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The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX
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Plus valet una dies, quae libera ducitur, acta, Quam mali sub domini saecula mille jugo.

There has been struck at Leuwarde in Friesland, to perpetuate the same event, and all that was resolved in their Provincial Diets of February and April last, a medal representing a Frieslander stretching out his right hand to an American, in token of fraternity, and rejecting with his left the advances made to him by an Englishman. We are invited to dinner on Sunday by the French Ambassador, who augurs better than we do of Grenville's mission. God grant that he may be right.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, August 16th, 1782.

Sir,

At length the treaty of commerce has passed, and was approved day before yesterday in the States of Holland; and the States-General proposed immediately a conference with Mr Adams, to put a final hand to it.

August 19th. The States of Holland separated on the 17th, after having resolved and decreed instructions for the Plenipotentiaries, which the Republic sends to treat with Mr Fitzherbert, in conjunction with France and her allies. They talk, among other things, of acting in all respects in a communicative manner, and in concert with the Ministers of the King of France, and the other belligerent powers, in the preparatory and preliminary negotiations, which they may begin with the Ambassador of Great Britain, to do nothing without them, and to be assured above all of the sincere and unequivocal intentions of the British king, to leave for the future the Republic in the full enjoyment of the rights of neutrality, established in the Russian declaration of the 28th of February, 1780.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Philadelphia, September 5th, 1782.

Sir,

It was not till within these few weeks, that I received your favor of the 4th of April last, together with the interesting paper it enclosed, since which time we are informed that your prediction relative to the reception of Mr Adams has been verified. It would have given me great pleasure to have learned so important an event, with the steps that immediately led to it from your pen. Your usual punctuality induces me to believe that your letters have been unfortunate, since I cannot ascribe this omission to neglect. When you do me the honor to write again, be pleased to enter minutely into the subject; since everything that relates to it is not only important in itself, but will be so much the object of curiosity hereafter, that it should have a place among our archives.

It would be a great advantage to you and to us, if you maintained such a correspondence with your sea-ports as would enable you to avail yourselves of every opportunity of writing to us, as it would give your letters the charms of novelty, and preserve to you the character of attention, and to us, as it would enable us to confirm or contradict the accounts, that we continually receive by private letters, or through the enemy's papers, some time before we have your relation of them.

The enemy have at length evacuated Savannah, and in all probability Charleston, by this time; since, on the 7th of August they gave notice in general orders for the tories to prepare themselves for such an event. Their fleet, consisting of fifteen sail of the line, arrived yesterday at Sandy Hook. The French fleet, under the Marquis de Vaudreuil had arrived some time before at Boston, where he unfortunately lost one of his ships, which struck upon a rock and sunk in the harbor. Congress, willing to testify their sympathy in this misfortune, have presented the America, a ship of seventyfour guns, to his Most Christian Majesty. She is in such a state that she can in a short time be fitted to join his fleet.

We wait with the utmost impatience some account from Europe of the state of the negotiations for a general peace.

The caution of the enemy in keeping within their posts, will probably render this an inactive campaign, though we never had a finer or better appointed army than at present.

I have the honor to be, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Philadelphia, September 12th, 1782.

Sir,

Just after I had closed the letter you will receive with this, I was honored by your despatches from the 10th of May to the 9th of July inclusive. You will easily believe, Sir, that I received great pleasure from the important intelligence they communicate; and the more so as we had been long in the dark with respect to your transactions.

I am sorry that the packet which is to carry this, leaves me no time to enlarge, but this will be the less necessary, as I shall write very fully to Mr Adams.

With respect to your own affairs, I can only say that you have my sincerest wishes for your prosperity and promotion. I have already reported upon the subject, but what the issue will be, I cannot yet venture to predict. I know Congress to be very sensible of your assiduity and attachment; and if anything prevents their rewarding them as they would wish, it will be the present state of their finances, which requires the most rigid economy.

The change in the British Administration will induce, it is imagined, a similar change in measures here. We are in hourly expectation of hearing of the evacuation of Charleston, which had been formally announced to the inhabitants, who came out in crowds to demand pardon with the concurrence of General Leslie. It is probably too late to countermand that order, although they will in all likelihood still retain New York, contrary to what had appeared to have been their determination, before the arrival of the packet. Happily the continuance of the war will be much less burdensome to us now, than at any former period; not only because habit has reconciled us to it, and introduced system in our mode of conducting it, which makes it less inconvenient to the individual, but because I think I may say without boasting, that there is not at this time a better disciplined or a better disposed army in the world; scarce a man among them who has not been repeatedly in action. They are now, too, completely clothed and armed, an advantage they never before enjoyed. We are at present just in the situation in which free people should always wish to be. Peace will not come unwelcomed, nor war unprepared for.

I have the honor to be, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, September 27th, 1782.

Sir,

My last came down to the 4th of September. There has been an important resolution of this day taken by the States of Holland, constituting a commission of five Deputies, accompanied by the Grand Pensionary, to seek of the Prince the cause of the bad state of the maritime forces of the Republic, and of their inactivity.

October 3d. The abovenamed committee have been received by the Prince with all the honors due to Sovereigns, and have opened conferences with him. The same day, their High Mightinesses in secret session having deliberated on the Memorial of the French Ambassador, by which he had made them a proposition "to send ten ships of war to Brest, to be there joined by the vessels of the King, and to act with them against the common enemy, either in Asia or Europe," have resolved, that the Prince be requested to designate immediately the demanded squadron, viz. five vessels of sixty guns, three of fifty, two frigates, and a cutter for this purpose, to depart if the winds will permit before the 8th of October, to avoid the risk which would attend them after that time of being intercepted by an enemy of superior force.

October 11th. The officer designated to command the said squadron arrived here the 4th, while the wind coming round, became all at once favorable on the 5th to depart; and he reported to the Prince, who did not communicate the report until the 7th, in secret session, that the squadron was not in a state to go to Brest, for want of provisions, cordage, sails, anchors, clothes for the seamen, and other necessary articles;[46] on which the committee abovenamed presented themselves today to the Prince, to express their surprise and ask an explanation. The Prince professed that he had no account to render but for the past, and none for the present or the future; at least till a new resolution of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses. On their side, the committee conceiving with reason "that the resolution which was committed to them, contained particular instructions to look into the points which it specified, and particularly a general order to report on all subjects relating to the marine, and especially the direction of the present war, as much as should appear to them necessary to dissipate all obscurity," have in consequence made their report to the Assembly.

October 16th. Their Noble and Grand Mightinesses having deliberated on the report, all the cities were ready to conform to it except Schiedam, la Brille, and Medemblick, which have taken it ad referendum, the final resolution being deferred; but it will be adopted as reported next week, at least by the majority, which is sufficient in this case.

His Excellency Mr Adams departed this morning, the 16th of October, for Paris. In taking leave of the President and Secretary of their High Mightinesses the States-General, he did me the honor to present me as Charge d'Affaires of the United States; which is an indispensable custom. He had before advised the Grand Pensionary of it, to whom I shall make tomorrow a visit of politeness in consequence.

October 18th. A young officer, (De Witte,) convicted of high treason, for having attempted to assist the enemy in an invasion of the coast of Zealand, was about to be tried by the High Council of War, which is wholly dependent on the Prince, when the States of Holland solemnly signified to the Prince that he ought to cause prosecution to be stayed before this tribunal, as incompetent, and carry it up before the Court of Justice of Holland and Zealand. This High Council of War, is, besides, odious to the nation, and regarded as tyrannical and unconstitutional.

I have not spoken in this letter of our treaty of amity and commerce with this Republic, signed finally by both parties the 8th of this month, because Mr Adams will give you this detail better than I can. I shall content myself with saying, that I have every reason to be persuaded that he is satisfied with the zeal, with which I have fulfilled the tasks which he has required of me, in the operations which have preceded this signature, and pray God that the United States may gather from it the most abundant fruits.

October 22d. I am anxious to see an answer to the extract I sent to your Excellency, agreeably to the wish and permission of Mr Adams, of a certain letter which he wrote me. For so long as I am not openly recognised and suitably sustained by Congress, my precarious condition here is cruel, in the midst of the Anglomanes, who wish to see me perish ignobly, and in the bosom of a family whose complaints and reproaches I fear more than death. Mr Laurens, in his hasty passage through this country, was perfectly sensible of it. He knows that I serve the United States constantly, without respect of persons. "You have been slighted," are his own words; and when I testified to him my regrets for his departure from Europe, he had the goodness to add, that these regrets were contrary to my interest. Permit me, Sir, to commend them to you, and if Mr Laurens has returned to you safely, as I hope, on the arrival of this, will you express to him the sentiments of the most affectionate respect which I retain for him, as well as for all the great men in America, who have served under the sublime principles, which have animated me as well as them; and in which I, as well, as they, will live and die.

I am, with great respect, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[46] The 12th of September, the Prince on his return from the Texel, reported positively to their High Mightinesses, that all was there ready, that the vessels were in a condition for sea and for action, and waited only for his orders.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, November 15th, 1782.

Sir,

Yesterday morning, after a conference with his Excellency the Duc de la Vauguyon, I went in a post chaise to Rotterdam and Dort, in order to advise our friends in these two cities of some changes about to be made in the instructions of their Ministers Plenipotentiary at Paris, to deprive the English Minister of all pretext for conferring with those of the other belligerent powers without them. I succeeded to the satisfaction of his Excellency, and our friends were duly informed and disposed, when they received this morning, while I was returning, letters on this subject from the Grand Pensionary. My journey has gained the time which would have been lost, if they had, on re-assembling here taken the thing ad referendum.

November 17th. I had the pleasure to receive this morning, on behalf of the Ambassador, absent at Amsterdam, the news of the re-admission of M. Van Berckel, First Pensionary of Amsterdam, to the Assembly of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses, where he will re-appear on the 20th, radiant as the sun, disjectis nubibus.

There has arrived a circular letter from Friesland, to take away from the Prince the direction of affairs. I shall have it, and will add it to the gazettes.

November 18th. On my return, Friday evening, I found, Sir, your favors of the 5th and 12th of September, to which I can only answer succinctly, that the present may not be delayed.

I have thought a long time how much it might be advantageous both for Congress and for me, as you observe, Sir, if I could enter into a minute and frequent detail of all that passes here within the sphere of my action. But let Congress remember at last that qui vult finem, vult media, being both essential and subsidiary. I labor all day. Often I have scarcely time left to note briefly for myself what is done or said. I am alone. It is necessary to copy the same despatches four times, if one would hope for their arrival. I could have many things to say on all this. But to what good, if Congress does not say it also? I have not put my light under a bushel. I have made it shine constantly before both worlds, for the service of the United States, since they have called me here.

If the truths I transmit come more slowly than the falsehoods of the enemy, which they may serve to contradict, it is because they may forge stories as they please, but not the truth which arrives when it can, and which besides, cannot always be hazarded prematurely, still less be foretold, especially when the enemy might profit by it.

As to peace, we know not here what has been done about it at Paris. My opinion is, that two or three more campaigns will be infinitely more salutary to the American Confederation than a patched-up peace, which shall leave the enemy possessor of Canada, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; whence he would not cease nor be slow to vex you by all manner of means, perhaps to divide you, which will be worse.

But let us wait what Parliament says at the end of this month. Then we may be able to say of the Congress of Peace, what the poet Rousseau, in his Ode to Fortune, said of a hero becoming man again;

Le masque tombe, George reste, Et le Romain s'evanouit.

And so much the better, I think, for America and for this Republic. I am, with very great respect, Sir,

DUMAS.

P. S. I thank you, Sir, for the excellent letter of Mr Payne to the Abbe Raynal. If it is possible I shall publish it in French.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, December 12th, 1782.

Sir,

Some days ago I was about to prepare a new despatch, touching affairs on the carpet here, when an unforeseen event prevented me. It is nothing less than a conspiracy, which might be termed Catilinarian, if there had been an able Catiline in it; but they only had the intention of the Roman, without his sagacity.

We were congratulating ourselves here on the despatches from Paris, which informed the Grand Pensionary, much to the regret of the conspiracy, of the news of the signing of preliminaries between the Ministers of the United States and Great Britain. We were only surprised at the oath of secrecy exacted of the members of the Assembly, before communicating to them the contents of despatches so well suited to reassure and relieve the nation of the fear, which, to excite discontent, it had been industriously endeavored to inspire, that it would be deceived and abandoned by the other powers, when on the 5th and 6th, the festival of St Nicholas, famous in this country, which they seemed disposed to make another St Bartholomew's, the conspiracy broke out and failed. Persons were sent about during these two days, with the Orange cockade in their hats and an address of thanks in their hands, applauding the good management of the marine, and at night about thirty men, paid and intoxicated, made a noisy procession through the streets and squares, to endeavor to raise the populace, who, however, would not sign, nor join the seditions, to make an attack, as they foolishly expected, on every person obnoxious to them. Saturday, 7th, they endeavored, in order to renew the scene the following Monday, to gain the peat carriers, who answered, that the troubles of 1748 had taught them to be more wise for the future. The evening of the same Saturday they hinted secretly to the Pensionaries of Dort and Amsterdam (remaining in the city) that they must not depart on their peril. But they, disregarding the danger, immediately went to require the Grand Pensionary to convoke an extraordinary Assembly on Monday. He obeyed in spite of himself, and despatched couriers during that night.

