Adams Papers

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation, 7 March 1781

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

The Hague, 7 March 1781


I have the honor to communicate to you, through the enclosed letter to Congress, what I read to you from my short note.1

After much reflection on our conversation, I persist in the idea of not using the phrase of the armed neutrality being a consequence of the American revolution, even in your letter to those here.2 They are well aware of it and their anglomanes will think it a crime. It is better to use this idea in the next letter, but in the first attempt, I believe it is best to keep it simple. Besides, sir, you always do what you judge to be appropriate and I will deliver your letters, when you send them to me, in the order that we find agreeable.

I will send the remaining notebooks to your son very shortly.

I have the honor to be with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant


RC (Adams Papers).

1This is Dumas’ letter of 5 March to the president of Congress (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. description begins Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, Washington, 1889; 6 vols. description ends , 4:273–274). Dumas noted that JA visited him on 4 March and informed him of the December dispatches that he received from Congress. Dumas was eager to assist JA and hoped that his efforts would be successful. When Dumas’ letter reached Congress, James Lovell copied the paragraph and sent it to AA in a letter of 26 June (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 4:162–164).

2Dumas’ rendering of this passage in English makes it likely that it appeared in a draft announcement of Congress’ resolution of 5 Oct. regarding U.S. accession to the armed neutrality. No such announcement has been found, but see JA’s memorial to the States General of 8 March, below.

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