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The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX
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I will take care of your packets, and as I expect to remain but two or three days longer, I hope to hear from you through the hands of our friend R. M. of Philadelphia. Let me know how Mr Round Face, that went lately from Paris to the Hague, is proceeding? I understand he has gone to Amsterdam. I wish he may be doing good. If he should inadvertently do evil, as a stranger, I shall, as his fellow-citizen, be very sorry for it, but you being a native will hear of it. I confess I am anxious about his situation. The man has a family, and in these troublesome times, I wish he were at home to mind his trade and his fireside, for I think he has travelled more than his fortune can well bear. Present my respects to Madam and the virgin muse. I got many little pieces addressed to me while near the Court, but I made very little return.

I am, my dear philosopher, with unalterable regard, yours.

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, September 12th, 1780.

Sir,

There has been a great dearth of news for some time, which is happily interrupted by the capture of the English East and West India fleets, by the combined fleets of France and Spain, as your Excellency will see by the accompanying journals. Important as this event is in itself, we consider it here as the presage of what we are to hope in America; the capture of the twelve English vessels bound to Quebec, made by the Americans off Newfoundland, and the failure of General Kniphausen at Springfield, is an agreeable foretaste of what we may expect from the combined operations of the French and Continental forces. There is nothing going on here, the States of Holland having done nothing in their present session, except to deliberate on a petition of the merchants of Amsterdam, for the free passage into France of naval stores and copper, by the canals of Flanders and Brabant, until the navigation of the Republic is better protected. The inaction of the States-General still greater; they are awaiting the letters from their Plenipotentiaries, who must have arrived at Petersburg.

We learn from London, that the King has dissolved the present Parliament, and will convoke a new one. In Ireland, although the majority of the Parliament are subservient to the Court, the associations of the disaffected increase. The Russian, Danish, and Swedish squadrons in concert, protect the commerce of their respective nations; and this Republic protects nothing. The combined fleet of Spain and France is at sea, and is expected to show itself in the Channel. The Archduke Maximilian has been chosen coadjutor, and consequently future Elector of Cologne, and Bishop of Munster. The Prince and Princess of Orange expect daily a visit from the King of Sweden, on his return from Spa. The Prince of Prussia is at Petersburg; the Emperor is returned to Vienna. The King of Prussia is engaged with the review in Silesia.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO B. FRANKLIN.

The Hague, October 3d, 1780.

Sir,

I have just seen our friend. Their High Mightinesses have received a courier from Petersburg, with a convention drawn up by the Empress. Our friend is well satisfied with the conduct of the Plenipotentiary of the Republic and their despatches, which are,

1st. The convention founded on that made between the northern Courts, to which are added two articles. One of them has for its object the restitution of the vessels taken from the Republic; the other is, that in case the Republic should, on account of this convention be attacked, molested, or injured, the other powers shall take part and make common cause with her and will defend her. To this is added a separate article, importing that the design of the armed neutrality is, to endeavor as soon as it is perfected, to make peace between the belligerent powers.

2dly. The despatches inform us, that the Ministers Plenipotentiary learned from the Minister of Prussia, that the English Envoy at Petersburg had declared to her Imperial Majesty, that his Court would pay due respect to the armed neutrality of the northern powers, provided Holland was excluded from it.

Our friend informed me with great pleasure, that this Republic will not be able to retreat; that it must sign in spite of the opposition of the temporizers, who have now no pretence for delay, without rendering themselves absolutely odious, and becoming responsible for consequences. The French Ambassador has also received despatches from the French Minister at Petersburg.

Our friend has no doubt but the King of Prussia will accede to the convention. And, very probably, the Emperor will do the same. For the Empress was so well pleased with his visit, that she made him a present of a man of war. And we have no longer any doubts of the accession of Portugal.

I have it from the best authority, that the Empress will not relinquish her simple and noble plan to establish for the nations a maritime code equally honorable and beneficial to all. Besides, there are two circumstances, which confirm me in this.

1st. The apparent concert between the northern Ministers and those of France, Spain, and Prussia, with the cabinet at Petersburg.

2dly. The orders given in Russia and Sweden, to fit out immediately for sea new fleets equal to those they have already fitted out.

The King of Sweden, in his passage here, as well as his whole journey, discovered very little regard for the English. A good deal of pains was taken to induce him to accept an invitation to sup with Sir Joseph Yorke. He supped twice with the French Ambassador, who entertained him twice with a play, which was acted at a theatre fitted up for the purpose. His Excellency, the Ambassador, was so obliging as to present me himself, with six tickets to attend the two plays with my wife and daughter.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

EXTRACT OF LETTERS FROM LONDON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

London, October 6th, 1780.

Mr Henry Laurens was brought to town last night, rather in better health. He was lodged that night in the messenger's house in Scotland Yard, and denied all sort of communications with his friends, or those who wished to speak to him. He was examined at noon at Lord George Germain's, and committed by a warrant of Justice Addington, a close prisoner to the Tower, with orders that no person whatever should speak to him. These people are so foolishly changeable, that most likely in a few days the severity of his confinement may be relaxed. At present, two men are always in the same room with him, and two soldiers without.

October 10th. Since my last, of the 6th, there has been no material incident relative to Mr Henry Laurens's commitment; nor is the rigor of his confinement abated. No person whatever can speak to him, but in hearing and sight of the two attendant messengers. It is said, that the Secretary of State's order will produce admittance to his room, but nothing else. Some of his tory relations, and a Mr Manning, a merchant of the city, and a correspondent of Mr Laurens, have made attempts to speak to him, but did not succeed. He is wise enough to be cautious whom he speaks to. It is generally thought that this rigor will be taken off in a few days, and that his friends, who are now backward for fear of any stir that may be disadvantageous to him, will have admittance. Almost every person is crying out, shame upon this sort of treatment of Mr Laurens.

October 17th. It was not until the 14th instant, that any person whatever was permitted to see Mr Laurens in the Tower. On that day, after repeated applications for admission, Mr Manning and Mr Laurens junior, a youth of sixteen or eighteen years, who has been some years at Warrington school, were permitted to see him. An order went signed from the three Secretaries of State, Hillsborough, Stormont, and Germain, to the Governor of the Tower, permitting the two gentlemen above named to visit Mr Laurens for half an hour; the warrant expressly intimating that their visit was to be limited to that time, and that they could not, a second time, see him without a new order. The Governor sent a note to Mr Manning, that he had received such an order from the Secretaries of State, and he, with young Laurens, went accordingly last Saturday morning. They found him very ill, much emaciated, but not low spirited, and bitter against the people of England for their harsh treatment of him. He spoke very handsomely of Captain Keppel, who took him and the Lieutenant to London; but from the period of putting his foot on shore, he was treated with a brutality, which he could never expect from Englishmen.

His weakness from sickness, and his agitation on seeing his son, took up the first ten of the thirty minutes allowed him to converse with his friends. The rest was filled with bitter invectives against the authors of his harsh treatment. His outer room is but a very mean one, not more than twelve feet square, a dark, close bed-room adjoining, both indifferently furnished, and a few books on his table; no pen and ink or newspaper has been yet allowed him, but he has a pencil and a memorandum book, in which he occasionally notes things. The warden of the Tower, and a yeoman of the guard are constantly at his elbow, though they never attempt to stop his conversation. Mr Manning and his child being the first visitors he has had, perhaps Mr Laurens was led to say everything he could of the severity of his treatment, in order that it might be known abroad, and contradict the general report of his being exceedingly well treated. He has hitherto declined any physical advice, or the visits of any of those creatures near him, who may be put in with a view to pump. Mr Penn is making application and will probably see him. It is doubtful if the son will again get leave. His harsh treatment being now pretty generally known, every one is crying out shame against it, and they accuse a great personage, known by the name of White Eyes, as the immediate author of it.[39]

FOOTNOTES:

[39] For other particulars on this subject, see Franklin's Correspondence, Vol. III. pp. 174, 176, 305. Also, Henry Laurens's Correspondence, Vol. II. p. 463.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Amsterdam, December 19th, 1780.

