfortunate Affray took place on the long Wharff. There is a drinking House kept on Minot's T which was frequented both by the French and American Sailors. The Woman of the House complained to the People belonging to the Alliance Frigate, that the Frenchmen not only gave her scurrilous Language, but often refused to pay her, and begg'd them to see her righted; soon after this, the same Evening, a Boat from the Surveillante landed (there were two french Frigates and a large armed store Ship laying in the Harbour) and its Crew repaired to this House as usual for Grogg; and upon growing a little Troublesome, the Americans kicked them all out of Doors. About half an Hour after, the Sailors of the Alliance retiring to their Boats were unexpectedly attacked by the French Sailors armed with Knives, and one of the Americans was thrust through the Heart, and two others badly wounded. By the prudent Conduct of the Officers of all the Ships, afterwards, no Disturbance arose out of this. The Commander at Newport delivered up the French Seamen who were charged by the Jury of Inquest with the killing, and they are now in Prison in this Town and will take their Tryal at the Superior Court.9
On the 1st. January a very alarming Revolt took Place in the Army under the immediate Command of Genl. W[ayne]. The Pennsylvania Line consisting of about two thousand Men who were cantoned at Morris Town, suddenly withdrew headed by a sergeant Major to Prince Town carrying with them their Arms and six Brass field Peices, with Ammunition sufficient to make them formidable. Upon getting to Prince-Town they planted their Guards, formed a Board of Serjeants, stated their Grievances and demanded Redress. Various Reasons pointed out the Necessity of having Recourse to Persuasion rather than Force to quiet this dangerous Insurrection. The whole Army complained of similar Sufferings and secretly wished Success to the Revolters; While the British General was preparing to take Advantage of the general Uneasiness. With a View of drawing the { 115 } Pennsylivania Soldiers over to Staten Island he sent out to them a sensible, shrewd Serjeant and a Jersey Refugee with offers of very advantageous Terms provided they would throw themselves under his Protection. The Revolters spurned the Bribe, and delivered up the miserable Bearers of it to General Wayne, who immediately executed them as Spies. Governor Reed sent them a 100 Guineas as a Reward for this Mark of Attachment; But they returned the Money with this manly Message “That the surrendering up the Spies was only an Act of Duty they owed their Country; They did not sollicit Rewards, they asked only for Justice, and that obtained they would return to their Colours.” All Difficulties have since been removed, and the Men have returned to their Quarters, and their Duty.
I have given You, my dear Sir, in this Letter only the gloomy Side of our Affairs; for a more exhilerating Prospect of them I must refer You to Colonel Laurens.
I am with great Respect & the truest Esteem, my very dear Sir, Your obt. hble. Servt.
[signed] Wm. Tudor
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Tudor 5th. Feby. 1781.”
1. JA's letter of 18 March 1780 has not been printed. For a nearly identical letter, see JA to James Warren of the same date (vol. 9:63–64).
2. For the circumstances surrounding Ternay's arrival at Newport in mid-July 1780 and JA's view of the inadequacy of the French fleet, see vol. 10:29–30, 50.
3. The mutiny of the New Jersey Line on 20 Jan. was reported in the Boston Independent Ledger of 5 February. Unlike the incident involving the Pennsylvania troops, where an accommodation was reached, the mutiny of the New Jersey regiments was put down by force and two of the principal mutineers were summarily executed (Carl Van Doren, Mutiny in January, N.Y., 1943, p. 204–227).
4. The General Court resolved on 2 Dec. 1780 to raise 4,290 men, Massachusetts' quota for the Continental Army. Each town determined how much to offer in bounty (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1:190–201).
5. A report concerning French operations against Gibraltar appeared in the Boston newspapers, including the Independent Chronicle, on or about 25 January.
6. Benedict Arnold arrived in Virginia with 1,700 men in late Dec. 1780. His initial foray was against Richmond, where he burned warehouses and supplies on 5 Jan. (Clare Brandt, The Man in the Mirror: A Life of Benedict Arnold, N.Y., 1994, p. 241–247).
7. The Boston Independent Ledger of 5 Feb. contained reports of the plight of Americans held on prison ships in New York Harbor and indicated that seven or eight were dying each day. It also included a report to Congress and the resolutions proceeding therefrom that were adopted on 5 January. The resolutions permitted retaliation if the treatment of American prisoners did not improve, but did not go as far as some would have liked, for a provision recommending the confinement of “British sea officers and seamen in prison ships or common goals” was rejected (JCC, 19:27–28).
8. An Act for Repealing Certain Parts of an Act Postponing Payment of Government Securities to a Distant Period, &c., adopted on 25 Jan. (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1:6–10).
9. Reports of this incident, which occurred on 28 Dec. 1780, appeared in Boston newspapers, although in less detail than Tudor provides (Independent Chronicle, 4 Jan.). No record, however, has been found of a trial of the French sailors. Minot's T was on the north side of Long Wharf, midway to the end where it met the seventeenth-century sea wall, or barricado, that extended from Lewis Wharf across Long Wharf to Rowe's Wharf (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston, Boston, 1871, p. 118–119, map at p. 20–21).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0077

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-02-06

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

I have received your Favours of the 3d. and 5th. with their Inclosures all in good order. I have but one Copy of the Treaty of Alliance, otherwise I would send you one with Pleasure. I am of your opinion that no Propositions should be yet made to the States General, as a Body, but Hints and Ideas may be suggested to Individuals, in order to prepare Mens Minds by familiarizing them with Such Speculations. It is very true there are critical Moments, after which Things go of themselves, but it is necessary to prepare Things for a Crisis, that every Thing may be ready when it arrives. The Art of the Midwife often assists the Birth and avoids fatal dangers, in Constitutions the most vigorous. And the whole Corps diplomatick, with all their Superb Pomp, are but a Company of Grannys.
Mr. Searle declares that Congress gave Mr. Laurens a Commission of Minister Plenipotentiary, and they gave me the Same. But if Mr. Searle is not mistaken, which I rather believe, the full Powers to me, were omitted to be Sent me, by Some neglect. For I tell you candidly, I have no other Powers, but a Commission to borrow Money.
As to Mr. Franklins Power, the matter Stands thus. The three Commissioners, at the Court of Versailles, Dr. Franklin, Mr. Lee and myself, had full Power, by a Resolution of Congress, to treat and make a Treaty of Commerce, with any Power in Europe. Whether the Dissolution of that Commission, annulls that full Power, may be a question, but the Subsequent Appointment of Mr. Laurens, with full Powers to treat with this Republick, would, I Suspect, be legally, or diplomatically considered, as a Superseas1 of that Authority, here. So that considering Things candidly I am afraid, there is nobody now in Europe, fully authorized to treat with this Republick but Mr. Laurens.
The Accessions of the Nations, which compose the neutral Confederacy, to the Treaty of Alliance, would however be an Event, So brillant and decisive for America, that there is not a doubt to be made, that Congress would joyfully ratify it, in the first moment, whether it was made by Dr. Franklin or me, or even if it was made by the King of France without consulting either of Us, upon equitable Conditions.
I find the People are alike, in Some particulars, in every Part of the World. This Nation is now flattering itself with hopes of Peace. They think that when England Sees, the neutral Union going to War with { 117 } her, She will give up, beg Pardon, change the Ministry, make Peace, rise in Arms against the Ministry &c. &c. &c. Alass! There will be no such Thing. There must fly a great many cannon Balls first. I should have thought this cool, penetrating Nation more intimately acquainted with the English Heart. The Pride, the Self Conceit, the Vanity of that People, is infinite. Nine in Ten of that whole People, fully and firmly believe themselves able to fight and beat, all the maritime Powers of the World. Their Imaginations are all on Fire. They think of Nothing but devouring Holland, Sinking the whole Russian, Danish and Sweedish Fleets, exhausting the Finances of France and Spain, and above all of Americans loving admiring and Adoring them So much as very Soon most humbly to implore their King to take them under his gracious Protection, without even making a condition.
No Sir, Combinations, political Arrangements, and magnificent Parade, will not do with the English in their present State of Intoxication.
Nothing but hard Blows, taking their Fleets of Merchant Ships and burning, taking, Sinking, or destroying their Men of War will bring them to Reason. Nor this neither, untill it is carried to such a Length, as to deprive So many of the People of their Subsistance, as to make them rise in Outrages against the Government. I am Sorry that Things must go to such an Extremity, but I nave not the least doubt that it will.

[salute] With great Respect &c.

