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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


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Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0075

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-20

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of having recived your Excellencys Letters of the 1st and 7th Instant.
My Friend B cannot tell me any thing more of the Anonymous Letter,1 but that He receivd it by the foreign post, and that it cost 10 d. The post mark does not appear on it. B had sent a Copy of it to Mr L. It was therefore the Subject of a Conversation between us. Wherein He declared his Disbeliff, and thorough Contempt of its Contents. I Obeyed your Excellencys Injunction, not to mention any thing containd in your Letter of the 7th altho I wished to do it, and I did not moreover mention that your Excellency Knew any thing of such anonymous Letter having been Sent.
Mr L. Staid here a week, during which his Health was visibly established. He left this place last Friday on his Journey to the South of France. He gave me much Information of America with respect to Men and Things, when He left the Country, which tended to Confirm my former Ideas of them. He left me by consequence agitated both with pleasure and Concern on their Account, but when He told me that He would not take his Share in the Commission &ca. my uneasiness was very great in deed. It is not enough for a man to think He can do no good—when He may prevent mischief, nor is this a Time for any One to think of his own Tranquillity, when the Happiness of millions in future are at Stake. This is the moment of greater Danger than what America has yet seene, and which therefore calls forth those, to avert it, who are pitched upon for the purpose. I beleive Mr Jay is now at Paris.2
There has been much talk here amongst the English of a Truce or a perpetual Cessation of Arms with the United States. The Latter put me in mind of eternal Love which is too often sworn. Doctr Youngs Lover had a true Idea of its nature, when He said

Eternal Love I swear, my mistress and my Friend,

but say, what Day next week, the Eternity shall End.3

The Atheist disbelieves in the Existence of Eternity and the Lover laughs at it. The one is roguish and the other is foolish but the Politician who talks not of the Perpetuity of Policts, Constitutions and Conventions is somewhat wise and honest.
{ 130 }
I have the Honour to be Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servant,
[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. For the issue of the anonymous letter, supplied by Edward Bridgen and directed at Henry Laurens, see Jenings to JA , 6 June, and its enclosure, above.
2. Jay did not reach Paris until 23 June (Morris, Peacemakers , p. 282).
3. Jenings misquotes from Edward Young's Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. In Seven Characteristical Satires. The original verse reads, “Eternal love I vow, the Swain replies; / But say, my all! my mistress, and my friend! / What day next week the eternity shall end?” (“Satire V. On Women,” lines 326–328).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0076

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-21

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

In consequence of what Messrs. Van Staphorst had the honor of writing you yesterday, we've had a meeting last evening about our common business, and have now the honour to advise your Excellency in answer to your respected favor of the 13th. Instt. that agreable to your order we have apply'd to young Mr. De Neufville to have the exact Amount of his Account against the United States for Services done under your direction, which you only mention to be upwards of Two thousand Guilders. Mr. De Neufville however seem'd not to have expected that question and told us that he got no orders from your Excellency therabout. That his House had Sent the Account,1 consequently that the exact Amount thereof was known to your Excellency and that he therefore was waiting your orders, where he could of course receive the payment for. We do easily conceive that it cann't be agreable to that Gentleman, that we made him Such a question, and take therefore the liberty to desire your Excellency, that you'll be so kind as to draw a Bill on us for the Amount in favor of Messrs. De Neufville and remit the Same to them, by which means all difficulties and uneasiness can be prevented.
We do presume that the Same case, if not worse, will exist with Mr. Hodshon and beg therefore leave to propose to your Excellency, that you'll be so obliging as to write to him, desiring to send the Account of his expences and afterwards to furnish him in the Same manner with a Draft on us.2
As to the rente of your House we have not been able to get the { 131 } proper Informations thereabout as yet, but shall have the honour of writing you fully thereabout with our next.
In the meantime you'll greatly oblige us by returning the Thousand Bonds as soon as possible,3 and to believe us always with the utmost Consideration and respect Sir! Your most obedt. & very humble Servants
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nichs. & Jacob van Staphorst
[signed] de la Lande & fynje
We are desired by a friend of ours to remit you the inclosed letter to his Excellency General Washington4 and to beg the favor of you to forward it amongst your dispatches to America, by which you'll greatly oblige Sir! Yr. most humble Servts
[signed] N. & J. Van Staphorst
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Messrs Willinks & others 21 June 1782.”
1. See de Neufville & Fils to JA , 14 June, above.
2. No letter from JA to Hodshon concerning his account has been found, but see JA 's letter of 10 July to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, below.
3. On 20 June (Adams Papers), Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst wrote to JA to acknowledge his first and second two letters of 13 June to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje (above) and enclosed a thousand bonds for his signature. In a letter of 22 June to the consortium ( LbC , Adams Papers), JA returned the bonds and requested more as soon as possible. On the 24th (Adams Papers), the consortium acknowledged JA 's letter of 22 June and promised to send another thousand bonds in a few days.
4. This letter has not been identified, and the editors of Washington's papers have been unable to locate any letter for this period that would seem to fit the description provided by the Van Staphorsts.