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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0080

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Grand, Henry
Date: 1781-12-10

To Henry Grand

[salute] Sir

I have received your Favour of 23 of November, and thank you for your Congratulation on my freedom of Amsterdam, which however cost me dearer, than any Freedom ought ever to cost any Man, except the freedom of the New Jerusalem. I rejoice with you also that my Countrymen, with the masterly and magnanimous assistance of yours, have added a gallant Cornwallization, to the Burgoinization with which their military History was before decorated.
I come now to the Account, I have added to the Article of the 28 of Feb. the 12s as you propose. I have also added for the Charges on my Madeira Wine Decr 14. 89 Liv. 4s. I have also added to coincide with you L34: 10d, as you desire.
I have also added to the Debit L247: 7s: 1d to get up to 2658:16:10 which Mr Dana desired you to credit me for.
So that We are now agreed perfectly in every Thing, except the Article of 29 Feb. 1780 where you charge me with an order to give Mr Dana Credit for Liv. 6857. 3s. I shall convince you in one minute, that this is not to be charged to me, but to Mr Dana.
If you will be so good as to look over the Copy inclosed of my Card of the 29 of Feb. 1780.—you will see that it was written expressly that Mr Dana might be charged in your Books as well as those of Congress, with this sum of 6857 Livres and five thirty-fifths.
Dr Franklin was desired by Congress to advance a Thousand Pounds sterling to Me and Mr Dana, to be divided between us in Proportion to our Salaries. Dr Franklin gave orders to your House, { 122 } to hold this thousand Pounds at my disposal. But I thought it would be ungenteel in me to oblige Mr Dana to come to me for an order, whenever he wanted his own Money and I therefore with Mr Dana’s Consent wrote the Card of 29 of Feb. 1780. that Mr Dana might be able to receive his Money as he wanted it, and he did receive it accordingly. So that you have nothing to do but charge Mr Dana with it, as So much of his Salary.
This I hope will be sufficient to bring Us together, and to make the ballance due to me upon this account, exactly L9414: 19s. I should be glad of your answer as soon as convenient, because, the freedom of this City costs a Man a great deal of Money, quite as much as I have to receive according to my own Account.

[salute] With great Regard I have the Honour to be. &c

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0081

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-12-10

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I have recd the Letter which you did me the Honour to write me on the 8th. instant,1 inclosing a Translation of Messrs Van Arps Proposals. Messrs Van Arps, in the Character of ships Husband, demand 60,000 ƒ. as Damages &c.
If I were convinced that the Goods of the United States of America, were responsible for any Damages at all in this Case which I am not but clearly of the contrary2 I should Still think the Demand of 60,000 Guilders, vastly too high, so that I cannot agree to this. But am still ready to Submit the whole Dispute to impartial Arbitrators.
Your repeated Proposals to me Gentlemen to take your shares of the ships it is impossible for me to agree to. <Indeed these Ships are altogether improper to carry the Goods.>
<But it is Surprizing to me that the owners have not Set a certain Price upon the ships, and also ascertained the sum for which they would.>

[salute] I have the Honour to be

1. Not found. See also JA to Franklin, [8 Dec.], and note 3, above.
2. The preceding five words were interlined.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0082-0001

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-10

From Bidé de Chavagnes

[salute] Mon cher monsieur

L’interest que je prends a vous, a votre santé, a celle de votre chere famille est trop sincere et trop constant pour ne pas vous adresser de nouvelles lettres afin de vous en demander des nouvelles, et de vous reiterer les sentiments D’attachement que vous, les votres et vos compatriotes, avez si bien reussis a minspirer. Je vous ay ecrit a paris il y a quelques temps,1 vous navez pas vraysemblablement receu ma lettre, celle cy vous exprimera combien jay eté sensible aux evenements heureux et aux succés que vous venez Davoir sur le lord cornowallis. Recevez en mon compliment particulier. Si mr. de sartines, auquel j auray des obligations infinies toutte ma vie avoit resté au ministere, j aurois pu contribuer par moy même en commandant un vau. au moins une grosse fregatte au succés de ces belles et bonnes operations. Mais votre pauvre petit capitaine chavagnes ne peut obtenir ny commandements, ny congés pour aller a paris. Il vat dun vaisseau a un autre capne. en second. Je viens de quitter le bien aimé je suis sur le gros royal loüis2 pour aller je crois a cadix nous joindre aux espagnols. Une bonne paix, l’amerique bien a vous feroit bien mon bonheur et celuy de mde. de chavagnes, et encor mieux si j avois celuy de vous repasser a boston bien content, bien portant ainsi que votre chere et aimable petite famille je me fais un plaisir de me flatter que cela pourroit estre un jour. Je me porte bien par continuation et saisiray toujours les occasions, absent, comme present de vous assurer des sentiments du sincere et durable attachement avec lesquels jay lhonneur d estre Mon cher monsieur, Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes
capne. des vaux. du roy
Mon adresse sera je crois a bord du dit vau. a cadix.
Mon souvenir et mes civilités a mrs. dena et taxter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0082-0002

Author: Chavagnes, Bidé de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-10

Bidé de Chavagnes to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] My dear sir

The interest I take in you and your health, as well as that of your dear family, is too sincere and constant to keep me from writing to you and to ask you for any news. Also, I would like to reiterate my sentiments of at• { 124 } tachment that you, yours, and your compatriots have inspired in me. I wrote you at Paris a while ago,1 but you apparently did not receive my letter, which expressed just how much I was aware of the happy events and success against Lord Cornwallis. Accept my personal congratulations. If Mr. Sartine, to whom I am infinitely obligated, had remained at the ministry, I would have been able to contribute myself by commanding a ship, or at least a large frigate, in the successful and good operations. But your poor little captain Chavagnes cannot obtain either a commanding post or a leave to go to Paris. He is going to a ship as second in command. I just left the Bien Aime and am now on the Royal Louis2 heading, I believe, for Cadiz to join the Spanish. A good peace for America will give you happiness, and will give happiness to Madame Chavagnes and me. I would be even happier if I could return you and your dear little family back to Boston, happy and healthy. If this could one day happen, it would give me great pleasure. I continue today, and will in the future, in assuring you of my sincere and lasting devotion with which I have the honor to be, my dear sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Bidé de chavagnes
capne. des vaux. du roy
My address is on board the said vessel bound for Cadiz.
Remembrances and compliments to Messrs. Dana and Thaxter.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Capt. Chevagne 10th. Decr. 1781.”
1. Not found.
2. The Bien-Aimé was a 74-gun ship of the line; the Royal-Louis had 110 guns (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 374).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0083

Author: Jones, John Paul
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-10

From John Paul Jones

[salute] Dear Sir

After the command of the Alliance was usurped at L’orient, I received on board the Ariel, the two packages from Mr. Moylan, containing the articles you directed him to send to your Family. On my arrival at Philadelphia, I delivered them to Mr. Lovell, agreeable to your request.1 I had, last Summer, the honor to be unanimously elected by Congress to the command of the America, and am now superintending the Building.2 I was sorry my duty obliged me to pass through Boston without paying Mrs. Adams a visit at your country Seat. If I can this Winter I will do myself that honor.3 I had the honor to see Mrs. Dana here lately: She was on a visit to her friend Miss Stevens, who is on the point of Marriage with our Parson.4 Please to mention this with my respects to Mr. Dana.
I congratulate you on the glorious capture of Lord Cornwallis and { 125 } his whole Army. That conquest sets the friendship of France in the noblest light, does the greatest honor to humanity, frees a distressed Country, and adds lusture to the combined Arms, while Victory binds the brows of our happy chiefs with her Unspotted Laurels!
Among the great events that have sprung from our glorious Revolution, The World has seen with astonishment, the Belgia5 roused from their lethargy of a Century, and forced to draw the long-reluctant-Sword, or renounce for ever all pretention to National Character. May it fall with double Death on the heads of their insolent Enemies, and never again be sheathed till, in mercy to Mankind, they are effectually humbled! If I am honored with any Letters from you, please to address under cover to the Minister of Finance Philadelphia.6 I am, Dear Sir, with great respect Your Excellencie’s most Obedient and most humble Servant,
[signed] PAUL JONES
NB. I presume you are already acquainted with the bearer Major Sherburne, who lost his Leg on the Rhode Island expedition?7
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “recd 11. aug. 1782.”
1. See James Lovell’s letter of [ca. 15 March], and note 4 (vol. 11:202–204).
2. Congress appointed Jones to the command of the ship of the line America on 26 June (JCC, 20:698), but he never sailed as her captain. For the fate of the America, which was ultimately turned over to France, see vol. 10:25.
3. For AA’s description of Jones upon meeting him in 1784, during her residence in France, see Adams Family Correspondence, 6:5–6.
4. Sarah Stevens married Joseph Buckminster, minister of Portsmouth’s First or North Church, on 24 March 1782 (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:367).
5. The Dutch.
6. JA replied to Jones on 12 Aug. 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers).
7. Maj. John Samuel Sherburn of the New Hampshire militia lost his leg at Quaker Hill on 29 Aug. 1778 during the battle of Newport (Heitman, Register of the Continental Army).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0084

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-10

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Sir

When some months past I desired a Copy of the Collection of American Constitutions, it was for the use of a Gentleman of Letters, actually employed in translating the several Acts of American Legislation, but who knew no other Collection of those Acts than a French translation printed at Paris.1 I wished then to keep for myself and clean the Copy, Your Excellency had made me a present of, as a testimony of your friendly attention to me. But, as the Printer was too pressing upon my Friend to allow him a delay, I determined to lend him my own Copy; and those days I have received the first part of that Dutch Translation, dedicated to Mr. Pensionary van { 126 } Berkel. Perhaps You will already have seen it; and my Friend, Mr. van der Kemp, will also have presented Your Excellency with a Translation of the Constitution of Massachusetts and some other American Tracts; a Publication, in which I have some share.
It was with the utmost concern I understood your very severe illness; and your recovery has given me the greatest satisfaction. I hope, Sir, that sickness will be to You a store of health for many years, as the former conquests and bloody Victory’s of Cornwallis were a way to American Triumph. I wish ardently to Heaven, that your Country might now soon reap the fruits of her struggles, and You, Sir, be a long time a happy witness of her glory and prosperity, the more happy as You have been one of her most illustrious Founders and Asserters.
I think, Sir, the fate of Cornwallis and his Army will make a speedy end to the warfaring in South-Carolina; and the great loss, the Brittish have suffered in the Action of the 8th September, cannot but accelerate their total overthrow and retreat from that State. But, as I mention that Action, permit me, Sir, a friendly complaint, which Yourself will not deem wholly unjust. When the struggles of America were in their infancy; when Europe despised that Country or knew it little, when no other European News-Paper mentioned ever Bostonian courage, constancy, and Patriotism; when Mr. Tronchin du Breuil, the Proprietor of the Amsterdam-Gazette, was silent on it, as the rest of public Writers, the Leyden-Gazette was the first, which faithfully adhered to that Cause, and despising an overbearance and an ill-will, not unknown to Your Excellency, boldly foretold the future grandeur of your grown Republics. Yes, Sir, I dare to say, we, in those early times (already in 1774.) contributed a great deal to awake the French Court on that subject; and Mr. Dumas, whose acquaintance we made by that only means, can bear testimony to it, as also the Abbot Desnoyers, then Chargé des affaires de France at the Hague. At present, Sir, when America is an independent State, when her atchievements attract the curiosity of the World, we see Mr. Tronchin Dubreuil preferr’d, and the Leyden-Gazette forgotten; we see him boast of his establish’d and authentic intelligence, and ourselves reduced to the copying of his defective Translations, if we will make any use at all of the American Publications, that come thro’ your hands: For, with the greatest esteem and all possible respect for Mr. Cerisier’s talents, character, and sentiments, the translating of such Pieces is not his most eminent part: And, had it not been for the publication in the Paris-Gazette, I must have omitted { 127 } the whole Letter of General Greene on the Action of Eutaw’s.2 For what, must the one of us be of necessity excluded at the prejudice of the other? But I have already said too much on that subject. I leave it to Your Excellency’s own equity and feelings, and am with due and great respect, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient, faithful, and humble Servant
[signed] J. Luzac
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr J. Luzac. Decr 10. 1781.”
1. For The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; . . . , Phila., 1781, and for its translation into Dutch, see Luzac’s letter of 6 Sept. (vol. 11:475–477) and JA to Luzac, 13 Dec., and note 1, below.
2. For Nathanael Greene to George Washington, 11 Sept., see Washington to JA, 22 Oct., and note 4, above. Luzac printed Greene’s letter in the Gazette de Leyde of 4 December.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0085-0001

Author: Mandrillon, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-12

From Joseph Mandrillon

[salute] Monsieur

En attendant que j’ai l’honneur de vous aller rendre mes devoirs ce Soir entre 5 et 6 heures, j’ai celui devour envoyer, Monsieur, La meilleure carte que l’on puisse mouver ici de l’Amérique septr. on attend d’Angleterre, celle des 13 états unis que j’ai demandé.
Je joins aussi L’Atlas de L’hist. ph. et Pol. pour vous prier de me donner votre avis sur l’exactitude des cartes de votre Republique.1
Si vous ne pouvez me reçevoir ce Sera pour une autre soirée.

[salute] J’ai L’honneur d’Etre avéc tout le respect possible Monsieur Votre très humble & très obeissant serviteur

[signed] Jh. Mandrillon

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0085-0002

Author: Mandrillon, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-12

Joseph Mandrillon to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I will have the honor of delivering my work to you this evening between five and six o’clock but in the meantime, I am sending you the best map of North America that could be found here. The map of the thirteen states that I asked for is expected from England.
I am also enclosing the Atlas de l’histoire philosophique et politique so that you may give me your opinion as to the accuracy of these maps of your republic.1
If you cannot receive me today, this will be for another evening.

[salute] I have the honor to be with all possible respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Jh. Mandrillon
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur J. Adams ministre plenip. des Etats unis près Le E. Généraux A Amsterdam”; endorsed: “M. Mandril• { 128 } lon 12. Dec. 1781”; filmed at 12 Dec. 1783 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 362).
1. Rigobert Bonne, Atlas de toutes les parties connues du globe terrestre, dressé pour l’histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des européens dans les deux Indes . . . , Geneva, 1780. This volume was designed to accompany the Abbé Raynal’s Histoire.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0086

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-12-13

To the President of Congress

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 (JCC, 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, 6 Aug., 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).
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 426–429). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:43–44).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0087

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Luzac, Jean
Date: 1781-12-13

To Jean Luzac

[salute] Sir

I have received your friendly Letter of the 10th of this month. The new Translation of the american Constitutions, into the Dutch Language, I have not yet Seen, but intend to embrace the first opportunity of Sending Some Copies of it, to be placed in the principal publick Libraries in America, and the more willingly for the Dedication of it to Mr Vanberckel, a Gentleman whose great merit and long Services, have been but ill requited, by as base and false Accusations, as were ever laid to the charge of injured Innocence.1
Mr Van der Kemp, had the goodness to leave at my House two Copies of the new Translation, of the Constitution of the Massachu• { 129 } setts, and the other Pieces accompanying it, for which I am much obliged to him and to you. I regret, very much, my Inability to read, the Comparison between the Constitution of this Republick and that of Mass. and the more because the Author, who has the Reputation of one of the best Writers has given Encouragement to hope, for a Comparison, between the Belgic and American Revolutions.2
I thank you Sir for your friendly Simpathy with me in my Sickness, and for your obliging Wishes for the Happiness of my Country. My Country, Sir, is happy, and it is not in the Power of all her Ennemies to make her otherwise. Whether I shall live to See her in Peace, and in the full Enjoyment of that Grandeur and Glory, which will inevitably be, the Speedy Consequence of it, is a matter that I very chearfully Submit to higher Powers. Whether a Constitution which was never firm Shall Succumb under those Exertions to which the Times have called it, a little Sooner or a little later, is not a Thing of much Consequence, Since, as long as it lasts I shall have the Consolation to reflect that no Mans Forces were ever employed in a better cause.
Inclosed is a Letter from General Knox, which contains Some Things worth publishing, but does not give Us very Sanguine hopes of possessing Charlestown, this year.3
Now, Sir, to the Subject of your friendly Complaint. I very readily acknowledge, your constant Attachment to the Principles of the american Revolution, and the Respect which has been long paid, and the Services renderd to the American cause, in Europe, by the Leyden Gazette, and therefore I shall not forgette it, nor its Author. But it is not in my Power to do it much Service, nor does it Stand in need of my assistance. It has nothing to fear from any other Gazette. Its Extensive correspondence, its exact Method, and its accuracy of Style, as well as other Advantages, will effectually Secure it, against the Rivalry of any other.
It is very rarely, that I receive any Intelligence, Sooner than you do. Generally mine arrives after you have given the Same Things to the publick. The reason is, that almost all my Letters, come by the Way of Cadix Bilbao, Nantes, L’Orient or Brest, and are obliged to go to Paris in Company with Similar dispatches for the French Court and to Dr Franklin in their Way to me. By this means the Post commonly brings you, in the Spanish and french Publications, the News, Sooner, than my Letters arrive to me. In two or three Instances indeed it has been otherwise, but in the Case of General Greens Letter, it was nearly so.
{ 130 }
When News Papers come to me, or Letters with any Intelligence of Importance, here are generally fifteen or twenty American Travellers in this Town who think, they have a right to the News from me. If I were to Send them off to Leyden, immediately, they would think it hard. Wheras I can give them to a Printer in this Town, who will return them, at any Moment when called for. Besides this, you will allow that it is of some Importance to the publick Cause, that the french Gazette of Amsterdam, Should be in the good System and that it should have Some Reputation. Mr. Tronchin is a total stranger to me. Mr Cerisier’s Talents and Sentiments I esteem very much, and am very Sure it is in his Power, and think it is in his Inclination to do Signal Service to the Cause of Truth. Yet, I agree with you that he is not so accurate, as some others. He writes too much and has too many calls upon him to be always correct. I wish in a late Instance of Greens Letter he had eat his Chicken, without crying Roastmeat. He has no right from me to boast of any established Correspondence with America, for I have promised him nothing. He has taken Pains I know, for the last twelve months to form Acquaintances among the American here, who may have agreed to correspond with him. From them he may sometimes get News here, for they generally receive News Papers with their Letters.
If I were to send every Piece of fresh News to Leyden, I suppose he would make me a friendly complaint too. How shall I settle it? shall I give it to him upon Condition that he sends it to you as soon as he has translated it? shall I send it to you, upon Condition that you send it to him, as soon as you have copied it? The publick Service and my duty requires of me, that I should communicate it to the publick, as soon as possible without giving it to any body to husband it, and deal it out by little and little for their private Interest or the Reputation of the Gazette. I assure you I never had a thought of excluding you to your Prejudice, nor shall I ever countenance any such Thing. I have Scarce Room left to subscribe, myself, sir your Friend & servant
[signed] J. Adams
RC (PWacD:Feinstone Coll., on deposit at PPAmP).
1. Verzameling van de Constitutien der Vereenigde Onafhanglijke Staaten van Amerika, benevens de Acte van Onafhanglijkheid de Artikelen van Confederatie, en de Tractaaten tusschen Zijne Allerchristelijkste Majesteit en de Vereenigde Amerikaansche Staaten, comp. and trans. Herman van Bracht, Dordrecht, 1781. A second volume, also published at Dordrecht, appeared in Aug. 1782 (from van Bracht, 12 Aug. 1782, Adams Papers). Two copies of the two-volume work are in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
2. See François Adriaan Van der Kemp’s letter of 26 Nov., and note 1, above.
3. From Henry Knox, 21 Oct., above. Luzac did not publish it in the Gazette de Leyde.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0088

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-12-14

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

The first public Body, which has proposed a Connection with the United States, is the quarter of Oostergo, in the Province of Friesland. The Proposition is in these words:
“Every impartial Patriot has a long time percieved, that in the direction of affairs relative to this War with England, there has been manifested an inconcievable Lukewarmness and Sloth: but they discover themselves still more, at this moment, by the little Inclination which in general the Regencies of the Belgic Provinces testify to commence a Treaty of Commerce and Friendship with the new Republick of the thirteen United States of North America; and to contract Engagements, at least during the Continuance of this common War, with the Crowns of France and Spain. Nevertheless, the Necessity of those measures appears clearly, since, according to our Judgments, nothing was more natural, nor more conformable to sound Policy, founded upon the Laws of Nature the most precise, than that this Republick, immediately after the formal declaration of War by the English (not being yet able to do any thing by military Exploits, not being in a state of defence sufficiently respectable to dare, at Sea, to oppose one Fleet or Squadron to our perfidious Enemy) should have commenced by acknowledging by a public Declaration, the Independence of North America. This would have been from that time, the greatest step to the humiliation of England, and our own Re-establishment, and by this measure, the Republick would have proved her firm Resolution to act with Vigor. Every one of our Inhabitants, all Europe who have their Eyes fixed upon Us, the whole World, expected, with just Reason, this Measure from the Republick. It is true that before the formal Declaration of War by England, one might perhaps have alledged some plausible Reasons, to justify in some degree the backwardness in this great and interesting Affair. But, as at present Great Britain is no longer our secret but declared Enemy, which dissolves all the Connections between the two Nations; and as it is the duty not only of all the Regencies, but also of all the Citizens of this Republick, to reduce, by all imaginable Annoyances, this Enemy so unjust to Reason, and to force him, if possible, to conclude an honorable Peace; why should We hesitate any longer to strike, by this Measure so reasonable, the most sensible blow to the common Enemy? Will not this delay occa• { 132 } sion a Suspicion, that We prefer the Interest of our Enemy, to that of our Country? North America, so sensibly offended by the refusal of her offer; France and Spain, in the midst of a War supported with Activity, must they not regard Us as the secret friends and favourers of their and our common Enemy? Have they not Reason to conclude from it, that our Inaction ought to be less attributed to our Weakness, than to our Affection for England? Will not this opinion destroy all Confidence in our Nation heretofor so renowned in this Respect? And our Allies, at this time natural, must they not imagine, that it is better to have in Us declared Enemies, than pretended Friends; and shall We not be involved in a ruinous War, which We might have rendered advantageous, if it had been well directed? While, on the other hand, it is evident, that by a new Connection with the States of North America, by Engagements at least during this War with France and Spain, We shall obtain not only the Confidence of these formidable Powers, instead of their Distrust, but by this means We shall moreover place our Colonies in safety against every Insult: We shall have a well grounded hope of recovering, with the aid of the allied Powers, our lost possessions, if the English should make themselves Masters of them, and our Commerce, at present neglected, and so shamefully pillaged, would reassume a new Vigor; considering that in such Case, as it is manifestly proved by solid Reasons, this Republick would derive from this Commerce the most signal Advantages. But, since our Interest excites Us forcibly to act in concert with the Enemies of our Enemy; since the thirteen United States of North America invite Us to it long ago; since France appears inclined to concert her military Operations with ours, altho’ this Power has infinitely less Interest to ally itself with Us, whose Weakness manifests itself in so palpable a manner, than We are to form an Alliance the most respectable in the Universe: it is indubitably the Duty of every Regency to promote it with all its Forces, and with all the Celerity imaginable. To this effect, We have thought it our Duty to lay it before your Noble Mightinesses, in the firm persuasion, that the Zeal of your Noble Mightinesses will be as earnest as ours, to concur to the accomplishment of this point, which is for Us of the greatest Importance; that consequently your Noble Mightinesses will not delay to co-operate with Us, that upon this important Object there be made to their High Mightinesses a Proposition so vigorous, that it may have the desired success: and that this affair, of an Importance beyond all Expression for our common Country, may be resolved and de• { 133 } cided by unanimous suffrages, and in preference to every particular Interest.”1
Mr. Vander Capellen de Marsh was the first Individual, who ventured to propose in public a Treaty with the United States,2 and the Quarter of Oostergo the first public Body: this indeed is but a part of one branch of the Sovereignty. But these Motions will be honored by Posterity. The whole Republic must follow. It is necessitated to it by a Mechanism, as certain as Clock Work: but its Operations are and will be studiously and zealously slow. It will be a long time before the Measure can be compleated.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 430–433); endorsed: “Letter 14 Decr. 1781 John Adams Read 18 March 1782.” For Congress’ action of 26 March regarding this letter, see JCC, 22:150–151.
1. The provincial states of Friesland was composed of 4 chambers or quarters: Oostergo of 11 districts, Westergo of 9 districts, Sevenwouden of 10 districts, and a fourth chamber composed of the deputies from the province’s 11 cities (to the president of Congress, 24 July, Adams Papers). JA’s source for the English text of Oostergo’s proposal was likely a French translation appearing in a Dutch newspaper. When he printed the proposal in the Gazette de Leyde of 7 Dec., Jean Luzac indicated that Westergo and Sevenwouden thought that the recognition of American independence posed too many difficulties at present, but had approved the remainder of Oostergo’s recommendation. Friesland voted on 26 Feb. 1782 to recognize the United States and thereby became the first province to do so; see JA to Robert R. Livingston, 27 Feb., below. JA included the English text of Oostergo’s proposal given in this letter, virtually without change, in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 17–20.
2. For an excerpt from Robert Jasper van der Capellen van de Marsch’s address, see JA to the president of Congress, 1 Nov., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0089

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1781-12-14

To Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

This day was brought me, your kind favour of August 28th. the first Line I have received from you, Since We parted. A Line from my dear Son, aug. 21. O.S. which I recd 3 days ago, was the first from him.1
The publick News from America, you have before now. It is grand and I congratulate you upon it, with a gratefull Heart. Our allies have this year adopted a System, which you and I have long prayed for, and have cause to be thankfull for its tryumphant Success.
Soon after my Return from Paris, I was Seized with a malignant nervous Fever, which well nigh cost me a Life. The consequences of it are not yet gone off. Still weak and lame, I am however better, but { 134 } almost incapable of that attention to Business which is necessary. Your son Charles2 Sailed with Gillon, put into Corunna, went from thence to Bilbao, by Water, and is about Sailing in the Cicero, with Major Jackson for home. Mr Thaxter has escaped, with a very Slight touch of a fever.3 So much for the Family.
I have lately received from ||Congress||4 a new Commission and Instructions to this Republick, to propose a tripple or quadruple alliance, with the Consent and approbation of ||the French Court||. This measure pleases me extreamly, and nothing could be better timed, but I must beg you to conceal it. I have received a new Commission for Peace in which ||John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, John Jay||, and Mr Jefferson, are the Ministers. I have recd also a Revocation of my Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with ||Great Britain||. These last novelties, I Suppose, would nettle Some Mens Feelings, but I am glad of them. They have removed the cause of Envy, I had like to have Said but I fear I must retract that, Since ||John Adams|| Stands before ||Benjamin Franklin|| in the Commission. You can easily guess from what quarter this whole System comes. They have been obliged to adopt our Systems of War and Politicks in order to gain Influence enough, by means of them to lessen us. But I will consent upon these Terms to be diminished down to the Size of a Lillipution, or of an Animalcule in Pepper Water. There is no present Prospect of Peace, or Negotiation for it, and I confess I never expect to be called to act in Consequence of any of these Commissions about Peace, and therefore may be the more indifferent. When I was at Paris the articles of the mediating Courts were given me, and my Sentiments desired which I gave in detail, in a Correspondence which ||Congress|| has received from me, in two different Ways, So that they will have no Expectations of a Congress at Vienna unless the late Cornwallization Should excite them anew. In what Light does Nerone Neronior appear, by his last Speech, and by his answers to the addresses of both Houses in consequence of it! Clapping his Hands to his Hounds and Mastiffs, to persevere in worrying the innocent, although he must know they have nothing to hope for but death.5
This Evening was brought me, your dispatches to ||Congress|| of 4/15 of sept. with all the Papers inclosed in very good order.6 I Shall Send them by Dr Dexter by the Way of France, as there is no prospect of a Conveyance from hence Sooner. I am exceedingly pleased with this Correspondence, and hope that you Still harmonize, with your noble Correspondent. I am afraid he is too right in his Conjec• { 135 } tures, but am happy to find that your Sentiments upon the articles, were the Same, which I had expressed in my Letters to the C. de. V. upon the Subject. The articles however are not Sufficiently explicit. You have before now Seen the answers ||France and Spain|| to ||Russia and Austria||. Pray Send me Copies of them, if you can obtain them. I was told the Substance, but have no Copies. I was happy to find ||France, Spain, and America|| So well agreed in Sentiments.
I am very glad to find you can make any use of your Ward. I leave to your Judgment every Thing concerning him. Make him write to me, every Week by the Post.7 I am pleased with his observations in his Travels and with his cautious Prudence in his Letters.
We must have Patience, and must humour our Allies as much as possible consistent with our other Duties. I See no near Prospect of your being recd, any more than myself. But if, without being recd, we can gain and communicate Information We Shall answer a good End. I am at present apparently and I believe really upon good terms with the D. de la V. and the Miffs at Versailles and Passy Seem to be wearing away.
Let me intreat you to write me as often as possible. Our Country by all accounts is in great Spirits, Paper Money wholly stopped, every thing conducted in silver. Trade flourishing, although many Privateers and Merchant Vessells taken. Crops the finest ever known. G. B. has not lost less than 20,000 Men, the last twelve months in America. They will not be able to send 10. but if they could send 20, they would only give opportunities for more Cornwallizations and Burgoinizations.

[salute] With every Sentiment of affection and Esteam, your obliged Frid & sert

[signed] no matter for the name
P.S. Decr. 15. To day Mr S. arrived with your other Letters.8 I shall take the best care and shall answer you soon. I am still more happy to find you Still patient and in good Spirits. We shall do very well. I think you may expect some good News from me, eer long.
RC (MHi:Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr: Jno: Adams’s Letter Dated Decr: 14th. 1781 Recd. Decr: 30th.—O Stile Answerd Jany: 2/13th. 1782.” and “Answd: Decr: 31./Jany. 11 1781,2.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Dana’s letter was of [8 Sept. N.S.] vol. 11:478–482. JQA’s was of [1 Sept. N.S.]. JA replied to that letter on 14 Dec.Adams Family Correspondence, 4:206–207, 263).
2. CA. For Dana’s previous references to CA as “mon fils,” see vol. 10:60, 81, 138; see also his letter of 17 Dec. to JA, below.
3. Thaxter’s good fortune lasted until the end of May 1782 when he became severely ill, probably with malaria (from Nicolaas & { 136 } Jacob van Staphorst, 22 May, Adams Papers; to Benjamin Franklin, 24 May, to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 24 May, both LbC’s, Adams Papers.
4. This is JA’s first use of the code that Dana likely enclosed with his letter of [8 Sept.] (vol. 11:478–482). Dana began using the code in his letter of 17 Dec., below.
5. That is, George III was more like Nero than Nero himself. In his speech at the opening of the new session of Parliament on 27 Nov., George III lamented that the war continued, “prolonged by that restless ambition which first excited our enemies to commence it.” But, he noted, “no endeavours have been wanting on my part to extinguish that spirit of rebellion which our enemies have found means to foment and maintain in the colonies, . . . but the late misfortune in that quarter calls loudly for your firm concurrence and assistance, to frustrate the designs of our enemies, equally prejudicial to the real interests of America and to those of Great Britain.” The House of Commons, in their reply, remained “fully persuaded, that the principal view of the confederacy of our enemies, was to foment and maintain the rebellion in North America; . . . but your Majesty may rely on our steady assistance to second your Majesty’s endeavours to defeat the dangerous designs of our enemies, equally prejudicial to the real interests of America and to those of Great Britain” (Parliamentary Hist., 22:634–751).
6. With his letter to the president of Congress of 15 Sept. (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:708–714), Dana enclosed copies of his correspondence with the French minister at St. Petersburg, the Marquis de Vérac, notably Vérac’s replies of 2 and 12 Sept. to Dana’s letters of 1 and 4 Sept. (same, 4:684–685, 705–707, 683–684, 695–699). Vérac cautioned Dana against seeking to execute his mission to obtain Russian recognition of the United States because of its certain failure. He also revealed France’s acquiescence in the conditions set by Austria and Russia for U.S. participation in the peace conference under their mediation, namely that the Americans would be present as colonists, negotiating separately for the restoration of peace with Great Britain. Vérac’s letters, copies of which are in the Adams Papers, confirmed JA’s views of French policy and the futility of the Austro-Russian mediation. See also Dana to JA, [8 Sept.]8 Sept. (vol. 11:478–482); and, for JA’s views on American acceptance of the Austro-Russian mediation, see his July 1781 correspondence with Vergennes, also in vol. 11.
7. In the Letterbook is the canceled passage: “if you can employ him in Copying, for you, I am very willing he should have a private Master to teach him any Thing, you think proper never forgetting Latin Greek and Mathematicks.”
8. Stephen Sayre brought Dana’s letter of 22 Oct., above, and duplicates to Congress, but he also carried JQA’s letters to AA and JA of 23 Oct. (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:233–235).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0090

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-14

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I duly received your Excellency’s Favour of the 1st. and 6th Instant.
I wrote to you by Mr Barclay,1 who went from hence some Days since, and I hope is with you by this time, and that he will with your Assistance be able to settle every thing relating to the Goods. I have receiv’d a long Letter from Messrs. Neufville, the Purport of which is, that they are willing for their Parts to deliver the Goods to you but that they cannot controul the other Owners of the Ships, who have a Right by the Laws and Customs of Holland to detain the Goods for the Damage done by Capt. Gillon’s refusing to sign the { 137 } Charterparties, &c and hoping that I will not on Acct of the Conduct of the other Owners, refuse to pay the Bills, especially as such a Refusal would be derogatory to the Honour of the United States &c.2 I may be wrong, but my present Thoughts on the Subject are, that if by the Laws of Holland our Goods may be detained in the Hands of the Ship Owners for the Fault of Mr Gillon, by the same Laws the Property of one of those Owners may be detained in our Hands for the Fault of his Partners: And that it as much concerns the Honour of Holland that our Goods should be delivered to us, as it concerns the Honour of America that we should pay for them when delivered. And I farther think that if a Merchant in Holland happening to have of my Property in his Possession may by the Laws of his Country detain the same till I pay him whatever he shall please to demand as Indemnification for an Injury suppos’d to be done him by some other Person Holland is by no means a safe Country for Americans to trade with, nor a Dutch Merchant a safe Depository for the Property of a Stranger, or to be the Consignee of Merchandise sent into his Country.
You desire a Copy of the Terms on which he offer’d to borrow Money for us. At present I only send you an Extract, of the principal Points, much of the writing being Matter of Form.3 The first Proposition is, “That for the Security of this Loan of Two Million Gilders, Holland Currency, we engaged and hypothequed (his Words) to said Mr John de Neufville and Son of Amsterdam, or their Representatives, as we do engage and hypotheque to them in the Name of the whole Congress of the Thirteen United States of North America, generally all the Lands, Cities, Territories and Possessions of the said Thirteen States, so which they have and possess at present, as which they may have or possess in the future, with all their Income, Revenue and Produce, until the entire Payment of this Loan and the Interests due thereon.”
My Observation upon this was, that it demanded an extravagant Security for a trifling Sum; that it was lending little more than a Gilder on each Inhabitant’s Estate, and that it was absurd to require a Mortgage on my Estate for the Loan of a Gilder. He answer’d that this was usual in all Loans made in Holland to foreign States, and that the Money could not otherwise be obtain’d.
The Second Proposition was (verbatim, as the first) “That out of the Produces again through all those Thirteen States of America shall be send over and shipp’d to Europe, and chiefly or as much as possible to the Port of Amsterdam during the ten Years of this Loan { 138 } the Double of one Tenth Part of this Loan, to the Value of Four hundred Thousand Gilders, which as far as is possible they’l come to Amsterdam, shall be sold there by Mr. John de Neufville and Son, and what goes to other Ports by their Correspondents, and the Money kept at their Disposal for the Use of Congress at least during the first five Years; and during the last five Years of this Loan One half of this Money is to serve to decharge every year one Tenth Part of the Money borrowed, engaging that before the End of the Tenth Year there will be remitted in such a Manner, and left in Hands of said Mr John de Neufville & Son of Amsterdam, a sufficious Sum of Money to decharge this whole Loan with the Interest due thereon.”
You will observe that this Article is obscurely express’d; I was oblig’d to demand Eclaircissements in Conversation. The Conversation was also difficult to understand; Mr de N’s English not being then of the clearest. But from the whole after much Discourse, I gather’d, that we were to send over every Year for the first Five Years, in Tobacco, Rice, Indigo, Codfish, Oil, &c &c. the Value of 400,000 Gilders, to be sold by Messrs J. de N. & Son, for our Use, on a Commission, of Five per Cent; and that the Money was to remain in their Hands to enable them to pay off in the last 5 Years the Principal of the Loan, tho’ one half of it, was to remain in their Hands till the End of the Term. A subsequent Article (the 6th) also provided that 100,000 Gilders more should be annually sent over in Produce to them, and sold, &c. to discharge the Interest.
My Objections were, That if we were able to purchase Produce, in valu Two Millions of Gilders to lodge in the Hands of Messrs de N. & Son, we might use that Sum in our Affairs at home, and should have no Occasion to borrow it in Holland. That if we were to buy up this Value of Produce with the Money borrowed, and to lodge it in the Hands of Those Gentlemen; it would be borrowing Money to give them the Use of it for a Number of Years without Interest, while we were paying Interest for it ourselves. One would think this Project if it could take, might be sufficiently profitable for these Gentlemen; but in another Paper part French part English, propos’d for me to sign, it was to be stipulated, that after exchanging for the new Promesses all those transacted by Messrs Fizeaux & Grand to the amount of 40 or 50,000 Guilders, which Exchange was to be made without Charge, “pour le Reste de cet Emprunt il leur (Messrs de N. & Fils) sera alloué, outre les Conditions d’Interet, &c. contenus dans les Termes y stipulées, 1 per Ct. d’Interet, savoir { 139 } 10 per Ct une seule fois sur les Sommes qu’ils negocieront; et en outre 2 per Ct. encore y compris toutes les Allouances ordinaires et extraordinaires fraix a faire, et toute Commission, sans qu’ils pourront jamais rien exiger de plus a ce Sujet.”
Very gracious Terms these! by which after Stopping a Tenth Part of the Sum borrowed, they would be content with two per Ct. upon the Rest to defray Charges.
Besides this, I was led to understand, that it would be very agreable to these Gentlemen, if in acknowledgment of their Zeal for our Cause and Great Service in procuring this Loan, they could be made by some Law of Congress the general Consignee of America, to receive and sell upon Commission by themselves and Correspond- ents in the different Ports and Nations, all the Produce of America that should be sent by our Merchants to Europe. On my remarking the Extravagance and Impossibility of this Proposition, it was modestly reduc’d to the following, wherein I am suppos’d to say and sign,
“Je veux bien encore, pour les engager (Messrs de N. & Fils) à suivre avec le même Zêle qu’ils y ont employé jusqu’ici (pour) les Interets de l’Amerique, appayer de mes Recommendations leur Solicitations auprés du Congrés, pour qu’il leur soit accordé pour la Suitte, le Titre de Commissioners for Trade and Navigation, and Treasurers of General Congress, and every private State of the Thirteen United States of North America, through the Seven United Provinces; dont il leur sera alloué les Commissions regulieres et usitées de Commerce, Payement, et Emprunt, tels que d’honnetes negociants pourront les passer, sans en pretendre jamais d’autre Appointement. Donné a Passy le &c.”
By this time I fancy your Excellency is satisfy’d, that I was wrong in supposing J. de Neufville as much a Jew as any in Jerusalem, since Jacob was not content with any per Cents, but took the whole of his Brother Esau’s Birthright; and his Posterity did the same by the Cananites, and cut their Throats into the Bargain, which in my Conscience I do not think Mr. J. de Neufville has the least Inclination to do by us,—while he can get any thing by our being alive.
Dft (PPAmP:Franklin Papers).
1. From Franklin, 6 Dec., above.
2. Franklin is paraphrasing passages from Neufville & Fils’ letter of 7 Dec. (Franklin, Papers, 36:212–216).
3. Compare the terms given here by Franklin with those in the draft loan contract that Jean de Neufville & Fils offered to JA on 22 Jan. (vol. 11:72–75).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0091

Author: Brackett, Joshua
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-15

From Joshua Brackett

[salute] Dear Sir

A Nephew of mine, a lad of fifteen years Old, by Name Benjamin Brackett, went out a Cruize in the Ship of War of 20 Guns, Call’d the Scourge, from Salem, Commanded by Timothy Parker, was returning in a Prize to said Ship, fell in with the British Frigate Call’d the Chatham in this Bay, at the time she took the Megetion, took him and Carried him to Hallifax put him on Board the Prison ship, not many days after he was on board Came An Officer from the Attalanta Sloop of War, took him by Force, and Compell’d him to go On Board, the Attalanta Sloop of War, Notwithstanding the repeated intreaties of a Gentleman who was on Board the Prison ship, and the said sloop saild imediately for London, about three months since. If it should be in your Exelencys Power to get him Exchanged You will lay me under the Greatest Obligations, every Expence shall be most Chearfully paid your Order.1
I most Heartily Congratulate your Exelency On the Glorious Capture of Lord Cornwallis, and his Army, and the Happy Prospect there is of your Exelencys soon reaping the rewards of your great Exertions in securing the Independance of your Country.

[salute] I am with the Utmost Respect your Exelencys most Obedient Huml. Servt.

[signed] Joshua Brackett
NB I had my information from a man in this Town that was at that time on Board the prison with my Nephew.
1. JA probably received this letter in Feb. 1782 and then enclosed it with his to Edmund Jenings of 21 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0092-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-15

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Comme l’Assemblée d’Hollde. se séparera aujourd’hui en huit, je prends mes précautions domestiques, pour pouvoir aller passer le reste du mois, et une partie du suivant, à Amsterdam avec vous Monsieur, Si je ne vous incommode pas; et pour partir d’ici, pour cet effet, Samedi ou Dimanche 22 ou 23 du Courant. En attendant, je crois qu’il ne seroit pas mauvais Monsieur, que vous vinssiez pas• { 141 } ser la Semaine prochaine ici; outre que ce petit changement d’air, pourra, selon moi, être favorable à votre santé, je voudrois vous faire faire connoissance personnelle avec deux personnages du pays, afin que vous pussiez juger vous-même par leurs discours, de la marche qu’il Sera à propos de tenir, pour avoir enfin une réponse cathégorique. Nous irions alors ensemble à Amsterdam, Si vous pouviez rester jusqu’à Samedi ou Dimanche ici. Mais il faudroit venir ici Lundi ou Mardi prochain, afin que je pusse ménager l’entrevue chez moi avec ces Messieurs, qui ne sont pas sûrs d’avance du jour precis dont ils pourroient disposer.
Peut-être ne serez-vous pas faché, Monsieur, de faire aussi une visite à L’Ambr. de Frce., et d’avoir un entretien avec lui dans cet intervalle.1 Je ne l’ai point vu depuis huit jours au moins; et l’on ne sait Si son voyage pour Paris aura lieu ou non.
Voici une Drôlerie, dont la communication fera certainement plaisir à Mr. Cerisier.2 Je vous prie seulement, Monsieur, de ne point lâcher mon Ecriture mais de lui permettre seulement d’en prendre Copie, s’il veut.

[salute] Je suis toujours avec le plus sincere respect Monsieur Votre très humble & très obéissant serviteur

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0092-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-15

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Since the assembly of Holland will adjourn in a week, I am taking my domestic precautions in order to spend the rest of this month, and part of the next, with you in Amsterdam. If it is agreeable to you, perhaps we could leave from here on Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd. Meantime, I believe that it would be good for you, sir, to spend next week here. In addition to it being a chance to take some fresh air that might be beneficial to your health, it would also give me the opportunity to introduce you personally to two countrymen. Then you can judge for yourself, through their discourse, just what steps they propose to make to obtain, at last, a categorical response. If you can stay here until Saturday or Sunday, we will be together in Amsterdam. But you must come here next Monday or Tuesday, so that I can arrange the meeting with these gentlemen at my house. They are not sure ahead of time which day will be suitable for them.
Perhaps you would be so kind, sir, also at this time, to pay a visit to the French ambassador for a meeting.1 I have not seen him for a week and I do not know if he is going to Paris or not.
I have enclosed something amusing which I am sure will please Mr. { 142 } Cerisier.2 I only ask that you do not give it to him, but rather allow him make a copy of it, if he so chooses.

[salute] I am with the most sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
1. Upon receiving this letter, JA decided to go to The Hague on 18 Dec. to consult with members of the government and the French ambassador about demanding a categorical response from the States General to his memorial of 19 April (vol. 11:272–282). Dumas, however, wrote to JA on the 16th (Adams Papers) to inform him that the Duc de La Vauguyon was going to Amsterdam and would meet with him there. As a result, JA postponed until the 19th his journey to The Hague (to the president of Congress, 18 Dec., below) where, in addition to meeting with the Dutch officials, he again met with the French ambassador (to La Vauguyon, [20] Dec., below). JA probably returned to Amsterdam on 22 or 23 Dec. in the company of Dumas, for in a letter of 7 Jan. 1782 to the president of Congress, Dumas indicated that he had been with JA over the “vacation time” and would accompany him to The Hague on the 8th to demand a categorical answer from the States General to JA’s memorial of 19 April 1781 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:86).
2. Not identified.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0093

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-15

From John Jay

[salute]

The two last posts brought me your Favors of the 26 and 28th. Ult. It really gives me great Satisfaction at Length to see a prospect of a regular Correspondence between us. The Failure of my former attempts had almost discouraged me, tho’ from the frequent miscarriage of Letters to and from me, I had Reason to impute your Silence more to that than to any other Cause.
I have not recd. a Syllable from Congress nor from any of its members by the vessel which brought you the Instructions of the 16 augt.,1 but I by no means infer from thence that they did not write; for on more than one occasion I know that Letters for me have been put into the post Office which never came to my Hands, and I advise you never to write to me but under a Persuasion that your Letter will be inspected before I recieve it.
As to the Instructions—I had neither seen nor heard of them till the Rect. of your Letter. They appear to me to be wise, and I shall be happy to see the Object of them fully and speedily attained.
As to the Progress of my negociations here—I can only inform you that tho’ the last offers of america were made so long ago as July last, the Court has not as yet found it convenient to give me an answer. I could give you a particular History of Delays, but it would be useless. I could also communicate to You my Conjectures as to the real Causes of them, but by the Post it would be improper. In a { 143 } Word, it is not in my power to write any thing of Importance, but what I ought not to write by such a Conveyance, unless in Cypher.
Delay is and has long been the System, and when it will cease, cannot be devined. Mr Del Campo the ministers first and confidential Secretary has been appointed near three months to confer with me, and yet this appointment was not announced to me till the last week. I have not yet had a Conference with him. He has been sick, and it seems is not yet sufficiently recovered to do Business, &c &c &c.2
It will not be necessary to send me Copies of the Commission and Instructions you mention.3 The originals, intended for me, were brought by Majr. Franks in September last. I think it probable that Duplicates for me accompanied those you have recd, and I am the more inclined to this opinion from having lately recd. a Packet directed by Secy. Thomson, in which I found nothing but his Cypher endorsed in his Hand writing, but no Letter or Line from him or others. It was committed to the Care of Mr Barclay our Consul in France. He sent it to me by the post, and on comparing the Date of his Letter to me from LOrient, with the Time I recd. it, I find it was 13 Days on the Way; it had evident Marks of Inspection.
I am very much of your opinion, and for the same Reasons, that Peace is yet at a Distance; and therefore that I cannot soon expect to have the pleasure of seeing you, which I much desire for many Reasons.
As to Gibralter and minorca, it is difficult to conjecture when, or in what manner, the operations against them will terminate. For my own part I think their fate will remain in Suspence for some Time yet.
The Dutch certainly do not want Spritit, and I ascribe their want of vigour more to the Embarrassments they experience from the nature of their Government, and the anglican Connections of the ruling Family, than to any other Cause. A national Convention under the Protection of France would in my opinion be the most effectual Remedy for these Evils.
General Greene’s late action does great honor to him as well as to the american Arms. This, and the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, are most joyful and interesting Events. I am anxious to know what Influence they will have on the british Counsels.
If the alliance in agitation should promise to take Effect and draw near to a Conclusion, it would have much Influence here, and elsewhere.
{ 144 }
You shall have immediate advice of the first Change that may happen in our affairs here.
My Expectation are not very sanguine, but I confess to you, that it would not surprize me if the various Delays practiced here, should in the End prove more advantageous than injurious to our Interests.

[salute] I have the Honor to be with great Respect & Esteem Your Excellencys most obt. & most hble Servant

[signed] John Jay
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jay 15th. Decr. 1781.”
1. JA’s instructions from Congress, 16 Aug., to conclude a triple alliance between the United States, France, and the Netherlands or, should Spain agree to participate, a quadruple alliance (vol. 11:454–456).
2. For more detailed accounts of Jay’s efforts since July to persuade the Spanish government to recognize the United States and conclude a treaty, see his letters to the president of Congress of 3 Oct. 1781 and 6 Feb. 1782 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:738–765; 5:150–151) and Morris, Peacemakers, p. 241–243. Jay was all the more frustrated because in July, in accordance with Congress’ instructions, he had removed the most serious point of conflict between the United States and Spain by renouncing American claims to the navigation of the Mississippi River.
3. On 29 Aug., Jay received the Joint Commission to Negotiate a Peace Treaty and Congress’ Instructions to the Joint Commission to Negotiate a Peace Treaty, both 15 June (vol. 11:371–377). On 20 Sept., Jay wrote to the president of Congress to register a vigorous protest against the provision requiring the American negotiators to be governed by the “advice and opinion” of the French ministers and essentially invited Congress to replace him as one of its peace commissioners (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:716–718).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0094

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1781-12-16

To Benjamin Franklin

I have at last recieved Letters from Mr. Dana. Mr. Sayer arrived in town yesterday with Letters to me, and dispatches for Congress, which I shall transmit by the best opportunity. Three days before I had recieved a Letter which came by Sea, but had been almost four Months upon the passage.1
Mr. Dana appears to be in good Spirits. He has communicated himself to the Marquis de Verac, and has been very candidly as well as politely treated by that Minister. He had not communicated to the Russian Ministry his Mission, on the 4th of October the date of his Letter. But he finds friends there, and is in a Way to procure very important Information concerning the Politicks of all the Northern Courts. His opinion of Dutch Policy is not raised by his Journey to the North. But he speaks with great Respect of the Dutch Minister at Petersbourg, as a Patriot in the only good and true system in these times. He speaks prudently of the Prince de Potemkin, the Comte de Panin and the Comte D’Osterman. The { 145 } Comte de Panin is in the Privy Council, but has not yet reassumed his Office, as Chief Minister of foreign Affairs, altho’ he has returned to Court. The Court has recieved the Answers of Versailles and Madrid to the Articles, and he hopes soon to know the Reply of that Court. Can’t We obtain a Copy of the Answer of Versailles?
Is not the last Speech of the King of England and his Answers to the Addresses especially that of the Commons, rather inflammatory? This King’s Ministers and Governors, some ten or fifteen Years ago, used to charge me with making “inflammatory Harrangues.” I think I have now a good Right to recriminate upon their Master. He seems to be a very Boutefeu.2 But it must be confessed that his Ministers manage Holland and some of the Northern Powers with a great deal of Art and Address. The Answer of Lord Stormont to Mr. Simolin accepting the Mediation of Russia, between England and Holland is a Master piece.3 Its supream Excellence consists in its matchless Effrontery, which is certainly not to be imitated by any other Court or People under Heaven. Such extraordinary things sometimes have an effect directly contrary to what one would naturally expect, and therefore it is possible this may succeed. It will not however most certainly, if a certain Proposition, which I am instructed to make, should be made in time as I hope it will.