1. This may be an abbreviation of “supersedeas,” a writ or other legal impediment that stops or checks some proceeding (OED).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0078

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-02-07

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

By the Tenth Article of the Treaty of Alliance with France “The most Christian King and the united States agree, to invite or admit other Powers, who may have received Injuries from England, to make common Cause with them and to acceed to that Alliance, under Such Conditions as shall be freely agreed to and Settled between all the Parties.”
According to present Appearances, in a few Weeks Russia, Denmark, Sweeden and Holland, the Nations that form the neutral Confederacy, will be at War against England and the first Moments { 118 } of Warmth and Enthusiasm occasioned by this Rupture, would be the most favourable, for France and the United States to join in an Invitation to all these Powers, to acceed to that Alliance. At present it is a question whether there is any Person in Europe legally authorized to treat with any Power, except France and Spain. It is true that the Commissioners, at the Court of Versailles, had formerly by a Resolution of Congress, which I believe was inserted in the Commission, which I had the Honour to carry over to France, Authority to Treat with any Power in Europe. But it may now be justly questioned, whether the Dissolution of that Commission has not dissolved that Power.1 In order to remove all doubts I submit to the Consideration of Congress, whether it would not be proper to give a formal Commission to Some Person or other, to treat with these Powers and Prussia too.
I am very Sorry, that I have it not in my Power, to give Congress more favourable Intelligence on the Subject of a Loan. I am ashamed to say, that I have not been able with all the Solicitation that Decency would countenance, either to get an House to undertake a Loan or a Broker to negotiate it. The Dread of doing any Thing which should give a Colour of Complaint to England, or of furnishing the opposite Party with a pretence to charge any one with directly or indirectly causing a War, has been Such, that nobody dared do any Thing. Even at this Moment there are So many hopes of Peace, and so many Solicitudes about being Supported by Russia Sweeden and Denmark, that Things move very heavily. I am asked every day, with great Anxiety, have you power to make a Treaty with Us? I answer No I have not. I have only Power to negotiate a Loan? I am told, that by beginning my Negotiation for a Loan, without going to the states General first and the Prince of Orange, at least without its being known that I have a Commission to treat with them I shall Spoil my Affair. I believe this to be true but I cant help it. I must obey the orders of Congress and Bills of Exchange will soon become payable. I shall therefore try the Experiment, with little Hopes of Success. I can say no more than this, that Congress may depend upon they never will get a Loan for any considerable sum of Money, untill they have a Minister here.
Mr. Searle assures me, that Mr. Laurens had the Powers of a Minister, if so his Captivity is So much the greater Misfortune: but there is no Possibility that I know of, of getting his Liberty. It would be indelicate and unjust to superceed Mr. Laurens, and therefore I submit it to Congress, whether it will not be expedient to send A { 119 } Commission here, to take Place during the Absence of Mr. Laurens. Perhaps some Gentlemen would think it derogatory to them to accept such a Commission. Some others to serve their Country would not. But in all Events, I beg Leave to give it as my opinion, that a Minister here is indispensibly necessary. If such an one is not sent this Nation will after what is passed, be disgusted. It has been a long time wonderful to me, that Congress have not had a Minister here. It is certainly ill Policy, to neglect a Nation which is the most likely to be affectionately attached to Us, as they are of the Protestant Religion, and <there is more Liberty in their s> attached in sentiment to Liberty tho the Form of their Government cannot be said to be absolutely free, and as they are the Center of the Commerce of the World.
Whether Congress will think proper, to give the Same Minister Power to represent them in this Republick and the other Powers of the neutral Confederacy, or whether they will send a Minister to the Empress of Russia, with such Powers, giving at the same Time a Commission to another to reside here, or whether they will Send a Minister to each of the maritime Powers, I must Submit to their Wisdom. <I beg Leave to say a few Walls>2<before I conclude respecting myself. I see no Prospect at all, that my Commission for making Peace, will be of any Use at all. There can be no greater Punishment to me, then to live in Idleness>.
I have this Day, the Honour of a Letter, from Mr. Lovell, dated the 12th. of December inclosing a Resolution of Congress of the Same day, which does me great Honour.3 I shall continue to do every Thing in my Power, to honour the Bills, that have been drawn, and that I have accepted or may accept, but with very imperfect Hopes of Success, without the Assistance of Mr. Franklin, or of a Power to treat upon political subjects and obtain the Countenance of the states. At present I have no Such Power, and it would only make matters worse if I were to ask it. Most of the Bills of the Sixth of June, have appeard and been accepted by me, upon the Consent of Mr. Franklin to pay them, if I cannot. No others have as yet arrived. When they do, I must again apply to Mr. Franklin. If he cannot, engage to pay, I shall be obliged, for what I see at present, to let them be protested, for it would certainly be better to have them protested for Non Acceptance, than to have the Agent of Congress, engaged for them, unable to pay them, sent to Prison or declared Bankrupt. I hope however that nothing so disagreable will happen. I hope that Mr. Franklin will obtain of France, enough to pay them. There is a firm Confidence here that they will be paid, Some Way or other, for { 120 } it is certain there are no Bills in better Credit, or more demand. They will fetch Goods or Money, at any Time and of almost any Person. This is a great Consolation to me, and an excellent Symptom for the publick.4
It is extreamly disagreable to me, to be obliged to repeat So often as I have done in my Letters, the Request to Congress to send full Powers here because it may have the Appearance of Soliciting for myself, which is not the Truth. It is perfectly indifferent to me, whether such Power be Sent to me or any other Gentleman. The Powers themselves are wanted, and it is of no Kind of Consequence who has them <provided he be, as no doubt he will, an honest and a capable Man>. I dont mean by this however to decline any service to which I may be ordered by Congress, because I am at present an expensive Article to the United States without the Power to do them any good. My Commission for making Peace is extreamly honourable to me, but totally useless to the publick, it has done Us no good whatsoever, it has been considered as a proof of Weakness and distress and an earnest Affection for Great Britain, and an ardent Zeal to be restored to Friendship with them. I never did myself expect any good from it, having ever considered it in the Light, of Some other Measures, in which I have heretofore obeyed the orders of Congress against my own private opinion, particular our second Petition to the King, and the Conference with Lord How upon Staten Island.5 I see not the least prospect that it will be of any service, for the English in my opinion, will not acknowledge our Independance for many Years. And therefore, if there is no service in which I can be employed, in which I can have the Consolation to reflect that I am doing Some thing for the Publick at the Same Time that I am eating its Bread, I had rather be recalled, for in my own Country, I flatter myself I could do it some good. I have the Honour to be
LbC (Adams Papers); notation, below the date line: “never Sent or copied.”
1. JA's commission of 27 Nov. 1777 to replace Silas Deane as one of the three American Commissioners to France, was identical to that given the joint commission as originally constituted in 1776 (vol. 5:333–334; Franklin, Papers, 22:634–635). It directed the Commissioners to negotiate with France, but the February 1778 signing of the Franco-American treaties had obviated it by the time JA arrived at Paris in April 1778. Despite JA's statement here, the power to negotiate treaties with other European nations did not come from the formal commission, but rather from “Additional Instructions” adopted on 16 Oct. 1776 (Franklin, Papers, 22:629–630). The appointment, in Jan. and May 1777 (JCC, 7:8, 318, 334, 343), of separate commissioners to conclude treaties with Spain, Tuscany, Prussia, and Austria forestalled the Commissioners at Paris from acting except, perhaps, with respect to the Netherlands and Russia. Only in the case of the former did they contemplate doing so. For the Commissioners' views on the extent of their power, see vol. 7:64–65, 86–88. JA considered the American Commissioners' powers an issue in 1781 because Congress failed to { 121 } formally terminate the joint commission by recalling JA and Arthur Lee and state explicitly that Franklin's appointment as minister to France superseded his appointment as a Commissioner and the Commission itself. This would have had little practical effect in 1781, because Henry Laurens' appointment as minister to the Netherlands precluded either JA or Franklin from exercising the Commissioners' powers there, and no other nations were interested in a treaty with the U.S. With the end of the war, however, Benjamin Franklin was approached regarding treaties with the U.S., leading JA, as he did periodically, to revisit the whole issue. See, for example, his letters of 15 March and 5 Sept 1783 to William Lee and Elbridge Gerry, respectively (LbC, Adams Papers; MHi: G. F. Hoar Autograph Coll.). Not until 1784, when Congress appointed JA, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson ministers plenipotentiary to negotiate treaties with the nations of Europe and the Barbary states, was the issue laid to rest (JCC, 26:357–362; 27:372–374).
2. Thus in MS.
3. Vol. 10:407–408.
4. When JA copied this letter from his Letterbook for publication in the Boston Patriot he omitted the final paragraph (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 382–384).
5. JA wrote this sentence at the bottom of the page and marked it for insertion at this point. For his opposition to the Olive Branch Petition of 5 July 1775 and his spectacular dispute with John Dickinson that arose from it, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:314–321; 2:173–175. For his account of the conference with Adm. Lord Richard Howe on 11 Sept. 1776, attended by himself, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge, see same, 3:417–431.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0079-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-07

