Papers of John Adams, volume 12

To the Duc de La Vauguyon, 10 April 1782 JA La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de To the Duc de La Vauguyon, 10 April 1782 Adams, John La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
To the Duc de La Vauguyon
Amsterdam April 10th. 1782 Monsieur Le Duc

I have this moment recd. the letter which You did me the honor to write me yesterday, with a letter inclosed from Mr. Franklin.1


The Approbation of Monsieur Le Comte de Vergennes is a great satisfaction to me, and I shall be very happy to learn from You, Sir, at Amsterdam the details You allude to.

I have a Letter from Diggs at London 2d. April, informing me that he had communicated what had passed between him and me to the Earl of Shelburne, who did not like the Circumstance that every thing must be communicated to our Allies. He says that Lord Carmaerthen is to be sent to the Hague to negotiate a seperate Peace with Holland. But according to all appearances Holland as well as America will have too much Wit to enter into any seperate Negotiations.

I have the pleasure to inform You that Gillon has arrived at the Havanna with five rich Jamaica ships as Prizes. Mr. Le Roy writes that the English have evacuated Charlestown.2

The inclosed fresh Requete of Amsterdam will shew your Excellency, that there is little probability of the Dutchmen being decieved into seperate Conferences.3

With the most profound Respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).


Probably Franklin’s letter of 31 March, above.


Alexander Gillon and the South Carolina arrived in Havana on 13 Jan. with five prizes that he sold for £23,066, or approximately 150,000 Spanish milled dollars. Considerable controversy was generated by Gillon’s division of the proceeds from the sale, particularly the amount that he kept for himself and that which he alloted to the Chevalier de Luxembourg, the owner of the South Carolina. Not until 1854 did South Carolina reach a final settlement with Luxembourg’s heirs (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate “South Carolina”: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, Salem, 1929, p. 9; Laurens, Papers , 16:12–13). Herman Le Roy’s report of Charleston’s evacuation was erroneous.


This was the tenth document included by JA in his letter of 19 March to Robert R. Livingston, calendared above. In their petition, the merchants of Amsterdam opposed the British offer of an immediate peace and acceptance of the Russian mediation of the Anglo-Dutch war, calling it the proposal of an exhausted enemy. To accept such an offer would preclude the Netherlands from participating in a general peace at which the British would be forced to offer better terms. For the British offer, see JA to van der Capellen, 6 April, and note 1, above.