Laurent Bérenger to John Adams: A Translation
The Hague, 5 June 1781
I just received a letter from the Comte de Vergennes in which he gave me the honor to tell you that the interests of the United States require your presence in Paris, and that he desires that you go there as soon as your affairs in Holland permit you to leave. I ask you, sir, to inform me of your intentions regarding this matter so that I may inform M. le Comte de Vergennes.1 I dare flatter myself to think that you will grant me this kindness, and that you will be persuaded of the pleasure that I derive on this occasion in offering to you the devotion and respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
Secretary to the French Embassy
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Berenger’s Letter recd the Evening of the 6. June 1781.”
1. Bérenger was acting in the absence of the Duc de La Vauguyon, who was at Paris and did not return with his family until 22 June (Gazette de Leyde, 26 June). This letter was the French government’s first official communication to JA regarding the proposed Austro-Russian mediation of the Anglo-French war, despite JA’s status as the sole American in Europe empowered to enter into peace negotiations. For Vergennes’ reluctance to confer with him about the mediation, see JA’s second letter of 16 May to the president of Congress, above.