Sir,

Since my last, they have advised in the States of Holland, not to answer at all to the Memorial of Sir Joseph Yorke. This I think is the best they can do in these circumstances. But Sir Joseph Yorke has presented a new Memorial, as offensive at least as the preceding one, and the several provinces are now deliberating on its contents.[40] But their resolution, I am assured, will not please the British Court.

I had the honor some days ago of presenting Mr Searle to the French Ambassador, and of serving them both as an interpreter in an interesting conversation, as to the best method of expelling the enemy out of the United States, and of putting a speedy end to the war in America. The intention of a majority of fifteen out of the eighteen cities of Holland, by disavowing the conduct of Amsterdam concerning the projected treaty, is visibly to leave no pretext at all to Great Britain for attacking this Republic on other grounds than that of resentment for her accession to the armed neutrality.

December 26th. The States of this Province have taken unanimously the provisional resolve, of putting the project of a treaty between the United States and this Republic, together with the letter of the city of Amsterdam, concerning the same, into the hands of the Provincial Court of Justice, to be examined by them, and to decide if there is any constitutional law of the Union, which can be said to have been violated by the Regency of Amsterdam in this affair. Supposing for a moment, this should be the case, the high sheriff of the city would then be requested to pursue the violators of such a law. But as this cannot be the case, the said States, who are to assemble on the 5th of January, will take the final resolution; 1st, of asking satisfaction of the Court of Great Britain, for her indecent Memorials; and 2dly, of laying the whole proceedings before the Northern Courts, and showing them the false pretence under which the said Court endeavors to conceal her resentment against this Republic for her accession to the armed neutrality.

December 27th. The States having acquainted Sir Joseph Yorke with the aforesaid provisional resolve, he refused to receive the communication; and on the 25th inst. he set out early in the morning, according to the orders of his King, for Antwerp. The very day of his leaving the Hague, the Committee of Holland residing constantly at the Hague, sent circular letters to the several cities of this Province, acquainting them with this event, and summoning them for coming immediately with proper instructions from their cities, to form a speedy, cordial, and vigorous resolve. One of these letters has been shown to me in the original.

December 28th. Consequently, the Second Pensionary and other Deputies of the city of Amsterdam, have set out this morning for the Hague, where all will meet tomorrow. The First Pensionary, M. Van Berckel, will follow them, as soon as he shall see himself justified by the decision of the Court of Holland.

The Hague, January 12th, 1781. Last Monday, a courier, who left Petersburg on the 19th of December, arrived with despatches to the Grand Pensionary of Holland, containing, "that the Empress, satisfied with that of their High Mightinesses, of November 27th, had seen, with indignation rather than astonishment, the two last Memorials of Sir Joseph Yorke; that she was greatly disposed in favor of the Republic; that the convention would soon be signed, and the acts of it sent by another courier." Yesterday was resolved, and today begins the distribution of letters of marque, both for men of war and privateers. The decision of the Court of Justice of Holland, cannot come out before the 15th of February, because of the absence of several of its members; but everybody knows already, that it cannot but be a good one. Till then M. Van Berckel will not appear here.

January 23d. On the 21st the Grand Pensionary of Holland received a letter from M. de Swart, the Dutch Resident at Petersburg, of which the following extract is taken by myself from an authentic copy communicated to me. "January 5th. On the 31st of December last, the Dutch Plenipotentiaries and M. de Swart had a final conference with the Russian Plenipotentiary, when, having settled the matter of command in case of their men of war or squadrons meeting or acting jointly, in the same manner as this Republic is used to do with all other Crowns, and the whole transaction having been laid before the Empress, and approved by her, the accession of this Republic to the treaties of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark, for the mutual protection of the trade and navigation of their subjects, has been concluded and signed on January 4th, by the Plenipotentiaries of the parties, and the acts of it despatched (they also arrived here on the 21st) to be ratified by their High Mightinesses. During the whole transaction of this treaty, the English had left no artifice untried, in order to get the Republic excluded from this alliance; and even to the last moment, they strived most desperately against her admission. But the Empress and her Ministry, unshaken, rejected their Memorials with firmness, and even with indignation."

With all my heart I congratulate the United States upon this happy event; an event which must accelerate the humiliation of their proud enemy, and assert with the acknowledged liberty of America, that of the seas through the world; the latter of which cannot be obtained without the former.

Couriers have been sent from hence, eleven days ago, for the purpose of asking from the three Northern Powers the stipulated succor, as being attacked in resentment, for having acceded to their alliance. The money which this Republic has now occasion to take up from her subjects, will greatly increase the difficulty of the English in obtaining money, and sink their stocks still more.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[40] These two Memorials are contained in John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. V. pp. 372, 386.

* * * * *

ROBERT MORRIS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Philadelphia, December 24th, 1780.

Sir,

Your letter of the 7th of January last was long on its passage, and, I am sorry to say, has remained too long in my possession without an answer, which you must attribute entirely to the multiplicity of employments, in various ways, that occupy very fully my whole time. Had I complied with the dictates of that respect and esteem, which Dr Franklin first, and your steady adherence to this country since inspired, you would have heard from me immediately; but men who are involved in much business, as I am, cannot follow their inclinations, but must submit to such things as call most pressingly for their attention.

The letter you enclosed to me, for Messrs Sears & Smith, I sent forward immediately, and you may depend on me for much more important services, when in my power to render them to you or any of your friends.

After serving my country in various public stations for upwards of four years, my routine in Congress was finished; and no sooner was I out, than envious and malicious men began to attack my character, but my services were so universally known, and my integrity so clearly proved, I have, thank God, been able to look down with contempt on those that have endeavored to injure me; and what is more, I can face the world with that consciousness, which rectitude of conduct gives to those who pursue it invariably.

You will excuse me for saying so much of myself. I should not have mentioned the subject had I not been attacked; and as I think no man ought to be insensible to applause and approbation, I cannot help wishing to retain that opinion you have been pleased to entertain of me.

As I maintain my acquaintance amongst the present members of Congress, you will be assured I will most cheerfully promote your interest whenever I can, for I feel the force of your observations on that subject.

Mr Carmichael is returned to Europe, and Mr Deane is about embarking for France, and I dare say you will hear from them both.

I most sincerely wish an honorable, happy, and speedy end to the war we are engaged in; and with sentiments of great esteem and respect, I remain,

ROBERT MORRIS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, February 5th, 1781.

Sir,

A courier, despatched by the Russian Ambassador here on the 29th of December last, with the news of Sir Joseph Yorke having left the Hague by order of his Court without taking leave, has come back again with letters from the Dutch Plenipotentiaries at Petersburg to the Great Pensionary, the contents of which are still very satisfactory; so that there is no doubt nor uneasiness concerning a favorable answer, which they expect here, but not before the end of this month, to the demands made, by a courier despatched from hence on the 12th of January last.

By letters from Ostend we are told, that the Russian Minister at London had left that Court without taking leave. If this proves true, or whenever else the expected rupture between Russia and Great Britain will be fully ascertained, then it will be time to set on foot a negotiation with the four new allied powers, for the acknowledgment of the independency of America, and making treaties with her of amity and commerce. The first, and perhaps only application for this purpose, must then be made to Russia; and I am now carefully watching the moment when such an application will be proper, and attended with the prospect of success, in order to inform Mr Adams and take with and under him, such measures as may be necessary. Till then we must keep them close, and make no application to this Republic, which, since her accession, cannot and will not make any private step without the quadruple alliance, of which Russia is the leading power; and, as I have good reasons to think, well disposed towards the United States.

I have been repeatedly assured, that the exportation of the two thousand lasts of grain to England from Ostend, has been refused at Brussels to Sir Joseph Yorke, and that he is going, if not already gone, from Antwerp to Ostend, to embark for England. This gives no great opinion of the pretended negotiation set on foot between the Emperor and Great Britain.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, February 22d, 1781.