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

Je n'ai qu'un instant avant le depart de la poste, pour vous faire parvenir le Poscrit ci joint pour le Congrès.1 Mr. Deane a repassé ici hier au Soir revenant d'Amsterdam; et il est reparti ce matin pour Paris. Je suis surpris de n'avoir pas vu revenir encore Mr. Gillon de Rotterdam. Avez-vous de ses nouvelles? Ou est-il de retour à Amsterdam?
Je suis toujours avec les sentimens de respect et d'Attachement sincere que vous connoissez Monsieur V. t. h. & t. o. Servit.
[signed] Dumas
Tourner le feuillet.
On me mande de Paris, que Rodney a attaqué l'Isle de St. Vincent, et qu'il a été reçu galamment, et repoussé vigoureusement que Mr. De Ternay est mort à Rhode-Island, et a été remplacé par Mr. DesTouche,2 qui vaut encore mieux que lui. Que les Amns. sont en bonne posture.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0079-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-07

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

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

I have only a moment before the mail departs, to send you the enclosed postscript for Congress.1 Mr. Deane passed through here yesterday coming back from Amsterdam. He left again this morning for Paris. I am surprised { 122 } that I did not see Mr. Gillon again on his return from Rotterdam. Do you have any news of him? Or is he back in Amsterdam?
I remain as always, with sentiments of respect and sincere attachment which you know, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Turn the page.
It is said from Paris, that Rodney attacked St. Vincent, and was received gallantly and pushed back vigorously. Mr. Ternay is dead at Rhode Island and was replaced by Mr. Destouches,2 who will be better than him. The Americans are in a good position.
1. This is likely the postscript of 6 Feb. to Dumas' letter to Congress of 5 Feb., which he had enclosed in his to JA of 5 Feb., above. It reported on the arrival of a courier from St. Petersburg carrying letters from the Dutch diplomats there regarding their activities in the aftermath of Sir Joseph Yorke's departure and the outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch war. Dumas thought the intelligence doubtful because the diplomatic activity seemed premature (PCC, No. 93, I, f. 502).
2. Charles René Dominique Souchet, Chevalier Destouches, the second in command, immediately replaced Ternay as commander of the French squadron at Newport. Destouches was himself replaced in May, when Jacques Melchior Saint Laurent, Comte de Barras, arrived from France (Lee Kennett, The French Forces in America, 1780–1783, Westport, 1977, p. 81, 104).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0080-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-07

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J'ai l'honorée vôtre du 6e. et j'y répondrai à loisir un autre jour. Je vous dirai seulement que je suis bien faché que vous n'ayiez pas les Pouvoirs dont vous parlez, et, qu'il me paroît nécessaire de demander ces Pouvoirs au C—— pour vous sans perte de temps. Il ne s'agit pas de traiter avec cette Rep. seule, ni avec elle la premiere mais avec la Russie, et par elle avec les autres Alliés. Cela aura probablement une grande connexion avec vos Pouvoirs que vous m'avez montrés à Amsterdam: car cela pourra y conduire. Ainsi ne perdons pas du temps. Ecrivons au C—— pour qu'il vous munisse de nouveaux Pouvoirs outre ceux que vous avez déjà, et propres à produire aux Puissces. de la quadruple Alliance.
Je m'expliquerai mieux dans 2 ou 3 jours.
Je suis, Monsieur avec beaucoup de respect Votre très humble & très obeisst. serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Voici les Lettres pour Mr. Lawrens. Je ne crois pas qu'il recouvre sitôt sa liberté. D'ailleurs ses Pleinpouvoirs sont au fond de la mer, et ne s'adressoient qu'a cette Rep.
J'écris fort à la hâte.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0080-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-07

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

[salute] Sir

I have the honor of your letter of the 6th and will respond to it at my leisure another day. I will only say to you that I am angry that you do not have the powers you spoke about, and that it seems necessary to ask Congress for these powers immediately. It is not a question of making a treaty with only this republic, nor with it the first one, but rather signing one with Russia, and after that with the other allies. This is greatly connected to the powers that you showed to me in Amsterdam and it is because of these that it could come about. Let us not waste time therefore. Write to Congress so that it issues you new powers, beyond those that you already have and proper to produce the quadruple alliance.
I will explain myself in greater detail in two or three days.
I am, sir, with much respect, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Enclosed are the letters for Mr. Laurens. I do not believe that he will have his liberty soon. Besides, his plenipotentiary powers are at the bottom of the sea, and they only address this republic.
I write in much haste.
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed under the date [ca. 10 Feb. 1780], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 354.
1. Dumas acknowledges JA's letter of 6 Feb., which he probably would have received on 7 or 8 February. Moreover, Dumas indicated in his letter of 3 Feb. that he intended to send the letters for Henry Laurens, mentioned in the postscript, by way of Alexander Gillon, but in his letter of 7 Feb., above, Dumas indicated his surprise that Gillon had not passed through on his way to Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0081

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-07

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have this day the Honor of receiving your Excellency Letter of the 5th. Instant: It mentions no particulars, but says in general all things are well in the North, and shews that your Excellency is well-satisfied, I am rejoiced at it.
I inclose to your Excellency a Copy of the Translation &c. I Hope the Print thereof will meet with your Excellencys Approbation. I have three more of them, which I will send by the first Opportunity. I have taken the Liberty to send one to Mr. Dana and another to Col. Searle.
Sir J York left this place last Monday as I have had the Honor of informing your Excellency.
A Plot of Ground is laid out for a considerable Magazine near Louvain a town about half a days Journey from Hence.
{ 124 }
I wait in great expectation to see The dutch Manifesto.
I am reading about Congresses and Treaties of Peace. I wish your Excellency was employd and busy in them.
I am with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servt.
[signed] Edm: Jenings

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0082

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-07

From John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I had the Honor of your's of the 4th. instant.1
I acquainted Mr. Luzac immediately with your Request respecting the Crisis, who informed me that it should be translated as soon as possible into the Language You have chosen.
I am exceedingly sorry to learn that the Complaint in your Eyes has returned, and that your Health suffers. I should have been very happy to have taken off your Hands a Part of what I concieve has brought on your Indisposition, if it had been proper or within the Compass of my Ability. I hope your proposed Ramble will restore You. The Air of that City has but little Salubrity.
I can readily concieve that your present Situation is not very eligible, and that the Foot of Penns Hill has more Charms for You than any Spot upon the Globe—indeed there are few Spots more to boast of. Altho' I stand not in the tender Relation of Husband or Father, or in the pleasing one of a Suitor or Lover, and therefore ought not to be supposed to be attached to particular Atoms of Earth, yet there is another Connection which added to those of Blood, carry my thoughts across the Atlantic, and will render a Departure from this Quarter of the World an Event not to be deprecated.
The Repulse of Rodney and the Troops from St. Vincents is an agreable Event. I wish and hope most sincerely that it is but a Prelude to others more decisive. The Languor in the Naval Operations of last Campaign made neither Sailors nor Warriors, and so long an Interval of Inactivity cannot fail to damp that Ardor and Spirit of Enterprize so necessary in that Branch of War. Every Body complains of it—it may be Wisdom and sound Policy, but every one does not see it in that point of View.
The Reports run here of a Treaty between the Empress of Russia and England and that every thing is to be accommodated à l'amiable: that there is another upon the Tapis between England and the Em• { 125 } peror—Propositions for Peace &c. &c. There is a striking Display of one's Hopes, Fears and Wishes in all this—but they are not to become Standards of Credibility—the Blasts of the North are still thought by many to be poisonous to England. And Whilst England continues thus to sport with the Sovereignty Liberty and Commerce of the other Powers, She leagues at least those against her, and renders a Treaty with her if not unsafe, yet dishonourable. She will convince the rest of Mankind, that America has been oppressed, insulted and aggrieved as them. In 1672 Charles II declared War against this Republic, because it attacked his Person and Glory by satyrical Paintings, Medals and Inscriptions, and because the Merlin, the Yacht of the King, which passed thro' the midst of the Dutch Fleet in going to England, did not receive an immediate Return on the Part of de Ruiter to the Salute the Yacht gave. The Lieutenant Admiral Van Gend did return the Salute instantly, and so did de Ruiter, (who, at the Time of the Passing of the Yacht was making Sail and unable then to salute) as soon as possible. Van Gend had hardly finished the Salute, when the Yacht fired two Shot at his Ship, because “qu'il n'avait pas baissé le Pavilion, ni amené la voile de hune.”2 Madam Temple it seems was abord.3 Have the English had more Reason in the present Manifesto? Impartial Nations will judge. The Dutch it is to be presumed are too much irritated to make such humble Concessions now as they did at that time.
Master John and I attend Mr. Pestel's Lectures upon Natural Jurisprudence.4 We begin to understand them and to be accustom'd to his Prononciation.
You will oblige me much, Sir, if in your next You will be kind enough to inform me in what Hôtel at Paris Mr. Dana is lodged.
I have the Honor to be with the most perfect Respect, Sir, your most humble Servt.
[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Thaxter ansd Feb. 8 1781.” JA's reply of 8 Feb. has not been found.
1. Not found, but for the reference in the following paragraph to Thomas Paine's The Crisis Extraordinary, see William Lee's letter of 28 Jan., above.
2. That is, he neither lowered the flag nor dipped his topsail.
3. As Britain prepared for its third war with the Netherlands, which would break out in 1672, it recalled its ambassador to The Hague, Sir William Temple, who reached England in Sept. 1670. It was not until June 1671 that Temple was permitted to write a farewell letter to the States General and the royal yacht was sent to bring home Lady Temple and the remainder of his household. It was on the yacht's return voyage to England that the incident described by Thaxter occurred (DNB).
4. For a sketch of Prof. Frederik Willem Pestel, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:50.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0083