On Monday morning, the 9th, the Assembly adopted by the large majority of sixteen, against two cities (la Brille and Enkhuisen) and to the confusion of the nobles and the Stadtholder, who were present, a resolution (a true quousque tandem) in which the Court and the officers of justice, municipal and provincial, are strongly censured for having looked on without interfering, and in which the Provincial Court of Justice is ordered to prosecute the affair criminally; and the Counsellor Deputies, to provide that for the future like disorders shall not be committed. The same day the Provincial Court of Justice assembled in consequence, and named two Commissioners of its own body, and another fiscal not suspected, to attend to the examination of the conspiracy. The Counsellor Deputies have likewise named a commission, to effect what is enjoined on them. From these two commissions are excluded the old Provincial Fiscal of Justice, who has besides a quasi gout, and the Grand Bailiff of the Hague, who, on the part of the nobles, is of the Council of Deputies, and who prudently declined before rejection, for both are under censure by the resolution.

The Court, alarmed at the consequences which they feared from all this, engaged M. Thulemeyer, Envoy of Prussia, to act for them, who, in continuation of a certain measure, which he took about two months ago by order of his Court, has been this morning to the Deputies of Dort, Haerlem, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, to tell them "that his Majesty has learned with displeasure the dissensions which have place in the Republic, that, without wishing to meddle, in the domestic affairs of the Republic,[47] the interest that his Majesty takes equally in the welfare of their High Mightinesses and of the Prince, his kinsman, does not permit him to look with indifference on any diminution of the rights of the Stadtholder; and that he would guaranty that this Prince should not abuse his prerogatives; and he hoped by this step that harmony would be re-established." Amsterdam has answered, "That they were surprised to find the King so misinformed, that for themselves, they did not know that they had ever diminished the rights of the Stadtholder, and that the Stadtholder himself had never complained of it to the States; that this would no doubt have been done, if the fact had been true; that, as for the rest, they would write to their city what the Envoy had said to them, that it might if it should judge proper write directly to the King, to inform him better, and put his Majesty also in a way to know those who had thus imposed on him."

This answer evidently confounded the Envoy. The other cities have answered the same in substance.

December 13th. The committee charged with arrangements for sending a Minister of the Republic to the United States, made its report yesterday to the Assembly of the States of Holland, the members of which took it ad referendum. This Minister is to have twenty thousand florins per annum, and ten thousand for his outfit.

This morning the committee of five has returned again to the Prince.

The resolution of Zealand, that the prisoner Witte should be delivered to the Provincial Court, is received, and the Prince will yield.

The deliberation on the circular letter of Friesland, interrupted by the disturbance, which in history may be denominated the Cockade Conspiracy, to distinguish it from that of the Gunpowder Plot, will be resumed next week.

I am, Sir, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[47] The expression in italics was added by the Envoy, in his address to the gentlemen of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, because those of Dort asked him, if the King pretended to meddle in the domestic concerns of the Republic? Haerlem was not able to receive him.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, December 17th, 1782.

Sir,

This morning the Minister of Prussia, M. Thulemeyer, has again visited the Deputies of the eighteen cities of Holland, to inform them of a Memorial, which he has presented to their High Mightinesses against a certain libel, in which, among other calumnies, is an insinuation, that the Princess attempted to imitate the conduct of a certain Empress in relation to her husband.

It has been replied to him, "that their Noble and Grand Mightinesses, as well as their High Mightinesses, had long since done everything in their power against libels by severe placards; that the further measures, which seemed to be expected of them, and which, perhaps, were suitable enough in arbitrary governments, could not be adopted in this Republic, of which the liberty of the press is the Palladium; that it is like every other good thing, the use of which is free to all, and the abuse subject to the animadversion of the bailiffs and fiscals; that the Minister knows how lately their Noble and Grand Mightinesses have had reason to complain of the negligence of those officers of justice; that the Princess, the Prince, and the whole House of Orange, more nearly connected with them than with the King, his master, did not need any foreign commendation to make themselves beloved and respected by the nation, and protected by the Sovereign, &c."

December 21st. The three ostensible exciters of the Cockade Conspiracy, protected by an invisible hand, have escaped from justice and fled to Cranenberg, a village in the Duchy of Cleves. The Court having sent its officers to arrest them at the peril of the complainants, the Regency of Cleves, contrary to the law of nations, has refused to allow the arrest. This morning the States held an extraordinary session to deliberate on the subject, and, notwithstanding the opposition of the nobles, adopted a resolution, requiring the court of justice to make a solemn demand of the fugitives at Cleves, in the name of the Sovereign; on Friday next, a letter will be addressed on this subject directly to the King of Prussia, and Duke of Cleves.

The Grand Bailiff of Utrecht (Count d'Athlone) has lost, with costs of suit, his case against the editor of a weekly newspaper, (de Post van den Neder-Rhein) which for about two years has produced a wonderful impression on the nation. This is a brilliant victory of the patriots over their enemies. Some of the expressions, which have given offence were, la brouette va de travers, qu'il-y-a une main invisible qui gate tout, &c.

In Friesland, the majority of the eleven cities, which form the fourth Quarter of the Sovereignty, have annulled the influence of the Court on the appointment of their circuits. Thus the resolution of the Province, so disagreeable to the Court, will be unanimous.

December 24th. I have just been confidentially informed, on condition of my writing an account of the fact to my friends at Dort and Amsterdam, that this morning the Prince went to declare to their High Mightinesses, that, on the resolution of Zealand, taken on the report of the court of justice, although there was much to be said relative to that report, he was ready, under leave of their High Mightinesses, to transfer the prisoner Witte from the hands of the High Council of War to those of the court of justice. On which the Grand Pensionary first protested with a loud voice, that it was necessary to wait till Friday for the resolution of the Sovereign thereon; and then, in a low voice, he intimated to the President, that it might be done by a majority. The prisoner will, therefore, be transferred to night.

On Wednesday last, a courier despatched from hence to anticipate the demand of the court of justice, arrived at Cleves the same night, caused the gates to be opened, the three conspirators, who were abed, to be called, conducted them hastily out by the other gate, and after going some distance on foot, stowed them away in a carriage, which, according to appearances, carried them to Hanover.

December 26th. The accompanying note I sent to M. Van der Hoop, Fiscal of the Admiralty of Amsterdam, in consequence of the request presented at Amsterdam by the agents of an American letter of marque. My demand of a passport for these people, to protect them from being made prisoners when ashore, has been granted. I congratulate myself, that my first public measure has been, like all my other measures, secundum libertatem. It has been suggested to me to make another against a certain libel, "The Magic Lantern," in which America and her worthy Plenipotentiary here have been roughly handled. I replied, that I would do nothing, which could afford any pretext for violating the liberty of the press; of which the present instance of abuse deserved only contempt.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, January 11th, 1783.