Sir,

The expected courier from the Dutch Plenipotentiaries at Petersburg has not yet arrived. They think his departure thence has been delayed till the coming back of another whom they had sent to London. The decision of the Court of Holland concerning the conduct of the Regency of Amsterdam is not yet given, and will not come out for some weeks. The pretended reason of this new delay is that M. Van Citters, one of the Counsellors of that Court, must go to Zealand, because of the sickness of his mother. The true reason may be, to get rid here of certain gentlemen as long as possible, and to gratify their —— by deferring their justification. A little more resolution, when it was perhaps more proper to dare than to waver, would have spared them such a trick. But now their honor and dignity not suffering them to appear here till they are justified, those that cannot but justify them, will delay the doing it as long us they can.

March 2d, 1781. In consequence of orders brought by a courier despatched to the Russian Ambassador here, he has presented a Memorial[41] to their High Mightinesses, importing that the Empress was willing to interpose her mediation between this Republic and England, to bring on an accommodation. The Court of Justice of this Province will meet on Monday next, to draw up their decision concerning the conduct of Amsterdam.

I am, with the greatest respect, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[41] See this Memorial in John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. V. p. 468.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, March 5th, 1781.

Sir,

Since the Memorial presented on the 1st instant to their High Mightinesses by the Russian Ambassador, offering the mediation of the Empress between them and Great Britain, a letter of February 9th has been received here, written by the Dutch Plenipotentiary at Petersburg, of which being decyphered, the Grand Pensionary of Holland, instead of delivering copies as usual, has only permitted the inspection and perusal to the several members of the States. It gives the following account of the assurances made to them by the chief Minister of the Empress, Count Panin, viz. 1st. That the Empress is still in the same favorable dispositions towards the Republic, and that he himself will support, with all his power, the just claim of the Dutch, to have all the vessels returned to them, which the English have taken from them since their accession to the armed neutrality. 2dly. That the mediation offered by the Court of Vienna, to procure, by the good offices of that Court, in conjunction with that of Russia, a peace between the belligerent powers, will not be accepted without the preliminary condition sine qua non, of Great Britain's acknowledging the independency of the United States, and the rights of the neutral powers in matters of commerce and navigation. 3dly. That the Empress had seen, with great satisfaction, the propositions made by the Dutch Plenipotentiaries to the several northern Crowns, for being supplied by them, on conditions to be agreed on, with a sufficient number of men of war; and that the number they wanted was ready for the service of their High Mightinesses.

There was a report current here, and through the whole country, of three encampments to take place this summer in this Province. A great personage has assured a gentleman in distinguished station, that this had never been his intention. I have it from the gentleman himself. The same assures me, "the Court of Justice was now busy with making up the decision concerning the conduct of the Regency of Amsterdam. They had taken the advice of an eminent lawyer; he had seen this advice; it was a very good one."

Mr Adams favored me yesterday both with his presence, and with the sight of the despatches of December last, which he has received from your Excellency. I shall do my best to second his operations; heartily wishing that things may ripen, and our endeavors be crowned with success. To this hope let me join that of the so often solicited attention of Congress to my long and faithful services, and to the circumstances in which they have involved me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, March 22, 1781.

Sir,

The States of this Province separated last week, to meet again the next week. The Provinces have given their agreement to the mediation offered by Russia. This affair, I fear, will prove a lingering business, as well as that of the decision of the Court of Justice of Holland, which, I am told, is drawn up in a manner that will not at all satisfy the Regency of Amsterdam, and consequently will not be suffered to be delivered; and so things will remain in statu quo, God knows how long. All this is owing to the devices of the friends of Great Britain in this country, and not in the least to any disaffection from Russia, &c. How can people be helped, that will not be helped? In the meantime, the enemies carry on with success their perfidious scheme. Congress by this time must have heard of their taking St Eustatia, filled with riches, a great part of which they say is American property. And now they pretend by this stroke to have cut off the great resource of America for continuing the war, and to force her into submission.

I have from good authority, that the English have refused the mediation of Russia. This surprises me not at all, because I am sure their arrogancy and stubbornness will never let them acknowledge either the independence of the United States, or the rights of neutrality, till their heads are broken; a blessed work, fit for heaven only and America to achieve, while European politicians take time to consider.

April 2d. They expect here very interesting news from Petersburg towards the end of this month, as there are two couriers gone thither, the one from hence on the 23d of March, the other from England much about the same time. The merchants of Amsterdam, who have a great share in the effects seized on at St Eustatia, having resolved to send Deputies to the English Ministry, in order to have them restored to them, and having invited the merchants of Rotterdam to join with them in this Deputation, the latter have answered, that with men capable of acting so ruffianlike, they would rather let them keep all that they had robbed, than debase themselves by courting the robbers. This noble answer would be still more so, if Rotterdam had lost as much at St Eustatia as Amsterdam; there being, as for that, a very great difference.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

GENERAL J. H. BEDAULX TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Nimeguen, April 28th, 1781.

Sir,

As a friend to humanity, it is hoped you will be so good as to relieve, by your correspondence with Congress, a good family from their uneasiness on account of the fate of a son, of whom, notwithstanding all our inquiries, during these two last years, by the way of France, Spain and Holland, we have not been able to get any positive intelligence. This son, Frederick Charles Bedaulx, cannot be unknown to Congress, to their War Office, and to the commanders of their army; having been engaged in their service since the year 1776, when he embarked for St Eustatia; but the vessel being taken, he escaped from Falmouth, and went over with the Marquis de Lafayette; and in consequence of a capitulation made before his first going, served and distinguished himself there as Lieutenant-Colonel, in which quality he commanded the infantry of the Pulaski Legion. For more than two years we have had no letter from him, and of many letters, which were delivered for him to Mr Deane, when he was Minister from the United States at Paris, we do not know if one has been received by M. Bedaulx. According to some loose reports, being sick, he had been removed to Philadelphia, where he died. But this has been contradicted since by other people, who say he is still living, and sent away or confined by the intrigues of some enemy.

Sure of the principles of probity and honor with which he has been brought up, we cannot think he has been wanting in his duty; and on the other hand, after so many repeated applications made to Congress, and to the body in which he has served, we cannot but be surprised and troubled to find them absolutely silent. You will oblige me, his uncle, Sir, his worthy father, and a whole family, by helping us out of this cruel uncertainty.

I have the honor to be, &c.

J. H. BEDAULX, Major-General in the Dutch Service.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, May 1st, 1781.

Sir,

Since my last letter there has been no opportunity to write to America. This time has been employed in getting useful intelligence, and preparing all things with Mr Adams for the step he will take on Friday next, of presenting his Memorial to their High Mightinesses. This evening I carried a card from him to the Grand Pensionary, who will receive a preparatory visit from him tomorrow morning. It is still uncertain whether he will be admitted at present, or if they will advise for a medium. The expected courier is not yet arrived from Petersburg.

A good French translation of the Memorial was absolutely necessary to be presented with the original. I am happy to have made it to the satisfaction of Mr Adams, and this translation will be read to their High Mightinesses, whenever the Memorial shall be laid before them.[42]

May 2d. I have attended Mr Adams to the Grand Pensionary. When he told him, that his intention was to present himself on Friday next, to the President of their High Mightinesses, in quality of Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States, and that he had likewise credentials from the same to his Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange, the Pensionary answered, that he apprehended a difficulty would arise against his admission in such a character, from their High Mightinesses having not yet acknowledged the independence of America. Mr Adams having replied, that this objection, since the war had broken out between Great Britain and this Republic seemed to have lost all its weight, the Pensionary agreed, that it was true at least both nations had now the same enemy; however, he would make his report to his masters and to the Prince of the notice given him.