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1781-02-08

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I had yesterday the Pleasure of receiving two Letters from you, one dated Feb. 1. and one without a date, but I suppose written the day before.1 With these I received the Packetts, but there are in them no Letters from my Wife. The Resolution of Congress of the 12 of December, gives me great Pleasure, as it proves that We had the good Fortune to be possessed of the true Principles of Congress and to enter fully into their Views in the Resolutions of last March respecting the Paper Money: but I cannot recollect what were the two Papers, in the Duplicate, more than in the original, there is no minute in the Book to shew.2
I assure you Sir I have not had more Satisfaction in the Resolution, than in the affectionate manner in which Mr. Lovel and you, have communicated it to me. I am prepared in my own mind to receive from Congress Resolutions of a different Nature, but of these We will Say nothing untill We see them.
I must beg you to send me a Key to the Cyphers; the Letter is wholly unintelligible to me for want of one. I see by the Journals, that We are authorized to acceed to the Principles of the Empress of Russia but I find no Commission for that Purpose nor any Resolution of Congress authenticated by the Secretary or the Committee.3 Will you talk with D D ||Benjamin Franklin|| and Fun ||James Searle||, about what is proper, to be done?
All Accounts from all Parts of America shew that a great Spirit reigns tryumphant. A Vigour an Elasticity, Appears in all Parts not with standing the Croaking of Sullivan Pickering, and Francisco ||Silas Deane||.4 The last has been here and gone away without doing me the Honour of a Visit. Rodney and Vaughans Repulse is a grand Stroke a ballance for 5 or 6 Jersey affairs.5 All Things, in all Quarters conspire to shew that the English will have their fill of glorious War. Gillon's hour of Sailing is uncertain, not for a long time I fear. Do you learn any Thing of Davis's Arrival, or Capture, or loss?6 If I had a Commission, as Minister here, I verily believe I would borrow Money, without it, no Man ever will, in any considerable quantity.
1. Of [31 Jan.], above.
2. JA refers to the duplicate of his letter of 26 June 1780 to the president of Congress and to the notations in his Letterbook regarding the dispatch of the duplicate, as well as the original and triplicate of that letter. For the documents enclosed with the three copies of the letter, the dates on which each reached { 127 } Congress, and the notations in JA's Letterbook, see the letter of 26 June, the descriptive note, and note 8 (vol. 9:477–479).
3. JA had not yet received Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. 1780 (JCC, 18:905–906), a copy of which the president of Congress enclosed with his letter of 1 Jan., above. See also JA's letter to Dumas of [8 Feb.], and note 2, below.
4. JA is referring to the complaints and/or pessimism of the three men regarding the conduct of the war: Deane in his conversations with Dana at Paris (from Dana, 1 and [31] Jan., both above); Timothy Pickering in a letter of 20 Nov. 1780 to Gov. Trumbull of Connecticut; and John Sullivan in a letter of 19 Nov. to the officers of the New Hampshire Line. In the cases of Pickering and Sullivan, JA had presumably seen their letters, which had been intercepted and published in the London newspapers (London Chronicle, 27–30 Jan.; see also Jenings' letter of 5 Feb., and note 3, above).
5. Rodney's repulse at St. Vincent more than made up for the defeat of the French effort to invade the island of Jersey (from Francis Dana, [31 Jan.], above; from Thomas Digges, [9 Jan.], calendared above).
6. For Capt. Edward Davis of the Dolphin, with whom JA had sent letters and merchandize to AA, see vol. 10:75.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0084

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-02-08

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Dear Sir

Thus you See that I began the Mischief, and I assure you I am ready to finish it, if properly invited, and a very little Invitation will do. I am extreamly pleased with the Modesty of the Resolutions of Congress upon the subject, and not less so with the sublime Language in which a young poetical Genius, first expressed his Feelings in his Motion. This Motion and the Resolution set off, one another.2
Pray sir, give me your Opinion whether it is adviseable for me to take any steps in the Business at present. I think it will be proper to publish it, and if you are of the same opinion you will oblige me, by having the whole Extract printed as it is,3 because I am very ambitious of the Honour of haveing occasioned such fine Compliments to the Empress, and the Display of so much honest4 Wisdom in Congress.5
We have an Abundance of News from America, all which you will see in the Papers, as soon as you will receive this. All's well still in America.
With great Respect, your humble sert.
[signed] John Adams
RC and enclosure (DLC: Dumas Papers); endorsed: “Amst. 8e. fevr. 1781 Mr. J. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. This date is taken from the Letterbook copy.
2. JA refers to the enclosure entitled “Extracts from the printed Journal of Congress.” The five extracts, dated 1, 2, and 26 Sept., and 4 and 5 Oct. 1780, traced the deliberations of Congress from the arrival of JA's letter of 10 April (vol. 9:121–126), containing the text of Catherine II's declaration of armed neutrality, to the adoption of resolutions permitting the United States to accede to the armed neutrality (JCC, 17:798, 802; 18:864–866, 899, 905–906). The “young poetical Genius” referred to at the end of the paragraph was probably Robert R. Livingston. His motion on 26 Sept. declared that “the acts of a sovereign who promotes the happiness of her subjects and extends her views to the welfare of nations, who forms laws for a vast empire and corrects the great code of the world, claim the earliest { 128 } attention of a rising republick.” Livingston's motion led directly to the resolution of 5 Oct., instructing the Board of Admiralty to formulate instructions for armed vessels “conformable to the principles contained in the said declaration.” On 27 Nov. 1780, Congress approved regulations that committed the U.S. to observe the principle that free ships make free goods with regard to neutral nations with whom it had no treaty as opposed to its previous practice, sanctioned by the law of nations, of seizing enemy property wherever found.
3. The remainder of this sentence is interlined.
4. The Letterbook reads “Simple.”
5. JA took the extracts that he sent Dumas directly from the printed journals of Congress that Francis Dana had sent with his letter of 1 Feb., above. A French translation of the relevant passages from the journals appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 13 February. For Dumas' actions on this matter and information concerning an earlier Dutch publication of the resolution of Congress, see his reply of 9 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0085

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Searle, James
Date: 1781-02-08

To James Searle

[salute] Dr Sir

Yesterday I was honoured with yours of the 1. Feb.1 I agree with you, that affairs look very well at home, but what shall We do with the Croakers?2 Is it that these Wretches are merely Superficial? or do they only want to magnify their Merit, in being faithfull So what they represent as So difficult a Cause? or are they arnoldized? However I have had So long experience of many of these grunting Grumbletonians, that I dont always Suspect Treason when I hear them Sigh and groan.
Cheasapeak Bay is a fine Trap. Our Allies will help Us catch a grand Flock of Vultures there by and by. I Suspect, they will soon all fly there and to Charlestown from N. York.
Congress are Ameliorating every Thing. Their Aeconomy will Safe half the Expence of the War. I wish they had redeemed the Bills at 70 for one. I dont like however the Penalty, which Pensilvania has laid for taking the Paper at less than Silver. All attempts of this Kind will be eluded, and found vain. I am a mortal Ennemy to all Embargos, Regulations of Prices, or violent Endeavours to preserve the Credit of Paper. They do no good but a great deal of Hurt. I fancy American Grain will be in demand, and Europe must convoy it home or Starve. That Vermont will plage Us a little. I expect to hear that there are one or two there, Arnoldized. It is a Peice of Policy, exactly equal to the British Genius, at this day, to bribe 4 or 5 Fellows there, with a little Gold, and a great many Promises that they shall enjoy their Lands, under the British Government. But it will end in the flight of these Devils a l'Arnoldoise. However England must have a series of Tricks and Pranks to keep up the Spirits of the poor Mob, untill they are wholly undone.
{ 129 }

[salute] Adieu

1. Not found.
2. For the “Croakers,” see JA's letter of 8 Feb. to Francis Dana, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0086

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-08

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

After the late conference yoúr Excellency honourd me with, we should have had the honoúr to answer her most Esteemd favoúr sooner, bútt I am confind to my room, and in want of some information aboút the form of the bonds.1
As to the terms Yoúr Excellency pleased to fixe on the Loan, relating to oúr Comission, we can have no objection, we wish chearfully to comply there with; as also, to leave the disposall of the bonds or part of them to Yoúr Excellency or any other Minister here from America, We for oúr Selfs have no predilection for any broker bútt those who may do the greatest service to the Loans.
The brokerage is in generall One half p. Ct. the allowance for the undertakers never fixed bútt I dare say we shall not want to exceed múch there on Yoúr Excellencys expectations; though we have known severall loans in which extravagant premiúms were allowed; and if it may Succeed to oúr wishes and endeavoúrs; we are súre to give yoúr Excellency all possible satisfaction.
With particular regard and veneration we have the honoúr to be Honoúrd sir Yoúr Excellencys most Devoted obedient humble servants.
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. It is not known when JA and Neufville conferred. This letter is largely a reply to JA's of 2 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0087

