Diary of John Adams, volume 4

April 9. Thursday. 1778.

April 11. Saturday 1778.

To C. W. F. Dumas
Sir Passi April 10 1778

We received duely your dispatch of the third instant, and approve very much the care and pains you constantly take, in sending Us, the best Intelligence of public2 Affairs.... We have now the Pleasure of acquainting you that Mr. John Adams, a Member of Congress appointed to succeed Mr. Deane in this Commission, is safely arrived here. He came over, in the Boston, a Frigate of thirty Guns, belonging to the United States. In the passage they met and made prize of a large English Letter of Mark Ship of fourteen Guns, the Martha, bound to New York, on whose Cargo, seventy thousand pounds Sterling was insured in London. It contains Abundance of Necessaries for America, whither she is dispatched, and We hope will get well into one of our Ports.

Mr. Adams acquaints Us, that it had been moved in Congress, to send a Minister to Holland, but, that, although there was the best disposition towards that country, and desire to have and maintain a good Understanding with their High Mightinesses, and a free commerce with their Subjects, the measure was respectfully postponed 45for the present, till their Sentiments on it, could be known, from an Apprehension that possibly their connections with England, might make the receiving an American Minister, as yet inconvenient, and, if Holland should have the same good Will towards Us, a little embarrassing.3 Perhaps, as our Independency begins to wear the Appearance of greater Stability, since our acknowledged Alliance with France, that difficulty may be lessened. Of this We wish you would take the most prudent methods privately to inform yourself. It seems clearly to be the Interest of Holland, to share in the rapidly growing Commerce of this young Sister Republick, and, as in the Love of Liberty, and bravery in the defence of it, she has been our great Example, We hope Circumstances and Constitutions in many respects so similar, may produce mutual benevolence: and that the unfavourable impressions made on the minds of some in America, by the rigour, with which Supplies of Arms and Ammunition were refused them in their distress may soon be worn off and obliterated, by a friendly Intercourse and reciprocal good offices.

When Mr. Adams left America, which was about the middle of February, our Affairs were daily improving, our Troops well supplied with Arms and Provisions, and in good order, and the Army of General Buorgoine, being detained for Breaches of the Capitulation, We had in our hands, above ten thousand Prisoners of the Enemy. We are Sir your most obedient Servants.4

The within Letter to you is so written that you may shew it, on Occasion. We send inclosed a proposed draft of a Letter to the Grand Pensionary, but as We are unacquainted with forms, and may not exactly have hit your idea, with regard to the matter and expression, 46We wish you would consult with our Friend5 upon it, and return it, with the necessary corrections.

P.S. The Letters you mention coming to you from England, are from Mr. William Lee and you will be so good as to forward them, with his name circumscribed and inclosed to Messieurs Frederic Goutard and Fils, Banquiers a Frankfort sur la Maine.

A. M. Dumas