Papers of John Adams, volume 14

To C. W. F. Dumas, 16 May 1783 Adams, John Dumas, C. W. F.
To C. W. F. Dumas
Sir Paris. May 16 1783

I thank you for yours of the 9th.

We remain here in the Same State of Indecision, which We have been in these Three Months, uninformed of every Thing in America uncertain of the System in England and unable to See one day before Us. My Situation is as pleasant as it has been for a long Course of Years Sure that whatever may be well done will be ascribed to other People, and that whatever Faults may be committed will be laid to me. But as We say in America my Back is broad enough to bear it all.

The Peace of Westphalia, is not a more curious History nor a more important one, than the Peace of Paris of 1782 or 1783 or 1784 or whenever it may be finished.— Whether the Secrets of it will ever come out or not I know not. But if they should they will appear very extraordinary.

I wish Mr Van Berckel Joy with all my Heart, and with the more lively Simpathy, as I hope to be married, once more, myself in a few Months, to a very amiable Lady whom I have inhumanly left a Widow in America for Eight Nine Years, with the Exception of a few Weeks, only.1

Ask Madam Dumas, whether she thinks she has Patriotism enough, to consent that you should leave her for Nine Years Pro bono Publico? If she has she has another good Title to the Character of an Heroine.—

It gives me great Pleasure to see that our Friends Support themselves and their Cause so nobly. It is one of the Sweetest Consolations I have found in Life, to see that while We have been contending for our own Liberties, We have given an opportunity to Several other Nations for the Renovation of theirs.— We have the Satisfaction to reflect that We have Set an Example of political Liberty, religious Liberty and Commercial Liberty, before the Eyes of the present age, and that Mankind in general have shewn so good a Disposition to favour and to follow it.— May every Part of America and Europe, take care, not to loose, the Ground they have gained.

With great Esteem your most obedient

John Adams.

RC (DLC:Dumas Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur / Monsieur Dumas / Hotel des Etats Unis D’Amerique / A la Haye.”; internal address: “Mr Dumas.”; endorsed: “Paris 16e. May 1783 / S. E. Mr. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 108.

484 1.

JA dates his separation from AA from his departure for Philadelphia on 10 Aug. 1774 to attend the First Continental Congress (JA, D&A , 2:97).

To Edmund Jenings, 16 May 1783 Adams, John Jenings, Edmund
To Edmund Jenings
Sir Paris May 16. 1783

It is a long Time Since I have recd a Line from you, or written you. How go on Affairs on your Side the Water? Are the present Ministers like to hold their Places, or are We to expect more Changes of systems & Agents, before We finish? Mr Hartleys disposition is very fair, and if he can follow his own Ideas, We shant be long in settling Accounts I hope. But the Delays the Indecision, the Uncertainty of every Thing every where is enough to try the Patience of Job or even of me.

Will the System towards America be much altered by any Change in Administration? Would not a new Ministry formed by some additional Members to North and stormont, of the same Sentiments with them, now pursue nearly the same Measures with America as another formed by some additional Whig Members to Portland and Cavendish &c?

I am &c

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mr Jennings.”; APM Reel 108.

To Robert Morris, 21 May 1783 Adams, John Morris, Robert
To Robert Morris
Sir Paris May 21. 1783

I am, just now, honoured with yours of the 19. of January, by the Way of London. We have not yet had the Happiness to receive, as We should be disposed to do with open Arms our Excellent old Friend Jefferson, and begin to fear that the News of Peace, has determined him, not to come.1

I thank you, Sir, for your polite Congratulations. When the Tide turned it flowed with Rapidity and carried the Vessell as I hope into a Safe Harbour.

As to the Loan in Holland, I have never troubled you or any one else in America with Details of the Vexations of various Kinds which I met with in the Negotiation of it.— indeed I never thought it prudent nor Safe to do it. if I had told the whole Truth it could have done no good, and it might have done infinite Mischief.— in general, it is now Sufficient to Say, that private Interests, party Spirit, 485Factions Cabals, and slanders, have obstructed, perplexed, and tortured our Loan in Holland as well as all our other Affairs foreign and domestic.— But As there has been a greater Variety of clashing Interests, English French, Stathouderian, Republican, and American, mixing in the Affair of our Loan in Holland, it has been more puzzled than any Thing else.— if, in the Bitterness of my Soul, I had described, the Fermentation and mentioned Names and drawn Characters, I might have transmitted a curious Tale, but it would have only served to influence old Animosities and excite new ones.

A great many Things are Said to me, on purpose that they may be represented to you or to Congress. Some of These I believe to be false more of them I suspect, and Some that are true would do no good. I think it necessary therefore to employ a little Discretion in such Cases.—

Messrs Willinks & Co will write you from Time to Time as they tell me, they have done the State of the Loan.— Mr Grand wants all the Money: but they wait your orders.— The Loan has been and will be damped by transmiting the Money to France, but your Necessities were so urgent that you could not avoid it.—

In my opinion, if you had a Minister at st James's and he were authorized to borrow Money Generally in England or elsewhere, it would Serve you greatly by causing an Emulation even in Holland, besides the Money you would procure in London, which would not be a trifling Sum.

I wish I were in Congress, that I might assist you in perswading our Countrymen to pay Taxes and build ships.

With great Esteem and Respect, I have the / Honour to be, Sir your most obedient / and most humble Servant

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / Robert Morris Esqr / Minister of Finance.”; APM Reel 108.


For Congress’ suspension of Thomas Jefferson's mission on 14 Feb. and cancellation of it on 1 April, see Robert R. Livingston's letter of 18 Nov. 1782, and note 2, above.