Sir,

This morning their Noble and Grand Mightinesses adopted a resolution conformable to the report hereto annexed, relative to the mission of a Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, with instructions to their Deputies of the Province in the States-General, to press the conclusion of this matter by the States. This evening, between ten and twelve o'clock, one of the gentlemen, coming to take leave of me until Tuesday week, concerted with me the measures it would be proper to take during his absence, to make the choice fall, if the plan succeeds, on a person who will be as agreeable to the United States, as he is esteemed by the patriots of this country. I shall give information of it by letter next Tuesday to Mr Adams.

Yesterday arrived some despatches from the Plenipotentiaries of the Republic at Paris, with the reply of his Britannic Majesty to the preliminaries which had been proposed; this reply is not satisfactory.

I am, Sir, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, January 20th, 1783.

Sir,

This morning M. Thulemeyer, Envoy of Prussia, presented the Memorial hereto annexed to their High Mightinesses. I shall say nothing about it, because I should have too much to say, and because it is better to see what they will say whom it concerns.

Tomorrow the Chamberlain, Baron de Heide, will set out for Paris, sent by the Prince, to give his Most Christian Majesty a good opinion of his patriotism, his measures, and his disposition.

The cities of Guelderland and Overyssel continue, after the example of those of Friesland, to raise their heads one after another.

February 22nd. I have yet to give you an account of a secret and important negotiation and correspondence, between the gentlemen here and our Ministers at Paris, which has been carried on by my intervention for more than a month. But besides that it will take much time to copy all these letters, the subject will not allow me to risk the copies at sea, until the vessels can navigate with more safety. The article relating to the liberty of the seas is the subject of discussion; this matter they wish to see definitively arranged previously to the general peace, and with good reason.

I congratulate the United States on the signature of the preliminaries between the United States, France, and Spain on one side, and England on the other. God grant that the peace may follow soon, and a permanent peace; which cannot be without solidly establishing the principles of the armed neutrality between these powers and the Republic.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

P. S. Next Friday this Province will propose the Baron de Dedem, Lord of Peckendam, &c. as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic near the United States. The other party is canvassing warmly, but secretly against him. All appearances, however, are in favor of this good patriot, and I recommend him beforehand as such to your Excellency. He is a cousin-german of M. de Capelle du Pol, formerly a correspondent of your uncle, the Governor of the Jersies.

* * * * *

MEMORIAL OF THE PRUSSIAN AMBASSADOR.

January 20th, 1783.

High and Mighty Lords,

The King had flattered himself, that the amicable representations and intimations, which the undersigned has made, by the express order of his Majesty, to several distinguished members of the States-General of the United Provinces, on the subject of the present unhappy excitement, which manifests itself at present in Holland, would produce the desired effect, conformably to the positive assurances he had received on this point. But his Majesty has learned with as much displeasure as surprise, that these domestic troubles, instead of being quieted are constantly increasing, and that it is even meditated to deprive the Prince Stadtholder of the command of the army and navy, and thus to strip him of his chief prerogatives of hereditary Captain-General and High Admiral. The King cannot believe that this is the general sentiment and desire of the nation, and of the rulers of the State. His Majesty on the contrary is persuaded, that it is only the private wish of a few individuals, who are inimical to the Most Serene House of Nassau, from personal hatred or private views, without regard to the true welfare and common interest of the State.

Every good Dutchman will remember with gratitude, that the foundations of his present liberty and prosperity were laid by the Princes of the illustrious House of Orange-Nassau, and acquired in part at the price of their blood; that this House has formed, and established on a firm basis, the present constitution of the Republic, and after extraordinary vicissitudes and revolutions, in some respects resembling the present crisis, has rescued the Republic from the perils which threatened it, and re-established it in its former lustre. It is not to be doubted, that the welfare and safety of the Republic depend on the preservation of that form of government, which has so happily subsisted for two centuries, and of the Stadtholderate, which is inseparable from it. Every good Dutch patriot must feel persuaded of the truth of this. All the neighboring powers appear equally convinced of it, and are able to see that dissensions, not less dangerous than inexcusable, the consequences of which may prove not less ruinous to this Republic, than they have been to other States under similar circumstances, subsist and constantly increase in violence in the bosom of the United Provinces. These powers are all equally interested in the maintenance of the Dutch Republic. The King is more particularly so, both from his consanguinity to the Most Serene House of Orange, and from his being the nearest neighbor, and the constant and sincere friend of the Republic. His Majesty is persuaded he knows it from the most positive assurances, that the Prince Stadtholder has the purest and most salutary views of the good of the Republic, and the support of the present constitution; that if evil disposed persons attribute to him any other intentions, it is an insinuation as destitute of all probability, as it is injurious to his character and his enlightened policy; that the Prince will follow and execute undeviatingly the principles adopted and established by the sovereign power of the United Provinces, and will for the future remove even a suspicion of the contrary.

The undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary, has the honor to submit all these important considerations to their High Mightinesses, the States-General of the United Provinces. He is directed by the most precise orders of the King, to recommend them to their most serious reflections, and to urge their High Mightinesses to reject and repel all propositions and opinions calculated to diminish the lawful prerogatives of the Stadtholderate, and change the form of their government, so long established and so happily preserved; but on the other hand, to take effectual measures to quiet the internal troubles, to check the attempts of the factious, to put a stop to their calumnies, and to restore not only the harmony of the State, but also the authority and respectability of the Prince Stadtholder, and of all engaged in the government of the Republic.

His Majesty flatters himself, that their High Mightinesses will receive his representations as the counsel and exhortations of a neighbor, who is their true and sincere friend, who is not indifferent to the fate of the Republic, but who will always feel the liveliest and warmest interest in the preservation of its constitution.

THULEMEYER.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, January 24th, 1783.

Sir,

The sudden and unexpected manner in which we have received the news of the signing of the preliminaries, by all the belligerent powers, except that in which we are most interested here, filled our friends at first with apprehensions; but after having recovered from their first surprise, M. Van Berckel, at the suggestion and on the request of the Grand Pensionary, in a secret conference, proposed the most dignified and sure method of attaining the object desired and desirable to all. The Grand Pensionary adopted it with eagerness, and it was, that M. Van Berckel should request me to consult you, as early as possible, on this method. It is as follows.

"To accelerate the negotiation of a general peace, and to prevent ulterior discussions between their High Mightinesses and Great Britain, on the question of free and unlimited navigation. Mr Adams is requested to declare, whether he is authorised by Congress to accede to the armed neutrality, already concluded between certain powers of Europe, or to enter into a similar negotiation with France, Spain, and the United Provinces.