Author: Lee, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-08

From William Lee

[salute] Dear Sir

The Bearer of this, Mr. Brailsford1 a native of South Carolina, is now on his way to America with the laudable design of serving his Country in the Feild, and being desirous of the Honor of your acquaintance I have taken the Liberty of introducing him to your Civilities, as I am sure you will take pleasure in incouraging such praiseworthy motives as carry Mr. Brailsford to America.
{ 130 }
Since my last of the 31 Ultimo I do not hear any material news to be relyed upon, we have a report from France that Rodney has been repulsed at St. Vincents with considerable loss.
I send you the debates in Parliament on the Dutch War, as perhaps you may not have seen so full an Account of them; these you will please to forward to America.
With the highest respect & regard, I have the Honor to remain Dear Sir Your most Obld. & Obed. Hble Servt.
[signed] W. Lee
Turn over.
P.S. Pray who is Mr. Sullivan the writer of the Letters.2
Sir J. Yorke embark'd yesterday at Ostend for England, which proves his having given up all hopes of success from his intrigues in Holland and Zealand.
1. William Brailsford, a Charleston merchant whom JQA mentions in his Diary for June and who later sailed with CA on the South Carolina (JQA, Diary, 1:77, 83, 88; Adams Family Correspondence, 4:223).
2. Gen. John Sullivan; see Edmund Jenings' letter of 5 Feb., and note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0088

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-02-09

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I have this day the Honour of yours of 5. It would be unwise in Congress, to neglect any Effort to induce other Powers of Europe to acknowledge our Independancy, and therefore I am fully of opinion that at least one Minister Should be sent to treat with the Maritime Powers, or rather the neutral Union. For these Powers will all acknowlege our Independance at once, and none of them will do it Seperately. But Spain is a horrid obstacle to every other Courts taking this Step. Spain which is more interested in it, even than France, hesitates, and Jay is hung up, there as I am here, an object of Ridicule. Congress will not exhibit more of these Objects, than are necessary. Every Body Shakes his Head and crys, why dont Spain acknowledge your Independancy? I know the Reason very well but I cant tell it.2 I think that Reason equally impolitick and ungenerous. But how can We help it? and how can We help it.
1. In his Letterbook JA did not indicate the recipient of this letter, which is incomplete and probably was never sent, but it is clearly a reply to Jenings' letter of 5 Feb., above.
2. When JA copied this letter in 1809 for publication in the Boston Patriot he italicized this sentence and in a paragraph immediately following the letter explained what he meant (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, { 131 } p. 387). “Although prudence forbad my explaining 'the reason' at that time, there is no necessity of concealing it now. I then believed, and I still believe, that the policy of the count de Vergennes, which exerted all its resources through the duke de la Vauguion, at the Hague, to embarrass me, and through the marquis of Verac to obstruct Mr. Dana at Petersburg, was employed at Madrid through the count Montmorin, to retard Mr. Jay; for his fundamental and universal principle appeared to be to keep us entirely dependent on France.”

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0089

Author: Cooper, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

From Samuel Cooper

[salute] My dear Sir

Colonel Johonnot who sails in the Frigate Alliance, I expected would have tarried with us a day or two longer. His sudden and unexpected Call to go on Board this Ship which now lies at some Distance from the Town allows me but a Moment to write you. The Colonel can give you all the News. Colonel Laurens who goes in the same Vessel upon some secret and important Errand of Congress is capable of stating to you the present Situation of our Affairs. The raising an Army during the War, goes on more slowly than I could wish; I hope we shall compleat this Business in Time, but Republican Governments, tho the best in the World upon the whole, are not remarkable for Decision and Energy in military Matters. Money is now our great Desideratum. The general Court have made new Arrangements in pecuniary Matters, by a small Majority in the House and a large one in the Senate, and have repealed all Tenders except in hard Money or Paper Equivalent, and gone into other Methods adapted to restore public Credit.1 We cannot pay the Charges of the War in the Year, and are sensible of the Necessity of Loans. The Resources of this Country are a sure Fund for them; and as they must increase every day, the principal as well as the Interest may be easily paid in a moderate Term of Time upon the Restoration of Peace; It would be to the Advantage of our Allies, and the Neutral Powers to entertain this Idea of us, and aid us in the present Pinch; Without which I am afraid we shall not be able to act in the common Cause as our Friends expect and we wish. Colonel Johonnot goes to France upon a Plan of Business; Your Friendship to him in this will oblige us both. He will see you upon the Affairs of his Son.2
Please to accept a Copy of the Discourse delivered by me at the Commencement of a Constitution so much your own.3 The Call for the Departure of the Colonel is given, and I must subscribe myself, With every Sentiment of Respect and Friendship, Your obedient humble Servant
[signed] Saml: Cooper
{ 132 }
1. See William Tudor's letter of 5 Feb., and note 8, above.
2. Gabriel Johonnot was going to France to join Samuel Cooper Johonnot, his son and Cooper's grandson, who was then living with Benjamin Franklin at Passy. See also AA's letter of 8 Feb. to JQA and CA (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:77–79).
3. A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency John Hancock, Esq; Governour, ... October 25, 1780. Being the Day of the Commencement of the Constitution, and Inauguration of the New Government, [Boston, 1780] (Evans, No. 16753). See also Edmund Jenings' letter of 1 Jan., and note 4, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0090-0001-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

J'ai reçu et vu avec autant de satisfaction la belle et bonne Résolution du Congrès du 5 Octob., que j'ai eu de regret de voir cette Piece publiée trop précipitamment dans la Gazette d'Amsterdam.1 Sans cela je vous aurois conseillé de renvoyer cette publication de quelques ordinaires; et j'aurois fait avec plus de grace une démarche, qui vous auroit pu conduire tout d'un coup à une liaison importante; démarche que je dois faire maintenant avec moins de grace, et du mieux que je puis, ainsi que vous verrez par la copie ci-jointe d'un Papier qui accompagne ma copie et Traduction de la dite Résolution. Tout ceci absolument entre nous deux seuls. J'aurois bien besoin, pour le bien de notre marche, d'un Entretien avec vous ici, ou à Leide. Si vous ne pouviez pas vous absenter d'Amsterdam, j'irois jusque chez, si vous l'ordonnez. Je n'ai pas vu toute la traduction du Gazettier d'Amstm. Mais j'y ai vu une fausseté sur un point essentiel, qui fera un mauvais effet.2
Fiez-vous, Monsieur, je vous en supplie, à mon zele et pour la cause Américaine, et pour vos succès personnels. Entendons-nous bien; et ne soyons pas trop communicatifs en matiere politique envers certaines gens que l'intérêt propre et la jalousie font agir, tant Gazettiers qu'autres. Celui de Leide, à qui j'aurois voulu donner la préference pour cette publication, quand nous en aurions fait l'usage secret essentiel, mérite cette préference par-dessus le Propriétaire de la Gaz. d'Amst., parce qu'il est l'ancien et constant Ami des E.U. depuis le commencement, et que l'autre ne l'avoit point été jusqu'ici. Au reste, ne croyez pas que ce soit mon Amitié pour Mr. Luzac qui soit la premiere cause du chagrin que j'ai de voir cette piece publiée prématurément. Mon regret à ce sujet a un objet plus important. Je porte ce soir la copie et ma traduction là où vous devinerez par la Copie du papier ci-joint. Il faudra, quand nous nous verrons, que nous convenions d'un petit chifre.
{ 133 }
La poste part, et il m'est impossible aujourd'hui de repondre à votre penultieme Lettre.
Croyez, Monsieur, que je suis avec le respect & le zele le plus sincere, Votre très humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
Ne faites aucun semblant, Monsieur, ni aucune plainte à Mr. Cer—— de, sa traduction fautive; et n'exigez pas de lui qu'il la répare dans quelque feuille suivante. J'ai de fortes raisons, pour vous comme pour moi, de laisser croire que sa publication ne vient pas de votre part.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0090-0001-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Gallitzin, Prince Dmitri Alexeivitch
Date: 1781-02-09