[salute] I have the honor to be,4 most respectfully, Sir your most obedient and most humble servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams Dec 16. 1781.”
1. From Dana, 22 Oct., above, and [8 Sept.]8 Sept. (vol. 11:478–482).
2. An incendiary or firebrand.
3. See JA to the president of Congress, 13 Dec., calendared above.
4. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0095

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-17

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I have been long waiting with great impatience to hear directly from you, my disappointment has been owing in part without doubt, to your late illness, from which I hope you have entirely recovered. This climate agrees very ill with my health; for more than a month past, I have been almost constantly visited with a very severe headach, perhaps it is to be attributed in some measure to the stove fires, of which I have given a particular account in my letter to Mr: Thaxter.1 Mr: Stephen Sayer who has probably arrived in your City before { 146 } this time, has the care of a packet for you. I sent another under cover to Mr: De Neufville, by water, the vessel sailed from hence about the middle of Septr.—passed the Sound sometime in Octr: and yet Mr: D. in his letters to me of the 20th. and 27th. of Novr: makes no mention of it. This makes me very anxious about my letters. The vessel was a Russian bottom, and the Capt: was charged to deliver them with his own hand, by his owners. Every precaution in my power was taken, and they must take their fate. Shou’d they come to hand I hope you will give me the earliest information of it.
I want to write to you upon a special matter which it wou’d not be prudent to do, till we have settled our Cyphers. Don’t neglect the scheme I sent you. I am convinced it wou’d with a little use, be attended with very little trouble to you. I am fully convinced also that even upon a supposition that my principal business shou’d not succeed, it will be no disadvantage to us that I have come on. I flatter myself I have already acquired some useful informations. My ideas of things here have been much corrected. I have seen something of the policy of Friends and Foes, at this Court. And shall at least know what we have to expect from the one and the other.
I live here on very good terms with ||Minister of Holland|| and find considerable advantage in this connection. I now see that ||Comte de Panin|| has no weight, and ||Comte D’Osterman|| is of less consequence still if possible. The Marq: De Verac told me the day before yesterday that Congress had appointed four Commissioners to negotiate a peace when the time shall come. He did not tell who they were, and for particular reasons I did not choose to ask him. I hope they are good Men and true. If he is not mistaken I shall doubtless soon hear of it from you. You must give yourself some trouble to keep me well informed of what is going on. I hear you have presented a second memorial.2 I wish it may have the desired effect. We received the great news of the surrender of Ld. Cornwallis and his Army on the 2d. inst:.3 Thus the very first rational plan which has been formed, has happily been crowned with the most ample success. The world in general must now see that nothing has been wanting to distroy the whole British Force in America but the proper direction of that of their Enemies. There is no saying yet what impression this great event may make here. The consequence in America, I think, will be the evacuation of Charlestown and all the British posts in Carolina, which will not only set that State free, but Georgia also. The British will not surely hazard such distant posts another Campaign; besides, they will want to { 147 } strengthen their principal post New-York. That they will hold to the last moment, at every hazard. But what think you of Peace, has this event brought it nearer? Will the British now think that France means seriously to co-operate with the United States? And will this conviction seriously incline the British Cabinet to Peace?
To give you my own sentiments, I think they will still affect to brave it out. I hope indeed they will. Our time has not yet come. The coming over to the Continent of Ld: Mansfield with his whole family, as is said, is matter of speculation. Has his Lordship who has been the Chief adviser of this wicked war, out of which indeed great good has come, now stepped forth as the Harbinger of a Peace? Or has his sagacity, foreseeing this capital event of the total loss of a second British Army, taught him to dread consequences fatal to his person and connections and to fly from them?
I am sorry to learn that mon Fils is again in Spain. How comes this about. Colo. Searle and Majr: Jackson I am told are there too. Your Son is very well and wou’d have wrote to you if this had been a private opportunity. I have not got an Instructor for him, nor are there any good ones to be had here. He pursues his Latin as well as he can. [I shall] change my lodgings in a few days. Mr: De Neufville will give [you the] address: though it is more expensive it may yet be adviseable, to write under cover.

[salute] I am, dear Sir, with the greatest esteem & respect, your much obliged Friend & obedient humble Servant

[signed] FRA DANA
P.S. My best regards to Mr: Thaxter and all friends near you. If Capt: Bell who went over to England while I was in Holland, has not bought the Abbe Raynal’s History of the Indies (in English), and Smith Wealth of Nations, for me, pray give the necessary directions to Messrs: Sigourney & Co: to send for the last Editions of both works, on my account, and to forward them in my name by the first good opportunity to Mr: Jona: Jackson. Mr: Thaxter will make the necessary enquiry about this Business. I have forgot whether I desired Bell to leave that with you, or with Messrs: Sigourney & Co:.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence Mr: Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats-Unis à Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mr Dana. Decr 6/17 1781.” Some damage to the text where the seal was removed has resulted in the loss of four words.
1. Not found.
2. JA had not presented a memorial since 4 May when he tried to present those of 19 April to the States General and William V (vol. 11:272–284).
3. Or, 13 Dec. N.S. Among Dana’s papers is an undated note informing him of Cornwallis’ surrender endorsed: “Account of the { 148 } capture of Ld. Cornwallis and his Army, recd. at St: Petersbourg Decr. 2d. O.S. written by the King of Prussia to the Count de Goetz his Minister, and by him communicated to me” (MHi:Dana Family Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0096

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-17

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have received the Packet, containing the Correspondence relating to the Goods. I suppose that Mr Barclay is there before this time, and the Affair in a way of Accomodation. Young Mr Neufville is here, but I have thought it best not to give him as yet any Hopes of my Paying the Bills unless the Goods are delivered. I shall write fully by next Post. This serves chiefly to acquaint you that I will endeavour to pay the Bills that have been presented to you, drawn on Mr Laurens. But you terrify me, by acquainting me that there are yet a great Number behind. It is hard that I never had any Information sent me of the Sums drawn, a Line of Order to pay, nor a Syllable of Approbation for having paid any of the Bills drawn on Mr Laurens Mr Jay or yourself. As yet I do not see that I can go any farther, and therefore can engage for no more than you have mention’d. With great Esteem, I have the honour to be Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0097

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-12-18

To the President of Congress

[salute] Sir

Having recieved an Invitation to the Hague, in order to have some Conversation with some Gentlemen in the Government concerning the further Steps proper for me to take in the present Conjuncture, I had determined to have undertaken the Journey to day: but the Arrival in Town of the Duke de la Vauguyon, determined me to postpone it until tomorrow. At noon to day, his Excellency did me the honor of a Visit, and a long Conversation upon the State of affairs, at my House. He informed me, that upon the Communication I had made to him, when he was here last in Person, and afterwards by Letter, of my new Commission and Instructions, he had written to the Comte de Vergennes; had explained to that Minister his own sentiments; and expected an Answer. His own Idea is, that I should go to the Hague in some Week, when there is a President whose Sentiments and Disposition are favourable, and demand an Answer { 149 } to my former Proposition, and afterwards that I should go round to the Cities of Holland, and apply to the several Regencies. He thinks that I may now assume an higher Tone, which the late Cornwallization will well warrant. I shall however take Care not to advance too fast, so as to be unable to retreat. His advice is, to go to the Hague tomorrow and meet the Gentlemen, who wish to see me there, and this I shall do.
I have been very happy hitherto, in preserving an entire good Understanding with this Minister, and nothing shall ever be wanting on my part, to deserve his Confidence and Esteem.
I have transmitted by two opportunities, one Capt. Trowbridge from hence, another by Dr. Dexter by the way of France, Dispatches from Mr. Dana at Petersbourg, by which Congress will percieve, that material Advantages will arise from that Gentleman’s Residence in that place, whether he soon communicates his Mission to that Court or not.
The English Papers, which I forward by this opportunity, will inform Congress of the state of things and Parties in England. The ministry talk of a new System. Perhaps they may attempt Rhode Island once more in Exchange for Charlestown, and try their Skill at intercepting our Trade.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams1
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 434–437); endorsed: “Sec for F. Affs.” and “Letter 18 Decr 1781 M Adams Read 18 March 1782.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. When JA published this letter in 1810, he followed it with the observation that “this conference with the French Ambassador convinced me that he was either well read in the negotiations of D’Avaux or that he had been counselled by the Dutch patriots—my friends: perhaps both” (Boston Patriot, 1 Sept. 1810). For the writings of Antoine de Mesme, Comte d’Avaux, see JA to the president of Congress, 15 Oct., 2d letter, and note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0098

Author: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-18

From Samuel Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

The Marquis de la Fayette is so obliging as to take the Care of this Letter, which, for the Sake of him, the Count de Noailles and others our french Friends, who take Passage with him in the Alliance, I hope will arrive safely. In the same Conveyance, there is a Packett intended for you from Congress,2 by which you will doubtless be informd of what has been doing there. It is six Months since { 150 } I left Philadelphia. You cannot therefore expect that I should give you any of the Intelligence of that City. I presume Mr L makes known to you every thing that is interesting.3 I wrote to you frequently while I was there, and suppose all my Letters have miscarried, as well as yours, if you have written to me, for I have not receivd one for many Months, except a Line by the Seiur de la Etombe,4 to whom I pay great Attention, both on Account of your Recommendation and his Merit. I give you Credit for a Packett of Gazzettes lately receivd, because I knew the Direction on the Cover was your hand writing.
Matters go on here just as you would expect from your knowledge of the People. Zealous in the Great Cause, they hesitate at no
Labor or Expence for its Support. Anxious to have a Code of Laws for the internal Government, adapted to the Spirit of their new Constitution, the General Court have appointed the Supreme Judges, with Mr Bowdoin who is at present perfectly at Leisure, to revise the Laws, and report necessary or proper Amendments.5 The two great Vacancies in the offices of President, and Professor of Mathematicks in our University are filled with Gentlemen of Learning and excellent Characters, the Revd Mr Willard of Beverly and the Rev Mr Williams of .6 The Accademy of Arts and Sciences is in a flourishing Way. A new Society is incorporated by the Name of the Medical Society.7 And this Metropolis has lately appointed a Committee to consider the present Arrangement of the Schools and report what further Improvements may be made; in which the better Education of female Children is designd to be comprehended.8 All these things, I know are pleasing to you. Our People treat Foreigners of Merit who come among them with Good Humour and Civility; being desirous of adopting the virtuous Manners of others and ingrafting them into our Stock. Laudable Examples on their Side and ours will be productive of mutual Benefit. Indeed the Men of Influence must form the Manners of the People. They can operate more towards cultivating the Principles and fixing the Habits of Virtue, than all the Force of Laws. This I think is verified by the Experience of the World; and should induce those People who exercise the Right of electing their own Rulers, to be circumspect in making their Choice. You are well enough acquainted with the Character of our first Magistrate,9 to judge what Effects his Influence may have upon Manners.
Inclosd are some of the Proceedings of a late Town Meeting, which I send to you as a private Citizen, for your mere Informa• { 151 } tion.10 The Meeting was called in Consequence of a Letter receivd by our Selectman from Marblehead, in which it was proposd that the Subject should be considerd in a Convention of the Maritime Towns. But this Town judgd it more proper to lay the Matter before the General Court, and have accordingly instructed their Representatives, and recommended it to the others to take the same Method. They could not think it becoming in them to write to you, though a fellow Citizen, on a Subject which concerns the American Republick, altho they have an intire Confidence, in your Attachment to the Interest of the United States, and to this Commonwealth which is an essential Part of them.
Please to pay my due Regards Mr Dana, Mr Thaxter &c. I rejoyce to hear of the Welfare of one of your Sons, whom we had almost given up as lost. The Count de Noailles tells me, he has a Letter for you from your Lady.11
Mrs Adams sends Compls. Miss has changed her Name and left her Fathers House.12

[salute] Your affectionate

[signed] Saml Adams
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr S. Adams. ansd March 2. 1782.” Filmed at [ante 2 March 1782] (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356). For the enclosure see note 10.
1. This date is derived from Samuel Adams’ second letter to JA of this date, below.
2. See the letter from Robert R. Livingston, 20 Nov., and note 8, above.
3. Samuel Adams left Congress in late April (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 18:xvii). He probably refers to James Lovell, whose last extant letter, other than a brief note of 3 Oct. introducing a Mr. Gibbs of Salem (Adams Papers), was of 21 June (vol. 11:381–383).
4. JA to Samuel Adams, 11 March (vol. 11:194, note 1).
5. The General Court commissioned James Bowdoin, William Cushing, Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant, David Sewall, James Sullivan, Robert Treat Paine, and John Pickering as members of the committee to revise the laws in a resolution of 30 Nov. 1780 (Mass., Acts and Laws, 1780–1781, Oct. 1780 sess., ch. 98).
6. Joseph Willard was installed as president of Harvard on 19 Dec. (Boston Independent Chronicle, 27 Dec.), at which time he announced that the college had awarded honorary doctorates to the Chevalier de La Luzerne, Arthur Lee, and JA; see also Adams Family Correspondence, 4:242–243. Samuel Williams of Bradford, Mass., was installed as the Hollis Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy on 2 May 1780 (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 15:135–137).
7. The General Court granted a charter to the Massachusetts Medical Society in November (Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society . . . 1781–1922, Norwood, Mass., 1923, p. 63–67).
8. On 14 Dec. the Boston Town Meeting voted to form a committee chaired by Samuel Adams to “take into consideration the present arrangement of the publick Schools in the Town; and to Report what further improvements—may be made thereon, as soon as may be.” This committee apparently made no report and no further mention of educational reform has been found until 23 Sept. 1789, when a new committee was formed of which Samuel Adams was also a member. As a result of that committee’s work, the town meeting adopted a “new System of education” on 16 Oct. 1789 that explicitly provided for the education of “both Sexes” (Boston Record Commissioners, 26th Report, p. 220; 31st Report, p. 205–206, 208–210).
9. Gov. John Hancock.
10. The enclosure, filmed at 14 Dec. (Adams Papers, Microfilms, { 152 } Reel No. 355), consists of extracts from the minutes of Boston Town Meetings held on 11 and 14 Dec. (Boston Record Commissioners, 26th Report, p. 220; 31st Report, p. 214–217, 219). On the 11th the Town Meeting voted instructions to the town’s representatives in the General Court “to procure an Application to Congress, that they would give positive Instructions to their Commissioners for negotiating a Peace to make the right of the United States to the Fishery an Indispensible Article of the Treaty.” On the 14th the Town Meeting approved a circular letter to the maritime towns in which it set down the reasons why it had instructed its representatives regarding the fisheries and called on them to do the same.
11. From AA, 9 Dec. (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:255–261).
12. Samuel Adams’ daughter Hannah married Thomas Wells on 1 June (Boston Record Commissioners, 30th Report, p. 448).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0099

Author: Adams, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-18

From Samuel Adams

[salute] My dear Sir

I have already written to you this Day by the Marquis de Lafayatte. This passes thro the Hands of Count de Noailles whom you did me the Honor to introduce to me.1 I duly acknowledgd the Receipt of your Favor which he brought me; but the Loss of my Letter was attended with an infinitely greater, that of Collo Palfrey. I wrote to you largely by him.
The Son in Law of one of our good Friends has lately arrivd here from England, which gives great Disgust to more Persons than his near Relations conceive of.2 On his Arrival, the Governor and Council directed him to state his Reasons for going to England and returning hither without the Leave of Government. He stated his Reasons; which in general were to render Service to the United States, particularly by removing the Ideas which the British Ministry had conceivd, of the Attachment of nine tenths of the Americans to that Government, and their Wishes to return to it. However frivolous this may appear to others, his nearest friends speak of it, can you beleive me, in a high Tone, and Mr — told me that Mr — was happy in being conscious not only of Innocence, but of great Merit. Those who hope for a Change of Person in our first Magistrate next Spring will be much embarrassd by this Circumstance.

[salute] Adieu my Friend

[signed] S A.
1. To Samuel Adams, 18 March 1780 (vol. 9:59–61).
2. For JA’s observations on the return of John Temple, James Bowdoin’s son-in-law, to America and an account of his fate when he reached Massachusetts, see JA to the president of Congress, 16 Aug., 1st letter, and note 1 (vol. 11:449–452); see also Richard Cranch to JA, 3 Nov. (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:240–243). For the summons issued by the Mass. Council on 26 Oct. ordering Temple to appear before it and Temple’s response, see MHS, Colls., 6th ser., 9 (1897):464–469.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0100

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1781-12-20

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

It has been insinuated to me, that the Spanish Ambassador, here, has Instructions from his Court, to enter into Negotiation with their high mightinesses, concerning an alliance between Spain and the Republick. If this fact has come to your Excellencies Knowledge, and there is no Inconvenience nor Impropriety in communicating it to me, I Should be very much obliged to you, for the Information, not from Curiosity merely but for my Government in the Steps I may have to take.
By my late Instructions, of which your Excellency has a Copy, I am to inform myself, concerning the Progress of American Negotiations, at the Court of Spain, and if an alliance Shall have been entered into, between his Catholic Majesty and the United States to invite his Catholic Majesty into the alliance proposed between France their High mightinesses and the Congress: if no Such alliance Shall have been formed; to receive his Catholic Majesty, Should he manifest a disposition to become a Party, &c.
Congress have wisely enjoined it upon me, to confer in the most confidential manner, with your Excellency, and I have made it a Law to myself, to take no material Step in this Negotiation, without your approbation: but my Instructions Seem to make it necessary to take Some measures, at least to Sound the disposition of the Spanish Ambassador. I would therefore beg Leave to propose to your Consideration and to request your opinion whether you think it adviseable for me to do myself the Honour of making a Visit to the Spanih Ambassador, and communicating to him the Substance of my Instruction as far as it relates to the Court of Madrid; or whether it would be better to communicate it by Letter, or whether Your Excellency will be so good as to take upon yourself, to make this Communication, and inform me of the Result of it.
I am advised here to wait on the President of their high Mightinesses, as soon as possible, and demand a categorical answer, to my former Proposition, and then to wait on the Grand Pensionary, and Mr Secretary Fagel, and in turn upon the Pensionaries of all the Cities of Holland, to inform them of the demand made to the President. But I Submit it to Consideration whether it will not be expedient, to communicate the Project of a triple or Quadruple alliance to some confidential Members of the States, in order to2 give more { 154 } Weight to my Demand, to the Pensionaries of Dort Harlem and amsterdam for Example with Permission to them to communicate it, where they shall think it necessary.3
The Court of Great Britain, are manifestly, availing themselves of the Mediation of Russia in order, to amuse this Republick and restrain it from exerting itself in the War and forming Connections, with the other belligerent Powers, without intending to make Peace with her upon any Conditions which would not be ruinous to her. It is therefore of the last Importance, to Holland, as well as of much Consequence to the other belligerent Powers to draw her out of the Snare, which one should think might be now easily done, by a Proposition of a tripple or quadruple alliance.
Tomorrow Morning at ten, I propose to do myself the Honour of waiting on your Excellency, if that hour is agreable, in order to avail myself, more particularly of your sentiments upon these Points.4 In the mean time, I have the honour to be, with the most perfect Respect and Consideration, sir, your most obt
Dft (Adams Papers). Filmed at (Dec. 1781, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 355).
1. This date is derived from La Vauguyon’s reply of 20 Dec. confirming JA’s meeting with him the next morning (Adams Papers).
2. To this point this sentence was interlined. The remainder of it was written in the left margin and marked for insertion here.
3. The following paragraph was written after the closing and marked for insertion at this point.
4. Apparently, JA never made any representations to the Spanish ambassador. Regarding the plan to seek a categorical reply from the States General to JA’s memorial of 19 April, see La Vauguyon’s letter of 30 Dec., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0101

Author: Vinton, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-20

From Thomas Vinton

[salute] Dear Sir

I am Sorry to Acquant you that I am Now Confined in this Prison I was taken the 10th of June Last by the Queen Charlotte Priveteer Belonging to London and was Striped of all my Cloaths And Left Nothing only what I had on. Excuse my Freedom in Writeing to you for alitle Cash to Supply my Pesent Wants as I Reayly Stand in Great Need for it and if it should be my Lot to Come to france I make no Dout but I Shall be able to make you amends for it and if I Should not I am well Assured that my Fathe will Make you ample Satisfaction for it When I Left home your Family was all well Like wise your Father in Law and his Family.
{ 155 }
I have had Lately the Small Post and a heavy fit of Sickness after it but thank god I have got the Great Deal the Better of and hope to be Restored to my former Strength again.
I am Mr Thomas Vinton’s Son Liveing about a Mile and a half of you house my Sitwation wont pemit me to Write at Large So I Must Conclude With Whiching this few Lines may find You in a Perfect State of health So I Remain Your Humble Servant
[signed] Thomas Vinton1
This leater that you find in hear is to my father and I Shall Bee very much oBlige to you if you would Send it the first Chance that you have.
thomas Vinton
1. Thomas Vinton was one of several Braintree and Milton natives captured on the Salem privateer Essex. For the most detailed account of JA’s efforts on the prisoners’ behalf, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:255–261.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0102

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-12-24

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I have received your favours of the 21. and 23d,1 and have now to inform you that Mr Barclay Consul General of the United States is arrived in Town, and his commercial Knowledge as well as the nature of his office, make it proper, that I should relinquish to him, as I do, all the Care, that I might before have had of the continental Goods, as Dr Franklin has done. He will endeavour to finish this Business with the utmost dispatch.
I think however that the United States have great Reason to complain of the Rejection of a Proposal So reasonable as that, of an arbitration. Mr Barclays first object will be I presume to get the Possession of the Goods. Before the Goods are delivered to him, it will be impossible for me to make any Representations to Passy.
You have never yet Stated what was the first Cost of the Vessells. I beg that the accounts may be made up immediately that We may know how many Guilders are demanded of us.

[salute] I have the Honour to be

1. Not found. This may indicate that JA gave them to Barclay.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0103

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-24

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I receivd your Excellencys Letters of the 29th ultm.1 and 1st Instant yesterday and (not before) to my great Surprize and Yesterday was out of the Course of the Dutch post which arrivd to day. I was fearful that your Excellency had not quite recovered of your Illness in the Summer, the Nature of which is to Continue some time without great care. That your Excellency has been very busy I can well conceive, for I am sure you Are never Idle in the public cause.
I am happy to find that the Liberty I took in respect to the Illustrious Sufferer meets with your Excellenys approbation. Your Excellencys offer to reimburse the Sum proposed to be offered was unnecessary on many Accounts, but I thank you greatly for the manner in which you did it.
My Friend has a Communication with our Excellent Countryman, and has imparted to me what He said to the Governor of the Tower, videt.
“When I was in prosperity I thought myself and was generally esteemd an honest Man, Adversity hath discovered to me a Secret, I am very proud. I Hope however my pride is Laudable and becoming, I am too honest to borrow and too proud to beg.”
These are the Sentiments of a great Mind. With respect to the offer made to Him by a person unknown to Him. He says:
“I have often heard of E J. and always in Terms respectful and honorable tell Him how Much I feel myself obliged by His benevolent attention, which I Hope to relate in America. Explain my Case to Him, and say: that all I requird was permission to make Use of my own funds, or in Case of refusal, a Suitable Provision to be made for my Subsistance. While they refused or Shamefully neglected to do either, my circumstances and prospects were extreamly unpleasent but you my Friend are Master of the Subject, I have seen no Exaggeration, on the Contrary will if Ever it shall become Necessary add much to the late publications.” (Meaning those in the Courant began the 23 of Novr. and Ending the 28th.)2
Your Excellency will excuse the vanity I shew in transcribing the above passage as far as it relates to me, but I was forced to do it for the Sake of what followed.
Mr L says on the 5th Instant.
“Altho I am Very sick, yet somewhat more Composed than yester• { 157 } day, the fever has intermitted except there remains a deadly Heavyness in my Head. I continue to take the bark, and this Evening shall Submit to another Plaister of Flies. I do not feele as If I was in any Danger, but want of Sleep, of appetite and other wants and pains may very soon make me feele this is the first Time I have been able to use my pencil for some days, nor have I been able to read (my chief amusement) for many: Gods will be done.”
Your Excellency sees by the Above that He has refused the offer made Him. He has between 800 and 1000£ in the hands of Mr John Nutt.3 He says that He has a Hint given Him that his Enlargement is not far off—my Friend doubts it, but it is possible.4 He shall Know your Excellencys feelings for his Scituation by the next post.
The London Gazettes says that Kempenfelt has taken Eleven Transports containing 1000 men out of Guichens fleet.5
The most violent Englishmen here are exceedingly dejected.
I write to Madrid under Cover to Messrs Drouichets & Co banquiérs. The last letter says that Court is the same as ever, your Excellency understands how that is, better than I do.6 But I guess not too Good, Wise or active.
I trouble your Excellency to make my Compliments to Mr Thaxter and to beg Him to enquire after a Greek Hymn published at Amsterdam and supposed to be Homers.

[salute] I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Sert.

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings. 24. Decr Ansd 26. 1781.”
1. JA wrote two letters to Jenings on 29 Nov., both the first and second letters areabove. The first was never sent.
2. Henry Laurens’ letters quoted by Jenings here and later in this letter have not been further identified, but for Laurens’ comments regarding his treatment and financial situation, see Laurens, Papers, 15:380, and passim. For the accounts emphasizing the harshness and injustice attending Laurens’ captivity published by the London Courant, 22–27 Nov., see JA to Martha Laurens, 1 Dec., and note 1, above. On 28 Nov. the Courant was devoted almost wholly to George III’s speech to Parliament the previous day and the subsequent debate.
3. For Laurens’ attempts to obtain the release of funds held by John Nutt, a London merchant, see Laurens, Papers, 15:370–371, 377, 379–382, 408–409, 453–454.
4. Edmund Burke was actively promoting the exchange of Laurens for John Burgoyne during this time. Edward Bridgen, Jenings’ “Friend,” probably was aware of Burke’s efforts (Laurens, Papers, 15:389, 418, 432–434).
5. On 12 Dec., Adm. Richard Kempenfelt’s fleet of 12 ships of the line encountered 19 French ships of the line convoying over 100 merchant men. Because of the disparity between the strengths of the two fleets, Kempenfelt declined battle but managed to capture 14 transports carrying stores and 1,000 troops because of a tactical error by the French commander, Guichen. Reports of the encounter appeared in the London newspapers, including the London Courant and the Morning Herald, on or about 18 December. For an examination of Kempenfelt’s actions and the charge that he was sent to sea with too few ships, see Mackesy, War for America, p. 446–448.
{ 158 }
6. The letter to which Jenings refers has not been otherwise identified but was probably from either John Jay or William Carmichael. See John Jay’s letter of 15 Dec., above, for his comments on the Spanish court.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0104

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-12-25

To the President of Congress

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.
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 438–441)). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:70–71)).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0105

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-12-25

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 25 December 1781. RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 442–444). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:71–72. This letter consists of an English translation of Prussia’s declaration of 8 Dec., intended to remove any questions about the identity of Prussian ships trading in accordance with its previous ordinances of 30 April and 3 November. For the ordinance of 30 April, which stated that Prussia would maintain a strict neutrality according to the principles set down in the declaration of the armed neutrality, see JA to the president of Congress, 21 May, calendared (vol. 11:327). For the 3 Nov. ordinance establishing rules for identifying Prussian ships, see Scott, ed., Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, p. 414–417.
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 442–444). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev.), 5:71–72.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0106

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1781-12-26

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dear Sir

Your favour of the 24 was brought to me last night. It is true that I am not quite recovered of my Illness, I have Weaknesses and a { 159 } Lameness that is new to me. Ill Health is no Novelty to me, but Disobedience in my Legs and Feet, was unknown to me, untill I had the late Fever. I walk, however every day and find that I grow better, though but slowly.
Laurens has most certainly an honest soul. I think he must have his Liberty e’er long. Congress have it in their Power to imprison a whole Army, and Surely there is no stronger Reason for confining Mr L. than Mr Lovell or Gen. Lee.1
The Hymn to Ceres, I bought Sometime ago at Leyden, and have hunted for it every where in order to Send it you. But it is lost. I have not yet found it in this Town, will procure it, as soon as I can. I sent the 1st Vol of Pol. Holl. by Dr Dexter, and will send 2d Vol as soon as it is finished.
The Dutch will not accept the Mediation of Russia, but upon two preliminary’s 1. The Enjoyment of all the Rights of the maritime Neutrality. 2d a compleat Indemnification, for all the Losses, Sustained in the War. The English will never agree to either. So this little Bubble will burst like the great one of Vienna. But when will the Powers, leave off, this boyish Sport of blowing Bubbles with Tobacco Pipes and soap suds?
You Say the most violent Englishmen are exceedingly dejected: So, I am told they are here. They look as malicious as the Devil. But why do they not quit the Career, in which they will never find an End of their Mortifications?—a Career in which every Appearance of success, is a Misfortune and every Signal Defeat a Blessing?
It is no such Miracle. There are in England and Scotland five Millions and an half of Inhabitants—there are in the United States, four Millions. The former were at the Commencement of the War 140 Millions in Debt the latter not a farthing. The former were undone with Luxury and Corruption the later not quite. There is no Marvel therefore, in the Issue, They should have considered these Things twenty years ago, but they would not. G. Britain carries on the War, and pays her Interest and maintains her Govt at an Expence of <ten or fifteen> 25 or 30 Millions a Year America does not Spend two. This cannot last always. But many Reasons might be given in support of this opinion that the longer it lasts the better it will be for America in the End. If the Lion is killed Young Hercules will have the Skin. He does not want it however because he can be warm and comfortable without it.

[salute] With great Respect, I have the Honour to be, &c

[signed] J. Adams
{ 160 }
1. For another comparison between Henry Laurens’ situation and the earlier captures and exchanges of James Lovell and Gen. Charles Lee, see JA to Thomas Digges, 14 Oct. 1780 (vol. 10:266–267).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0107

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1781-12-26

To Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Gentlemen

I recieved the Letter with which You honored me yesterday.1
Mr. Barclay’s Office gives him full Authority in the Affair of the Goods, and his Abilities and Experience enable him to do every thing that can be done: so that I shall with great pleasure leave the whole affair to him, ready however at all times to render him any service in my power.
It gives me great pleasure to learn that the affair is in a way to be settled. Mr. Barclay has written to his Exy. Dr. Franklin, and his Representation will be more proper and more effectual than any thing could have been from me. My own Sentiments concerning the Bills I had sometime ago written to his Excelly., and he has recieved them.

[salute] I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Gentlemen, your most obedient & humble Servant

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0108

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Searle, James
Date: 1781-12-26

To James Searle

[salute] Dr Sir

Your two favours of Decr 3 and that of December 14, are before me.2 Mr Barclay is arrived, to my great Relief: His office and Character as well as your Recommendations entitle him to every Respect and Civility from me.
You favour from L’orient I answered, and transmitted under Cover to Mr Cummings, Some Dispatches from Gover Read. I condole with you, under the Loss of Mrs Searle:3 But Such is the Constitution of the World, and Under the Loss of Friends Fortunes, &c all We have to do is to Submit. Your Resolution to Spend the Remainder of your Days in Europe, may not prove to be a Law of the Medes,4 whether, however in Europe or America, I wish you success and Prosperity.
{ 161 }
Mr Bondfield has acted hitherto, for the Public at Bourdeaux, and has ever behaved well, as far as I have known. I Suppose that he will expect to be continued in the Service and to be Vice Consul or Consul, if Congress should appoint Such an officer for that Place. But perhaps Congress will, not appoint any but the Consul General and leave him to employ Such Persons as his Agents in other Cities as he pleases.
The Secretaryship for the Mission to Versailles, I am convinced will never be filled up, while the present Minister lives, unless it should be with the young Gentleman.5 The Commission for Peace is new modelled. The Ministers to Versailles and Madrid, Mr Laurens in the Tower and Mr Jefferson in America, are added in the new Commission: and there is no Secretary appointed. Mr Dana, is Still at Liberty to Act in it, in certain Circumstances, which however will not happen, because the Commission itself will not be called to Act a long time.
Portugal is but an English Colony, and never in my opinion will have any Thing to do with america while the War lasts. Thus you See, that I have no great Expectations, of your Succeeding in any Thing of a public Nature in Europe at present. Your Wish to be Vice Consul or Consul in Case another Should be appointed, is modest enough to be sure but you know that Congress have always many applications, and they weigh the Pretensions of all, very carefully. Your appointment would be very agreable to me, but all I can do in it, is to mention it to some of my friends. <But you know that my particular Friends in Congress are influenced by nobody, and no Consideration but the public good.>
As to your Sic Vos non Vobis Vellera fertis oves.6 It is true that I am a sheep and that I have been fleeced, but it gives me some Pleasure to reflect that my wool makes others warm. No I had rather Say I am a Bird, that my feathers have been plucked and worn as ornaments by others. Let them have the Plumage if they will it is but a Geugaw. However away with all this. It would be more just to say that We are all too much Addicted to disputing for the Feathers before We are quite in Possession of the Bird.
What do you mean by Ebenezer Kennersley?7 I dont Understand you. Your Sprightly Wit is a Proof to me that your Health is better, and it has a friendly effect upon mine.

[salute] I am with much Esteem, your Frd & hul sert

{ 162 }
1. The recipient’s copy of this letter was intercepted when the brig Betsey, bound from Nantes to Philadelphia, was captured and taken into New York (New York Royal Gazette, 3 July 1782). The letter was printed in the Royal Gazette of 10 July. A copy of the letter as reprinted in the Philadelphia Freeman’s Journal, 7 Aug., is in the Adams Papers (filmed at 30 April 1782, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356). When JA published this letter in the Boston Patriot, 12 Sept. 1810, he noted, “this insignificant letter was intercepted by the enemy, and the ministry thought fit to print it in the newspapers; no doubt with the generous design of exciting miffs among Americans. Among those seized at St. Eustatia were some of more importance, but those they carefully suppressed.”
2. Neither of these letters has been found.
3. Ann Smith Searle died on 23 Sept. (Pennsylvania Gazette, 17 Oct.).
4. JA may be referring to Daniel, 6:15, “Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree or statute which the king establisheth may be changed”; but similar statements appear in Daniel, 6:8, 12, and Esther, 1:19.
5. William Temple Franklin.
6. That is, you sheep have fleeces not for yourselves (attributed to Virgil).
7. Presumably Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley, Baptist minister and Franklin’s friend and associate in his electrical experiments (DAB; Franklin, Papers, 4:192). Without Searle’s letter, the meaning remains unclear.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0109

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-26

From Robert R. Livingston

No 3
1st. Copy

[salute] Dear sir

It is very long since we have had the pleasure of hearing from you. Before this you will probably have received two Letters of mine and a duplicate of the last goes with this.1
Nothing material has happened since the date of that, except the Evacuation of Wilmington,2 which was, as you know, a very important port, as it checked the trade of North Carolina, and kept up a dangerous connection with almost the only Tories on the continent who have shewn spirit enough to support their principles openly. This new sacrifice by Britain, of their partizans conspiring with that made by the capitulation of York must open their eyes, and teach them what the experience of ages should have taught, that those friendships are weak which arise from a fellowship in guilt. Our army and the French troops are in quarters, the first in the Jersies, and upon Hudson’s river, the last in Virginia. General Greene will be reinforced by about eighteen hundred men under st. Clair.3 The Enemy are shut up in New York, savannah and Charlestown. Tho’ I believe they may yet have one or two posts near the latter, which they will keep ’till st Clair joins Greene. Count de Grasse is in the West Indies with so formidable an armament as promises the most important success, as during the winter when joined by the force { 163 } that has sailed from Brest, and So many of the Spanish fleet as are prepared to co-operate with him, he will have about fifty Sail of the line under his command.
I enclose several resolutions of congress, which will convince you that their late successes have not rendered them supine or negligent—the spirit which animates them will pervade most of the States.4 I need not suggest to you the use that should be made of this information, You will see at once that it should not be buried or paraded, that it should be discovered, but not displayed. I am persuaded that your own knowledge of the World and the particular situation of the Government you are in, will direct you to the best means of rendering it useful to this Country. I also enclose an ordinance relative to captures and recaptures, lately passed by Congress,5 you will observe that it is formed upon the plan recommended by the armed neutrality, it does credit in that view to our moderation, perhaps the conduct of Britain, and the neglect of the neutral powers to enforce their own regulations, may render the policy of the measure doubtful, this however gives new force to the deductions drawn from it in favor of our moderation and justice. You will also observe that it uses means to put an entire stop to all kind of commerce with Britain or in British manufactures. In consequence of this, new habits and new fashions must be introduced, wise nations will not neglect this favorable moment to render them subservient to the interest of their own commerce and manufactures. This affords you a topic which you need not be urged to enlarge upon. I am very fearful that you will not fully understand the cyphers in which my last Letters are written. I had them from the late committee of foreign affairs, tho’ they say they never received any letters from you in them. Mr Lovell has enclosed what he thinks may serve as an explanation. I would recommend it to you to write to me in Mr Dumas his cypher, till I can send you, or you send me one by a safe hand.6 Should you be at Paris, Doctor Franklin has Dumas’s cyphers. And now, sir, for all this american intelligence, let me receive from you a full return in European commodities of the same kind; I do not hesitate to impose this task upon you, because I know it is one that you have never neglected, and that you fully impressed with the idea of its importance to us. Among other things, I am persuaded Congress would wish to know the success of your loan, and your prospects. The disposition of the government and the strength of the marine of the united Provinces, { 164 } its objects and preparations for the ensuing campaign—the negociations which may be carrying on at present either for peace or War. The designs, finances and marine of Russia—I shall also apply to Mr Dana for information on this subject, but it will be much more practicable to correspond with him thro’ you, than to get Letters to him at this season of the Year from here. I shall however attempt both. I am too well acquainted with your industry and patriotism to think that you will repine at any trouble that this may give you. You know that Congress have a right to the fullest information from their ministers, and that their ministers have similar demands on them. I shall endeavour as far as lies in my power, to satisfy the last in future, since that charge has now devolved to me. I enclose a number of newspapers, they may afford you some information and amusement.

[salute] I have the honor to be sir, with great respect & esteem Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble servant

[signed] Robt R Livingston
RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “No. 3. 1st. Copy Secretary Livingston containg a No. of Res. of Congress 26th. Decr. 1781.” For the enclosures, see notes 4, 5, and 6.
1. Of 23 Oct. and 20 Nov., both above.
2. Wilmington, N.C., Cornwallis’ former base of operations, was evacuated on 14 November. Its garrison, together with a large number of Loyalists, went to Charleston (Greene, Papers, 9:634–635).
3. Gen. Arthur St. Clair’s force joined Greene’s army on 4 Jan. 1782 (same, 10:157).
4. The enclosed resolutions are dated 30 Oct., 2 and 23 Nov., and 10 December. The first called on the states to provide their quota of the eight million dollars appropriated for the war department and civil list, while the second established the precise quota for each state. The third resolution recommended that the states establish courts to punish infractions of the law of nations, including violations of safe conducts or passports; hostilities toward nations friendly or allied with the United States; contravention of the immunities of diplomatic representatives; and the failure to honor provisions of treaties to which the United States was a party. The last resolution requested that the states supply their quota of men for the army by 1 March 1782, each soldier to serve for three years or the duration of the war (JCC, 21:1087–1088, 1090–1091, 1136–1137, 1163–1164).
5. Enclosure not found. On 4 Dec., Congress adopted an ordinance, to come into force on 1 Feb. 1782, that established “what captures on water shall be lawful” and revoked all previous regulations on the subject. With regard to neutral trade, it brought American maritime practice into accordance with the provisions of the armed neutrality and the Franco-American commercial treaty by establishing the rule that free ships made free goods, except in the case of contraband or ships going to a blockaded port. It also provided that from 1 March 1782 all British merchandise, with very limited exceptions, would be “liable to capture and condemnation” if found within three miles of the coast (same, 21:1153–1158).
6. For Lovell’s renewed effort to explain his cipher, see his letter of 26 Dec., below. For Dumas’ 1775 cipher, see Weber, Codes and Ciphers, p. 23–24, 580–587.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0110

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-26

From James Lovell

[salute] Sir

I have not yet been made certain, that you comprehend that Cypher which I used in my Letters to you, and which will yet awhile be used.
You are to form Alphabets equal in number and of the same commencement and Range, as the Letters of the first sixth part of the family Name where you and I supped last with Mrs. Adams, and you are to look alternately into those constructed Alphabets opposite to my figures, for the Elements to spell with, some figures however I may have used as Baulks.1
[signed] James Lovell
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Adams Esquire.” Sent as an enclosure in Robert R. Livingston to JA, 26 Dec., above.
1. For Lovell’s previous efforts to explain his cipher, see Lovell to JA, 21 June, and references in note 4 (vol. 11:381–383).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0111

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1781-12-29

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 29 December 1781. RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 446–450). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:77–79. This letter consists of English translations of a brief note announcing Austria’s accession to the armed neutrality and the formal act of accession signed at Vienna on 9 Oct. that Baron von Reischach, the Austrian minister to the Netherlands, presented to the States General on 11 December. The act reaffirmed the principles of Catherine II’s original declaration of 10 March 1780 (vol. 9:121–126) and indicated the joint measures that Austria and Russia would take to maintain a strict neutrality and to protect their merchant vessels from undue interference by the belligerent powers. In comments at the end of the letter, JA called particular attention to article 5, which stated that Austria and Russia would inform all the powers actually at war of their joint undertaking. On 30 Oct., in a document almost identical to Joseph II’s, Catherine accepted the Austrian accession (Scott, ed., Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800, p. 406–409).
JA ended his letter with an evaluation of the Austro-Russian action. He wrote that
“By the 5th. Article the two Imperial Courts ought to notify this to Congress, for it is most certain that the United States are one of the Powers actually at War. Whether they will or no time must discover: but by the Articles, to serve as a Basis of Peace at the proposed Congress at Vienna, these two Courts have certainly acknowledged the American Colonies to be a Power at War, and a Power sufficiently free to appear at Vienna, and make Peace with Great Britain.
{ 166 }
“The Confederation, for the liberty of Navigation of neutral Nations, is now one of the most formidable that ever was formed in the World. The only Question is, whether it is not too complicated and various to be managed to effect. The Conduct of the Empress of Russia towards this Republick, and especially in offering her Mediation for a seperate Peace between England and Holland, has excited some Jealousies of her Sincerity or her Constancy. But I think it will appear in the End, that She intends that Holland shall enjoy the full benefit of this Confederation, which will effectually deprive England of that Sovereignty of the Sea, which She so presumptuously claims and boasts. But if it should appear, which I do not expect, that the Empress should advise the Dutch to give up the right of carrying naval stores, after the example of Denmark, her Glory will suffer no small diminution, and I presume that Holland, humble as She is, will not submit to it, but make immediately common Cause with the Enemies of her Enemy.”
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 446–450). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:77–79).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0112

Author: Barclay, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-29

From Thomas Barclay

[salute] Sir

I shou’d have waited on you myself, but seeing some Carriages at your door I Concluded you were engaged. I have seen Mr. Van Arp, who says there is no other way of your giving a Guarrentee, that will have any force in it, but doing it before a Notary and Evidences. I am of opinion that to remove all shaddow of objection you had better do it in their own way; and if you think with me, the Notary will wait on you at any hour you please to appoint. If you incline to see me in the Meantime please to let me know. When the papers are signed and witness’d, I think they had better remain with you untill I get them from you. I have the honor to be with great respect your Excellencys most obed sert.
[signed] Thos Barclay
I send you inclosed the original paper, with the two Copy’s drawn by the Notary.1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Barclay 29th. Decr. 1781 respecting Con. Goods.”
1. Presumably a reference to an agreement, dated 27 Dec., written and signed by JA on behalf of the United States “to indemnify Messieurs Van Arp and Company as Directors and Part owners of the ships the Liberty and Aurora, and all the other owners of the Said, ships from all Claims and Demands whatsoever which may be made on them, on Account of the Delivery of the Goods Specified . . . to the Honourable Thomas Barclay . . .” (PHi: Dreer Coll.). No notarized copies of this document have been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0113-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-30

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

Vous avez desiré Monsieur que des que je serois arrivé a Versailles je communiquasse a Monsieur Le Comte de Vergennes La disposition que vous avez a faire La demarche qui vous a eté conseillée par plusieurs membres bien intentionés des etats d’hollande, et que je lui fasse Connoitre en meme tems La resolution que vous avez prise de vous en abstenir S’il La desapprouve; ce Ministre me Charge de vous mander qu’il ne trouve aucun inconvenient a la visite que vous vous proposez de faire au president de l’assemblée des etats generaux aux ministres de La Republique et aux deputés des principales villes ce la province d’hollande pourveû que Sans laisser aux uns ni aux autres aucun écrit ministeriel vous vous borniez a leur demander si Le memoire que vous avez remis il y a quelques mois a eté l’objet des deliberations de Leurs hautes puissances et quelle est La reponse que vous pouvez transmettre au congrés des etats unis de l’amerique Septentrionale.
Je ne Scais pas encor precisement Monsieur quand je pourrai etre de retour a la haye mais je ne prevois pas que mon absence soit plus longue que je L’avoit projetée. Recevez Monsieur une nouvelle assurance des sentiments Inviolables de la Consideration tres distinguee avec lesquels J’ay Lhonneur d’etre Votre tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon1

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0113-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-12-30

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

You have desired, sir, that as soon as I should be arrived at Versailles, I should communicate to the Comte de Vergennes the disposition you have to take a step that has been recommended by several well intentioned members of the States of Holland, and that I should give him to understand at the same time the resolution which you have taken to abstain from it, if he disapproves it. That minister charges me to acquaint you that he perceives no inconvenience in the visit which you propose to make to the president of the Assembly of the States General, to the ministers of the republic, and to the deputies of the principal cities of the province of Holland, provided that, without leaving with one or the other any ministerial writing, you confine yourself to demanding of them, whether the memorial which you presented some months ago, has been an object of the delibera• { 168 } tions of their high mightinesses, and what is the answer which you may transmit to the congress of the United States of North America.
I do not yet precisely know, sir, when I shall be able to return to The Hague; but I foresee nothing to prolong my absence beyond the time I at first projected. Receive, sir, fresh assurance of those inviolable sentiments of the most distinguished consideration, with which I have the honor to be your most humble and most obedient servant,
[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Le Duke de la Vauguyon 30th. Decr. 1781.”
1. JA published this letter in English in the Boston Patriot of 19 Sept. 1810. He introduced it by stating that
“In the latter end of December, 1781, I concluded to present myself a second time to the president of their high mightinesses, for an answer to my former memorial, and drew up a memorial in English and French; but as I had reason to believe the Duke De La Vauguion and the Comte De Vergennes would not now oppose me, but on the contrary would be pleased by being consulted, I communicated my design to the Duke, who encouraged the project, and I believe went to Versailles, chiefly to consult the Comte on the subject. He soon wrote me, according to his promise, a letter, of which the following is a translation.”
Immediately following the letter JA commented on its effect on his subsequent actions.
“When I received this letter, and indeed before the Duke left the Hague, I had prepared my memorial in English and French; but I had no objection to substituting the Comte De Vergennes’s plan, which I thought however rather too tame and timid. I was therefore determined to consult my own privy council of Dutch patriots, who had never deceived me; who had never concealed from me any danger or difficulty, but who had always communicated to me every information, without exaggeration, which could afford me encouragement or hope. These were unanimously in favor of my memorial and against the Comte De Vergennes’s project. I asked them whether I ought not to strike out the epithet ‘categorical.’ Oh! no. By no means; that is the best word in the whole memorial. Our nation likes such hints: They think them manly. That word will excite more attention than all the rest, and you are sure now of the current in your favor. But if it should do no good, it will certainly do you no harm. We think you have hit the taste of our people.—I took this advice and proceeded as is detailed in my next letter to congress.”
For JA’s request for a categorical answer to this memorial of 19 April, see the Address to the President of the States General, [ante 9 Jan. 1782], below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0114

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-02

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honor of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 26th Ult. An american Gentleman passing through this Town had deliverd to me before the 1st volume du politique Hollandois, for which I humbly thank your Excellency, as I must do for your Intention to send me the second Vol. but as I have taken in all the numbers thereof and shall continue to have them as they come out, I must beg your Excellency not to give yourself that trouble. I have reced too the Pamplet relative to the Taxes of France and England,1 { 169 } which I have read with Attention and as I think it ought to be seen by others, I have put it into the Hands of a Friend here, to be made Known in his way. I think it will operate among the Capitalists here, as I doubt not it has done in Holland. I do not Know whether your Excellency has recd Mr Hollis’s Book.2 The volume of the Politique Hollandais, destined for that Gentleman shall be sent Him.
I have several publications from England for your Excellency which shall be conveyed to you by the first opportunity.
I think your Excellencys has been somewhat amused of late by the debate in the English Parliament.
The Ministry seem too much puzzled and too much divided among themselves to speak out. The meetings of the Counties and the State of Ireland will Confound them more. I trust that the french Fleet has escaped the fury of late winds, and then its operation may serve to bring them at last to their Senses. The English Minister here thinks that Barbadoes is taken. It will be a Happy Event to the Inhabitants, who I find have been tyrannizd over by their Governor Cunningham.3
I have lately recd the following extract from London.
“There is a Scheme now in Agitation, and I have no doubt, but it will be adopted by the minister, of encouraging the Growth of Tobo. in this Country.4 Some of the Produce of last Year I have seen, the Sort is Excellent and in a quantity to the value of £7000 worth is sold privately.
“the Plan
“Every Tobo Ground to be entered as the Hop Grounds are, and a Duty of 6d pr pd to be collected by the officers of Excise.
“If exported then 5d draw back to be allowed in that Case it will be sold by the Grower from 1 1/2 to 2d pr pd and yield a better profit than wheat or any other grain.
“The above £7000 worth was grown from 100 Acres only you are not to look on this as a visionary and impracticabl Scheme, but to make immediate Use of it as authentic.
“It is calculated that this Scheme will bring one Million and in time £1750,000 pr Ann. calculating on the constant demand, that is 30000 HHdds for home Consumption and 60,000 for exportation.”
Many observations might and have been made on this Scheme. One is that it shows the English begin to think that they have no more to do with the tobacco States, and are therefore wisely en• { 170 } deavouring to live without them. If they once imagine the rest of the States are no longer Necessary to them they may perhaps be induced to part with them without reluctance or delay.
I Know not whether your Excellency has seen the inclosed Letter.5 If not it is perhaps worthy of your Excellencys perusal. If your Excellency has seen it, and have no occasion to Keep it, I should be glad your Excellency would return it to me.
I have receivd to day a Letter from Mr Ridley a Gentleman of Maryland, who tells me, that He had thoughts of going to England with an order to endeavour to procure the exchange of Mr Lawrens and a general one for our prisoners, but it has been thought adviseable that He should not trust Himself in the Hands of the English. Perhaps Mr Deans Son has the Commission, as Mr Lee tells me that He certainly went to England about a month ago.6 His Father who is at Ghent conducted Him to Ostend.
I think I informed your Excellency that the Abbê Raynal resided here. If your Excellency has any Commands to Him, I should be proud to deliver them, as it will serve me as an Introduction to Him.
I Hope your Excellencys Health will be soon established in the most perfect manner.
Does your Excellency Know why Mr Jefferson does not arrive?
I Know not whether it appears to your Excellency, that Cornwallis has violated the Capitulation in sending the Virginia and other Traytors to n York in the Bonetta sloop.7