"In either case their High Mightinesses would make the same proposition to France and Spain, in order to prevent discussions on the subject of the liberty of the seas, which may retard the general peace, and assist the Republic in concluding a peace on her part with Great Britain, which may otherwise be delayed by difficulties, arising from particular stipulations or arrangements to be made with England on this subject.

"The definitive treaty between England and the Republic might then be concluded, with a reserve of the natural right of all nations, who are in the enjoyment of this right, unless they should modify it by particular treaties on the subject of contrabands, recognised as such by the contracting parties.

"Mr Adams is requested to communicate his ideas on this subject as speedily as possible, and to add his views on the means of furthering such a negotiation, and hastening the conclusion of the general peace; since it appears, that the Republic could meanwhile accede to the armistice, which must result from the signing of the preliminaries of peace by the other belligerent powers, and treat with England on all the points in dispute."

It is for you to decide, if you will confer ministerially with M. Brantzen on this matter.

It only remains for me to present to you the compliments of M. Van Berckel, with the warmest expression of his esteem; he has just left me, to give me an opportunity of writing the above.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.[48]

FOOTNOTES:

[48] See Mr Adams's reply to this letter, Vol. VII. p. 13.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, January 28th, 1783.

Sir,

You have probably received today my letter of the 24th, sent by a courier of the French Ambassador. It is of the utmost importance to those on behalf of whom I wrote it, and they wait with anxiety for your answer, because the effect they expect it to produce, is in their opinion alone able to repair the immense and unpardonable fault, (I use their words) which has been committed in abandoning, sacrificing, and deluding them. This is their own language even to the Ambassador, who wishes them to enter upon this negotiation directly with the French Minister, and in that case promises them complete success; this they flatly refuse. He said to me and to them too, that he thought you would make no difficulty in taking it upon yourself, but that your colleagues would probably oppose it. They replied, that, not seeing any reason why any opposition should be made to the joint adoption of the measure by the three belligerents, rather than leave it to the caprice of the Minister of a single power, they should consider any such opposition as owing to the influence of such Minister; that then it would be useless to apply any longer to them for any negotiations whatever, and in that case his Excellency must in future be contented to apply to their High Mightinesses, without requiring them and their cities to expose themselves farther to contempt and danger.

I have thought it my duty, in so important an affair, to inform you fully of all the circumstances. I will add, that the nation is indignant at the last act of the French Minister, and that he will lose their confidence entirely, if he intrigues against that measure, which they propose with an entire reliance on your candor and your good intentions.

Yesterday I read to the Grand Pensionary in extenso the copy of the preliminaries between America and Great Britain, with which you have favored me. I then read it to other friends, but no one shall have a copy until you grant permission.

M. de Gyzelaer, whom I have seen this morning, and Messrs Van Berckel and Visscher, with whom I supped last evening, have directed me to give their most respectful compliments to your Excellency.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, January 30th, 1783.

Sir,

The letters I had the honor to write you on the 24th and 28th inst., are the most faithful picture of the sentiments of our republicans. I have added nothing of my own; on the contrary I have softened the matter as much as possible. If the affair cannot be arranged as I have proposed, the credit of France here is gone forever. I send you copies of letters relative to this subject, as I promised. France and our republicans have been from that time, the object of the bitterest sarcasms and raillery of the evil-disposed; and our republicans, without losing their courage in opposition to their domestic adversaries, are indignant, and have no longer any confidence in what is said to them by the French Ministry to color what is past, or to engage them to adopt further measures. They pity the Duc de la Vauguyon personally, and say that he is sacrificed, and that he is deprived of all the fruits of his wise measures, indefatigable industry, and splendid success here, by a stroke of a pen. They declare besides, that they will not be ruled, influenced, or kept in leading-strings by France nor by England, and that whatever may be proposed by France, they will not carry it to their cities, without sufficient guaranties in their pockets. If you carry the measure I have proposed, it will be, in my opinion, an important political stroke, of the greatest advantage to the United States, because it will establish their credit, dignity, and glory here forever. Your judgment and profound penetration, render it unnecessary for me to enter into long reasonings on this subject. It is enough that this measure will be equally advantageous to all, since all will participate in it, and will guaranty it to each other.

The Count de Llano requested me this morning to communicate to him the Preliminaries, of which the Duc de la Vauguyon told him I had a copy. He was satisfied with my reasons for declining to give him a copy, and with the verbal account I gave him of their substance. I have done the same favor to M. Asp.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, February 4th, 1783.

Sir,

Your favor of the 29th has fully satisfied the gentlemen; and the Pensionary, M. Van Berckel, in the name of all, has directed me to thank you, and to assure you that it is precisely what they wanted, and what they hoped would be done by you and your colleagues; and that you may rely entirely on them, as they rely perfectly on you, in subsequent proceedings. I have also communicated it to the Grand Pensionary, who appeared to think with them, and I have been assured from good authority, that he has no less reason than France, to desire that the English party should no longer prevail here. I have the respects of all to present to you; I am delighted to find them so easy to be satisfied; for it appears to me that they ask nothing more than the mutual guarantee, which is provided for in the treaties of America with this Republic and with France. They are determined not to sign, until the article relating to navigation shall be in the terms proposed, and not to cede Negapatnam; and they fear that if France does not find some remedy for this difficulty, she will again lose the confidence and favor of this nation, which are of more importance to her than Tobago.

The Count de Vergennes, to excuse the precipitancy in signing the treaty, has said to the Ministers of the Republic at Paris, that, on one side, America, who declared herself exhausted, feared an insurrection if the taxes were increased, demanded through Dr Franklin twenty millions for the ensuing campaign, if there were one, and wished to enjoy peace and her treaty, rather than to risk the continuance of the war, which might prevent the execution of it; and on the other, Spain, who, equally exhausted, demanded this conclusion absolutely—had compelled France to sign so precipitately; but that this does not affect the intention of his Majesty not to conclude, unless their High Mightinesses are included in the general peace and are satisfied. God grant it may be so. It appears that the Ambassador and the Grand Pensionary have received, each by his own courier the same assurances. The latter, however, has not yet imparted his despatches to our other friends. I have taken care to treat the nation with the Boston proclamation in the papers of the day.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, February 18th, 1783.

Sir,

Our friends are well satisfied with the repeated declarations I have made them from you and your colleagues. They will act in consequence, in regard to the Court of France, including that of Spain, and above all to your Excellencies. They appear convinced that the measure can and ought to succeed. At all events they direct me to propose the following question, to obtain an answer thereto, favorable, if possible, which will assure and tranquilise them.

