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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


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Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0231-0002

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

Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

On Thursday evening, the Deventer magistrates passed the resolution necessary for your Excellency’s recognition as minister plenipotentiary of the thirteen United States of America. The citizens of this city presented their petition Friday morning and the magistrates responded that they had already passed the resolution. Kampen, I was informed, was very well disposed. It was linking its approval of taxes to the conclusion of a commercial treaty with America. A petition presented at Zwolle resolved to urge the committee charged with examining your excellency’s memorials on behalf of this city, to give its advice and bring to an end the deliberations in the city. This is sufficiently constitutional, but is too drawn out. This is why I tried to explain the necessity of following Deventer’s example and of giving orders to the city’s deputies to the Diet to immediately declare themselves for independence, etc., and I hope my efforts succeed. But I fear the nobles. These vile creatures make up half of the regency. Nevertheless, I hope these petitions will have some influence on them. The preachers are even beginning to support them. One of them prayed to the good lord today: May the efforts of the people be blessed!
The aristocratic demon is still playing his part in Zwolle, even the trade guilds, of which there are many, and hundreds of citizens wanted to sign the petition. But, some of them, whose pride led them to falsely believe themselves to be superior, refused to sign if it were to be decided by a mob, and so they had to be deferred to. I was, however, not beyond suggesting to these people that they sign a separate petition, and I believe my advice had some influence on them. They started to cry out that it was high time to repair the injustice done to me and to readmit me to the assembly. My attachment to America and my conduct regarding the Scottish brigade1 has endeared me to my fellow citizens, who feel that it would have been dangerous and harmful if the republic had allowed itself to be drawn insensi• { 370 } bly by England to its side, which is what was intended by this insidious request. The province of Gelder is assembling on April 16th. I am angry that it is not earlier and I have the honor to be with much respect for your Excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Capellen de Pol
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “The Baron de Poll 31. March ansd. 6. April. 1782.”
1. For van der Capellen and the Scots’ Brigade, see vol. 10:381.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0232

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I received yours of the 10th Instant, and am of Opinion with you, that the English will evacuate New York and Charlestown, as the Troops there, after the late Resolutions of Parliament, must be useless, and are necessary to defend their remaining Islands where they have not at present more than 3000 Men. The Prudence of this Operation is so obvious, that I think they can hardly miss it: otherwise I own that, considering their Conduct for several Years past, it is not reasoning, consequentially, to conclude they will do a thing because the doing it is required by Common Sense.
Yours of the 26th. is just come to hand. I thank you for the Communication of Digges’s Message. He has also sent me a long Letter, with two from Mr Hartley.1 I shall see Mr. de Vergennes to-morrow, and will acquaint you with every thing material that passes on the Subject. But the Ministry by whom Digges pretends to be sent being changed, we shall, by waiting a little, see what Tone will be taken by their Successors. You shall have a Copy of the Instructions by the next Courier. I congratulate you cordially on the Progress you have made among those slow People. Slow, however, as they are, Mr Jay finds his much slower. By an American who goes in about Ten Days to Holland, I shall send you a Packet of Correspondence with Mr Hartley, tho’ it amounts to little.

[salute] With great Esteem I have the honour to be Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

[signed] B Franklin2
1. See Digges to JA , [26 March] , notes 3 and 4, above.
2. The closing and the signature are written in the left margin.
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