[salute] I am with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servt

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jenings 2d. Jany. 1782.”
1. Not identified.
2. Thomas Brand Hollis sent JA a set of Francis Blackburne, Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, 2 vols., London, 1780, via Edward Bridgen, but the volumes miscarried (from Bridgen, 13 July 1781, vol. 11:417–418). Jenings ultimately sent JA his own copy of the work (from Jenings, 29 May, Adams Papers).
3. Barbados was not taken. The island’s lower house had sent a memorial to the king to protest the actions of Gov. Cunningham and the upper house in “Establishing new and oppressive fees to be paid to the Secretary of the Island, for the use of the Governor, upon all writs, orders, processes, and papers issued by him, or in his name, in the Courts of Justice, Ordinary, Council, as Commander in Chief.” In the view of the London Courant, this indicated that the “baneful Scotch system of despotism and rapine, which made the colonies in America revolt from the other country, is securely exercised in the Island of Barbadoes.” For the memorial and extensive editorial commentary, see the London Courant of 6 and 7 December.
4. The source of this plan has not been found.
5. Not identified.
6. Matthew Ridley had been at Paris since early December on a mission to raise a loan for Maryland. On 13 Dec. Benjamin Franklin proposed giving Ridley powers to exchange Henry Laurens for Gen. Burgoyne and enter into a general exchange of all American prisoners in England. Franklin prepared the { 171 } papers necessary for the mission, but on the 26th Ridley informed Franklin that he believed it too risky for him to go to England (MHi: Matthew Ridley Diaries). Jesse Deane, son of Silas Deane, did not replace Ridley.
7. The Bonetta sloop was the British vessel designated in the articles of capitulation to carry the news of Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown to Gen. Clinton at New York. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 17 Dec. 1781 reported that “the Loyalists captured at York Town, with Lord Cornwallis, were put on board a sloop, and sent to New York, where they all arrived in perfect safety.” In fact, the captain of the Bonetta, Ralph Dundas, was criticized severely for refusing passage to Loyalists seeking to escape from Yorktown (Davies, ed., Docs. of the Amer. Rev., 1770–1783, 19:207–208, 209, 234, 241, 247, 268, 275).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0115

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-01-03

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Yesterday were presented to me two other Bills of Exchange on Mr. Laurens drawn 6th. July 1780, Numbers 40 and 41 for 550 Guilders each, which I wait your Excellency’s orders to accept. I have never been informed of the exact amount of the Bills drawn on Mr. Laurens on that day; but there are by the Numbers which have appeared probably many not yet arrived.
I have the honor to make your Excellency the Compliments of the Season, and to wish that the Year coming may be as prosperous as the past, and as much more so as You please.
The States will not probably accept the Mediation of Russia, but upon a preliminary, that the Treaty of maritime Neutrality be the Basis of it, and other Conditions which will render the Negotiation quite safe.1

[salute] I have the honor to be,2 Your Excellencys most obedient humble servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “Adams Jany. 3d. 1782.”
1. For the Dutch acceptance of Russian mediation, see Dumas’ letter of 14 Feb., below.
2. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0116

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Raynal, Guillaume Thomas François, Abbé
Date: 1782-01-05

To the Abbé Raynal

[salute] Dr Sir

I have the Honour to transmit you, the Revolution of America, translated into the Sublimest Language of Europe, if we are to believe the People of the Netherlands, who alone understand it. The Compliment paid to four Characters among whom I am Supposed to be one in this History, no doubt induced the Editor to dedicate it { 172 } to me: be this however as it may, I would not exchange the Small Share which belongs to me in that pathetic Testimony from So distinguished a Friend of Truth, Liberty and Humanity, for a Statue of Bronze or Marble to be erected in honour of me, by the first Monark of the World in the Market street of Philadelphia.1
I am however, very unhappy to find so many Mistakes in Point of Fact, because coming from so great an authority they will be taken for certain, and have an ill Effect.2
My Friend Edmund Jennings Esqr, a Gentleman whose Principles Sentiments and Disposition I think will be agreable to you, will have the Honour to deliver you this Letter.3 He resides at Brussells, and is very agreable Company.
1. Abbé Guillaume Thomas François Raynal, Staatsomwenteling van Amerika. Uit het Fransch, Amsterdam, 1781. Two copies are among JA’s books at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library). For the various printings and translations of Raynal’s work, see vol. 10:405. The dedication reads, “Zyner excellentie John Adams schildknaap gevolmagtigden staatsdienaar der vereenigde staaten van Amerika, edelmoedigen bevorderaar van de onafhanklykheid dier volkplantingen, wordt dit werk onderdaanigst opgedraagen, door zyner excellentie’s Zeer eebiedigenden Dienaar willem holtrop.” Translation: To his Excellency, John Adams Esqr., plenipotentiary officer of the United States of America, noble proponent of the independence of those colonies, this work is most humbly dedicated, by his Excellency’s very respectful servant Willem Holtrop. Raynal’s attribution of the leading roles in the adoption of the Declaration of Independence to John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and the two Adamses appeared on p. 76 of the Dutch edition.
2. See On the Abbé Raynal’s Révolution de l’Amérique, 22 Jan., below.
3. JA enclosed this letter in one to Jenings that has not been found (from Raynal, 18 Jan., below).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0117-0001

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-06

From Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

Votre Excellence Saura de Monsr. de Neufville que j’ai l’intention de placer encore 12 mille florins dans les fonds de l’Amerique.1 Peut etre que je Serai en etat dÿ ajouter encore 5 mille; mais cecÿ n’est pas encore decidé. Je prefere l’Emprunt, d’ont votre Excell: est chargé, a celui qui Se fait Sous la garantie de la France et de cette Republique, parce que je ne pretends pas etre Si ridicule que mes Compatriotes, qui jusqu a cette heure n’oseroient confier leur argent a l’Amérique Sans une telle caution! Aussi puis je assurer Votre Excell: que leur conduite, a tout egard, commence a me choquer. Je commence a me Sentir pour eux plus que de l’indifference. J’ai honte d’etre Hollandois et je Suis faché de la peine, que j’ai Si Sou• { 173 } vent prise, meme avec cette chaleur, qui fut l’effet de mon attachement pour les deux Peuples, afin de prevenir que Votre Excell: ne Se format une idée, que je croiois alors trop desavantageuse, du Caractere de la Nation. Je vois que j’aurois plustot du me rappeller la Reponse de Statilius a Brutus: Sapientis non esse propter malos et Stultos in periculum et turbas Se dare.2 Je ne regrette point le Sacrifice d’une des plus belles occasions pour faire une fortune eclatante. Je ne veux point de fortune. Mais je regrette le Sacrifice de mon repos et cela propter malos et Stultos! Voila tous ces Marchands, qui jadis firent tant de bruit, et qui par leurs Serieuses requetes pourroient forcer la faction Angloise, du moins l’embarrasser extremement. Voila cette Classe de Citoiens laquelle Seule est en possession de S’assembler pour deliberer Sur leurs interets communs, Sans que l’on ose leur en faire un crime—ne voit on pas tous ces Negocians meme ceux qui Sont ruinés Se taire comme S’ils avoient des cadenats a la bouche. Si un petit reste d’attachement pour un Païs, que je crois perdu Sans ressource, pourroit encore me faire Souhaiter quelque evenement, qui put Servir en guise de remede, que l’on donne a un mourant, ce Seroit de voir Votre Excellence demander d’un ton convenable a la Grandeur de l’Amerique Unie et a l’Indignité de l’acceuil, que l’on a fait a Son Ambassadeur, une reponse categorique au Memoire, que Votre Excell: a presenté de Sa part a leurs Hautes Puissances. Un tel pas, dans les circonstances actuelles, feroit eclat. Beaucoup de gens eclairés le Souhaitent, et, vraiment, il n’est plus tems de temporiser. C’est en toujours temporisant que certaine grande Ville n’a jamais fait rien qui vaille. Sa conduite, Surtout durant cette guerre, me paroit tres peu politique. Comme les Espagnols devant Gibraltar. Elle S’epuise et perd Son tems en de vains efforts contre certain Gros Personage, au lieu qu’avec beaucoup moins de ces memes efforts elle auroit pu nous procurer Une Alliance avec la France et l’Amerique,3 mesure dont la necessité est reconnue de tout le Monde, tandis qu’il ÿ a toujours eu des gens, qui etoient bien eloignés d’approuver cet autre pas. D’ailleurs la retraite de ce certain Personage auroit été une Suite necessaire d’une telle Alliance. Messieurs de la Grande Ville ont donc, a mon avis, tiré leur poudre aux moineaux! Mais il Sied tres mal a un Expolitique de Se meler des affaires d’Etat. Je demande pardon d’avoir Si longtems occupé votre Excellence et jai l’honneur detre avec tout le respect possible de Votre Excellence le tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur
[signed] J D van der Capellen

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0117-0002

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-06

Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol to John Adams: A Translation

Your Excellency will know, through Mr. de Neufville, that I intend to place 12 thousand florins in the American funds.1 Perhaps I will be in a position to add an additional 5 thousand, but we will see. I prefer a loan, made chargeable to your Excellency, rather than a loan made under the guarantee of France and of this republic. I say this because I will not pretend to be as ridiculous as my compatriots, who, up until this hour, would not dare entrust their money to America without such a precaution! I assure your Excellency that their conduct, in all respects, begins to shock me. I am beginning to feel more than indifference toward them. I am ashamed to be Dutch and I am angry at the effort I have often made, with this same intensity, because of my devotion to these two countries, so that I might prevent your Excellency from forming unfavorable ideas about the character of the nation. You see, I would rather recall the response of Statilius to Brutus: Sapientis non esse propter malos et Stultos in periculum et turbas Se dare.2 I do not regret sacrificing one of the best occasions to make a brilliant fortune. I do not want a fortune. But I do regret sacrificing my peace of mind and this is because of knaves and fools. Look at all of the merchants, who formerly made a lot of noise, and who, through their serious petitions, could have overridden the English faction, or at least hindered it exceedingly. This is the only class of citizens that has the ability to assemble to deliberate their common interests, without anyone daring to make a crime of it. Don’t we see these merchants, even those who are ruined, keeping their mouths closed as if they were padlocked. If a small remainder of devotion for a peace, which I believe lost without resources, could make me hope for some event, which could serve as a remedy for the dying, it would be this: I would like to see your Excellency ask for, in a tone appropriate to the grandeur of the United States and to the shameful reception made to its ambassador, a categorical response to the memorial, as presented by your Excellency to their high mightinesses. Such a step, under the present circumstances, would create a commotion. Many enlightened men wish for it, and truly there is no more time for stalling. A certain great city never did anything worthwhile because it is still stalling. Like the Spanish before Gibraltar. It exhausts itself and loses time through vain efforts against a certain great personage, instead of, with much less effort, being able to produce for us an alliance with France and America.3 The necessity for this measure is known by everyone, even though there are always people too far removed to approve of this step. Moreover, the retreat of this personage would have to be a necessary consequence of such an alliance. Gentlemen of the great city have, in my opinion, spent their credit on trifles. But it is not proper for an Expolitique to get involved in affairs of the state. Please forgive me, your Excellency, for occupying so much of your time, and I have the honor { 175 } to be with all possible respect for your Excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] J D van der Capellen
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “The Baron Van der Capellen ansd. Jany. 14. 1782.”
1. Van der Capellen previously expressed interest in investing in an American loan; see vol. 10:272.
2. Plutarch, Life of Brutus, ch. 12. For JA’s translation, see his reply of 14 Jan., below.
3. That is, Amsterdam should have concentrated on matters vital to the national interest rather than attempting to overthrow William V’s chief advisor, the Duke of Brunswick, for which see JA to the president of Congress, 26 June 1781, 1st letter (vol. 11:391–396).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0118

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Santheuvel, Bartholomeus van den
Date: 1782-01-09

Address to the President of the States General

On the fourth day of Last May, I had the Honour, of a Conference with the President of their High Mightinesses, in which I informed him that I had received a Commission <from my Sovereign> from the United States of America, with full Powers and Instructions, to propose and conclude a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, between the United States of America and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. At the Same Conference I had the Honour to demand an Audience of their High Mightinesses in order to present to them my Letters of Credence and full Powers.
The President assured me that he would make Report of all that I had Said to him, to their High Mightinesses, in order that it might be transmitted to the Several <Provinces and Branches> Members of the Sovereignty of this Country for their deliberation and Decision. I have not yet been honoured with an answer.
I now do myself the Honour, to wait on you sir, to demand as I do, <a cate><to be informed what answer, I am to write to the United States in Congress.> a categorical answer that I may be able to transmit it to my Sovereign.
LbC (Adams Papers); followed by a French translation in C. W. F. Dumas’ hand. For the French text, see JA to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., below.
1. For JA’s presentation of this address to the president of the States General, Bartholomeus van den Santheuvel, on 9 Jan., see his letter to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., below.
JA later recalled drafting the address “in the latter end of December, 1781” (from La Vauguyon, 30 Dec. 1781, note 1, above). The address, however, is entered in Lb/JA/16 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 104) between letters to Benjamin Franklin, 3 Jan., and from La Vauguyon, 30 Dec. 1781, which, along with the revisions made to the final sentence of the address, may indicate that JA composed the address in early January after receiving La Vauguyon’s letter. With minor changes in wording and entitled “Ulteriour Address,” JA included a copy of his address in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 21.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0119

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-09

From Robert R. Livingston

No 4

[salute] Dr Sir

I write merely to put you on your guard against any Falsehoods the Enemy may think it necessary to publish, about the time of opening their Budget. All is well here. There has been no action to the Southward. Many of the Tories in North Carolina, enraged at being deserted, have joined our army, and as is said, Executed some of their Leaders.
The Enemy have drawn all their Troops into Charleston and our advanced parties are as low down as Hadrials point.1
I congratulate you upon the Brilliant Expedition of the Marquis de Bouille,2 it does him the highest honor, and his subsequent conduct forms such a Contrast to that of the English, as must, I should suppose, have great influence upon the minds of the people with you and forward your negotiations. The one fighting to oppress and enslave a free people. The other to establish their rights, the one attempting to Tiranize over the Ocean, and fetter the Commerce of the Wor[l]d, the other resisting that Tyranny, and rendering Trade as free as nature made it. The one, insulting, plundering and abusing an old Friend and ally in the midst of profound Peace, the other extending in War Mercy to her bitterest Enemies; and Marching to conquest with domestic Peace in their Train. The one burning defenceless Towns and peaceful Villages where they have been hospitably entertained—the other guarding from violence with scrupulous attention the fire sides of their inveterate Foes. The one murdering in cold Blood, or more crully by Want and Missery in Prison Ships, those who speak the same Language, profess the same Religion, and spring from the same ancestors. The other forgetting difference of Religion, Language and heriditary enmity, spare the vanquished administer to their wants, offer consolation to their distress, and prove more by their conduct, than by their professions, that they are armed in the cause of humanity. The one without regard to truth or decency, boasts of victories they never gained, and ostentatiously exaggerating the little advantages which superior numbers have sometimes given them, while the other leaves the debility of their Enemy, to express the Brilliancy of their actions. The one—but I should never have done, if I were to make the points in which the British differ from a brave humane and polished nation. The recap• { 177 } ture of St Eustatia in all its circumstances, and the disgraceful defence of york Town, prove that they are no longer the people we once thought them; if ever they were brave and generous they have lost those virtues with the Spirit of freedom. Adieu my Dear Sir, may your exertions in the Cause of your Country be attended with all the success they merit.

[salute] I have the honor to be &c. &c

Tr (PCC, No. 79, I, f. 365–367). A second transcript (PCC, No. 118, f. 85–87) indicates that Livingston sent copies on three vessels bound to Europe, but the absence of a RC in the Adams Papers or any extant reply may mean that JA never received this letter.
1. Haddrell’s (Haddrel’s) Point is across the harbor from Charleston, approximately three miles east of the city.
2. On the night of 25 Nov. the Marquis de Bouillé, governor of Martinique, landed 500 troops on St. Eustatius and on the 26th surprised and defeated a much larger British garrison. Although the recapture of the Dutch islands of St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Martin was celebrated in America and the Netherlands, its effect was minimal, because the islands were no longer of commercial importance. The French held them as Dutch property to be returned at the end of the war (Ronald Hurst, The Golden Rock: An Episode of the American War of Independence, 1775–1783, London, 1996, p. 185–193; Edler, Dutch Republic and Amer. Rev., p. 188–189).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0120

Author: Velde, John van de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-09

From John van de Velde

[salute] Honourable Sir

I have the honour of writing you these few Lines trusting on your natural Kindness, to Excuse the Liberty I make bold to take, to inquire from you, Iff y can Safely purchase on reasonable terms the Two Inclosed Congres bills on Nottes of 8 february 1779
No   2348 Letter L   }   due 8e february 1782, with 6 pC Intrest per  
  2349 Letter M  
annum each value Dollars one thousand payable to samuel Curson or bearer, to inable me to go safely in the business.1 I must hope you will do me the favour to give me your answer on the following points.
1e. The value of these dollars, or if these dollars are of the same value of such which the Congress when it draws on france pays at the rate of five Livres french money.
2e Iff these notes are reimbursed at Sight to the bearer when presented to the congres, or iff they must be Endorsed by him in whose favour they have been made.
3e Iff by Keeping them till quiet Times comes, the Intrest there of { 178 } will be continued to be payd, altho’ the time of reimbursement is Expired.
Your Kind and Speedy answer on my request will be Confering a favour I Shall ever Esteem and highly Value, having the honour to be with deep regard Honorable sir Your most Obeid servant
[signed] John: van de Velde
1. For Samuel Curson and Isaac Gouverneur Jr., continental agents at St. Eustatius who were captured and imprisoned by the British in 1781, see JA to the president of Congress, 6 Aug. 1781, 2d letter (vol. 11:440–442). The two notes presented by van de Velde were probably among those that Congress authorized to be paid to Curson on 3 Feb. 1779 (JCC, 13:139–140).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0121

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-11

From Francis Dana

[salute] My Dear Sir

Your letter of the 14th. Decr: which I received the last evening has made me very happy on many accounts, but especially as it has relieved me from the anxiety I have suffered for several weeks past about the fate of my first despatches. Those by Mr: Sayer I have had no concern about: I am glad however to learn that these also have come to hand. On some parts of their contents I wish to communicate freely with you, but it is by no means prudent to attempt this unless another private opportunity shou’d offer, of which their is no present prospect. I have wrote you once since, if I am not mistaken, on the 6/17th Decr:, after we had received the glorious news of the surrender of Cornwallis and his army which was sent post haste by ||The King of Prussia||. I was very soon favoured with a copy of this account. But this sub rosa. It seemed to make a lively impression here among those who are not our Enemies, and they are exceedingly crest fallen, and they have good reason to be so. The British Nation has fallen indeed, never to rise again, as Woolsey said of himself.1 As to the speech &c of the British King, their contents have not surprised me, they are exactly such as I expected, and serve but to confirm the opinion I have entertaind of that personallity, obstinacy, and cruelty with which he has resolved upon, and pursued the war in America. Indeed had peace been his sincere wish, perhaps his language wou’d not have been very different. But of that he will never entertain a sincere thought till his own subjects roused by dispair, make his Throne tremble, and his Crown to totter { 179 } on his head. What think you of the resolutions of London Westminster, and Southwark to petition the King to put an end to the war in America?2 Will they not be followed by many others, and, if so, is there a probability that the Nation in general can be awakened by them from their lethargy, and be roused to action? I think not, because the popular Leaders stumble at the threshold. Their pride is not yet sufficiently brought down. They are aiming at a seperate peace still with America: the Ministry may affect to close with them, if hard driven, upon this ground, well knowing that it is impracticable to succeed in such an attempt. The failure they woud not fail to improve to their own advantage by enkindling anew the passions of the Nation for the prosecution of the War. Time will show us with certainty the issue of these things. I think it no wild conjecture that England must suffer the misiries of a civil War before she finishes her foreign Wars. But let us leave this devoted Nation whose sufferings for their iniquities have scarce yet a begining, and say a few words about our own Country whose cup of bitterness I pray may soon be removed. It seems by your letter that high political matters have lately been transacted there, and on the whole, with you, I heartily acquiesce in them. I am pleased that so worthy a character as your friend in the south, is at last to take a part on a certain theatre.3 But I am at some loss who you mean by ||Mr. Laurens||. I intended the Father and not the Son by that number. I presume the former remains in statu quo, and therefore that you intend the latter by it. They are both good men and true. As to the revocation respecting ||Britain||4 it may probably have a good effect; they will come to the knowledge of it somehow or other, it may startle and alarm them; they, I believe, have considered themselves secure on that side: this therefore will be an unexpected attack, and a serious one, as it is a marked alienation. Touching the feelings of some folks, I can only say that it is not of much importance how they feel, a certain little circumstance will cut deep.
I perceive ||Mr. Adams|| has placed ||Mr. Dana|| almost on the topmost round of the ladder by the side of himself, whereas in fact he stands no higher if I may make use of that term, than on the very lowest round of it. However I think I know his disposition so well, that though he is not wholly destitute of pride, yet he wou’d stand and keep his watch there very contentedly so long as there was a prospect of doing any good there, and he had a reasonable ____ which last is not the case with him, and experience has fully shown it, as he says, and that necessity will oblige him, not to kick away { 180 } the ladder, but quietly to step off of it, without saying any thing to any body about it. I wish however that you might see him before he goes, indeed he cant possibly go yet a while. I shall certainly advise him to call upon you on his way, because I am persuaded he cou’d make some important communications. I am certain he will endeavour to do his principal business first. He has opened his design to me pretty fully.
I am much satisfied with your approbation of a certain correspondence.5 There are a few passages in my part of it that I shou’d have changed a little was it to be gone over again; but it was conducted in a hurry, and I am totally destitute of the counsel of any friend; and you know ones sentiments and expressions do not always appear in the same light upon further reflection. We are happily on very good terms, and I hope nothing will interrupt this harmony. To preserve it however I have judged it expedient to remain in statu quo awhile longer; especially since he has shown me the replication of ||The Empress|| and ||The Emperor|| to ||France||. My reflection upon it, which you will fully understand, is that there is no reasoning upon principles, where there is no system formed and pursued. No man can certainly tell how the wind will blow tomorrow by the course it takes to day. You are afraid he is too right in his conjectures. I have said he may be perfectly right, but still I doubt it exceedingly in some points. Patience is I am sensible very necessary, and some folks must be humoured, and since they have adopted a more rational system of war and of politicks I am quite content to humour them. I am more satisfied now than I have ever before been. Things will go right if ||Congress|| is not thrown off their guard.
I think ||the United States|| can’t suffer much from the instability of ||Russia|| though he shou’d continue fluctuating through the whole peice. He will at last ’tis probable settle down about half right. He is at present roving about enquiring Who will shew me the way to glory? And as to what relates to the general concerns is a good deal indifferent, though he keeps one distant and some call it a chimerical object steadily in view. Of this I may say more hereafter. I cant send you the copy you desire. ||France||, ||Spain||, and ||Congress|| as you observe seem well agreed in main points, relative to a certain subject, but if ||Mr. Adams|| and Compy. ever get together they will find difficulties upon the points, you and I have frequently talked upon. I had no doubt that our Countreymen wou’d be in great spirits. I am pleased to hear that there is at last an end of our paper money. This circumstance alone must be full evidence { 181 } that the United States have grown rich amidst an universal War. Mr: Ellery writes me from Philadelphia that we have established a national Bank which is like to succeed well.6 So that Trade flourishing, Crops abundant, whole armies captured, must surely put all good whigs and good Christians into good spirits and good humour. A Clitonade the next season shou’d crown the whole. Mr: E’s letter is dated the 28th. of June two days after my first despatches had arrived at Philadelphia as I find by a paper of the 27th., yet he makes no mention of them. He says only “the great politics of the day you will find in the public despatches which have lately been sent to Europe.”7 He is again in Congress. But as I have not seen, nor indeed am likely to see these public despatches he alludes to, so I shall remain ignorant of their contents unless you favour me with them. He supposes, from a Letter he has recd. from Mrs: D, that I shall not proceed for this place. I hope you will not fail to send me by the earliest opporty: some account of every event of importance which may take place in our Country. I shou’d have been much gratified to have received from yr: hand the account of Cornwallis’s Capture by the first post. As it happened, even the French Minister had no account of it till several days after it had come in the way I have mentioned. You know what an awkward situation this places one in.—I have found myself exceedingly out of health for a considerable time past, much afflicted with severe pains in my head, and an almost constant dizziness. Writing much is therefore very detrimental to me, but yet I cannot avoid doing it. You must excuse me therefore if I am not so punctual a correspondent as you might expect. I hope your own health is better established by this time. My ward is not troublesome to me. I shou’d be unhappy to be deprived of him, and yet I am very anxious about his education. Here there are neither schools, instructors, or Books. A good Latin Dictionary is not to be got in this City.8 Had he finished his classical studies I shoud meet with no difficulty in his future education. I wou’d superintend and direct that in the course you wou’d choose and point out. I cou’d not indeed do without him unless a certain person9 cou’d replace him; and you will find by what is said above that it cannot be made worth his quitting his present station so perhaps some body else must quit his—but more on this subject at another time. By the way, you must be exceedingly cautious till you adopt our Cyphers what you right to me, for every letter of which they have the least suspicion is intended for any person in public character will be opened. If therefore you shou’d have any Letters of { 182 } an uncommon size to pass between Merchant and Merchant, please to divide them, and send part under cover to the particular friends of the Gentlemen through whose hands you receiv’d my first despatches, and a part through the same channel with your last.10 If any letters for me from America shou’d happen to contain pamplets, News-papers &c, please to open them and to retain the printed papers but be careful to seal the letters up again. Some of those I have just received came open to the hands of the Gentn: here to whom they were addressed, particularly Mr: Jackson’s11 letters with our private accounts of his supplies for my family, and my remittances to him. You will be so kind as to make a Memd: of the expence of the postage of my letters; some of these last have travelled on to you from Spain, and one from Gottenburg to Paris, and from thence to Amsterdam, as I suppose. I dare to trust my Letters to your honour. Should there be any thing worth transmitting contained in the papers ’tis easy to cut it out and send it along. This same Liberty I extend to our worthy friend and companion who is with you.12 As I cannot write Mrs: D. or Mr: Jackson by this post I must beg you to desire Mr: Thaxter to write by several opportunities Mrs: Da. to thank Mr: J. for his kind attention to forward me our News-Papers, but as I am now at the extremity of the World he may save himself the trouble of transmitting them: and also the trouble of making out accounts between us—that it will answer all my purposes for him to say—Advances to your family so much Remittances so much, as the case may be at the time he writes, which I hope will be as often as he has leisure—the same for Mr: Tracey.
I believe with you that we shall have no general negociation for a peace suddenly, and I suppose that at present on foot between Holland and Britain will soon vanish away. Had Great Britain been wise for herself perhaps she shou’d have acquiesced in the propositions made by the August Mediators. Her feelings were as tenderly treated as the nature of the case cou’d possibly admit. All the world must have long been convinced that Britain has forever lost her Dominion over every part of the United-States. Those propositions were therefore calculated to let her down very gently, but she has obstinately and haughtily rejected them. I did expect that this rejection wou’d have induced the illustrious Mediators to have proceeded further, and with less ambiguity in favour of the United-States; and that it might have issued in a general agreement of the Neutral Confederated Powers to declare them a free and sovereign State; and to open their ports to America, without further regard to the chimerical pre• { 183 } tensions of G: Britain. If she had presumed to regard this as an hostile Act, the Confederated Powers wou’d have nothing to do to bring her quick to reason, but to turn the key of the Baltic upon her. Just and feasible as such a procedure wou’d be, for some reason or other, the Mediators seem to have come to a stand, perhaps they may think G: Britain will herself be presently obliged secretly to solicite the very Mediation she has just rejected, and to save her honour wou’d be glad to see the Neutral Powers united in a manner to compel her to peace by a tacit acknowledgment, at least, of the Independence of the United States. We must wait patiently and see what the event will be. Our Independence is now laid on a Rock.

[salute] I am, my dear Sir, your very sincere Friend & obedient humble Servant

I have this day received a large budget alluded to above, part of this sheet being wrote to day, as I missed one post. Mr: Thaxter shall hear from me soon. I wait your promised letter with impatience. I desired M T. to subscribe for me for the Amsterdam Gazette to be deliverd here. I wrote to him to obtain it earlier, but it seems time has been lost by it. He says he is looking out for an opportunity to send me my Gazettes and the Politique Holl:. It will not answer to send such things by post. I presume he means here those he has already on hand, if so there is time enough to send by water, shou’d I remain here in the Spring.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana. Decr 31 Jan. 11. ansd Feb. 5.”; docketed by CFA: “1781–2.”
1. Shakespeare, Henry the Eighth, Act III, scene ii, lines 371–372: “And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.”
2. On 6, 8, and 10 Dec. 1781, respectively, meetings in Westminster, Southwark, and the City of London approved petitions to the King calling for an end to the American war (London Courant, 7, 10, 11 Dec. 1781). Although these meetings were held under aegis of the association movement, their purpose, in the wake of Yorktown, was neither parliamentary nor economic reform. Rather they were the tools by which the opposition, notably the Rockinghamites and Charles James Fox, hoped to overthrow the North ministry (Ian R. Christie, Wilkes, Wyville and Reform, London, 1962, p. 136–137).
3. Dana refers to JA’s letter of 14 Dec. 1781, above, and Thomas Jefferson’s appointment to the expanded peace commission.
4. The revocation of JA’s commission to negotiate an Anglo-American commercial treaty.
5. For Dana’s September correspondence with the Marquis de Vérac, see JA to Dana, 14 Dec., and note 6, above.
6. Congress, following the recommendation of Robert Morris, resolved on 26 May 1781 to establish a national bank (JCC, 20:546).
7. Dana’s letters of 24, 28, and 31 March; and 2 and 4 April 1781 to the president of Congress written from Paris and concerning his proposed mission to St. Petersburg arrived on 22 June 1781 (same, 20:688; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:325–327, { 184 } 333–334, 344–345, 349–351). Ellery’s reference to “the great politics of the day” was probably to the joint commissions to accept the Austro-Russian mediation and to negotiate a peace treaty that Congress adopted on 15 June 1781 (vol. 11:368–377), and, perhaps, Dana’s appointment on 26 June 1781 as secretary to the peace commission until such time as he could proceed to St. Petersburg “either in a public or private character, without risking the interest or dignity of the United States” (JCC, 20:699). Rhode Island elected William Ellery, Dana’s father-in-law, as a delegate to Congress in May 1781; he did not attend until August (Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates, 17:xxiv).
8. In letters of 12 and 13 Jan. to JA and John Thaxter respectively, JQA commented on the absence of dictionaries and schools in St. Petersburg (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:277, 279).
9. Probably Edmund Jenings, who contemplated accompanying Dana to Russia (vol. 11:296–297).
10. Dana’s first letter from St. Petersburg was directed to Jean de Neufville & Fils. He requested that JA send his reply “under cover” to the St. Petersburg bankers Strahlborn & Wolff (vol. 11:478–482).
11. Jonathan Jackson who, like Nathaniel Tracy mentioned at the end of the paragraph, was a Newburyport merchant with whom Dana corresponded.
12. John Thaxter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0122

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-11

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Your Excellency will see by the within1 the Situation I am in, and will thence judge how far it may be proper for you to accept farther Drafts on Mr Laurens, with any Expectation of my enabling you to pay them, when I have not only no Promise of more Money, but an absolute Promise that I shall have no more. I shall use my Endeavours however, but am not sure of Succeeding, as we seem to have done what I long fear’d we should do, tir’d out our Friends by our endless Demands to pay Drafts unexpected and boundless. With the Million mentioned I can continue paying to the End of February, and then, if I get no more, must shut up Shop. I have the honour to be, with great Respect, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin 11. Jan. 1782 ansd 26.—inclosed is a Letter from M. Le Cte. De Vergennes.”
1. Vergennes to Franklin, 31 Dec. 1781 (Franklin, Papers, 36:347). Vergennes agreed to supply Franklin with one million livres, but refused further assistance, stating that any additional funds would have to come from the Dutch loan guaranteed by France.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0123

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Date: 1782-01-14

To Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Sir

Returning last Evening from the Hague I had the Pleasure to find your kind Favour of the Sixth of this month, and am very glad to hear of your Intention to place 12 thousand Florins in the american { 185 } Funds. I am also much pleased to find that you prefer, the Loan with which I am intrusted, to that made under the warranty of France and this Republick, because it is a more frank and manly Acknowledgment of our just Pretensions, and it is treating America more in her true Character.
From the decent Reception I met with in the Course of the last Week from all the Ministers of the Republick, and the Deputies of all the Cities of Holland, and the affectionate and friendly Reception, from Several of them, I am much encouraged to believe, that the final Resolutions of the States, allthough they may be too long delayed, will yet be finally just, both towards this Country and America. I hope I may not be mistaken. The longer a Decision is delayed, the less important it will be to America most certainly, and the more important to the Republick, for it may be depended on that the Cause of America, will grow every day Stronger and that of her Ennemies every day weaker, whenever, or however, this nation may declare itself.
Is the answer of Statilius to Brutus, perfectly just? Is it not the Duty of a wise Man Sometimes to expose himself to Dangers, even for the good of Fools and Knaves? Is not the Sentiment in another ancient Writing, more just, that an whole City is worth Saving for the sake of ten honest Men, for five, or even for two?1 It is certain that a Statesman can never do good to his Country or City, without conferring a Benefit upon Some of very worthless and even of detestable Character. I am however, far from thinking that worthy Men are in this nation so rare. It is most certain that the Time approaches very fast, when the Republick must decide. I agree perfectly with you, that a certain great City might have accomplished a Treaty with France and America with half the Efforts which they have made in vain against a certain Personage. I am a Stranger to the great City, and to the Characters that govern it, but if common Fame is not more than commonly impudent upon this occasion, Self Love, is the Same there as I have often Seen it elsewhere, and the private Ambition of an Individual, is every where capable of obstructing for a Time the wisest Plans and most generous Efforts of disinterested Men.2 Yet I have generally observed, that well disposed Men have redoubled their ardour and Exertions, upon finding themselves embarrassed by such Motives of Individuals.
A Gentleman has had the goodness to read to me in French, the Preface to a certain Collection lately printed in Dutch, which is a masterly Composition.3
{ 186 }

[salute] With great Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour to be, sir your most obedient and most humble servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC (Algemeen Rijksarchief, Papers of van der Capellen, No. 29A, p. 266).
1. An allusion to the biblical story of the Lord’s decision to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis, 18:26–32).
2. Perhaps a reference to Joachim Rendorp, one of the burgomasters of Amsterdam, for which see JA to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., note 4, below.
3. Probably the first volume of Herman van Bracht’s Verzameling van de Constitutien der Vereenigde Onafhanglijke Staaten van Amerika.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0124

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1782-01-14

To the President of Congress

No. 1.

[salute] Sir

Having recieved the Advice of several Gentlemen, Members of the States, and also the Opinion of the Duke de la Vauguyon and the Comte de Vergennes, I went to the Hague on Tuesday the 8th. day of this Month, and the next Morning at ten waited on the President of their High Mightinesses, Mr. Van den Sandheuvel of Dort, a City of Holland, to whom I made a verbal Requisition in the following words, the French being the Language of the Court.1
“Le quatre de May dernier, j’eus l’honneur d’une Conference avec Monsieur Le President de Leurs Hautes Puissances, dans laquelle, je l’informai d’une Commission que j’avois reçue des Etats Unis d’Amerique, avec plein-pouvoirs et instructions pour proposer et conclure un Traité d’Amitié et de Commerce entre les Etats Unis d’Amerique et les Provinces Unies des Pays Bas.
“Dans la même Conference, j’eus l’honneur de demander une Audience à Leurs Hautes Puissances, afin de pouvoir leur presenter mes Lettres de Creance et plein-pouvoirs.
“Monsieur Le President m’assura, qu’il feroit rapport à Leurs Hautes Puissances de tout ce que je lui avois dit, afin que la chose pût etre transmise aux divers Membres de la Souveraineté de ces Pays, pour etre soumise à leur deliberation et à leur decision.
“Je n’ai pas encore été honoré d’une reponse; et j’ai, par cette raison, l’honneur de m’adresser à vous Monsieur, pour vous demander, comme je demande, une reponse cattégorique, laquelle je puisse transmettre à mon Souverain.”
The President assured me, that he would not fail to make Report to their High Mightinesses. After this, I sent a Servant to the Grand Pensionary Bliswick, to know at what Hour I should have the Hon• { 187 } or of a little Conversation with him. The Answer returned to me, with the Compliments of the Grand Pensionary, was, that he was sick, unable to attend the Assembly of the States, and to recieve any Visits at home from any body: but if my Business was of a public Nature, I might communicate it to his Secretary, which would be as well as to himself. Upon this I requested Mr. Dumas to call upon the Secretary, and communicate my Intentions to him, which he did.
I went next morning at ten to the Secretary of their High Mightinesses, Mr. Fagel, and communicated to him the Step I had taken the day before, who told me that he had already been informed of it, for that the President, according to his promise had made his Report to their High Mightinesses: that it was true that the Baron de Linden de Hemen had made his Report to their High Mightinesses, on the fourth of last May, of my Proposition to him, and that it had been forthwith taken ad referendum by all the Provinces, but that no Member of the Sovereignty had yet returned any answer at all, either in the affirmative or negative: that my Proposition of yesterday had in like manner been taken ad referendum by all the Provinces, and that it was necessary to wait to see what Answer they would give. The Secretary, who is perfectly well with the Court as his Ancestors and Family have been for a long Course of Years, and who is as complaisant to England as any Man in this Country,2 recieved me with perfect Politeness, and when I took Leave insisted upon accompanying me through all the Antichambers and long Entries quite to my Chariot Door in the Street, where he waited, until We entered and drove off. After this, I went to the House of Dort, the Pensionary of which City, Mr. Gyselaer, recieved me with Confidence and Affection; told me, that all he could say to me in his public Character was, that he thanked me for the Communication I had made to him, and would communicate it to the Deputation and to the Regency of his City, and that he hoped I should have as friendly an Answer as I desired, for that he personally saw me with great pleasure, and very readily acknowledged my Character and that of my Country.
I went next, at the Hour agreed on, to the House of Haerlem, where I was recieved by the whole Deputation, consisting of two Burgomasters, two Schepins and a Pensionary. Here passed a Scene, which really affected my Sensibility, and gave me great pleasure. The five Gentlemen were all aged and venerable Magistrates, who recieved me with an Affection and Cordiality, which dis• { 188 } covered in their Air and Countenance the Sincerity and Satisfaction they felt in the Words of their Pensionary when he told me, that they were only Deputies, that by the Constitution of Haerlem like all the others in the Republick, the Sovereignity resided in their Constituents the Regency: that they thanked me for the Communication I had made to them, that they would communicate it to the Regency of their City, and that for themselves they heartily wished it success, for that the United States, as Sufferers for and Defenders of the great Cause of Liberty, might depend upon the Esteem, Affection and Friendship of the City of Haerlem, and that they heartily wished a Connection between the two Republicks, and they congratulated Us on the Capture of Lord Cornwallis, to which We returned to them a Congratulation for the Recapture of St. Eustatia, and took our Leave.
At the House of Leyden We were recieved by the Pensionary, who told Us he had the Orders of his Burgomasters to recieve me, to thank me for the Communication and to promise to communicate it to their Regency.
At the House of Rotterdam We were recieved by the whole Deputation, consisting of two Burgomasters, two Schepins or Judges and the Pensionary. We recieved thanks for the Communication, and a promise to lay it before the Regency. At the House of Gouda and the Brille, the same Reception and the same Answer. At another House, where the Deputies of five small Cities lived together, the same Answer. At the House, where the Deputies of Allimaar and Enkhuisen reside, We were recieved by the whole Deputations, recieved the same Answers with the Addition of Professions of Esteem and Wishes, that in time there might be a closer Connection between the two Nations.
Thus I had been introduced to the Ministers of the Republick, and to the Deputies of all the Cities of Holland except Amsterdam.3 In my Messages to the Deputations I had followed the Order of the Cities, according to the Rank they held in the Confederation. I had sent to the House of Amsterdam in its Course. The Messenger the first time found only one of the Burgomasters at home, Mr. Rendorp,4 who returned for Answer that the Gentlemen were not then together, but that they would send me word at what time they would recieve me: but no Answer came for a day or two. I sent again. The Messenger found only the same Burgomaster, who returned the same Answer. On Friday Morning, having no Answer, I sent a third { 189 } time. The Answer from the same Burgomaster was, that the Gentlemen were then setting off for Amsterdam, being obliged to return upon business, and could not then see me, but would send me word. Upon this I concluded to return to Amsterdam too, and to make the Communication there in writing to the Regency: but reflecting that this Step would occasion much Speculation and many Reflections upon Amsterdam, I desired Mr. Dumas to wait on Mr. Vischer, the Pensionary, who remained in Town, and consult with him. The Result was, that I made my Visit to the House of Amsterdam, and made the Communication to Mr. Vischer, who recieved me like a worthy Minister of the great City.
It may not be amiss to conclude this Letter by observing, that every City is considered as an independent Republick. The Burgomasters have the Administration of the Executive like little Kings. There is in the great Council, consisting of the Burgomasters and Councillors, a limited legislative Authority. The Schepins are the Judges. The Deputies are appointed by the Regency, which consist of the Burgomasters, Councillors and Schepins; and in the large Cities, the Deputies consist of two Burgomasters, two Schepins or Councillors, and one Pensionary. The Pensionary is the Secretary of State, or the Minister of the City. The Pensionaries are generally the Speakers upon all Occasions, even in the Assembly of the States of the Province.
These Operations at the Hague have been recieved by the Public with great appearance of Approbation and Pleasure, and the Gazettes and Pamphlets universally cry against the Mediation of Russia, and for an immediate Alliance with France and America. But the Leaders of the Republick, those of them I mean who are well intentioned, wish to have the two Negotiations, that for Peace under the Mediation of Russia, and that for an Alliance with France, Spain and America, laid before the States and the Publick together, not so much with an Expectation of accomplishing speedily an Alliance with Bourbon and America as with a hope of checking the English Party, and preventing them from accepting a Peace with England, or the Mediation of Russia to that End upon dangerous or dishonorable Terms.
If it was in any other Country, I should conclude from all Appearances, that an Alliance with America and France at least would be finished in a few Weeks: but I have been long enough here to know the Nation better. The Constitution of Government is so compli• { 190 } cated and whimsical a thing, and the Temper and Character of the Nation so peculiar, that this is considered every where as the most difficult Embassy in Europe. But at present it is more so than ever: the Nation is more divided than usual, and they are afraid of every Body—afraid of France, afraid of America, England, Russia and the Northern Powers, and above all of the Emperor, who is taking Measures that will infallibly ruin the Commerce of this Country, if they do not soon change their Conduct.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant.

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 452–457).
1. For the address in English, see the address to the president of the States General, [ante 9 Jan.], above. C. W. F. Dumas accompanied JA and on 15 Jan. reported to the president of Congress that “his excellency having made his requisition, I repeated it, that the president might understand it exactly, in the same terms as are to be seen in the Leyden Gazette, here sent, where I have got them inserted” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:102–103). The address appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 15 Jan., under the heading “De La Haie, le 12 Janvier.” The Gazette identifies JA as “Ministre-Plenipotentiaire des Etats-Unis,” a significant distinction.
Reports of JA’s initiative, together with the text of his address, soon appeared in London newspapers. “In general it is agreed, that the step taken by the American Minister could not have been better timed. For, in fact, the capture of Eustacius raises obstacles to the project of a particular peace with England, which are very favourable to the forming of political connections with a State with which we bear such a strong resemblance, and can contract the strongest ties of interest” (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 22, 23, 24 Jan.; London Evening Post, 19–22, 22–24 Jan.; London Chronicle, 22–24 Jan.; London Packet; or, New Lloyd’s Evening Post, 21–23 Jan.).
The address was also published by Antoine Marie Cerisier in Le politique hollandais on 21 January. In the issue of 28 Jan., Cerisier effusively praised JA as a man unwavering in his opposition to Britain and untiring in his labors to establish American independence and forge a Dutch-American alliance, which similarities in history, interests, and institutions made a natural one. To show JA’s standing, even among Britons, Cerisier cited Francis Blackburne’s Memoirs of Thomas Hollis (2 vols., London, 1780), quoting a passage praising JA that is so similar to one in Edmund Jenings’ letter of 17 Sept. 1781 (vol. 11:485–490) that it seems possible that JA supplied him with Jenings’ letter. Cerisier followed his selection from the Memoirs with a brief biography of JA.
The effort in Le politique hollandais of 21 and 28 Jan. to promote JA was continued in later issues. It, however, was not received with universal acclaim. Benjamin Franklin received an anonymous letter signed “W.R.,” dated 31 Jan. at Amsterdam, that sharply criticized JA (Franklin, Papers, 36:499–501). Although “W.R.” was a pseudonym used by Thomas Digges, the letter received by Franklin is not in Digges’ hand and there is no reason to believe that he sent the letter. The author wrote that he had once thought that JA’s propaganda efforts in the French press in the Netherlands would have a good effect and still would “if he had not lost sight of his plan the end of wch. he now defeats, particularly in his number [of Le politique hollandais] of this week which distressd me prodigiously on his account! Good god what can he mean? Others as well as myself almost from the first appearance of the poulitique hollandais, heard it as no secret that all that concern’d America in that paper was litterally translated from his own writing, and he was not sorry then the world should know him to be the author! What can then possess him now? Has his late fever impaired his intellects.” The author concluded that JA wholly lacked the qualities possessed by Franklin that were necessary to succeed with { 191 } the Dutch and to take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves. Two copies of this letter, one in JA’s hand, are in the Adams Papers, but there is no indication as to when he learned of it.
2. For Hendrik Fagel’s pro-British sympathies, see vol. 7:169, note 5. Members of his family had served as griffier or secretary to the States General since the appointment of Casper Fagel to the post in 1670 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek).
3. JA does not mention visiting the delegation from Delft. In an undated note in the Adams Papers, Delft’s representatives informed JA that they were returning directly home at the end of the session and would be unable to meet with him at The Hague (filmed at [1782], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 359).
4. When this letter appeared in the Boston Patriot of 19 and 22 Sept. 1810, JA followed it with a brief note on the behavior of Joachim Rendorp. “I did not explain to congress in this letter, the oddity in the conduct at the hotel d’Amsterdam: but in 1810 it may be noted that the whole was owing to the intrigues of the ambitious burgomaster Rendorp, who secretly flattered the court in hopes of obtaining an embassy to Russia. This was not the first nor the last of his maneuvres, to obstruct and embarrass me.” For a more charitable view of Rendorp’s motives, see Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 187–188.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0125

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1782-01-15

To the President of Congress

Amsterdam, 15 January 1782. RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 458–459). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:111.
In this letter, JA provided the English text of a note presented by the Russian minister, Prince Gallitzin, to Hendrik Fagel, secretary to the States General, on 10 January. The Russian diplomat wrote that, in order to avoid delays occasioned by correspondence, Catherine II thought it essential that instructions designed to meet all contingencies with regard to belligerent depredations on the commerce of the allied neutral powers be issued to the ministers of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark at the belligerent courts. She also recommended that the States General issue similar instructions. JA wrote that
“I have transmitted this, as well as all other State Papers relative to the maritime Confederation, because I hope it will be finally established, as it appears to be for the good of Mankind in general and of the United States in particular. The Dutch are so attached to it, that I think they will not give it up, and if the Empress has it sincerely at heart She will not consent that the Dutch should relinquish it.”
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 458–459). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:111).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0126

Author: Grand, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-15

From Henry Grand

[salute] sir

I have before me the two Letters you honoured me with in date of Decr. 1st. and 10th. and am made sensible by what you are pleased to tell me that you have L6857.3 to claim, not of me however, as I have given you credit and M. Dana by your order, for the whole sum Dr. Franklin charged me to pay to you personally the 12th. feby 1780, as appears by the inclosed Copy of his order.1 But as M. Dana in his Accounts with Congress, no doubt given in to Dr. Franklin, must { 192 } have acknowledged haveing received L6857.3 it makes it plain, the Doctor not having paid them, nor given an order on me for the same, that he is indebted to you for it.
Beside your giving credit to Congress for   L24000.    
Mr. Dana for   " 6857.   3  
makes a sum of   L30857.   3  
exceeding of the difference due to you, Doctor franklin’s order for L24000.
I am going to Passy to settle that Matter if possible, at all rates please to write to M. Franklin by return of Post, to make an end of it;2 I shall also take on me to demand a fresh order on account of your Appointments, imagining the Freedom of Amsterdam must be kept up and ravituaillée as every where else.

[salute] I remain most respectfully sir Your most obt. hble st.