May 4th. This morning his Excellency went to the Grand Pensionary with a copy of his Memorial, which he declined to receive, saying it was not the usage, when Memorials were presented to the President of their High Mightinesses, to deliver copies of them to the Grand Pensionary of Holland; and that it would be more proper to deliver one to the Graphiary of the States-General. This we judged proper to delay till after the audience at the President's, who received his Excellency with great politeness, but declined charging himself with the Memorial, alleging his acceptance of it would imply an acknowledgment he could not take upon himself, but must reserve it to their High Mightinesses, to whom he would immediately report the case. His Excellency told him, that to avoid misconstructions, he should find himself obliged to lay his Memorial before the whole world, by publishing it immediately. At this the President smiled; and they parted. It was now become improper to carry a copy to the Graphiary, and therefore we dispensed with it. The President went into the Assembly of the States-General, and made the report, which having been recorded, the Deputies of all the Provinces (except those of Zealand, who remained silent) asked a copy of the report, to transmit it to their respective Provinces, when it will be matter of deliberation in their Provincial Assemblies.

From the President, we went to the Baron de Larrey, Privy Counsellor, &c. to the Prince of Orange, to whom his Excellency delivered another Memorial, in a sealed letter for the said Prince, which the Baron promised to deliver immediately to the Prince. He did so; and the Prince having summoned M. Fagel the Graphiary, and the Grand Pensionary, consulted with them what was to be done with the letter; two hours after, when we were ready to dine, the Baron came at the inn, with the letter unopened, and a polite excuse from the Prince, that he could not receive it, till after their High Mightinesses should have resolved if and when he was to be admitted in the character, which he had set forth with them.

May 11th. Mr Adams setting out last Saturday for Amsterdam, left me his order to publish the Memorial with the original French translation, made by your servant, acknowledged and signed by his Excellency, and to procure also a Dutch translation; which I have performed today, by distributing through the cities a sufficient number of each.

May 16th. All the public journals of this country have inserted the Memorial, which is now generally known, pleases and puzzles at once everybody.

M. Van Berckel, the First Pensionary of Amsterdam, presented on the 4th instant a very spirited address to the States of Holland, petitioning them, either to be impeached, that he might defend himself, or formally declared not guilty.

May 19th. This day the cities of Dort and Haerlem, by an annotation in the registers of Holland, have formally declared their accession to the proposition of Amsterdam, and with thanks acknowledged the true patriotism of this last city. The other cities have taken the proposition ad referendum; and the final resolution on it will be taken by the next Assembly.

June 6th. I presented yesterday a letter from Mr Adams to the President of their High Mightinesses, and another to the Privy Counsellor of the Prince of Orange, with a copy to each, of the accession of Maryland to, and the final ratification of, your Confederation. I had sealed up the papers, and put on the covers the proper superscriptions. They received them, and desired me to come today for an answer. Accordingly I have waited on them this morning. They both had opened, and consequently read the contents, but said they could not keep them, and that I must take them back.

The President seemed to me much embarrassed, and a little cavilling on my having delivered to him the letter from Mr Adams, without adding the quality of Minister Plenipotentiary, assumed in the subscription; by which omission he pretended I had deceived him; otherwise he would not have received the letter. I denied any intention to conceal from him a quality, which he knew as well as I and the whole nation, Mr Adams had openly assumed. He put them in my hat, and I told him I would, out of respect for the head of this Republic, keep in deposito the papers, which in time might be thought of greater importance to them than now. The other gentleman received me with the greatest cordiality; and apologising very frankly for restoring me the papers (likewise opened,) desired me repeatedly to understand, and to give to understand, that this was a mere formality; and that while the admission of Mr Adams was under deliberation of the several Provinces, the Prince could not be beforehand with their High Mightinesses, nor their High Mightinesses with their constituents, in such a matter of the first importance.

June 16th. I have been happy with the presence of Mr Adams, and with his approbation of my conduct. The States of Holland have separated. Their next meeting, after the 27th instant, may be very stormy, not only on account of the proposition of Amsterdam, but also on that of a verbal remonstrance made by the same city to a great personage, desiring him to exclude from all political business the Duke of Brunswick, formerly his tutor, when a minor; a message which has exceedingly hurt them both.

June 22d. The great city persists in her late demand to the Prince of Orange, concerning the desired exclusion of the aforesaid great man, having, since the verbal proposition, sent the same by writing to the great personage, and to the Grand Pensionary. Thus the fermentation rises, and draws to a very interesting crisis, which probably will decide itself within a fortnight, either into some catastrophe, or into a ridiculus mus. I learn just now, that the Duke of Brunswick presented yesterday to their High Mightinesses a long letter to justify himself. Many, even unconcerned people, think it an improper step, because he is, in fact, not vested with any public department, and therefore not answerable, nor to be brought to account. His position seems to me near akin to that of Lord Bute.[43]

July 4th. There has been made mention, in the Provincial Assembly, by the Grand Pensionary, but a very slight one, of the Duke of Brunswick's letter to their High Mightinesses as taken ad referendum by the several Provinces. The nobility has acquainted the Provincial Assembly with the desire of the Stadtholder of presenting to their High Mightinesses, a proposition of his own, for having inquired into the causes of the defenceless state and inactivity of the Republic, and the means to be taken, &c. But the cities have declined countenancing it, and even the taking it ad referendum, because there was already such a proposition made by the city of Amsterdam, a membrum integrans of the Republic, on which they had received their instructions. The Stadtholder was present, and visibly disappointed.

Yesterday I was shown in confidence a despatch just now received from Petersburg, purporting an insinuation[44] made to the Dutch Plenipotentiary, by that Court; "That the said Court had agreed with the Emperor of Germany, to treat at Vienna for procuring a general pacification between the belligerent powers; and if therefore their High Mightinesses should be inclined to intrust both their Imperial Majesties with a mediation in behalf of this Republic, they might make overtures in consequence to Prince Galitzin, the Russian Minister at the Hague." The republicans here are of opinion, that, instead of this, vigorous measures should be taken immediately with the belligerent powers; to which the opposite party will by no means listen.

July 10th. The offered mediation will be accepted, even by the advice of the patriots; because they apprehend, if they do not, the opposite party would continue to insist upon begging for peace directly in England, either by the good offices, as they call them, of the Sardinian Envoy at London, who is entirely at their and the British Court's devotion, or by sending deputies from hence. The final resolution of this Province, concerning the important proposition of Amsterdam, is delayed till the next ordinary Assembly, by cavilling on the expression of next Assembly, used in the proposition, as if this Assembly, an extraordinary one, was but a prolongation of the last.

July 13th. The report which was current on the 10th, of the Emperor being inclined to support the Duke of Brunswick has proved false. I know from the best authority, that quite the reverse is true. When the monarch arrived, the Duke sent to him for permission to wait on him. Instead of which the Emperor went immediately himself to the Duke. What passed between them is not known. But the Duke having soon after returned the visit, he was observed coming back with visible marks of discomposure. The following day, the Emperor dining at the Prince of Orange's seat, called the House in the Wood, showed himself very gentle in his address to the Princess of Orange, and to everybody else, but to the Duke, to whom he said not a single word, being remarkably cold to him, which apparently was the cause of the Duke's withdrawing sooner than any other. Besides this, the Emperor has explained himself with other great men here this very day, by saying the Regents of Amsterdam did their duty as brave patriots. He spent the evening at the French Hotel, where he discoursed much with the French and Russian Ambassadors. The Grand Pensionary, although invited repeatedly by the Prince himself, excused himself from dining at the House in the Wood, because he was ill.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[42] See this Memorial in Mr Adams's Correspondence, Vol. V. p. 481.

[43] See the above remonstrance against the Duke of Brunswick, and his reply, in John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. VI. pp. 70, 76.

[44] See John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. VI. p. 146.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, August 23d, 1781.

Sir,

Since my last, the Provincial States of Holland have been separated till last week.

I was not unacquainted with the negotiation set on foot by the French Ambassador here for a loan of five millions of florins, or five hundred thousand pounds, at four per cent, nor with his notes lately presented for this purpose to the Graphiary, M. Fagel; and although the Ambassador does not yet know that I am acquainted with it, I thought myself obliged to abstain discreetly from writing or speaking about it for obvious reasons. I am now happy with the assurance given me, that the proposition of this loan is committed, and will soon be agreed by their High Mightinesses, either by their taking up the money themselves, and lending it to France, or by their countenancing and warranting the taking it up directly by France; the only secret, or at least not publicly acknowledged particular of this agreement, will be the destination of this money in behalf of the United States. This true account is given me by a friend, who has it officially from the mouth of the Grand Pensionary.