Enclosure: A Démarche from Dumas to Prince Gallitzin

Copie du paper qui accompagnoit la Resolution que j'ai portée ce soir à &c.
Sans égard à une Traduction très fautive que le Gazettier d'Amsterdam vient de donner de la Résolution du Congrès general des Etats Unis de l'Amérique du 5 Oct. 1780, apparamment d'après quelque Gazette Américaine, il est de mon devoir de communiquer à S. E. M—— une vrai Copie, en langue originale, de cette Résolution, telle que S. E. M. J. Adams Min. plenip. des E.U., me l'a fait parvenir, avec ma Traduction, afin que cette Piece puisse parvenir à la connoissance de S. M. I. dans toute son intégrité. Fait à la haie le 9 Fevr. 1781.
[signed] (Signé) D—— A. d. E.U.
Au bas de la copie de la resolution qui accompagne ce papier, j'ai mis.
A true copie taken by myself from another of the own hand of the honble. J. Adams M. Pl. from the U.S.
[signed] Signed D– A. of the U.S.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0090-0002-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

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

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

I have received and have seen with much satisfaction Congress' great and good resolution of 5 October. Unfortunately it was published precipitously in the Gazette d'Amsterdam.1 Otherwise, I would have advised you to postpone its publication so that I could have written a more graceful démarche that you could have sent at once to an important liaison. I must now prepare a less graceful démarche as best I can, as you will see by the enclosed copy of a paper that accompanied my copy and translation of the said resolution. All of this is absolutely confidential. For our continued progress, it is necessary that I meet with you here or in Leyden. If you cannot leave Amsterdam, I will go to you if you order it. I have not seen the entire translation by the publisher at Amsterdam, but I did see an error on an essential point, which will make a bad impression.2
{ 134 }
I ask you, sir, to trust in my zeal for the American cause and for your personal success. Let us clearly understand that we cannot be too communicative about political matters with certain people whose own interests and jealousy will move publishers, as well as others, to take action. The one I preferred for this publication, when we have to do so secretly, is the publisher at Leyden, who deserves this preference over the proprietor of the Gazette d'Amsterdam because he has been an old and constant friend of the United States from the beginning, while the other is hardly so even now. Moreover, do not presume that my friendship for Mr. Luzac is my primary cause for concern in seeing this piece published prematurely. My regret is owing to a more important reason. This evening I am taking the copy and my translation to where you can guess from the paper enclosed. When we see each other, it will be necessary that we agree on a cipher.
The post is leaving, and it is impossible today to respond to your next to last letter.
Believe, sir, that I am with the most sincere respect and zeal, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
Do not concern yourself with or complain to Mr. Cerisier about the defective translation, and do not ask that he correct it in the next issue. I have strong reasons, for both of us, for letting it be thought that the publication did not come from you.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas ansd. Feb. 12. 1781.” Enclosure filmed at 10 Feb. 1781 with Dumas' letter to JA of that date (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 354).
1. In this reply to JA's letter of [8 Feb.], above, which enclosed the text of Congress' resolution of 5 Oct. regarding the armed neutrality, Dumas clearly believes that JA was the source for the resolution as it appeared in the Gazette d'Amsterdam. But in his enclosed démarche to Prince Gallitzin, Dumas attributed the text to “quelque Gazette Américaine,” and the Gazette de Leyde of 13 Feb. gave its source as a letter from Philadelphia of 6 Dec. 1780. The issue of the Gazette d'Amsterdam that carried the resolution has not been located.
2. The publisher of the Gazette d'Amsterdam was Trouchin Dubreuil and his translator was Antoine Marie Cerisier. For Cerisier's error, see Dumas' letter of 10 Feb., and note 3, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0090-0002-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Gallitzin, Prince Dmitri Alexeivitch
Date: 1781-02-09

Enclosure: A Démarche from Dumas to Prince Gallitzin: A Translation

Copy of the paper which accompanied the resolution that I have carried this evening &c.
Without regard to a very defective translation that the gazetteer of Amsterdam has given the resolution of 5 October 1780 by the general Congress of the United States of America, apparently after some American gazette, it is my duty to communicate to His Excellency M. [Prince Gallitzin, Minister Plenipotentiary of Russia] a true copy, in the original language, of this resolution just as His Excellency M. J. Adams Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States sent me together with my translation to the end that this piece can be brought to the knowledge of Her Imperial Majesty in all its integrity. Done at The Hague, 9 February 1781.
[signed] (Signed) Dumas, Agent of the United States
At the bottom of the copy of the resolution accompanying this paper I have written.
A true copie taken by myself from another of the own hand of the honble. J. Adams M. Pl. from the U. S.
[signed] Signed, D—— A. of the U.S.
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas ansd. Feb. 12. 1781.” Enclosure filmed at 10 Feb. 1781 with Dumas' letter to JA of that date (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 354).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0091-0001

Author: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

From the Comte de Sarsfield

Je vous ai, Monsieur, une obligation infinie de m'avoir procuré la connoissance de Monsieur Searle.1 Je n'en ai encore gueres profité. Je n'ay eu Lhonneur De le voir qu'une fois; mais J'espere que mercredi nous boirons ensemble a votre Santé. Il m'a appris que vous restiez en Hollande dont Je ne vous cacherai pas que J'ay eté faché, apres quoy, par reflexion, J'ay pensé qu'il falloit Etre bien aise de cequi vous convient le mieux.
Vous verrez, Monsieur qu'apres avoir vu commencer la Guerre partout, vous verrez naitre la paix. On en parle beaucoup icy dans ce moment mais J'ay de la peine a y croire pour ce moment cy. Ce Sera autre Chose l'hiver prochain. Il faut esperer que les Affaires pourront Se tourner de maniere a nous la donner. Au reste vous etes et par votre Etat, Monsieur, et par le pais que vous habitez bien plus aportée que moy de Savoir le plus ou le moins de fondement de ces bruits.
Je Suis faché que vous n'ayez pas eu la bonté de me dire quelque chose du commodore2 a qui Je prends beaucoup d'interét. Je vous prie de lui dire bien des choses pour moy quand vous le verrez Et d'etre bien persuadé des Sentimens d Attachement Avec lesquels Jay Lhe D Etre Monsieur Votre tres humble et tres obeisst Serviteur
[signed] Sarsfield3
The content of notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of a preceding document: C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams, 9 February 1781.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0091-0002

Author: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

The Comte de Sarsfield to John Adams: A Translation

I have an infinite obligation to you, sir, for providing my introduction to Mr. Searle.1 I have hardly been able to profit from it since I have only had the honor of seeing him once. But I hope that we can share a drink together on Wednesday and toast to your health. He told me that you have been staying in Holland, a fact, which I will tell you openly, made me angry. But after some reflection I thought this must be the best situation for you at this time.
You will see, sir, that after having seen the beginning of war everywhere, you will start to see the birth of peace. Everyone here is talking about it quite { 136 } a bit, but I can hardly believe it at the present time. It will be different come next winter. We must hope that the turn of events will bring us peace. Moreover, you are, sir, by your station and by the country in which you live, more able than I am to lend any credibility, or lack thereof, to these rumors.
I am distressed that you could not give me any news of the commodore,2 in whom I am very interested. Please give him my regards when you see him and be well persuaded of my sentiments of devotion with which I have the honor to be, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Sarsfield3
1. Sarsfield seems to indicate that JA had written him a letter introducing James Searle. If so, it has not been found.
2. Presumably Alexander Gillon.
3. For JA's friend and correspondent Guy Claude, Comte de Sarsfield, see vol. 9:228–229.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0092

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

From John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

I had the honour of yours of Yesterday a few Moments past.1 I was happy to learn, that the News from our Country is agreable. The Extract from Charlestown furnishes another instance of English Barbarism—another Trait of Despair.2
The <Resolution> Thanks you mentioned were very justly deserved, and an Acknowledgment that ought not to have been omitted. There is another Correspondence, which has an equal Claim to thanks, and I am confident will meet with them.3 Testimonies of this kind ought to produce some Twinges somewhere.
I pray You to accept of my best Thanks, Sir, for your kindness in offering to answer any Draughts of mine for Money. I ought to be fully persuaded of that, as I am. The Reason of my requesting Mr. Dana to do it was, that he was to make a payment to the same Person. viz Mr. Williams of Nantes.
Will You give me Leave to add my Request to that of Mr. Luzac for the American Papers, if convenient. He wishes much to see them.
The Letter You inclosed was from Mr. Charles Warren, Son of your Friend the General, dated the 3d. of November. He mentions that Mrs. A. and Family were then well. This is a Stroke of Madam W's. Policy, in setting her Son to write to me. He is an amiable young Gentlemen—and the Letter is so exceedingly complimentary, that I find myself ensnared, and shall be obliged to place an Answer under the Eyes of a good tho' I hope not a severe Judge.
Dr. Waterhouse4 desires his Respects and is much obliged by your Information respecting the Time of Hayden's sailing.5
{ 137 }
The Young Gentlemen are well. Ils travaillent avec beaucoup d'ardeur, et ils avancent très bien.6 They desire their Duty.
I have the Honour to be, with perfect Respect, Sir, your most humble Servt.
[signed] J. Thaxter
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in an unknown hand: “Mr. Thaxter 9th Feb. 1781.”
1. Not found.
2. Thaxter may be referring to an item appearing in the Gazette de Leyde of 9 February. An extract from a letter dated 26 Nov. 1780 at Charleston described an attack against a British garrison at Augusta, Ga., by Georgia and South Carolina militiamen led by Col. Elijah Clark and Lt. Col. James McCall. The attack began on 14 Sept. and ended on the 18th when British reinforcements arrived from Ninety Six, S.C. According to the letter, the British then hanged 13 American prisoners and turned a number of others over to their Indian allies (The Toll of Independence: Engagements and Battle Casualties of the American Revolution, ed. Howard H. Peckham, Chicago, 1974, p. 75).
3. That is, JA's correspondence with the Comte de Vergennes in July 1780 about the exercise of his commissions to negotiate Anglo-American treaties of peace and commerce. For that correspondence, see The Dispute with the Comte de Vergennes, 13–29 July 1780, and references there (vol. 9:516–520); for Congress' criticism of JA's position therein, see the letter of 10 Jan. from the president of Congress, above.
4. Thaxter, JQA, and CA were living with Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. For a sketch of Waterhouse, detailing his lengthy and often intimate relationship with the Adamses, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:32–34.
5. It is not known exactly when Capt. William Haydon of the Juno sailed, but he carried letters and merchandize between AA and JA in 1781 (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:94, 133–134, 240, 241).
6. That is, they work with great enthusiasm and make excellent progress. On 11 Feb. Thaxter wrote to inform JA that on 29 Jan. CA had been accepted as a student at the University of Leyden, as JQA had been earlier (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:79–80).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0093