[signed] Grand
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats unis a Amsterdam”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Grand 15th. Jany. 1782.” For the enclosure, see note 1.
1. Grand copied Franklin’s order of 12 Feb. 1780 on the third and otherwise blank page of the letter. Grand was directed to pay JA 24,000 livres to the value of 1,000 pounds sterling, the payment to be carried on the general accounts. For the record of payments to JA and Francis Dana from 12 Feb. 1780, see DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, p. 266.
2. No letter to Benjamin Franklin on this matter has been found, but see Grand’s letter of 11 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0127

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hanson, John
Recipient: President of Congress
Date: 1782-01-16

To the President of Congress

RC (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 462–465). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:114–116. In this letter JA included English translations of two items that appeared in Dutch newspapers, including the Gazette de Leyde of 8 and 11 January. The first was the representation made on 31 Aug. by the Swedish minister at London, in company with the representatives of Denmark and Russia, to jointly mediate the Anglo-Dutch war so as to avoid further belligerent depredations on neutral trade. See also JA’s letters to the president of Congress of 6 Aug., 1st letter, calendared (vol. 11:440), and 13 Dec. 1781, calendared above. The second item concerned the British attempt to stop and search a convoy protected by the Swedish frigate Jeramis. The Swedish government rejected Britain’s claim that it had the right to search, even under the provisions of the armed neutrality. Sweden argued that such a right existed only for vessels not under convoy, in all other cases the sovereign flag served to guarantee the nature of the cargo and its ownership. A dispatch dated 14 Dec. at St. Petersburg reported that the Russian government approved the Swedish position and ordered its ministers at the belligerent courts to take like action in similar situations without waiting for specific orders to do so.
RC (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 462–465). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:114–116.)

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0128

Author: Laurens, Martha
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-16

From Martha Laurens

[salute] Sir

Your very kind and polite Letter, which I received in its proper time, deserved my earliest and most hearty ackowledgements, but the hopes of receiving some Intelligence from London with regard to my dear Papa, worth Communicating, joined to some other Circumstances, have been the means of my delaying a duty, which finds itself most strictly united with my satisfaction, as it is undoubtedly more agreable to me to write to you under the Title of my dr Papa’s friend, than when I addressed you only as an American Minister. My mind is at present in a state directly opposite to what it was when I first had the honor of writing to your Excellency. You will not be surprized at this Sir, when I tell you that I have just learned, by a Gazette indeed, that this worthy and inestimable Parent is at Liberty.1 I sincerely thank you Sir, for all that you have done to serve my dear Father during the time of his Confinement, and shall take a pleasure in informing him of it, as well as of your Civility to his Daughter. I thank you also Sir for your Congratulations on the late great Victory gained in America, and on the part which my dr Brother has had in it. I am happy to hear that he acts in such a Manner as to gain public Approbation, and am persuaded, that he has nothing more at heart, than to be useful to his Country.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with sincere good Wishes & great Respect—Your Excellency’s—most obliged humble Servant.

[signed] Martha Laurens
1. On 31 Dec. Henry Laurens was called before Lord Mansfield and admitted to bail. He “was much emaciated, and so heavily afflicted with the gout as to be obliged to make use of crutches” (London Packet, 31 Dec. 1781 and 2 Jan. 1782). According to his own account of the event, Laurens went from the hearing to lodgings in Norfolk St. and on the third day set out for Bath to restore his health (Laurens, Papers, 15:396–398; see also Morris, Peacemakers, p. 265). Moses Young, Laurens’ secretary, wrote from Nantes on 19 Jan. to inform JA that he planned to join Laurens at Bath and offered to carry any messages that JA might have for the freed prisoner (Adams Papers).
Laurens’ release on bail was controversial because of questions about the role he could play in peace negotiations. Wishful thinkers in England believed that Laurens, even after Yorktown, might convince the United States to settle the war without receiving full independence. The Morning Chronicle reported that “it is generally believed, that upon Mr. Laurens’s return from Bath, he will be appointed a mediator between Great Britain and Congress; and it is said, the most flattering expectations of a reconciliation between the mother country and her colonies are founded upon this gentleman’s negociation” (1 Jan.). Such reports, together with Laurens’ status as a prisoner free on bail, made it impossible for JA, or any other member of the peace commission, to have { 194 } official dealings with him regarding an Anglo-American peace (to Benjamin Franklin, 16 April, below). Such limitations did not mean, however, that when Laurens, with Shelburne’s permission, met with JA in April their discussions were not meaningful and accurate. In fact, Laurens served as a conduit to Shelburne for the official negotiating position of the United States as expressed by JA.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0129

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bernhard, J.
Date: 1782-01-18

To J. Bernhard

[salute] Sir

I have received the Letter which you did me the Honour to write me, Yesterday from Leyden and it would give me Pleasure, if it were in my Power to give you a Satisfactory answer. But it is not. I am So far from having any Authority, from Congress to encourage officers, to go to America from Europe, with a View of obtaining service in the American Army, that my orders are quite the Contrary.
This War has continued in America, seven years, and the Army has been new formed So often upon the Expiration of the Term for which it was engaged, that there are at this day, a vast Number of officers, Natives of america, who cannot obtain service. Which will shew you, in a clear Light, the Impracticability, of my recommending any officer to Congress or General Washington for Service. All that I can do in such Cases is, when any officer is determined to go to america, at his own Expence and risque in order to see Service, to give him a Letter of Introduction to a Friend, who might shew him a personal Civility.1

[salute] I have the Honour to be, sir, your

LbC (Adams Papers); notation: “to be left with Mr F. J. Landman Merchant Amsterdam.”
1. Bernhard, a former captain in the Dutch Army, wrote on 17 Jan. (Adams Papers) to request JA’s assistance in joining the Continental Army at his former rank. Bernhard wrote again on 20 Jan. (Adams Papers) to thank JA for his consideration and to request a letter of recommendation to take to America. No reply by JA has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0130

Author: Clark, Gregory
Author: Horton, William
Author: Glover, Lewis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-18

From Gregory Clark and Others

[salute] Most respected Sir

Having full assurance of your assiduous attention, to Such of your unhapy Countrymen, as have had the misfortune to be Capturd. and shut up felons, In Brittish prisons, and of being Instrumental In their relief We now laboring under the unhappy Circumse { 195 } of Confinement, far distant from friends or Money, do most humbly implore your assistance In Supplying us with Some Money, to palliate In Some Degree the horrows of a long tedious Confinement. We are Sorry at the Same time to trouble your Excellency with Letters upon Such a Subject; But the Scantiness of our daily Sustinance, being barely Suffient to preserve Life much more to render it agreable, Compels us Contrary to our Inclinations to So disagreeable a request. If your Excellency Can See it in you way to grant the above request we Shall ever Look upon ourselves In Duty bound to make you ample Satisfaction, when ever it Shall please God to give us an oppertunity.

[salute] We are with the greatest respect your most obedient humble Servants under Confinement.

[signed] Gregory Clark
[signed] Wm Horton of milton
[signed] Lewis Glover
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Ambassidor at France”; in other hands: “à Paris”; “28. fev.”; “rue de richelieu”; “Ché monsieur le grand banquer”; stamped: “MORLAIS”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Lewis Glover 18th. Jany. 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0131

Author: Guild, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-18

From Benjamin Guild

I had the happiness of arriving here safe in the Alliance, evening before last, after a passage of twenty three days. In her came passengers the Marquis de la Fayette, Vis-Count de Noalles, Genl. du Portail, several other French officers and their suits. The Marquis and Vis-Count went on for Paris this morning and will probably arrive there on Sunday.
We left Nantasket road Christmas-day and shaped a direct course to this port and scarce saw a sail till we arrived. My conclusion to return to Europe was so sudden, least I should lose so favorable an opportunity, that I had not a single day or scarcely a single hour at command till I went on board. This prevented my waiting upon Mrs Adams in person and receiving any commands from her. By the detention of the ship a short time unexpectedly I however had an opportunity of giving her information of my design and receiving a letter directed to my care.1 I enclose it, together with those to Mr Dana, and suppose it contains information respecting your family and connexions who I understood were all very well.
{ 196 }
I have been so little time in America and been so constantly confined to business that perhaps many things may have escaped my attention. But I am happy to inform you that universal prosperity and contentment are so apparent in that country that it is impossible to mistake their vissage.
It is true that a large number of our private armed ships to the Eastward have been taken in the course of the last season, but in every other respect we have been successful. And indeed we have captured a number of valuable ships belonging to the enemy.
I was extremely pleased to find that our State had in a great measure reassumed its ancient happy aspect. I had reason to believe that civil government was never stronger and was told by some on whose judgment I could rely, that the State was never more powerful or in a more respectable situation than the present.
It would be endless for me to enlarge upon all the particulars that would give pleasure to any one so sincerely attached to his country as your Excellency. I shall take the liberty to send from Paris, or by the first private conveyance, our state register for this year,2 with which, by your knowledge of characters, you may be entertained. All appear perfectly peaceable and tranquile in the Northern states except those who interest themselves in the affairs of Vermont. Since the Congress have granted the people in that terratory their first request they have made an additional demand of the two upper counties in New-Hamshire. Debates and disputes have run high in some instances. From some towns East of the River there is a representative at each general court; but as the disposition of all parties is far from joining or favoring Great Britain we have nothing more to apprehend than what one might naturally expect from the settlement of such a matter.
Our frontiers are now peopling with amazing rapidity notwithstanding all the commotions and discouragements arising from the war.
Col. Willett has not long since scoured that part of the country, defeated and dispersed a party of six or seven hundred that came over the lakes commanded by Major Ross. He has killed and taken some of their leading characters; among the killed is that pest and terror to harmless families the infamous Butler.
It was reported that an expedition would be undertaken this winter over the lakes under General Schuyler, but of this I am somewhat doubtful.
Upon my arrival in America I was happy to find that the continen• { 197 } tal circulating currency had expired, and even without a sign or a groan. It has astonished our part of the world and perhaps may astonish some on this side the water that it should make its exit without being attended with alarming consequences and scarce have a single mourner to lament its fate. I was informed that a monument was erected after its expiration in some part of New-England, on which was an emblem of the old emission pointing at that of the new with this motto “Be ye also ready.” The new emission has however revived and encreased in value above 100 pr cent since the death of the old.
Our financies appear in a much better, indeed in a very promising situation. The bank is not only opened but kept open night and day; and the bank notes never below par.3
Large quantities of Specie have been imported from the Spanish dominions by private merchants, beside what has been sent from France. Mr Morris imported in one ship eight tuns of dollars and the trade opened by the Spaniards has been found advantageous. The Americans are shewing every day some tokens of an enterprizing disposition by forming new schemes and pushing into some new channels of commerce.
I attempt not a detail of particulars either political, commercial or social, as the Marquis and Vis-Count are gone on to Paris and probably with dispaches and letters whose contents may be published or forwarded to your Excellency.
I have been amazed to find what harmony has subsisted universally between the Americans and their allies, and that they have with unanimity and spirit uniformly pursued the common object.
I have not been long enough in Europe to form any conjecture respecting the continuance of the war. It was thought by many to be near a close when I left Boston, but I believe they will not in the least relax in their preparations for the prosecution of it. I was happy to find that not only political and commercial, but that literary matters have attracted the attention of my countrymen.
A medical society has been lately incorporated in Massachusetts—The University I think much more florishing—A public commencement was celebrated in the usual stile last summer. President Willard was publicly installed the week we sailed and a public entertainment given. Govenor Hancock was present, seated him in the chair and besides delivering the parchments, keys &c. made an address pro more Accademiæ.
By the register when forwarded you will see the appointment of { 198 } officers in our state. None has raised so much clamor as that of the justices: and when you see it you may perhaps determine the justice of that.
I do not recollect any late elections or appointments of which you have not probably been informed, unless it be some of the following;
  • General Lincoln secretary at war
  • John Hanson Esq. of Maryland President of Congress
  • Thos. Nelson Esq Governer of Virginia
  • Nathan Brownson Governor of Georgia
Members of Congress for New-York, James Duane, Wm Lloyd [Floyd], Ezra L’Hommedieu, John Moria [Morin] Scot, and Egbert Benson. For Maryland, Danl Carroll, Saml Chase, and Turbutt Wright. For Georgia Edward Telfair, Noble Wimberly Jones, Wm Few, and Saml S[t]irk.
The fate of my fellow passenger Mr T. was not decided when I left Boston. I was told he had given bonds for good behavior and appearance when called for by the state’s attorny, and that the whole matter was left in the attorney’s hands where it is not improbable it may rest forever.4
I expect to spend some weeks in France and then proceed to Amsterdam where I shall be happy in waiting upon your Excellency and enquiring after little Charles, who we heard arrived safe in Spain several weeks before I sail’d, but of whom we have heard nothing since.
Be kind enough to present my compliments to Mrs Charbonel and family, and let her know that her brother Le Roy was well about six or seven weeks ago.
Please also to present my compliments to Mr Thaxter and inform him that his friends are well and that I have a letter or two for him which I was desired not to forward by post, but shall bring, or send by first good conveyance.
Mrs Adams was happy to hear that Charley had arrived safe, altho in Spain, and is desirous of his return.
I have Boston papers to 24th Dec. but as they contain nothing important except what you have undoubtedly had, I shall not attempt to forward them.

[salute] I have the honor to be your Excellency’s most obedient and very humble servant

[signed] Benj. Guild
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Guild. Jan. 18. L’orient. 1782.”
{ 199 }
2. Probably Thomas and John Fleet’s A Pocket Almanack for the Year of Our Lord 1782 . . . , Boston, 1781, which included “A Register for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” (Evans, No. 17154).
3. The Bank of North America was incorporated on 31 Dec. 1781 (JCC, 21:1187–1190). For Robert Morris’ establishment of the bank, his use of it to finance the government’s operations, and his success in having the bank’s notes pass at par with specie, see E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790, Chapel Hill, 1961, p. 135–139.
4. Guild and John Temple were passengers on the Minerva. For Temple’s bond, dated 24 Dec. 1781, see MHS, Colls., 7th ser., 6 (1907):6.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0132-0001

Author: Raynal, Guillaume Thomas François, Abbé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-18

From the Abbé Raynal

[salute] Monsieur

Monsieur jennings ma venus votre lettre du 5 janvier avec la traduction hollandoise de la revolution de lamerique.
Je suis tres aise que le peu que jai dit de vous, monsieur, ne vous ait pas deplu. Mieux instruit, je me serois etendu davantage; mais je nen sçavois pas asses pour sortir des generalites.
Si vos occupations vous permetoient de lire avec attention ce que jai ecrit sur lamerique septentrionale, vous me feries plaisir de mavertir des erreurs ou je dois etre tombé.1 J honnore vos talens, je respecte votre caractere et jaime votre personne. Ces sentimens vous assurent de ma docilité.

[salute] Jai lhonneur detre avec respect, Monsieur, votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur,

[signed] Raynal

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0132-0002

Author: Raynal, Guillaume Thomas François, Abbé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-18

Abbé Raynal to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Mr. Jenings forwarded your letter of 5 January to me with the Dutch translation of the Révolution de l’Amérique.
I am relieved that you were not displeased with the little I said about you. Better informed, I would have been more elaborate, but I did not know enough to state anything more than general points.
If your time allows you to read carefully what I wrote about North America, perhaps you could do me the favor of pointing out any errors that I might have made.1 I honor your talents, and have respect and admiration for your character. These sentiments will assure you of my obedience.

[salute] I have the honor to be with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Raynal
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur J Adams à Amsterdam”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Abbé Raynal. 18th. Jany. 1782.”
1. See On the Abbé Raynal’s Révolution de l’Amérique, 22 Jan., below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0134

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-21

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I beg your Excellency would Accept my Thanks for the publications, which I have lately had the Honor of receiving from you; and for your Letter to the Abbé Raynal, who receivd me in Consequence thereof with the utmost Politeness and Attention. He spoke of your Excellency with the Greatest Cordiallity and respect, and seemed concerned, that you was not quite satisfied with the facts, as laid down in his Revolution de l’Amerique; but being open to Conviction, He repeatedly desired your Excellency would be so good, as to point out those Parts of his publications, with which you were not entirely satisfied. I suppose He has urged this in the letter, which I have now the Honor of transmitting to your Excellency. The Abbé talks of going into Germany soon. I fancy there is not sufficient wit, genius or liberallity of Sentiment Here for Him.
I congratulate your Excellency on the Enlargement of your illustrious Friend, is it not possible that your Excellency should see Him between this and the first Day of Easter Term?1 The Declaration that He made in the most public Manner, was Manly and necessary in his Situation, my Friend writes to me of it, and says that He wishes it was universally Known. “He declared He owed to; nor, Acknowledged any Allegiance whatever to this Realm, ie GB; nor was He subject to any other Country, than to the free and Independant States of N America.” My Friend, who is gone to Bath with Mr L, put it in the Papers and vouches for its Truth.2
I sent to your Excellency a supposed Letter from Mr D three or four others have been since inserted in the English Papers.3 Will not Enquiry be made into their authenticity? and should they prove authentic Can Congress, or any one entrusted by it, doubt how to behave to the author. Mr L4 assures me, that Ds Son is gone to England, I have since heard He was accompanied by his Secretary. For Godsake and for Our Countrys Sake, Sir, let this Man be detected and exposed, if He is Guilty. Those who trust Him ought to be warned at their Peril against continuing their Confidence in Him. I wish the Letters were translatd and sent to the french Minister. He will then see the Temper of those, whom He trusts to so much. My Correspondent at Madrid5 Complains that I am not open with Him; and indeed his former Connection with D now alarms me.
{ 202 } { 203 }
I saw with pleasure your Excellencys Demand of a Categorical Answer to your former memorial to the States, and without astonishment their sending it ad referendum. I should think the Conduct of Holland surprizing, if I had not read Her proceedings in former Times. I have lately read the History of the Treaties of Nemeguen and of the triple alliance with more than ordinary attention, and considering the present appearence of Things and the innate and inveterate Temper of the Dutch, I see I think, their fate almost without Pity.
Can your Excellency tell me what the King of Prussia is about? Will He not break out in the Spring.
The Captn of the Ship, who was to have carried the Books to your Excellency pretends He has deliverd them. Mr H. is very uneasy about them. He has received the Coin with many thanks in return, I expect to Hear daily from Him.
The English here suppose that Ld G G has retired, and that Ld Hilsborough is to do the business of the office of Secretary of State for the Colonies, which is abolished, and well it may.
It is impossible, that Rodney can have sailed. The Disaster to the french Fleet will change it is probable the plan of the ensuing Campaign, perhaps for our Benefit.
I have had the pleasure of a Letter from Col Searle, with the strongest private and public Feelings. He went to Passy to talk about the treatment, which Mr L had met with, but was by no means satisfied with the Reception given Him.
I find I am indebtd to Messrs de Neufville Eight Ducats, will your Excellency give me Leave to beg the favor of you to pay Mr De Neufville that sum, which I will take care to reimburse to your Excellency.
The English post informs us that Rodney has taken refuge in Torbay depend on it his ships must be much damaged not in their masts alone but their bodies.6 The wind stil continues high. De Grasse has a fleet sufficient to do much before the English Fleet can arrive in the West Indies.
It is said that one Clinton is coming over in Company with Bragadier General Arnolde.

[salute] I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt,

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers;); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jenings 21st. Jany. 1782.”
{ 204 }
1. The condition of Henry Laurens’ release on bail was that he appear in the Court of Kings Bench on the first day of the Easter term. The bail was discharged and he finally was freed on 27 April (Laurens, Papers, 15:397).
2. Laurens’ statement appeared in the London Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser of 2 January. Jenings’ friend was probably Edward Bridgen.
3. The letter was probably Silas Deane to Jeremiah Wadsworth, 13 June 1781, which appeared in the London Chronicle of 27–29 Dec. 1781. The letter was reprinted from the New York Royal Gazette, 31 Oct. 1781. It was one of a series of “intercepted” letters from Deane that appeared in the Royal Gazette between 24 Oct. and 12 Dec. 1781. All were dated at Paris between 10 May and 15 June and were written to American correspondents, including Wadsworth, William Duer, Robert Morris, Samuel Holden Parsons, Charles Thomson, Simeon Deane, Thomas Mumford, James Wilson, Benjamin Harrison, Jesse Root, and Benjamin Talmadge. For the origin of the letters and their publication in the New York paper, see Julian Boyd, “Silas Deane: Death by a Kindly Teacher of Treason?” WMQ, 3d ser., 16:167–168 (April 1959). Unfortunately for Deane, his letters, which called on Americans to end the war and reconcile with England, appeared almost simultaneously with news of the U.S. victory at Yorktown and cast him into the role of traitor in the struggle against England. Deane’s letters to Wadsworth and Robert Morris appeared serially in Le politique hollandais of 4, 11, and 25 March. Antoine Marie Cerisier prefaced the letter to Wadsworth with the observation that it was clearly written to discredit the American cause in Europe. Deane’s letters to Wadsworth, Morris, Samuel Holden Parsons, and William Duer were printed in The Remembrancer . . . for the Year 1782, pt. 1, p. 71–86.
4. Probably William Lee.
5. Presumably William Carmichael with whom Jenings had corresponded in the past (from Jenings, 27 Sept. 1780, vol. 10:182–183).
6. Rodney sailed from Torbay with twelve ships of the line on 14 Jan. (Mackesy, War for America, p. 450).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0135-0001

Editorial Note

Disturbed by errors in the Abbé Raynal’s Révolution de l’Amérique, London, 1781, and encouraged by the abbé himself, John Adams set about composing a point by point rebuttal of Raynal’s work (to Raynal, 5 Jan.; from Raynal, 18 Jan., both above). Adams clearly intended to publish the following series of letters in Le politique hollandais. The fourth installment (No. IV, below), however, ends abruptly, and Adams abandoned his plan to submit any of the letters for publication. This is the first time the letters have appeared in print.
In 1780 and 1781, Adams launched several efforts to present European readers with accurate accounts of the origins, progress, and nature of the { 205 } American Revolution. His critique of Raynal’s pamphlet should be compared with A Translation of Thomas Pownall’s Memorial, “Letters from a Distinguished American,” and Replies to Hendrik Calkoen (vol. 9:157–221, 531–588; 10:196–252); as well as the memorial to the States General, 19 April 1781 (vol. 11:272–282). Indeed, the letters to Le politique hollandais are largely an expansion of Adams’ first letter to Hendrik Calkoen, in which he responded to Calkoen’s request for an account of American affairs “before, during and after the Commencement of Hostilities” (vol. 10:200–203).
We may never know exactly why Adams set aside his evaluation of Révolution de l’Amérique. An obvious assumption is that he simply decided that it would be impolitic to openly criticize a respected public figure who supported the American Revolution. Nonetheless, Raynal would not escape criticism in the pages of Le politique hollandais. Later in 1782 Cerisier published extracts from Thomas Paine’s A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North-America. In which the Mistakes in the Abbe’s Account of the Revolution of America are Corrected and Cleared Up (Phila., 1782). Paine’s work had numerous reprintings in London and elsewhere, including a Brussels edition in 1783 “augmentées d’une préface et de quelques notes, par A. M. Cerisier” (T. R. Adams, American Controversy, 2:833–836).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0135-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Politique hollandais (newspaper)
Date: 1782-01-22

I. To Le politique hollandais

[salute] Sir

The Mistakes of Gazettes and fugitive Pamphlets, may pass unnoticed, because they are not expected to be correct, are not read by many and are Soon forgotten: but the Inaccuracies of a Writer, so distinguished by his Genius and Eloquence as the abby Raynal, in a work embellished with ornaments to captivate every Man of Taste and Letters, and enriched with Such a Variety of usefull knowledge, to secure its Immortality, ought to be corrected in Season, lest they Should be found to injure that great Cause of Truth Liberty and Humanity, to which this Writer has devoted his Life and Labour.
It is not at present intended to remark upon any other Part of the Philosophical and political History of the Europeans in the two Indies, than that which relates to North America, in which probably there are more Errors than in any other. We shall begin with the Revolution of America as printed in the last Edition,1 reserving all the rest for the Subject of future Speculations, if ever Leisure should be found to pursue them.

[salute] J’ai l’honnour &c.

{ 206 }
1. Révolution de l’Amérique first appeared as a section in a new edition of Raynal’s Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements, et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes (5 vols., Geneva, 1780, 4:376–459). It was published seperately in London in 1781. The page numbers provided by JA in Nos. II, III, andIV, below, and by the editors in the notes, are taken from the London edition.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0135-0003

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Politique hollandais (newspaper)
Date: 1782-01-22

II. To Le politique hollandais

[salute] Sir

The abby Raynal in his History of the American Revolution p. 19. Speaking of the Repeal in 1770 of the Act of Parliament which imposed Duties on Glass, Paints, Paper, Tea &c says “on n’en excepta que le Thé encore cette reserve n’eut elle pour objet que de pallier la honte d’abandonner entiérement la Superiorité de la métropole Sur Ses colonies: car ce droit ne fut pas plus exigé que les autres ne l’avoient été.”1
With all the Defference that becomes us, to the opinion of an author of such distinguished Talents and Reputation, it is presumed that the true Motive both of the Repeal of the Duties upon other articles and the Exception of that of Tea are here represented in a Light too favourable to the Ministry for the Truth of History. The Repeal was not made, to give Satisfaction to the Colonies, nor the Exception, to palliate the Humiliation of the Nation. A Repeal of the Statute without any Exception, would not have been abandoning the Superiority of the Metropolis.
Nor can it be properly Said that the Duty upon Tea was not exacted, more than the others had been, because all the Duties that upon Tea as well as those upon the other Articles had been exacted. They were not paid, in very large Sums it is true but this was not because the duties were not exacted, but because the Articles were not imported. Upon all the articles which were imported the Duties were both exacted and paid.
The real Motive of the Ministry, for repealing the Duties upon Glass &c was the apparent Impracticability of obtaining them. The Act of Parliament imposing these Duties, was passed in the latter End of the year 1766 or the Beginning of 1767. In 1768, the Ministry Sent over, a new Board of Commissioners of the Customs consisting of five Members, with a Swarm of Subordinate officers, for the express Purpose of overseeing the Collection of the Revenue, and Sent at the Same Time about four Thousand Troops, with the express Purpose of protecting the Board of Commissions and their Subordinate officers in the Collection of the Revennue.
{ 207 }
This new Board, and this army for their Body Guards, were a new Phenomenon in America, and convinced all discerning Men of the decided Intentions of the British Ministry to pursue, to the last Extremities, their Plan of a Revenue. The americans held in Detestation the Idea of a Revenue, to be imposed and collected by foreign authority. They held in <greater> Horror <Still> a Standing Army, in time of Peace for the Support of any authority much more a foreign Power. Accordingly all these Jealousies and apprehensions, had produced a general Consent, a kind of tacit association, throughout all the Collonies, against the Importation of the Articles upon which the Duties were laid. This association was adopted in Boston and all the maritime Towns of the Massachusetts, in New York, in Philadelphia, in Charlestown and in all the other Collonies. This association was, well observed in all the Collonies, except in the Town of Boston. Here a few Persons, 8 or 10 in Number, corrupted by the favours, and the Hopes of favours from the British Government, added to the Prospect of great Gain and protected as they were in the Town of Boston by an Army had the Effrontery and obstinacy to expose themselves to the universal Hatred of their fellow Citizens, by constantly importing the Taxed articles, against the general association of all america. This occasioned continual Discontent, and quarrells, between the Inhabitants and these Importers, between the Same Inhabitants and the Custom house officers, and the Soldiers. Discontent which finally broke out into an Outrage, on the night of the 5th of March 1770, when a Party of Soldiers fired upon a Crowd of Inhabitants, and killed 5 or 6 upon the Spot and wounded several others. This produced a Whirlwind. All Men, but the few Tories, were determined to deliver the Town of Boston from these Tyrants in red Coats. Accordingly twelve thousand Men assembled every day for near a Week, in the old South Church, opened a negotiation with the Governor and the Commander of the Troops, and obliged both to consent to order both Regiments out of Town to the Barracks upon Castle Island. These were Such Symptoms of War, that the Ministry thought it necessary to retreat for a Time, as they had done before in the affair of the stamp act, and she rather, because the Dispute with Spain about Falkland Islands, happening at that time, they expected a War with the House of Bourbon, and they always knew very well how much soever they may have disguised it, that the Colonists if dissatisfied would not fail to connect themselves with the Ennemies of Britain in Case of War.
{ 208 }
It was therefore the fear of War with the Colonies and the House of Bourbon together that induced the English to repeal the Duties upon Glass, &c in 1770, and the Duty upon Tea was left unrepealed, not to avoid the shame of giving up, their authority, but to divide the People in america. They were taught by their Creatures in america, that the People had recourse to a thousand Inventions to supply the Place of the Dutied articles. Glass houses were set agoing to make Glass. Paper Mills were set up. The Entrails of the Mountains were searched for okers to make Paints and Colours. A Thousand Substitutes were invented for Tea and a general association not to use the genuine Indian herb. All these Things together convinced the Ministry that they could not carry their Point but by Some Artifices to deceive and divide the People. They repealed the other Duties and presevd that upon Tea. The Duty upon this, was to be paid upon Landing, would not alarm the Country People, and the attachment to this refreshment was such, that they thought, they could succeed upon this single article, preserve the Principle, and make Use of this as a President upon future occasions. The Event shewed, that they were not wholly mistaken. They did succed in Part in deceivg and dividing the People.
The Merchants of New York were the first to Swallow the Bait, and pretended as the abby Raynal, now pretends that the Duty upon Tea was only preserved, to Save the Dignity of Government and was never intended to be collected. Accordingly they renounced the Non Importation association, as far as it respected, the other articles, and continued it only upon Tea. Their Example was followed, by other Places. This Soon produced full Proof, that the object of the Ministry was Division and Deception, not Reconcillation. Indeed the Continuance of the Board of Commissioners, whose Essence was Revennue, and of the Standing army, in Boston, and in the Castle, whose Single Distinction was Tyrany, had all along convinced the most penetrating and the best Intentioned, that not Peace but deception was the object. But, Soon afterwards, the Permission given to the East India Company, to export their Tea directly to the Colonies, as they did, to Boston New York Philadelphia and Charlestown, their appointment of agents to sell it in those Places, who were Men devoted to the British Ministry, and the determined orders and Measures that followed, soon awakened, all America out of a Delusion, to which even at this late day, the Philosophical and political Historian, has given his Countenance. We have found that the English nation have rather chose to loose thirteen Colonies in• { 209 } depended and incur a War with France Spain and Holland, rather than not exact in all its vigour the actual Payment of the Duty upon Tea. If they had only waived the actual Collection of the Duties, this War would never have taken Place.
There was but one wise and honest Part, to take that was to repeal the Statute totally and absolutely, as they had before done their stamp act. The Repeal of the Stamp act, had given perfect Satisfaction, and instead of injuring the superiority of the Metropolis, had produced, an universal disposition, to comply with all the Desires and Requisitions of Great Britain which could be possibly reconciled with the Liberty of the subject, and in particular, a greater disposition than ever to consent to every Regulation of Parliament which could come under, the Denomination of a Regulation of Trade. A total Repeal of the Tea Act, would have had a similar Effect. But the Board of Commissioners, and the army, must have been removed too, in order to restore perfect good Humor. The Board, was very justly associated with the Idea of Corruption, the army with that of Compulsion, and it may be depended on, the americans had too much real Virtue and of the Delicacy and Pride, that is essentially connected with it, to bear with Patience the appearance of a Design to corrupt them or to dragoon them out of their opinions of their rights and their notions of Liberty.
<I have the Honour>
The Impartiality of History demands, that the real Motives of action Should be developed, and there are two many incontestible Proofs that those of the British Ministry have always been Deception, Division and Seduction, never that of Reconciliation, or Peace.

[salute] I have the Honour to be

1. Translation: Only tea was excepted. But the object of this exception was only to palliate the shame of wholly abandoning the superiority of the metropolis over its colonies, for this duty was not more forcibly exacted than the others had been.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0135-0004

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Politique hollandais (newspaper)
Date: 1782-01-22

III. To Le politique hollandais

[salute] Sir

Page 21. The Abby Raynal Says “Les Habitants de Boston detruisirent, dans le Port meme, trois Cargaisons de Thé qui arrivoient d’Europe.”1
As the opposition to the landing, and Consumption of the Tea and { 210 } the Payment of the Taxes upon it, was the immediate occasion of this War, and all the vast Chain of great Events, which have succeeded, this Business ought to be Stated in <great> detail, and with the utmost Exactness, by any Writer who undertakes the History of the American Revolution. The History in question is very general, it is true, but it is humbly apprehended that this affair of the Tea ought to have been more particular. There is no Mention of any opposition to it, but in Boston, whereas the opposition was in reallity universal, throughout all America. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charlestown, conducted the opposition in concert.
Several Ships arrived at New York: the Inhabitants assembled to deliberate and determined that the Ships should return loaded as they were to London. The Consignees of the East India Company to whom the Tea was addressed, were informed that it was the universal Expectation of their fellow Citizens that they Should resign their appointments, which they did.
At Philadelphia, Several other Vessells arrived with Tea from the East India Company, consigned to distinguished Inhabitants of that City. Upon Similar assemblies of the People, and Similar Resolutions taken, the Consignees resigned and the ships returned to London.
Thus all the Tea ships, which had been to New York and Philadelphia were Seen Sailing up the River Thames, on their return in the Sight of the Nation a Spectacle which might have convinced the British Ministry of the total Impracticability of their pernicious Systems, if they had been men capable of Reflection, capable of Seeing the Character of the People of america, the State of the three Kingdoms, or that of Europe. But they were not.
At Charlestown, other Vessells arrived, the Inhabitants assembled there. The Result was, an agreement that the Tea should be landed, and Stored but none of it Sold. And this agreement was religiously observed, the Tea remaining in stores and Cellars, untill it was all spoiled.
At Boston, upon the arrival of the ships, the People met—applied to the Consignees to resign, who refused, relying upon the Protection of the army, which was then numerous in Boston, although there was none in N. York, Philadelphia or Charlestown. They applied to the owners and Masters of the ships, they were willing to return. But how to pass the Castle, where were a row of two and forty Pounders capable of Sinking the ships at a shot, and a British Garrison, to play them, and no Vessell suffered to pass, without a Certificate from the Governor. The Governor, Hutchinson was ap• { 211 } plied to, he refused to give the Certificates. Thus no alternative remained, but for the Town of Boston to give over the opposition, basely betray their Brethren in New York, Philadelphia and Charlestown, and dastardly resign their Liberties and those of their Posterity, or take a decided step. They did not hesitate a Moment, upon this alternative, and the next Mornings Sun was Saluted, with the Fragrance of Bohea, Soucheng and Hysen, from every Part of the Harbour. This detail is indispensably necessary to show, that the opposition to the Tea was a national opposition,—and the storing of it in Charlestown, the obliging the Consignees to resign, the sending the ships back from Philadelphia and New York, and the Drowning of that in Boston were all national Acts done in concert between all the United Colonies, as really so as the raising an Army, Building a Navy, forming a Confederation, or declaring themselves independent, by Congress have been Since.
During the whole Time of the deliberations, concerning the Tea, there were constant Correspondences going on between Merchants, Lawyers, Statesmen and even the Artificers and Mechanicks, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charlestown and, all other considerable Places on the Continent. The sentiments of the People were expressed in Gazettes, Pamphlets, and in the Resolutions of Towns, Cities and Smaller Circles; So that no Principle was adopted, no material Measure ventured on, untill the People knew each others Sentiments, from one End to the other of the Colonies.
<I have the Honour to be>
Our great Historian then does too much Honour to the Town of Boston, or too little to Charlestown Philadelphia and New York when he says “cette grand Ville avoit toujours paru plus occupée des ses droits que le Reste de L’Amerique.”2 The only Difference was this, the ministry had created a Crowd of worthless officers of Revenue in Boston, more than in other Cities—they had sent an army there to protect them—and they practiced more Tyranny there and consequently more resistance than any where: but the same Causes in all the other Cities, have ever produced the same Effects.

[salute] I have &c

1. In Révolution de l’Amérique, this passage begins “Ses habitans detruisirent.” Translation: The inhabitants of Boston destroyed in their own port three cargos of tea which arrived from Europe.
2. Révolution de l’Amérique, p. 221. Translation: This great town had always appeared more occupied by a sense of its rights than the rest of America.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0135-0005

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Politique hollandais (newspaper)
Date: 1782-01-22

IV. To Le politique hollandais

[salute] Sir

The Abby, in the 21 Page, represents the destruction of the Tea, as an excès blâmable, and the Town of Boston as a Cité coupable, which I apprehend is a Censure, unjust in itself and inconsistent, with, his own Principles, and with his whole moral and political System, in this ellegant Work.
Sydney and Lock, to name to others in England, John Jacques Rosseau, and a number of other Writers in France, have placed the Principles of Government in So clear a Light, and have produced Such demonstrations in Support of them, that no rational Creature, whose Faculties are not perverted by Superstition, and Fanaticism can read their Writings without seeing their Truth. Our author has not certainly read them without Conviction, and there is not one of the Writers I have mentioned, who could have vindicated the Principles of the american Revolution in a clear, shorter, or more elegant or masterly manner.
If then, “Qu’il n’est nulle form de Gouvernment, dont la Prerogative Soit d’etre immuable. Nulle autorité politique qui créée hier, ou, il y a mille ans, ne puisse être abrogée dans dix ans ou demain: nulle Puissance Si respectabble, Si Sacrée qu’elle soit, autorisée à regarder l’Etat come Sa proprieté.”1 If, “toute autorité dans ce monde, peut finir legitimement.” If, “Rien ne prescrit pour la Tyrannie contre la Liberté.”2
If it is true, that “Un peuple Soumis à la volonté d’un autre peuple qui peut disposer à son grè de son Gouvernment, et de ses Loix, de Son commerce; l’imposer come il lui plait; limiter Son Industrie et l’enchainer par des prohibitions arbitraires, est Serf, [v]oici il est Serf; et Sa servitude est pire que celle qu’il Subiroit Sous un Tyran.”3
If, Le Consentement des Aieux ne peut obliger les descendans, et il n’y a point de condition qui ne soit exclusive du Sacrifice de la Liberté. La liberté ne s’echange pour rien, parce que rien n’est d’un prix qui lui Soit comparable.4
If, Le Bonheur public est la premiere loi, comme le premier Devoir.5
1. Révolution de l’Amérique, p. 40. Translation: There is no form of government which has the prerogative to be immutable. No political authority, which created yesterday or a { 213 } thousand years ago, may not be abrogated in ten years time or tomorrow. No power, however respectable, however sacred, is authorized to regard the state as its property.
2. Same, p. 41. Translation: All authority in this world can justly end. There is no prescription in favor of tyranny against liberty.
3. Same, p. 43–44. Translation: A people subjected to the will of another people, who can dispose as they choose of their government, of their laws, and of their trade; tax them at their pleasure; set bounds to their industry, and enchain them by arbitrary prohibitions, are serfs—yes serfs—and their servitude is worse than they would suffer under a tyrant.
4. Same, p. 45. Translation: The consent of ancestors cannot be obligatory upon descendants, and there can be no condition which must not be understood to be exclusive of the sacrifice of liberty. Liberty is not to be bartered for anything, because there is nothing which is of a comparable price.
5. Same, p. 47. Translation: The public happiness is the first law, as the first duty.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0136

Author: Black, Thomas
Author: Green, William
Author: Williams, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-22

From Thomas Black and Others

[salute] Honoured Sire

Hoping that ÿou will Recieve Cuppele Lines in a good health this is to give Notice to your honnour of our bad Luck which we have here in this Countÿ we where engaged bÿ a Man which Sold us and brouht us aboerd a Dutch Indiesman our T[h]ree being Thomas Black from boston John Williams and William Green but Sire I Thomas Black have mÿ wife and Familÿ in America and Should rether whish to Serve the States of America then to Serve this Countrÿ we was Strange there in Amsterdam and having no Acquaintance So he took us up altogeher and confind us and brought us upon this Indie-man the Name of the Man is Henrÿ Thibout if there was now an Optunitÿ of Congres Ship we are all together willing to Serve the States of America where your honnour Pleasses to Send us and the Language of the Countrÿ does grive us being now a matter of nine months aboerd the Ship and having not recieved yet one Farthing and we arhe Used like the Slaves and whe are used like Prisonners your honnour Kan Consider that does grive us werÿ much whe Should whish us So happÿ to recieve a Cuple Lines of an Answer upon this Letter whit the first Oportunity So Soon as Possible if you pleasse to grant us that Favour whe Should think us werÿ happÿ we Should be happÿ yet once more hear of our Familÿ being now a matter of a year in this Strange Countrÿ Hoping would not take it in a ille part your honnour being in that Same time.

[salute] Your most humble and Obiant Servant

[signed] William Green
[signed] Thomas Black
[signed] John Williams
The direction is the Ship Schoonder Loo from the Kamer Delft bÿ de Oude Sluis bÿ Texel the Captains Name J. Van den Berg.1
{ 214 }
1. The three American sailors have not been further identified and there is no indication that JA did anything on their behalf. The Schoonderloo, upon which they had been impressed, was a 46-gun Dutch warship based at Delft (PCC, No. 79, IV, f. 368).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0137

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-01-25

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Your Letter of the 11. with the Copy of that from M. Le Comte de Vergennes of 31. of Decr. I had the Honour to receive by the last post. By, your leaving it to me to judge how far it is proper for me to accept further Draughts on Mr Laurens, with any Expectation of your enabling me to pay them, I am Somewhat embarrassed. If I accept any Bill at all it must be in full Confidence of your paying it, for there is not a Possibility, of my getting any Money here.
I lately applied to one of the first Houses, an old Dutch House, which has traded to america an hundred years, and whose Credit is as clear and Solid as any one in the Republick.1 I asked him, frankly if he would undertake a Loan for me. His answer was, sir I thank you for the Honour you do me. I know the Honour and the Profit that would accrue to any house, from such a Trust. I have particular Reasons of my own, of Several sorts, to be willing to undertake it, and I will tell you frankly, I will make the necessary Enquiries and give you an answer, in two days. And if I find it possible to Succeed, I will undertake it. But there are four Persons, who have the whole affair of Loans through the Republick under their Thumbs, these Persons are united, if you gain one you gain all, and the Business is easy, but without them there is not one house in this Republick can Suceed in any Loan.
After the two days, he called on me, to give me an account of his Proceedings. He Said he first waited upon one of the Regency, and asked him if it was proper for him to put in a Requete and ask leave, to open Such a Loan. He was answered he had better Say nothing to the Regency, about it, for they would either give him no answer at all, which was most probable, or say, it was improper for them to interfere, either of which answers would do more hurt than good. It was an affair of Credit, which he might undertake, without asking Leave, for the Regency, never interfered to prevent Merchants from getting Money. With this answer he went to one of the undertakers, whose answer was, that at least untill there was a Treaty, it would be { 215 } impossible to get the Money. As soon as that Event should happen he was ready to undertake it.
I have been uniformly told that these four or five Persons had such a despotick Influence over Loans, I have heretofore sounded them in various Ways, and the Result is that I firmly believe they receive ample Salaries, upon the express Condition that they resist an american Loan. There is a Phalanx, formed by British Ministry Dutch Court, Proprietors of English stocks and great mercantile Houses in the Interest of the British Ministry,2 that Support these undertakers and are supported by them.
We may therefore reckon boldly that We shall get nothing here, unless in the form of the late five millions, lent to the King of France and warranted by the Republick, untill there is a Treaty.
I believe however I shall venture to accept the Bills, of which I have given you notice in hopes of your Succeeding better than your fears.
Yesterday was brought me, one more Bill drawn on Mr Laurens on the 6. July 1780 for 550 Guilders, No. 145. I have asked time to write to your Excellency about this too, and shall wait your answer before I accept it.

[salute] I have the Honour to be

1. The mercantile house has not been identified.
2. When this letter appeared in the Boston Patriot of 3 Oct. 1810, JA inserted at this point the following passage: “(at the head of whom was the house of Hope).” For Hope & Co., see vol. 11:53, note 2.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0138

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-25

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

I answered your letter of the 14th. of Decr: on the 2/13th.1 inst: by post. I have also wrote to Mr: T. through the same channel, and enclosed the paper from ||France|| which you desired I wou’d send you.2 I have no copy of ||Spain||’s. I have seen ||Russia|| and ||Austria|| to ||France|| but ’tis not probable I cou’d obtain a copy of that if I asked for it; I am loth to make a request there, which may not be granted, as it wou’d give him uneasiness to refuse it; yet I want exceedingly to have it. I will feel about, and try if I cannot be gratified with it. If I am, you shall have it by the earliest opportunity. All as yet stands well between us, and if I had the language I wou’d cultivate { 216 } the acquaintance with more assiduity. There are some persons about him exceedingly agreable—I am in statu quo. I believe there is no mischief plotting against us, and therefore I am the more patient. Sometime past I intimated to you that I wished to communicate a matter of some consequence to you but that I dared not to do it unless by a private opportunity. I shall bear it in mind and give it to you as soon as it may safely be done. In my opinion ’tis a clue to the conduct of the Gentleman to whom you say you gave your sentiments in detail on a certain occasion, so far, at least, as respects the advice I received from him but did not follow.—Mr: T. speaks of the particular mediation between Britain and Holland under the sole conduct of the illustrious Sovereign of this Empire: but, it is my opinion, that all her kind offices to affect a reconciliation between two Nations seperat’d by political objects of such magnitude, will be exerted in vain, unless Britain shou’d be much more humbled than at present: so that I believe the matter will never come to what he calls “one of their short referendums.” However another Russian Minister will be with you upon that business shortly.3
I wait with some impatience for your promised letter;4 but upon this subject I must give some further cautions. It will be adviseable for you to write upon paper nearly similar to this (you have some of the same) and to fold up your letters after the same manner, and seal them with wafers only, and then cover them as before. But besides if you have any letters to forward to me of a different size and fold than what commonly passes between Merchant and Merchant, after covering them to Messrs: Strahlborn & Wolf, direct them to Messrs: de Bruyn & Co: at Riga with a request to forward them under their cover and seal to those Gentlemen. Some of my last letters came in this way (as they tell me) forwarded by Messrs: de Lande & Finje of Amsterdam. Though the expence of postage will be considerably greater yet there is a very particular reason for pursuing this course.
Mr: T. has enclosed me the answer of the Gentn:5 you consulted upon a certain matter for me. He has stated as moderately as I expected, his present benefits vize at abt 218. or 220£ sterlg: a year. He has not said what sum he shou’d expect from me, but has said, I believe very truly, that his affairs become daily more advantageous and solid—that he shou’d expect to have some hopes of a maintenance and of preferment in case. The latter you know I cou’d not procure for him; and indeed there cannot be the least prospect of its taking place, Congress from principles perhaps of œconomy, I believe, will not make any such appointments in future, and in this I think they { 217 } are right. A maintenance he most certainly wou’d have, for living with me, his apparel washg. &c woud be his principal expences. I shou’d not hesitate to give him £150. or 200£ sterlg: a year. But as I hinted to you in my last, I cou’d not give him any encouragement even of this, while my own stipend remains as it does. If therefore Congress shou’d not explain themselves upon my letter written from Paris (which I shew to you) to my advantage, my stay here will not be long. I cou’dn’t entertain the least thought of inviting him to my assistance. He will therefore not think of the matter any further unless he hears directly from me upon the subject. He may rely upon it I shall always treat him with candour and shall make my propositions openly to him, whenever it will suit my own circumstances. He will then judge whether they will agree with his. May I beg you to present him my regards and to assure him he has much of my confidence and esteem not only for the services he has already rendered our Country but on account of his great personal worth, and that I shou’d really be happy to have an occasion to reward his Merit.
I hope you will be so kind as to permit a copy to be taken of General Washington’s Miniature picture for me. Mr: T. will readily seek out the Limner who took one for Mr: Parker, if a better is not to be found.6 That I think, was well executed. I shou’d be glad this might be done as soon as may be, and that some safe opportunity may be sought out to forward it to me. Let it be put into a little case as your’s.
Your Son is in high health, he pursues his Latin—has translated Corn: Nep:7 throughout, and is just begining upon Cicero’s Orations. Do you think ’tis time for him to read History, and which shou’d you prefer? I have subscribed to the British Library here where there is a good collection of English Authors.8 Wou’d it not be adviseable that he shou’d compose in French, and to that end that he shou’d write you in French?9 You will please to give him such directions as you think best for the persuit of his studies.

