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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0300

Author: Hodshon, John, & Zoon (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-25

John Hodshon & Zoon’s Proposals for a Loan

Mess John Hodshon & son yoú are hereby desired to open a loan In my name for The use of the 13 united States of America agreable to my commission from Them dated The 20th june 17802 For Foúr or Five Million guilders current at 5 pc Intrest per annúm for the space of Ten years redeemable In The Five next Following years In equal Five parts with Intrest Fl payd of For which The obligation and coupons are to be signd by me, and the obligations contrasigned by yoú,3 and Enregistred by a notary For the Repayment of capital and Intrest the united states shll bind themself Jointly and seperatly, their Lands Income and prodúce revenus and Taxes Laid and to be Laid as wil be more fully explained In The obligations to be signd by me and of which an authentick copy to be sent to congres for Their confirmation And ratification on Their returning The Same To be drawn for the Súm to be borrowed as They shal be adresed by yoú.
Mess John Hodshon & son In order To Facilitate The Negotiation of Four or Five Million of guilders currant, yoú are permitted to allow to the undertakers a premiúm or discoúnt of Two procent and agree to allow or pay yoú one pc for your commission on the summ negotiated with one procent for The payment of the annúal Intrest which congres wil provide for In Such a manner as is most agreable, Further yoú are to be paid one half pc for the repayment of the capital besides one half procent for Brokeridge on The summ negotiated, with the cost of the obligations and advertisements and In order to prevent any prejudice to be done to the present negotiation Thereby oblige myself that such obligations as are not allready disposed of the loan of messs John de Neufville & son on the 1st March 1781 shal not be disposed of directly or Indirectly.
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Hodshon”; docketed by CFA : “April 25th 1782.” Dft ? (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Hodshon”; in another hand: “Mr Hodshon.”; filmed at 20 April 1782 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356).
1. No final notarized copies of the two proposed contracts between JA and John Hodshon & Zoon printed here have been found. From JA ’s letter of 26 April to Hodshon, below, however, it appears that the terms given here may have been the final ones. If official notarized copies of the contract ever existed, they may have been destroyed when the Hodshon agreement was superseded. The terms of these proposed contracts should be compared with that of [11 June] (Adams Papers) between JA and the firms of Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & { 461 } Fynje. They should also be compared with the apparent Dft of the proposals printed here that may or may not have been enclosed with Hodshon’s letter of 20 April, above.
2. The Dft does not refer to Hodshon & Zoon by name and does not mention JA ’s commission.
3. The Dft indicates only that Hodshon & Zoon would countersign the obligations; there is no mention of coupons. The remainder of this paragraph does not appear in the Dft .
4. This proposal is virtually identical to the corresponding Dft .

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0301

Author: Van der Kemp, François Adriaan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-25

From François Adriaan Van der Kemp

[salute] Sir

Althoug I am not So happÿ to be the first in making mÿ Compliments to your Excellencÿ; I am however persuaded that not one of mÿ countrÿmen is more addicted to the cause of America and more attached to your Excellencÿ than I am.
I congratulate mÿself with the favour of your Excellency’s acquaintance—with a part of the friendship of your Excellencÿ, and I flatter mÿself, that the aknowledgment of your High Rank wil not chance ÿour character. The eminent qualities of your heart remove the Shadow of fear, in this respect, and the knowledge, that I am a man, a Republican, do me think, that I Shal have a rigth to your good opinion.
In one of other case, perhaps I maÿ be to your Excellencÿ of the American States of anÿ Service; this Shal me given a great Satisfaction. In this city there are Members of Regencÿ, who, in the regulation of a treatise of commerce Should be able to give anÿ elucidations. Moondaÿ I Shal part to Nÿmegen in Gelderland—to consommate my marriage,1 and the month of Juin I hope to be in Friesland. Recommending mÿ in Your Excellency’s good opinion, I am with the highest esteem Sir! Your Excellency’s much addicted and Obliged Servant Fr.
[signed] Ad van der Kemp
1. On 20 May, Van der Kemp married Reinira Engelbartha Johanna Vos, daughter of Jacob Vos, burgomaster of Nijmegen (Harry F. Jackson, Scholar in the Wilderness, Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, Syracuse, 1963, p. 48; Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 1752–1829, An Autobiography, Together with Extracts from His Correspondence, ed. Helen Lincklaen Fairchild, N.Y., 1903, p. 61).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0302

