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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


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{ 453 }

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0337

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: McKean, Thomas
Date: 1781-08-16

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 16 August 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, No. 84, III, f. 370–373. printed : Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:640.
This letter, read in Congress on 12 Nov., contains an English translation of a “verbal insinuation” to the Dutch minister at St. Petersburg, proposing to settle the Anglo-Dutch war at a general peace conference at Vienna. For the text of the translation, see John Adams' letter to Benjamin Franklin, 25 Aug., below. Adams did not believe that Russia, in making the offer, had shared the proposed articles for the negotiations with the Dutch minister. He concluded “I must confess, I like this Insinuation very much, because it may be in time an excellent Precedent for making such an Insinuation to the Minister of the United States of America.”
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 370–373.) printed : (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:640).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0338

Author: President of Congress
Author: McKean, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-08-16

Commission to Conclude a Tripartite Alliance with France and the Netherlands

[salute] The United States in Congress Assembled
To all who shall see these Presents send Greeting,

Whereas a union of the force of the several powers engaged in the War against Great Britain may have a happy tendency to bring the said War to a speedy and favourable issue, and it being the desire of these United States to form an Alliance between them and the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
Know Ye therefore that We confiding in the integrity prudence and ability of the honorable John Adams have nominated, constituted and appointed and by these presents do nominate, constitute and appoint him the said John Adams, our minister Plenipotentiary, giving him full powers general and special to Act in that quality, to confer, treat agree and conclude with the Person or Persons vested with equal powers by his most Christian Majesty and their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands,2 of and concerning a treaty of Alliance between his most Christian Majesty, the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and the United States of America, and whatever shall be so agreed and concluded, for us and in our name to Sign and thereupon to make such treaty, Conventions and agreements as he shall judge conformable to the ends we have in view; hereby promising in good faith that We will accept ratify and execute whatever shall be agreed, concluded and { 454 } signed by him our said Minister. In Witness whereof We have caused these presents to be signed by our President and sealed with his Seal.
Done at Philadelphia this Sixteenth day of August in the Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Eighty One and in the Sixth Year of our Independence By The United States in Congress Assembled
[signed] Attest Chas. Thomson secy.
[signed] Tho. M:Kean President
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Commission of 16. August 1781.—to negotiate a triple or quadruple Alliance.”
1. The Committee for Foreign Affairs sent this commission and the accompanying instructions of the same date, below, under cover of a letter of 1 Sept. (PCC, No. 79, I, f. 286; Wharton ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:683). JA received the letter and its enclosures on the evening of 23 Nov. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 4:868).
2. JA 's instructions of 16 Aug., below, provided for Spain's accession to the treaty.