"If their High Mightinesses should propose to France to sign a convention, founded on the principles of the armed neutrality, for the preservation of the freedom of navigation, conjointly with Spain, the United States, and the United Provinces of the Low Countries; in case France and Spain should appear disposed to postpone such a convention, or should decline entering into it before the signing or concluding of the definitive treaty; would Mr Dana, and, during his absence, Mr Adams, either alone, and as Minister of the United States near this Republic, or with his colleagues, be ready to sign such a provisional convention, when proposed to them in the name of their High Mightinesses, between the United States and the United Provinces?"

It is believed here, that without such a treaty, either between France, Spain, the United States and the United Provinces, or in defect of the two first, at least between the two last powers, nothing can save from the shame of the definitive treaty this Republic, which joined in the war only for the liberty of the seas, and which has made it a condition sine qua non in its preliminaries.

It is much to be wished that one of these arrangements were practicable, as this would at once pave the way for the definitive treaty. At least there would be no other difficulty than that relating to Negapatnam, and to the commerce to the Moluccas, on which I have just read the report of the seventeen directors of the Company, which opposes the strongest objections to the yielding of either.

My opinion is, always with submission to your better judgment, that your acquiescence in the demand of these gentlemen may be founded on three considerations. 1st. On the resolution of the United States of October 5th, 1780, communicated by you to their High Mightinesses by a letter of March 8th, 1781, and on which you have observed to me, that your powers for that purpose were not recalled. 2dly. On the circumstance that their High Mightinesses are a party to the armed neutrality, to which Mr Dana is waiting the pleasure of another party to admit the United States. 3dly. On the fact, that the only point in question is in regard to the mutual guarantee, which you have already acceded to in the treaty of amity and commerce concluded with their High Mightinesses.

Praying you to pay my respects to Messrs Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and Brantzen, I am, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, March 4th, 1783.

Sir,

This note is intended merely to correct a statement I had the honor to make you a few days since, via Amsterdam. By an unexpected change, M. Van Berckel, Burgomaster of Rotterdam, and brother of the celebrated Pensionary of Amsterdam, instead of M. de Dedem, has been nominated by the Province of Holland, and accepted by their High Mightinesses, for Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States. What I have said, however, of the patriotism of one, is entirely applicable to the other, and it is with the greatest satisfaction and cordiality that I recommend him to your confidence and friendship.

This morning their High Mightinesses have adopted a resolution, conformable to that of Holland, relative to the instructions to their Plenipotentiary at Paris, to exert himself to effect a general pacification. Thus there will soon be an opportunity to congratulate the United States on the completion of this momentous affair.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, March 4th, 1783.

Sir,

This morning their High Mightinesses adopted a conclusion conformable to the opinion of the Province of Holland, on the instructions to be given to their Plenipotentiaries to obtain a general peace. This conclusion is unconstitutional, as it was not adopted unanimously. The Deputies of three Provinces, Friesland, Zealand, and Groningen, have declared they are not yet authorised to give their consent. But this will come.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, March 5th, 1783.

Sir,

It is with as much confidence in your goodness, as zeal to serve the worthy Minister, who will represent this Republic to yours, that I hasten to transmit you the copy hereto annexed, of a letter he has just written to me.

I will add, that M. Van Berckel intends to embark at Rotterdam for Philadelphia within three months at the latest. He will take his two sons with him, and when his house at Philadelphia is ready, he will send for his wife and three daughters, and reside permanently during the rest of his life near the Congress, who will find him as amiable as he is estimable. I am very sorry to lose him, but much rejoiced that the United States will make the acquisition. You will consider it, I hope, not unreasonable, if desiring to serve to the extent of my power my most respectable friend, whom you will soon receive as yours, no less on account of his personal virtues, than of his political character, which will connect him more closely with you than with any other person, I take it for granted not only that you will pardon, but be gratified with the liberty I take of addressing this commission to you, with a request, that you will confide the execution of it to some gentleman, in whom you can place entire confidence, and who will discharge it according to the wishes of, and on the most advantageous terms for M. Van Berckel; so that on his arrival he may find the house hired and at his command, the coach made, and the horses ready for use.

The expenses will be paid by M. Van Berckel on his arrival, or even sooner, if necessary and possible in so short a time.

If I could have an answer to this before he sets sail, which will be in May or June at the latest, it would confer a great obligation on him. He will make the passage in a good frigate.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

P. S. M. Van Berckel speaks English very well. If this circumstance is fortunate for him, it will be no less so for those with whom he is to be connected in America.

* * * * *

TO JOHN ADAMS.

The Hague, March 6th, 1783.

Sir,

You must have already received, as well as the Ministers of France and Spain, the overture of the Ministers of this Republic at Paris, to begin the negotiation by a treaty of a mutual guarantee of the liberty of the seas. These gentlemen rely principally on the repeated promises I have made them on your part, confident that the American Plenipotentiaries will not allow themselves to be influenced by Shelburne and company, who, they say, understand each other like robbers at a fair. You will have no difficulty in understanding the allusion. If this convention could be made before the signing of the definitive treaty, the republicans here would triumph. A certain person having objected to me, that England might take umbrage if this treaty were made before the other, "Indeed!" I replied, "how long is it since France began anew to fear giving umbrage to England?"

Your declaration concerning the armistice has been inserted in the gazettes according to your wish; as has also the English proclamation.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, March 27th, 1783.

Sir,

While the powers are taking a siesta to digest the provisional peace, previous to putting the finishing hand to it, I can only speak to you of the domestic affairs of this Republic.

1st. Five Provinces have conformed to the opinion of Holland, for the criminal process on account of the disobedience of the squadron, which should have sailed from Brest in the beginning of October last. The opinion of Guelderland, the States of which will assemble next month, is the only one wanting.

2dly. There is a provisional report of seven of the principal cities of Holland, which the others have taken ad referendum, to require explanations from the Prince on the last Memorial of M. Thulemeyer, Envoy of Prussia, by declaring whether he really has to complain of the loss of any prerogatives constitutionally belonging to him; or if the remonstrances of the King on that point are not founded on a mistake? Those who are suspected of being the only focus from which this, brutum fulmen, (shall I call it) or this will o' the whisp, has proceeded, are doing all they can to prevent a majority, which would convert this report into a resolution. If they cannot succeed in this, the nobles, that is, the Prince, whom they allow to dispose of their vote, will delay the resolution by pretending not to be ready to vote. But then the others can appoint a day on which they must be ready, and, meanwhile, they will print the report; which will increase the difficulty of the Court, and, perhaps, of the kind M. Thulemeyer, in saving themselves from the dilemma, I will not say with honor, which is impossible, but without mortification.

