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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0179-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-04

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I have received, sir, the letter that you did me the honor to write from Amsterdam on the 1st of this month. I am unable to answer it in the capacity of a minister of the King, not having any further instructions on the subject to which it relates, but as you have the goodness to request my private opinion, I will give it to you with the greatest sincerity.
After having very seriously reflected on the views which you have communicated to me, whatever my inclination to adopt your opinions, I cannot conceal from myself the inconveniences attending the execution of the plan, which you appear disposed to pursue. I should fear that it might retard rather than accelerate the ultimate success, and I believe that I am { 290 } very well found in thinking as I do. I shall have the honor of explaining more fully in conversation the motives which convince me if, as Mr. Dumas gives me reason to hope, you should visit The Hague in the course of a few days.1

[salute] Receive, sir, renewed assurances of the sentiments of sincere attachment and consideration with which I have the honor to be your most humble and most obedient servant,

[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “de la Vauguion 4 Mars 1782.”; notation by CFA: “See Dipl. Corresp. of the Rev. Translated. Volume 6. page 269.” The reference is to Jared Sparks, ed., The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, 12 vols., Boston, 1829–1830.
1. In his letter of 5 March, below, Dumas wrote that La Vauguyon sent this letter that afternoon, making it likely that JA received it on the 6th. JA’s letters mention neither a journey to The Hague nor a meeting to consult with the French ambassador, but John Thaxter wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 7 March that JA had gone to The Hague that morning to meet with La Vauguyon (Franklin, Papers, 36:665).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0180

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bergsma, Mr.
Date: 1782-03-05

To Mr. Bergsma

[salute] Sir

I have Received from the Hand of Mr Menkema, the Resolution of the States of Friesland of the 26. of February.1
I beg you would accept of my best Thanks for the Honour you have done me, in communicating to me, So early this important Measure—a Resolution which does Honour to that Spirit of Liberty, which distinguishes your Province; and is so apparently equitable, that the Example cannot fail to be followed by all the other Provinces.
The Situation of this Republick is Such, that it cannot rationally expect Peace, upon any Terms, consistent with her Honour and essential Interests, untill there is a general Peace. Great Britain will never agree to a Peace with this nation but from Motives, that will equally Stimulate her to make Peace with America. She will never make Peace with either while she entertains a hope of any Advantage in continuing the War. And there is every Reason to believe, that nothing would contribute more, to extinguish Such hopes, than a decided Acknowledgment of American Sovereignty by this Republick.
Such an acknowledgment too, will probably have a great Influence with Spain, and with all the Powers which are Parties to the armed Neutrality.
{ 291 }
In Short there is no Event, which would have a Stronger Tendency to accellerate a general Peace, So much wished for by Mankind.
The true System of this Republick is to be neutral, as much as possible, in the Wars of Europe. This will also be the true System of America: and an intimate Friendship between the two Republicks, will enable each to assist the other, in maintaining their Neutrality.
The Province of Friesland will have the Honour with Posterity, of having first penetrated into the true Plan of Policy for the Republick, and she is indebted to no man more for this advantage than to you.

[salute] I have the Honour to congratulate you and the Province, upon the occasion, and to subscribe myself, with very great Respect, & Esteem, sir &c

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.