Papers of John Adams, volume 15

Sir The Hague, 26 August 1783

In response to your esteemed letter of the 18th, the key to your writing desk has luckily been found under some books, and I am sure that no one was able to make use of it, as your apartment has never been opened since you left except with one of us always present. I put back with the others the one you had left for me.1

At the time I write, the States of Holland are deciding whether to accede to the definitive treaty, with the conditions dictated to the republic.2 Last Saturday, in a grand committee (or “Besogne,” as they say here), there were the most serious criticisms of the legislation on executive power, first in general and then in humiliating and unanswerable detail. The theme was that but for the bad faith and conduct of the latter, the republic would prefer to continue the war on its own. The day before, the resumption of the resolution to persist in the abolition of the High Council of War, and the commission to be named to exercise military authority, passed constitutionally, without regard to the letter of the stadholder and despite the opposition of the cabal. My informants add that the grand pensionary did his duty well to make this happen and that he will be continued in office as he deserves.

Today I am writing to Mr. Franklin in order to find out how in the future I might, in the most economical fashion and until Congress has decided my fate, draw on the 224 Louis d’Or that were allotted to me per year in order to tide me over, that is to say, if I should draw, after the end of this year, my salary in the course of the following on Paris or on Amsterdam, until Congress makes itself clear; and I beg Congress at the same time to confer on this matter with you, sir.3

I hope that Mr. Storer has received his trunk, shipped according to his orders by boat from Rotterdam to Rouen, with a passport of the States General.


I am with great respect, your excellency’s very humble and very obedient servant

C.w.f. Dumas