The Baron Lynden had written and delivered into the hands of the President of the States-General, a letter to their High Mightinesses, containing the reason which engaged him to resign his Embassy to Vienna, and to decline any other, viz; the unconstitutionality of a foreigner's (the Duke of Brunswick,) being the only counsel to the Stadtholder, for internal as well as external politics and administration of this Republic. This letter the Baron had been prevailed upon to desist from having read to their High Mightinesses; and he took it out of the hands of the President, in presence of the Grand Pensionary of Holland, and of the Graphiary of their High Mightinesses, reserving to himself, however, the liberty of presenting it again, whenever he should think it convenient. Some persons (your servant for one) have been favored with the perusal of this letter. This compliance having somewhat discredited the Baron among the patriots, he brought his letter back on Tuesday last to the President; telling him it must be laid open to their High Mightinesses without any further delay, otherwise, he should publish it by printing.

August 24th. I have been favored by the Baron de Lynden with the sight, 1st of a letter written by him last Monday to the Stadtholder, in which he tells him, that seeing him still influenced and prepossessed in favor of, and directed by the Duke of Brunswick, he found his own honor and conscience did not suffer him to withhold any longer from their High Mightinesses and from his country, the abovementioned letter; 2dly. The answer of the Stadtholder, telling him, that it was for the sake of the Baron personally, that he had endeavored to persuade him to suppress that letter; but seeing him now determined to pull off the mask, and join with his adversaries, he gave him up to his own reflections; 3dly. The reply of the Baron, viz.; that whereas his Highness was sorry for the letter's being presented for his (the Baron's) sake only, he was determined to present it for the same sake, which he did accordingly; and the letter has been read to their High Mightinesses, the Baron himself being present at the second reading, or resumption, as they call it, the day following.

The original of a very noble and unanimous resolution of the city of Dort, respecting the Duke of Brunswick, where he is considered merely as a military servant of the Republic, and where the conduct of the Regency of Amsterdam is vindicated, has been read confidentially to me. Several other authentic and interesting pieces are in my hands, viz., 1st. A resolution of the city of Dort, of June 25th last, in which their Deputies are ordered to insist upon the important propositions of Amsterdam of May 18th being taken into serious consideration; and principally upon a good plan of operations during this war being concluded with France and her allies. 2dly. The reports of the several Admiralties of this Republic, showing their having accomplished the building, equipping, and putting into service ships, according to the orders of their High Mightinesses; to which the Admiralty of Amsterdam has added a remark, which has much displeased this Court, viz. that, after having done their duty in this matter, an account of the most proper application and disposition of the forces set in readiness, for the protection of this country, must not be asked from them, but from the higher power, which had the direction of their exertions; 3dly. A resolution of the Province of Holland, for another squadron to be speedily ordered to convoy to the Baltic, not only the merchant fleet of Amsterdam, lying in the Texel roads, which, after the glorious action of the 5th, against Parker, has been obliged to come back, but also those of Rotterdam, whose merchants, in a spirited address, have complained of being neglected. I would fain join herewith translated copies of these voluminous and interesting pieces, but without the aiding hand of a clerk, such a task is impossible for me to perform.

August 30th. To shorten the business of the abovementioned loan, probably, their High Mightinesses will open it themselves on their own credit, by warranting the capital and interest at four per cent, for surety of which they will receive, in that case, a general bond from France. Regularly they may pay no more than three per cent for themselves, and notwithstanding such small interest, the course of their paper is at twelve, fourteen, and even sixteen per cent purchase above the capital sum. By this method, if pursued, the subscription at four per cent will be rapidly completed.

September 2d. A very interesting resolution of August 28th, of one of the principal cities of this Province, was received the day before yesterday by her Deputies here, of which the substance is as follows.

"Having been informed by their Deputies of the contents of two notes, which they were told by the Grand Pensionary had been presented successively to the Graphiary of their High Mightinesses by the French Ambassador; and being desirous of facilitating the use which the Court of France intends to make of the proposed loan, because such a compliance with her desire will not only fasten a most necessary confidence between that Court and this Republic, but also annoy directly the common enemy, by strengthening the Congress of North America, in whose behalf his Majesty the King of France intends, according to certain secret informations, to dispose of the whole loan, so that the said Congress may the better carry on the war against Great Britain;—Resolved; that the Deputies of this city at the Assembly of this Province, shall be, and are hereby qualified, when the business shall be reported to the Assembly, to favor with all their power the conclusion of it, and moreover to advise and further a resolution, that may promote the intents and purposes aforesaid. Besides this, when done, our said Deputies at the Provincial Assembly are charged herewith, pursuant to our resolution of June 25th last, to insist by way of proposition, upon their Noble and Grand Mightinesses taking into serious deliberation the proposition laid before them by the Regency of Amsterdam on the 18th of last May, and bring forth a final resolution about the same; and particularly upon the Deputies of this Province, in the Assembly of the States-General, being ordered to direct things there to such effect, that the French Court may be requested by their High Mightinesses to deliberate with them on the manner of acting jointly, by communicating the plans of operation; a measure which must visibly clog the enemy, and directly fortify the affair of this Republic."

September 12th. Last Thursday they were busy at the Assembly of this Province in deliberating on the Duke's letter to their High Mightinesses. The votes of eight cities, viz. Dort, Haerlem, Delft, Leyden, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Gorcum, and Schiedam, were directly against it. The speeches of Haerlem and Leyden, which being written were read, have been admired. The points wherein the eight agree, are 1st. The impropriety of the Duke's addressing himself by letter (when as a military servant he should have done it by request) to their High Mightinesses, which are by no means competent judges, when he should have applied to the true and only Sovereign here, viz. to the Province of Holland. 2dly. That of any foreigner whatever being in fact the only counsel of the eminent chief of this Republic. 3dly. That, without crediting or countenancing current charges of corruption, this foreigner's being hated and suspected by the bulk of this nation, as not patriotic, produces the same effect, and forbids his having any management, or influence, direct or indirect, in public affairs. 4thly. That the nobility's constantly opposing the advices of the cities is a circumstance, which will at last ruin this Republic. 5thly. That the cities have the constitutional right of remonstrating against whomsoever they think proper, according to the resolutions of 1586, 1622, and 1663, which last is the strongest act of indemnity for the purpose. With all that they could not come to a resolution; the nobility, with the ten other cities, pretending their not having yet enough considered the matter. I think the Duke will dispute the ground with some success, as long as he can preserve his old influence over his pupil; but, on the other hand, he will by no means obtain the satisfaction he craves.

I have been favored, by a very good patriot, with the sight of the two short notes of the French Ambassador. The contents are, that the King being satisfied with the notice given him of their being now disposed to exert all their powers for annoying the enemy, his Majesty proposes to them an occasion for distressing them greatly, by their consenting to a loan of five millions of florins, at four per cent a year, payable every six months, which interest as well as the capital the King should procure to be paid exactly at their expiration. The destination of the money in behalf of the United States has been added verbally.

There are two very strong propositions against the Duke made by the Quarter of Westergo in Friesland, to which that of Ostergo, and part of Sevenwolde, have acceded. The first is inserted already in the Leyden Gazette; the second the Gazetteer hesitates as yet to insert, because it is very violent against their High Mightinesses. If he does not, I shall translate and transmit it.

September 13th. I am just now informed, that this Province has consented in the loan for France, by their resolutions of the 7th and 10th inst.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, October 11th, 1781.