[salute] I am, my dear Sir, with much esteem & regard your friend & obedient, humble Servant

P.S. When you address to me pray omit titles, especially such as do not belong to me. I have no right to any other than I brought to Europe with me.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence Mr: Adams Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats-Unis de l’Amerique à Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mr Dana Jan. 14./25. 1782.” For the three documents with this letter in the Adams Papers, see note 2.
{ 218 }
1. From Dana, 11 Jan., above.
2. The item enclosed in Dana’s letter to John Thaxter has not been positively identified. It was probably one of the first two documents (all three of which are in JQA’s hand) that accompany Dana’s letter to JA in the Adams Papers. 1. “Reponse de S.M.T.C. à la replique des deux cours médiatrices.” 2. “Extrait de la reponse de La Cour de France aux propositions faites au Sujet du retablissement de la Paix par les Cours de Petersbourg et de Vienne.” 3. “Projet de Réponse aux trois Cours belligérantes.” Filmed at January 1782 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356) is an incomplete copy in Thaxter’s hand of the first and third documents.
3. Catherine II appointed Arkady Markov to assist Prince Gallitzin at The Hague in promoting Russia’s mediation of the Anglo-Dutch war. He also reportedly was instructed to oppose any alliance between France and the Patriot party in the Netherlands (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 350). Markov arrived at The Hague on 2 March (Gazette de Leyde, 5 March).
4. In his letter of 14 Dec., JA promised to write soon. His next letter to Dana is dated 5 Feb., below.
5. Presumably Edmund Jenings.
6. The miniature has not been identified.
7. Cornelius Nepos, De viribus illustribus. JQA read the work prior to his departure for Russia. He purchased a 1771 Latin and French edition at St. Petersburg on 29 Oct. 1781. JA preferred that JQA read and translate “higher Authors” than Nepos (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:113–114, 144; Catalogue of JQA’s Books).
8. For JQA’s sixteen recorded visits to the English Library between 27 Jan. and his departure from St. Petersburg on 27 Oct., as well as an account of the books that he was reading from that and other sources, see JQA, Diary, 1:103–152.
9. JQA did not write to his father in French, except when he quoted from a French source. He, however, did exchange letters in French with John Thaxter (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:275–278, 269–270, 278–279, 299–300, 352–353).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0139-0001

Author: Bracht, Herman van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-26

From Herman van Bracht

[salute] Wel Edel Gestrenge Heer

Het is nu omtrent een Jaar geleden dat de Heer Dana de beleestheid had, om aan myne nieuwsgierigheid te voldoen, my uit Parys toetezende de fransche uitgave, der verzamelde constitutien van de Amerikaansche staten: Eenige vrienden nevens my, alle hoogagters van en welwenschers aan die volken, vonden goet dat dat werkje vertaald wierd, op dat alle nederlanderen zoude kunnen weten op wat schoonen en zuiveren grond de voers regering en vryheid van Amerika zig gevestigdt had; de Heer Wanner boekhandelaar ter dezer plaads, ondernam het werk; maar doe het stuk genoegzaam was afgedruckt, vernamen wy dat het Edel congres, een volledige zamenstel van haar constitutien en tractaten had doen uitgeven, hier om was die drukker genoodsaakt de Tytul van zyn neerduitsche uitgave te veranderen, en dat stuk, als een eerste deel int ligt te doen verschynen, In hoop van met er tyd het ontbrekende te zulle kunne magtig worden, en dan dat waarlyk schoon werk volledig zyn landgenoten aan te bieden.1
Nadien nu het E. Congres alleen maar 200 exemplaren heeft doen drukken, en het werk dus niet te bekomen is, dan door hun aan wien { 219 } t zelve door ’t E. Congres is toegezonden, zoo neme Ik de vryheid my zelve hier over regtstreeks tot uweledlgst te wenden, met Ernstig verzoek, dat uwel ed Gest mogt goet vinden, ter bevordering van bovengemeld oogmerk, my voir eenige maanden een exemplaar toe te vertrouwen. Dit werk In’t nederduits volledig vertaald te zien, kan niets dan van nut zyn zoo voor Amerika als voor deze provintien een yder die lust heest, kan dan het schon En vast fundament, waar op Amerikaa’s vryheid onwrikbaar rust, beschouwen, Ik denk ook dat het nog veele zal aanmoedigen de zaak van Amerika meer en meer toegedaan te zyn, nadien er nog zeer velen zyn In dit land die geen denkbeeld altoos van de aangename Constitutie van Amerika hebben, en egter niet zonder Invloed op onze regering zyn.
Neem het my niet kwalyk wel ed Gest Heer dat Ik my In dit verzoek tot u hebbe gewend; uw alsins bekende beleestheid zal my wel wille verschonen, dat Ik eenige oogenblikken van uw tyd, die Gy tot veel wigtiger bezigheden nodig hebt, uw hebbe doen verliezen.
Biddende den Almagtigen dat Hy uwel ed Gest pogingen zegene, en dat het In’t kort my en Anderen, tot welzyn der byde landen, zal mogengegunt zyn, uwel ed Gestrenge te mogen adresseren, als zyn Excellentie de geaccrediteerden Minister der vrye staten van Amerika by onzen souveryn, t geen hartelyk wenscht die de Eer heest zig, met aanbieding van zyn geneugen dienst, te noemen Wel Edel gestr. Heer Uweled gestr ond. Dienaar
[signed] Herman van Bracht

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0139-0002

Author: Bracht, Herman van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-26

Herman van Bracht to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Dear Sir

It is now about a year ago that Mr. Dana was so kind as to satisfy my curiosity by sending me from Paris the French edition of the collected constitutions of the American states: Some friends, as well as myself, all well-wishers and with a high opinion of those people, thought it a good idea that that work be translated, so that all Netherlanders would be able to know on what a beautiful and pure basis the aforementioned government and liberty of America has been established; Mr. Wanner, a bookseller in this place, undertook the work; but when the piece was practically fully printed, we learned that the honorable Congress had had a complete collection of its constitutions and tracts published; for this reason the printer was obliged to alter the title of his Dutch edition, and to have that piece appear as the first volume, in the hope to get hold of the missing volume eventually, and then to offer that truly beautiful work to his countrymen completely.1
Now because the honorable Congress only had 200 copies printed, and the work is unobtainable except through those to whom the honorable { 220 } Congress has sent it, for that reason I take the liberty to turn to your honor directly about this, with the earnest request, that your honor might approve of entrusting a copy to me for several months, for the achievement of the aforementioned goal. To see this work completely translated into Dutch can only be useful both for America and also for these provinces, everyone who desires can see the beautiful and firm foundation on which America’s freedom steadfastly rests. I think also that it will encourage many more to support America more and more, because there are still very many in this country who as yet have no concept of the agreeable constitution of America, and nonetheless are not without influence on our government.
Do not hold it against me, your honor, that in this request I have turned to you; your well-known politeness will forgive me that I have made you lose some moments of your time, which you need for much more important activities.
Praying the Almighty, that He bless your honor’s attempts, and that soon it may be permitted to me and others, to the benefit of both countries, to address your honor as his Excellency the minister of the free states of America accredited by our sovereign, which is heartily desired by him who has the honor, with the offer of his sincere service, to call himself, honorable sir, your honor’s obedient servant,
[signed] Herman van Bracht
1. The two collections are Recueil des loix constitutives des colonies angloises, confédérées sous la dénomination d’Etats-Unis de l’Amérique-Septentrionale . . . , Paris, 1778, and The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; . . . , Phila., 1781. For their translation and publication by van Bracht as Verzameling van de Constitutien . . . van Amerika, . . . , 2 vols., Dordrecht, 1781–1782, see Jean Luzac’s letters to JA of 6 Sept. (vol. 11:475–477) and 10 Dec. 1781, above; and JA’s reply to Luzac of 13 Dec., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0140

Author: Greene, Nathanael
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-01-28

From Nathanael Greene

[salute] Dear Sir

Our correspondence has been long broken off. I had the honor of a line from you by the Count de Noel; but I was at a loss to tell whether I was indebted to you or to him for it.1 However in that letter you express a wish to renew our correspondence. I should have readily complied with your desire, but as the correspondence had droped from your disinclination and not mine, and as my situation at the time I was favored with your letter could not make my correspondence more valuable, or of more importance than it ever had been, I was [resolved not to open] one, untill I could do it to [more { 221 } advantage on] my side that I might [convince you of m]y esteem and regard. I [was well informed y]ou had let in some prejudices to my disadvantage, such as my being more influenced by men than measures and that in the field I had neither activity or enterprise. However mortifying these things were, my pride would not permit me to undeceive you; and such was my situation at that time that it would have been difficult, if not impracticable had I attempted it. That I have a very great respect to men, I readily confess, but politically, no further than they are necessary to measures. The good of my country has ever been my first and great object, and I defy malice itself, to fix upon a single instance wherein I have departed from this line in consideration of private attachments. I honor virtue where ever I find it, wh[ether in civil or] military life. I love [my Friends but I] have been taught to be[leive no Man is at] liberty to sacrifice the pub[lick good to private] friendship.
My military conduct must speak for itself. I have only to observe that I have not been at liberty to follow my own genius ’till lately, and here I have had more embarrassments than is proper to disclose to the world. However the american arms have gained some advantages. My public letters will have given you some idea of it; but the previous measures which led to important events and the reasons for these measures must lay in the dark, untill a more leisure hour. Let it suffice to say that this part of the United States have had a narrow escape. I was seven months in the field without taking my cloths off one night. We have now compleat [possession of t]he country and the in[habitants in]finitely more determined [to free themse]lves from british [Dominatio]n than ever they have been. The advantages we have gained here added to the capture of the british in virginia we flatter ourselves will work some important advantages for us in Europe, and we are impatiently waiting to hear of the effect should we be disappointed the people are determined to defend themselves from age to age rather than give up their independence.
If you still feel the same inclination that you expressed in your letter by Count de Noel I shall be happy to correspond with you and I shall take a pleasure in communicating every thing important from this department.2

[salute] I am [&c.]

[signed] N Gr[eene]
FC (MiU-C:Greene Papers). LbC (DLC:Greene Papers). A corner of the FC is missing, resulting in the loss of a considerable amount of text, which has been supplied from the LbC.
{ 222 }
1. JA’s letter of 18 March 1780 was carried by the Vicomte de Noailles (vol. 9:62–63).
2. This is the last letter known to have passed between Adams and Greene. The absence of a recipient’s copy in the Adams Papers may indicate that JA never received it. Greene sent the letter to James Lovell, instructing him to forward it to JA. Lovell wrote to Greene on 2 April 1782 and promised to send the letter to JA (Greene, Papers, 10:587), but no letter from Lovell enclosing Greene’s letter has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0141

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: UNKNOWN
Date: 1782-01-31

To Unknown

[salute] To all whom it may concern

Mr John Adams, to whom the printed Paper herewith enclosed, is directed, certifies that he has the Honour to be a Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces, of the Low Countries, and as a public Minister of a Sovereign State, intituled to an Exemption from the Payment of Such Duties.1
Certified at Amsterdam the 31. of January 1782
[signed] By John Adams Minister Plenipotentiary
1. The enclosed printed paper has not been identified. Its effect, since JA’s diplomatic status had not yet been recognized, is unknown.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0142

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bracht, Herman van
Date: 1782-02-01

To Herman van Bracht

[salute] Sir

I have this Day received, the Letter, you did me, the Honour to write me, on the 26 of Jany.
I wish it were in my Power, to send you the inclosed Volume as a Present, but as I am not possessed of any other Copy, and as it is necessary for me, to have it by me, I can only lend it you, for the Time you desire.
Be pleased, Sir, to accept my Thanks for your care, in translating, the american Constitutions into the Dutch Language, and for your good Dispositions towards, the americans which I hope in time may become universal.

[salute] With great Respect, I have &c

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0143

Author: Pope, Jacob
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-02

From Jacob Pope

[salute] To the Right Honourable John Adams

Sir I have Taken this Opportunity of writing to You to lett you know of my Unhapy Situation here as Sir I was Captured on My Voyage to Portaprince In the westindeas att which Time I was Deprivd. of Both Cloths. and Money And Sent Here into Prison Destitude of both Cloths. and Money And no Acquaintanc to Suply me with Any Untill I could be relievd. from Home Which I dont Expect Any Suply This Six or Seaven Months Although I have wrote to my Owners Different Tims. Since my Arrival Here And Cannot Expect Any Answr. or Relief for Six or Seaven Months To Come Which is to long A time for one in the Distrissd. Situation that I am in att Preasent. Sir I have Commandd. A company in The Continental Army Dureing Which Time I fought Thirteen Battels in the Defince of my Country And Have Been Eaver Since in Pursuit of The Enemy by Sea Untill this Unlucky Voyage that I had the Misfortune of Being Capturd. Sir as I have no Corrispondence in france And Cannot be relivd. from Home this Considerable time to Come I realy on Your Honour and Goodness And Expect You will be Pleasd. to Procure Some Man for my Exchange or Send Me Some Trifling sum of Money to Suply my wants here And buy A little Cloths for me and a little boy of A son of Mine who is along with me Here And you may Realy on it it Should be paid to You or Your family in America with Double Interest Togeathr. with being an Everlasting Obligation on me and You May Realy on it I will be near Dessetient of Gratitude Enough Dureing my life to Esteem it as the Greatest favour I Eaver mett with So my Distressd. Situation Obligs. me to Expect Your Honours. Compliance in my reaquest which I hope will be Rewardd. You by God Which will be the Continual Prayers And Sincear wel wishes of Your Honours Most Obidient And Most Humble. Sirt & Contryman
[signed] Jecob Pope1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in John Thaxter’s hand: “Jacob Pope 2d. Feby. 1782.”
1. Jacob Pope of Dighton, Mass., was captured on board the Massachusetts privateer Twin Sisters in June 1781 and committed to Mill Prison in Jan. 1782 (Jeremiah Colburn, “List of Americans Committed to Old Mill Prison, England, During the War,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 19:212 [July 1865]). There is no evidence that JA provided the requested assistance.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0144

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-02-04

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Yesterday was presented to me another Bill of Exchange for 1100 Guilders, drawn on Mr Laurens 25th. Feby. 1780. I have, as usual, asked time to write to your Excellency, to know if You can be responsible for the payment: if not, they must be protested, for there is no Money to be had here.
Indeed, if there was a probability of obtaining any small Sum here, quare, whether it would not be impolitick to start the subject at this critical moment, when the Republick is seriously thinking of an Alliance with France and America. There are great appearances of Anxiety for the Return of the Duke de la Vauguyon, and great Expectations are formed from his Presence.1
I think it certain, that the States will not make a separate Peace, nor accept the Mediation of Russia, but upon Conditions which France shall acquiesce in. Upon such Conditions, I presume England will not make a separate Peace, nor even accept the Mediation: so that I am well persuaded there will be no Peace nor Mediation. These points once settled, there is great reason to believe they will make a Treaty with France and America. Indeed an apprehension prevails, that France is not fond of an Alliance, and this apprehension damps the Ardor of the Favourers of such a Measure.
If the Proposition suggested in my Instructions should be now made, I think it would succeed;2 but I may be mistaken, and it is now under the Consideration of abler Judges, whose Determination I shall wait very respectfully.
This moment six other Bills drawn on Mr. Laurens 6th. July 1780 are brought to me. Nos 83. 86. 92. 132. 136. 137—all 550 Guilders each. Without your Excellency’s Consent to discharge them, they must be protested.

[salute] With great Respect I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams3
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PPAmP:Franklin Papers); endorsed: “John Adams Amsterdam Feby. 4. 1782.”
1. The Duc de La Vauguyon returned to The Hague on 6 Feb. (Gazette de Leyde, 12 Feb.).
2. An alliance between the Netherlands and the United States as proposed in JA’s instructions of 16 Aug. 1781 (vol. 11:454–456).
3. The closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0145

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-04

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have received yours of the 25th. past, in which you acquaint me with the Reasons you have for being fully of Opinion that no Loan is possible to be procured by you, till there is a Treaty. Our only Dependance then appears to be on this Court; and I am happy to find that it still continues dispos’d to assist us. Since mine of the 11th. past, tho’ I have obtain’d no positive assurances of determined Sums, I think I see more Light, and will venture undertaking to answer your acceptances of the Bills you mention. Before you receive this, you will be inform’d of my having sent wherewith to answer your Engagements for the present Month; and I beg to know how much is yet to be provided for. With great Respect, I have honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Son Excellence Monsieur John Adams en son Hotel à Amsterdam.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Dr. Franklin 4th Feby. 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0146

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-02-05

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

Your favor of Decr. 31st/Jany. 11th 1781.2 I recieved Yesterday, and in an hour or two after the Letters inclosed were sent in to me.1 As I have not recieved any of my Letters by the Viscount de Noailles or the Marquiss, I was very anxious to know the News and took Advantage of your Permission to open the Letters. That from Mrs. gave me vast pleasure—it put me in Spirits for the whole day. The other was wholly upon Business. You may depend upon it, I shall make use of the Liberty you allow me with great delicacy. The Accounts from America are very favorable—rather too confident that the War is nearly at an End, but not relaxing the string of a Bow. You have seen in the Papers a Requisition to the States, which made a lively Sensation. If the Negotiation for a separate Peace should pass away, there is a Probability of a Connection with the other Enemies of England: but You know this People.
To the Enquiry who will shew me any Glory, the Answer is easy, because there is but one Way to it—Send an Ambassador to the United States of America—Acknowledge their Sovereignty—invite { 226 } them to a Congress at Vienna with the other belligerent Powers. What can be more simple and certain of success? This would be the brightest Ray of all her Glory: this would endure to all Generations: this would give Peace to Mankind—for every other Power of Europe would follow the Example immediately.
It was the Father I meant, who is now at liberty, by 20.2
Have You seen certain Letters of Mr. D. in the Morning Post?3 Honesty always turns out right. Iniquity never makes Joints and Squares. An honest Man has never any thing to do for his Justification, but to wait for the Testimonies of his Enemies.
I will send a Dictionary to my dear Boy by the first Vessels that go in the Spring.4 I pity him, to be obliged to make Brick without Straw.

[salute] My dear Sir, your’s—

RC in John Thaxter’s hand (MHi:Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “J. Adams Letter Dated Feby 5th. 1782. Recd. 17/28th.”
1. JA probably forwarded letters to Dana from Elizabeth Ellery Dana, 14 Dec. 1781, and Jonathan Jackson, 18 Dec. 1781. Dana answered Jackson’s letter on 28 Feb. and that from his wife on 24 April (MHi:Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, St. Petersburg, 1782–1784).
2. Henry Laurens.
3. For Silas Deane’s “intercepted” letters, see Edmund Jenings’ letter of 21 Jan., and note 3, above. The issues of the London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser in which Deane’s letters appeared have not been identified.
4. JQA forgot his English and Latin dictionary in Amsterdam. He asked his father to send him that volume or another English and Latin or French and Latin dictionary (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:234).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0147-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-05

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Si je n’ai pas eu l’honneur de vous écrire plutôt,1 c’est que mon intention étoit de passer chez vous la semaine derniere pendant l’absence de nos amis ici. Mais des affaires domestiques m’on ont empêché d’un jour à l’autre: et voici les amis de retour, qui demandent ma présence.
Jeudi passé huit jours, avant l’ajournement, peu s’en fallût que le concert avec la Fce. ne fût résolu. La seule ville de Brille, opinant avec la Noblesse pour qu’on résolût en même temps l’acceptation de la Médiation, rompit l’unanimité, et empêcha de rien résoudre alors. Avant de se séparer, Dort et 6 autres des principales Villes firent insérer une protestation très forte contre la maniere inconstitutionelle dont L. h. p. ont tenu la correspondance avec la Cour de V—, au sujet de l’abolition du Traité de Barriere et de la démolition { 227 } des Villes de ce Traité, sans consulter là-dessus les Provinces; menaçant, Si l’on continuoit de procéder ainsi, de rappeller leurs Députés aux Etats-Générx. Cette démarche inattendue a beaucoup humilié et effrayé ces derniers; et l’on espere qu’elle les rendra moins complaisants à l’avenir, et plus circonspects. Probablement cette semaine décidera de l’affaire du concert, et ensuite celle de la Médiation, qui ne sera acceptée qu’avec de bonnes limitations, qui déconcerteront les vues Anglomanes.2
C’est dommage que nous ne sachions pas encore quand vous aurez votre premiere Audience. Il y a une très belle maison à vendre ici, qui vous conviendroit parfaitement, Monsieur, qui vaut au moins 16000 fl., et qu’on pourroit avoir peut-être à 12000 fl. par le besoin du vendeur. Elle fait ƒ 1000 de loyer. Je l’ai été voir par curiosité. Elle est dans un beau quartier et des plus sains: Spacieuse, élégante, réguliere et moderne: et cela seroit bien plus profitable que de louer. Ce seroit certainement un hôtel digne d’un Mine. Amn.: et il ne sera pas facile de trouver une pareille rencontre, Si celle-ci échappe. Si nous étions plus près du dénouement, je vous aurois conseillé de la venir voir vous-même: elle vous auroit plu; et nous aurions un Hôtel Americain à Lahaie à bon marché.3
J’ai donné commission à un Libraire ici, selon vos ordres, de faire venir d’Allemagne, l’excellent Dictionaire Latin de Robertus Stephanus augmenté et rendu parfait par Gesner, comme aussi le Fabri Thesaurus Lingue latinæ du même Editeur; qui Sont les deux ouvrages les plus accomplis en ce genre.4 Je l’ai chargé aussi de la commission des trois Livres que je vous ai prêtés.
On attend d’un moment à l’autre l’arrivée de Mr. l’Ambassadr. de fce.
Il se passera certainement des choses interessantes cette semaine et l’autre; et j’aurai l’oeil au guet pour vous en faire part.
J’ai reçu une Lettre de Mr. Rob. R. Livingston Secretaire des affaires Etrangeres,5 que je vous ferai lire quand nous nous rejoindrons: ce que je desire fort.
Permettez que je salue ici bien cordialement Mr. Thaxter.

[salute] Je suis avec un grand respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obeissant serviteur

[signed] Dumas
L’on se dit ici à l’oreille, que le Pce. a déjà promis l’Ambassade d’Amérique à deux personnes successivement, d’abord à Mr. Van Citters, Député de Zélande aux Etats-Généraux, et puis à Mr. Rendorp; et l’on ajoute que ce sera ce dernier qui l’aura. Je n’ai pour { 228 } cela encore que des autorités subalternes. Il se peut que le Prince ait fait ces promesses par plaisanterie.6
Dans ce moment l’on m’apporte la Lettre que voici pour vous Monsieur.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0147-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-05

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

The reason that I did not write sooner1 is that I had planned to spend last week with you during our friends’ absence here. But my domestic affairs prevented me from leaving, for one reason or another, and now our friends have returned, which requires my presence.
A week ago Thursday, before the adjournment, the resolution with France very nearly happened. Only the town of Brille, which agrees with the nobility that the resolution should come at the same time as the acceptance of the mediation, prevented a unanimous vote. Nothing was resolved as a result. Before dispersing, Dordrecht and six other principal cities protested very strongly against the unconstitutional conduct of the high mightinesses by maintaining correspondence with the Court of Vienna regarding the abolition of the treaty of barriers and demolition of the cities in this treaty, without consulting the provinces on this point. They threatened to recall their deputies to the states general if this action continues to move forward. This unexpected proceeding humiliated and scared the deputies. Perhaps it will make them less complaisant and more circumspect in the future. This week, the accord will probably be decided upon, as well as the mediation, which will only be accepted with strong limitations, and which will thwart the views of the Anglomanes.2
It is unfortunate that we do not yet know when you will have your first audience. There is a very nice house for sale here that would suit you perfectly, sir, and that is going for 12,000 florins but is worth at least 16,000. The rent for it is ƒ1000. I saw it out of curiosity. It is in a nice neighborhood that is one of the most desirable. It is spacious, elegant, well appointed and modern, and would be more profitable to buy than to rent. It certainly would be a house fit for an American minister, and if it goes, it will be hard to find another one that is comparable. If we were closer to a denouement, I would advise you to come see it for yourself. You would like it very much and we would have an American residence at the Hague for a good price.3
According to your orders, I have commissioned a bookshop here to obtain Gesner’s edition of Robert Stephanus’ excellent Latin dictionary from Germany. I also asked for Fabri’s Latin thesaurus by Gesner. These two works are the best of their kind.4 I also asked that they obtain the three books that I lent to you.
We are awaiting the French ambassador’s arrival any moment now.
I am sure that something interesting will happen here in the next weeks and I will keep my eyes open for anything to pass on to you.
{ 229 }
I received a letter from Mr. Robert R. Livingston, secretary for foreign affairs,5 that I would very much like you to read when we see each other.
Please extend my cordial wishes to Mr. Thaxter.

[salute] I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
It is whispered here that the Prince has already promised the American ambassadorship to two people successively, first, to Mr. Van Citters, Zeeland’s deputy to the states general, and then, to Mr. Rendorp. It is being said that the latter will have it. But I only have inferior sources for this information. It could be that the Prince is joking with these promises.6
At the present moment, it is time for this letter to you, dear sir, to be sent.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “à Son Excellence Monsieur Adams, Ministre Plenipo: des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, sur le Keyzersgragt près du Spiegelstraat, Amsterdam.”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 5th. Feby. 1782.”
1. Dumas’ last letter was of 15 Dec. 1781, above.
2. See Dumas’ letter of 14 Feb., below.
3. This is the first mention of Dumas’ actions on JA’s behalf in the purchase of a house at The Hague. On the Fluwelen Burgwal, it was the first legation building owned by the United States. For an illustration of the site about 1830, just before the house was razed, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:ix–x, 65.
4. The works by Robert Estienne (Latinized to Robertus Stephanus) and Basilius Faber that are mentioned in this letter had long been available in a variety of editions. Dumas specifically refers to the versions edited by Johann Matthias Gesner, which appeared at various times and places, of Estienne’s Thesaurus Linguae Latinae and Faber’s Thesaurus Eruditionis Scholasticae. JA purchased an edition of Estienne’s work in March 1780 and it is in JA’s library at MB (Diary and Autobiography, 2:437, 441; Catalogue of JA’s Library). Editions of Faber’s work are in both JA’s and JQA’s libraries (same; Catalogue of JQA’s Books).
5. Livingston to Dumas, 28 Nov. 1781 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:30–32). Livingston approved of Dumas’ efforts on behalf of the United States, called for his continued correspondence, remarked on the absence of letters from JA regarding the presentation of his memorial to the States General, and noted the opportunities offered the Dutch by the victory at Yorktown. Livingston also informed Dumas that Congress would not increase his allowance.
6. The first Netherlands minister to the United States, Pieter Johan van Berckel, was appointed in May 1783 (PCC, No. 129, f. 21; Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 252–253).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0148

Author: Vinton, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-05

From Thomas Vinton

[salute] Please Your Excellency

Allthough I am Uncertain wheather you Retain The Youth that now Adresses You Yet I am Certain of Your Honours Being Aquaintd. with my parents Which Embouldens me to Take the liberty of laying My Distressd. Situation Before your Honour. Sir My Fathers name is Thoms. Vinton and lives in Brantree. So as it was my Misfortune to be Capturd Att Sea on the 10th Day of June last on Board the { 230 } Esex Priveteer Commandd. by Capn. John Kethcart And Brought to This Prison where I Suffer a great Deal for the want of Both Cloths. and Money on Account of my Being Deprivd of Both when I had The Misfortune of Being Captivatd. Therefore Sir I Expect You will be Pleasd to Compassionate My Distressd. Situation in Regard of Sending of me A small Suply of money which you May Realy on it Will be Reimbursd. if not To you to Some of Your family att Home in America Who were all well when I had the pleasure of Seeing of them last which was on the fifteenth Day of April last. I Realy on your Honour and Goodness And Expect youl not Disapoint my Expectation in Regard of Sending me Eavr so Small a Suply as I am in A most Distressd Situation and You May be Assurd. Ile Neavr. be Defitient of gratitude Enough to Esteem it as an Ever lasting Obligation togeathr. with paying you or yours as Soon as Possiable Your Compliance in my Reaquest I hope will be Rewardd. by god which Will be the Continual Prayers and Sincear well wishs. of Yr. Most Obd. Humble Sirt
[signed] Thoms. Vinton

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0149

Author: Stephens, Joseph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-06

From Joseph Stephens

[salute] Most Hond Sir

I have now Served your excellency more then four year as faithfully as was in my power and have done as much to take care of your intrest at all times as though it had Been my own; and with as much fidelity—now if your excelly. will be kind enough to pass your word for me to Mr Hodshon I can soon get into a good way of busness with success can Soon get advanst a little in the world; and while I am young is the only time for me to try my Luck; and as I intend to marry here in amsterdam if please god I Shall keep a Shoop if possible; of Silk handerchief linnens muslin cambricks chince, &c. And in a place where all the americans french and all other nations Land from their Ships and as the american captins and sailors by many good of that kind by retail I Should be almost sure to have all their custom; therefore if your excelly will be So good as to Speak a good word for me to mr Hodshon he will furnish the Shoop with goods; Mr Hodshon will informe you who the young woman is and of her caricter; I hope to have your excellys approbation as marrying makes young people Steady and more contented then to Live { 231 } unmarried and runing here and there night and day; I would not leave your excellency while you stayd in europe unless you chose that I Should; for the young woman whome I hope to marry has alredy Larned to keep Shop and is capable of takeing good care of a shoop; and to advantage, therefore when Mr Hodshon waits upon your ecelly if you will be kind enough to Speak for me I Shall be ever bound in duty to you and as I regard honesty as my birth right haveing no other I hope to maintain it as such never forgeting my own country and that Jewel Liberty and freedome;—to Set a mill agoing it requires a considerable courent of water; therefore I hope to have your kind consideration and approbation;
[signed] Joseph Stephens1
1. For Stephens’ efforts to start a business in Amsterdam, see his letter of 23 May to JA (Adams Papers) as well as Adams Family Correspondence, 4:321, and JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:274.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0150

Author: Neufville, Jean de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-07

From Jean de Neufville

[salute] Sir

Agreable to Yoúr Excellencys permission, I took the Liberty to introdúce by those few Lines Monsr. Giraúd the painter who copied the greatest Genal. of this age for me,1 may he be favourd to procúre me the pourtret of the greatest American Minister in that of yoúr Excellency; it will add to the obligation yoúr Excellency conferred on ús.2 Begging leave to assúre your Excellency of the highest regards with which I have the honoúr to be sir! Yoúr Excellency’s most obed & humb servt.
[signed] John de Neufville
1. In 1780 John Trumbull completed and gave to Leendert de Neufville a portrait of George Washington done from memory. The following year Valentine Green issued an engraving in mezzotint of Trumbull’s work. Known as the “De Neufville Washington,” the portrait is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Theodore Sizer, The Works of Colonel John Trumbull: Artist of the American Revolution, rev. edn., New Haven, 1967, p. 81, fig. 90; Gustavus A. Eisen, Portraits of Washington, 3 vols., N.Y., 1932, 2:470–471, 586). Although no copy of Trumbull’s portrait has been identified, Giraud may have copied it for Jean de Neufville.
Neufville apparently presented JA with a portrait or print of Washington by Trumbull (from Neufville, 5 July 1782, Adams Papers). Similarly an inventory of the furnishings of the U.S. legation at The Hague completed in June 1784 includes an otherwise unidentified portrait or print of Washington (filmed at 14 May 1782, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 357).
2. There is no evidence that Giraud painted JA’s portrait.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0151

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-12

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I received the honour of yours dated the 7th.1 Inst. acquainting me with the Presentation of several more Bills drawn on Mr Laurens. I think you will do well to accept them, and I shall endeavour to enable you to pay them. I should be glad to see a compleat List of those you have already accepted. Perhaps from the Series of Numbers, and the Deficiencies, one may be able to divine the Sum that has been issued, of which we have never been informed as we ought to have been. Ignorance of this, has subjected me to the unpleasant Task of making repeated Demands which displease our Friends by seeming to have no End. The same is the Case with the Bills on Mr. Jay and on myself. This has among other things made me quite sick of my Gibeonite office, that of drawing Water for the whole Congregation of Israel.2 But I am happy to learn from our Minister of Finance, that after the End of March next no farther Drafts shall be made on me, or Trouble given me by Drafts on others.
The Duke de Vauguyon must be with you before this time. I am impatient to hear the Result of your States on the Demand you have made of a categoric answer &c. I think with you that it may be wrong to interrupt or perplex their Deliberations by asking Aids during the present critical Situation of affairs.
I understood that the Goods had all been delivered to Mr. Barclay, and I punctually paid all the Bills. That Gentleman now writes me that those purchased of Gillon are detained on pretence of his Debts.3 These new Demands were never mention’d to me before. It has been and will be a villanous affair from beginning to End.

[salute] With great Esteem and Respect, I have the honour to be Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin Feb. 12. 1782.”
1. A slip of the pen, see JA to Franklin, 4 Feb., above.
2. Because they sought to deceive Joshua and the tribes of Israel, the Gibeonites were condemned to serve as gatherers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation of Israel (Joshua, 9:27).
3. Thomas Barclay to Franklin, 3 Feb. (Franklin, Papers, 36:530–532).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0152

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-02-14

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Dear Sir

Yesterday the Duplicate of your Letter of the 23d. of October was brought to me, the Original not yet arrived.
It is with great pleasure I learn that a Minister is appointed for foreign Affairs, who is so capable of introducing into that Department an Order, a Constancy and an Activity, which could never be expected from a Committee of Congress so often changing and so much engaged in other great Affairs, however excellent their Qualifications or Dispositions. Indeed, Sir, it is of infinite Importance to me to know the Sentiments of Congress; yet I have never known them in any detail, or with any Regularity, since I have been in Europe. I fear Congress have heard as little from me since I have been in Holland. My dispatches by the Way of St. Eustatia and by several private Vessels, and by the South Carolina have been vastly unfortunate.
My Situation, Sir, has been very delicate: but as my whole Life from my Infancy has been passed through an uninterrupted Series of delicate Situations, when I find myself suddenly translated into a new one, the View of it neither confounds nor dismays me. I am very sensible however, that such an Habit of Mind borders very nearly upon Presumption, and deserves very serious Reflections.
My health is still precarious. My Person has been thought by some to have been in danger: but at present I apprehend nothing to myself or the Public. This Nation will have Peace with England, if they can obtain it upon honorable Terms;1 but upon no other. They cannot obtain it upon any other, without giving Offence to France, and England will not make Peace upon such Conditions. I shall therefore probably remain here in a very insipid and insignificant state a long time, without any Affront or Answer.
In the Parties which divide the Nation I have never taken any Share. I have treated all Men of all Parties whom I saw alike, and have been used quite as well by the Court Party as their Antagonists. Both Parties have been in bodily Fear of popular Commotions, and the Politicks of both appear to me to be too much influenced by alternate Fears and I must add Hopes of popular Commotions. Both Parties agree in their Determinations to obtain Peace with England, if they can: but Great Britain will not cease to be the Tyrant of the { 234 } Ocean until She ceases to be the Tyrant of America. She will give up her Claims of Empire over both together.
The Dutch have an undoubted Right to judge for themselves, whether it is for their Interest to connect themselves with Us or not. At present I have no Reason to be dissatisfied. I have in pursuance of the Advice of the Comte de Vergennes and the Duke de la Vauguyon, added to that of several Members of the States, demanded an Answer. I was recieved politely by all Parties—though You will hear great Complaints from others that I am not recieved well. They have their Views in this: they know that this is a good String for them to touch. I stand now in an honorable light, openly and candidly demanding an Answer in my public Character. But it is the Republick that stands in a less respectable Situation, not one Member of the Sovereignty having yet ventured to give an Answer in the Negative. The Dignity of the United States is therefore perfectly safe, and if that of this Republick is questionable, this is their own fault not ours.
Your Advice to be well with the Government and to take no Measures which may bring upon me a public affront, is perfectly just. All appearance of Intrigue, and all the Refinements of Politicks have been as distant from my Conduct, as You know them to be from my natural and habitual Character.
Your Advice to spend much of my time at the Hague, I shall in future pursue, though I have had Reasons for a different Conduct hitherto. As to Connections with the Ministers of other Powers, it is a Matter of great delicacy. There is no Power but what is interested directly or indirectly in our Affairs at present. Every Minister has at his own Court a Competitor, who keeps Correspondences and Spies to be informed of every Step; and open Visits to or from any American Minister are too dangerous for them to venture on. It must be managed with so much Art, and be contrived in third Places and with so much unmeaning Intrigue, that it should not be too much indulged, and after all nothing can come of it. There is not a Minister of them all that is intrusted with any thing, but from time to time to execute positive Instructions from his Court.
A Loan of Money has given me vast anxiety. I have tried every Experiment and failed in all; and am fully of Opinion, that We never shall obtain a Credit here until We have a Treaty. When this will be I know not. If France has not other Objects in View of more Importance, in my Opinion She may accomplish it in a short time. Whether She has or not, time must discover.
{ 235 }
Mr. Barclay is here doing his utmost to dispatch the public Effects here: but these will turn out the dearest Goods that Congress ever purchased, if they ever arrive safe.
It has been insinuated, I perceive, that I was privy, to the Purchase of a Parcell of English Manufactures among these Goods. This is a Mistake. It was carefully concealed from me, who certainly should not have countenanced it, if I had known it. Mr Barclay will exchange them all, for the Manufactures of Germany or Holland, or sell them here. The ordonnance of Congress against British Manufactures, is universally approved as far as I know as an Hostility against their Ennemies of more Importance, than the Exertions of an Army of Twenty thousand Men.2

[salute] With great Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour to be Sir, your most obedient and most humble sert

[signed] John Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand, except for the final two paragraphs, which are in JA’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 466–469). LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In the Letterbook JA interlined “honourable” before “Terms” and, at this point, canceled “that France Shall not oppose.”
2. JA refers to Congress’ resolutions of 16 March 1781 to end “all commercial intercourse between the inhabitants of the United States of America and the subjects of the king of Great Britain” (JCC, 19:270–272), a prohibition that JA strongly supported. But there is no indication as to the source of the insinuations against which he defends himself.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0153

Author: Curtis, Samuel
Author: Bass, Jeriah
Author: Savil, Edward
Author: Newcomb, Briant
Author: Field, Job
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-14

From Samuel Curtis and Others

[salute] Sir

Being duly Sencible of the many favours wee have received from you Since wee have been in Captivity which favours have Contributed greatly towards our Suport therefore we think it our indispencible duty to return you our hearty thanks for Such Extroadinery favours wee was favoured with your last kindness about Six weeks past and the enclement Season of the year and many other dificulties we have to Surmount in our Long and tedious Confinement Expends our money very fast neighther of us haveing any friend in this kingdom to releave our distreses we theirfore dear Sir take Courage to request one favour more from you for our money is all Exhausted and wee must uavoidably Suffer in our Captivity unless our distreses are releived there fore dear Sir wee Earnestly beg you would take our deplorable and distresed Circumstances into your candid consideration and be bountifully disposed to grant our request by Supplying us with a little more money and in So do• { 236 } ing wee Shall think our Selves in duty bound to render you all the Satisfaction that may be in our powers to do when Ever wee are liberated from our Captivity wishing you health wealth and properity we Close with Subscribeing our Selves your freinds and unfortunate neighbours
[signed] Samuel Curtis
[signed] Jeriah Bass
[signed] Edward Savil
[signed] Bryant Newcomb
[signed] Job Field

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0154-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-14

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Ce matin le Concert avec la France, et la Mediation ont été résolus aux Etats d’Hollde en même temps.1 C’est une Singuliere Cuisine qui peut assaisonner, et un singulier Estomac qui peut avaler et digérer des choses si peu compâtibles. La Médiation est acceptée saufs les droits de la rep. à la neutralité armée; selon la resolution, on doit aussi donner connoissance de la Négociation pour la paix aux autres Puissances belligérantes. J’ignore encore les autres particularités de la Résolution: mais je les saurai demain. Wentworth2 est fort visité ici par le Parti Anglomane. Il a été ce matin à 11 heures en conférence chez l’Ambr. Russe. Il fait déjà le petit Ambassadeur. Mundus vuit decipi, ergo decipiatur.3 Allons notre chemin. Nous rirons les derniers.
Mrs. Barclay et Thaxter ont vu ce que vous savez; et je crois qu’après leur rapport vous aurez vu que je n’avois rien exagéré, et que l’emplette seroit très-bonne. Il ne faudroit pas trop tarder après cela à vous déterminer, Monsieur, afin de n’être point prévenu par d’autres qui acheteroient ou loueroient. On pourroit provisionellement acheter sous mon nom. Tantum pour aujourd’hui car la poste va partir. Je Suis avec le plus sincere respect Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0154-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-14

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

This morning, the accord with France and the mediation were resolved in the states of Holland.1 It is a singular cuisine that can season two things { 237 } so incompatible and a singular stomach that can swallow and digest them. The mediation was accepted with the exception of the republic’s rights to the armed neutrality. According to the resolution, the belligerent powers must be notified about the peace negotiation. I do not know any other particulars of the resolution, but I will know more tomorrow. Wentworth2 was sent here by the British government. At eleven o’clock this morning he was in a meeting with the Russian ambassador. He is presenting himself as the little ambassador. Mundus vuit decipi, ergo decipiatur.3 We will remain honest. We will have the last laugh.
Mr. Barclay and Mr. Thaxter have seen you know what. I believe that by their report you will realize that I have not exaggerated and it would be a good purchase. You must not take too long to decide, sir, because someone might buy it or rent it soon. I could buy it for you provisionally under my name. Tantum4 for today because the mail is about to leave. I am, with the most sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. For French and English translations of the resolutions, see the Gazette de Leyde, 21 Feb.; The Remembrancer . . . for the Year 1782, pt. 1, p. 249–250.
2. Paul Wentworth, a British agent, arrived at The Hague on 1 Feb., ostensibly to arrange a prisoner exchange. In fact, the North ministry, at least partly to mollify the opposition, had sent him to sound out the Dutch government about a separate peace. It was a mission doomed to failure. The British conditions, which included a commitment by the Dutch not to recognize the United States and to expel JA, proved unacceptable. Just as unacceptable to the British were the Dutch demands that the free ships make free goods provision of the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1674 be reaffirmed, that captured Dutch possessions be returned, and that the Netherlands be paid an indemnity for its maritime losses (Edler, Dutch Republic and Amer. Rev., p. 199–200; Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Diplomacy of the American Revolution: The Foundations of American Diplomacy, 1775–1823, N.Y., 1935, p. 168).
3. The world wishes to be deceived, and let it be deceived.
4. So much.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0155

Author: Williams, John Foster
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-15

From John Foster Williams

[salute] Sir

From a personal Knoledge of your Excellency’s Sencere Attachment to the true intrest of your Country and those individuals who have Distinguish’d themselves theirin, leades me to address you at this time, I was Capturd in May last, and haveing ben Honnourd with the Command of the State Ship protector, was Transported from New York to these Disagreable Mansons, and Commited to Mill prison 22d July last where I found Numbers of my Country men and Towns Men in distress, but finding, the Brittish Ministry inclin’d to Exchange us provided Notice Sufficant was taken, I im• { 238 } mideatly maid application to Mr John Joy1 late Inhabitant of the Town of Boston, who, Interpos’d in my behalf and has finally Effectd. my Immideate Exchange.
Inclos’d is a Letter from a Gentn: who I have Just left in Captivity, in Mill prison at plymouth in England from which place I am Exchang’d together with several others, to wit Capt John Manly and a Capt Talbot and several others the Former of which is Exchang’d against an English Major, the Latter against an Officer of equel rank detained for him in America, I am happy to Inform you that the Independance of our Country is now so far allowed off in Britain that thay hold Rank of Officers in the Estermation, tis in consequence of this that the Writer of the Enclosed, Capt N. Nazro2 has addressed you on his behalf, and you will please permit me to Recommend him to your perticular pateronage and protection, as a Gentleman of merit and distinction, whose Services, entitle him to the notice and favor of his Country, he was late in the Capacity of a Capt of Merines in a privat Arm’d Vessell of War of 20 Guns Belonging to Boston, and is I believe the only Officer of the like rank in that line in the same prison where he is confined, I am fully of opinion, that was their aney British Officer in any Respect upon an equality with particularly a Captive to the American flag and Confined for him either in Europe or America, that the same would immediately effect his liberation, and in this manner also may many others Officers now in confinement in the same prison be liberated, haveing done that Justice which is due to the Merits of this my Fr[iend as] well as several others American Captains. I beg leave to subscribe myself what I really wish to be Your Most humble and Most devoted obedient Servant
[signed] John Foster Williams3
RC (Adams Papers). Removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of one word and part of another. Enclosure not found.
1. John Joy, a loyalist and former Boston housewright, went to Halifax in 1776 and then on to England (Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, with an Historical Essay, 2 vols., Boston, 1864, 1:596).
2. This may be Nathaniel Nazro’s letter of Nov. 1781, above.
3. John Foster Williams of the Massachusetts navy, was taken in May 1781 when the Protector, the state’s largest vessel, was captured by the British warships Roebuck and Medea. Williams was pardoned for exchange in Nov. 1781 (DAB; Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 208, 232).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0156-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-18

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

J’ai fait ce matin les démarches dont j’ai eu l’honneur de vous parler. L’effet en question sera mis demain 19e. en vente publique, pour savoir qui en offrira le plus. Nous laisserons offrir, sans nous en mêler. J’ai envoyé un Expert, dont le rapport est satisfaisant quant à l’essentiel: C’est-à-dire que l’Effet est bon et sain; qu’il a seulement été négligé, et que les réparations comme peinture double, et autres, pour remettre l’Effet dans tout l’état requis, pourront aller de 600ƒ à 1000ƒ selon qu’on voudra étendre ou borner ces réparations. La taxe publique ordinaire de l’Effet, est de ƒ83.7: or, selon l’usage, il faut doubler toujours cela, à cause de la taxe extraordinaire, qui est d’autant: ainsi l’Effet doit payer par an au pays ƒ166.14s. de taxe qu’on appelle Verponding. J’ai fait faire sous main une offre au Propriétaire; mais comme il se tient roide et fier, nous le laisserons expérimenter sa fortune demain, et ce qui lui aura été offert, le rendra plus traitable probablement, et nous servira à nous de guide. Vendredi prochain, si nous ne nous accordons pas lui et nous pour acheter de la main à la main, l’effet sera ajugé finalement à celui qui criera à propos mine (à moi) pendant que le Crieur ira en descendant d’une somme par laquelle il commencera. Soit que nous tombions d’accord avec le propriétaire entre demain et vendredi prochain, Soit qu’il veuille encore courir les risques de ce jour-là, vous pouvez compter, Monsieur, que je me tiendrai dans les limites des ordres que vous m’avez donnés, et que j’aurai l’honneur de vous informer par la poste de Samedi prochain,1 si l’Effet est à vous ou non. J’ajouterai seulement ici, que le rapport de l’expert que j’ai employé, me rassure tout-à-fait sur la bonté de l’emplette, en me donnant la certitude, que vous ne l’aurez nullement trop chere, quand même le prix iroit jusqu’au dernier terme de vos ordres.
Permettez que je place ici nos respects et complimens pour Mr. Barclai. Nous esperons que vous avez fait le voyage heureusement. Je suis avec le respect le plus sincere, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0156-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-18

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

This morning I took the necessary steps that we talked about. The property in question will be up for public sale tomorrow, the 19th, to see who will make the highest offer. We will let them offer without interfering. I sent an expert whose report is satisfactory concerning the essentials, that is to say that the property is good and desirable, that it has solely been neglected, and that it needs only some repairs like painting and other things in order to return it to the required state. The price for this would range from 600 to 1000 florins depending on how extensive the repairs are. The basic public tax for the property is ƒ83.7, but according to practice that number should be doubled because of the extraordinary tax, which is just as much. Therefore a tax of ƒ166.14s must be paid for tax they call Verponding. I made a secret offer to the owner, but since he is stiff and proud, we will let him try his own luck tomorrow, and that which will be offered to him will probably make him more manageable and serve to guide us. Next Friday, if we are not in agreement to buy it directly from him, it will be awarded to whoever shouts mine while the auctioneer descends in price from where he started. Whether we reach an agreement with the owner between tomorrow and next Friday, or whether he wants to take a risk of that day, you can be sure, sir, that I will stay within the limitations of your orders and I will be able to inform you of the outcome by next Saturday’s post.1 I will simply add here, that the expert’s report has reassured me that it is a good purchase and that you will have it for a fair price even if it goes for your top price.
Permit me to add here my regards for Mr. Barclay. We hope you have had a good journey. I am with the most sincere respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. That is, 23 February. See Dumas’ letter of that date, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0157