Author: Hodshon, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-26

To John Hodshon

Mr. Hodshon is desired to make the necessary Enquiries, and as soon as he will give me under his hand his Engagement to furnish { 462 } Congress with four or five Millions of Guilders, by the last day of July next, so that I may write forthwith to Congress that they may draw for that Sum, I will agree to his Opening the Loan upon the Terms, We have agreed on.1
[signed] J. Adams
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. For the terms to which JA and John Hodshon & Zoon agreed, see Hodshon & Zoon’s proposal, 25 April, above. Hodshon acted immediately by announcing the terms of the loan and soliciting investors (Pieter J. van Winter, American Finance and Dutch Investment, 1780–1805, With an Epilogue to 1840, transl. James C. Riley, 2 vols., N.Y., 1977, 1:84–85).
Years later, JA recalled that the announcement of the loan initially was well received, but soon criticism of Hodshon led JA to try to form a consortium of firms, including Hodshon’s, to participate in the loan. In a letter to the Boston Patriot, JA wrote that the day after the loan was announced, Hodshon “received the customary congratulations from the principal merchants and capitalists, and I thought I was very happy in so solid a connection. Mr. Hodshon undertook to remove my family and furniture from Amsterdam to the Hague, and every thing was done with an order, punctuality and exactness that could not be exceeded; and his charges for every thing he did and furnished were extremely moderate” (Boston Patriot, 24 April 1811). JA ’s household goods were moved to The Hague in early May. He took up residence in the Hôtel des Etats Unis on 12 May ( Adams Family Correspondence , 4:321, 322, 323–324).
The letter to the Boston Patriot continues,
“Mr. Hodson had visited me from the beginning and had uniformly treated me with as much repect and civility as any of the other gentlemen who had traded to America. Neither myself nor my country were under any obligations to any other house that I know of, more than to his. He was very rich, worth many millions, entirely free from debt, his credit equal to any house unless that of Hope, was to be excepted, and even that, though possessed of immense resources, was much in debt and lately in the great turn of affairs much embarrassed. Mr. Hodshon had several brothers and many other relations in various parts of the republic who were very rich capitalists; so that he could have commanded a very respectable loan in spite of all the opposition that could have been made.
“Not many days passed however, before a clamour arose upon change in the city and pretty extensively in various parts of the republic. Mr. Van Berckel told me Mr. Hodshon was envied. There seemed to be a conspiracy of English and French emissaries, of Stadtholderians and patriots, of the friends and connections of Mr. De Neufville, Fizeau & Grand, Van Staphorts, De la Lande & Fynje and many others, to raise a cry against Mr. Hodshon. He was ‘anglomane;’ he ‘was a Stadtholderian;’ he ‘was an enemy to America,’ &c. &c.—not one word of which was sufficiently well founded to make any reasonable objections against his employment in this service. However, I saw that there was a settled plan to make it a party affair, if not an engine of faction. I said nothing, but determined to let the bubble burst of itself. When I was attacked, as I sometimes was, pretty severely, in company, for the choice I had made of an house for my loan, I justified every step of my conduct in it, by such facts and reasons as not one man ever attempted to contradict or confute.
“Nevertheless, in a few days Mr. Hodshon came to me and said, ‘You cannot be ignorant sir, that an uneasiness has been excited in the city and country against yourself and me, on account of the American loan.’ I answered, that I had heard and felt enough of it, but that having experienced much more formidable popular clamours in my own country, and seen that they soon subsided, I had not laid this much to heart. It had not shaken my confidence in him or in his contract. Mr. Hodshon said ‘the opposition that was made, could not prevent him from obtaining a considerable sum of money; but it might prevent so large a loan as he and I wished, and as congress expected, and that it might expose me to reflections and misrepresentations in America, as well as in Holland, and even in England as well as France;’ and { 463 } added, ‘if you have the least inclination to be disengaged, or if you have the smallest probablility of doing better for your consituents, I will readily release you from your contract.’ I thanked him for his generosity, and added, that I was very willing to risque all the consequences of perseverance, and had no doubt we should succeed as well at least as I could hope to do, in any other connection I could form. But if he pleased, I would make some further enquiries. He wished I would—he was advanced in years, was infirm in his health, easy in his circumstances, perfectly clear and unembarrassed in his business and wished for repose rather than to engage in squabbles: but he would not forsake me. If I could not do better, he would proceed. We agreed to consider and enquire” (Boston Patriot, 24 April 1811).
It was probably at this point that JA wrote his letter to Fizeaux, Grand & Co. and others, 30 April, below.