Sir,

On the 12th of September the Baron Lynden wrote a letter to the Prince of Orange, telling him, that after he had so much complied with the wishes of his Highness, as to withhold for a considerable time his letter from their High Mightinesses, he had expected from the honor of his Highness, that the Embassy for Vienna would not be disposed of in behalf of another, till there was a greater necessity for it than there is at present, and till his own motives for refusing a post, which in every other respect would have been very delightful to himself, had been attended to; but seeing himself not fairly treated, by another's (the Count of Waffenaar Twickels, who, however, has not yet dared to accept it) being appointed to it, he should be obliged if his Highness should go on, without paying regard to the present letter, to publish it with the foregoing ones that had passed between his Highness and him, together with what he knew from the late Counts of Rhoon and Bentinck, concerning a secret Act, by which his Highness, when of age, had promised the Duke, that he should ever be his only counsel.

A very unfaithful account having since been circulated of this letter, the Baron makes no difficulty of showing it to those whom he wishes to be undeceived, and probably he will at last publish it with the others. In the meantime, I have seen the original draft. Several very violent Dutch pamphlets have been published within a few days, not only against the Duke, but even against the Stadtholder and against the Stadtholdership in general, and the whole Orange dynasty, the last of which is a masterly performance, but too large for me to translate. There is more moderation in the considerations herewith enclosed; and therefore I have consented without difficulty to get them printed, at the request of some very good people, as your Excellency will see, by the annexed copy of my letter to their society at Rotterdam.

The States of Holland have met again this morning. I have not heard if any of the Provinces, besides Holland and Friesland, have consented to the loan proposed by France, in the manner I told your Excellency in my last. They are too much taken up at present with their domestic quarrels.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

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

Philadelphia, November 28th, 1781.

Sir,

It is necessary to inform you, that the correspondence with you will in future be through the office of Foreign Affairs, at the head of which Congress have done me the honor to place me, as will appear by the enclosed resolutions.

I have before me your interesting letters from December to July. The minute detail into which you go, of the facts in which either your government or ours is concerned, is highly acceptable to Congress. You will not, therefore, fail to continue it; and from time to time transmit, in addition thereto, such papers and pamphlets as serve to throw light on the politics of the United Provinces, or of the Northern Powers. Dr Franklin will defray the expense to which this may put you. Be pleased to subscribe for the Leyden and Amsterdam Gazettes, and transmit them to me as opportunity offers. We have as yet received no account from Mr Adams of the presentation of his Memorial, or the reception it met with, nor any other particulars on this interesting subject, than what you have related. We consider this as a proof of his reliance upon your exactness in the relation.

You have before this heard the variety of agreeable events, which have with the divine blessing taken place in America. The particulars of the capture of Cornwallis and General Green's victory are sent to Mr Adams, though you will probably have them earlier by way of France. Our affairs here are in such a situation, that even our enemies have given up the idea of conquest, or the most distant expectation of our re-union with Great Britain, whose unheard of cruelties have excited the most inveterate hatred. This is perhaps the moment in which other nations might, by a generous and decided conduct, take their place in our affections; and before our tastes were so formed as to give the preference to the fashions or manufactures of any one country, to establish their commerce with us on the ruin of that of Britain. I wish both for your sake and ours, that the United Provinces knew how to avail themselves of this invaluable opportunity by entering boldly into commercial connexions with us, and by ingratiating themselves into our affections by some such act of friendship as would strike the senses of the people. But alas! this is too daring for your Councils, and is rather to be wished than expected.

It gives me pain to inform you, that Lieutenant-Colonel Bedaulx is dead. It will, however, be some consolation to his friends, (in whose sorrows I sympathise) to hear, after what has been injuriously repeated to them, that his reputation was untarnished, and that he died, with the character of a man of honor and a soldier, fighting in the cause of freedom at Savannah.[45]

Congress are very sensible of your attention to their interest, and wish the situation of their finances would admit of their rewarding it more liberally, but having retrenched expenses of every kind, and reduced the salaries as low as the strictest frugality requires, they do not think it expedient at this time to make any additions to that allowed you by Dr Franklin, which they will direct him to pay regularly. You will be pleased in future to direct your letters, not to the President, but to me, as Secretary of the States for Foreign Affairs; and when you favor us with anything written in French or Dutch, to give it in the original language. This may save you some trouble, and enable us in quoting it to make use of the original expression, which you know is often very necessary. As you appear to labor under a mistake, with respect to Mr Searle, I take the liberty to inform you that he is not a member of Congress, his delegation having expired before he left America. I cannot close my letter without congratulating you on the spirit and gallantry of Admiral Zoutman, and his officers and men. Had Britain known that your Van Tromps and De Ruyters were still alive, she would have thought the treasures of your islands too dearly purchased by provoking their resentment.

It will give you pleasure to hear that the British have been foiled in every quarter of this country. A considerable body of them with a number of Indians, who crossed the lakes from Canada upon a ravaging expedition, with no nobler view than that of burning farm houses, and scalping women and children, were met twice and defeated, with considerable loss in killed and prisoners, by an inferior number of militia.

Congress are engaged in preparations for the most vigorous exertions as soon as the spring shall open, from which, by the blessings of Divine Providence, we have the highest reason to promise ourselves success.

I am, Sir, with great esteem and respect, &c.

R. R. LIVINGSTON.

FOOTNOTES:

[45] See General Bedaulx's letter to M. Dumas on this subject, above, p. 452.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Amsterdam, January 7th, 1782.

Sir,

It would require a volume and several hands, to relate the events of which I have been a daily witness, and not seldom an active one, since my last despatch of October 11th. Indifferent health, as well as prudence, has forbidden me to write down and send a journal of them, as I formerly did. The rage of the English, and of their faction here, is increased with their late disappointments; and while things draw nearer to some conclusion, my own experience and that of others has taught me not to trust too much to any public conveyance.

I heartily congratulate Congress upon the glorious event of the 19th of October last, which has given joy to our friends and confusion to our enemies here.

The loan of five millions of guilders to France in behalf of the United States having been unanimously agreed to by their High Mightinesses has been subscribed in one day; and this stock is no more to be had under two per cent above the capital.

Tomorrow the States of Holland will meet again at the Hague, to deliberate about the offered mediation of Russia, already accepted by Great Britain, for a peace between the latter and this Republic. In spite of the English faction, I have good reason to foretell that two conditions, sine quibus non, will be insisted on as preliminaries by the Republic. 1st. All the rights of a free and unlimited navigation offered to this Republic, in virtue of former treaties as well as of her being part of the armed neutrality. 2dly. That this negotiation for a particular peace shall not hinder the Republic in the meantime, and till concluded, from concerting measures with France for carrying on the war. Without these clauses expressed in the resolution that is to be taken this or next week, I am assured that none will be taken, because it is a matter which requires unanimity.

After having managed an interview between Mr Adams and some gentlemen at the Hague, I have accompanied him hither during the vacation time. Tomorrow we intend to go back to the Hague, where we have agreed with the said gentlemen, and with the French Ambassador, upon Mr Adams's addressing their High Mightinesses for a categorical answer on the errand of his mission.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, January 15th, 1782.

Sir,

According to my last of the 7th instant, I went with Mr Adams on the 9th to the President of their High Mightinesses, to whom his Excellency having made his requisition, I repeated it, that the President might understand it exactly, in the same terms as are to be seen in the Leyden Gazette here sent, where I have got them inserted; and he promised to make his report accordingly. After this, having received word from the Grand Pensionary of Holland, where we intended to go, that being himself very sick, he could receive nobody but by the means of his Secretary, I alone made the communication to the latter the same morning. The day following, being Thursday, we were received by M. Fagel, the Graphiary of their High Mightinesses, who, after I had read to him the requisition, told us, "that the President had made report of it to the States-General, and that the Deputies of all the Provinces had taken it ad referendum, to be transmitted to their several Provinces; that the same had been done respecting the first report in May last, without any instruction being hitherto received about it; and, therefore, some patience more was necessary for a categorical answer."

