Papers of John Adams, volume 11

From Benjamin Rush

From C. W. F. Dumas

70 To Jean Luzac, 22 January 1781 JA Luzac, Jean To Jean Luzac, 22 January 1781 Adams, John Luzac, Jean
To Jean Luzac
Amsterdam Jan. 22. 1781 Sir

I have received your favour of 19 and am much obliged to you for your frank and candid Account of the Paragraphs mentioned.

I could not wish, if it were in my Power, to diminish the Utmost Freedom of Speculation upon American Affairs, and especially yours, which are generally with a great deal of Knowledge of the Subject, and upon honest and amiable Principles.

But in this Case, I hope your Conjectures will prove to be mistaken. Georgia is so connected with Carolina, that it is impossible ever to give it up. And Vermont is So situated, that the Southern States can never agree, that it should be distinct on Account of the Ballance of Votes. I dont know that it is the Secret Wish of the New England States, that Vermont Should be distinct. I rather think otherwise. I am Sure it would be better both for Vermont and all the States, if, the Inhabitants of it would consent to be divided between N. York, N. Hampshire and Massachusetts, or come altogether under any one of them. However I dont mean to enter into a discussion of the question, for which I might perhaps be justly censured. I am glad to find that those Ideas were not held up to the public by any one who meant to do mischief or to carry any Point.1

I am with great Esteem

LbC (Adams Papers).


JA's polite acceptance of Luzac's assurance that the speculations in his letter of 19 Jan., above, and in the Gazette de Leyde of 26 Dec. 1780 indicated no ebb in his support for the American cause does not wholly conceal JA's uneasiness with the attitude underlying such comments. His frustration was all the greater because Luzac had acted as publisher of and had contributed a preface to Pensées sur la révolution de l'Amérique-Unie (Amsterdam, 1780), the French version of JA's Translation of the Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe ... into Common Sense and Intelligible English, which was about to be published in London (from Edmund Jenings, 31 Jan., below). If such men as Luzac, whose pro-American sympathies were beyond question, continued to see the American Revolution through a filter colored by the Dutch experience in their revolt against Spain, then JA must have wondered whether he had made any progress in his efforts. For further evidence of JA's frustration, see his reply of 21 Jan. (and note 1, above) to Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's letter of 24 Dec. 1780 (vol. 10:428–433).