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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0164

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-22

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourd Sir

May it please Yoúr Excellency. That we acknowledge the receipt of her most esteemd favoúr,1 the sentiments expressd there in are most liberall, we are in hopes they may prevaill with oúr people, bútt nationally considered, we confess, we are mostly to slow in oúr motions, the generall, feel the English injury, they are sensible of its soúrce, bútt seem to múch abashd by the loss, to move as yett; may they be awaken'd in time! to prevent destrúction and preserve liberty with smaller fortúnes.
May we also thank Yoúr Excellency for the aproving of oúr arrange• { 227 } ment aboút the Obligations, we are still in great hopes the loan will succeed bútt not so soon as we wished, the Statia affair múst decide we think great things, and may accelerate American Independence, and the rights of Neútrall Vessells.
The English seem determind that Amsterdam shall pay therefor, it wónt be oúr faúlt.
Mr. Hodshon hath send ús the inclosed Bills, which we have the honoúr to forward for Acceptance, mean while with all respectfúll regard we have the honoúr to be Honourd Sir! Yoúr Excellencys most devoted And most Obedient humble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
1. Of 21 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-03-24

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I received last night your favour of the 22d., inclosing three Bills of Exchange which I have accepted and return inclosed. I have also received another Letter on the Affair of St. Eustatia.1 I Sincerely condole with you, on the Loss of that Island both as it affects the publick and as it must probably more or less affect your private Interest.
There is great Pains taken to represent this as a fatal Blow to the United States of America, at which I can do nothing but laugh. In my private opinion it will be better for America. The Property taken in that Island, I shrewdly suspect, belonging to English Scotch and Irish Merchants, was more than all that belong to french Americans and even Dutch, altogether. In this I may be mistaken, but in all Events the American Property there was not much.
However after the insidious Artifices of the English in holding out false appearances of a disposition for Peace, shall have amused 8 or 9 nations for a little while, when they discover themselves to have been only duped and mocked by English Impudence this outrage, with others cannot but Unite all the maritime nations in one decisive League, in support of the Freedom of Commerce, and American Independance, without which it is evident to demonstration that the Liberty of the Seas cannot longer exist.
Put American again in dependance on England, and it would be in their joint Power in twenty years, to conquer all the <Possessions> { 228 } Establishment of the Spaniards French Dutch and Portuguese in the East and West Indies in Spight of all that the rest of Mankind could do to prevent it. <With great Respect, I have the Honour to be, &c.>
I would not advise the Powers of Europe, therefore, to let America be reduced to the Necessity, of proposing Terms to Great Britain. With great Respect, I have the Honour to be &c.
1. Probably Edmund Jenings' letter of 21 March, above.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.