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As the American resolution, furnished the occasion of a reformation in the maritime law of nations, of so much importance to a free communication among mankind by sea, the subscriber hopes it may not be thought improper, that the United States should become parties to it, entitled to its benefits, and subjected to its duties—to this end, the subscriber has the honor of requesting, that the resolution of congress may be taken into the consideration of your high mightinesses, and transmitted to the courts of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark.
The subscriber begs leave to subjoin, that he should esteem it one of the most fortunate events of his life, if this proposition should meet with the approbation of your high mightinesses, and the other powers who are parties to the neutral confederacy, and he should be admitted, as the instrument of pledging the faith of the United States, to the observance of regulations, which do so much honor to the present age.
JOHN ADAMS. The Hague, 8th March, 1781.
Mr. Adams to prince Gallitzin.
Leyden, March 8, 1781.
I HAVE lately received from congress, as one of their ministers plenipotentiary, their resolution of the fifth October last, relative to the rights of neutral vessels, a copy of which I do myself the honor to enclose to your excellency, as the representative of one of the high contracting parties, to the maritime treaty lately concluded, concerning this subject.
As I am fixed by my duty, for the present, to this part of Europe, I have no other way of communicating this measure of congress to the northern courts, but by the favor of their ministers in this republic. I must therefore request of your excellency, is there is no impropriety in it, to transmit the resolution to the minister of foreign affairs of her imperial majesty.
Your excellency will permit me to add, that I should esteem myself very fortunate, to be the instrument of pledging, in form, the faith of the United States of America to a reformation, in the maritime law of nations, which does so much honor to the present age. I have the honor to be, &c.
J. ADAMS. His E. Prince Gallitzin, Minister Plenipotentiary of her
Majesty the Empress of Russia at the Hague.
To Mr. Dumas.
Passy, March 14, 1781. DEAR SIR, I HAVE duly received your late letters, and thank you for the intelligence they contained. Your three letters to the president of congress, will go by different ships, and I hope you will succeed in your application for a farther allowance, which I think you merit, though I do not know what the difficulties are which you mention, as being involved in them by the congress. Please to explain them to me, that I may write about them more exactly. Your last news from Russia is very good, if true, that the independence of America is to be a fundamental article.
The bearer, Mr. Hazlehurst, is a merchant of Philadel. phia, who visits Holland with commercial views. He is a gentleman of excellent character, and much esteemed there. I recommend him warmly to your civilities. Please to let me know how the loan goes on, and believe me ever. Your affectionate friend and humble servant,
To the same.
Passy, May 4, 1781. DEAR SIR, IT is so long since I heard from you, that I begin to fear you are ill. Pray write to me, and let me know the state of your health. I enclose Morgan's account of his
engagement with Tarleton. If he has not already received it, it may be agreeable to our friend the gazetteer of Leyden. Every thing goes well here, and I am ever, &c.
To the same.
Passy, August 6, 1781. DEAR SIR, I HAVE received several letters from you lately enclosing others for the president of Congress, and for Spain, all of which are sealed and forwarded, except the last for the president, contained in yours of the 26th past, which shall go by. the first opportunity. The reading of those letters gave me much information, and therefore pleasure : though since the fixing of Mr. Adams there, I do not attend so much to the affairs of your country as before, expecting indeed but little from it to our advantage : for though it was formerly in the same situation with us, and was glad of assistance from other nations, it does not seem to feel for us, or to have the least inclination to help us : it appears to want magnanimity. Some writer, I forget who, says, that Holland is no longer a nation, but a great shop; and I begin to think it has no other principles or sentiments but those of a shopkeeper. You can judge of it better than me, and I shall be happy to find myself mistaken. You will oblige me however by continuing the history either directly to me, or in your letters to congress ; but when you enclose a sealed letter in another to me, please to observe to place the second seal on one side, and not directly over the first; because the heat of the second is apt to deface the impression of the first, and to attach the paper to it, so as to endanger tearing the enclosed in opening the cover. With best wishes for your health and prosperity, I am ever, dear Sir, &c.
P.S. I pity the writer of the enclosed, though I have no other acquaintance with him, than having seen him once at Hanover, where he then seemed to live genteely and in
good credit. I cannot conceive what should reduce him to such a situation, as to engage himself for a soldier. If you can procure him any friends among the Philosophers of your country, capable of relieving him, I wish you could do it. If not, and he must go to the Indies, please to give him three or four guineas for me, to buy a few necessaries for his voyage.
To the same.
Passy, August 10,.... 14, 1781. ; DEAR SIR, INCLOSED I send you a late paper receivedfrom Rhode Island, you will see in it the advantages our troops have gained in South Carolina. Late advices directly from Philadelphia, say, that the enemy have now nothing left in Georgia, but Savanna; in South Carolina, but Charleston ; nor in North Carolina, but Wilmington. They are how. ever in force in Virginia, where M. de la Fayette has not sufficient strength to oppose them, till the arrival of the reinforcements which were in March to join him from Maryland and Pennsylvania.
In looking over my last to you, I apprehend I may have expressed myself perhaps a little too hardly of your country : I foresee you will tell me that we have many friends there; I once thought so too : but I was a little out of humor when I wrote, on understanding that no loan could be obtained there for our use, though the credit of this kingdom was offered to be engaged for assuring the payment, and so much is lent freely to our enemies. You can best tell the reason, it will be well not to let my letter be seen. I am ever, dear Sir, &c.
To the same.
Passy, August 16, 1781.. WE have news here that your fleet has behaved bravely; I congratulate you upon it, most cordially.
I have just received a 14,5, 3, 10, 28, 2, 76, 203, 66, 11 12, 273, 50, 14, joining 76, 5, 42, 45, 16, 15, 424, 235, 19
20, 69, 580, 11, 150, 27, 56, 35, 104, 652, 28, 675, 85, 79, 50, 63, 44, 22, 219, 17, 60, 29, 147, 136, 41, but this is not likely to afford 202, 55, 580, 10, 227, 613, 176, 373, 309, 4, 108, 40, 19, 97, 309, 17, 35, 90, 201, 100, 677.
By our last advices our affairs were in a pretty good train, I hope we shall soon have advice of the expulsion • of the English from Virginia. I am ever, dear Sir, &c.
Capt. J. P. Jones to M. Dumas.
Portsmouth, N. H. December 10, 1781. DEAR SIR, THIS letter is intended to be presented to you by Major Sherburne, of this state, who will tell you his own story and part of mine. You will present him with my respects to madame Dumas and the virgin muse.
I am happy that “the pitiful sir Joseph” has been besieged by “ the great man” and forced to evacuate his strong hold with disgrace ? -The author of Hamlet has not given him more surprise at the sight of his father's ghost, than the world has felt to see the Belgians roused from the lithargy of a century! May their long reluctant swords now fall with double vengeance on the insolent heads of their enemies! May the marine be inspired with the military enthusiasm of De Ruyter, to vindicate the national honor of the republic! and may even admiral B ... S...L....., catch that enthusiasm, and be employed to ruin and destroy their eastern ports! Feeling as I do for the honor of your nation, how could Mr. Van de Perre suppose I could mean to infringe the liberties of your flag in the affair of the brig Berkenbos? How could you, who know me, be. lieve I could dirty my fingers with such a capture ? or that the master's account he gave from St. Lucia was a true one?” He gave me a clear certificate, under his hand, that the property was British ; and that certificate' was witnessed both by captain Cunyngham and my clerk. Yet I did not