A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0173

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-28

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Honourable Sir

We begg leave to thank yoúr Excellency for her most obliging favoúr of Yesterday, with the inclosed bills Accepted, may we begg the same favoúr for 7 Others since received and here annexed. We shall not troúble Yoúr Excellency with any new proposalls respecting the Loan, observing she wishes not to exceed the terms already proposed; we had the honoúr to acquaint yoúr Excellency that we should have gone through with it if St. Eústacia had not been taken, so it was, for oúr Leonard1 had pretty near the engagement ready provided we would sacrifice oúr Comission, which Certainly we would have done; we could not yett Since resúme the negotiation, bútt oúr good will in every Object respecting to America and to Yoúr Excellency will always excúse oúr endeavoúrs if they dont Súcceed we are not however at a loss for some good expectations, bútt Republicae nostrae ad exemplúm, totus componitús orbis,2 in slow motion. We had the honoúr to observe before to Yoúr Excellency that in case a circúlation could be admitted we made no difficúlty to pay the bills then drawn, as we are now comfirmd in the ideas we then had that oúr people wants to consider, no generosity guides narrow minds; we wont give úp the hopes however of Succeding; butt would be less anxioús if we had the ressoúrces in oúr Selfs which the Coúrt of France hath, and could dispose of so many millions; and on this consideration, we may expect as individúals that oúr will at least will be taken for deeds; we can not expect to interfere with the Comission of those who Advance the money as Mr. Grand is the Banker in Paris it is natúrall his hoúse here should have that preference, as they have always done most of the bússiness for the French Coúrt, and oúr wishes were that American Conections might be centred in oúr Republicq withoút Any intermediation, and this we hope still to promote.
If this should have a bad effect on the American loan in this Republicq we could only be sorrow for it and it may; the French at { 238 } least some among them will like it; bútt after the publicq Comotions here will be settled, we may be steadier in oúr attatchments, they prove in generall as light as we are heavy; we thank Yoúr Excellency for the preference given to ús, and will deserve the same for never the Coúrt of France can blame Yoúr Excellency for the terms, we have convincing proves that doctr. Franklin offerd larger then we ever desired from Yoúr Excellency.
Oúr private Negotiations are going on, when they are open and clos'd we are, when not we can keep oúr guard as well as others. May we give Yoúr Excellency joy on a generall good prospect, for the Caúse of Liberty in which we flatter oúr Selfs to have the Same though perhaps through different Channels, and could it not be possible that oúr Ideas came from the Same Source.
The Letters enclosed3 we forward according to oúr duty And have the honoúr to be with all respectfúll regard Honourd sir Yoúr Excellencys most devoted obedient húmble Servants
[signed] John de Neufville & Son
The 7 bills mentiond is 1 For Mr. Hodshon 6 For ús.
1. Jean de Neufville's son Leendert, or Leonard.
2. The whole world has been arranged according to the example of our republic.
3. The enclosed letters have not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0174

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Recipient: Huntington, Samuel
Date: 1781-03-29

To the President of Congress

Leyden, 29 March 1781. RC in John Thaxter's hand PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 287–294. printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:335–337.
Read in Congress on 19 Nov., this letter consists of an English translation of the memorial that Baron de Lynden, the Dutch envoy at the Swedish court, presented on 28 Feb. to Count Ulrik Scheffer, the Swedish foreign minister. The points set down in the memorial, which the Dutch also sent to Denmark and Russia, are essentially those contained in the States General's countermanifesto of 12 March (to the president of Congress, 18 March, calendared above). It emphasized that Britain's decision to initiate hostilities was not the result of any Dutch transgression, such as the Lee-Neufville treaty, but rather the States General's decision to accede to the armed neutrality. The Netherlands was at war because it had sought to preserve and protect its neutrality, therefore it was incumbent on the other members of the armed neutrality to come to its aid under the terms of the agreement.
Unfortunately for the Dutch, their hopes for assistance from members of the armed neutrality were in vain. In response the Swedish foreign minister { 239 } | view suggested that Sweden, Denmark, and Russia jointly propose an armistice and a return to the status quo ante-bellum. This undertaking would be supported by the naval forces of the three powers and would force Britain to reflect seriously on the consequences that the continuation of the war with the Netherlands would have on its relations with the Northern Powers (Scott, ed., Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, p. 370–374).
Catherine II rejected any notion that the armed neutrality should intervene effectively in the Anglo-Dutch war. She was no more willing than the Swedish foreign minister to risk war with Britain, but neither was she willing to permit either the League of Armed Neutrality or the Netherlands to become inconvenient obstacles to her effort to mediate between Britain and France (same, p. 375–380; De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 309–311; first letter to the president of Congress, 23 June, below).
RC in John Thaxter's hand (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 1, f. 287–294). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:335–337.
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/