Author: Williams, Jonathan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-09

From Jonathan Williams

[salute] Dear Sir

Capt. Charles Jenkins of the Brig Sally arrived here this morning to my address, he left Rhode Island on the 12 Jan and reports that affairs were in the same State, the English Fleet in Gardiners Bay and the French in Rhode Island and both armies in Winter Quarters. By this Vessell I received the inclosed Letter which I take the earliest Opportunity to forward.1
Were I to attempt to make an Apology for my long Silence I should do it awkwardly for I confess I have not been so attentive to you as I ought to have been and I freely ask your Pardon. I trust you will forgive me and accept of my Future attention as an atonement. I assure you however that for these last six Weeks I have not enjoyed an hours Tranquility on account of Mrs. Williams's <situation> Illness and I am sure you have too often experienced the Anxiety of such a Situation to think it strange that even the most Important Correspondence should be neglected.2 I hope I shall be soon relieved from this { 138 } uneasiness as Mrs. Williams is much better tho' not yet out of her Bed.
I am sorry the Wine came in so bad a Condition to Orleans. It went away from me in good Order but I suspect the Boatman is a Rogue.3 I have not yet drawn for it because I have not heard of your Reception of the Wine I sent from Bordeaux and I wished to make but one affair of it.

[salute] I am with great Respect & Esteem Dear Sir Your most obedt Servant

[signed] Jona Williams
1. This letter has not been identified.
2. Mariamne Alexander Williams was recovering from the birth of their daughter Christine on 29 Dec. 1780 (Franklin, Papers, 34:224). Williams' last known letter to JA was dated 14 Sept. 1780 (Adams Papers).
3. From the reference to the wine at Orléans it is clear that Williams is replying to JA's letter of 13 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers) in which JA reported that the wine sent by Williams had arrived at Orléans “in a Condition unfit to go forward, and Some of it gone.” See also JA's letter to Henry Grand of 3 Nov. 1780 and Grand's reply of 24 Nov. (vol. 10:323, 369–370).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0094-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-10

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

Je suis encore inconsolable de la publication précipitée de la Résolution: car elle m'a fait manquer l'occasion d'une adresse toute belle et toute naturelle que j'aurois pu faire de votre part à certaine Cour par le moyen de son Ministre ici, et même de ménager une premiere entrevue entre vous et lui à cette occasion. L'A—— r de notre Allié1 pense comme moi. Il a approuvé la maniere dont j'ai tiré parti des debris de cette occasion manquée, ainsi que l'adresse dont je vous envoyai hier copie, et que je lui ai montrée ce matin.2 Du reste il pense comme vous, que si Vous Monsieur, ou quelque autre Plénipotentiaire Am. concluiez un Traité avec quelque Puissance, quand même elle ne seroit pas nommée dans vos pouvoirs, un tel Traité ne fût valable et confirmé par le C–; enfin que, Si en vertu de l'article 10 que vous citez, Sa Cour devoit faire l'invitation, il faudroit commencer par en requerir le R——.
Les Etats provinciaux d'Hollde. se sont séparés, et ne se rassembleront que Mercredi prochain en huit. Je puis donc, si vous le desirez, m'absenter d'ici et aller passer cet intervalle à Amsterdam, Soit chez vous, Soit chez Mr. De N——, qui m'invite. Permettez seulement que je vous découvre candidement l'embarras où je me trouve { 139 } constamment, toutes les fois qu'il s'agit de voyager. C'est que la somme très-modique, qui m'a été allouée jusqu'ici pour vivre, et pour les fraix que le service des Etats Unis m'occasionne, ne me permet pas de faire souvent de ces voyages, malgré toute l'économie que je puis y mettre, Sans m'incommoder beaucoup, à moins que vous ne puissiez et vouliez prendre Sur vous, Monsieur, de mettre ces fraix-là, lorsque je vous en rendrai compte, à la charge du Congrès: car je ne puis les répéter de Mr. F—— n, qui m'a renvoyé à l'égard de toute augmentation ultérieure, à ce que le Congrès ordonnera de moi et de mon sort. Il seroit bon, cependant, que je pusse profiter de ces Intervalles, où il n'y a rien à faire ici, pour aller les passer à Amstm., sur-tout dans le temps que vous y êtes.
Entre nous, Mr. De N—— desire que j'aille chez lui pour lui aider (apparemment pour l'Impression) à un Emprunt qu'il va ouvrir, dit-il. Ayez la bonté de me marquer ce qui en est, sans faire semblant avec lui que je vous en aie écrit. Assurément, Si je puis être utile en cela, comme en toute autre chose, je Suis prêt à partir au premier ordre.
Mr. C—— a fait une vilaine faute dans la traduction de la Résolution. Il fait dire une fausseté au Congrès en traduisant comme S'il y avoit invited thereto, au lieu qu'il y a if invited thereto.3 C'est Mr. l'A——r de fce. qui me l'a fait remarquer: car je n'ai point lu le reste de la traduction, l'Ambr. ne pouvant me laisser cette Gazette, parce qu'il devoit l'envoyer en Fce. Quant au Minre. à qui j'ai fait remettre une Copie de cette Traduction pour sa Cour, il m'a fait remercier: mais je n'ai pu le revoir encore, parce qu'il S'est trouvé tous ces jours fort occupé. Et d'ailleurs, je dois un peu ménager mes visites là jusqu'à ce que sa Cour soit décidée à la guerre: ce qui dépend de la conduite de celle de nos ennemis.
Je Suis avec un vrai & sincere respect Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant servit.
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0094-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-10

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

[salute] Honoured & dear Sir

I am still disconsolate about the precipitous publication of the resolution. Because of it, I missed the opportunity to write, on your behalf, a fine and natural address to a certain court to be conveyed by its minister here, and beyond that to arrange an introductory meeting here between you and him on this occasion. The ambassador of our ally1 thinks as I do. He approved of the manner in which I took advantage of this missed opportunity, that is, the address I sent you yesterday and showed him this morning.2 Moreover, { 140 } he agrees with you that if you or some other American plenipotentiary concluded a treaty with one of the powers, despite it not being listed among your powers, such a treaty would be neither valid nor confirmed by Congress; and finally, that if his court should issue an invitation under the terms of Article 10, which you cite, it would have to originate from a request to the King.
The provincial states of Holland have adjourned and will not reassemble until one week from Wednesday. I could therefore leave here, if you wish, and come to Amsterdam, where I could stay either with you or with Mr. de Neufville, who invited me. Allow me to tell you candidly of the predicament that I constantly find myself in when it comes to travel. The modest sum, which is allotted to me for living expenses and for expenses incurred in my service to the United States, does not allow me to take trips very often, no matter how frugal I may be, without a great deal of inconvenience. Perhaps if you could and would take it upon yourself, sir, to charge these costs to Congress, as soon as I give you an account of them, since I cannot ask Mr. Franklin who dismissed consideration of any further increase other than what Congress will allow for me and others in my position. In the meantime, it would be good if I could profit from these intervals, in which I have nothing to do here, by going to Amsterdam, especially when you are there.
Between us, Mr. de Neufville wants me to go to him in order, he said, to help him (apparently for the impression) with a loan he is going to open. Have the goodness to tell me what it is about, without letting him know that I wrote you about it. Assuredly, if I can be of any use in this matter, or in any other, I would be ready to leave immediately.
Mr. Cerisier made a terrible mistake in the translation of the resolution. He erroneously rendered Congress' words as invited thereto rather than if invited thereto.3 It was the ambassador of France who pointed it out to me. I hardly read the rest of the translation, because the ambassador could not leave me the Gazette since he had to send it on to France. As for the minister to whom I gave a copy of the translation for his court, he thanked me. But I have not seen him again since then because he is so busy these days. Moreover, I must be prudent about my visits until his court makes a decision about the war, which depends on the conduct of that of our enemies. I am with true and sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas ansd Feb. 12. 1781.”
1. The French ambassador, the Duc de La Vauguyon.
2. See the address to Prince Gallitzin enclosed with Dumas' letter of 9 Feb., above.
3. The resolution as adopted by Congress read: “That the ministers plenipotentiary from the United States, if invited thereto, be and hereby are respectively empowered to accede to such regulations, conformable to the spirit of the said declaration, as may be agreed upon by the Congress expected to assemble in pursuance of the invitation of her Imperial Majesty” (JCC, 18:905).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0095

