[dateline] The Hague, 10 March 1782
After you left, I received a note from our friend asking that I send him a copy of
your criticism of the proposal as quickly as possible. He assured me that he would
make good use of it.1
I sent it to him with the following statement.
“I believe that it is necessary to add that Mr. Adams would not be satisfied with
this response and would not have accepted it because it is not the categorical response
he requested. Moreover, it cannot be said with full knowledge of the facts that the
admission of an American minister will pose difficulties for the other courts since
there has never been one in a neutral country. As for the belligerents, it is known
that there have been some and the republic is one of them. Mr. Adams has offered openly
and frankly, with the sincere friendship of his country, his letters of credence and
plenipotentiary powers. It is advisable to accept them or refuse them just as frankly.
Such conduct is worthy of the two nations.”
I went immediately to see our friend. I found him engaged in this business with someone
else before he asked me to state clearly and openly what would satisfy you. Nothing
short of the requested audience was my response.
Here is the English king’s response to Parliament’s address on 1 March.
“Having no other objective at heart other than the tranquility, felicity, and prosperity
for my people, you can be assured that as a result of your advice, I will take those
measures which will seem to contribute the most to the reestablishment of harmony
between Great Britain and the revolted colonies, which is so essential to the prosperity
of both. And that my efforts will be directed in the most efficacious manner against
our European enemies, until such a peace can be obtained and will be in agreement
with the interests and permanent well-being of my realm.”
The resolution of the day before yesterday did not please either party and above everything
else, it was followed by a vigorous protest of 8 cities, which will serve as a determining
[salute] I am, with the most respectful attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient