. Livingston refers to Dumas’ serial letter of 1 May – 4 July that Congress received
on 3 Oct., the same day on which the second of
’s letters of 16 May
arrived (vol. 11:317–319;
, 21:1032–1033). Dumas’ letter reported on
’s efforts to present his memorials of 19 April
(vol. 11:272–284) to the Dutch government and gave details of
’s meetings, at which Dumas was present, with the grand pensionary, the president
of the States General, and the secretary to William V (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev.
, 4:393–397, which prints a later version of the letter that extends to 13 July).
The explanation for
’s actions that Livingston desired was contained in
’s letters of 3
May to the president of Congress (vol. 11:301–302, 305–308). There he explained his
reasons for undertaking to present the memorials and then to publish them. Unfortunately,
although both letters are in the PCC
, there is no indication as to when they were received.
Livingston was not alone in his criticism of
’s conduct in the Netherlands, as is evident from Edmund Randolph’s letter of 9 Oct.
to Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson, Papers
, in his reply of 19 Feb. 1782, below, and other letters written at the same time,
mounted a vigorous defense of his actions.
’s letters indicate his frustration with Livingston’s criticism and instructions that
betrayed a fundamental lack of knowledge or appreciation of European politics and
Dutch government and society. His exasperation was made more intense because when
he received Livingston’s letter his efforts to obtain Dutch recognition of the United
States seemed to be bearing fruit.