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-02-11

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

I thank you for the Translation, which came to hand yesterday.1 I do myself the Honour to inclose you, a Pamphlet, translated from the third Edition of the Dutch. It was written by Mr. Calkoen they pronounce it Kalkoon, a Lawyer of the first Character here, with whom I am very well acquainted. The Pamphlet is a consummate Justification of Van Berkel, Tamminck and all the Rest. It is amazing that York should have been thirty Years here, and learnt no more of the Constitution and History.2
What is become of the Remarks upon Galloway?3 That curious one, has now attacked Keppel.4 Strange that such a low, lying fellow should make such a Noise. The Ministry themselves will soon be cheated by that Wretch and abandon him.
1. This is JA's A Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe upon the Present State of Affairs Between the Old and New World into Common Sense and Intelligible English, which had just been published in London. In his copy, now in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, JA transcribed a review of the Translation that appeared in the Monthly Review for Feb. 1781 (64:149–150). The reviewer wrote that “some Readers will possibly think, that while it hath gained by elegance of form, it hath rather suffered by abridgement: as the rough diamond is reduced by the polisher. Like the diamond, however, in the Jeweller's hand, this performance appears to much greater advantage, by having its sentiments new set, by a skilful artist.” For the titlepage of the Translation and the complete review as JA copied it, see Descriptive List of Illustrations, No. 2, above.
2. This was Hendrik Calkoen's anonymous pamphlet Système politique de la régence d'Amsterdam, exposé dans un vrai jour; et sa conduite justifiée avec décence contre l'accusation du chevalier Yorke . . . Traduit du hollandais sur la troisième édition, Amsterdam, 1781. A copy of the first Dutch edition, Het politiek systema van de regeering van Amsterdam, in een waar daglicht voorgesteld, en haar gedrag tegens de beschuldiging van den ridder Yorke . . . (Middelburg, [1780]), is in JA's library at the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library). The pamphlet was a defense of Amsterdam's role in the negotiation of the LeeNeufville treaty of 1778, which was one of the principal reasons the British gave for declaring war on the Netherlands. Calkoen noted that Amsterdam had not signed a formal treaty, although it could do so under the terms of the Union of Utrecht of 1579, which established the political foundation for the Dutch Republic. For an analysis of Calkoen's arguments as part of the ongoing pamphlet war between the patriot and stadholderate parties, see Leeb, Origins of the Batavian Rev., p. 150–155; see also Jenings' letter of 18 Feb. and JA's reply [27 Feb.], both below. For JA's previous dealings with Calkoen, see vol. 10:99–117, 196–252.
3. This is JA's first known inquiry about the fate of his reply to Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts (London, 1780 [i.e. 1779]), which he had written the previous summer and sent off to Jenings on 22 July 1780. See “Letters from a Distinguished American,” vol. 9:531–588.
4. Between 5 Dec. 1780 and 20 Jan. 1781 Joseph Galloway published seven letters in the London Chronicle entitled “Letters from Cicero to Catiline the Second.” The letters pursued one of Galloway's favorite themes: Britain's failure to achieve victory in America because of indecisive and inept leadership, and, most importantly, the treachery of the pro-American faction in England, of which the Howe brothers were leading members. JA refers to the postscript to the seventh letter, which appeared in the London Chronicle of { 142 } 18–20 January. Galloway attributed Adm. Augustus Keppel's failure to defeat the French off Ushant on 27 July 1778 to his association with the same subversive faction to which the Howes were allied. JA's specific reference to Galloway's attack on Keppel makes it likely that he saw the piece in the London Chronicle. In its issue of 30 Jan. – 1 Feb. the newspaper announced the publication of the collected Letters From Cicero to Catiline the Second, With Corrections and Explanatory Notes (London, 1781), and it is possible that a copy could have reached Amsterdam by 11 February.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0096

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Church, William Singleton
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-11

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr Sir

My long silence has not been owing to any want of regard or attention to you, but has been solely occasiond by the imprudence and folly of some young men, whose conduct has produced a general hunt after Amns., the stoppage of letters, seizure of baggage &c. &c.—and it seems as if it would never have an end. The last who went from here Mr. W[arren] may have explaind in part what has happend. I am sorry to say, entre nous, that the bad refugee company that He kept here was in great measure the cause of his trouble and he seemingly got what He deservd. His imprudence and that of Mr. B[rai]ls[for]d will most likely be the cause of Trumbulls confinement many months longer than it otherways would, and I am very sorry for Him, because He is the only prudent and discreet Amn. I have seen here for a long time back. I wish to God they were all either gone or taken up, and that my Countrymen woud not permit their fools to come abroad.
The Bearer1 will explain his case and situation to You, He seems a clever deserving man and may stand in need of Your advice and recommendation how to act in the business He is upon, which is the recovery of some debts due to Him in Holland. Please to mention Him to Mr. Jan Spuyt, to whom He may be of service.
He will explain the state of things here better than I can do in the short space I have to write. He is Captain G—— r—— sh from your neighbourhood in this kingdom. Please to appologise to Mr. Spuyt for my want of time to write Him. The times are too much against us yet to open the contraband commerce which we formerly dealt in successfully, and I do not yet know the charges of sending goods via Ostend.
I have lately forwarded you four or five parcells books by that rout. I send them to Mr. Frs. Bowens mert. Ostend2 with an under cover For Messrs. De N[eufvil]le & son which also covers another direction to Mr. Schorn. I some time ago forwarded a letter from Mr. Jones to Mr. S—— rle.3 Pray inquire of Mr. S– le if He ever got it for having no answer, there is uneasiness about it.
{ 143 }

[salute] I am yrs mo Respectfully

[signed] W. S. C.
I sent yesterday a small parcell pamphlets to Ostend as above.
1. Probably Capt. Samuel Gerrish of the Aurora. Gerrish was captured in July 1780 and sent to Mill Prison at Plymouth, from which he escaped on 28 Dec. 1780 (Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 73). In view of Digges' continuing efforts to aid American prisoners and even to aid and abet the escape of fugitives from British authorities it would not have been unusual for him to entrust a letter to Gerrish's care (vol. 9:12; 10:155, 166–167, 339, 366, 399–400; from Thomas Digges, 8 March, below).
2. For Francis Bowens' role as an intermediary for packages from Digges, see vol. 9:273, 306–307.
3. Probably William Jones, a noted British lawyer and opponent of the American war. Digges probably enclosed Jones' letter to James Searle in his own letter of 14 Nov. 1780 to JA (vol. 10:314–315, 339–340).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0097

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1781-02-12

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I have received yours of the 9 and 10th. of this month. The Resolution of Congress is printed and published in the publick Journal of Congress and of Course in all the American News papers, and all the other Newspapers of the World. Congress have a Secret Journal, in which, they enter every Thing that they mean to keep Secret, and a publick Journal which is printed every day. Whatever is inserted in this Congress mean and intend, Shall be made known immediately to all the World. Accordingly whatever any European Novellist can find, in this Journal is free Booty. It was necessary moreover that this Resolution Should be published in Europe without Loss of Time, for the Government of American Frigates, Privateers and Letters of Mark, who before this Resolution did not hold themselves bound by the armed Neutrality, any more than Spain does now towards Denmark. Moreover a Publication of it here was all the Use that could consistantly be made of it, at present as I have not received any Authenticated Copy of the Resolution other than the Journal.
I know not the Motives which Mr. De Neufville had in inviting you to Amsterdam, unless it was for the Sake of good Company, which is Motive enough. I am now very busy, in finishing my Plan of a Loan, when it is done, I will go to Leyden and either wait on you at the Hague, or ask the Favour of you to meet me at Leyden.
I have it not in my Power, at present, to do any Thing more than Mr. Franklin has done, that is refer you to Congress, respecting the Subject of Money. I think however, it will not be long before, Somebody or other will have Power, to decide upon that matter, here.
{ 144 }
Pray have you a Cypher from Mr. Lovel? I have a long Letter from him, which is absolutely unintelligible to me, for want of his Cypher.1
I have the Honour to be, with great Respect, sir your most humble servant
[signed] John Adams
1. From James Lovell, 14 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:411–414).

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 af