Adams Papers
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To John Adams from C. W. F. Dumas, 14 January 1783

From C. W. F. Dumas

Lahaie 14e. Janv. 1783.

Monsieur,

L’Incluse pour Philade. vous mettra au fait du courant ici.1 L’honorée vôtre du ler. Janv. est pour moi une vraie & précieuse Etrenne de nouvel an. J’ai fait confidence verbale du contenu à Mrs. De G——, V. B., & V. sous le sceau du secret, & à personne autre. Ils en ont été charmés. Du reste, ils étoient bien sûrs d’avance de vos bonnes dispositions & de celle de Mrs. vos Collegues pour cette Rep. Ce qui leur tient à coeur, c’est que, com̃e Mr. Brantzen écrit constam̃ent dans ses Dépeches ici, de la part de Mr. le C—— de V——, le soin qu’il a des intérêts de la rep., vous l’autorisassiez demême ministériellement à apprendre à L. H. P., que vous les avez également à coeur.2

Ces Messieurs ici S’appliquent à cet égard le vers de l’Ecole: Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.3 En un mot, ils souhaitteroient, que les dites Dépeches rendissent ici la justice qui est due à chacun.

Mr. De Gr. a écrit à Mr. Brantzen, pour qu’il pressât de sa part Mr. le Baron de Linden (ci-devt. Envoyé de la rep. en Suede) de revenir au plutôt de Paris où il est depuis quelques mois. Mais il n’a pas fait ouverture à Mr. Brantzen de son plan, parce qu’il ne voudroit pas que celui-ci en com̃uniquât quelque chose prématurément à quelque relation en ce pays. Mr. Gr. vous prie donc, Monsieur, d’avoir un Entretien avec Mr. De Linde Mr. De Linde étoit logé en Novembre à l’Hôtel des Etats-Unis rue Gallion & je suppose qu’il y est encore,4 & de lui confier de sa part, sous le secret, que son plan est de faire ensorte, que Mr. De Linde soit nom̃é Ministre de cette Rep. auprès des Etats-Unis; & que, pour cet effet, il faut qu’il revienne incessam̃ent ici, pour battre ensemble la fer pendant qu’il est chaud. Mr. V. Bl. de son côté n’a rien contre ce plan.

La poste, qui va partir, ne me laisse que le moment de finir, avec mon respectueux attachement, Monsieur, De V. Exce. / le très humble & très obéisst. / serviteur

Dumas5

Translation

The Hague, 14 January 1783

Sir

The enclosed for Philadelphia will inform you of current events here.1 Your distinguished letter of 1 January was a true and precious New Year’s gift. I imparted its contents orally to Mr. Gyselaar, Mr. Van Berckel, and Mr. Visscher, in the strictest confidence, and to no one else. They were delighted. Moreover, they were already certain of your goodwill and that of your colleagues toward this republic. Given that Mr. Brantsen is always writing dispatches about the Comte de Vergennes’ concern for Dutch interests, their heartfelt wish is for you to authorize him to inform their High Mightinesses officially that you have them equally in mind.2

In this connection, the gentlemen here apply the old school maxim to themselves: Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.3 In a word, they would like the said dispatches to render to each his just deserts.

Mr. Gyselaar has written to Mr. Brantsen telling him to urge the Baron De Lynden (former envoy of the republic to Sweden) to return forthwith from Paris, where he has been for several months. But he has not fully apprised Mr. Brantsen of his plan because he did not want the latter to communicate any of it prematurely to one of his connections in this country. Mr. Gyselaar thus asks you, sir, to talk to Mr. De Lynden, who was staying at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis in the rue Gallion last November—and must, I suppose, still be there4—and tell him confidentially that his plan is to arrange for Mr. De Lynden to be appointed this republic’s minister to the United States. To this end, he must necessarily return here, so that both may strike while the iron is hot. Mr. Van Berckel, for his part, has nothing against this plan.

The post is about to depart and leaves me but a moment to conclude, with my respectful esteem, sir, your excellency’s very humble and very obedient servant

Dumas5

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à Son Exce. Mr. Adams Esqr., M. P. D. E. U.” For the enclosure, see note 5.

1Probably Dumas’ serial letter of 1–11 Jan. to Robert R. Livingston (PCC, No. 93, II, f. 208–210). There Dumas provided a digest of events in the Netherlands, including various resolutions taken by the States of Holland and West Friesland and the States General on a variety of matters, including the December disorders at The Hague. Also mentioned was Frederick II’s effort to mediate the ongoing dispute between William V and the States General, the progress of efforts to name a Dutch minister to the United States, and the arrival of dispatches from Paris containing an exchange between the British and Dutch peace negotiators. For the last, see JA’s 22 Jan. letter to Robert R. Livingston, and note 4, below.

2This paragraph ended at the midpoint of the first page of the letter with the remainder of the page blank. Dumas wrote, “Ce blanc est resté par abus,” which translates to “This space was left by mistake,” and drew a line to indicate that the letter continued on the following page.

3Persius, Satires, Satire I, line 27: “Your knowledge is nothing unless others know that you possess it.”

4From the second mention of De Lynden’s name to this point, this passage was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.

5Not mentioned by Dumas but enclosed with this letter was an undated exchange of letters between Philip Mazzei and Dumas concerning a missing packet of letters from Philadelphia. Mazzei had first taken the matter up with JA in a letter of 23 Dec. 1782, to which JA had replied on the 28th, both above. In his answer to Mazzei, Dumas echoed JA, indicating that he had no knowledge of the missing packet and had conveyed to Mazzei all of the letters that had passed through his hands.

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