Adams Papers
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To John Adams from C. W. F. Dumas, 16 January 1783

From C. W. F. Dumas

Lahaie 16e. Janv. 1783.


Voici enfin l’Etat militaire Suédois. Je l’ai extrait d’un Livre que Mr. D’Asp m’a prêté, & duquel j’ai ordonné à un Libraire de faire venir 2 Exemplaires d’Allemagne, où il est imprimé. Sir J. Jay vous aura remis, Monsieur, un petit Livret Hollandois sur la même matiere quant à cette rep., & dont j’en voie demain un second Exemplaire de votre part dans un paquet à Mr. Livingston.1

J’écrirai à Berlin, pour me procurer un pareil Etat delà, s’il y a moyen.2

Voici une Lettre pour Mr. De Linde, que vous voudrez bien, Monsieur, cacheter d’un oubli, & faire rendre.3

Me. Dumas, en priant Son Exce. d’agréer ses respects & ceux de sa fille, trouve les Anglois plus lambins encore que les Hollandois. “Si elle étoit Mr. Adam, elle leur demanderoit une réponse cathégorique, qu’elle iroit attendre à Lahaie.”4

Votre Lettre du ler. Janv. me laisse un violent appétit pour les Topicks que vous m’y promettez de m’expliquer plus particulierement.

Je Suis avec un très-grand respect, Monsieur / De V. Exce. le très humble & très obeissant / serviteur



The Hague, 16 January 1783


Here at last is the state of the Swedish military. I took it from a book that Mr. Asp lent me and have instructed a bookseller to order two copies from Germany, where it is printed. Sir James Jay will have given you, sir, a small Dutch booklet on the same subject regarding this republic, and I’m sending a second copy on your behalf in a packet to Mr. Livingston.1

I shall write to Berlin to obtain a similar account if possible.2

Here is a letter for Mr. De Lynden, sir, which you should please seal and deliver.3

Mme. Dumas, who begs your excellency to accept her greetings and those of her daughter, finds the English even more inclined to drag their feet than the Dutch. “If she were Mr. Adams, she would ask them for a categorical response, which she would go and wait for at The Hague.”4

Your letter of 1 January has given me a fierce appetite for the Topics you promise to explain in greater detail.

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


RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Excellence Mr. Adams, M. P. des E. U.”

1Neither Dumas’ sources for his accounts of the Dutch and Swedish armies, nor the accounts themselves, have been found. However, Benjamin Lincoln acknowledged receiving them in a letter of 29 April (Adams Papers), indicating that they had arrived in a packet from Thomas Barclay. According to Lincoln, Barclay ascribed the absence of a cover letter from JA to its being lost when it fell into the water.

2In Dumas’ letterbook (Nationaal Archief:Dumas Papers, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 483–484), immediately following his letter to JA is an undated one to Count Ewald Friedrich von Hertzberg, the chief minister of Prussia, requesting information on the Prussian army.

3In Dumas’ letterbook (same, f. 481–482), immediately preceding Dumas’ letter to JA, is one of 16 Jan. to Baron de Lynden van Blitterswyck expressing concern over events at Paris.

4Marie Dumas is referring to JA’s decision to address the States General on 9 Jan. 1782 and demand a categorical or unequivocal response to his memorial of 19 April 1781. She, as well as JA, believed that it forced the Dutch to recognize the United States as independent and JA as its minister to the Netherlands in April 1782 (vol. 12:108–110).

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