Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from C. W. F. Dumas, 29 December 1786

From C. W. F. Dumas

La Haie 29 Dec. 1786


Un Courier que Mr. l’Ambassadeur expédia hier à 4 heures après midi, porte à Votre Excellence une Dépeche No. 15 pour le Congrès, ainsi qu’une Lettre pour Mr. le Ms. De la Fayette, à laquelle je languis d’avoir réponse, comme aussi de Votre Excellence, pour être tranquille sur le sort de toutes mes precedents. J’ai un No. 16 tout pret, mais je ne puis encore le lâcher, sur-tout par la Poste. En attendant, en voici une pour le Département militaire des Etats-Unis, laquelle je voudrois qui pût partir pour sa Destination, en même temps qu’une autre pour le même Département, laquelle j’ai eu l’honneur d’adresser en date du 9 de ce mois à Mr. le Ms. De la Fayette avec d’autres sous le même couvert. dont Mr. Le Chevr. De Muy a été le Porteur; parce que cette seconde sert de correctif à la premiere sur une matiere sur laquelle le Département m’avoit honoré de ses ordres, et que j’ai enfin trouvé moyen d’exécuter, après m’être longtemps donné des peines inutiles pour cela, faute des Directions que j’avois reçues lesquelles n’étoient rien moins qu’exactes. Je présente à Votre Excellence mes voeux pour sa prospérité, et pour tout ce qui Lui est cher, à l’occasion de la nouvelle année où nous allons entrer, en me recommandant à Sa bienveillance, que je tâcherai de mériter constamment par le respectueux dévouement avec lequel je suis, De votre Excellence, Le très-humble et très-obéissant serviteur,

C W F Dumas

RC (DLC). FC (Rijksarchief, The Hague, Dumas Papers; photostats in DLC). Noted in SJL as received 4 Jan. 1787. Enclosures (FC in same): (1) Dumas to Henry Knox, secretary at war, 29 Dec., supplementing one from Dumas to Knox of 9 Dec. 1786 (sent through Lafayette), and giving the address of “Mr. Wernecke” about whom Knox had inquired. (2) Dumas to Lafayette, 22 Dec. 1786, expressing anxiety about his previous letter of 8 Dec. and stating that he is sending today “à Mr. Jepherson” a letter for Congress, about the contents of which, until they are by degrees verified before the eyes of the public, “le moins qu’on en parle, le mieux.” (3) Dumas to Jay, 22 Dec. 1786 (Dépeche No. 15 pour le Congrès”), reporting that Rayneval, without compromising his court, is working in a manner which inspires the trust of the ministers of Holland and of the French ambassador (whose conduct has the complete approval of the King); that order is beginning to emerge and France continues to strengthen her position, which is to the real interest of both parties; that the affairs of the Republic seem to be moving toward a favorable conclusion: the statutes will be abolished in the Provinces, the authorities in The Hague will remain organized as previously arranged, the time-honored prerogatives of the Stadtholders will not be touched, but no special personal privileges will be granted since these could not be hereditary, but given or revoked according to the circumstances; that it is certain the Sovereign has not and will not entertain any proposal of mediation or conciliation and it is equally certain that France, the sole and powerful ally of this Republic, not becoming involved in internal affairs herself will not allow other foreign powers to do so; that the citizens of Utrecht at first took offense at the terms of mediation offered them by the Provinces and which had been accepted by the oligarchy of Amersfort, but after a conference held on the 16th with those members of the legislature who head the confederation of patriots, they will finally accede to it and thus enable Holland to join hands with the oligarchy as far as the use of military force is concerned, “for the people, now in full control, have only to vindicate their superior rights without conceding any of them”; that once this mediation has started the oligarchy in Guelderland must yield as well as another in Friesland; that meanwhile false rumors are started in order to frighten and divide the people; that this is known at <…> where Goertz went fifteen days ago, not to make offers as some people of ill will pretend, but to insist that the only thing to do is to stop stirring up trouble and to consent to the reforms as outlined in the memoir, a copy of which Dumas sent with his preceding letter—the only written account of this business done by “nos amis”; that Rayneval has consistently expressed himself to Goertz in person and in his correspondence as to the necessity of adhering firmly to the principles set down in this memoir; that meanwhile the people, more and more put out with <the Stadtholder?> and with the oligarchy, jealously watch everything that goes on, and it is difficult to stifle their resentment; that on the 16th seventeen eminent citizens came here demanding of “nos amis” an explanation of the rumor that things were to be settled without telling them; that they spoke directly to <…> before the conference, having a high opinion of his honesty and he tried to show them that, after the confederation of August, signed and sworn to mutually at Amsterdam, these friends could not be traitors; that the seventeen left satisfied, to allay the suspicion in their cities and towns; that he has another important “Divination” but cannot release it as yet; that “someone” will be ruined if that someone does not yield within six weeks; that the address of commendation delivered at Amsterdam on the 8th was signed by 16,257; and that since the above-mentioned conference 5 to 6,000 others regret that they did not sign it as well. (This letter—Dumas’ “Divinatis Tertio”—is among those from Dumas listed as missing in Dipl. Corr., 1783–89 description begins The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from the Signing of the Definitive Treaty of Peace … to the Adoption of the Constitution, Washington, Blair & Rives, 1837, 3 vol. description ends , iii, 541.)

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