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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4


This foot note contained in document ADMS-04-04-02-0208
1. The “final Resolution of the Generality” was the action of the States General of the United Provinces, 19 April 1782, one year from the day JA had signed his original Memorial to that body. A MS in Dutch, signed by Willem Boreel as president of the week and attested by Hendrik Fagel, as griffier or secretary of the States General, is in Adams Papers. An English text is printed in JA's Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 92, and reads as follows:
“Deliberated by Resumption, upon the Address and the ulteriour Address, made by Mr. Adams the 4 May 1781, and the 9 January of the currant year to Mr. the President of the Assembly of their HighMightinesses, to present to their HighMightinesses his Letters of Credence in the name of the United States of North-America; and by which ulteriour Address the said Mr. Adams hath demanded a categorical answer, to the end to be able to acquaint his Constituents thereof; it hath been thought fit and resolved, that Mr. Adams shall be admitted and acknowledged in quality of Ambassador of the United States of North-America to their High-Mightinesses, as he is admitted and acknowledged by the present.”
Two days later this was followed by a further resolution reporting the reception of JA with his credentials as minister plenipotentiary to the States General in “a Letter from the Assembly of Congress, written at Philadelphia the first of January 1781.... Upon which, having deliberated, it hath been thought fit and resolved, to declare by the present: 'That the said Mr. Adams is agreable to their High-Mightinesses; that he shall be acknowledged in quality of Minister Plenipotentiary; and that there shall be granted to him an Audience, or assigned Commissioners, when he shall demand it.'” This resolve was signed by W. van Citters, president of the week, and likewise attested by Fagel. MS in Dutch (Adams Papers); English translation printed in Collection of State-Papers , p. 93.
This same day, 22 April, JA “was introduced by the Chamberlain to his most Serene Highness the Prince of Orange.” No one else was present, and at JA 's request they spoke in English. JA voiced the proper formal sentiments, and the Stadholder answered “in a Voice so low and so indistinctly pronounced, that I comprehended only the Conclusion of it, which was, that “he had made no Difficulty against my Reception.'” However, some “familiar Conversation ... about indifferent things” followed, and the audience passed agreeably enough. So JA told R. R. Livingston in a letter written before the day was over (PCC, No. 84, IV, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:319–320; LbC , Adams Papers, printed in JA, Works , 7:571–572).
Next day, 23 April, JA met with President van Citters and presented a brief memorial proposing a treaty of amity and commerce between the two powers. He was then introduced to “a grand committee” of the States General and laid before it the project of such a treaty, which was taken under consideration (and was to bear fruit six months later). See JA to Livingston, 23 April (PCC, No. 84, IV, printed in Wharton, 5:325; LbC , Adams Papers, printed in Works , 7:572–573). But meanwhile, as he told Livingston in the letter just cited, “The greatest Part of my Time for several Days has been taken up in recieving and paying of Visits from all the { 313 } Members and Officers of Government, and of the Court, to the Amount of one hundred and fifty or more.” There is a partial listing of these in JA's Diary and Autobiography , 3:1–3; and although JA did not keep daily entries in his diary at this period, his correspondence during the following days and weeks is crowded with references to ceremonial and social events growing out of his public recognition. See also Sister Mary Briant Foley, The Triumph of Militia Diplomacy, Loyola Univ. doctoral dissertation, 1968, p. 244 ff.