The reception met with from the President and the said Ministers was duly polite. From them we went round to the deputations of the eighteen cities of this Province, now assembling here, who received us, without exception, with a very good humored cordiality, thanking us for our kind communication, of which they promised to make report to their cities, and assuring us, that they wished earnestly for a speedy establishment of amity and good harmony between both Republics; to which several of them added, affectionately, that they loved the Americans.

January 17th. This morning those of Dort have loudly complained in the Assembly of Holland, of the disregard shown by the other Provinces, and even by part of this Province, to the common welfare, roundly declaring that they will not consent to the proposed mediation for a peace with Great Britain, unless it should be agreed and resolved before, to concert measures with France for carrying on the war without any truce, till peace should be fairly concluded. The same city, with that of Leyden, I am assured, will soon insist also in the Assembly, upon due attention being paid to our requisition.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, January 30th, 1782.

Sir,

Last Friday, the co-operating with France against the common enemy would have been resolved upon, if the little city of Briel had not voted with the nobility, for resolving, at the same time, the acceptance of the mediation proposed by Russia for a particular peace with Great Britain, which the other refused to do. Neither of these points being agreed on, they have adjourned till Tuesday, the 5th of February.

Before their parting, Dort and six other principal cities inserted their protest against the unconstitutional manner of carrying on the correspondence by their High Mightinesses with the Emperor, concerning the abolition of the barrier treaty and the dismantling of the barrier cities without consulting the Provinces about it; threatening to recall their Deputies at the States-General. This unexpected step has much frightened and humiliated the latter. Probably the next week will decide, first of all, the business of concerting measures with France, and then that of the mediation, of which they are determined to limit the acceptance by such clauses as may disappoint the friends of Great Britain.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, March 29th, 1782.

Sir,

It is with great satisfaction that I find myself authorised to begin an official correspondence with you, by congratulating the United States on the acquisition of two illustrious sisters, whose example will be speedily followed by five others. On the 26th of February last, Friesland, and yesterday Holland adopted the Provincial resolutions to instruct their Deputies in the States-General, to direct affairs in that body in such a manner as to procure Mr Adams's admission for the purpose of presenting his credentials from the United States to their High Mightinesses. This is an acknowledgment of your independence, and opens the road to negotiation. I have received triplicates of your favor, and shall have the honor of answering more fully on the first opportunity.

I hope the two pamphlets accompanying this, —— and ——, which are very celebrated, rare, and valuable here, will reach you in safety.

I am, &c.

DUMAS.

P. S. The names of Messrs Gyzelaer, Zeeberg, Van Berckel, and Vischer, Pensionaries of the cities of Dort, Haerlem and Amsterdam, are worthy of being remembered with the highest esteem by every true American.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Amsterdam, April 4th, 1782.

Sir,

The 29th ult. I had the honor to address you a packet under cover to Dr Franklin at Paris, with a short letter, in which I had the satisfaction to commence the honor of my official correspondence with you, in congratulating the United States on the acquisition of two illustrious sisters, whose example will be followed by five others, as you will see by the papers annexed.

I congratulate you, Sir, and myself also on your elevation to the high post that you fill, and I recommend my interests and my character to your attention before Congress. I shall communicate to Dr Franklin the account of my expenses for the pamphlets and other charges, which I have already begun, and which I shall continue to forward to you according to your orders, and I shall draw on him for the amount. I purchased, in February last, for Mr Adams and by his order, at a cheap rate, a hotel at the Hague, where we shall live happily together, if God please, the first of next month. This purchase, besides the economy of it, has produced politically very good effects. Only France, Spain and now the United States, possess hotels as their own at the Hague. All the other foreign Ministers occupy, at a dear rate, hired hotels.

There is no longer cause to blame the slowness of this nation on our affairs. Its inclination for us, like a spring pressed by a strong hand, is escaping and declares for us nobly, by an accumulation of addresses of corporations, which appear from all parts. I think that before the end of this month, Mr Adams will be admitted to present his letters of credence. I came to him here for a secret transaction concerted with our friends at the Hague, which must make our triumph over Anglomany complete. On his part, he went this morning to confer with the French Ambassador at the Hague. He will return here on Saturday, where I shall keep him company till the end of next week. Our sure and permanent address will be for the future, a l'Hotel d'Amerique a la Haie en Hollande.

I am, Sir, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

JOHN ADAMS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Amsterdam, May 2d, 1782.

Sir,

Your favor of the 30th I had the honor to receive yesterday, with Mr Nolet's letter and your answer. What shall I say to this affectionate, as well as polite invitation to dine at Schiedam? I am now, and shall be a long time exceedingly fatigued with the affair of the loan, which takes up the greater part of my attention and time. The treaty of commerce is also, you know, under consideration, and the merchants of the American Coffee House have proposed a public dinner here; but I have begged to be excused. You see the difficulties, for which reasons I earnestly wish, that our kind friends of Schiedam would be so good as to excuse us; but I will leave the whole to you, and if I cannot be excused, I will conform to the day you agree upon. But there is another affair, which not only perplexes me in this business of the dinner, but in many other matters of importance. There is a serious negotiation going on for peace, between the Courts of London and Versailles, and Dr Franklin, who has sent me the whole, has invited Mr Laurens, Mr Jay, and me to Paris, to consult and treat. This may make it necessary to go at a short warning.

I hope you are in possession of the house at the Hague, and advise you to live in it. Your answer to Mr Nolet is very just.

It is my opinion, with submission to Congress, that it is the interest and duty of the United States, to send you a commission to be Secretary of this Legation, and Charge d'Affaires, with a salary of five hundred pounds sterling a year during the time that there is a Minister here; and at the rate of a thousand a year, when there is not; and you have my consent to transmit this opinion to Congress, by sending an extract of this letter, or otherwise by as many ways as you please. I shall write the same myself. I wrote as much more than a year ago, but know not whether the letter has been received, as a vast number of my letters have been thrown overboard, and many taken.

If the dinner at Schiedam should be agreed on, there will be no difficulties in finding a way for us three to go all together. All that is before said about the negotiation for peace, you know must be kept secret. But if I go to Paris, I shall break up my house here entirely, and dismiss all my servants.

I have the honor to be, with compliments to the ladies, &c.

JOHN ADAMS.

* * * * *

VERBAL MESSAGE OF C. W. F. DUMAS TO THE CITY OF SCHIEDAM.

The following verbal message, on the part of Mr Adams to the Secretary of the city of Schiedam, was given by M. Dumas, on the 8th of May, 1782.

Sir,

The diversity of sentiments which exists in this Republic, in relation to the circumstances in which it stands to the United States of America, having appeared to Mr Adams capable of causing some embarrassment to the merchants of Schiedam, if he accepted their polite invitation, he has thought that he could not better prove the regard and affection which he has for those gentlemen, than by declining their polite request. He has therefore charged me, Sir, to assure you of his extreme sensibility, for the honor and friendship they have manifested in his person to his Sovereign; and of his intention, not only to make mention of it in his first despatches to Congress, but also to show on all occasions how much he is disposed to reciprocate this cordial civility, by every means in his power.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, May 10th, 1782.

Sir,

Since my last of the 4th of April, I have not had a moment of leisure, by a succession of agreeable occupations, which have brought us rapidly to the result which I predicted to you.

The voice of the people has made itself heard from all parts. The Provinces having successively sent their resolutions here annexed to the Generality, the 19th of April was the great day when the unanimous resolution of their High Mightinesses was adopted to admit Mr Adams; and on the 20th in the morning he went to present his letters of credence to the President of the week. On Monday, at nine o'clock in the morning, I went par etiquette to the house of his Excellency, the French Ambassador, to ask of him the hour when Mr Adams should come and impart to him officially his admission, and in the meantime we were to leave our cards at the houses of all the members of the States-General. The visit to the Ambassador was made in form, and publicly returned in the same way. That of the Envoy of Spain, not requiring the same ceremonial as the rank of the Ambassador, we had given him notice on Sunday evening in a familiar visit, under a condition previously agreed, that he would return it in like manner the next day; and he kept his word. Monday, the 22d, I went to ask audience for Mr Adams, of his Serene Highness, the Stadtholder, who granted it immediately. We dined on Tuesday, the 23d, with the French Ambassador, who had invited all the Corps Diplomatique, and they all attended. Wednesday morning we made the tour of the cities of Holland at their hotels with cards. We left also cards of notification at the hotels of the Ministers of foreign neutral Courts, who probably have written to their Courts to know if they should return the visit. There has been no return of it but from the Minister of Liege. The same morning I went to ask audience for Mr Adams of her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange, which immediately took place.

