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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10

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Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0111-0002

Author: Bicker, Hendrik
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-10-01

Hendrik Bicker to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I am much chagrined to hear that the visit you made at my suggestion was not more successful. The significant utterances, made in no uncertain terms and often repeated by this House, lead me to believe that you should give up the idea of an alliance before you start the matter at hand. I am not too surprised you did not find there as much confidence in the solidity of your United States as you would like us to have. I already had the honor to tell you that this feeling can only arise after much patience and after seeing a properly accredited person. I could tell you to go elsewhere, but encountering too many rejections can ruin an undertaking which otherwise would have excellent prospects on its own merit. The Blomberg messenger is there and we could perhaps ask him to find another party than the aforementioned (J.D.B.)1 who might gladly join such an undertaking, but before you address yourself to this task, I would like to offer you my candid opinion on his dependability and his way of thinking. In the meantime, I have the honor to be, with utmost consideration, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] H. Bicker
Under the oath of secrecy, I must tell you that the House of Staphorst2 has honored me with a visit to ask that I recommend it to you.
1. This was almost certainly Daniël Jan Bouwens, relative of Bicker and member of the Amsterdam firm of Bouwens & Van der Hoop (Pieter J. Van Winter, American Finance and Dutch Investment 1780–1805, transl. James C. Riley, N.Y., 1977, 2 vols., 1:76; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot , p. 264). In a letter of 7 Nov. (below), JA made a proposal to Bouwens and his firm for a loan.
2. The financial house of Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst was one of the three firms through which JA negotiated the first Dutch { 191 } loan in 1782 (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:444–445; 3:9). JA was already acquainted with the Staphorsts, having dined with one or the other of them on 14 and 28 Aug., but there is no evidence that he entered into substantive negotiations with the firm in 1780 (JQA, Diary , 1:54, 61).

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0112

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Gardoqui, Joseph, & Sons (business)
Date: 1780-10-02

To Joseph Gardoqui & Sons

[salute] Sir

It is a long Time Since I had the pleasure to Address you, or receive any of your Favours. I have Letters from my Wife which acknowledge the Receipt of the Things you sent by Trash. Your Bill upon me, was presented at my House in Paris after I left it. Mr. Dana was so good as to accept it.1
I now beg the Favour of you, to Send by every good opportunity to Boston or to Newbury Port &c. to Mrs. Adams in the Same Way, to the Amount of forty Pounds sterling in each Vessell: but more Linnens And fewer Handkerchiefs,2 and draw upon me in Amsterdam or upon Mr. Grand in Paris, for the Money. Mr. Tracy has been vastly obliging in taking the best Care to send, those which you shipped before and will do me the Same favour again.3
The English Papers announce disturbances in south America. Is there any Truth in it?4
I am with great Esteem, your obliged and obt
1. JA 's last known letter to Joseph Gardoqui & Sons was dated 25 May ( LbC , Adams Papers), while the firm's last letter to JA was of 10 June (above). The letters from AA were probably those of 5 and 16 July ( Adams Family Correspondence , 3:370–373, 375–377). For Dana's payment of the bill for the merchandise sent, see his letter of 27 Aug., and note 3 (above).
2. The preceding six words were interlined.
3. See JA 's letter of 2 Oct. to Nathaniel Tracy (below).
4. On 26 Sept., the London newspapers printed a report from Glasgow, dated 21 Sept., that the privateer Bellona had taken the Spanish packet Cologn, bound from Buenos Aires to La Coruña. Then, or on the following day, the papers printed accounts taken from letters and other documents found on the vessel, describing the official concern at Buenos Aires over the revolt that had begun the previous March at Arequipa and Cuzco, Peru, and La Paz and Petosi, Bolivia. Reportedly the disorders resulted from increased customs duties and had led to the establishment of committees of correspondence. Significantly, while the ministerial papers, such as the London Chronicle and Lloyd's Evening Post, apparently printed all available information, the anti-North London Courant of 27 Sept. summarized the reports and concluded that they had “more the appearance of being a burlesque upon our own loss of America, than the serious air of important intelligence.” Despite such skepticism, there was serious unrest in the Spanish colonies and the March uprisings may be seen as the precursors of a general revolt led by Tupac Amaru, descendant of the Inca kings, that began later in 1780 and was brutally put down in 1783 (Hubert Herring, A History of Latin America, N.Y., 1961, p. 248–249; Cambridge Modern History , 10:267).
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