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-02-19

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 2

[salute] Sir

On the 14th. instant I had the honor to acknowledge the Receipt of your Duplicate of the 23d. of October. To day Major Porter brought me your favor of the 20th. of November, and the original of that of the 23d. of October.
I congratulate You, Sir, on the glorious News contained in these { 241 } Dispatches; but I cannot be of your Opinion, that great as it is, it will defeat every Hope that Britain entertains of conquering a Country so defended. Vanity, Sir, is a Passion capable of inspiring Illusions, which astonish all other Men, and the Britains are without exception the vainest People upon Earth. By examining such a Witness as Arnold, the Ministry can draw from him Evidence which will fully satisfy the People of England, that the Conquest of America is still practicable. Sensible Men see the Error; but they have seen it these twenty Years and lamented it until their Hearts are broken. The Intention of Government seems to be to break the Spirit of the Nation, and to bring affairs into so wretched a Situation, that all Men shall see that they cannot be made better by new Ministers, or by the punishment of the old ones. It is suggested that some Plan of Conciliation will be brought into Parliament, but it will be only as deceitful as all the former ones. They begin to talk big, and threaten to send Arnold with seventeen thousand Men to burn and destroy in the Northern States; but this will prove but an annual Vapour.
I rejoice the more in Colo. Willet’s glorious Services, for a personal Knowledge and Esteem I have for that officer.
Zoutman’s Battle on Doggersbank shews what the Nation could do. But—. It is somewhat dangerous to write with perfect freedom concerning the Views and Principles of each Party, as You desire. Indeed the Views of all Parties are involopped in Clouds and Darkness. There are unerring Indications that all Parties agree secretly in this Principle, that the Americans are right if they have Power. There is here and there an Individual who says the Americans are wrong; but these are very few. The English Party are suspected to have it in View to engage the Republick to join the English in the War against France, Spain and America. The Prince is supposed to wish that this were practicable, but to despair of it. Some of the great Proprietors of English Stocks, several great mercantile Houses in the Service of the British Ministry, are thought to wish it too: but if they are guilty of Wishes so injurious to their Country and Humanity, none of them dare openly avow them. The Stadtholder is of opinion that his House has been supported by England: that his office was created and is preserved by them. But I dont see, why his office would not be as safe in an Alliance with France as with England, unless he apprehends that the Republican Party would in that Case change Sides, connect itself with England and by her means overthrow him. There are Jealousies that the Stadtholder aspires to { 242 } be a Sovereign but these are the ordinary Jealousies of Liberty, and I should think in this Case groundless.
The opposite, which is called the Republican Party, is suspected of Desires and Designs of introducing Innovations. Some are supposed to aim at the Demolition of the Stadtholdership—others of introducing the People to the Right of choosing the Regencies: but I think these are very few in Number, and very inconsiderable in Power, though some of them may have Wit and Genius.
There is another Party, at the Head of which is Amsterdam, who thinks the Stadtholdership necessary, but wish to have some further Restraint or Check upon it. Hence the Proposition for a Committee to assist his Highness. But there is no appearance that the Project will succeed. All the Divisions of the Republican Party are thought to think well of America, and to wish a Connection with her and France. The opposite Party do not openly declare themselves against this. But Peace is the only thing in which all Sides agree. No Party dares say any thing against Peace: yet there are Individuals very respectable who think that it is not for the public Interest to make Peace. As to Congress’s adapting Measures to the Views and Interest of both Parties, they have already done it in the most admirable manner. They could not have done better, if they had been all present here, and I know of nothing to be added. They have a Plenipotentiary here with Instructions. They have given Power to invite the Republick to accede to the Alliance between France and America, with a Power to admit Spain. All this is communicated to the Comte de Vergennes and the Duke de la Vauguyon, and I wait only their Advice for the time of making the Proposition. I have endeavoured to have the good Graces of the Leaders, and I have no Reason to suspect that I do not enjoy their Esteem, and I have recieved from the Prince repeatedly and in strong Terms by his Secretary the Baron de Lerray Assurances of his personal Esteem.
I wrote, Sir, on the third and seventh of May as full an Account of my presenting my Credentials, as it was proper to write, and am astonished that neither Duplicates nor Triplicates have arrived. I will venture a Secret. I had the secret Advice of our best Friends in the Republick to take the Step I did, though the French Ambassador thought the time a little too early. My Situation would have been ridiculous and deplorable indeed if I had not done it, and the success of the Measure as far as universal applause could be called Success has justified. Those who detested the Measure, Sir, were obliged to applaud it in Words. I am surprized to see You think it places Us in a { 243 } humiliating Light. I am sure it raised me out of a very humiliating Position, such as I never felt before, and shall never feel again I believe. I have lately by the express Advice of all our best Friends, added to that of the Duke de la Vauguyon and the Comte de Vergennes, demanded a categorical answer. I know very well I should not have it: but it has placed the United States and their Minister in a glorious light, demanding candidly an answer, and the Republick has not yet equal Dignity to give it. In this manner We may remain with perfect Safety, to the Dignity of the United States and the Reputation of her Minister, until their High Mightinesses shall think fit to answer, or until We shall think it necessary to repeat the Demand or make a new one, which I shall not do without the Advice of the French Ambassador, with whom I shall consult in perfect Confidence.
My Motives for printing the Memorial were, that I had no other way to communicate my Proposition to the Sovereign of the Country. The Gentlemen at the Hague, who are called their high Mightinesses, are not the Sovereign, they are only Deputies of the States General, who compose the Sovereignty. These joint Deputies form only a Diplomatic Body, not a legislative nor an executive one. The States General are the Regencies of Cities and Bodies of Nobles. The Regencies of Cities are the Burgomasters and Schepens or Judges and Councillors, composing on the whole a Number of four or five thousand Men scattered all over the Republick. I had no Way to come at them but by the Press, because the President refused to recieve my Memorial. If he had recieved it, it would have been transmitted of Course to all the Regencies: but in that Case it would have been printed; for there is no Memorial of a public Minister in this Republick, but what is printed. When the President said, “Sir, We have no Authority to recieve your Memorial until your Title and Character are acknowledged by our Constituents and Sovereigns. We are not the Sovereign,” I answered, in that Case, Sir, it will be my Duty to make the Memorial public in print, because I have no other possible way of addressing myself to the Sovereign, your Constituents. The President made no Objection, and there has been no Objection to this day. Those who dreaded the Consequence to the Cause of Anglomany, have never ventured to hint a Word against it. The Anglomanes would have had a Triumph, if it had not been printed, and I should before this day have met with many disagreable Scenes if not public affronts. This Openness has protected me. To conciliate the affections of the People, to place our Cause in { 244 } an advantageous light, to remove the Prejudices that Great Britain and her Votaries excite, to discover the Views of the different Parties, to watch the Motives that lead to Peace between England and Holland, have been my constant Aim since I have resided here. The secret Aid of Government in obtaining a Loan I have endeavoured to procure, but it can never be obtained until there is a Treaty. I have hitherto kept a friendly Connection with the French Ambassador, and that without Interruption. The new Commission for Peace and the Revocation of that for a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain I have recieved.
My Language and Conduct is that of a private Gentleman, but those Members of Congress, who think this proper know, that I have held public Places in Europe too public and conspicuous for me to be able to remain incognito in this Country, nor is it for the Interest of the Public that I should attempt it.
I should be extremely obliged to You, Sir, if You would let me know the Dates of all the Letters that have been recieved from me, since I have been in Holland, that I may send further Copies of such as have miscarried.
The States of Holland have accepted the Mediation of Russia, on Condition of saving the Rights of the Armed Neutrality. There has been a ballancing between a Treaty with France and the Acceptance of this Mediation. Amsterdam said nothing. The Mediation was accepted, but several Provinces have declared for a Treaty with France. People of the best Intentions are jealous of a Peace with England upon dishonorable Terms: but France will prevent this, tho’ She does not choose to prevent the Acceptance of the Mediation, as She might have done by consenting to my making the Proposition of a triple or quadruple Alliance. Her Ambassador says, the King must not oppose the Empress of Russia, who will be of Importance in the final Settlement of Peace.
France has not ever discovered much Inclination to a Treaty with the Republick. The Demolition of the Barrier Towns may explain this, as well as the Ambassadors Opinion against presenting my Memorial at the time it was done.1 I believe that France too can explain the Reason of the delay of Spain, where We make a less respectable Appearance than in this Republick. The delay of Spain is fatal to our Affairs. Yet I know the American Minister there to be equal to any Service; which makes me regret the more the delay of that Kingdom. The constant Cry is, why is Spain silent? We must wait for Spain. Nothing gives greater Advantage to the English Party.
{ 245 }
The Nature of the Government in an absolute Monarchy would render it improper to make any application or Memorial public. The Nature of this Government rendered it indispensibly necessary. The Business must begin in the Public, that is in all the Regencies. De Wit and Temple, it is true, made a Treaty in five days2 but De Wit risqued his head by it, upon the Pardon and Confirmation of the Regencies. But it was a Time and a Measure which he knew to be universally wished for. The Case at present is different. Mr. Van Bleiswick, tho’ he told me he thought favorably of my first application would not have dared to have taken a single Step, without the previous orders of his Masters as he told me.
It is the United States of America, which must save this Republick from Ruin. It is the only Power that is externally respected by all Parties, altho’ no Party dares as yet declare openly for her. One half the Republick nearly declares every day very indecently against France—the other against England: but neither one nor the other declares against America, which is more beloved and esteemed than any other Nation of the World.
We must wait however with Patience. After oscillating a Little longer and grasping at Peace, finding it unattainable, I think they will seek an Alliance with America, if not with France. I had a Week ago a Visit from one of the first Personages in Friesland, who promised me, that in three Weeks I should have an Answer from that Province.3

[salute] I have the Honour to be, with great Esteem and Respect sir your most obedient and most humble servant

[signed] J. Adams4
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, III, f. 470–477); endorsed: “Letter Feby 19. 1782 Honble J Adams to Secy for foreign Affairs Read in Congress July 22. 1782.”
1. For the three Barrier Treaties, and the significance of Joseph II’s abrogation of the third, signed on 15 Nov. 1715, see JA to the president of Congress, 7 May 1781, descriptive note and note 5 (vol. 11:307, 308).
2. Sir William Temple and Johan de Witt concluded an Anglo-Dutch alliance on 23 Jan. 1668 that, with Sweden’s accession three days later, was known as the Triple Alliance (Cambridge Modern Hist., 5:153).
3. The promise made by a Mr. Bergsma was fulfilled when the province of Friesland resolved on 26 Feb. to recognize American independence. For the promise, see JA to Livingston, 11 March; for the resolution, see Dumas’ letter of 24 Feb., note 1, both below.
4. The closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0158

Author: Hartley, David
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-19

From David Hartley

[salute] Sir

I take the opportunity by means of Mr Laurens junr of addressing a few lines to you for the purpose of expressing my entire concurrence with your benevolent Sentiments concerning peace and the blessed peace makers. I agree with you that peace must come in company with faith and honour and when these meet, I join with you in saying, Let friendship join the amiable and venerable choir. It is some months since I received the favour of your letter containing these sentiments.2 But as the justice humanity and benevolence of these sentiments are eternal I conclude that the sentiments themselves will always remain yours. My only object in writing, is to say thus much to you and to express my most sincere wish that the actual exercise of the blessed office of peace makers may be called forth in the persons of those who are now in appointment to that honorable trust from America. If I shd ever have it in my power to contribute to that blessed end be assured that my utmost endeavours shall always be exercised (as they always have been) to establish peace and friendship thro the paths of honour and good faith. Permitt me to enquire of you who are entitled to treat on the part of America, and whether Mr Laurens the late president be of the number. I am Dear Sir with great respect your most obedt Servt.
[signed] D Hartley
1. It is not known when JA received this letter. It may not have been until 15 April when Henry Laurens Jr. and William Vaughan visited JA (to Benjamin Franklin, 16 April, below). Hartley enclosed a duplicate (Adams Papers) in his letter of 11 March, which was forwarded to JA by Thomas Digges on [20 March], both below.
2. JA to Hartley, 12 Sept. 1780 (vol. 10:143–144).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0159

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-02-20

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Yesterday I had the Honour of yours of the 12th. and will take an early opportunity to send you all the Lights I can obtain, by Inferences from the Numbers of the Bills. Those already presented I shall accept according to your Advice.
Your office is certainly a disagreable one in many respects, and mine grows every day more and more disgusting to me. I wish myself at home every hour in the 24, and I hope eer long to obtain { 247 } Permission to go. Affairs here are in such a situation that I could not be justified in going untill Congress shall appoint another or recal me, or I would ask leave to return in the alliance. Is Mr Laurens exchanged? If he is and will come over here and take his own Place, I would venture to go home without leave.
The Duke de la Vauguion is returned. I had the honour to make my Compliments to him on Saturday, at the Hague, where I attended Dr McLanes Church on Sunday,1 and the Princes Review upon the Parade afterwards and where I propose in future to Spend more of my time.
You need not be anxious about the Result of my demand of an answer. It was a Measure to which I was advised by the Duke de la Vauguion, and by the Comte de Vergennes, and by several worthy Gentlemen in the Government. It was intended to bring necessarily into deliberation a Connection with France and America, on one Side at the Same time when they considered the Mediation of Russia on the other, in order to prevent their accepting the Mediation without Limitations. The great City has lately faultered very much in Point of Firmness. I cannot but wish that the Proposition for an accession to the alliance between France and America could have been made last Week, the critical Moment, when it would have infallibly I think prevented the acceptation. But France did not think it politick to do any Thing against the Views of Russia.2 But nothing but delay will come of this Mediation. The United States, however Stand here in a more respectable Light than in Spain.3
Here they are openly and candidly demanding an answer. If they receive one in the Negative, it will be no more than the Republick has a right to give, and we shall loose nothing but remain exactly where We were. If they give no answer, for a year to come, the Dignity of the United States is safe. That of the United Provinces will be hurt by the delay, if any. In Spain, the United States have been waiting, in the person of one of their Presidents, now going on three years, and have no answer. Now I Say it is better to be open. Here the Constitution demanded Publicity. In Spain it forbid it. But the Dignity of the United States is injured more than, it would have been if the demand to that Court could have been made Publick. For my own Part I own, as a private Citizen or a publick Man, I would not advise the United States to wait forever either in Spain or Holland. If it dont Suit their affairs to make a Bargain with Us let them tell Us so candidly and let us all go home, that at least We may not be under the Necessity of calling upon your Excellency for { 248 } Water to drink, which had much better quench the Thirst of our army.
I should be very much obliged to you for a Copy of the Replication of the two Imperial Courts, and of the new Proposition of the Court of London of which I have only had a confused Intimation.
The affair of the Goods has been a villainous affair indeed as you observe: but they cannot be entrusted I believe to more prudent Hands than those of Mr. Barclay, where I leave them.

[salute] I have &c

1. Archibald MacLaine, a Presbyterian who had been pastor of the English Church at The Hague since 1747 (DNB). JA attended the church regularly after he moved to The Hague in May and appreciated the admirable moral lectures delivered by “one of the best Preachers in Europe” (to Robert R. Livingston, 4 Sept. 1782, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:688).
2. This sentence is interlined.
3. The following paragraph was written immediately before the closing and marked for insertion at this point.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de
Date: 1782-02-20

To the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] My dear General

Yesterday Major Porter, brought me, your kind favour of the first of this month,1 together with some Letters from America, in one of which is a Resolution of Congress of the 23d of November “That the secretary of foreign affairs acquaint the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States, that it is the desire of Congress that they confer with the Marquis de la Fayette, and avail themselves of his Informations relative to the Situation of publick affairs, in the United States.”1 This Instruction is so agreable to my Inclinations, that I would undertake a Journey to Paris, for the Sake of a personal Interview with my dear General, if the State of my Health, and the Situation of affairs, in which I am here engaged did not render it improper.
Permit me, however, to congratulate you, on your arrival with fresh and unfading Laurels, and to wish you all the Happiness, which the Sight of your Family the applause of the Public and the approbation of your Sovereign can afford you.
I Should be extreamly happy in your Correspondence, Sir, and if there is any Thing in this Country which you would wish to know, I should be glad to inform you as far as is in my Power. This Republick is ballancing between an alliance with France and America on one hand, and a Mediation of Russia for a separate Peace on the { 249 } other. The Byass is strong for Peace but they dont see a Prospect of obtaining it, by the Mediation. They are determined however to try the Experiment, but are so divided about it that all is Languor and Confusion. I fancy they will oscillate for Some time, and at last finding the Negotiations for a Separate Peace, an Illusion, they will join themselves to the Ennemies of their Ennemy.
Upon your Return to America, I should be obliged to you, if you would Say to some of the Members of Congress, that if they should think fit to recall me, it is absolutely necessary in my humble opinion that they Should have some other Person here invested with the Same Powers.

[salute] With the Sincerest affection and Esteem, I have the honour to be, my dear General, your most obedient and humble sert

1. Lafayette’s note was a brief covering letter for the enclosures (Adams Papers). Maj. John Porter sailed with Lafayette as an aide on his return to France. JA knew Porter’s father, Rev. John Porter of the North Parish in Bridgewater (now Brockton), Mass., and his family. On 4 March, JA recommended Porter to Jan Gabriël Tegelaar, an Amsterdam merchant, and on the 5th wrote to Tegelaar to vouch for Porter’s integrity in repaying a loan (both LbC’s, Adams Papers). Porter’s reputation had been tarnished when he was relieved of his command after mortally wounding Brig. Gen. Enoch Poor of New Hampshire during an August 1780 duel (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:392–393; MHS, Procs., 19 [1881–1882]:256–261).
2. JCC, 21:1134–1135. The resolutions regarding Lafayette were enclosed with the letter of 20 Nov. from Robert R. Livingston, and see also note 8 to the same, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0161

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-02-21

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Dr Sir

The next morning after the Rect of your Letter,1 I went to Mr De Neufville and paid him the Eight Ducats as you desired, for which I inclose his Receipt.
I want to know whether Mr Laurens is exchanged for General Burgoine whether he knows that he is in the Commission—of the Peace, or not, whether and when he intends to come over to the Continent. Pray invite him for me, I dare not do it myself for fear of hurting him, to come and take his Abode with me, in my House—and take Possession of his station here. You may easily do it by means of your Friend.
I want your charitable Aid in another affair. I have received Letters from the Parents of some others in Prison, to whom I am desired to lend some Money.2 I will inclose their Names. Should be much obliged to you if you would take measures to supply them, { 250 } forthwith with forty shillings Sterling each, and to know of them and of the others whom you befriended before, whether they are in want of more, and how much, but exhort them, however to Frugality, for the sake of their Parents. This is so malicious a kind of Work that I know it will gratify your Ill Nature.
Nathanael Beal—Lemuel Clark, Gridley Clark, Louis Glover Samuel Curtis, Jedidiah Bass, Thomas Vinton, William Horton are the Names.
The inclosed Letter mentions a Benjamin Brackett and his Case. I know the Uncle Joshua Brackett and will advance any reasonable sum for him, if that can procure his Release, or Exchange.3

[salute] Affectionately yours

[signed] J. Adams
1. Of 21 Jan., above.
2. JA gives the names of the sons of his neighbors imprisoned in England in the following paragraph, but there are no extant letters prior to this date from their parents. For letters from the prisoners, see from Job Field and others, 8 Sept. 1781, note 1 (vol. 11:483).
3. Of 15 Dec. 1781, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0162

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-02-21

To Robert R. Livingston

Duplicate
Secret and confidential

[salute] Sir

I know very well the Name of the Family where I spent the Evening with my worthy Friend Mr. — before We set off, and have made my Alphabet accordingly: but I am on this occasion as on all others hitherto utterly unable to comprehend the sense of the Passages in Cypher. The Cypher is certainly not taken regularly under the two first Letters of that Name. I have been able sometimes to decypher Words enough to show that I have the Letters right: but upon the whole I can make nothing of it, which I regret very much upon this occasion, as I suppose the Cyphers are a very material part of the Letter.1
The friendly and patriotic Anxiety, with which You enquire after my Motives and Reasons for making the Proposition of the 4th. of May and for printing the Memorial, has put me upon recollecting the Circumstances. If the Series of my Letters had arrived, I think the Reasons would have appeared; but not with that Force, in which they existed at the Time. I have never expressed in writing those Reasons so strongly as I felt them. The Hopes have never been { 251 } strong in anybody, of inducing the Republick to a sudden Alliance with France and America. The utmost Expectation, that many of the well-intentioned have entertained, has been to prevent the Government from joining England. I am sorry to be obliged to say it, and if it should ever be made public it might be ill taken. But there is no manner of doubt, that the most earnest Wish of the Cabinet has been to induce the Nation to furnish the Ships and Troops to the English according to their Interpretation of the Treaty.2 Amsterdam distinguished itself, and its ancient and venerable Burgomaster Temmink, and its eldest Pensionary Mr. Van Berkel, have distinguished themselves in Amsterdam. When Mr. Laurens’s Papers were discovered, they were sent forthwith to the Hague. The Prince in Person laid them before the States. Sir Joseph York thundered with his Memorials against Amsterdam, her Burgomasters and Pensionary. The Nation was seized with an Amazement, and flew to the Armed Neutrality for Shelter against the fierce Wrath of the King. Instantly Sir Joseph York is recalled and a Declaration of War appears, levelled against the City, against the Burgomaster and Mr. Van Berkel, and Sir G. Rodney in his dispatches pursues the same Partiality and Personality against Amsterdam. What was the drift of all this? Manifestly to excite Seditions against Temmink and Van Berkel. Here then is a base and scandalous System of Policy, in which the King of Great Britain and his Ministry and Admiral all condescend to engage, manifestly concerted by Sir Joseph York at the Hague and I am sorry to add too much favoured by the Cabinet, and even openly by the Prince by his presenting Laurens’s Papers to the States, to sacrifice Temmink and Van Berkel to the Fury of an enraged Populace. This Plan was so daringly supported by Writers of the first Fame on the side of the Court, that Multitudes of Writings appeared attempting to shew that what Temmink and Van Berkel had done was high Treason. All this had such an Effect, that all the best Men seemed to shudder with Fear. I should scarcely find Credit in America, if I were to relate Anecdotes. It would be ungenerous to mention Names as well as unnecessary: I need only say that I was avoided like a Pestilence by every Man in Government. Those Gentlemen of the Rank of Burgomasters, Schepens, Pensionaries, and even Lawyers, who had treated me with great Kindness and Sociability and even Familiarity before, dared not see me; dared not be at home when I visited at their Houses; dared not return my Visit; dared not answer in writing even a Card that I wrote them. I had several Messages in a round about way and in Con• { 252 } fidence, that they were extremely sorry they could not answer my Cards and Letters in writing, because on fait tout son possible pour me sacrifier aux Anglomanes. Not long after arrived the News of the Capture of St. Eustatia &ca. This filled up the Measure. You can have no Idea, Sir. No Man who was not upon the Spot, can have any Idea of the Gloom and Terror that was spread by this Event. The Creatures of the Court openly rejoiced in this, and threatened in some of them in the most impudent Terms. I had certain Information that some of them talked high of their Expectations of popular Insurrections against the Burgomasters of Amsterdam and Mr. Van Berkel, and did Mr. Adams the honor to mention him as one, that was to be hanged by the Mob in such Company.
In the midst of the Confusion and Terror, my Credentials arrived from Paris thro’ an hundred Accidents and Chances of being finally lost. As soon as I read my despatches, and heard the History of their Escape by Post, Diligence and Trech Schoots, it seemed to me as if the hand of Providence had sent them on purpose to dissipate all these Vapours.3
With my Dispatches arrived from Paris Intimations of their Contents, for there are no Secrets kept at Paris. The People, who are generally eager for a Connection with America, began to talk, and Paragraphs appeared in all the Gazettes in Dutch and French and German, containing a thousand ridiculous Conjectures about the American Ambassador and his Errand. One of my Children could scarcely go to School, without some pompous Account of it in the Dutch Papers. I had been long enough in this Country to see tolerably well where the Ballance lay, and to know that America was so much respected by all Parties, that no one would dare to offer any Insult to her Minister as soon as he should be known. I wrote my Memorial and presented it, and printed it in English, Dutch and French. There was immediately the most universal and unanimous Approbation of it expressed in all Companies and Pamphlets and Newspapers, and no Criticism ever appeared against it. Six or seven months afterwards a Pamphlet appeared in Dutch, which was afterwards translated into French, called Considerations on the Memorial:4 but it has been read by very few, and is indeed not worth reading.
The Proposition to the President being taken ad referendum, it became a Subject of the Deliberation of the Sovereignty. The Prince therefore and the whole Court are legally bound to treat it with respect, and me with decency, at least it would be criminal in them to treat me or the Subject with Indecency.
{ 253 }
If it had not been presented and printed, I am very sure I could not long have resided in the Republick, and what would have been the Consequence to the Friends of Liberty here I know not. They were so disheartened and intimidated, and the Anglomanes were so insolent, that no Man can say, that a sudden Phrenzy might not have been excited among the Soldiery and the People to demand a Junction with England, as there was in the Year 1748.5 Such a Revolution would have injured America and her Allies, have prolonged the War and have been the total Loss and Ruin of the Republick.
Immediately upon the Presentation of my Memorial, Mr. Van Berkel ventured to present his Requete and Demand for a Trial. This contributed still further to raise the Spirits of the good People, and soon afterwards the Burgomasters of Amsterdam appeared with their Proposition for giving the Prince a Committee for a Council, and in Course their Attack upon the Duke, all which together excited such an Enthusiasm in the Nation and among the Officers of the Navy, as produced the Battle of Doggersbank, which never would have happened in all Probability, but would have been eluded by secret Orders and various Artifices, if the Spirit raised in the Nation by this Chain [of]6 Proceedings, of which the American Memorial was the first and an essential Link, had not rendered a display of the national Bravery indispensible for the honor of the Navy, and perhaps for the Safety of the Court.
The Memorial, as a Composition, has very little Merit, yet almost every Gazette in Europe has inserted it, and most of them with a Compliment, none with any Criticism. When I was in Paris and Versailles afterwards, no Man ever expressed to me the smallest disapprobation of it, or the least apprehension that it could do any harm. On the contrary, several Gentlemen of Letters expressed higher Compliments upon it than it deserved. The King of Sweden has done it a most illustrious honor, by quoting one of the most material Sentiments in it, in a public Answer to the King of Great Britain;7 and the Emperor of Germany has since done the Author of it the honor to desire in the Character of Count Falkenstein to see him, and what is more remarkable has adopted the sentiment of it concerning religious Liberty into a Code of Laws for his Dominions, the greatest Effort in favor of Humanity, next to the American Revolution, which has been produced in the eighteenth Century.8
As my Mission to this Republick was wisely communicated to the Court of Versailles, who can say that this Transaction of Congress had not some Influence in producing de Grasse in Cheasapeak Bay. { 254 } Another thing I ought to mention. I have a Letter from Mr. Jay, informing me that in the Month of June last Mr. del Campo was appointed by the Court of Madrid to treat with him—the exact time when my Memorial appeared at Madrid. You may possibly say, that my Imagination and Self-Love carry me extraordinary lengths, but when one is called upon to justify an Action, one should look all round. All I contend for is, that the Memorial has certainly done no harm. That it is probable it has done some Good, and that it is possible it has done much more than can be proved. A Man always makes an aukward figure when he is justifying himself and his own Actions, and I hope I shall be pardoned. It is easy to say, il abonde trop dans son sens—il est vain et glorieux—il est plein de lui même—il ne voit que lui,9 and other modest things of that sort, with which even your Malsherbes’s, your Turgots and Neckars are sometimes sacrificed to very small Intrigues.
Your Veterans in Diplomaticks and in Affairs of State consider Us as a kind of Militia,10 and hold Us perhaps, as is natural, in some degree of Contempt, but wise Men know that Militia sometimes gain Victories over regular Troops, even by departing from the Rules.
Soon after I had presented the Memorial, I wrote to the Duke de la Vauguyon upon the subject of inviting or admitting in Concert the Republick to accede to the Alliance between France and America.11 The Duke transmitted that Letter to the Count de Vergennes, which produced the offer to Congress from the King to assist Us in forming a Connection with the Republick, and the Instructions upon the Subject, which I shall execute as soon as the French Ambassador thinks proper. With him it now lies, and with him thank God I have hitherto preserved a perfectly good Understanding, altho’ I differed from him in opinion concerning the point of time to make the former Proposition.
The Evacuation of the Barrier Towns has produced an important Commentary upon the Conversation I had with the Duke, and his Opinion upon that occasion. How few Weeks was it, after the publication of my Memorial, that the Roman Emperor made that memorable Visit to Brussells, Ostend, Bruges, Antwerp and all the considerable maritime Towns in his Provinces of Brabant and Flanders? How soon afterwards his memorable Journies to Holland and to Paris? Was not the American Memorial full of Matter for the Emperor’s Contemplation, when he was at Ostend, Antwerp and Bruges? { 255 } Was it not full of Matter, calculated to stimulate him to hasten his Negotiations with France concerning the Abolition of the Barrier Towns? Was not the same Matter equally calculated to stimulate France to finish such an Agreement with him, as We have seen the Evidence of in the actual Evacuation of those Towns? If this Evacuation is an Advantage to France and to America, as it undoubtedly is, by putting this Republick more in the Power of France, and more out of a Possibility of pursuing the System of Orange by joining England, and my Memorial is supposed to have contributed any thing towards it, surely it was worth the while.
The Period, since the 4th. of May 1781, has been thick sown with great Events, all springing out of the American Revolution, and connected with the Matter contained in my Memorial. The Memorial of Mr. Van Berkel, the Proposition of the Burgomasters of Amsterdam; their Attack upon the Duke of Brunswick and the Battle of Doggersbank; the Appointment of Senior del Campo to treat with Mr. Jay; the Success of Colo. Laurens in obtaining Orders for the French Fleet to go upon the Coast of America; their Victory over Graves and the Capture of Cornwallis; the Emperor’s Journey to his maritime Towns, to Holland and to Paris; his new Regulations for encouraging the Trade of his maritime Towns; his Demolition of the Barrier Fortifications; and his most liberal and sublime Ecclesiastical Reformation; and the King of Sweeden’s Reproach to the King of England for continuing the War, in the very Words of my Memorial: these Traits are all subsequent to that Memorial, and they are too sublime and decisive proofs of the Prosperity and Glory of the American Cause, to admit of the Belief that that Memorial has done it any material hurt.
By comparing Facts and Events and Dates, it is impossible not to believe, that the Memorial had some Influence in producing some of them. When Courts and Princes and Nations have been long contemplating a great system of affairs, and their Judgments begin to ripen, and they begin to see how things ought to go and are agoing, a small Publication, holding up these objects in a clear point of View, sometimes sets a vast Machine in motion at once like the springing of a mine. What a Dust We raise, said the Fly upon the Chariot Wheel? It is impossible to prove that this whole Letter is not a similar delusion to that of the Fly. The Councils of Princes are enveloped in impenetrable Secrecy. The true Motives and Causes, which govern their Actions little or great, are carefully concealed. { 256 } But I desire only that these Events may be all combined together, and then that an impartial Judge may say, if he can, that he believes, that that homely harmless Memorial had no share in producing any part of this great Complication of Good.
But be all these Speculations and Conjectures as they will, the foresight of which could not have been sufficiently clear to have justified the Measure, it is sufficient for me to say, that the Measure was absolutely necessary and unavoidable. I should have been contemptible and ridiculous without it. By it I have secured to myself and my Mission universal Decency and Respect, tho’ no open Acknowledgment or Avowal.
I write this to You in Confidence. You may entirely suppress it, or communicate it in Confidence, as You judge for the public Good.12
I might have added, that many Gentlemen of Letters of various Nations have expressed their Approbation of this Measure. I will mention only two. Mr. D’Alembert and Mr. Raynal, I am well informed, have expressed their Sense of it in Terms too flattering for me to repeat. I might add the Opinion of many Men of Letters in this Republick.
The Charge of Vanity is the last Resource of little Wits and mercenary Quacks, the vainest Men alive, against Men and Measures that they can find no other Objection to: I doubt not but Letters have gone to America, containing their weighty Charge against me: but this Charge, if supported only by the Opinion of those who make it, may be brought against any Man or Thing.
It may be said, that this Memorial did not reach the Court of Versailles until after Colo. Laurens had procured the Promise of Men and Ships: but let it be considered Colo. Laurens brought with him my Credentials to their high Mightinesses, and Instructions to Dr. Franklin to acquaint the Court of Versailles with it and request their Countenance and Aid to me. Colo. Laurens arrived in March. On the 16th. of April I acquainted the Duke de la Vauguyon at the Hague, that I had recieved such Credentials, and the next day waited on him in Person, and had that day and the next two Hours Conversation with him each day upon the subject, in which I informed him of my Intention to go to their high Mightinesses. All this he transmitted to the Comte de Vergennes; and tho’ it might procure me the Reputation of Vanity and Obstinacy, I shall forever believe that it contributed to second and accelerate Colo. Laurens’s Negotiations, who succeeded to a Marvel, tho’ Dr. Franklin says he gave great offence. I have long since learned that a Man may give { 257 } offence and yet succeed. The very Measures necessary for Success may be pretended to give offence.
The earnest Opposition made by the Duke de la Vauguyon, only served to give me a more full and ample persuasion and assurance of the Utility and Necessity of the Measure. His Zeal convinced me, that he had a stronger Apprehension that I should make a great Impression somewhere, than I had myself.13 “Sir, says he, the King and the United States are upon very intimate Terms of Friendship. Had not You better wait until We can make the Proposition in Concert?” God grant they may ever continue in perfect friendship says I: but this friendship does not prevent your Excellency from conducting your Negotiations without consulting me. Why then am I obliged, in proposing a simple Treaty of Commerce, which the United States have reserved the entire Right of proposing, to consult your Excellency? If I were about to propose an Alliance, or to invite or admit the Dutch to accede to the Alliance between the King and the States, I should think myself obliged to consult your Excellency.
“But, says he, there is a Loan talked of to be opened by the United States here under the Warranty of the King. How will [it]14 look for You to go to the States without my Concurrence?” Of this I know nothing, says I, but one thing I know, that if such a Loan should be proposed, the Proposition I propose to make to the States, instead of obstructing will facilitate it, and your Proposal of a Loan will rather countenance me.
“Is there not danger, says he, that the Empress of Russia and the other Northern Powers will take offence at your going to the States General before them?” Impossible says I. They all know that the Dutch have been our old Friends and Allies: that We shall have more immediate Connections of Commerce with Holland than with them. But what is decisive in this matter is America and Holland have now a common Enemy in England at open War, which is not the Case of the Northern Powers.
“Had you not better wait, until I can write to the Comte de Vergennes and have his Opinion?” I know already beforehand says I, what his Opinion will be. “Ay what?” Why directly against it. “For what Reason?” Because the Comte de Vergennes will not commit the Dignity of the King, or his own Reputation, by advising me to apply until he is sure of Success; and in this he may be right: but the United States stand in a different Predicament. They have nothing to lose by such a Measure, and may gain a great deal.
“But, says he, if Holland should join England in the War, it will { 258 } be unfortunate.” If there was danger of this, says I, a Proposition from the United States would be one of the surest means of preventing it: but the Situation of Holland is such, that I am persuaded they dare not join England. It is against their Consciencies, and they are in bodily Fear of an hundred thousand Men from France. “God, says he, You have used an Argument now that You ought to speak boldly and repeat peremptorily in all Companies, for this People are governed very much by Fear.” I have however spoken upon this Subject with delicacy upon all occasions, and shall continue to do so, says I, but shall make no Secret that I am sensible of it.
After turning the Subject in all the Lights it could bear, I told him, that I believed he had urged every objection against the Measure that could be thought of, but that I was still clear in my former Opinion. “Are You decided to go to the States?” Yes Sir. I must say I think it my Duty. “Very well. In that Case, says he, You may depend upon it, I will do all in my Power as a Man to countenance and promote your Application.”15
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 1–11). LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. This paragraph is a reply to the letters of 26 Dec. from Livingston and from James Lovell, both above.
2. For the aid promised by the Dutch under the terms of the Anglo-Dutch alliance of 1648 and later treaties and the divisions within the Netherlands caused by Sir Joseph Yorke’s demands that the Dutch meet their obligations, see vol. 9:47–48.
3. For the unusual circumstances and indirect route for the conveyance of JA’s commissions that arrived on 6 April 1781, see his letter of that date to the president of Congress, and note 1 (vol. 11:247–248).
4. Rijklof Michaël van Goens, Consideratien op de Memorie aan H.H.M.M. geaddesseerd door John Adams, en geteekend Leiden, den 19 April 1781, [Amsterdam], 1781, and its translation: Considérations sur le mémoire adressé à LL. HH. PP. par John Adams, daté de Leiden, le 19 avr. 1781, [Amsterdam?], 1781. Van Goens argued that any advantages to the Netherlands from recognizing the United States would be more than offset by the disadvantages. If the American colonies did not win their independence, Britain would demand harsh terms from the Dutch for recognizing its rebellious colonies. Even if the colonies achieved independence, Britain was still likely to seek revenge against the Netherlands for acting prematurely. Spain, he noted, was also at war with Britain, but had not recognized the United States although it too was an ally of France. Van Goens observed that 130 years ago the Netherlands had gone to war with Cromwell’s commonwealth, but had not taken up Charles II’s cause owing to the difficulties that it would have posed for a peace settlement. The reasons for that decision were valid then and remained so in 1781. Recognition and the negotiation of a treaty should take place only after an Anglo-American settlement. Even then the advantages to the Netherlands were doubtful because the new nation would be a commercial rival with lower costs allowing it to take over the carrying trade upon which Dutch commerce was founded.
5. For the events of 1748, see JA to the president of Congress, 4 Jan. 1781, and note 4 (vol. 11:15–17).
6. Supplied from the Letterbook.
7. The statement by Gustavus III has not been identified.
8. For Joseph II’s Edict of Toleration, see Edmund Jenings’ letter of 14 Nov. 1781, and note 3, above.
{ 259 }
9. For a translation of this passage, which Edmund Jenings included in his letter of 14 Nov. 1781, see JA’s unsent reply to Jenings of 29 Nov. 1781, both above. For JA’s expanded comments regarding French criticism of his diplomacy, which he believed originated with the Comte de Vergennes, see note 15 to this letter.
10. From this statement is derived the phrase “militia diplomacy” and all that the term implies. It is doubtful, however, that in 1782 JA considered himself less skilled, knowledgeable, or prepared than his European counterparts.
11. JA wrote to La Vauguyon on 1 May 1781 (vol. 11:300–301), the day before he met with Pieter van Bleiswyck concerning the memorial and three days before he endeavored to present his memorial to the States General (to the president of Congress, 3 May 1781, vol. 11:301–302).
12. In his reply of 30 May (Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:459–460), Livingston wrote that he probably would submit the letter to Congress. But he may not have done so because Congress’ dispatch books do not contain an entry for this letter of the 21st (PCC, No. 185, III, f. 29, 31, 35).
13. What follows is JA’s only contemporary account of his conversations with the Duc de La Vauguyon on 19 and 20 April 1781 regarding the presentation of his 19 April 1781 memorial to the States General. It should be read in conjuction with JA’s much later, and even more detailed, comments in the Boston Patriot (vol. 11:262, 263–265).
14. Supplied from the Letterbook.
15. This letter was published serially in the Boston Patriot on 24 Oct. and 7, 14, and 17 Nov. 1810. In the issue of 17 Nov., immediately following the letter, JA wrote “I shall make a comment or two, Messrs. Printers, upon this letter, without which it may not be so well understood.
“1st. It was written to justify myself for presenting my credentials to the states general and for printing my memorial, in answer to a letter from Mr. Secretary Livingston in which, in plain English, he had reprimanded me, strange as it may seem, very severely, for my conduct in these instances.
“2. An allusion is made to a copy of a letter, or rather an extract of a letter, which was transmitted to me, through a friend, from London, said to have been written by one of the first personages in France, (meaning the comte de Vergennes) to one of the first personages in Great Britain, (meaning the Earl of Shelbourne) in these words, as nearly as I recollect them. ‘Nous n’avons pas une confiance, bien aveugle, en Monsieur Adams. On le croit honnêtte; on le scait ardent, inflexible mêrne dans sa cause: mais il abonde trop en son sens, et ne scait pas se donner aux convenances. Nous aimons mieux, paler confiance en Monsieur Franklin.’
“3. I believed that the reproof in Mr. Livingston’s letter had been insinuated into him by the Chevalier de la Luzerne, or Mr. Marbois, or some other gentleman of the French legation, and that in consequence of previous instructions from the comte de Vergennes, or Mr. Rayneval. Such, whether corruptly or not, was my belief.
“4. There is not an effect of that memorial, suggested in this letter as possibly or probably flowing from it, that I do not now in 1810, after near thirty years of examination and reflection, believe to have been produced by it. Holland then held a much higher consideration in Europe than it has since.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0163

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-21

From Francis Dana

[salute] My Dear Sir

Although I have been much disappointed in not receiving your promised letter in answer to mine by Mr: Sayer, yet I have not on that account omitted to write you ever since my last (by the post) viz of Jany: 14/25th. I have lately been wholly confined to my rooms by a cold and a fever which though not dangerous has been very troublesome and unfitted me for any sort of business. In short I have been more indisposed and out of health, the short time of my { 260 } residence in this City, than I have been before from the time of my arrival in Europe. So that I may safely conclude this climate is not adapted to my constitution yet I must sustain its effects sometime longer; which I shou’d do with patience and submission if I cou’d be a little better satisfied that any good purposes wou’d be brought about within a reasonable time. That things will come right in the end I seem to be pretty well convinced, because I am persuaded it is for the Interest of both Nations, that we shou’d succeed in our plan: of the Truth of this, if they are not already convinced of it, they will one day be fully so. I wait with impatience to see an end of the present mediation between Britain and Holland, and I shall not then fail to take some decisive measures to open a direct communication with her Majesty’s Ministers. All substantial objections it seems must then be removed, or I shall dispair of their ever being so. Will it not be high time that an attempt shou’d then be made to find out the real dispositions of Her Imperial Majesty towards the United States? I have discovered nothing yet which induces me to call into question the sentiments in general which I have expressed in the letters which have passed through your hands, upon that subject. I see you have made another attempt in your department, but I fear all will be ineffectual there, and that the great interests of that Country are in fact sacrificed to a foreign influence—that they can neither have peace, or adopt any proper measures for their defence—that even the patriotic party cannot rid themselves of their antient prejudices against the Nation which is certainly best able to help them out of their deplorable state, and seems generously disposed to do it. This party, I am told, flatter themselves that something essential will be done, on the return of the Duke of V—. I wish sincerely they may not be deceived in their hopes.
Inclosed you will receive the paper mentioned in my last, which I have this day obtained, and according to my promise I send it to you by the earliest opportunity.1 You have it unaccompanied with any of my observations, not only because your own penetration and sound judgment render them altogether needless, but on one other account which I leave you to conjecture; but for this last I shou’d have troubled you with a few upon matter dehors, but not wholly foreign to it. I wish to keep you as fully informed of every thing in this quarter which relates to our common concerns as I am able. I shall hope for the like favour from you.
I beg you to present my regards to Mr: T. and all other friends { 261 } near you. I am, dear Sir, with the greatest esteem & respect, your Friend & obedt: hble Servt:
[signed] F D
P.S. Please to give Mr: T. a commission to purchase for me a Secretaire like the one in your front room at which you used to write. Let him see that the Locks upon it are strong and good—that it be carefully put up in a substantial and well secured box—and forwarded to Messrs: Strahlborn & Wolff. Let him put into it all the things he means to forward to me, and send the keys with it. Let it come in the first neutral bottom that shall sail in the Spring from Amsterdam for this port. Mr. De Neufville or Messrs: De Lande & Finji will be able to give him notice of an opportunity and perhaps take the trouble to send it on as directed. Let no time be lost in getting it ready. Do contrive to furnish me with a Sett of the Journals of Congress. If our friend J L.2 has sent the Confederation for which I wrote, as I suppose by Mr: T.’s letter3 he has done, pray desire Mr: Cerisier to make an elegant translation of it into French together with the Instrument of Ratification, for me, and pay him on my account whatever you think he will think a generous reward for his trouble, and let it come on as above. Mr: T. wou’d oblige me much by procuring of Mr: Luzac his Gazettes which contain his translation of our Constitution, as finally agreed upon.4
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana Feb 10/21.”; by CFA: “1782.”
1. The enclosure has not been found. It was probably the Austro-Russian mediation proposal made to France, which Dana indicated in his letter of 25 Jan., above, that he would try to obtain and send to JA at “the earliest opportunity.”
2. James Lovell.
3. Thaxter’s letter to Dana has not been found.
4. For the publication in the Gazette de Leyde of a major portion of the ratified Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, see vol. 10:152, note 3.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0164-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-23

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

La maison que Votre Excellence m’a ordonné d’acheter Vous appartient depuis hier au Soir, que nous en avons passé le Contrat de vente par-devant notaires de la main à la main, pour quatorze mille cinquante deux et demi florins, je dis ƒ14052.10s argent courant, et franc de tous fraix, d’Hollande, de votre part, moyennant quoi le Vendeur est tenu de vous livrer au premier de May prochain la maison à son tour, telle que vous l’avez vue, franche de toutes dettes et { 262 } autres charges.1 Pour condition, j’ai dû promettre dans le Contrat de payer à compte, avant le 1er. de Mars prochain, la somme de ƒ8000, (c’est pour acquitter l’hypotheque pour la quelle la maison est hypothéquée) et les ƒ6052.10 restants avant le premier de May prochain, lorsque le transport se fera en forme. Pour cet effet, j’ai tiré aujourd’hui à mon ordre, et endossé à celui de Mrs. Moliere fils & Ce., une Lettre de change de ƒ10,000 argt. court. d’Hollande, contre laquelle il m’a donné deux reçus payables au porteur, l’un, de ƒ8000, que je remettrai au Notaire, l’autre de ƒ2000, dont je disposerai chez Mrs. Moliere moi-même, à mesure que j’aurai besoin de deniers comptants pour acquitter les fraix du pays et autres pour l’achat, &c. et après, vous tenir compte, Monsieur, du solde. Quant aux ƒ6052.10 restants, je les tirerai pareillement sur vous, pour pouvoir les payer avant le 1er. May, lorsque le transport se fera. Mon Notaire, qui est aussi celui de l’Hotel de France, me délivrera Lundi prochain une Copie du Contrat passé hier, laquelle j’espere de vous porter moi-même, dès que j’aurai arrangé le payement de l’achat et des fraix. Je crois devoir vous avertir, Monsieur, de la condition d’usage constant, enoncée aussi dans le contrat, que la maison est dès la signature d’hier aux périls et risques de l’acheteur, afin que, pour votre tranquillité, vous puissiez la faire assurer, si vous le jugez à propos.
Au reste, j’ai marchandé tout ce qui étoit possible, jusqu’au dernier instant, et le Vendeur a eu justement le temps encore de faire arrêter la vente publique. Par-là je vous ai épargné, Monsieur, ƒ700 de fraix de plus au moins, outre ceux d’un repas. On en avoit offert ƒ13000 mardi passé; et j’ai eu soin de m’assurer depuis, que je ne l’aurois pas eue à moins de ƒ14000, à la dite Vente publique. Je me flatte donc que ma conduite à tous égards méritera votre approbation, et que vous voudrez bien Monsieur, m’apprendre, par un mot de réponse, que vous êtes content de moi, et recevoir mon compliment sur cette acquisition, et mes voeux pour que vous en jouissiez avec santé et toutes sortes de satisfactions, avec un plaisir égal à la sincérité et l’abondance du coeur qui vous les présente.
Le moment après la signature du Contrat, je courus à l’hôtel de France (quoiqu’il y eût Bal), prier le Secretaire de M. le Duc de la Vauguyon, d’en informer Son Excellence et l’on vient de me dire, que ce matin le Coureur de M. le Duc de Brunswick est allé à notre Hôtel, s’informer de laffaire auprès de la Comtesse.
Votre respectable et excellente qualité est couchée duement dans le Contrat, ainsi que celle de votre serviteur.
{ 263 }
Enfin, nous avons une Maison Américaine à La Haie noble, et telle qu’il convient à la dignité du Représentant des E.U., et je vous ferai voir à loisir, Monsieur, qu’avec le plaisir de la propriété, vous avez celui d’habiter pour une rente très modérée.
Je me réjouis de l’éclat que cette affaire fera certainement ici dès aujourd’hui. Made. la Comtesse de Wickrad (Vendeur) m’a chargé de ses complimens pour V. E., et de vous dire, que le regret de sortir de sa maison, et d’y perdre ƒ2000 d’achat et ƒ2000 de réparation, a été adouci, lorsque je lui ai dit le nom de l’Acheteur; ce que je n’ai fait que lors de la confection du Contrat: et qu’en bonne conscience, lorsque les Etats-Unis auront eu les succès qu’elle leur desire, ils la dedommageront.
Permettez une place ici à mes respects pour Mrs. Barclai et Thaxter, et soyez assuré de celui, et de l’attachement inviolable, avec lequel je suis pour toujours, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
P.S. Je crois, et d’autres amis aussi, qu’il convient de dire, que vous ne quittez le sejour d’Amsterdam que pour la raison de votre santé: comme cela est vrai.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0164-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-23

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

The house that your Excellency commissioned me to buy is yours as of last night. We presented a sales contract on your behalf before the notaries for fourteen thousand fifty-two and a half florins, ƒ14,052.10s in Dutch currency, free of all fees, in return for which the seller will relinquish possession of the house on May 1st, just as you have seen it, free of all debts and other costs.1 As a condition of the contract, I promised the sum of ƒ8,000, payable upon receipt, to be made before March 1st. This is to pay off the existing mortgage. The remaining ƒ6,052.10 will be paid next May 1st when the transfer takes place. In order to do this, today I withdrew a bill of exchange, payable to me, for ƒ10,000 Dutch currency, endorsed by Mr. Moliere fils & Co., against which he gave me two receipts payable to the bearer. One is for ƒ8,000, which I will give to the notary, and the other is for ƒ2,000, which I will leave at Mr. Moliere’s myself. This is in case I need any ready money for fees and anything else concerning the purchase, after you take account, sir, of the balance. As for the remaining ƒ6,052.10, I will withdraw the funds from your account in order to pay it before May 1st, when the transfer takes place. My notary, as well as the one from the hotel de France, will send me a copy of the contract which I hope to be able to deliver to you myself, as soon as I have arranged for payment of the sale { 264 } and fees. I must inform you, sir, that according to customary terms stated in the contract, the buyer assumes all responsibility of the property’s perils and risks as of yesterday’s signing and therefore, for your peace of mind, you can insure it if you think it is necessary.
Moreover, I bargained up until the last moment and the seller had just enough time to stop a public auction. Because of this, I saved you, sir, ƒ700 in fees more or less, in addition to the cost of a meal. Last Tuesday, there was an offer made for ƒ13,000, and I have since then checked to make certain that I would not have had it for less than ƒ14,000 at the public auction. I flatter myself that my behavior, in all respects, will meet with your approval and that you would be so kind, sir, as to send me a word that you are happy with me. Please receive my compliments on this acquisition, and my wishes that you enjoy it, in good health, and with many satisfactions, equal to the sincerity and heartfelt feelings of the one who presents them to you.
Immediately after signing the contract, I ran to the Hôtel de France (even though there was a ball) and asked La Vauguyon’s secretary to inform his Excellency of the sale. I was told that this morning, the Duke of Brunswick’s courier went to our residence to inquire about the transaction with the countess.
Your respectable and excellent character is duly inserted in the contract, as well as that of your servant.
Finally we have an American residence at The Hague, noble and suitable for the dignity of an American representative. I will show it to you, at leisure, sir, and with the pleasure of ownership, you will inhabit it at a very moderate outlay of funds.
I rejoice at the noise this business will certainly make from now on. Madame Countess Wickrad (the seller) sends you her compliments and asked me to tell you that the hardships of leaving her house, losing ƒ2,000 in the sale and another ƒ2000 in repairs, were softened when I told her the name of the buyer. This I did not do until the contract was prepared, and in good conscience I told her that she would be compensated as soon as the United States had the successes that she desired for them.
Allow me to add here my respects for Mr. Barclay and Mr. Thaxter and be assured of my respect and inviolable attachment, with which I remain, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
P.S. I believe, as well as others do, that it would be best to say that you are leaving Amsterdam for health reasons. This way it is true.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas Feb. 23. 1782. relative to an House, at the Hague.”
1. The notarized contract, dated 22 Feb. and signed by Dumas as JA’s agent and the Comtesse de Quadt Wykeradt as the seller, is at Gemeente-Archief, The Hague.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0165

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1782-02-24

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

Your favour of the 23, is just come to hand, and I thank you for your Care and skill in the Purchase of the house, and will do honour to your Bills, whenever they appear, by paying the Cash.
Madam La Comtesse de Wickrad, according to your Relation, made me and our states, a most elegant Compliment, for which you will be so good if you please to make my acknowledgments.
Cant it be made convenient, for me to receive Possession of the House forthwith.1 I should prefer that and would pay the Remainder of the Money immediately, in which Case, I would remove at once Some Beds &c at least into it.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] J. Adams
RC (private owner, 1959); endorsed: “248 Amst. 24e. fevr. 1782 S. E. Mr. Adams.”
1. On 8 March, in the midst of an account of the actions taken by the States General regarding JA’s memorial of 19 April 1781 and his address of 9 Jan. 1782, the Gazette de Leyde noted that “En attendant Mr. Adams vient d’acheter un Hôtel à la Haie, où il fixera son sejour, à compter du 1. Mai prochain.” Translation: In the meantime, Mr. Adams has purchased a house at The Hague and plans to take up residence there about 1 May.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0166-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-24

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous aurez vu ce matin, par ma Lettre d’avis et Traite d’hier de ƒ10,000 à vue, lesquelles vous auront été présentées par Mr. Moliere, Négociant de votre Ville, ce qui concerne la transaction touchant votre hôtel ici. Le nombre de ceux qui m’ont témoigné le plaisir que cela leur fait est grand. Les Anglomanes gardent le silence avec moi. Un seul, des plus outrés, me demanda hier si le fait étoit vrai; je lui dis qu’oui, et qu’il voyoit devant lui le tentator et le patrator du délit. Sur quoi point de replique.
Celle-ci est principalement pour vous informer, Monsieur, que je sais de science certaine, que l’on a pris en Frise la Résolution Provinciale de reconnoître l’Indépendance dont l’Amérique unie est en pleine possession.1 J’ai lieu d’espérer, que quelque autre chose viendra à l’appui de cette démarche. Laissons-leur faire cela sans bouger de notre côté. En attendant le mauvois temps se passera: { 266 } vous rangerez votre hôtel ici: et puis nous ferons une petite tournée ensemble, qui ne sera pas inutile, et qui pourra nous faire autant de bien politiquement, que physiquement. J’espere de recevoir demain de vos nouvelles, et notamment que vous vous portez parfaitement bien. Mon Epouse et ma fille vous présentent leurs respects. Vous savez toute l’étendue de celui avec lequel je Suis, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0166-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-24

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Mr. Moliere, merchant in your city, will have presented to you this morning, my letter of advice and bill for ƒ10,000, payable upon receipt, concerning the transaction here. Many people have told me how delighted they are with this news. The Anglomanes remain silent. One of the more outraged ones asked me yesterday if it were, in fact, true. I told him yes, and that he was seeing before him the instigator and perpetrator of this offense. He gave no reply.
This letter is principally to inform you, sir, that I know for certain that the state of Friesland resolved to recognize American independence.1 I have reason to hope that something else will happen in support of this step. Let us stay our course and see what happens. Meantime the bad weather will pass, you will get your residence here in order, and then we can make our rounds together which will benefit us as much politically as physically. I hope to receive some news from you tomorrow, particularly to hear that you are in good health. My wife and daughter send you their regards. You know the extent of my respect for you with which I remain, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. The States of Friesland resolved to recognize American independence on 26 Feb., thereby becoming the first Dutch province to do so. For a reproduction of the resolution as extracted from the records of the States, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, Resolution by the States of Friesland to Recognize the United States and Admit John Adams as Minister Plenipotentiary, 26 February 1782 276No. 5, above; and for English translations of the resolution, see JA to Robert R. Livingston, 11 March and 19 April, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0167

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1782-02-25

To James Lovell

Secret and Confidential.

