Papers of John Adams, volume 14


From Stephen Codman

251 To C. W. F. Dumas, 7 February 1783 Adams, John Dumas, C. W. F.
To C. W. F. Dumas
Dear Sir Paris Feb. 7. 1783.

I have heard no News of my Son, Since he was in Stockholm, the Beginning of December, although I was led to expect his arrival at the Hague by the End of that month—we are now in February and I hear nothing of him, which gives me much Anxiety, least he should have fallen Sick or met with Some other unfortunate accident. I there any way of writing to Stockholm, Lubeck, Copenhague or Hamborough or all of them to enquire after him. Perhaps our Friend Mr: D’Asp would be So good as to write to Stockholm to enquire if any Body heard of him there; and when he quitted that City and for what other he was bound.1

Hamborough I should think the likelyest Place to find him, or hear of him at present—I want to hasten his Journey to the Hague—

The Treaty with Sweeden was Signed on the fifth of this month So that Mr: D’Asp and you may now be Friends without political Reserve.2

My best Respects to Madame & Mademoiselle, and all other Friends.

Your most obedient.

John Adams.

You may print our Preliminary Treaty as Soon as you will.3

Tr (PCC, No. 101, II, f. 316).


For Dumas’ efforts to obtain news of JQA, see his reply of 13 Feb., below.


JA's report in this letter and that to Thomas McKean of 6 Feb., above, that the Swedish-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce had been signed on 5 Feb. is accurate. In fact, however, the negotiations were incomplete and on 7 Feb., at Sweden's behest, the documents that JA alludes to were burned and a new, undated set was signed. Over the next month additional articles were negotiated and a new signing took place on 5 March, with the final treaty dated 3 April. It is quite possible that this letter to Dumas was the source of an account of the signing in the Gazette de Leyde. Much annoyed by the report, Gustaf Philip, Count von Creutz, Swedish ambassador to France, wrote to his government that “through the carelessness of Mr. Adams, the American agent, the secret finally leaked out” (Amandus Johnson, Swedish Contributions to American Freedom 1776–1783, 2 vols., Phila., 1953–1957, 1:577–580, 587–589; Miller, Treaties , 2:149). The report appeared in the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 18 February.


The preliminary Anglo-American treaty was printed in the Gazette d’Amsterdam on 11 February.