Papers of John Adams, volume 17

Sir The Hague, 29 November 1785

I must reply to your honored letters of the 1st and 10th of the current month.


I am writing to Mr. Cerisier this time to know why the insertion has not been made of the document I sent twelve to fifteen days ago to Mr. Luzac, and to urge him to send me the original and his printed translation, to be able to return the whole thing to you, per your request.1

I pleased my friends greatly by reading them the kind compliments which you had the goodness to transmit to me, and which they greatly appreciated, as did I. We all sensed the abundance of ideas in the first three, and the extreme simplicity of the last one. All kindly send their compliments to your excellency, along with Mr. De Sanafé, to whom I explained the matter that concerned him in your letter of the 20th.

I thank you, sir, for the good news of the arrival of your son, and also of Mr. Franklin, to whom may it please you to forward the enclosed letter in your first parcel, which is the proper response to the farewell message that he had the graciousness to write to me in July upon his departure from Paris.2

We sincerely share with you the pleasure of good health and company which you enjoy with the Adams ladies, to whom we present our respects.

I am not surprised by the difficulties encountered in the affairs you speak of to me. If what befalls them here does not render them more amenable to you, I will not know what to think.

Mr. Harris continues to assume that I do not exist. I must continue, in turn, to assume that he does not wish to know me. Yet, he does know me, for Thursday last he was quite able to tell my name to someone who had asked it of him, at a grand dinner that the Comte de Maillebois was hosting, and which I had the honor to attend. This was whispered to me a moment later. By the way, I mention this simply because I think it good, sir, that you know even the minutiae of this matter, and also so that I might never be reproached for having neglected my duty. With utmost respect, I am your excellency’s most humble and most obedient servant

Cwf. Dumas

Congress will see from the enclosed letter, that though they rejoice, neither France nor Holland forgets that the United States are their good allies.3