Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from C. W. F. Dumas, 3 April 1789

From C. W. F. Dumas

Lahaie 3e. Avril 1789


Après le contenu de l’incluse que Votre Excellence lira, je n’ai rien à ajouter, sinon de me référer à celle que j’ai eu l’honneur de Lui écrire le 24 du mois passé, et de l’assurer que dans ma solitude c’est une douceur pour moi de profiter du séjour qu’elle fait encore dans notre Continent, en l’entretenant un moment, ne fût-ce que pour Lui répéter les assurances du respectueux dévouement avec lequel je suis de Votre Exe Le très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur

C W F Dumas

RC (DLC). Recorded in SJL as received 7 Apr. 1789. Enclosure: Dumas to Jay, 1 Apr. 1789, informing him that he had just received from Amsterdam, under date of 28 Mch., the following: “There has been within these few Days a rigorous search made upon three American Vessels, and Soldiers posted on board. The Result is, that the Loaders of Goods have been obliged to pay a penalty of Ten thousand Guilders. Had you been likely to obtain any Redress for the sufferers thro’ your interposition with the States Genl., you would have been applied to. But the conviction you could be of no service, prevented your having any trouble in the Business, which I am sincerely glad of, as your feelings might have been greatly hurt on the occasion. Some people attribute this step to a measure of the new Commis. Genl. to obtain money. Others pretend to attribute it to a more remote cause, and think it strange that the American vessels should be singled out for such persecution. May not this stroke be particularly levelled, to show how this Government looks upon the united States of America”; that, until he is better informed, he would hazard only the observation that many persons are disseminating derogatory opinions of the United States, particularly that they are tired of independence and will return to the arms of the mother country; that he immediately wrote to Amsterdam requesting further information in order that he might report the matter fully to Congress and to Mr. Jefferson; and [in postscript dated 3 Apr.:] that he had received the following from Amsterdam under date of 2 Apr.: “It would be highly difficult, if not totally impossible for us, to obtain the Information you desire, respecting the American vessels that were searched here; as it would be a Task, that would draw the public attention upon us, much more than we wish should be the case; especially at the present moment, when we only strive to remain quiet”; and that the same reason influencing his friends would have to guide his own actions, and would serve at least to reveal his situation and that of other citizens (FC, Dumas Letter Book, Rijksarchief, The Hague; photostats in DLC; Dumas’ letter is in French, but that part quoted from the Amsterdam letters is in English; an English translation is in Dipl. Corr., 1783–89 description begins [William A. Weaver, ed.] 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, 1837, 3 vols. description ends , iii, 634–5, but even the quotations from the Amsterdam letters vary from the texts given above).

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