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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0168-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

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

[salute] Sir

I was happy to be informed, by your honored letter of yesterday, of your approval of my conduct.
I went immediately to see the countess of Wickrad, who told me that she could not finish her business here, among other things the transfer of the house, sooner than May 1st. If she is able to gain some time, contrary to present expectations, she will alert me to it. To my regret, things must stay the same then, since I would very much like to have you here today rather than tomorrow. I had already inquired about it before finishing Friday, but she said no. This does not mean that you cannot empty your house in Amsterdam, and load all of your effects and send them on one { 273 } boat to arrive on May 1st. The next day your house will be open for them to be placed there, and then on the 3rd of May, to be arranged according to your wishes.1 Then, if need be, the countess will not have to leave the house before May 3rd and therefore it will cost you less money.
When the courier2 asked the Countess about the buyer, her reply was that the house was bought for Congress. There is nothing bad about that. This must have caused a pleasant sensation.
After having asked if what had been assured me was as certain as what I had been told, the answer was that if the resolution were not already passed, it would be soon.
Back to the house business, I am extremely distressed at the situation that my wife and I find ourselves in, that is, that we must also move before next May 1st. Because of steps taken for this year at the end of last year, I rented rooms for me here beginning this month, and my wife and daughter are preparing to leave on May 1st, or perhaps sooner, for our farm in Gelder. They will pass the summer there and the winter here or elsewhere depending on our circumstances. It is regrettable, sir, that I cannot offer you my wife’s assistance, in addition to my own, on which you can rely. Her assistance is superior to mine regarding home repairs, furniture arrangement, new purchases, cleaning, etc., because of the precautions, care, and economy that women generally understand better than men do. She deeply shares with me the mortification of this contretemps, and we would, with all our hearts, remedy it if we could. If I had anticipated what was going to happen, I would have been able to retain the house for another year. But there is no more time. This house is rented to another tenant and we must leave as I said.
There is a man here, who, after learning who bought the house, offered me an assortment of wall coverings and curtains. I will go to see them as soon as I recover from a small upset. I will then ask my wife to go see them also to check if they are as beautiful and well priced as this man says. If she thinks the color and size would be suitable for your best rooms, I will talk to you or write to you about them in more detail.
Also I was offered a nice cast iron stove that was used for only one winter in the servants’ vestibule of an envoy here who passed away. It is still completely new. I know it was bought for 7 ducats. I could have it for 28 or 30 florins because the person who told me about it wanted it for himself, but it was too big for his apartment. But first it must be decided upon. If you want it, sir, I will buy it for you. It does not close at the bottom and one has the pleasure of watching it like a fire in a hearth.
After reading to my wife what I wrote about her in this letter, she told me that she will write to you herself regarding your move, and especially regarding the cleaning of your house here before your furniture arrives. I will send her letter as soon as I have it.3
I do not know if I told you, sir, of the remark generally being made here. It is being said that it has been France and Spain who have had residences here exclusively, and now America has equaled them in stature.
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By chance, I heard talk that we will soon be spared from certain espionage here. My compliments to Mr. Barclay and Mr. Thaxter. I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient Servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas 25. Feb. ansd 2 March 1781.”
1. The passage from this point through “le 3e. May” was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
2. The courier from the Duke of Brunswick; see Dumas’ letter of 23 Feb., above.
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0169-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Dans une Lettre de ce même jour,1 qui est déjà à la Poste, j’ai oublié de vous faire part d’un Article essentiel, qui est, que le Rapport de Mr. Van den Santheuvel le Président, fait à L. H. P. de votre derniere Requisition, a été pris ad referendum le dernier jour de l’Assemblée d’Hollde, par toutes les Villes de cette Province. Nous verrons ce qui en résultera. Les Etats se rassembleront demain mercredi en huit.

[salute] A la hâte M. V. t h. &. t. o. S.

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0169-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

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

[salute] Sir

In a letter of this same day,1 which I have already mailed, I forgot to include some essential news. President van den Santheuvel’s report made to the high mightinesses of your last requisition, was taken ad referendum on the last day of the Dutch assembly, by all cities of this province. We will see what will come of it. The states will reconvene a week from tomorrow.

[salute] In haste, Sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,

[signed] Dumas
1. This letter clearly is dated the 26th, but no other letter of this date has been found. Dumas is presumably referring to his letter of 25 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0170

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-02-27

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 3.

[salute] Sir

Friesland has at last taken the Provincial Resolution to acknowledge the Independence, of which United America is in full Possession.1
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It is thought that several Cities of Holland will soon follow their Example, and some say it will be followed forthwith by the whole Republick. The first Burgomaster of this City has said within a few days past, that in six Weeks at furthest, the Independence of America would be acknowledged by all Seven of the United Provinces: but I have no Expectation of such Haste.2 This Government does nothing with such Celerity.
By what I hear and read of their Speculations, it seems to me that the general Sense is at present not to shackle themselves with any Treaties either with France or Spain, nor to make any Treaty of Alliance, nor to make even a Treaty of Commerce with America as yet for a considerable Time, but for the several Members of the Sovereignty one after another to acknowledge the Independence of America in the manner that Friesland has done; and for the States, the Prince and the Admiralties to exert themselves in preparing a Fleet to command the North Sea, and wash out some of the Stains in their Character, which the English have so unjustly thrown upon it, in their Blood. There is a loud Cry for Vengeance, a stern demand of a Fleet and a Battle with the English, and if the Court contrive to elude it, the Stadholder will run a great Risque of his Power.
Sensible and candid Men tell me, We wait for Spain and We wait for Russia. We wont make any Treaty with You. It is of no great Importance to Us or to You. We see there is a tremendous Power arising in the West. We cant meddle much: but We will at all Events be your good Friends. Whoever quarrels with You, We will not.
In short I expect no Treaty. I dont expect that our Independence will be acknowledged by all the Provinces for a long Time. Nevertheless, it appears to me of indispensible Importance that a Minister should reside constantly here vested with the same Powers from Congress, with which they have honoured me: for which Reason, having the Offer of a large and elegant House in a fine Situation on a noble Spot of Ground at the Hague, at a very reasonable Rate, I have, in pursuance of the Advice of Mr. Barclay, Mr. Dumas and other Friends, purchased it and shall remove into it on or before the first of May. In Case I should be recalled, or obliged to go away upon other Services, any Minister that Congress may appoint here in my Room will find an House ready furnished at the Hague ready for him.
The Negotiation for the Purchase was conducted secretly: but when it came to be known, I am informed it gave a great deal of Satisfaction in general.
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To pay for it, I have applied all the Money I had of Mr. de Neufville’s Loan, and some Cash of my own which I brought with me from America, and for the second Payment I must borrow of a Friend, if Dr. Franklin cannot furnish the Money, for which indeed I dont love to ask him, he has so many Demands upon him from every Quarter. The House, including Purchases and Charges &c will amount to about sixteen thousand Guilders ten thousand of which I paid yesterday. I have been obliged to take the Title in my own Name, but shall transfer it to the United States as soon as they are acknowledged, and the Account can be settled, provided Congress approve of the Transaction, otherwise I shall take the Risque upon myself and sell it again. I shall live hereafter at a smaller Rent than I ever did before, tho’ in an House much superior.
RC (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 13–16); endorsed: “Letter Feby 27. 1782 John Adams Read May 31” and “Letter from Mr Adams Amsterdam 27th. Feby 1782.”
2. Presumably either Egbert de Vrij Temminck or Joachim Rendorp, probably the former in view of JA’s suspicions about Rendorp (to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., note 4, above). It was only a little over seven weeks later, on 19 April, that the States General recognized the United States.
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.