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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0010-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-13

From C.W.F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

C’est avec une très-grande satisfaction que j’ai appris de Mr. Thaxter votre heureux rétablissement1. J’espere que vous avez recouvré toutes vos forces, et qu’il ne vous reste aucun ressentiment de la violente fievre qui vous avoit attaqué. Pour se bien porter dans ce pays, il ne faut pas y mener une vie trop sédentaire, mais se donner du mouvement, et changer d’air. J’aurois déjà eu l’honneur de vous faire une visite et tenir compagnie. Mais l’absence de ma femme, et fille, qui sont encore en Gueldre, et les choses interessantes qui se passent ici, et dont je ne voudrois pas interrompre le fil historique, m’ont retenu. J’espere de pouvoir le faire dans quelques semaines d’ici. Votre absence et maladie ont été causes que je n’ai pu vous communiquer la suite de mes dépêches pour le Congrès. Je vous montrerai coram ce que vous n’en avez pas vu. En attendant, je recommence par la présente que vous voudrez bien, Monsieur, fermer après l’avoir lue, et lui donner cours avec vos paquets2. J’ajouterai ici que je viens de recevoir une Lettre très honnête et polie de la Société Amore patriae, qui est établie à R–m, et qui m’offre d’être un de leurs Membres, ou du Moins leur Correspondant. Je coupe court, pour ne pas trop vous fatiguer la premiere fois que j’ai l’avantage de vous répéter, combien je suis pour tou• { 14 } jours avec un vrai respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obeissant serviteu
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0010-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-10-13

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

[salute] Sir

It is with great satisfaction that I have learned from Mr. Thaxter of your recovery.1 I hope you have regained all of your strength and that there is no trace left of your violent fever. To maintain good health in this country, one must not lead a sedentary life, but rather should keep moving and take in fresh air. I would have already had the honor to pay you a visit, but the absence of my wife and daughter, who are still in Gelderland, and my desire to not have any interruption in the interesting things going on here, have detained me. I hope to do it in a few weeks from now. Because of your absence and sickness, I did not send you the rest of my dispatches to Congress. I will show them to you in person. Meantime, let me start fresh with the enclosed one that, after having read it, sir, you would be so kind as to forward in your packets.2 I will add here that I have just received a very honest and courteous letter from the Amore Patriæ Society, established in Rotterdam, offering me membership, or at least a corresponding membership. I will cut this short, in order that I do not tire you the first time I have the privilege to repeat to you how I remain with true respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. John Thaxter to Dumas, 24 Sept. (vol. 11:492).
2. Dumas probably enclosed his letter of 11 Oct. to the president of Congress (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:771–772).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0011

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: McKean, Thomas
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-10-15

To the President of Congress


[salute] Sir

I am very sorry to learn that Congress had recieved no Letters from October to June.1 It is not that I wrote less than usual in that period, but that I was more unfortunate. Two Vessels, which sailed from hence for Boston, each of which had Dispatches from me for Congress, destroyed them, one upon being taken, and the other being chased. But the most of my Dispatches were Lost at St. Eustatia, I fear. While that Island was in the possession of the Dutch, I sent a great number of Letters, Packets of Papers &ca by several Vessels, to the Care of Curson and Governieur, to be forwarded to Congress. It is very certain the Enemy have got possession of some: one very short and insignificant one they have published, and the { 15 } London Papers give Intimations of more, but I fancy they will not choose to publish them.2 I hope Commodore Gillon has arrived before this day, who had Letters from me, and all the public Papers for some time. I sent Dispatches also by several other Vessels, which have sailed from hence. It is extreamly difficult for me to send Letters by the Way of Nantes, L’Orient &c or by the Way of Spain. There is so much bad faith in the public Posts, that it would not be possible for me to write without having my Letters opened, perhaps copied: and there is scarcely ever an Opportunity by a private hand to any sea-port in France.
But I have a further apology to make to Congress, for the few Letters I have lately written. On the second of July I left Amsterdam at the Invitation of M. the Comte de Vergennes for Paris, for a Conference upon the subject of Peace, the Mediation of the two Imperial Courts and the Congress at Vienna. After dispatching all that was necessary relative to these sublime Bubbles, I returned to Amsterdam: not long after I got home, I found myself attacked by a Fever, of which at first I made light, but which increased very gradually and slowly, until it was found to be a nervous Fever, of a very malignant kind, and so violent as to deprive me of almost all Sensibility for four or five days, and all those, who cared any thing about me, of the hopes of my Life. By the help however of great skill and all powerful Bark, I am still alive; but this is the first time I have felt the Courage to attempt to write to Congress. Absence and Sickness are my Apologies to Congress, for the few Letters they will recieve from me since June.
Whether it was the uncommon Heat of the Summer, or whether it was the Mass of pestilential Exhalations from the stagnant Waters of this Country, that brought this disorder upon me, I know not: but I have every Reason to apprehend, that I shall not be able to re-establish my Health in this Country. A Constitution ever infirm, and almost half an hundred years old, cannot expect to fare very well amidst such cold Damps and putrid Steams as arise from the immense quantities of dead Water that surround it.

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

[signed] John Adams
RC, text and signature in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 420–422); endorsed: “John Adams October 15. 1781.”
1. JA is responding to James Lovell’s letter of 21 June (vol. 11:381–383).
2. For the plight of Samuel Curson and Isaac Gouverneur Jr. and an account of the letters entrusted to them, see vol. 11:440–442.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.