A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0230-0002

Author: Brouwer, Hendrik, Chs. zoon
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] To his Excellency

I pray you forgive me that I am so free as to address this letter of mine to you, to recall the love for my fatherland, what our forefathers have done to make themselves a free people, has confirmed in me and many right-thinking Dutchmen that the people of America were our closest brothers in virtue, so that it has become our obligatory duty to help support them in their oppression, many right-thinking businessmen, but yet nonetheless making up a minority, were inclined to this, then we could be strengthened, to our hearts’ sorrow not only a number of English effectively but an even greater group of Anglophile Dutchmen, or supporters of the English, however, notwithstanding the superior power against which we had to wrestle daily, to put the just war of the Americans against England in the clear light of day, by the thoughts of our forefathers, and that has removed from us the fear of never triumphing in the future.
We have thus persevered in our manner of thinking that we had intended to maintain, from the first moment that the disturbances between America and England began, we have risked seeing our houses, goods, and families plundered, by the fomenting of our opponents, if it proved possible to get the mob to support them in their interests, then a just God has provided in this, we thank the same Lord of all with downcast eyes, then { 367 } with tears of joy that finally, against the will of those of evil intentions, we have reached our goal, a matter of such importance (without wanting to involve myself in politics) should have been accepted immediately, in my opinion, on the unjust declaration of war by England against us, nothing is more equal than its unnatural enemy, yea, God forbid causing damage also to so-called fellow believers and allies, and just now the greatest blow to them has been accomplished by declaring America a free people, this now having happened in Holland and Friesland against the desires of the nobility, I now do not doubt for a moment that it will be pushed through in all 7 provinces, God strengthen this healing work with his blessings and soften the hearts of those of another persuasion.
Forgive it that a heart bursting with satisfaction takes the liberty to congratulate your excellency on your recognition as minister plenipotentiary by Holland and Friesland, in a few days I hope I shall, with your excellency’s well-intentioned permission, be able to wish you happiness in person that the entire Union has recognized you as such.
My house had the pleasure, and my friends there present, have joined me in making a special honor to invite to my table the first Americans who have arrived here, at which meal the respectable Congress of the 13 United States was held in holy commemoration.
Personal interest should not lie closer to anyone’s heart than the well-being of his fatherland, or of his brothers who feel the same way, but my idea is that beyond private interest there is a reasonableness, that the appropriate opportunity should not be forgotten, to pluck the fruits, it is for that reason that I would like to introduce to your excellency some of my well-intentioned friends, we desire nothing more than an appropriate correspondence with solid houses of North America, we imagine that a share of preference is due us for our continuing zeal.
And we are prepared, with the ships and money that we have, to procure a profitable mutual trade. Enclosed you will find a note of the friends just mentioned,2 and we commend ourselves in your favorable consideration in America.
In case you find yourself in Rotterdam, might my house find itself benefited in being allowed to receive your excellency to my table, nothing would please me more, beyond the honor that is worth all respect, my sweet children and I would be especially tickled to spite the Anglophiles. I pray you forgive me that I am so free as to ask a reply,3 and having for my part sincerely said thanks to you for your very friendly letter to the group of businessmen here,4 I call myself with the obligatory respect and honor, your excellency’s humble and most obedient servant,
[signed] Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “H. Brouwer Chz 31st. March 1782.”; by JA : “ansd 7 April.”
1. This letter was received as an enclosure in a brief note of 1 April from M. H. van son [Hendkz?] (Adams Papers), who is otherwise unidentified. The author congratulated JA on the action of the States of Holland and expressed his hope that the remaining mem• { 368 } bers of the States General would soon follow.
2. Brouwer failed to enclose the list and apologized and enclosed it with his 15 April letter, below.
3. JA ’s endorsement indicates that he replied on 7 April; no copy of the letter has been found, but see Brouwer’s letter of 15 April, below.
4. Perhaps a reference to JA ’s letter of 22 March to Adrianus Dubbeldemuts, above, in which JA commented on the petition by Rotterdam merchants supporting a commercial treaty between the Netherlands and the United States. No other letter from JA to a Rotterdam businessman has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0231-0001

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Monsieur

Les Magistrats de Deventer ont pris Jeudi au Soir une Resolution dans les formes pour recevoir Votre Excellence en qualité de Ministre plenipotentiaire des 13 Etats Unis de L’Amerique. Vendredi au matin la requete des Citoiens de cette Ville a été presentée et les Magistrats ÿ ont repondus qu’ils avoient deja pris la Resolution mentionnée. La ville de Campen, a ce que j’ai été informé, est tres bien disposée. Elle a accroché Son consentement pour les impots a la conclusion d’un Traité de Commerce avec l’Amerique. Une Requete presentée a Zwol a operé une Resolution de presser de la part de cette ville le comitté, chargé de l’examen des Memoires de Votre Excellence, de donner Son preavis afin d’en faire un point de deliberation dans la Ville meme. Ceci est assez Constitutionel, mais tire trop en longueur. C’est pourquoi j’ai taché de faire voir la necessité de Suivre l’exemple de Deventer et de donner ordre au Deputés de la Ville a la Diete de Se declarer immediatement pour l’Independance etc. et j’ai de l’esperance que mes efforts reussiront. Mais je crains les Nobles. Ces viles Creatures ont ici la moitié de la Regence. J’espere neammoins que les Requetes qui Se preparent a la Campagne, auront quelque influence Sur eux. Les Predicateurs même commencent a les appuier. Un d’eux a prié le Bon Dieu aujourdhui: Qu’il veuille benir les efforts du Peuple!
Le Demon Aristocratique a encore joué Son role a Zwol meme Les Corps de Metier qui Sont nombreux ici et des centaines des citoiens desiroient de signer aussi la Requete; mais quelques uns a qui leur orgeuil inspire l’idée d’une Superiorité, qui n’existe pas, refusoient de signer Si cela dut Se faire par une foule et l’on fut obligé d’avoir de la deference pour eux. Je ne Suis pourtant pas eloigné de conseiller a ces gens de Signer une requete Separée et je crois que mon conseil a quelque influence Sur eux. L’on commence a crier { 369 } ouvertement que cest plus que tems de reparer le tort qu’on m’a fait et de me readmettre a l’assemblée. Mon attachement a l’Amerique et ma conduite dans l’affaire de la Brigade Ecossoise1 m’ont rendu cher au jeux de mes concitoiens qui Sentent a present combien il auroit été dangereuse et nuisible Si la Republique S’eut laissé entrainer insensiblement par l’angleterre a Se ranger de Son coté, comme l’on avoit projetté de faire par le moien de cette demande insidieuse. La Province de Gueldre S’assemble le 16 Avril. Je Suis bien faché que ce ne Soit pas plus tot et j’ai l’honneur d’etre avec bien de respect de Votre Excellence Le tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Capellen de Pol