[salute] Dear sir

In my Letter to congress of the 16 of May, inclosing my Memorial, I observed, that the Bravery of our Countrymen in Carolina, De la motte piquets Captures, and the Spanish opperations of Gibraltar, had contributed to raise the Spirits of this nation from that gloom, { 267 } in which the Capture of Statia Essequebo and Demerara had plunged them. I did not then conceive it possible that I should be called upon to apologize, for the Paper enclosed if I had, I could have Added, that that Memorial, contributed more than all the rest, to the Reassurance of the Nation.
In order to judge what the state of Mind was that the People were in, We should know that they lived in daily Expectation and Dread of a Mob. I was told expressly by one of the most learned and prudent Men in this Republick, a Professor at Leyden that he was then, every day and had been a long time in Expectation of something breaking out that would be very disagreable. I had intimations of this from various other quarters. I knew that Mr Van Berckel, had been intimidated, or rather the Regency on his account. I knew that the Baron Vander Capellen had thought himself obliged to fly, to another Province. I knew that Mr De Neufville, had chosen to leave the Republick, for a time. And I Saw that three mighty Houses Hanover Brunswick and orange, had levelled their Policy as by a Family Compact, to raise Mobs in Amsterdam.
There was a gloomy Silence, nobody daring to talk or Speak. They recollected very well the Circumstances of the Mobs in Amsterdam in the Year 1748, but they dared not Speak of them, untill lately. In 1748, the Populace arose in Amsterdam to demand, that the City should be for joining England and making an hereditary Stadholder. Innumerable Houses were pillaged, all the furniture, and they say millions of Ducats thrown into the Canals. They were obliged at last to fire upon the People, and whole Crowds were driven headlong into the Canals, where hundreds perished in Mud and Water.
Upon this occasion, was it not plain that Sir Joseph Yorks Policy, was to excite a Similar Fury against Temmink and Van Berckel? Was it not plain, by the Princes, laying before the States, Mr Laurens’s Papers, in a manner So unnecessary, So impolitick, in the Sense of good Men, that he was giving aid, wittingly or inadvertently, to Yorks system. I know there are Persons who believe that the Plan was concerted between the two Courts of London and the Hague. A Gentleman, of excellent Character, and profound Discretion as well as Learning told me, within this Week, “We were Saved by Miracle. If Sir Joseph had advised his Master to have declared War against Amsterdam alone, We should have been undone, past all Remedy. Your Memorial, contributed somewhat to our Salvation. It was a good Antedote to Yorks Poison.”
The Princes frequent Exclamations “on a conjuré la Perte de ma { 268 } Maison. Ne parlez point d’Amsterdam ou de M. le Baron de Van der capellen. On a conjuré la Ruin de ma maison”1—are Marks of the Anxiety and distress of the Court at the Same time.
My Memorial, contrived as it was, and coming out as it did, compelled all Parties to Speak in its Praise. The Courtiers themselves were obliged to say, it is cunningly drawn up, it is sensible it is eloquent, it is fine, it is elaborate &c &c. The opposite Party cryed it is admirable, it is excellent, it is noble, it is the best Thing that ever was writ. I am well informed that the common People, read it, with the Utmost Greediness and often with Tears in their Eyes.
I dont believe that any Letters which have gone from hence, have Spoke much in its Praise. The reason is the Friends of Liberty dare not. Letters from the opposite Party may have condemned it in America, although they dared not to disapprove it here.
In short, if I am not Delirious enough for Bedlam, this Memorial, instead of desirg a Justification on my Part, deserved in Justice and sound Policy the Thanks of Congress.
I had other Reasons still. Mr Deane and <Dr Bancroft> one of his Friends have been for the year and half representing American affairs, in the most deplorable desperate Light, directly contrary to the Truth in all Companies in France Flanders and Holland. I thought it would be very well, for somebody who was supposed to know something of America, should hold up her Cause in a true Light—and it had in this Respect a good Effect. Pray what is to be done about Mr Deanes Letters? Is he to be still thought in Europe an American Evangelist? <And am I to be a sacrifice?> I hope the Eyes of Congress will be opened, Sometime or other?
If you look in my Letters written to Congress from Braintree when I was last at home you will find that I had apprehensions of the Emperors, joining England.2 When I drew the Memorial, I was not wholly without Such Suspicions, although, they were much fainter than when I wrote from Braintree, and indeed upon the whole I was convinced that he would take no Part against Us. The English debates in Parliament, and their Gazettes were full of a Conceit that the Emperor would declare in their favour and against America. When I wrote in that Memorial, those Words, “a System, (that of making equitable Treaties with all the Commercial Powers, without being goverd or monopolized by any) from which the Congress never will depart unless compelled by Some Powers declaring against them, which is not expected,” had the Emperor and him { 269 } alone in View. When he saw that Memorial, was it not natural for him to Say, the manner in which my Mother recd the American Minister Mr Lee, and the continual Puffs of the English, have made the Americans Suspect me. Whom else, except Portugal can they Suspect? All the other Powers have declard themselves in their favour or neutral. I’le remove this Jealousy. Il even See this memorialist. I’l join the armed Neutrality. Il visit my maritime Towns make Regulations to favour their Commerce, with America. Nay more, I will do America a greater Honour, than even France has done. I’l adopt their Sublime Systems of Reason, Philosophy and Civility, in adopting their Code of religious Liberty, by which I shall favour my Commerce with them as much, as I shall do them honour. I will do this memorialist the Honour to show him and all the World that I am of his opinion that it is of vast Importance that the Freedom of Inquiry, the Right of private Judgment and the Liberty of Conscience should be imparted to all Mankind.
When the Emperor was at Spa, he made a Point of doing Honour to the abby Raynal he admitted him often into his Company. And afterwards he pursued the Same Policy at Brussells. He has lately, caused to be written a Letter des fiscaux aux curés in these Words.3 “Mr Le Gouvernment est informe que le Prince Eveque de Liege4 a fait adresser aux officiaux de son diouse, des Exemplaires d’un imprimé portant la proscription d’un ouvrage intitule La Nymphe de Spa, a L’abbe Raynal,5 à l’effet de les remettre aux cures de leur district: Mais comme il est de Regle dans ce Pays qu’aucune espece d’ouvrage ne peut y etre proscrit autrement que par l’autorité Souvereigne L[eurs] A[ltesses] R[oyalles] nous ont charge de vous faire connoitre, Mr que leur intention est, que vous ne fassiez en manière quelconque, usage des Exemplaires de l’imprimerie, portant la Proscription de l’ouvrage Susmentioné, que vous pouvez avoir rien du Prince eveque de Liege.” These are very illustrious honours done to the abby Raynal. A Gentleman in Holland,6 one of the greatest Historians in Europe, has received a Letter from a Gentn at Brussells, informing him of a Conversation he had with the abby, very lately in which the abby said John Adams est un des plus grands Hommes D’Etat de cette Siècle.7 Every Person I see, who has lately seen the abby, brings me assurances from him of his Respects and Esteem. I have a Letter from him within a few days in which he says “J’honore vos Talents, Je respect votre Charactere, et J’aim votre Person.”8 Surely there are some Connections in these { 270 } Things, and I should not have all these flattering Testimonials if it was thought I had done any material harm to my Country, or any good Cause by that Memorial.
I have one Thing more to Say to you, my dear Friend in Confidence, and then I have done. I Saw myself, ill treated and persecuted, by a set. I own I Seized with Pleasure, so fair, So great an opportunity, of giving my own Character a Reputation and Publicity, which should place it out of the reach of all the little Shafts of Malice Envy and Revenge. I abhor every Thing that is personal and ever did. Through all our Contests in Massachusetts and in Congress, I ever avoided to the Utmost of my Power Personalties. And I shall never indulge myself in them in Europe. But The Dye is cast—I may be recalled—But recalling now will not disgrace me.

[salute] With great Affection I am yr

1. Translation: They conspire to overthrow my house. Do not speak to me of Amsterdam and the Baron van der Capellen. They plot to ruin my house.
2. For JA’s analysis of the European political situation in 1779, see his letter of 4 Aug. 1779 to the president of Congress (vol. 8:108–120).
3. Translation: Sir, the government is informed that the Prince-Bishop of Liège sent the officials in his diocese, printed copies of the proscription of a work entitled La Nymphe de Spa to the Abbé Raynal, in order that they be remitted to the curates of their districts. But, since it is the law in this land that no work can be proscribed other than by sovereign authority, that is, by their royal highnesses, we are obligated to inform you, sir, that their intention is that you make no use of the copies carrying the proscription of the abovementioned work in any manner, and that you have nothing from the prince-bishop of Liege.
4. Liege was a principality ruled by its sitting bishop. In 1782 the prince-bishop was François Charles, Count of Velbruck (Walter W. Davis, Joseph II: An Imperial Reformer for the Austrian Netherlands, The Hague, 1974, p. 39).
5. This poem, entitled L’Epitre de la nymphe de Spa à l’abbé Raynal, was by a young man named Bassenge, an enthusiast of the abbé (Anatole Feugère, Un précurseur de la révolution, l’abbé Raynal, repr., Geneva, 1970, p. 300).
6. Probably Antoine Marie Cerisier.
7. Translation: John Adams is one of the great statesmen of this century.
8. See Raynal to JA, 18 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0168-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

L’honorée vôtre d’hier m’a rendu heureux en m’apprenant que vous approuvez ma conduite.
Je me suis transporté tout de suite chez Madame la Comtesse de Wickrad, qui m’a dit qu’il ne lui étoit pas possible de terminer plutôt ses affaires ici, et entr’autres le transport formel de la maison, avant le 1er. May prochain; que si cependant, contre les apparences pré• { 271 } sentes, elle pouvoit gagner quelque temps, elle m’en feroit avertir. Il faudra donc laisser les choses comme elles sont, à mon grand regret: car j’aimerois très-fort vous avoir ici dès aujourd’hui plutôt que demain. Je l’avois déjà sondée là-dessus avant de conclure vendredi, et elle avoit répondu par la Négative. Cela n’empechera pas que vous ne puissiez vuider votre maison à Amsterdam et embarquer touts vos effets, et les expédier pour ici le 1er. de May en un seul bateau; car dès le lendemain votre maison leur est ouverte, pour y être placés, et puis le 3e May rangés selon vos desirs1 car à la rigueur, la Comtesse ne peut être obligée à sortir de la maison avant le 3e. May, et de cette maniere il vous en coûtera moins.
La réponse que la Comtesse a donnée au Coureur2 quand il a demandé qui étoit l’acheteur, a été que la maison avoit été achetée pour le Congrès. Il n’y a pas de mal à cela. Cela doit avoir occasionné une plaisante sensation.
Après avoir demandé si ce que l’on m’avoit assuré étoit aussi certain que l’on me l’avoit dit, on m’a répondu que si la résolution n’étoit pas prise déjà, l’on étoit assuré qu’elle ne tarderoit pas.
Pour revenir à votre Hôtel, je suis extrêmement chagrin de la circonstance où nous nous trouvons, mon Epouse et moi, de devoir déménager aussi au 1er de May prochain. Par les mesures que nous avions prises pour cette année dès la fin de la passée, j’ai loué des chambres ici pour moi dès le commencement de ce mois, et ma femme et ma fille se préparent à partir le 1er. de May, et peut-être auparavant, pour notre Ferme en Gueldre, où elles passeront toute la bonne saison; et l’hyver ici ou ailleurs, selon que nos circonstances le rendront convenable. Il m’est donc bien facheux, Monsieur, de ne pouvoir vous offrir, outre mon assistance, sur laquelle vous pouvez compter, celle aussi de mon Epouse, très-supérieure à la mienne pour ce qui regarde les réparations de la maison, le placement et l’arrangement de vos meubles, l’emplete de celles que vous voudriez y ajouter, le nettoyage, &c. &c. avec les précautions, le soin et l’oeconomie, que les Dames entendent généralement mieux que nous autres hommes. Elle partage vivement avec moi la mortification que ce contre-temps nous cause; et nous voudrions de tout notre coeur y remédier, s’il étoit possible. Si j’avois prevu ce qui vient d’arriver, j’aurois pu retenir la maison que j’occupe encore, une année de plus. Mais il n’en est plus temps. Cette maison est louée à un autre locataire, et nous devrons en sortir comme j’ai dit.
Il y a un homme ici, qui ayant appris que vous avez acheté l’hôtel, est venu m’offrir une tenture de chambre, rideaux, &c. assortis. Je { 272 } l’irai voir, dès qu’une indisposition qui m’a pris hier et aujourd’hui, sera passée. Je prierai ensuite mon Epouse de voir aussi Si elle est aussi belle et aussi bon marché que cet homme le dit, et Si elle conviendra pour la couleur et la mesure à celles de vos meilleurs appartemens qui pourra en avoir besoin, après quoi je pourrai vous en parler ou écrire plus amplement.
On m’a présenté aussi un beau fourneau de fer fondu, qui avoit servi un seul hiver dans le Vestibule des Domestiques d’un Envoyé mort ici. Il est tout neuf encore. Je sais qu’il a été acheté pour 7 Ducats. Je puis l’avoir pour 28 à 30 florins, parce que la personne qui me l’a dit l’auroit pris pour elle-même, s’il n’étoit pas un peu trop grand pour son appartement. Mais il faut se déterminer d’abord sur cet article. Si vous le voulez, Monsieur, je l’acheterai pour vous. Il ne ferme point en bas; et l’on a l’agrément d’y voir brûler le feu comme à la grille d’une Cheminée.
Après avoir lu à Mon Epouse ce qui la regarde dans cette Lettre, elle m’a dit qu’elle mettra elle-même par écrit ses conseils pour votre déménagement, et surtout pour le nettoyage de votre hôtel ici, avant l’arrangement de vos meubles. Je vous enverrai son Ecrit dès que je l’aurai.3
Je ne Sai Si je vous ai parlé, Monsieur, de la réflexion qu’on fait généralement ici, qu’il n’y avoit que la France et l’Espe, qu’eussent des hôtels ici en propre, et que l’Amérique s’est montée sur leur ton.
Certaines paroles échappées, et que j’ai entendues par hazard, me font juger que bientôt nous serons délivrés ici de certain espionage. Mes complimens à Mrs. Barclai et Thaxter. Je suis avec un grand respect, Monsieur, Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0168-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I was happy to be informed, by your honored letter of yesterday, of your approval of my conduct.
I went immediately to see the countess of Wickrad, who told me that she could not finish her business here, among other things the transfer of the house, sooner than May 1st. If she is able to gain some time, contrary to present expectations, she will alert me to it. To my regret, things must stay the same then, since I would very much like to have you here today rather than tomorrow. I had already inquired about it before finishing Friday, but she said no. This does not mean that you cannot empty your house in Amsterdam, and load all of your effects and send them on one { 273 } boat to arrive on May 1st. The next day your house will be open for them to be placed there, and then on the 3rd of May, to be arranged according to your wishes.1 Then, if need be, the countess will not have to leave the house before May 3rd and therefore it will cost you less money.
When the courier2 asked the Countess about the buyer, her reply was that the house was bought for Congress. There is nothing bad about that. This must have caused a pleasant sensation.
After having asked if what had been assured me was as certain as what I had been told, the answer was that if the resolution were not already passed, it would be soon.
Back to the house business, I am extremely distressed at the situation that my wife and I find ourselves in, that is, that we must also move before next May 1st. Because of steps taken for this year at the end of last year, I rented rooms for me here beginning this month, and my wife and daughter are preparing to leave on May 1st, or perhaps sooner, for our farm in Gelder. They will pass the summer there and the winter here or elsewhere depending on our circumstances. It is regrettable, sir, that I cannot offer you my wife’s assistance, in addition to my own, on which you can rely. Her assistance is superior to mine regarding home repairs, furniture arrangement, new purchases, cleaning, etc., because of the precautions, care, and economy that women generally understand better than men do. She deeply shares with me the mortification of this contretemps, and we would, with all our hearts, remedy it if we could. If I had anticipated what was going to happen, I would have been able to retain the house for another year. But there is no more time. This house is rented to another tenant and we must leave as I said.
There is a man here, who, after learning who bought the house, offered me an assortment of wall coverings and curtains. I will go to see them as soon as I recover from a small upset. I will then ask my wife to go see them also to check if they are as beautiful and well priced as this man says. If she thinks the color and size would be suitable for your best rooms, I will talk to you or write to you about them in more detail.
Also I was offered a nice cast iron stove that was used for only one winter in the servants’ vestibule of an envoy here who passed away. It is still completely new. I know it was bought for 7 ducats. I could have it for 28 or 30 florins because the person who told me about it wanted it for himself, but it was too big for his apartment. But first it must be decided upon. If you want it, sir, I will buy it for you. It does not close at the bottom and one has the pleasure of watching it like a fire in a hearth.
After reading to my wife what I wrote about her in this letter, she told me that she will write to you herself regarding your move, and especially regarding the cleaning of your house here before your furniture arrives. I will send her letter as soon as I have it.3
I do not know if I told you, sir, of the remark generally being made here. It is being said that it has been France and Spain who have had residences here exclusively, and now America has equaled them in stature.
{ 274 }
By chance, I heard talk that we will soon be spared from certain espionage here. My compliments to Mr. Barclay and Mr. Thaxter. I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient Servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dumas 25. Feb. ansd 2 March 1781.”
1. The passage from this point through “le 3e. May” was written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
2. The courier from the Duke of Brunswick; see Dumas’ letter of 23 Feb., above.
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0169-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Dans une Lettre de ce même jour,1 qui est déjà à la Poste, j’ai oublié de vous faire part d’un Article essentiel, qui est, que le Rapport de Mr. Van den Santheuvel le Président, fait à L. H. P. de votre derniere Requisition, a été pris ad referendum le dernier jour de l’Assemblée d’Hollde, par toutes les Villes de cette Province. Nous verrons ce qui en résultera. Les Etats se rassembleront demain mercredi en huit.

[salute] A la hâte M. V. t h. &. t. o. S.

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0169-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-25

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

In a letter of this same day,1 which I have already mailed, I forgot to include some essential news. President van den Santheuvel’s report made to the high mightinesses of your last requisition, was taken ad referendum on the last day of the Dutch assembly, by all cities of this province. We will see what will come of it. The states will reconvene a week from tomorrow.

[salute] In haste, Sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,

[signed] Dumas
1. This letter clearly is dated the 26th, but no other letter of this date has been found. Dumas is presumably referring to his letter of 25 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0170

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-02-27

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 3.
Duplicate

[salute] Sir

Friesland has at last taken the Provincial Resolution to acknowledge the Independence, of which United America is in full Possession.1
{ 275 }
It is thought that several Cities of Holland will soon follow their Example, and some say it will be followed forthwith by the whole Republick. The first Burgomaster of this City has said within a few days past, that in six Weeks at furthest, the Independence of America would be acknowledged by all Seven of the United Provinces: but I have no Expectation of such Haste.2 This Government does nothing with such Celerity.
By what I hear and read of their Speculations, it seems to me that the general Sense is at present not to shackle themselves with any Treaties either with France or Spain, nor to make any Treaty of Alliance, nor to make even a Treaty of Commerce with America as yet for a considerable Time, but for the several Members of the Sovereignty one after another to acknowledge the Independence of America in the manner that Friesland has done; and for the States, the Prince and the Admiralties to exert themselves in preparing a Fleet to command the North Sea, and wash out some of the Stains in their Character, which the English have so unjustly thrown upon it, in their Blood. There is a loud Cry for Vengeance, a stern demand of a Fleet and a Battle with the English, and if the Court contrive to elude it, the Stadholder will run a great Risque of his Power.
Sensible and candid Men tell me, We wait for Spain and We wait for Russia. We wont make any Treaty with You. It is of no great Importance to Us or to You. We see there is a tremendous Power arising in the West. We cant meddle much: but We will at all Events be your good Friends. Whoever quarrels with You, We will not.
In short I expect no Treaty. I dont expect that our Independence will be acknowledged by all the Provinces for a long Time. Nevertheless, it appears to me of indispensible Importance that a Minister should reside constantly here vested with the same Powers from Congress, with which they have honoured me: for which Reason, having the Offer of a large and elegant House in a fine Situation on a noble Spot of Ground at the Hague, at a very reasonable Rate, I have, in pursuance of the Advice of Mr. Barclay, Mr. Dumas and other Friends, purchased it and shall remove into it on or before the first of May. In Case I should be recalled, or obliged to go away upon other Services, any Minister that Congress may appoint here in my Room will find an House ready furnished at the Hague ready for him.
The Negotiation for the Purchase was conducted secretly: but when it came to be known, I am informed it gave a great deal of Satisfaction in general.
{ 276 } | view { 277 }
To pay for it, I have applied all the Money I had of Mr. de Neufville’s Loan, and some Cash of my own which I brought with me from America, and for the second Payment I must borrow of a Friend, if Dr. Franklin cannot furnish the Money, for which indeed I dont love to ask him, he has so many Demands upon him from every Quarter. The House, including Purchases and Charges &c will amount to about sixteen thousand Guilders ten thousand of which I paid yesterday. I have been obliged to take the Title in my own Name, but shall transfer it to the United States as soon as they are acknowledged, and the Account can be settled, provided Congress approve of the Transaction, otherwise I shall take the Risque upon myself and sell it again. I shall live hereafter at a smaller Rent than I ever did before, tho’ in an House much superior.
RC (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 13–16); endorsed: “Letter Feby 27. 1782 John Adams Read May 31” and “Letter from Mr Adams Amsterdam 27th. Feby 1782.”
2. Presumably either Egbert de Vrij Temminck or Joachim Rendorp, probably the former in view of JA’s suspicions about Rendorp (to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., note 4, above). It was only a little over seven weeks later, on 19 April, that the States General recognized the United States.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0171

Author: Mends, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-27

From Benjamin Mends

Doubt not but the tender-feelings of humanity your Excellency possesses will render an apology needless for addressing you on a subject wch so nearly concerns all who are friends to the poor American Prisoners. I have fail’d not to visit them as often as their hard hearted Jaylor wd permit, and have done all in my power to alleviate their miseries. The money your Excellency was so kind as to remit I have given wch were 5 guineas one to each for wch they were extremly thankful. But their returning exegence have urged them to send you the inclos’d Petition wch was deliver’d to me to be forwarded to your Excellency wch hope will come safe.1 It is a great pity there is not a private Agent appointed here for their relief and particularly those discharged fm the ships as not being found in Arms many of those poor men are dischargd in a strange Country without money, Clothes or Friends wch a few here have been generous unto and sent them off in Nutral Vessels. Coll Richardson promisd to us to effect this laudable design, and spoke to his Excellency B. Frankling and as he cd not succed wrote me fm Parris that { 278 } he shall lay it before Congress wch hope will have the desired success2 what ever yr Excellency may think proper to remit at any time shall be cherfully appli’d by your Excellency Most Obedient Humble st
[signed] B Mends3
1. The enclosed petition was probably from Edward Savil, Bryant Newcomb, Samuel Curtis, Job Field, and Jeriah Bass, 14 Feb., above. The five men also had written to JA on 8 Sept. 1781 (vol. 11:483).
2. Col. William Richardson, formerly with the 5th Maryland regiment, and his son were captured on the brig Talbot in 1780 and released on parole in November of that year (Heitman, Register of the Continental Army; Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 161). There is no evidence that he presented Congress with a proposal to appoint a private agent for prisoners, but for additional information regarding his conversation with Benjamin Franklin on the subject, see C. Mends to JA, 2 May (Adams Papers).
3. Nothing is known of Benjamin Mends other than what is stated in this letter and one dated 2 May from his father, C. Mends (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jay, John
Date: 1782-02-28

To John Jay

[salute] Sir

I have the pleasure to inform You, that Friesland has taken the Provincial Resolution to acknowledge the Sovereignty of the United States of America, and to admit their Minister to an Audience, and have instructed their Deputies in the Assembly of their high Mightinesses at the Hague to make the Motion in eight days from this.
The States of Holland have also taken my last Requisition and transmitted it to the several Cities, and tomorrow it is to be taken into Consideration in the Regency of Amsterdam. Dort has made a Motion in the States of Holland to acknowledge American Independence, and admit me to an Audience. Their high Mightinesses have encouraging News from Petersbourg and from the East and West Indies; so that at present there are Appearances that our Affairs, will go well here, and come to a speedy Treaty. If any thing should delay it, it will be the Example of Spain; but I don’t believe that will a great while. One thing is past a doubt, if Spain should now make a Treaty with You, this Republick would immediately follow the Example, which, if any thing can, would accelerate the Negotiations for Peace.
By the 10th. Article of the Treaty of Alliance between France and America, the Parties agree to invite in Concert other Powers to make Common Cause and accede. Permit me to suggest an Idea. Suppose You write to the French Ambassador at Madrid, and cite { 279 } the Words of that 10th. Article, and request him to join You in an Invitation to the King of Spain. Excuse this Freedom. You will judge whether it will do.1
I should be exceedingly obliged to You for the earliest Intelligence, whether there is any prospect with You or not.

[salute] With great Esteem and Respect, I have the Honor to be, Sir, your most obedient & most humble Servant.

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (NNC:John Jay Papers); endorsed: “John Adams 28 Feb 1782 Recd 15 March 1782 ansd 18 Do.” LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In the Letterbook this paragraph was written at the end of the letter and marked for insertion at this point.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0173-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1782-03-01

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Sir

As Friesland has taken the provincial Resolution to acknowledge the Independence of America, it seems to be high time for me to prepare for the Execution of my Instructions from Congress of the 16th. of August, which I had the honor to communicate to You on the 25th of November, and which had been previously communicated to the Minister of foreign Affairs at Versailles.
From these Instructions, it appears, that his most Christian Majesty had made, by his Minister, to Congress a Tender of his Endeavors to accomplish a Coalition between the United Provinces of the Netherlands and the United States; and that this tender was accepted by Congress as a fresh proof of his Majesty’s solicitude for their Interests.
By another Resolution,1 I am instructed to propose a Treaty of Alliance between his most Christian Majesty, the United Provinces of the Netherlands and the United States of America, having for its object and limited in its Duration to the present War with Great Britain and conformed to the Treaties subsisting between his most Christian Majesty and the United States.
The System of Operations was thus settled at Philadelphia between the King, by his Minister, and the Congress, and for obvious and wise Reasons the Minister of Congress at the Hague was to make the Proposition to their H. Mightinesses, and the Ambassador of his Majesty was to countenance and support it either publickly or privately, as he should judge proper, until the States General should listen to it, so far as to enter into the Negotiation.
{ 280 }
In pursuance of these Principles, it seems to be necessary for me to go to the President of their H. Mightinesses, and without offering him any thing in writing, to make him the Proposition in the Words of the inclosed Project, or others equivalent.
Friesland has taken so decided a Part, and the other Provinces, especially Holland, are animated with such a Spirit, that I cannot but flatter myself such a Proposition would now run with Rapidity through the seven Provinces, and contribute very much to accelerate the Period of this bloody and ruinous War.
I have the honor to request your Excellency’s Sentiments upon the Subject, and to be, with the most sincere and inviolable attachment, your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant.
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers); notation: <“Mr Thaxter copied this into the Book, not observing that I had copied it, before, page 324.> The above Note, which I have erased was a Mistake. Mr Thaxter did right by copying into the Book the only Letter that was Sent to The Duke. 1810.” JA’s note refers to another LbC of a letter to La Vauguyon in his own hand that was originally dated 25 Feb., but which he changed to 1 March in 1810. It is likely that it was written on the 25th, but not sent because JA had not yet received official word that Friesland had voted to recognize the United States.
1. Also in the instructions of 16 Aug. 1781 (vol. 11:454–456).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0173-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1782-03-01

Enclosure: A Draft Proposal for an Alliance with the States General of the Netherlands

[salute] Monsieur

I have done myself the honor of this Conference, in order to desire You to inform their H. M., that by the tenth Article of the Treaty of Alliance between France and the United States of America, the most Christian King and the United States sont convenues d’inviter de Concert, ou d’admettre les Puissances, qui auront de griefs contre l’Angleterre à faire cause commune avec eux, et à acceder à la present Alliance, sous les Conditions qui seront librement agrées et convenues entre toutes les Parties. That the United States have lately transmitted to their Minister Plenipotentiary at the Hague, a fresh Commission, with full Powers general and special, to confer, treat, agree and conclude, with the Person or Persons vested with equal Powers by his most Christian Majesty and their H. Mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, of and concerning a Treaty of Alliance, between his most Christian Majesty, the United Provinces of the Netherlands and the United States of America, having for its Object, and limited in its Duration to the present War with Great Britain, and conformed to the Treaties subsisting between his most Christian Majesty and the United States.
As it is most certain that no Member of this Republick, nor any impartial Power of Europe can deny it to be “une Puissance qui a des griefs contre l’Angleterre”; in the Name and Behalf of the said United States, and in obedience to their express Instructions, and in Virtue of the said tenth Article of the said Treaty of Alliance, I have { 281 } the honor to propose such a triple Alliance to their H. Mightinesses the States General.
A Combination of the Councils and Arms of all those Powers against whom Great Britain, in the Wantonness of her Ambition, has declared War, appears to be the easiest and the only certain Method of preventing the unnecessary Effusion of human Blood, which is not however more sacred nor precious in the sight of Americans than in that of your H. Mightinesses, and the other Powers of Europe—the only Way of bringing this War to a speedy Conclusion for the Happiness of Mankind—the only Way in which a safe, solid and honorable Peace can be soon obtained by any of the Powers at War: but if their H. Mightinesses should be of a different Opinion, they are the supreme Judges of the Policy of this Nation and have their own Choice; and America, with the generous Assistance of her august and glorious Ally, can sustain the War in future for any given Period of time, with as little Inconvenience as any other of the belligerent Powers.
Upon this Occasion moreover, I take the liberty to repeat the Requisition of the ninth of January of a categorical Answer to the demand of an Audience of their H. Mightinesses of the fourth of May last, because, whether their High Mightinesses shall think fit or not to enter into the proposed triple or quadruple Alliance; whether they shall think fit or not to enter into the proposed Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States, it seems indispensibly necessary that their H. Mightinesses should declare whether they consider the United States as an independent State or not; whether they consider their Inhabitants as Friends or Enemies, that the Men of War, Privateers and Merchants of each Nation may know how to govern themselves in Relation to the subject of Prizes and Reprisals at Sea.1
The content of all or some notes that appeared on this page in the printed volume has been moved to the end of the preceding document.
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers); notation: “<Mr Thaxter copied this into the Book, not observing that I had copied it, before, page 324.> The above Note, which I have erased was a Mistake. Mr Thaxter did right by copying into the Book the only Letter that was Sent to The Duke. 1810.” JA’s note refers to another LbC of a letter to La Vauguyon in his own hand that was originally dated 25 Feb., but which he changed to 1 March in 1810. It is likely that it was written on the 25th, but not sent because JA had not yet received official word that Friesland had voted to recognize the United States.
1. In the Letterbook this enclosure is followed by a French translation.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0174-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-01

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Le Fort Philippe pris le 4e. fevr. sans capitulation Garnison (2500 h) prisonniere.1 Je le tiens de Mr. l’Ambassadeur même, qui l’a annoncé ce matin au Prince. Je vous en félicite. Voilà un bon toast pour votre Dimanche. J’attends réponse à la mienne derniere. Je viens de payer les 8000ƒ, et demain je commencerai par le paiement des fraix. Bonne nouvelle de Frise. Je travaille ici à quelque chose d’interessant, que je vous communiquerai en son temps coram.

[salute] Je suis avec respect & pour toujrs. Monsieur V. t. h. &. t. o. s.

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0174-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-01

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Fort Philip was taken on February 4th, without capitulation; the garrison (2,500 men) are prisoners.1 I heard this from the Ambassador himself, who announced it this morning to the Prince. I congratulate you. This is a good toast for your Sunday. I am awaiting a response to my last letter. I just paid the 8,000ƒ, and tomorrow I will begin the fee payments. Good news from Friesland. I am working on something interesting here, which I will communicate to you in person.

[salute] I am with respect, and still remain, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
1. Dumas seems to indicate here, erroneously, that the British garrison at Fort St. Philips on Minorca had not negotiated a formal instrument of surrender or capitulation prior to laying down its arms. For the Franco-Spanish expedition against Minorca, see John Bondfield’s letter of 7 Aug. 1781 (vol. 11:444–445); for the surrender negotiations and the articles of capitulation, see The Remembrancer . . . for the Year 1782, pt. 1, p. 238–243.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0175

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Samuel
Date: 1781-03-02

To Samuel Adams

[salute] My dear sir

Your kind Favour by the Marquis,2 I have received, and it touched a thousand tender Springs, in my heart. You suppose I am informed of every Thing that passes at Philadelphia, but I am not: I never was and never shall be informed of any Thing that passes there but the Results in the Journals &c.
{ 283 }
I am very happy to learn that you are acquainted with my good Friend Mr De L’Etombe,3 who is a very deserving Character.
Things always go on better with you than any where else. I thank you Sir for the Sensible and manly Proceedings of the Town of Boston, which I shall make the best Use of, in my Power.
I have one favour to beg of you. There is a Gentleman in this Town whose Name is Cerisier, who is one of the greatest Wits, and Historians in Europe, and the best grounded in the American Principles of any Man I have found in Europe. He is the author of a most elegant and masterly History of the Dutch Nation, and has carried on a weekly Paper for the last twelve Months, under the Title of the Dutch Politician, which has in my opinion done more Service in Europe to the American Cause than can be expressed. The Favour I beg is that you would get him elected a Member of our Academy of Arts and Sciences.4 It will be of service to the society, and to America in General5 but especially to me, in my public affairs here. Yet I wish you would only Show this in Confidence to Such Gentlemen as you think proper without making it publick,6 or giving any Copy of it. Mr Cerisier of Amsterdam, is description enough.7 There is also a Mr Mariènne of this Town whom I would recommend to the same honour after Mr Cerisier. He is author of a Traite generale du commerce and wishes to write upon American Commerce and to correspond with the society for that End.8
Minorca is taken and the British house of Commons came within one Vote of discontinuing the American War.9 Forlorn indeed is the Condition of Great Britain.
I hope to Spend a few years with you in endeavorg to compleat the System of our Ancestors for a national Education of youth, which is all I have remaining at my heart. Every Thing else is secure.

[salute] Affectionately yours.

1. JA did not indicate in the Letterbook to whom this letter was directed. When JA printed it in the Boston Patriot, 8 Dec. 1810, it began “March 2, 1782—wrote I believe, to Dr. Cooper.”
2. This is Samuel Adams’ first letter of 18 Dec. 1781, above.
3. JA wrote to Samuel Adams on 11 March 1781 to introduce Létombe; see JA to Létombe, 11 March 1781, and note 1 (vol. 11:193–194).
4. Antoine Marie Cerisier was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on 29 May 1789.
5. The remainder of this sentence was interlined for insertion at this point.
6. The remainder of this sentence was interlined for insertion at this point.
7. The remainder of this paragraph was interlined.
8. At Amsterdam in 1781, Thomas Antoine de Marien published a revised and expanded { 284 } edition of Samuel Ricard’s Traité général du commerce, a work previously published at Amsterdam, 1706 and 1732. A copy of Marien’s edition in JA’s library at MB is inscribed on the inside front cover: “A Son Excellence Monsieur Adams de la part de son très humble & très obéissant Serviteur T. A. Marien” (Catalogue of JA’s Library). There is no record of Marien’s election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
9. For an account of the debate in Parliament over ending the war, see Edmund Jenings’ letter of 4 March, and note 3, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0176

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1782-03-02

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I have recd yours of 25 Ult and that of 26, and this moment that of 1. March.
Projet
Suppose you dismiss your Chambers and invite Madame and Mademoiselle Dumas to remove with you, into my House. In the first Place, is there Room enough in the House for your Family and mine? 2dly how many servants must there be, in order to keep house together, in such a manner? If Madame Dumas would be so good as to take upon herself the Trouble of the oversight of such a Family, she might nevertheless find time to make an Excursion to the Farm in Guelderland, with mademoiselle in summer.
As to the Furniture I would have you buy the Fourneau, but the other Things, I believe not! I would not have any Thing laid out in Repairs of the House, nor shall I have occasion for much additional Furniture. I must make it do, with what I have.
There is good News from Guelderland. American Independence has been agitated there, and very favourably considered rather put off, in complaisance to the maritime Provinces.1
This People Six months hence will be astonished that they did not acknowledge American Independence 6 Months ago. English Politicks have ruined their own Empire, and come much too near ruining Holland too. Let Holland acknowledge American Independence and then see, how soon the whole armed Neutrality will acknowledge it too, by inviting Congress or its Ministers to Vienna to make Peace. I wish you Joy of the Capture of Minorca, and that it may be soon followed by that of Gibraltar.

[salute] Adieu

1. The States of Gelderland did not recognize American independence until 17 April. On 23 Feb., however, an extraordinary meeting of the States of the county of Zutphen was held at Nijmegen. There Robert Jasper van der Capellen van de Marsch submitted a { 285 } written statement demanding that it direct the provincial states to approve recognition of the United States and the conclusion of a Dutch-American treaty. The proposal was defeated, not because it was strongly opposed, but because the chief commercial provinces had not yet voted.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0177

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-04

From Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of your favour of the 5th. inst: that is to say of Feby, on the 17/28th of the same month. You have, in my opinion, pointed out the only certain way to solid glory; but some folks look for it to the direct opposite point of the Compass, by which means they will miss of it, and the promotion of their best Interests, till they face to the right about. When our inclinations have been long habituated to a certain course ’tis with great difficulty we can change it; and perhaps every observant spectator sees the propriety of this alteration before we do ourselves. However this is our consolation that we shall not suffer any direct Injury, or great inconvenience, though they shou’d continue awhile longer in their old course. Things, so far as they respect us, will probably remain in Europe, in nearly their present state for another year: Though, in the mean time, our Cause will be making its way every where, in spight of open or secret Enemies. If a certain connection shou’d depend upon the passing away of a certain affair which you mention, I believe, the obstacle will soon be removed.2 For ||the Empress and the ministry|||| themselves have no expectation of its succeeding; so that the change, if any there, cou’d not, one wou’d think, but be for the better. I wish you cou’d give me stronger hopes—||Sweden|| and ||Denmark|| are very well contented, for obvious reasons, that there shou’d be no change there, whatever they may pretend to the contrary.
I have not seen the Letters of Mr: D. to which you allude. I was told that there was one in an Engh Paper, in Town, but have not been able to procure it or even to obtain an account of its contents, only that my name or rather I was mentioned in it, as having come to Russia in a public character.3 I hope that Gentleman has been careful to say no good of me; as much evil as he pleases. I shou’d be glad to obtain a sight of the letters however, for it is my maxim Fas est ab hoste doceri.4It seems you have seen another letter written to me, and have been for a while much diverted with it. That same person is apt at times to be a little waggish. It is an hereditary fail• { 286 } ing you know, and therefore the more easily to be pardoned.5 But what think you of those self created Judges? It wou’d seem they have been, or at least wou’d be thought to have been let into the Cabinet.6 But what a judgment! And yet I can’t say they had not some grounds for their Severity. I wish to see the copies of the letters upon which, it seems their judgment must have been grounded, and which it is intimated by one of the Court, will be transmitted to me. You do not even speak of them. Who are they from? Tell me that, and if it is improper to send them on, I shall be able to conjecture the nature of their contents. How soon my Enemies may effect their purpose gives me very little concern. They dare not accuse me of betraying the Interests of my Country. I have no terror of their accusations.

[salute] Adieu my dear Sir, I am your’s affectionately

[signed] FRA DANA
P.S. I thank you for the copy of Mr: Guild’s Letter.7 I yesterday received a letter from our Secretary for foreign Affairs. I presume it is a circular one.8
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excelly Mr: Adams”; endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dana 4th. March 1782.” LbC (MHi:Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, St. Petersburg, 1782–178).
1. In the Letterbook this letter is dated 3 March. JQA also wrote to JA on this date (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:286–287).
2. Presumably the Russian mediation of the Anglo-Dutch war.
3. Dana refers to Silas Deane’s letter, dated 13 June 1781 at Paris, to Jeremiah Wadsworth. It first appeared in the New York Royal Gazette, 31 Oct. 1781, and then in various London newspapers, including the London Chronicle, 27–29 Dec. 1781. Dana’s appointment, Deane wrote, led him to seriously reflect “on the idea which Congress entertain of their own importance in the commercial and political world.” Deane then expounded at length on the absence of any support for American independence by any European power other than France. “A little time will shew what success Mr. Dana meets with at Russia; but if he meets with any at all, I am greatly mistaken,” for Deane knew of “no power in Europe, Portugal only excepted, that is naturally and necessarily more in the English interest than Russia.” Dana had no doubt that the letter was genuine “because the very extraordinary sentiments it holds up, are perfectly agreable to those he has industriously laboured to inculcate upon every ones mind over whom he thought he cou’d have any influence” (Dana to John Thaxter, 16 March, MHi:Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, St. Petersburg, 1782–1784).
4. It is allowable to learn even from the enemy.
5. Dana is referring to Elizabeth Ellery Dana’s letter of 14 Dec. 1781 (not found, but see JA to Dana, 5 Feb., note 1, above). Dana’s reference to the “hereditary failing” may be to his father-in-law, William Ellery of Rhode Island, who was noted for his wit (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 12:134–152).
6. In the Letterbook, this and the previous sentence were written in the left margin and marked for insertion at this point.
7. Of 18 Jan., above.
8. Probably Robert R. Livingston to Dana, 22 Oct. 1781 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:802–805). Dana may have thought it circular because it announced Livingston’s appointment and news of the victory at Yorktown.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0178

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-04

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honor of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 21st ultimo and by the next post to England executed your Excellencys Command with respect to our unhappy Countrymen, who I doubt not will soon receive the relief, your Excellency has sent them.
I wrote at the same time what I had in Command from your Excellency about Mr Lawrens. A Letter lately come to hand from my Friend tells me that His Health is much better, but says no more about Him.
Give me Leave, Sir, to thank your Excellency for paying on my account Eight Ducats to Messrs De Neufville. I Hope to discharge my obligation to you soon on that account.
Your Excellency will do me the Honor to accept my Congratulations on the rumors lately receivd from S Carolina,1 and on the Confirmed news of the taking of Minorca. It is a greater blow on the English than they will be ready to acknowledge because it is of little Consequence in the present war. But it must be of importance, if ever they attempt to recover the mediterranean Trade. I find by the Capitulation that the Troops are not to Act against Spain or her allies.2 As america does not come under the latter description they may be sent there as the Pensacola Prisoners were—this Confers no Obligation on France or Us.
I have heard that the Russians Troops have marched into or about Dantzic to protect that City against the Prussian Impositions on the Vistula. The King of Prussia sees perhaps by this and many other events, that there is a design to Quarrel with Him, and therefore He may break out first. But the Combination is agst Him, and he has no allies. He has endeavourd it is said to get money from England, but she is affraid He will not use it to Serve Her Interest but his own. The Emperor is raising his Army to 250,000 men. The officers here are ordered to buy their Horses.
Has your Excellency heard of a remarkable debate in the House of Commons the week before last, on the motion of General Conway, to discontinue the war agst the United States. It Continued to three oClock in the Morning with the utmost Heat, in the Course of which Lord North said with much rage that some words, which had dropt from Col Barré were brutal, on which his Lordship was called to order, whereupon He apologized by saying in general that { 288 } He had exceeded his Usual moderation. This not contenting the opposition, He asked Pardon of the House, but the Friends of Col Barré not being satisfied, He asked the Colonels pardon. Likewise, General Conway having said, that England might Treat of Peace with America, because there were Gentlemen authorizd for that purpose not far off. Welbore Ellis, the new Secretary of State, said that He found no such information among his Official Papers, and that the war now was not an American but a French one. The minister carried His Point by one Voice only the numbers being 194 to 193. This gave the minority such encouragement that it proposes to renew the same Question in other words.3 I have not yet seen the debates, but I am told it was a most masterly one. As the assizes are beginning I expect to hear that the Grand Juries will address the Crown on the Subject of the American war and against the whole administration of English Affairs.
If the news of the Taking fort st Philips had arrivd before the opening of the Budget it woud have cost the nation something more to raise the Supplies, as it is it may sink the Profit of the Subscribers by lowering the Stocks.

[salute] I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servant

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jenings 4th. March 1782.”
1. It is impossible to identify with certainty the rumor to which Jenings refers. Two possibilities are reports appearing in the London Chronicle of 21–23 Feb. and the Gazette de Leyde of 1 March. The first, from Nantes, reported the arrival of two ships from Charleston intended for England, but which were sent to France in the wake of a revolt by Charleston’s inhabitants. In the second, a ship’s captain who left Philadelphia on 1 Jan. reported that Nathanael Greene’s army defeated a large British force detached from the garrison at Charleston. This was apparently another account of the Battle of Eutaw Springs.
2. For Art. 5 of the articles of capitulation, see The Remembrancer . . . for the Year 1782, pt. 1, p. 242.
3. Here and in his letter of 7 March, below, Jenings refers to the momentous debates on the American war that occurred in the House of Commons on 22 and 27 February. They revealed that the North ministry had lost the support of the country gentlemen, the main pillar of its parliamentary majority for its American policy. The ministry lingered until 20 March, when Lord North resigned and was replaced by the Marquis of Rockingham (Alan Valentine, Lord North, 2 vols., Norman, Okla., 1967, 2:301–316).
The debate that began on 22 Feb. and extended into the early morning of the 23d was over a motion by Henry Seymour Conway to inform George III that the war in America could “no longer be pursued for the impracticable purpose of reducing the inhabitants of that country to obedience by force” and that all efforts be made to bring about a reconciliation “with the revolted colonies.” Conway’s motion was defeated 194 to 193, but it was a clear victory for the opposition and Charles James Fox immediately arose to promise that the question would be raised again and to predict correctly that “it would then be carried.”
Jenings’ account reports the exchange between Conway and Welbore Ellis, Lord George Germaine’s replacement as American secretary, as well as that between Lord North and Isaac Barré. According to David Hartley, { 289 } it was Conway’s statement, “which was supposed to allude to Mr. Adams, and some friends of his in London,” that led to Thomas Digges’ mission to the Netherlands to meet with JA (Franklin, Papers, 36:684–685; from Thomas Digges, [20 March], below). After the vote on Conway’s motion, Barré harshly criticized North for giving inadequate notice for the opening of the budget. North responded that in exchanges between Barré and himself, Barré habitually used uncivil, brutal, and insolent language. This led to a spirited debate and ultimately to North’s apology (Parliamentary Hist., 22:1028–1051).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0179-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-04

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

J’ay recu Monsieur La Lettre que vous m’avez fait L’honneur de m’ecrire d’amsterdame Le 1er. de ce mois. Je ne suis pas en mesure d’avoir celui d’y repondre comme ministre Du Roy, n’etant muni d’aucune instruction ulterieure sur L’obet qui y est developé; mais puisque vous voulez bien me demander Mon sentiment personel je vous L’exposerai avec La plus entiere sincerité.
Après avoir tres serieusement refléchi sur Les vuës, que vous me communiquez, quelque soit mon penchant a adopter vos opinions, je ne sçaurois m’empêcher d’appercevoir beaucoup d’inconvenients a L’exécution du plan que vous me paroissez vous proposer de Suivre; Je craindrois qu’il ne retardat Le succes definitif au lieu de l’accelerer et je crois etre tres fondé a penser ainsi. J’aurai l’honneur de vous developer plus amplement de vive voix les motifs qui m’y déterminent, si comme M. Dumas me L’a fait esperer, vous venez dans quelques jours a la haye.1

[salute] Recevez Monsieur une nouvelle assurance des Sentiments inviolables d’attachement et de Consideration avec les quels j’ay L’honneur d’etre Votre tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur,

[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0179-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-04

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I have received, sir, the letter that you did me the honor to write from Amsterdam on the 1st of this month. I am unable to answer it in the capacity of a minister of the King, not having any further instructions on the subject to which it relates, but as you have the goodness to request my private opinion, I will give it to you with the greatest sincerity.
After having very seriously reflected on the views which you have communicated to me, whatever my inclination to adopt your opinions, I cannot conceal from myself the inconveniences attending the execution of the plan, which you appear disposed to pursue. I should fear that it might retard rather than accelerate the ultimate success, and I believe that I am { 290 } very well found in thinking as I do. I shall have the honor of explaining more fully in conversation the motives which convince me if, as Mr. Dumas gives me reason to hope, you should visit The Hague in the course of a few days.1

[salute] Receive, sir, renewed assurances of the sentiments of sincere attachment and consideration with which I have the honor to be your most humble and most obedient servant,

[signed] Le Duc De la vauguyon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “de la Vauguion 4 Mars 1782.”; notation by CFA: “See Dipl. Corresp. of the Rev. Translated. Volume 6. page 269.” The reference is to Jared Sparks, ed., The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, 12 vols., Boston, 1829–1830.
1. In his letter of 5 March, below, Dumas wrote that La Vauguyon sent this letter that afternoon, making it likely that JA received it on the 6th. JA’s letters mention neither a journey to The Hague nor a meeting to consult with the French ambassador, but John Thaxter wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 7 March that JA had gone to The Hague that morning to meet with La Vauguyon (Franklin, Papers, 36:665).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0180

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bergsma, Mr.
Date: 1782-03-05

To Mr. Bergsma

[salute] Sir

I have Received from the Hand of Mr Menkema, the Resolution of the States of Friesland of the 26. of February.1
I beg you would accept of my best Thanks for the Honour you have done me, in communicating to me, So early this important Measure—a Resolution which does Honour to that Spirit of Liberty, which distinguishes your Province; and is so apparently equitable, that the Example cannot fail to be followed by all the other Provinces.
The Situation of this Republick is Such, that it cannot rationally expect Peace, upon any Terms, consistent with her Honour and essential Interests, untill there is a general Peace. Great Britain will never agree to a Peace with this nation but from Motives, that will equally Stimulate her to make Peace with America. She will never make Peace with either while she entertains a hope of any Advantage in continuing the War. And there is every Reason to believe, that nothing would contribute more, to extinguish Such hopes, than a decided Acknowledgment of American Sovereignty by this Republick.
Such an acknowledgment too, will probably have a great Influence with Spain, and with all the Powers which are Parties to the armed Neutrality.
{ 291 }
In Short there is no Event, which would have a Stronger Tendency to accellerate a general Peace, So much wished for by Mankind.
The true System of this Republick is to be neutral, as much as possible, in the Wars of Europe. This will also be the true System of America: and an intimate Friendship between the two Republicks, will enable each to assist the other, in maintaining their Neutrality.
The Province of Friesland will have the Honour with Posterity, of having first penetrated into the true Plan of Policy for the Republick, and she is indebted to no man more for this advantage than to you.

