Amsterdam 13 December 1781. RC
in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC
, No. 84, III, f. 426–429). printed
: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev.
, 5:43–44. This letter, read in Congress on 15 March 1782 and acted upon on 26 March
, 22:150), contained the English text of Lord Stormont’s acceptance of Russia’s mediation
of the Anglo-Dutch war. Formulated in early September, Stormont’s answer to I. M.
Simolin, the Russian minister, reversed Britain’s refusal, in March, of Russia’s first
mediation offer and proceeded from the joint representations made at the end of August
by the Russian, Swedish, and Danish ministers in London (to the president of Congress,
, 1st letter, calendared, vol. 11:440). In his acceptance, Stormont recited British
grievances against the Netherlands, but pointedly rejected any Swedish or Danish role
in the mediation. He did so to avoid legitimizing the League of Armed Neutrality,
the Dutch accession to which was the real, if unstated, reason for Britain’s declaration
of war against the Netherlands. Stormont did not inform the Russian minister of Britain’s
terms for reaching a settlement. Those were sent to St. Petersburg by a separate courier
and included provisions requiring the Dutch to provide financial assistance in the
war against France and cease the sale of munitions and naval stores to Britain’s enemies
(from Jean de Neufville, 2 March, note 2
and references there, vol. 11:172–173; De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780
, p. 337–340, 346–351).