Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from C. W. F. Dumas, 12 July 1787

From C. W. F. Dumas

La Haie 12e. Juillet 1787

Monsieur

Les maux multipliés dont je me vois assailli et menacé, en affectant ce qui me reste de force de corps et d’ame, ont fait échapper à mon attention fatiguée le papier essentiel ci-joint, mentionné dans la Lettre que j’eus l’honneur d’écrire avanthier à Votre Excellence. Je lui en demande pardon.

Les Etats d’Overyssel viennent de suspendre pareillement le Prince comme Capitaine-Général. De son côté, il a fait ravager quelques Jardins et Fermes appartenants à des Bourgeois de Déventer en deçà de l’Yssel en Gueldre. Le reste de notre situation peut se connoître assez bien dans la Gazette de Leide, la seule véridique. Avec tout cela, la seule Province d’Hollande, pourroit mettre à la raison en 15 jours de tems le Stadhouder et son odieuse cabale dans la pluralité des Députés aux Etats-Generaux ici, sans une autre Cabale, bien plus odieuse encore, d’une damnable et parricide Oligarchie, qui ne pouvant se résoudre à dépendre de la masse honnête et seule estimable de leurs Concitoyens, mettent toutes les entraves qu’ils peuvent au mouvement de la machine.

Je suis avec grand respect, De Votre Excellence, Le très-humble et très-obéissant serviteur,

CWF. Dumas

RC (DLC). Recorded in SJL as received 16 July 1787. Enclosure: “Extrait de ma Lettre de ce jour 9 Juillet 1787 à S.E.Mr. Adams Min. Pl. des Et. Unis d’Amerique à Londres,” stating that TJ had informed him that the state of American funds at Paris might not enable him to honor Dumas’ draft for the current half-year payment on salary due 19 Oct. 1787; that, as this was something he depended upon for daily subsistence, he had discussed with the bankers of the United States at Amsterdam the possibility of receiving his salary in future at their hands as the easiest, most convenient, and least expensive mode; that, in order to avoid damaging the credit of the United States, he had nevertheless not shown them TJ’s letter; and that they had agreed, provided this course met with the approval of Adams, which Dumas urgently requested since the interruption of his salary would deprive him of his last source of income, for “je ne pourrois pas même me réfugier dans ma petite ferme en Gueldre, où la force militaire vient de désarmer tout le peuple, et où l’on est à tout moment exposé au pillage et au meurtre” (DLC).

In the retained copy of Dumas’ letter to Adams of which an extract was here enclosed, the date is given as 6 July 1787 (Dumas Letter Book, Rijksarchief, The Hague; photostats in DLC). That letter in turn enclosed a copy of TJ’s letter to Dumas of 14 June 1787. But Dumas was not being entirely candid in saying that he had not revealed the state of things as set forth in TJ’s letter, for on the day that he wrote Adams he also wrote Messrs. Hubbard of Amsterdam, enclosing his letter to Adams which he asked them to read and which he said he was leaving unsealed for the benefit of Messrs. Willink & Van Staphorst (same). No one was confused by this, or enlightened, for the Amsterdam bankers were well aware of the state of American funds in Paris.

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