Adams Papers
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From John Adams to the Duc de La Vauguyon with a Letterbook Memorandum, 24 November 1781

To the Duc de La Vauguyon with a Letterbook Memorandum

Amsterdam November 24. 1781

Mr Adams presents his most respectfull Compliments to his Excellency, the Duke de la Vauguion, and begs leave to acquaint him, that by the last nights Post he received from Congress Some important Dispatches which it is his Duty to communicate to the Ambassador of France.1 Mr Adams requests his Excellency, to inform him, what Hour will be most convenient for him to wait on him at the Arms of Amsterdam. Meantime he most Sincerely congratulates his Excellency, on the glorious News from America, by the Duke de Lauzun, of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis with his whole Army, to the Arms of the allies.


This Card I Sent by my Secretary Mr Thaxter. The Duke returned for answer, that he would call upon me at my House, between Twelve and one, to congratulate me, on the News from America. Accordingly about one, he came and Spent with me, an hour and an half. I communicated to him my fresh Instructions and agreed to Send him a Copy of them tomorrow, or next day by the Post Waggon Charriot de Poste. He Said he had not received any Instructions from Versailles, upon the Subject, but might receive Some by next Tuesdays Poste. He asked me what Step I proposed to take in Consequence of these Instructions? I answered none, but with his Participation and approbation. That I would be always ready to attend him, at the Hague or elsewhere, for the purpose of the most candid and confidential Consultations, &c. He Said that he thought that the Subject was very well Seen (tres bien vû) and the measure very well concerted (tres bien combiné), and that it would have a good Effect at this time, to counteract the Artifice of the British Ministry, in agreeing to the Mediation of Russia, for a Seperate Peace with this Republick.

LbC (Adams Papers).

1The dispatches included JA’s commission and instructions of 16 Aug. authorizing him to enter into a tripartite alliance with France and the Netherlands or a quadruple alliance if Spain could be convinced to join them (vol. 11:453–456).

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