Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to C. W. F. Dumas, 30 July 1788

To C. W. F. Dumas

Paris July 30. 1788.

Sir

Your favor of the 24th. has just come to hand, and that of the 20th. of June had never been acknoleged. I congratulate you on the news just received of the accession of New Hampshire to the new Constitution which suffices to establish it. I have the honor to inclose you details on that subject, as also on the reception of Mr. Adams, which you will be so good as to reduce to such a size as may gain them admission into the Leyden gazette. We may take a little glory to ourselves too on the victory obtained by the Russians under the command of our Paul Jones, over the Turks commanded by the Captain Pacha, and we may be assured, if it has been as signal as the Russians say, that Constantinople will be bombarded by that officer. Why did the Swedish fleet salute the Russian instead of attacking it? It would make one suspect that their whole movements had in view to divert the Russian fleet from going round if it could be done by hectoring without engaging in the war, well understood that Turkey pays, and England guarantees them against all events. It is scarcely possible however that all these things can pass over without a war. I think the internal affairs of this country will be settled without bloodshed. I have the honour to be with very great esteem & respect, Sir Your most obedt. humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC). Enclosure not found, but it was clearly a repetition in part of the news about New Hampshire’s ratification of the Constitution which Dumas had received as early as 26 July and had already taken steps to detail for the Gazette de Leide and which appeared in Supplément lxii for 1 Aug. 1788 (Dumas to TJ, 7 Aug. 1788), reading in part: “Extrait d’une Lettre de New-York du 28. Juin. ‘La Nouvelle Constitution Fédérative de la République Américaine a passé la crise de son acceptation; et déja il est sûr, qu’elle sera établie. La Convention de l’Etat de New-Hampshire, revenuë des idées défavorables, qu’elle avoit suivies dans sa première Session, en a agréé le Projet par une très-grande pluralité, le 23. de ce mois. C’est le neuvième Etat, qui a accédé à cette Forme; et par conséquent, en vertu de la Loi commune passée à ce sujet, elle commencera bientôt de sortir son plein et entier effet pour tout le Corps de la Confédération: Mais il est très-probable, que le nombre des Etats, qui y auront consenti de plein gré, ne restera pas à neuf.’” The article went on to state that the happiest augury occurred when Edmund Pendleton was elected president of the Virginia Convention, which assembled on 2 June, for “Mr. Pendleton, comme l’un des Citoyens les plus zélés pour le bien général de la Patrie, est aussi un des plus fermes Partisans de la Constitution Fédérative.” This, as well as letters from Virginia, justified the expectation that Virginia would ratify by “une grande majorité” and this example would decide the question for North Carolina, since that state would not wish to oppose the opinion of other Southern states. The same conclusion might be drawn for New York in consequence of New Hampshire’s election, since the former would not like to be alone with Rhode Island in opposing “un Projet, reconnu pour sage et avantageux par tous les autres Membres de l’Union-Américaine”—and even in Rhode Island itself the town of Providence had protested the resolution “prise par ce qu’on peut nommer le Petit-Peuple du reste de cet Etat.”

One can only conjecture, in the absence of TJ’s enclosure, how far his presentation of the news from New Hampshire and Virginia varied from that of Dumas; it is doubtful whether TJ risked predicting that Virginia would ratify by a great majority and it is almost certain that he did not comment on “le Petit-Peuple” of Rhode Island. But it is not necessary to conjecture about that part of his enclosure concerning Adams’ arrival in America, As published in Supplément lxviii for 22 Aug. 1788, it reads as follows: “Extrait d’une Lettre de Portsmouth dans le Nouveau-Hampshire du 25. Juin. ‘Mr. Jean Adams, ci-devant Ministre-Plénipotentiaire des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique près du Roi de la Grande-Brétagne et près des Etats-Généraux des Provinces-Unies, arriva le 18. de ce mois à Boston, de retour du long séjour, qu’il a fait en Europe. La reception, qu’on lui a faite, a été aussi distinguée, qu’on la devoit et à son mérite personnel et aux services signalés, qu’il a rendus à sa Patrie. A son entrée dans le Havre, il fut salué par l’Artillerie du Fort Castle-William. Le Secrétaire de la République de Massachusetts-Bay alla à sa recontre avec le Yacht de l’Etat, pour recevoir Mr. Adams. Plusieurs milliers de Citoyens bordoient la rive, témoignant par des cris rédoublés leur joye de voir heureusement revenu parmi eux un Concitoyen, si cher à l’Amerique. Au Milieu de leurs acclamations, il fut conduit à l’Hôtel du Gouvernement, où il logea, et où toutes les Personnes notables de la Ville et des environs vinrent le complimenter. Comme l’Assemblée-Legislative de Massachusetts-Bay étoit Séante alors, elle lui envoya une Députation, qui lui adressa un Discours, dont voici la Traduction avec la Réponse de Mr. Adams.’ “Following this there appeared a translation of the address and response as quoted by TJ from Cutting’s letter of ca. 24 July 1788. For TJ’s object in publishing this account of Adams’ reception, see his letter to Adams, 2 Aug. 1788.

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