Adams Papers

John Adams to C. W. F. Dumas, 18 September 1784

To C. W. F. Dumas

Auteuil near Paris Sep. 18. 1784


I have received your Favour of the 10th. as well as the two former, with their Inclosures.1 The first I Sent by Mr Tracy a Sure hand, by the Way of London, and the two Latter, I shall Send the Same Way by another private Hand, so that all three will go safe and as soon or sooner than by the Way of L’orient

The two Abbys who continue their freindly and brotherly Course of Life, very often enquire after your Welfare and desire me to present you their regards, and so do my Family to yours and Mrs Platt.2

your Dispatches look Warlike. I apprehend that our good Friends must be anxious. Bid them be of good Cheer. a War with them must become general, and therefore it is to be hoped the Emperor will not proceed to Extremities. it is the common Talk here, that France cannot See the Aggrandisment of the Emperor with Indifferance indeed both England and France have cause of Jealousy and Alarm at the Enterprise of opening the scheld and the Commerce of the Indies. I crossed from Dover to Calais, with an old Officer of a British Man of War, who Said to me, without knowing me, that he Saw by the Papers, the Dutch had agreed to open the Scheld. It is, Says he, a damned Stroke to England, for all the American Vessells will go there. He was mistaken in the Fact but judged rightly of the Consequence. indeed there is no nation more essentially interested in this than the English and therefore I conclude they will neither cooperate, aid, nor abet, the Emperor in the Design, and without their assistance in Cash, it will be difficult for him to enter into an extensive War. all this you See, goes upon the Supposition that England is not out of her Head, which is by no means certain.

With great Regard, I have the Honour / to be &c

John Adams.

RC (DLC:William Vans Murray Papers); internal address: “Mr Dumas.”; endorsed: “Auteuil près Paris 18e. 7be 1784 / Mr. J. Adams.” LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 107.

1Prior to his 10 Sept. letter, above, Dumas had written to JA on 31 Aug. (for which see note 2 to JA’s letter to Dumas of the 25th, above) and 3 Sept., above.

2The Abbés Arnoux and Chalut befriended JA soon after he first arrived in France in 1778 and subsequently became familiar with JQA, AA, and AA2 (JA, D&A, description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:317; 4:59).

JA unexpectedly encountered Abigail Pyncheon Platt, wife of New York and New Haven merchant Jeremiah Platt, during a visit to Amsterdam in May 1784. Writing to JQA on 28 May, JA recalled knowing her in Boston before her marriage in 1780 and remarked that in meeting her, “I thought I met one of my family” (AFC, description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 5:334–335, 6:394; JQA, Diary, description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981–. description ends , 1:307).

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