Benjamin Franklin Papers

Dumas to the American Commissioners, 27 October 1778: résumé

Dumas to the American Commissioners2

ALS: American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief; copy: National Archives

<The Hague, October 27, 1778, in French: Last Saturday [Oct. 24] I received your letter of October 10.3 The Grand Facteur is very satisfied with it. Our friend [van Berckel] was pleased and assured me several times it would make a good impression on the burgomasters of Amsterdam. He strongly recommended that I assure you the mention of England was made only to clarify the position of the city.

The merchants’ address was presented to their High Mightinesses. I enclose their petition to the stadholder. Lord Suffolk4 has promised to return the captured Dutch vessels and pay for their cargoes but says his ambassador will propose changes to the Anglo-Dutch treaty. He says it is a measure of his King’s moderation that he has not yet requested that the republic give Britain the assistance the treaties require. We believe Suffolk’s response was actually written here.5

The secretary of the States General6 feels himself insulted by the merchants’ accusation that he is pro-English. I will send you a translation of their address7 as soon as it is finished and one to Congress, but the work is time-consuming and my hand trembles.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII.

3See our annotation of that letter for a discussion of its dating.

4British secretary of state for the northern department.

5I.e. by the British ambassador Sir Joseph Yorke.

6Hendrik Fagel who, Dumas believed, deserved the accusation.

7Against the augmentation of the Dutch army; Dumas had promised on Sept. 9 to send a copy.

Index Entries