Benjamin Franklin Papers

Dumas to the American Commissioners, 11[–21] June 1778: résumé

Dumas to the American Commissioners1

AL: American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief

<The Hague, June 11[–12, 1778], in French: I received yesterday your letter of the 2nd, and copied the treaty in case I need it. The Grand Facteur expressed some embarrassment at your putting me under his direction. In his official capacity he cannot direct. In his private he advises that I give the treaty to the Grand Pensionary and ask him not to circulate copies. June 12: I conferred this morning with the Grand Facteur. Two or three articles in the treaty favor us over others. This fact, if disclosed, would make us friends here; but it might also encourage requests that his firm in certain circumstances would not grant.2 We have decided to wait on word from you before making the disclosure.

I have just seen the resolution of Congress on the Conciliatory bill and the commission, and interrupted my letter to take it to the Grand Pensionary. He laughed at my eagerness. But I furnish him regularly with information and, if he does not get it at once, he asks me for it.>

1Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 200–4.

2The articles were doubtless 25 and 26, which defined neutral rights and contraband in a way favorable to the Dutch carrying trade: above, XXV, 617–21. Dumas’ fiction was that La Vauguyon was the agent for a commercial house.

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