Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To the Marquis de Lafayette

From Rufus King

Sir The Hague, 31 January 1786

I received the ministerial letter from New York, which your excellency had the goodness to send along. I am sensible, as is right, to the perfectly obliging part you care to take; and I have the honor to transmit an enclosed copy of the contents, along with a reply to the said letter, which after having read your excellency will have the kindness to seal and send along. Your excellency will note the recourse I must make to his excellency Mr. Jefferson in order to collect around the end of April the arrears due according to the act of Congress, if not in Amsterdam, as suits me better, at least in Paris. If the place and circumstances are such that your excellency can assist in this matter, I am quite certain that he will wish to do so, and I take the liberty in that case to solicit him.1

In the past six months I have accomplished some good things. Above all, in but a few hours I had those agree marvelously who were thought not to be in agreement—producing great results, which quite a few had deemed still very far off. In three months I have completed four errands outside of the city, despite the inconveniences of age and season, in order to please our two good allies, and I hope to reveal their outcomes to you in a few weeks. The seed of another affair is conceived. When it is laid, we will brood over it until we may see hatch, if it please God, a nice little chick. Thankfully, during the last year state secrets have been more inscrutable than before, which has sidetracked many a diplomat who, deceived by the oracles of old times, no longer perceives any of the mysteries in which 133 their oracles are not initiated nor worthy of so being, unless they be mysteries of iniquity and frivolity. In any case, given that these affairs tend only toward the peace and safety of all, they can only touch a sense of envy to the quick.2

Your excellency communicated the deposition of Jesse Dunbar to me last year, which I am sending back enclosed herein per your orders, along with two gazettes where the deposition is printed, in one poorly excerpted and in the other completely in line, I hope, with your excellency’s wishes.3

The letter enclosed here for Mr. Thomas Russell in Boston has just come to me courtesy of one of the volcanoes of the Netherlands, our acquaintance Van der Kemp of Leyden.4

The proofs of your affection, sir, are precious to my family and to me; and we express our best wishes to your excellency, to Mrs. and Miss Adams, and to your sons.

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

Cwf Dumas