C. W. F. Dumas to the Commissioners: A Translation
The Hague, 21 July 1778
My last was of the 17th. I have just received, translated, and delivered a German letter to the Grand Facteur. While waiting for him to return it after making a copy, I have the honor to inform you that the Dutch States General have adjourned and that the Prince is leaving for Los in Overyssel. No new instructions were given Count Welderen because: 1. after doing his duty in reclaiming the 2 vessels, he had not yet received a reply from the Minister when he wrote his letter to Their High Mightinesses; 2. the owners have not yet complained, and it may even be that those in Amsterdam will not do so since the tobacco aboard the vessel is for Messrs. Hope, who are on good terms with the British Ministry. Our friend supplied me with this information.
The Grand Facteur told me that yesterday’s rumor concerning the capture of a British frigate by the French fleet has been confirmed. It is the Dighby.1 We are expecting any day now news of a naval battle. Yesterday I carried to Leyden a concerted article concerning the British capture of the 2 Dutch vessels, but since the journalist of Leyden2 dares not publish the article in all its vigor, I am sending it today to the Courier du Bas-Rhin. I am with the most genuine respect, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed, not by JA: “Dumas La Haie 21st July 78.”
1. In regard to the name, at least, Dumas’ report of the capture of a British frigate was almost certainly incorrect. The only such seizure reported during this period was that of the Lively by the French frigate Iphigénie on 9 July (London Chronicle, 21–23, [p. 79, 80], 23–25 July; see also Affaires de l’Angleterre et de l’Amérique, “Lettres,” vol. 14, cahier 56, p. cxxviii).