Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from C. W. F. Dumas, 30 May 1788

From C. W. F. Dumas

The Hague, 30 May 1788. Contents of TJ’s letter of 15 May and TJ’s personal recollection of Dumas are equally precious to him; has communicated what appeared proper to friends of America at The Hague, Amsterdam, and particularly Leiden, where he hopes the Gazette will show what good use he tried to make of it. Stadtholder and family set off yesterday for Cleves, where the king of Prussia will join them the 10th for a day or two; they will return at the end of the month. Enclosed letter for Congress contains all Dumas knows of interest “pour nous.” Hopes TJ will continue to send such good news as will come to him from America; and also from France, where he hopes “un bon, solide et prompt arrangement interne” will cause to be no longer applicable the energetic words with which TJ closed his letter: “here all seems peace without and war within.” Must close in order to wait upon two young American gentlemen who have favored him with a visit; will inform TJ of the advice he thinks it necessary to give them for their sojourn here. [Postscript dated 6 June 1788:] TJ will have seen by the last “Supplément de Leide” the use he has made of the agreeable news sent him; he will with equal ardor seize every succeeding occasion provided by TJ to do the same: “Cela continue de faire un très-bon effet, specialement à Amsterdam, pour le crédit des Et. Un., tandis que celui d’autres nations, et notamment de la Hollande y baisse.” There is a negotiation of this province for five million florins that has not, in the course of some weeks, succeeded—“ce qui est sans exemple.” Thanks TJ and Adams for procuring for him at last payment of interest of his arrearages.

RC (DNA: PCC, No. 93, IV); in French; 2 p.; accompanied by translation by John Pintard. FC (Dumas Letter Book, Rijksarchief, The Hague; photostats in DLC); lacks one paragraph—that pertaining to the two young Americans (Shippen and Rutledge)—the postscript (the “P.S. du 6e. Juin” that follows FC is actually a postcript of that date which belongs to the enclosed letter to Jay). Enclosure (same): Dumas to Jay, 28 May 1788, repeating a part of his dispatch of 10 May which had been forwarded via Amsterdam and stating that the courts still continue to pronounce atrocious sentences against the patriots, having ordered seven persons to be whipped at Amsterdam because their manner of wearing the cockade was thought improper; that St. Priest would arrive Sunday; that the French chargé d’affaires was giving a diplomatic dinner for Merode, the emperor’s envoy, together with his secretary of legation, Bongé, chargé d’affaires of Sweden, D’Aguire, chargé d’affaires of Spain, and himself; that no others would be present in this small coterie which has met frequently during the winter at the French embassy and would probably continue to do so; that another coterie, much larger, had been gathering around the British ambassador; that [in postscript dated 6 June:] St. Priest presented his credentials on the 2d, and for two or three days after his arrival “la plus vile canaille, la juive surtout,” assembled before the ambassador’s house shouting insults because he and his servants do not wear Orange colors; and that he had presented Shippen and Rutledge to St. Priest. For the use made by Dumas of TJ’s news in the Supplement De Leide of 3 June 1788, see note to TJ to Dumas, 15 May 1788.

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