Monday, 6th of May. Mr Adams was present at a breakfast with M. Boreel, Deputy of the States-General, where he had been invited with all the Court and the Corps Diplomatique.

An address having been presented on Monday, the 22d, to Mr Adams, by six Deputies of the body of merchants of Schiedam, having at their head the Secretary of the city, who invited him at the same time to a grand festival, which they wished to give him, I had the happiness yesterday to excuse him from this festival without dissatisfying these gentlemen, as you will see by the copy of my verbal message to the Secretary.

Add to all this, Sir, the confusion of our removal into the Hotel of the United States of America, which is not yet over, and will not be for several weeks, and you may well have some indulgence for the imperfection of my present correspondence.

Sunday last, after dinner, at the request of the French Ambassador and of our friends here, and with the consent of Mr Adams, I made a journey by post to Amsterdam, charged with a secret commission relating to a concert of operations in this country, which the Anglomanes appeared willing to trouble by some intrigue, and I returned the next day. All is now settled to the satisfaction of France; and the Anglomanes are frustrated.

Day before yesterday we were again at a familiar and friendly dinner at the house of the French Ambassador, with whom Mr Adams was very much satisfied.

I give you, Sir, only a sort of index, very imperfect, of the principal events, which have passed here lately. I leave to Mr Adams, who presented on Monday, the 22d of April, the sketch of a treaty of amity and commerce to their High Mightinesses, to enlarge. I write from memory, not having been able to keep a journal, still less one of my going and coming, my secret interviews, conferences, and negotiations, which were necessary to prepare and bring about what has been done, and which ought not yet to be trusted to paper. No one has better characterised the truly national revolution, which has taken place here, than the French Ambassador, in saying, that the Dutch nation had avenged itself, with the greatest success, of all the political and other evils, which the English have done them since Cromwell; and the Envoy of Spain, who said to Mr Adams, that he had struck the greatest blow, which had been given in Europe for a long time.

I conclude by recommending, Sir, to your attention and to that of Congress, the copy of a letter which Mr Adams wrote me from Amsterdam the 2d of this month. I have not had a moment of leisure to write the present despatch sooner; nor by consequence to make a prompt use of this letter according to the intention of Mr Adams, and which, nevertheless, interests the United States as much as myself. It surprised and affected me very agreeably, and it was no doubt, his intention so to surprise. You know, Sir, or you may know by the papers of your department, since the end of 1775, the intimate part I have had in political affairs without interruption, in executing faithfully the orders of Congress, unsolicited, but accepted on my part with an ardor, which I am bold to say, has never changed, and which has drawn upon me personally all the enemies, open and concealed, of America, and has cost me and my family great persecutions, mortifications, losses and sacrifices. I should fear, therefore, to weaken the letter, so energetic and so honorable to me, of Mr Adams, (who told me by word of mouth, a few days since, that he was surprised Congress had not before made such a disposition on the subject of my affairs,) if I should add anything more, except that I have never had any other principle in my actions, especially in these six or seven years of faithful and painful labor, than the service of humanity, of the United States, and of their honorable Congress; and if in my last sigh, I could add to this testimony of my conscience the idea of having retained, the esteem and friendship of all your respectable Ministers, both in Europe and America, and especially yours, Sir, which will be very dear to me, and which I pray you to bestow on me, I shall contentedly close my days with the words of Horace in my mouth; non ultima laus est principibus placuisse viris.

I am, with the most sincere respect,

DUMAS.

P. S. May 12th. There arrived here yesterday a second proposition of Fox for peace with this Republic. It will be presented tomorrow to the States-General; a new snare, which is happily foreseen and escaped. I shall speak of it in my next.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

The Hague, June 1st, 1782.

Sir,

My last was of the 10th of May. Since that time I have been constantly occupied with the French Ambassador and the good patriots of this country in counteracting the pretended mediators for a separate peace between Great Britain and this Republic; and we have so far succeeded that Holland has adopted a good resolution in relation to it, which is all ready and which will nearly destroy this manoeuvre of the Anglomanes. On the 21st and 22d of May, I made at the request of the Ambassador a journey to Dort, where was ready a sketch of a resolution (since matured and perfected) of which I at the same time made a translation for the Ambassador. We shall see the effect this will have.

I know that one of the principal Ministers of the Republic, on the good will of whom we begin to rely a little more than formerly, has declared that he has in his pocket the full proofs of the intention of the British Ministry to amuse and deceive the Republic, which I hope to see soon irrevocably pledged not to make a peace except in conjunction with the three other belligerent powers. I cannot explain myself more at present. If it were not for the disaster of De Grasse in the West Indies, which delays our progress a little, we should be already more advanced.

June 18th. The abovementioned resolution, although printed on the 5th, was not finally decreed by the States of Holland till the 12th instant, with some changes, after which they separated, not to come together again for about three weeks. In this interval, the cities will have examined the report of the Admiralty, on the treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and this Republic; and I am assured that this treaty will be brought to a conclusion at the first sitting. There will be a question also at that time on the nomination of a Minister of this Republic to reside near Congress; the Prince having declared his willingness to propose it to the same assembly.

I accompanied Mr Adams yesterday morning to an audience with the Prince at the Chateau du Bois; and he supped there the same day with the Prince, the Princess, and many foreign Ministers. The stay of Grenville at Paris, and his pretended instructions to negotiate peace, have all the air of being only a trick of the Court of London; and I think it will require one more campaign to bring them to talk seriously of a general peace, or rather to ripen the revolution or civil war, which has appeared to me for a long time springing up in their bosom, and which will bring about finally the catastrophe of this great tragedy. May the catastrophe be only fatal to the authors of the evil, and turn to the happiness of the human race in general, and especially to that of the United States.

June 20th. The Ambassador has informed us, that the combined fleet departed from Cadiz the 4th instant, and in great confidence that Mr Grenville, who is at Paris, has received from his Court full powers more ample, to treat with all the belligerents. This is well, if his powers are explicit and sincere. But to trust to them it seems necessary that the British Court should declare, that it recognises the United States for a belligerent power, otherwise it will be a Proteus; it will escape from us when we think to hold it, and will pretend to do us a great favor by condescending to a truce, which would be more pernicious to America than the war. It would draw on the United States a host of evils. It would leave, in the opinion of all the world, not excepting your allies and yourselves, an idea of the uncertainty of your independence, which would never be effectual, and derogate, by consequence, explicitly from the 2d, 3d, 8th and 9th articles of your treaty of alliance with France, so justly admired; would degrade your power, your credit, your dignity; would open the door to distrust, to dissensions, to corruption and treachery among yourselves, to combinations against you in Europe; would put you under the necessity of keeping a standing army, &c. &c. &c. God preserve the United States from this Pandora's box! If ever Congress could have had a thought, in the most difficult times, to have recourse to this dangerous palliative of the evils of war, the present moment should inspire it with one very different, which will infallibly bring to terms an enemy fatigued, exhausted and ruined, and will assure to the United States, with peace, the respect, the regard and friendship of all powers. An unbounded solicitude for the safety, the prosperity and glory of the United States will serve, I hope, as an apology for the boldness with which I dare to expose here my sentiments to Congress, of whose firmness and magnanimity, as well as of those of its ministers, I have an idea as great, in proportion, as my opinion of the intentions of the enemy and of its favorers, is small.

The Academy of Franequer in Friesland has caused to be exhibited on occasion of a celebration in honor of the connexion between the United States and this Republic, beautiful fire works, with an illumination. On a triumphal arch you may read this distich;

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