Papers of John Adams, volume 13

To John Jay, 17 August 1782 JA Jay, John To John Jay, 17 August 1782 Adams, John Jay, John
To John Jay
The Hague August 17. 1782 Sir

The States General have chosen Mr Brantzen Minister to negotiate for Peace. Yesterday he did me the honour to dine with me. He is represented to me to be a good Man and well fixed in the true 242System. I have very authentic Information that his Instructions will be such as France and America as well as his own Country ought to wish them.1

I have Letters from Boston 17 June2—grand Rejoicings on the Birth of the Daughin, every where. The States giving Strong Instructions to their Delegates in Congress, to consent to no Peace Short of Independence, and without Concert with France. The offers by Carlton are highly resented, taken much worse from the present Ministry than they would have been from the former. The Instructions from the States to Congress are to resent as an Insult every offer, which implys a deviation from their Treaties, or the Smallest Violation of their Faith.

I am promised tomorrow a Copy of Mr Fitzherberts Commission. I wish to know whether You or the Dr have had any Conferences with him, and what passed; we are told of a Mr Vaughan3 and Mr oswald at Paris. Have they any Powers and What?

This will be delivered you by Mr Barclay the Consul, a worthy Man whom I beg Leave to Introduce to you.

With great Regard I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant J. Adams

N. B. Mr Brantzen told me, he should go home to Guilder land for 8 days then return here for 8 or 10 days more: so that it will be three Weeks perhaps before he Setts out, on his Journey to Paris.

RC (NNC: John Jay Papers); endorsed: “Mr Adams 17 Augt. 1782.”


For the instructions given to Gerard Brantsen, burgomaster of Arnhem, as well as Alleyne Fitzherbert's commission mentioned in the second paragraph below, see JA's letter of 18 Aug. to Robert R. Livingston, below.


JA indicates that he received more than one letter of 17 June, but the only letter that can be positively identified is AA's of 17 June, to which JA replied with a first and second letter two letters on 17 Aug. ( AFC , 4:326–329, 364–366). But AA's letter is apparently not the one to which JA refers in this paragraph, because AA mentions only the issue raised in the final sentence.


Benjamin Vaughan, who served as Shelburne's confidential observer at the peace negotiations (JA, D&A , 3:54).

To Henry Laurens, 18 August 1782 JA Laurens, Henry To Henry Laurens, 18 August 1782 Adams, John Laurens, Henry
To Henry Laurens
The Hague Aug. 18. 1782 Dear sir

I have just received the inclosed Letter open for me to read. It appears to be from one, who had a remarkable kind of Benevolence towards the U. S. Such as has memorably appeared through the whole War, in almost all Countries, I mean the benign Inclination to be American Agents Jobbers, Officers, Ambassadors, Generals 243and Kings.1 Inclosed is a Copy of Fitzherberts Commission. Pray inclose it to Congress that it may go as many Ways as possible. What think you of the Words “Quorum cunque Statuum quorum interesse poterit?”2 If We should presume to think ourselves included in these Words, will Ld shelburne be of the same Mind?

The States General have appointed Mr Brantzen, their Minister who did me the favour to dine with me 3 days ago and then told me he should set off, for Paris in 3 Weeks. Blessed are the Peace makers. Dont you wish yourself one?

LbC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Exy. Pres. Laurens chez Madame Babut et Labouctiere a Nantes.”


This is Rodolph Valltravers' letter of 11 April written from Munich (Adams Papers). There Valltravers, a Swiss who declared his veneration for JA and support for the American cause, sought an appointment from JA to serve the interests of the United States in Europe. He enclosed a duplicate of his letter of 24 March to Henry Laurens (ScL [ScU]) in the Tower of London, which might not have been received, but see Laurens' reply of 27 Aug., below. Valltravers wrote to Henry Laurens on 25 Sept. (ScL [ScU]) that JA had replied to his letter with one of 18 Aug. (not found). There JA had promised to forward the enclosed letter to Laurens and indicated that Laurens was not on parole and thus, in Valltravers' mind, free to act on the proposal contained in his letter.


With those of all states whom it may concern. For a discussion of the significance of this phrase from Fitzherbert's comission, see JA's 18 Aug. letter to Robert R. Livingston, and notes 2 and 3, below. The final quotation marks are supplied.