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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0154-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-14

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

[salute] Sir

This morning, the accord with France and the mediation were resolved in the states of Holland.1 It is a singular cuisine that can season two things { 237 } so incompatible and a singular stomach that can swallow and digest them. The mediation was accepted with the exception of the republic’s rights to the armed neutrality. According to the resolution, the belligerent powers must be notified about the peace negotiation. I do not know any other particulars of the resolution, but I will know more tomorrow. Wentworth2 was sent here by the British government. At eleven o’clock this morning he was in a meeting with the Russian ambassador. He is presenting himself as the little ambassador. Mundus vuit decipi, ergo decipiatur.3 We will remain honest. We will have the last laugh.
Mr. Barclay and Mr. Thaxter have seen you know what. I believe that by their report you will realize that I have not exaggerated and it would be a good purchase. You must not take too long to decide, sir, because someone might buy it or rent it soon. I could buy it for you provisionally under my name. Tantum4 for today because the mail is about to leave. I am, with the most sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. For French and English translations of the resolutions, see the Gazette de Leyde, 21 Feb.; The Remembrancer . . . for the Year 1782, pt. 1, p. 249–250.
2. Paul Wentworth, a British agent, arrived at The Hague on 1 Feb., ostensibly to arrange a prisoner exchange. In fact, the North ministry, at least partly to mollify the opposition, had sent him to sound out the Dutch government about a separate peace. It was a mission doomed to failure. The British conditions, which included a commitment by the Dutch not to recognize the United States and to expel JA, proved unacceptable. Just as unacceptable to the British were the Dutch demands that the free ships make free goods provision of the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1674 be reaffirmed, that captured Dutch possessions be returned, and that the Netherlands be paid an indemnity for its maritime losses (Edler, Dutch Republic and Amer. Rev., p. 199–200; Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Diplomacy of the American Revolution: The Foundations of American Diplomacy, 1775–1823, N.Y., 1935, p. 168).
3. The world wishes to be deceived, and let it be deceived.
4. So much.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0155

Author: Williams, John Foster
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-15

From John Foster Williams

[salute] Sir

From a personal Knoledge of your Excellency’s Sencere Attachment to the true intrest of your Country and those individuals who have Distinguish’d themselves theirin, leades me to address you at this time, I was Capturd in May last, and haveing ben Honnourd with the Command of the State Ship protector, was Transported from New York to these Disagreable Mansons, and Commited to Mill prison 22d July last where I found Numbers of my Country men and Towns Men in distress, but finding, the Brittish Ministry inclin’d to Exchange us provided Notice Sufficant was taken, I im• { 238 } mideatly maid application to Mr John Joy1 late Inhabitant of the Town of Boston, who, Interpos’d in my behalf and has finally Effectd. my Immideate Exchange.
Inclos’d is a Letter from a Gentn: who I have Just left in Captivity, in Mill prison at plymouth in England from which place I am Exchang’d together with several others, to wit Capt John Manly and a Capt Talbot and several others the Former of which is Exchang’d against an English Major, the Latter against an Officer of equel rank detained for him in America, I am happy to Inform you that the Independance of our Country is now so far allowed off in Britain that thay hold Rank of Officers in the Estermation, tis in consequence of this that the Writer of the Enclosed, Capt N. Nazro2 has addressed you on his behalf, and you will please permit me to Recommend him to your perticular pateronage and protection, as a Gentleman of merit and distinction, whose Services, entitle him to the notice and favor of his Country, he was late in the Capacity of a Capt of Merines in a privat Arm’d Vessell of War of 20 Guns Belonging to Boston, and is I believe the only Officer of the like rank in that line in the same prison where he is confined, I am fully of opinion, that was their aney British Officer in any Respect upon an equality with particularly a Captive to the American flag and Confined for him either in Europe or America, that the same would immediately effect his liberation, and in this manner also may many others Officers now in confinement in the same prison be liberated, haveing done that Justice which is due to the Merits of this my Fr[iend as] well as several others American Captains. I beg leave to subscribe myself what I really wish to be Your Most humble and Most devoted obedient Servant
[signed] John Foster Williams3
RC (Adams Papers). Removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of one word and part of another. Enclosure not found.
1. John Joy, a loyalist and former Boston housewright, went to Halifax in 1776 and then on to England (Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, with an Historical Essay, 2 vols., Boston, 1864, 1:596).
2. This may be Nathaniel Nazro’s letter of Nov. 1781, above.
3. John Foster Williams of the Massachusetts navy, was taken in May 1781 when the Protector, the state’s largest vessel, was captured by the British warships Roebuck and Medea. Williams was pardoned for exchange in Nov. 1781 (DAB; Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 208, 232).
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.