Papers of John Adams, volume 15

To Robert R. Livingston

From James Warren

From C. W. F. Dumas, 24 June 1783 Dumas, C. W. F. Adams, John
From C. W. F. Dumas
Monsieur, Lahaie 24e. Juin 1783

L’Echange des Ratifications se fit hier entre Mr. le Greffier & votre serviteur; & il en fait aujourd’hui son rapport en conséquence à Leurs H. P.1 Il m’a chargé de ses complimens pour V. Exce. Je garde sous la Clef les deux Actes, écrits sur parchemin, munis du grand Sceau de la Rep. dans deux boetes d’argent, pour vous les remettre selon vos ordres,2 & suis avec grand respect / De Votre Excellence / Le très-humble & très- / obéissant serviteur

C.w.f. Dumas
Sir The Hague, 24 June 1783

The exchange of ratifications was carried out yesterday between the greffier and your servant, and as a result today he is making his report to their High Mightinesses.1 He asked me to send his compliments to your excellency. I am keeping under lock the two documents, written on parchment, affixed with the great seal of the Republic in two silver boxes, in order to send them to you according to your instructions.2 I am with great respect for your excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant

C.w.f. Dumas

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “A Son Excellence Mr. Adams M. P.”


In a letter to Robert R. Livingston of 23 June, very similar to this one to JA, Dumas indicated that the exchange had occurred at one o’clock that afternoon (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 6:502). In his unofficial capacity as chargé d’affaires, Dumas wrote to Hendrik Fagel on 5 June to announce that he was ready, in JA’s absence, to exchange the ratifications of the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Convention on Recaptures. Fagel replied on 19 June that the exchange would take place on Monday the 23d (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 337, 341; IV, f. 119, 122). Dumas enclosed with his letter of 11 July, below, copies of his 5 June letter to Fagel and Fagel’s 24 June report to the States General on the exchange. On 26 July 1788, Dumas obtained another copy of Fagel’s 24 June 1783 report to the States General and sent it to John Jay enclosed in a letter of the same date. Dumas sought to use the report, which explicitly recognized him as chargé d’affaires, to obtain an official commission as such from the new Congress under the Constitution ( Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 , 3:620–623).


One set of the treaty and convention ratified by Congress on 23 Jan. can be found in the Adams Papers. No letter from JA requesting that Dumas send JA the Dutch ratifications has been found. This may mean that JA intended to obtain them when he visited the Netherlands in late July. The documents received from Hendrik Fagel, with the two silver boxes, have not been found, but see Miller, Treaties , 2:89.