Adams Papers

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation, 30 May 1780

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[ante 30 May 1780] 1


The letter with which you have honored me of 21 May is very precious, for it has given me the opportunity, which I long desired, of entering into direct correspondence with you.

It was only by chance and through public channels that I learned of your fortunate return from America, for which I congratulate you and would have done so sooner had I known that you were at Paris. I was quite mortified when I went to Passy last summer and did not find you there. Mr. Brown2 of Charleston, with whom I often had the pleasure taking very pleasant walks around Paris, told me that you also found these walks agreeable and frequently took them. If he remains at Passy please let me send him my most cordial regards.

I thank you, sir, and Mr. Franklin for the letter attributed to Mr. Clinton.3 I will communicate it to the newspapers. But I cannot hide from you that in reading over this piece I concluded that it was forged and the gazetteers will see it as such without my telling them. It is impossible that Clinton could have written it. When an authentic piece of news does arrive, such as the lifting of the siege of Charleston, etc., I rely on your kindness, and that of Mr. Franklin, to send it to me first. It is not only for the newspapers that I make this request, for I always begin by making use of such news in the manner most beneficial for America. I will be delighted, sir, to be able to serve you in return anytime and anywhere, either here or elsewhere, and will regard it as a favor if you will provide me with the opportunity.

I am with very great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

CGf. Dumas

RC (Adams Papers). This letter originally was dated and filmed at [May–June 1780] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 352).

1This date is derived from the serial publication of the forged letter from Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, mentioned in the third paragraph, in the Gazette de Leyde on 30 May, 2 June, and 6 June. In his letter of 6 June (below), Dumas indicated that he had sent the letter to the Gazette for publication.

2For Joseph Brown Jr., see Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 3:302.

3For the forged Clinton letter, see JA’s letter of 21 May to Dumas, and note 2 (above).

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