3dly. The city of Alcmaer, by a formal deputation, has declared to the Prince, that in future it will dispose not only of nominations, but also of the consequent elections without his participation; asserting that this right belongs to it in virtue of certain ancient privileges. It persists in its design, and the Prince, who it was said at first, had intended to complain to the States of the Province by letter, has renounced his intention, for want of any solid objections to the measure.

4thly. The arrangement of the military jurisdiction is another formidable operation for him, which will begin next week to occupy the serious attention of the States of Holland.

5thly. Finally the court of justice continues to make rigid and minute examinations on the affair of St Nicholas, or of the 6th of December last, and is preparing a full report, which will be published, and which, as I am assured from good authority, will demonstrate that it was an actual conspiracy, the leaders of which were certain nobles and placemen, almost all of whom are already discovered.

Congress will see by these specimens, that the republican party here is far from being discouraged by the approaches of peace, as some flattered themselves, and others feared or foretold they would be.

The Prince has lost the enthusiastic love, which the large part of the nation bore him; this loss is irreparable, and the conduct he is induced to adopt renders it more and more incurable. In the Provinces, as for instance, Overyssel, Utrecht and Guelderland, where he was the most absolute, they are still more alienated, irritated, and disgusted with abuses, than in this. I do not say that this will or ought to end in a revolution, but a considerable diminution of his usurped and unconstitutional power, will, according to all appearances, be the result. The course of these people and that of the cabinets, negotiating a peace, may be compared to the hare and the tortoise in the fable; the former began with long leaps, and rapid strides, and after these preliminaries fell asleep at a little distance from the goal, thinking it easy for him to reach it at any moment; our tortoise, in spite of his tardy movements, may yet attain some of his objects, before the hare awakes.

I see constantly and confidentially the French Ambassador and the Charge d'Affaires of Sweden, sometimes likewise the Minister of Spain. I cannot serve the first in the present circumstances with so much success as formerly; my friends wish to see the wrongs of which they complain redressed, before they can rely with their former confidence on future promises; it is not his fault and I pity him, but, after all, I cannot say that my friends are wrong.

The other diplomatic agents appear to be here merely to vegetate and kill time, sometimes at what they call the Court, sometimes with each other.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, April 18th, 1783.

Sir,

Our friends are returned here to meet, provided with good instructions, not only in regard to the military jurisdiction but also to other subjects, which it will be agreeable here to see on the carpet of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses the States of Holland. Those of Dort are in substance as follows;

I. To grant the annual requisition of the Council of State for the department of war, except the forty or fortyfive thousand florins, which the High Council of War expend for the Province annually, and which the city wishes to be struck off. The six other Provinces together pay about thirty thousand florins besides, for the support of the Council.

II. To exert themselves in inquiring into and reforming abuses which have been introduced into the army, and particularly, 1st. to prevent in future titular promotions, by which a prodigious number of officers are created with higher titles than their rank and pay entitle them to, which does not fail to cost the country 600,000 florins annually to no purpose; 2dly. To abolish the venality of the companies and other posts, which has existed for some time.

In Friesland they are equally firm. A Westphalian, having defrauded the revenue, was condemned to ten years' hard labor in prison. The Regency of Munster having solicited his pardon the Counsellor Deputies of Friesland, principally devoted to the Court, reported therein to the States of Friesland that the case was pardonable, but that the right of pardon being devolved on the Prince by the abdication of the right by the States, it was necessary to refer the affair to him. To disavow this pretended abdication, and because the case is one of those called royal cases, the States in opposition to this report granted the pardon without consulting the Prince.

In a fortnight, a man imprisoned for disturbances on the 8th of March, the birthday of the Prince, will be whipped, at Rotterdam. Two other of these fellows are in prison at Delft, for having committed similar disorders at Overschie, a village near Rotterdam, in the jurisdiction of Delft. As they broke into houses they are in danger of being hung. A body of three hundred volunteers, of young men of the best families of Rotterdam, has been formed to maintain public order in case of any similar disturbances. They exercise daily, and have petitioned to be authorised by their Regency. They will succeed, through the influence of the Burgomaster Van Berckel, who prevails in the legislative body of the city, notwithstanding the opposition of the Burgomaster Van der Heim, who is devoted to the Court, and who has the majority in the executive.

The French Ambassador will set out next Monday, on a visit of several months to France. Meanwhile M. de Berenger, Secretary of Legation, will attend to the business of the embassy.

I have been requested to sound Mr Dana, to know, "whether, in case their High Mightinesses should think proper to send full powers to their Minister at Petersburg, to conclude a treaty with the Minister of the United States, on the principles of the armed neutrality, Mr Dana could enter on such a negotiation." I have written him in consequence.

April 23d. On the 20th, the French Ambassador gave a farewell dinner, at which I had the honor to be present.

I wrote to Mr Adams a letter on the 11th, of which I yesterday received an answer dated the 16th, and this morning waited upon M. Fagel, the Secretary, to say to him, that I had the satisfaction to be able to free their High Mightinesses from all anxiety on the point of titles, by assuring them, that the United States had adopted no other, than that of the United States of America in Congress assembled, and that the qualification of Friends and Allies, which their High Mightinesses will add, did not require to be enriched by any epithets. You see, Sir, added I, that in America they practise the maxim of Boerhaave, sigillum veri simplex. He approved this remark, and politely thanked me for the information. On leaving him I went to communicate the same thing to the Pensionaries of Dort and Amsterdam, who said to me, smiling, there is still one little thing, that puzzled the Secretary; it is not customary in Holland to say you in addressing any one, and he has been able to find no expression but El Edelere (Your Noblenesses) in addressing the Congress. I answered in the same tone, that the Americans recognise no other nobility than that of soul, and that as the simple address would not, in my opinion, be disagreeable to them, if the Secretary used it without any appendages.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Without date.

Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters to March 4th inclusive. I am sorry to find by them, that the ferment occasioned by the causes you explain, continues to work. How far it may be necessary to purge off the impurities, which your government has contracted by long inaction, I will not pretend to say. It is certain, however, that the want of harmony in its different branches has had the most melancholy effects upon your operations the last war; and deprived you of important advantages in the conclusion of it. Though I sincerely wish that the struggles of your patriots may be attended with the same happy consequences with ours, yet I take the liberty to remind you, that your public character puts you in a delicate situation with respect to them, that as a foreign nation, whatever we may wish, we have no right to express those wishes, or in any way to interfere in the internal disputes of our allies, that our conduct should show, that we were the enemy of no party, except so far as their measures were inimical to us. You will not, Sir, consider this as a reproof, for I have not the smallest reason to believe, that you have not made these reflections yourself, and acted conformably thereto. On the contrary, I rather conclude, that you have, from the long habit in which you have been of conducting public affairs which require prudence and delicacy. I only mention it, therefore, as a caution which will not probably, but may possibly be necessary to one who is animated by the spirit of freedom, and may as a patriot be hurried beyond the limits we should prescribe to our Ministers.

