Amsterdam, 25 December 1781. RC
in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC
, No. 84, III, f. 438–441). printed
: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev.
, 5:70–71). In this letter, which Congress received on 18 Sept. 1782, JA
provided the text of Lord Stormont’s announcement of 8 Sept. to the Swedish minister
at London that Britain had accepted Russia as the sole mediator between itself and
the Netherlands. It constituted Britain’s formal rejection of the joint mediation
offered by Russia, Sweden, and Denmark in August and thereby precluded even an implied
role for the armed neutrality in resolving the Anglo-Dutch war (to the president of
Congress, 6 Aug.
, 1st letter, calendared, vol. 11:440). Stormont briefly summarized British grievances
against the Netherlands that led to hostilities between Britain and its former ally.
He noted that Britain refused Russia’s first offer of mediation because at the time
there seemed little likelihood of success. Circumstances had changed, however, and
the Dutch now seemed amenable to a separate peace. Britain would now accept Russia
as the sole mediator because that nation had been the first to offer its assistance
in resolving the Anglo-Dutch conflict. For Stormont’s formal acceptance of Russia’s
mediation, see JA
to the president of Congress, 13 Dec.
, calendared above.