C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation
The Hague, 7 February 1781
Honoured & dear Sir
I have only a moment before the mail departs, to send you the enclosed postscript for Congress.1 Mr. Deane passed through here yesterday coming back from Amsterdam. He left again this morning for Paris. I am surprised that I did not see Mr. Gillon again on his return from Rotterdam. Do you have any news of him? Or is he back in Amsterdam?
I remain as always, with sentiments of respect and sincere attachment which you know, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
Turn the page.
It is said from Paris, that Rodney attacked St. Vincent, and was received gallantly and pushed back vigorously. Mr. Ternay is dead at Rhode Island and was replaced by Mr. Destouches,2 who will be better than him. The Americans are in a good position.
RC (Adams Papers).
1. This is likely the postscript of 6 Feb. to Dumas’ letter to Congress of 5 Feb., which he had enclosed in his to JA of 5 Feb., above. It reported on the arrival of a courier from St. Petersburg carrying letters from the Dutch diplomats there regarding their activities in the aftermath of Sir Joseph Yorke’s departure and the outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch war. Dumas thought the intelligence doubtful because the diplomatic activity seemed premature (PCC, No. 93, I, f. 502).
2. Charles René Dominique Souchet, Chevalier Destouches, the second in command, immediately replaced Ternay as commander of the French squadron at Newport. Destouches was himself replaced in May, when Jacques Melchior Saint Laurent, Comte de Barras, arrived from France (Lee Kennett, The French Forces in America, 1780–1783, Westport, 1977, p. 81, 104).