You will be pleased to discontinue in future all the Dutch papers, and send us only the Leyden Gazette, the Courrier du Bas Rhin, and the Courrier de l'Europe, together with such publications on political subjects, written in French, as may be worth our attention. I commit the enclosed letters to Mr Dana to your care.

Nothing has yet been done in your affairs, though they lay before Congress; a variety of important matters have pressed of late for their consideration, and you are too well acquainted with popular assemblies to be surprised at the slowness of their proceedings.

We have returned the prisoners on both sides, and Congress have made a considerable reduction in the army, by permitting those who are enlisted for the war to return home on furlough. We cannot yet learn with certainty from General Carleton, when he means to evacuate New York. I sincerely rejoice at M. Van Berckel's appointment, and wish you had informed me when we might expect him here, where the patriotic character of his family cannot but ensure him an agreeable reception.

I am, Sir, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, May 8th, 1783.

Sir,

The great blow of the suppression of the High Council of War, and the restriction of the military jurisdiction, was finally and decisively struck in the States of Holland last week, as your Excellency will see by the resolutions and publications in the gazettes sent with this; there is no doubt that the other Provinces will conform to that of Holland. Thus have the republicans gained a signal victory over the other party, and which would never have happened but for the war, which has so humbled the English and the Anglomanes.

I have seen the last despatches of the Plenipotentiaries of this Republic at Paris, to the Grand Pensionary of the 25th and 28th of April, and of M. Tor, Secretary of M. Brantzen at London, of the 18th of April, received here the 3d of May, from M. Brantzen. It appears from these letters, that they could not agree, either at Paris or London, upon the articles of peace between this Republic and Great Britain. The Secretary, Mr Fox, with whom M. Tor had two conferences, made evasive answers, and this man of the people does not seem to have the same esteem for the republicans as formerly. He put two singular questions to M. Tor; 1st. why they were so dissatisfied with the Prince of Orange in the United Provinces? 2dly. what impression the measures of the King of Prussia in favor of the Prince had made? M. Tor in turn evaded these questions, which lead us to conclude, that this man of the people is no better than the others. Meanwhile the Deputies of Dort and Schoonhoven, have proposed the reform of several great abuses in the army; 1st. The creation of supernumerary officers, by raising them above their actual rank, and excusing them from service. 2dly. The venality of posts. 3dly. The introduction of foreign officers in the national regiments. These propositions have been committed. In due time I shall give an account of the report of the committee, and of its result.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, May 25th, 1783.

Sir,

The States of Holland will assemble next Wednesday, and meanwhile I have nothing interesting to add to what the annexed papers contain, except that the last letters from Paris of the 16th and 19th, inform me that nothing has yet been done to forward the conclusion of the general definitive treaty.

I learn from good authority, that Mr Harris, British Minister at the Court of St Petersburg, is intended for that post here, after everything is settled. I shall communicate this intelligence to our friends at Dort and Amsterdam this evening. They will be pleased with it, for they feared the return of Sir Joseph Yorke and his old arts, which under present circumstances would be injurious here, without being of any real benefit to England.

I take the liberty to recommend to the attention and kindness of the United States and their citizens, Captain Riemersma, commander of the Overyssel, ship of the line, who will sail from the Texel after the 19th June, carrying M. Van Berckel to Philadelphia. He is a brave officer, an excellent patriot, a constant friend of liberty and of America, and he received the squadron of Commodore Paul Jones in the Texel in 1779, in a very friendly manner, for which he was punished by the Anglomanes, whose intrigues effected his removal from the command of the Road, and who have ever since prevented him from being employed and advanced; in this they have injured only their country; for he is wealthy, and it is not interest, but honor and taste for the profession, which induce him to serve.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

NOTE TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

The Hague, June 5th, 1783.

The undersigned, Charge d'Affaires of the United States of America, has the honor to inform their High Mightinesses, that in the absence of the Minister Plenipotentiary, for reasons known to their High Mightinesses, he has intrusted to him the honor of laying before them the treaty and convention concluded between the two Republics on the 7th of October last, and since ratified by the United States in Congress assembled; and also of receiving in exchange the ratifications of their High Mightinesses.

The undersigned congratulates himself on being permitted to discharge a duty so congenial to his zeal for the United States, to his respect for their High Mightinesses, and to his attachment to a nation, in the bosom of which he has had the pleasure of living for many years.

DUMAS.

By order of Mr Adams I sent this note to the Secretary, M. Fagel, and a copy to the Grand Pensionary, Van Bleiswick. M. Fagel has requested several days to allow time for the clerks to prepare the ratification of their High Mightinesses, "which," he said to me, "I should communicate with great pleasure to Mr Adams if he were here, and I shall communicate it to you, Sir, with the same pleasure."

DUMAS.

* * * * *

M. FAGEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

The Hague, June 19th, 1783.

Sir,

Our ratification cannot be ready until next Monday. If you will call on me at Court on Monday morning, at one o'clock, I shall be able to exchange the ratifications with you.

I am, &c.

H. FAGEL.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, June 20th, 1783.

Sir,

Yesterday I received a note from the Secretary of their High Mightinesses, of which I annex a copy. I shall therefore receive the act there mentioned next Monday, and shall keep it until I can transmit it to Mr Adams, according to his orders.

The city of Gorcum has followed, by a large majority, the example of Dort, Schoonhoven, Rotterdam, Schiedam, and Alcmaer, by a resolution abolishing the influence of the Prince, on the nominations to vacant places; there is nothing left him but the right, which the constitution secures to him, of choosing among several persons nominated. This week their Noble and Grand Mightinesses will deliberate on the abolition of the venality of military offices.

This contradicts the notion, which it was attempted to inculcate, that the ardor for reform would relax, at the end of the war.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, June 23d, 1783.

Sir,

At one o'clock this afternoon, an exchange of the ratification of the treaty and convention concluded the 7th of October last, between the United States and the United Provinces of the Low Countries, took place in the business hall between the Secretary of their High Mightinesses and your servant. I keep these two acts, according to the orders of Mr Adams, to place them in his hands on his return. They are authenticated according to the usage of this country, with the seal of the Republic, enclosed in two large silver boxes attached to each, on which are engraven the arms of the Union.

M. Van Berckel sets out today from Amsterdam for the Texel, and I am in haste to send this by him.

I have only to assure you of, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

END OF THE NINTH VOLUME.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE. Omitted words, shown as blank spaces in the original, have been transcribed as four hyphens (' '). Spelling variations between letters have been preserved.

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