[salute] I have the Honour to congratulate you and the Province, upon the occasion, and to subscribe myself, with very great Respect, & Esteem, sir &c

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0181-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-05

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Quoique j’aie loué des Chambres ici pour moi, et que mon Epouse et ma fille ayent pris des mesures pour passer l’Eté à la Campagne et l’hiver à Gertrudemberg, cela ne nous empêchera point d’entrer de tout notre coeur dans le projet que vous proposez; et nous nous promettons d’en rendre l’exécution aussi agréable et avantageuse pour V. Exc quelle le sera pour nous. J’en serai quitte pour payer une année de mes chambres, et quelque dédommagement à ceux qui avoient pris des mesures pour loger ma famille cet hiver, et ma femme, pour reculer et abréger son voyage à la Campagne. Revêtue chez vous de l’autorité qu’y auroit Madame Adams sur les Domestiques, elle saura très-bien tenir toute la maison en ordre, et faire ensorte qu’une juste oeconomie vous fasse autant et plus d’honneur que la dissipation, qui n’est que trop ordinaire dans d’autres maisons.
Quant aux appartemens, je suis sûr qu’il y en aura assez et de reste pour nous tous dans l’Hotel, indépendamment de ceux que vous réserverez pour votre usage, et pour recevoir du monde.
Comme nous nous sommes réduits depuis plusieurs années à une seule Servante pour tout Domestique dans notre Ménage, notre ac• { 292 } cession, Monsieur, au vôtre n’augmentera le nombre des vôtres tout au plus que de cette fille. Je dis tout au plus: car, après que tout sera réglé dans la maison nous pensons que le nombre auquel vous vous êtes borné à Amsterdam, pourra suffire.
Au reste cet arrangement là, et celui des Chambres, pourra beaucoup mieux se faire de bouche, que par Lettres. Nous espérons donc que vous pourrez, le plutôt le mieux, venir faire un tour ici. Vous verrez alors la maison avec mon Epouse, et quand elle saura vos intentions et votre goût, tout s’arrangera en conséquence. Votre présence d’ailleurs est desirée par l’Ambassadeur, qui a reçu votre derniere Lettre, et qui ne pourra répondre en détail que de bouche. Ainsi la réponse qu’il vous fera par Lettre ne sera qu’en termes généraux. Je vous dirai en attendant, que depuis votre dernier voyage ici les choses ont changé de face, par la démarche réelle que L. H. P. ont faite le 22 du mois passé, en communiquant formellement Les vôtres de May et Janvier dernier aux Etats d’Hollande, qui les ont prises ad referendum comme j’ai eu l’honneur de vous le marquer. Ainsi les Etats-Généraux ne sont plus en faute; et quand nous présenterions vingt Mémoires présentement, ils allegueroient toujours, qu’ils n’ont pas encore les Instructions de leurs Commettants pour les recevoir. Il convient donc de tenir vis-à-vis d’eux la même conduite que tient l’Ambr. de la part de sa Cour, et de voir le tour que prendront les choses en Frise, et en Hollande, puisque votre admission est sur le tapis dans cette derniere, et, selon toute apparence, actuellement résolue dans la premiere. En attendant, rien n’empêche que vous ne veniez soutenir ici le caractere annoncé, jusqu’à-ce qu’on ose dire non: ce qui n’arrivera pas.
Rien ne sera acheté pour l’hôtel, que vous ne l’ayez vu et approuvé. J’ai pris le fourneau: et j’ai dit à l’homme de la Tenture, qu’on n’en a pas besoin. Il ne sera pas touché non plus à rien, jusqu’à-ce que vous ayiez vu et ordonné vous-même les réparations que vous jugerez nécessaires. Il n’est pas possible même d’y rien toucher, puisque le transport ne peut se faire qu’au 1er. May: et alors vous viendrez vous-même l’occuper. J’ajouterai, que dans la dépense journaliere même il ne se fera rien que vous n’ayiez réglé d’avance, et que nous ferons ensorte que vous puissiez voir de semaine en semaine ou toutes les fois que vous le souhaiterez, les comptes en regle dans un Livre. En un mot, nous partirons en honnêtes gens du 1er principe de toute société grande ou petite, de fonder notre bonheur sur le vôtre, tant que nous aurons l’honneur { 293 } et la satisfaction de demeurer et vivre avec Votre Exce. Recevez-en, Monsieur, ma parole, et celle de mon Epouse. L’expérience la ratifiera dans tous les détails sans exception.
Revenons au politique. Je souhaitte que ce que l’on vous a appris de la Gueldre ne soit point exagéré: elle est encore trop peu à elle-même, pour compter absolument sur ce qu’elle pourra résoudre. Les résolutions de la Frise, et de la Hollande sont plus près de la maturité. Laissons-les y parvenir au grand air, sans les mettre en Serre. Nous en aurons le fruit à meilleur marché.
Mardi prochain les Etats d’Hollande reviennent ici; et le Jeudi suivant 7e sera le jour remarquable où se terminera la grande altercation domestique. Vous pourrez être témoin, Monsieur, de la maniere dont cela finira, si vous venez ici.

[salute] Mon Epouse et ma fille présentent leurs respects à V. Exce. Je suis avec celui qui vous est voué pour toujours Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur

[signed] Dumas
P.S. Le Secretaire de M. le Duc de la Vauguyon vient de m’avertir, qu’il a mis au chariot de Poste parti d’ici pour Amsterdam aujourd’hui à 1 heure, une Lettre de son Excellence pour Vous; si on ne vous l’a portée ce soir, il faudra la faire chercher et réclamer au Bureau du Chariot de Poste à Amsterdam.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0181-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-05

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Although I have rented rooms here, and my wife and daughter have taken steps to spend the summer in the country and the winter in Geertruidenberg, we will not be prevented from starting wholeheartedly your proposed project. We promise to execute it as agreeably and advantageously for your Excellency as if it were being done for ourselves. I will be in the clear to pay for my rooms for a year and for whatever necessary compensation to those who had taken measures for my family lodgings this winter, and my wife, to push back and shorten her trip to the country. Armed with the authority that Mrs. Adams would have over the servants, she will know very well how to put the house in order and do it with an economy that will give you more honor than unnecessary expenditure, which is all too commonplace in other houses.
As for the rooms, I am certain that they will be adequate for all of us in the house, independent of those reserved for your use and for your guests.
Since we have been reduced to a single servant for all of our housework for several years, our addition, sir, will not increase the number of your { 294 } servants by more than this one girl at the very most. I say this because after you are settled in, we think you will only need the same number that you were limited to in Amsterdam.
The rest of the arrangement and that of the rooms can be better discussed in person than by letter. We hope, therefore, that you can come here, the sooner the better. You will see the house with my wife and when she knows your intentions and your taste, everything will be arranged as a result. Moreover, the ambassador wishes your presence here in order to respond in detail to your last letter, which can only be done in person. The written answer that he is sending you will therefore be in very general terms. Meantime, I will say to you, that since your last trip here, things have changed as a result of the demarche made on the 22nd of last month by Their High Mightinesses, formally communicating yours of last May and January to the States of Holland who, as I had the honor to mention to you, took them ad referendum. Therefore, the States General are no longer at fault, and if we should now present twenty memorials, they would still cite the fact that they still have not received instructions by their agents to receive them. It is advisable to follow the same conduct toward them as that of the ambassador toward his court and to see how things progress in Friesland and in Holland, since your admission is on the carpet in the latter, and in all probability, is resolved in the former. Meantime, nothing prevents you from coming here to uphold your announced capacity until someone dares to say no, which will not happen.
Nothing will be bought for the house without your approval. I took the stove but told the man with the window coverings that we did not need them. Nothing more will be done until you yourself have seen and arranged for the necessary repairs. It is not possible to do anything anyway since the transfer of the house is not until the 1st of May, at which time you will be occupying it. I will add, that even in daily expenses, there will be nothing that you have not settled in advance, and we will make certain that you can see an orderly account book from week to week, or whenever you wish. In a word, from this point forward we will be decent people of the highest principle in all levels of society, able to base our happiness on yours as soon as we will have the honor and satisfaction of residing with your Excellency. The experience will confirm this in all the details without exception.
Let us get back to politics. I hope that what you learned of Gelder is not exaggerated. It is still too newly formed to be relied on for a resolution. The resolutions of Friesland and Holland are closer to maturity. Let us leave them to reach it in the open air without putting them in a greenhouse. We will have fruit at a better price.
Next Tuesday the States of Holland return here, and the following Thursday will be the remarkable day that ends the great domestic altercation. You can witness, sir, how it finishes if you come here.

[salute] My wife and daughter present their respects to your Excellency. I am, with those who are devoted to you forever, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
{ 295 }
P.S. The Duc de La Vauguyon’s secretary just alerted me that a letter from his Excellency to you was sent by today’s mail wagon departing for Amsterdam at 1 o’clock. If it is not brought to you this evening, look for it at the post office in Amsterdam.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 5th. March 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0182

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-05

From Robert R. Livingston

No 5.
3plicate

[salute] Dear sir

I have now before me your letters of the 15th, 17th and 18th of October last. I am sorry to find that your Health has suffered by the climate, but hope that the setting in of the winter has e’er this reestablished it—I am not directed to return any answer to your request to come home, should I obtain the sense of Congress upon it before this is closed, it will be transmitted by this conveyance.
The success of the Allied Arms in America, the recovery of the Dutch Islands, and the avowed superiority of the French in the West Indies, have so changed the face of Affairs, that there is strong reason to believe negotiations will be set on foot this winter. Whether Britain is yet sufficiently humbled to desire peace, is still doubtful, but Whether she is, or is not, She will probably negotiate, in which case your presence in Europe will be necessary, so that I believe you cannot at the most flatter yourself with anything more than a conditional leave to return.
Your state of the decline of Commerce in the United Provinces agrees exactly with that, we have recieved from other hands. I lament that a nation which has such important reasons for exertion, and such means in their power should want vigor to call them forth. They must and will however sooner or later be brought to it. A separate peace with England is now impossible without degrading the character of the Nation, and exposing it to greater Evils, than they are threatened with from England. Besides, what advantages are to be derived from such a peace? Can Britain restore her Conquests now in the hands of the French? can she give back the plunder of St. Eustatia, or the Cargoes of the Indiamen now divided among the Captors? Can she afford them a compensation for the loss of last years commerce? Or can she draw from her exhausted purse { 296 } sufficient sums to defend the Barrier against the Troops of France, who would certainly avenge herself for such ingratitude?
The distress of the Nation, then, must in the end force them to exertions, and however reluctantly they may go into the war, they must still go into it with vigour. But, Sir, tho’ your letters detail the politicks of the Country, tho’ they very ably explain the nature and general principles of the Government, they leave us in the dark with respect to more important facts. They have not led us into the1 dock Yards or arsenals, they have not told us what Ships are prepared for Sea, what are preparing, What the naval force will be this Spring, or how it is to be applied. You have not introduced us to any of the leading Members of the great Council. You have not repeated your private conversations with them, from which infinitely more is to be collected, than from all the Pamphlets scattered about the streets of Amsterdam. If they avoid your company and conversation it is a more unfavorable Symtom than any you have mentioned, and shews clearly that your public Character should have been concealed, till your address had paved the way for its being acknowledged. If you have formed Connections with any of these People, and I cannot but presume, that you have attended to so important a point, it will be very interesting to us, to have their most striking features deliniated, their sentiments with respect to us, and our opponents detailed, and the influence of each in the assembly of the States. This will best acquaint us with the principles of the Government and direct our conduct towards them. Among other things I wish to know in what light they view our cause, as just or unjust? What influence they imagine our independence will have upon the general system of Europe, or their own States. What expectations they form from our Commerce? Whether the apprehension of its being altogether thrown into another Channel, if infused with address, would not awaken them into action? What are their Ideas of the comparative power of France and Britain, so far as it may effect them? Whether they have entered into any treaty with France,2 since the war, if they have, what are its objects—If they have not, whether any such thing is in contemplation? None of your letters take the least notice of the french Ambassador at the Hague, is there no intercourse between you? If not, to what is it to be attributed? It appears to me that our interests in Holland are similar to those of France. They are interested with us in forwarding our Loans, in procuring a public acknowlegement of our Independance,3 in urging the States to exertion. They have considerable influence on the Government, as { 297 } appears from the success, that the loan opened under their guarantee met with. I must again therefore request you to spend much of your time at the Hague, that great center of Politicks, to cultivate the acquaintance and friendship of the french Ambassador, to confer with him freely and candidly upon the state of our Affairs, and by his means to extend your acquaintance to the other representatives of Crowned Heads at the Hague. Your having no public Character, together with an avowed contempt for all rank and idle Ceremony, will greatly facilitate your intercourse with them, and enable you to efface the ill impressions, they daily recieve of us from our Enemies. You see, sir, I rely so much upon your good sense as to write with freedom to you, and to mark out that line, which I concieve will best tend to render your mission useful. Should I suggest any thing, which you may not approve, I should be happy to be informed of it, and the reasons upon which you act, so that I may be able fully to justify your measures, if at any time they should not be entirely approved on this side the water. I communicated to Congress the letter from Doctr. Franklin relative to your salary, in consequence of which, they have directed the Superintendant of the Finances to make provision for it in future.4
We have no intelligence of importance at this time, but have our Eyes fixed with anxious expectation on the West Indies, from whence we hourly expect to hear the particulars of the Engagement between Count de Grasse and Hood, and the issue of the attack upon St. Christophers.5 To the southward things remain in the state they were, tho’ we have some reason to believe the Enemy entertain serious thoughts of withdrawing their Troops from Charles town. Thirty empty transports have sailed from New York, with a view, as is said, to fetch them to that place, which will be the last they quit on the Continent. This we ought not to lament, since there is no situation better adapted to concenter our force, and no part of America so easily defended with inferior force, as the ridge of Hills which shut it in, at the same time that it is totally indefensible against a combined attack by land and water. So that we may reasonably hope, that York will again be fatal to the british Arms, every preparation is making to render it so.
I write nothing to you on the subject of a negotiation, conveyances to Doctor Franklin being more easily obtained, as well as more secure. Every instruction on that head is sent to him, and will of course be communicated to you, by the time you need it.
Nothing can be more pleasing after the Chaos into which our Af• { 298 } fairs were plunged, than the order which begins now to be established in every department. Paper ceases to be a medium, except the bank paper, which is in equal credit with specie, gold and silver have found their passage into the Country, restrictions on Commerce are removed, it flows in a thousand new Channels, and has introduced the greatest plenty of every necessary, and even every luxury of life. Our harvests have been so abundant, that provisions are in the utmost plenty. All the supplies of the Army are procured by contracts, and the heavy load of purchasing and issuing Commissaries are discharged. In short our Affairs wear such a face here at present, that if we are only supported this year by foreign Loans, we shall not be under the necessity of calling for them again. Would to Heaven the present aspect of Affairs might render your endeavours on this Head successful, the use it would be of to the community would amply compensate you for all the pain and distress which your fruitless endeavours have occasioned you.
Among other articles of intelligence, I ought to have informed you, that Burgoine is exchanged, and that an exchange is now on foot for Cornwallis, in which it is designed Mr. Laurens shall be included.6 The British seem extremely anxious to have him, and to give him the command of their Army in America—we who know him best, have no objection to the measure. If they wish to carry on an active war, his precipitation will lead them into new difficulties. If to defend particular posts, they cannot put them into the hands of a man, who knows less about the matter. His defence of York was a most contemptible series of blunders. We shall besides these derive two decisive advantages from his command. While a detestation of his cruelty has united the Whigs, the tenth article of the capitulation at york, has destroyed the confidence of the Tories.7

[salute] I have the honor to be with great respect and esteem Your Excellency’s most obedt. humble servant

[signed] Robt R Livingston
RC (MHi:John Adams, Embassy MSS); endorsed: “Secretary Livingston 5. March 1782. ansd 4 & 6 septr. no 5.”
1. From this point through the sentence ending “streets of Amsterdam,” the text is underlined (see also notes 3 and 4). Because the underlining does not appear in another copy of this letter (Adams Papers) it is likely that it was done by JA.
2. To this point this sentence is underlined, probably by JA.
3. From the preceding comma this sentence is underlined, probably by JA.
4. See Benjamin Franklin’s letter of 6 Aug. 1781, and note 1 (vol. 11:442).
5. The troops landed by de Grasse on St. Kitts in early January had, by mid-February, forced the outnumbered and ill-supplied British garrison on Brimstone Hill to surrender. Rear Adm. Samuel Hood lacked the resources to reinforce and resupply the garrison and thus prevent the island’s loss, but he was able to mount a brilliant naval defense { 299 } against a larger French fleet. De Grasse’s inability to defeat Hood, or even to inflict significant losses, meant that in April, after Hood’s fleet had joined to Rodney’s, he would meet a British fleet at the Battle of the Saints that was larger than his own (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 197–208; Mackesy, War for America, p. 455–456).
6. On 14 June 1781, Congress authorized Benjamin Franklin to exchange Burgoyne for Henry Laurens (from Franklin, 5 Oct. 1781, and note 5, above), but on 21 Aug. resolved to authorize George Washington to exchange Burgoyne and the remaining officers subject to the Saratoga Convention as he should judge “most conducive to the general interests of the United States” (JCC, 21:889). Since Burgoyne might no longer be available, Congress resolved on 23 Feb. 1782 that Cornwallis could be exchanged for Laurens. See also “Notes of Debates” for 22 Nov. 1782 (same, 22:95; 23:852–853).
7. As proposed by Cornwallis’ representatives, Art. 10 declared that “natives or inhabitants of different parts of this country, at present in York and Gloucester, are not to be punished on account of having joined the British army.” It was refused by Washington’s representatives as “being altogether of civil resort” (Pennsylvania Gazette, 31 Oct. 1781).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0183-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-06

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

On vient de m’apporter l’incluse pour vous, venue de quelque part en france. A ma derniere, que vous aurez reçue ce matin, je dois ajouter, de la part de mon Epouse, qu’entre autres raisons qui demandent qu’elle ait l’honneur de vous entretenir, est celle de savoir si vous gardez les servantes que vous avez actuellement, et si elles viendront ici au mois de May prochain, ou si elle doit en louer d’autres pour vous ici. Dans ce dernier cas il faudra se presser, pour n’avoir pas le rebut en attendant trop le terme. Cet article se reglera aussi beaucoup mieux de bouche. J’avois oublié cela hier. Je repare l’oubli, & suis avec respect Monsieur Votre t. h. & t. o. serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0183-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-06

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

The enclosed from France was just brought in to me for you. In my last letter, which you will have received this morning, I should have added on behalf of my wife, that among many other reasons to have the honor of meeting you, she would like to know if you are keeping your current servants, and if they are coming here next May or should she hire others for you here. In this last case, it will be necessary to hurry in order not to have the cast-offs by waiting so long. It will be better to settle this matter in person. I forgot this yesterday. Please excuse the oversight, as I remain with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “[M]r Dumas [] March 1782.”
1. Dumas’ expectation that JA would receive his letter of 5 March, above, “this morning,” makes it likely that this letter was written on 6 March.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0184

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-07

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I Congratulate your Excellency on the Confusion that the English ministry is in; besides That, I see but very little that our Country has reason to rejoice in from the late Triumph of the minority, which appears to me to have as perverse a disposition as its Enemies, the former majority. I doubt not that your Excellency has seen the Speech which the attorney General made the day preceding his motion to bring in a Bill to empower his master to make a peace or a Truce with the Revolted colonies in America,1 (it is to be found I believe in the London Chronicle,2 which arrivd by the last post). I Hope this proposed Bill will not prevent the several grand Juries of the Counties addressing the Parliament. I could wish that the general Sense of the Nation was taken at this Time, it could not do us any harm.
I have informed your Excellency that I wrote immediately to London on the Matters I had In Command from your Excellency, to which I receivd yesterday the following Answer.
“Your letter of the 26th Ult. came very opportunely, for I had our worthy Friend come in to dine with me just after, I read to him your Paragraph, to which He answered: that He holds himself not at Liberty either to Correspond, or leave his present Situation, until the Time appointed; and that it is possible, that He may be detained after that Time. Being in the Commission is news to Him. He is doing all the good He can, but walks very circumspectly.” I shall take the Liberty of assuring Him, by the next post, that He is certainly one of the Commissioners for making Peace.3
Give me leave to ask your Excellency, that, if England should think of opening a negociation in Europe, your Excellency would not have a right to demand the Enlargement of Mr L one of your Colleagues? and should you do it, Is it possible that England, meaning Honestly, could refuse complying with your request? Is not this a preliminary indeed a necessary Step? Your Excellency is the best Judge.
When does your Excellency take up your Residence at the Hague, the natural air of that place is certainly better than that of Amsterdam, I Hope the political one will not be worse.
My Friend writes to me that your Excellencys Benevolence shall { 301 } be immediately attended to, and That He will write to me more fully thereon in his next Letter.

[salute] I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servt

[signed] Edm: Jenings
PS. The Abbe Raynal left this City about ten days ago.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jenings March 7th. 1782.”
1. Jenings refers to the debate in the House of Commons on 27 Feb., the second of the pivotal debates that led to the fall of the North ministry. Having lost by only one vote in the previous debate on 22 Feb., Henry Seymour Conway offered a new motion on the 27th,
“that the farther prosecution of offensive war on the continent of North America, for the purpose of reducing the revolted colonies to obedience by force, will be the means of weakening the efforts of this country against her European enemies; tends, under the present circumstances dangerously to increase the mutual enmity, so fatal to the interests both of Great Britain and America; and, by preventing an happy reconciliation with that country, to frustrate the earnest desire graciously expressed by his Majesty to restore the blessings of public tranquillity.”
Attorney General James Wallace argued that a formal peace settlement was impossible until various acts of Parliament were repealed or modified and proposed to offer a motion whereby a truce would be settled upon with the Americans so as to give Parliament time to act. Therefore, he proposed to adjourn the debate over Conway’s motion for two weeks in anticipation of his own motion for a truce. Since Wallace’s motion to adjourn took precedence over continued debate on Conway’s motion, a vote was taken and Wallace’s motion was defeated 234 to 215. That vote established the sense of the House and resulted in Conway’s motion being adopted without division. Conway thereupon offered a second motion, also approved without division, to send the measure just adopted to the King in the form of an address (Parliamentary Hist., 22:1064–1101).
The attorney general’s motion to bring in a bill “to enable his Majesty to make Peace or Truce with America” was taken up on 28 Feb. and then introduced, debated, and adopted without division on 5 March. The opposition posed no strong objections, largely because it thought the bill inconsequential and unnecessary. The real obstacle to a peace or truce was the ministry then in office not the bills previously passed by Parliament that, according to the bill, the King could repeal, annul, or suspend so as to remove any impediments to negotiating a peace or truce. The bill, 22 George III, ch. 46, was passed on 28 May and 18 June by the Houses of Commons and Lords respectively and received the royal assent on 19 June (Parliamentary Hist., 22:1101–1109; House of Commons Sessional Papers of the Eighteenth Century, ed. Sheila Lambert, 145 vols., Wilmington, Del., 1975, 34:261–264; Journals of the House of Commons, London, 38:862, 872, 1028, 1060, 1064).
2. Of 26–28 February.
3. Jenings’ London correspondent was probably Edward Bridgen, a friend and business associate of Henry Laurens. In a similar account the London Public Advertiser of 11 March reported that “Mr. Laurens publickly declared in Company, within these few days, that he had no Authority to treat with this Country; he intimated, however, that he thought Mr. Adams, at the Hague, had such a Power.” Laurens did not receive official notification and a copy of the commission to negotiate a peace until 28 April in a letter from Franklin. The attorney general had released him from bail just two days before (Laurens, Papers, 15:482–483, 494).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0185

Author: Neufville, Leendert de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-08

From Leendert de Neufville

[salute] Sir

Being called upon this morning for the payment of an interest coupon of your Excellencys loan which was accordingly discharged—it made me remember whether we ought not to make an advertisement about it in the newspapers. As the last time it was often repeated I wants propose making it at present very plain which if any might have perhaps as much or new influence with the public. The Chief question however is in which terms it Should be couched—whether in your Excellencys name or merely that the interest of Such a loan is [ . . . ] annually paid at J d N & S. If it was possible to receive Your directions by return of post I Should esteem it as a favour because then I might have the advertisement inserted on monday—it being already a little over the time.1 I hope that Your Excellency found S.A.2 wel disposed on her birth day and ready to write Circular letters to favour the motion of friesland but I am however a little afraid that She wil be oblidged like Genl Conway to repent it may it meet in the Case with Similar Support. I have the honour to be with deep [veneration?] respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Obedt & very humble serv L:
[signed] de Neufville Son of Jn3
1. This refers to the loan opened by JA in 1781. The proposed advertisement appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 15 and 22 March 1782. It announced that “Son Exc. Mr. John Adams sera payer au Comptoir de Mrs Jean de Neufville & Fils à Amsterdam, durant le cours du present mois de mars, les Mercredis et Samedis depuis 9. heures du matin jusqu’à midi, les Coupons d’Intéréts, éclus le 1 Mars, de l’Emprunt à un Million de Florins à la charge des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique-Septentrionale.”
2. Probably “Son Altesse,” or “Her Highness,” meaning Wilhelmina, Princess of Orange.
3. This letter is written on a sheet that has been folded into four pages. On the third page is an undated note: “Mr. John de Neufville & Son presents their most Respectfúll Compliments to His Excellency John Adams Esqr. and agreable to the information the Honorable Thomas Barclay Esqr. hath given them, that he apprehended no further difficúlties should occúr in the settling finally the búsiness, Yoúr Excellency having no objection to the arrangement proposed about the guarantee, the Notary will have orders to wait on yoúr Excellency in Conseqúence tomorrow morning at ten o Clock, if not inconvenient.” It is not known to what settlement or guarantee this note refers. The only recent reference to such an undertaking is in Thomas Barclay’s letter of 29 Dec. 1781, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0186

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-03-10

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Should the British Forces now in New York and Charlestown evacuate those Places and go to the West India Islands, they might give a good deal of Trouble to the French and Spanish Possessions there. It would cost those Powers many Men and Ships and a great deal of Money and Time perhaps to manage them: whereas a Fleet and a Sum of Money now well directed would infallibly make Prisoners of the whole.
After the Address and Resolutions of the Commons, can it be thought they will be so stupid as to keep those Armies inactive in New York and Charlestown? If they do it will be merely to protect Commissioners whom they may send to propose Terms of a seperate Peace to Congress. In this Case the short and easy Method with the Dissenters is to take Warriors and Peacemakers altogether Prisoners in New York.

[salute] With Great Respect I have the Honour to be, sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams1
RC in John Thaxter’s hand ( (PHi:Franklin Coll.)); endorsed on the first page: “answd March 31”; on the third page: “J. Adams, March 10. 1782.”
1. The closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0187

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de
Date: 1782-03-10

To the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] My dear General

The Proceedings, of late in the British Parliament, I think abundantly prove, that the British Troops will evacuate N. York and Charlestown, and go to Quebeck Hallifax and the West India Islands provided they can escape in the Course of the ensuing Summer.
It cannot be a Question, with any Sensible Man, whether it will cost most Time, Blood and Treasure to France and Spain to take them all Prisoners, where they now are, or to fight them in detail in the West India Islands. No Man knows better than you what is necessary, in order to Strike this Sublime Stroke and thus finish the War, viz a Superiour Fleet, and a good sum of Money.
The Prov. of Friesland has taken the Resolution to acknowledge the Sovereignty of the United States of America, and to give Audi• { 304 } ence to their Minister, and have communicated to the States General. Holland has committed the same subject to the Comee. for great affairs, and the Body of Nobles and all the Cities have it under deliberation. Guelderland, Zealand and Overijssel too have taken the Resolution of Friesland into Consideration.1

[salute] With great Affection and Esteem, I have &c

1. This paragraph was interlined by John Thaxter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0188

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-03-10

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 4.

[salute] Sir

By the Address of the House of Commons to the King, his Majesty’s Answer, and the Resolution of the House in Consequence of it, “that he would be highly criminal and an Enemy to his Country who should attempt to carry on an offensive War in America against the Sense of the House”:1 by the surrender of Minorca and the disastrous face of British Affairs in Ireland, as well as in the East and West Indies, and by the uncommon Difficulties which my Lord North finds in raising the Loan, I think We may fairly conclude, that the United States are not to expect those horrid Scenes of Fire and Sword in future, which they have so often seen heretofore. Among the Causes, which have operated this Effect, may be reckoned the late Ordinance of Congress against British Manufactures,2 and the prospect which has been opened to them in Holland of a sudden Revival of the Dutch Manufactures of Delft, Leyden, Utrecht, and indeed all the other Cities of the Republick. The English have found all their Artifices to raise mobs in their favor in the Republick to be vain: they found that there began to be an Appearance of danger of popular Tumults against them: they have seen their Friends in this Country driven out of all their strong holds and forced to combat on the Retreat: they have found that the American Cause gained ground upon them every day, and that serious Indications were given of a Disposition to acknowledge our Independence, for the sake of reviving their Manufactures and extending their Commerce: all which together has raised a kind of Panick in the Nation, and such a Fermentation in Parliament as has produced a formal Renunciation of the Principle of the American War.
{ 305 }
The Question now arises, what Measures will the Cabinet of St. James’s pursue? Will they agree to the Congress at Vienna? I believe not. Will they treat with the American Peace Ministers now in Europe. I fancy not. They will more probably send Agents to America, to propose some mad Plan of American Vice-Roys and American Nobility, and what not except common Sense and common Utility.
I presume, with Submission however, that Congress will enter into no Treaty or Conference with them, but refer them to their Ministers in Europe.
France and Spain I think cannot mistake their Interest and Duty upon this Occasion, which is to strike the most decided Strokes; to take the British Armies in New York and Charlestown Prisoners. Without this, in all probability before another Revolution of the Seasons all the United States will be evacuated, the British Forces sent to Quebeck, Hallifax and the West India Islands, where it will cost France and Spain more Time, Blood and Treasure to dispose of them, than it will this Campaign to capture them in New York and Charlestown.

[salute] With the greatest Respect and Esteem, I have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams3
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 17–19); endorsed: “Letter March 10. 1782 J Adams Read May 31.”
1. George III answered the House of Commons’ address of 27 Feb. on 1 March. He declared that pursuant to the Commons’ advice, he would “take such measures as shall appear to me to be most conducive to the restoration of harmony between Great Britain and the revolted colonies, so essential to the prosperity of both” and would prosecute the war against France and the Netherlands until such time as a peace, favorable to British interests, could be obtained (Parliamentary Hist., 22:1086; for the full text of George III’s reply, see Dumas’ letter of 10 March, below). The absence from the King’s reply of a commitment to end the war in America, and the deepening distrust of the North ministry, led the Commons to reply to the King’s address as quoted by JA (Parliamentary Hist., 22:1087–1101).
In the two paragraphs that follow, there is a noticeable lack of enthusiasm on JA’s part regarding the Commons’ actions even though they constituted a repudiation of the ministry’s American policy. This is because the resolutions offered by Conway on 22 and 27 Feb. and the ensuing debates all contemplated some measure of reconciliation between the American colonies and the mother country. While Britain might be willing to end offensive operations, it did not follow that it was necessarily willing to negotiate with an independent United States and that was the only means by which peace could be restored.
2. The ordinance of 4 Dec. 1781 on captures, for which see the letter of 26 Dec. from Livingston, note 5, above.
3. The closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0189-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-10

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Après que vous futes parti, je reçus un billet de notre ami, pour me prier de lui envoyer au plus vite une copie du projet de réponse que vous avez vu et désapprouvé, en m’assurant qu’il en feroit un bon usage.1 Je le lui envoyai avec ce correctif au bas.
“Je crois necessaire d’ajouter, que Mr. A— ne se contenteroit pas de cette réponse, et ne la recevroit pas, parce qu’elle ne seroit pas cathégorique, comme il l’a demandée. D’ailleurs on ne peut pas dire avec connoissance de cause, que l’admission d’un Mine des E.U. éprouve des difficultés aux autres Cours; car il n’y en a pas une des Neutres où il y en ait un; et quant aux belligérantes, on sait qu’ils y en ont, et que la Rep. en est une. Mr. A— est venu ouvertement et rondement offrir, avec l’amitié sincere de son Souverain, ses Lettres de Créance et Pleins-pouvoirs. Il convient de les admettre ou refuser tout aussi rondement. Ce procédé est digne des deux Nations.”
J’allois immédiatement après chez l’ami moi-même. Je le trouvai occupé de l’affaire avec Une autre personne devant qui il me somma de déclarer hautement et nettement ce qui vous satisferoit? Rien, sinon une audience telle qu’il l’a demande, ai-je répondu.
Voici la Réponse du Roi Brittannique à l’adresse du Parlement donnée le 1er. Mars.
“N’ayant à coeur aucun objet autant, que le repos, félicité et prospérité de mon peuple, vous pouvez être assuré, qu’en conséquence de vos conseils, je prendrai telles mesures, qui me paroitront contribuer le plus au rétablissement de l’harmonie entre la Gr. Br. et les Colonies révoltées, si essentielle à la prospérité de toutes les deux: et que mes efforts seront dirigés de la maniere la plus efficace contre nos Ennemis Européens, jusqu’à ce que telle paix puisse S’obtenir, qui s’accordera avec les Intérêts et le bien-être permanent de mon Royaume.”
La Résolution d’avant’hier ne plait ni à l’une ni à l’autre des parties: et par-dessus le Marché elle est suivie d’un vigoureux Protest de 8 villes, qui lui servira de Pendant.

[salute] Je suis avec le plus respectueux attachement Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0189-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-10

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

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 factor.

[salute] I am, with the most respectful attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
1. “Notre ami” was Engelbert François van Berckel who requested JA’s opinion of a proposal that the individual provinces recognize U.S. independence but the Republic, through the States General, refrain from doing so (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 206). For JA’s criticism of the plan, see his letters to Dumas of 13 and 14 March, both below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1781-03-11

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 5.

[salute] Sir

The Promise, which was made me by Mr. Bergsma, that I should have an Answer from the Province of Friesland in three Weeks, has been literally fulfilled. This Gentleman, who as well as his Province deserves to be remembered in America, sent me a Copy of the Resolution in Dutch as soon as it passed.1 It is now public in all the Gazettes, and is concieved in these Terms.2
“The Requisition of Mr. Adams, for presenting his Letters of Credence from the United States of North America to their high Mightinesses, having been brought into the Assembly and put into Deliberation, as also the ulterior Address to the same Purpose with a Demand of a Categorick Answer made by him, as is more amply mentioned in the Minutes of their high Mightinesses of the 4th. of May 1781 and the 9th. of January 1782. Whereupon, it having been taken into Consideration, that the said Mr. Adams would probably have some Propositions to make to their high Mightinesses, and to present to them the principal Articles and Foundations, upon which the Congress on their Part would enter into a Treaty of Commerce and Friendship, or other Affairs to propose, in regard to which dispatch would be requisite.
It has been thought fit and resolved, to Lower down. Compared with the aforesaid Book to my Knowledge. authorize the Gentlemen the Deputies of this Province at the Generality, and to instruct them to direct things at the Table of their high Mightinesses in such a manner, that the said Mr Adams be admitted forthwith as Minister of the Congress of North America, with further Order to the said Deputies, that if there should be made moreover any similar Propositions by the same, to inform immediately their Noble Mightinesses of them. And an Extract of the present Resolution shall be sent them for their Information, that they may conduct themselves conformably.
Thus Resolved at the Province House the 26th. of Feby. 1782.
Lower down. Compared with the aforesaid Book to my Knowledge.

[salute] Signed

[signed] A. I. V. Sminia.”
This Resolution has, by the Deputies of Friesland, been laid before their high Mightinesses at the Hague, and after deliberation, the Deputies of the Provinces of Guelderland, Zealand, Utrecht { 309 } and Groningen have taken Copies of it, to be communicated more amply to their Constituents. In the States of the Province of Holland and West Friesland, the Requisition of the 9th. of January had been committed to the Committee of grand Affairs, and Taken into deliberation by the Body of Nobles and ad Referendum by all the eighteen Cities.
The Sovereignty of the United States of America would undoubtedly be acknowledged by the Seven United Provinces, and their Minister recieved to an Audience in State in the Course of a few Weeks, if the Regency of the City of Amsterdam had not visibly altered its Sentiments: but all things are embroiled. The Opposition to Mr. Van Berkel, and the glittering Charms of an Embassy to Petersbourg or Vienna, which have been artfully displayed, as it is said, before the Eyes of one Man,3 and many secret Reasonings of similar kind with others, have placed the last Hopes of the English and Dutch Courts in a City, which had long been firm in opposition to the Desires of both. The Public in general however expects, that the Example of the Frisians will be followed. Wherever I go, every Body almost congratulates me upon the prospect of my being soon recieved at the Hague. The French Gazettes all give their Opinions very decidedly that it will be done, and the Dutch Gazettes all breath out God gaave, that it may be so. I confess however, that I doubt it; at least I am sure that a very little thing may prevent it. It is certain that the Court will oppose it in secret with all their Engines, altho’ they are already too unpopular to venture to increase the Odium by an open Opposition.
Friesland is said to be a sure Index of the national Sense. The People of that Province have been ever famous for the Spirit of Liberty. The feudal System never was admitted among them: they never would submit to it, and they have preserved those Priviledges which all others have long since surrendered. The Regencies are chosen by the People, and on all critical Occasions the Frisians have displayed a Resolution and an Activity beyond the other Members of the State. I am told that the Frisians never undertake any thing but they carry it through, and therefore that I may depend upon it, they will force their Way to a Connection with America. This may be the Case if the War continues, and the Enemies of Great Britain continue to be successful: but I have no Expectations of any thing very soon, because I have much better Information than the publick of the secret Intrigues both at the Hague and Amsterdam.4 Patience however. We have nothing to fear. Courtiers, Aristocraticks, as well { 310 } as the People, all say, You know very well We love the Americans, and will ever be their good Friends. This Love and Friendship consists however rather too much in mere Words. “Be Ye warmed” &ca, and a strong Desire of Gain by our Commerce.
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC Misc. Papers,, Reel No. 1, f. 547–552); endorsed: “Letter March 11. 1782 J Adams Read 31 May”; and in another hand: “John Adams March 11. 1782.” LbC (Adams Papers).
2. The resolution appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 12 March.
3. Joachim Rendorp allegedly was to be offered the ambassadorship to St. Petersburg (to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., note 4, above). Nearly thirty years later, when he published his letters in the Boston Patriot, JA recalled that “One last effort was made to defeat me in Holland, a very absurd and stupid attempt to be sure; but it was hazarded.” This “effort,” which JA speculated was Rendorp’s work, presumably occurred in March or April 1782. According to JA,
“When the cities and provinces of the Batavian confederation were in the midst of their deliberations and a vast majority of them had already determined on my admission; when every day brought us fresh assurances from every quarter that the states would be unanimous in a few days—Mr. De Neufville, jun. made me a visit and with great gravity and a sort of melancholy, begged leave to communicate to me some important information and advice. His advice to me was “to desist and give up my hopes and pursuits.” Of all the oddities I had seen, this struck me with the most surprise. Mr. De Neufville advise me to desist and give up! Could his father be privy to this strange suggestion? in contradiction to every word and action of their lives, I had ever seen, heard or understood. I was determined, however, to be upon my guard. What can be your reason, Mr. D’Neufville? are not the cities and provinces very harmonious and unanimous? ‘Aye, but the states general cannot acknowledge you.’ Why not? “We are so small and so weak.” Small and weak! Are you great and strong enough to go to war with France, Spain, America, and perhaps the emperor of Germany, and possibly the armed neutrality all together? “I am told it will not do; you must give up.” By whom are you told this? “By one of the first men in this city.” Who is he? “I cannot tell you, but he has abilities and influence equal to any man among us.” Why will you not tell me his name? “Because I must not.” If you will let me know who he is, I will send him a decent and respectful answer. “No, I am forbidden to say who it is, but he is one of the first men in the city.” By this time I was convinced it was Burgomaster Rendorp. But I answered, if you will not let me know who he is, I will tell you he is a fool and thinks me a fool. ‘Oh no.’ But then he repeated again what he had said before about their weakness, and that I must wave my pretensions. I repeated again that he was a fool. He repeated the same things several times and I as often answered that his adviser was a fool—and thus we parted. This anecdote got wind and excited much ridicule—not at my expence, however” (Boston Patriot, 20 April 1811).
4. In the Letterbook JA ended his letter here, but then canceled the closing and inserted the remainder of the paragraph.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0191-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-11

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Une petite absence de chez moi durant la plus grande partie de la journée d’hier, a retardé les incluses; J’espere que leur retard est { 311 } sans conséquence. Elles sont arrivées toutes deux d’Amsterdam, et notamment le cachet de l’une dans l’état ou vous le verrez. J’ai une Lettre de Mr. Carmichael, qui me dit entre autres2—“I wish Mr. Adams all the success he can desire. You will please to inform him, that I have received Letters from our new Secretary of foreign affairs, dated the 20th. Dec.3 If he has not a Copy of the Resolutions of Congress touching this Department,4 I will send it to him and will forward any Letters he may chuse to send via Cadix. I hear that this Court Negociates a Loan for 5 millions of florins chez vous. Please to inform me how the subscriptions fill, and at what periods the money is paid, and whether by Bills of Exchange, or how. I think I shall know this from others; but we never can have too many sources of Information. You will be pleased to present the proper Compliments for me to Mrs Adams and de Neufville, to the Latter of whom I shall write next post. We have no arrivals from America, except one at Cadix, which brought me the Letter above mentioned.”
Notre ami ici est d’avis, qu’il faudroit que vous eussiez un entretien et explication avec Mr. le Bourguemaître Hoofd, et autres Régents d’Amsterdam, pour être assuré de la maniere dont ils en agiront ici la semaine prochaine et les suivantes, s’ils insisteront franchement et presseront que votre affaire soit mise au plutôt sur le tapis, et au cas qu’oui, concerter avec eux, si une démarche de votre part, par exemple, d’aller chez Mr. le Greffier, lui fixer verbalement une terme, par exemple, le 15 d’Avril prochain, pour avoir une réponse cathégorique, passé lequel terme, vous vous verriez dans le cas d’écrire à votre Souverain en consequence, &c. Vous userez, Monsieur de cette idée, de la maniere que vous jugerez vous-même la meilleure. Si ces Messieurs d’Amst. agréent et desirent la démarche, qui devra été communiquée comme la précédente aux Villes, ils devront vous donner leur parole de la soutenir de tout leur pouvoir à l’Assemblée provinciale ici, que l’on vouloit séparer, à quoi Dort, Harlem et Amsterdam se sont opposés, par la raison de diverses choses importantes à finir avant de se séparer, et notamment le concert des opérations avec la Fce sur lesquelles les Instructions de M. l’Ambassadeur sont en chemin pour demander Explication cathegorique; et l’affaire de votre Admission. Ce refus de se séparer a beaucoup surpris et mortifié ceux qui n’y sont pas accoutumé; Il a été forcément unanime, car les 3 villes susdites auroient pu prendre les résolutions qu’elles auroient voulu en l’absence des autres.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0191-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-11

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

A short absence for most of the day yesterday has delayed the enclosed letters. I hope this poses no difficulties. They both arrived from Amsterdam and the seal on one of them arrived in its current condition. I have a letter from Mr. Carmichael that says among other things2—“I wish Mr. Adams all the success he can desire. You will please to inform him, that I have received Letters from our new Secretary of foreign affairs, dated the 20th. Dec.3 If he has not a Copy of the Resolutions of Congress touching this Department,4 I will send it to him and will forward any Letters he may chuse to send via Cadix. I hear that this Court Negociates a Loan for 5 millions of florins chez vous. Please to inform me how the subscriptions fill, and at what periods the money is paid, and whether by Bills of Exchange, or how. I think I shall know this from others; but we never can have too many sources of Information. You will be pleased to present the proper Compliments for me to Mrs Adams and de Neufville, to the Latter of whom I shall write next post. We have no arrivals from America, except one at Cadix, which brought me the Letter above mentioned.”
Our friend is of the opinion that you should have a meeting and discussion with Burgomaster Hooft, and the other Amsterdam regents, to be assured of what action they will take next week and in the following weeks, and if they will emphasize clearly to take up your business as soon as possible. If this is so, for example, then you can work with them to make a verbal agreement with the secretary to obtain a categorical response by April 15th, after which date, you will be obliged to write to your government as a result. Use what you think best, sir, of this idea. If these men from Amsterdam agree to and desire the démarche, which will have to be communicated to the cities just as the previous one was, they must give you their word to support it with all of their power in the provincial assembly here, that some want to recess, but which Dordrecht, Harlem, and Amsterdam oppose because of the need to finish many important matters before separating, most notably the agreement over operations with France, for which the ambassador’s instructions require a categorical explanation; and the matter of your admission. This refusal to separate has surprised and mortified those who are not accustomed to it. It was forcibly unanimous because the 3 cities could have taken the resolutions that they wanted in the absence of the others.
RC (Adams Papers); filmed at ([12–16 March], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356.)
1. This date is derived from Dumas’ letter of 12 March, below.
2. For William Carmichael’s letter of 16 Feb., see PCC, No. 101, f. 222.
4. Carmichael likely refers to Congress’ resolution of 10 Aug. 1781 appointing Robert R. Livingston secretary for foreign affairs.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0192-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-11

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous aurez reçu ce soir une Lettre que j’ai fait enrégistrer No 4 par le Chariot de Poste, parti d’ici à Une heure après midi.2 Je dois ajouter, de la part de notre ami ici, qu’il est nécessaire que vous vous abouchiez au plutôt avec Mr. Van Berkel le Pensionnaire, et Mr. Bikker le fils, et que tous trois vous ayiez une conférence sérieuse et décisive, dès demain, s’il est possible, chez Mr. Van Berkel sur l’idée que je vous ai proposée dans la susdite Lettre.3 Notre ami écrit là-dessus ce soir à Mr. Bikker, et le prévient que vous le mettrez au fait, et Mr. Van Berkel aussi, de ce qu’il propose: car il n’écrit qu’en termes généraux à Mr. Bikker, pour ne pas exposer le secret au sort d’une Lettre. Mr. Bikker est intime avec Mr. Hoofd. Ainsi cette matiere peut le mieux se traiter, comme je le dis ci-dessus entre Vous trois. Il n’y a, pour préambule, qu’à offrir et exiger une parfaite cordialité. Si vous pouviez arrêter là-dessus quelque chose de fixe avant Samedi, notre Ami croit que ce seroit un coup de partie. La chose presse, parce qu’il y a toute apparence que votre admission va être incessamment mise en déliberation ici. Pour cet effet, notre ami se donne des mouvents, et écrit en divers autres endroits, d’une maniere dont je suis parfaitement satisfait; car il m’a montré ses Lettres. Ainsi, si les mesures réussissent de votre côté (je parle de votre conférence avec les deux Messieurs susdits) comme j’espere qu’elles réussiront de ces côtés ci, votre voyage de Samedi prochain ici, pourra avoir des suites importantes. En attendant, je dis à tout le monde ici ce que vous m’avez autorisé de dire hautement, that nothing short of a cathegoric answer will satisfy you.
Je n’ai pas eu le temps de signer ma Lettre de ce matin. Cela m’auroit fait manquer le Chariot de poste. Ce défaut de formalité ne doit pas vous empêcher de vous y fier. Je vous la confirme et suis prêt à la signer quand vous voudrez, ainsi que toutes celles où il s’agira de témoigner mon Zele et ma fidélité pour les intérêts de notre Souverain, et le respectueux attachement avec lequel je suis pour toujours, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0192-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-11

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

This evening you will have received a letter marked no. 4 that was sent with the 1 o’clock post.2 I must add, on behalf of our friend here, that it is necessary for you to meet for a serious and decisive talk with the pensionary Mr. van Berckel and with Mr. Bicker, the son, as soon as tomorrow, if possible, regarding what was proposed in the aforesaid letter.3 Our friend is writing to Mr. Bicker this evening to tell him that you will inform him, as well as Mr. van Berckel, of the matter he is proposing. He will write to Mr. Bicker in general terms so as not to expose any secrets. Mr. Bicker is close to Mr. Hooft. So, this matter can be better dealt with among the three of you as I said above. Perfect cordiality is all that is required as a preliminary step. If you could decide upon a fixed date before Saturday, our friend believes it would be a decisive factor. It is necessary to hurry since it seems that deliberation on your admission will begin very shortly here. To this end, our friend is taking steps and has written to various places in a satisfying manner, which I know since he did show me these letters. Therefore, if the measures taken on your side succeed (I am speaking about the meeting with the aforementioned two gentlemen) as well as matters on this side, your trip here next Saturday will have important consequences. Meantime, I am saying to everyone here that you have authorized me to say openly, that nothing short of a cathegoric answer will satisfy you.
I did not have time to sign this morning’s letter. I would have missed the post. This lack of formality should not prevent you from trusting it. I will confirm it for you and am ready to sign it when you want, just as I did in all those letters in which I have attested to my zeal and fidelity for the interests of our sovereign, and the respectful attachment with which I remain always, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers); (filmed at [12–16 March], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356.)
1. This date is derived from Dumas’ letter of 12 March, below.
2. Dumas’ first letter of [11 March], above.
3. See JA to Dumas, 13 March, below, for his account of the meeting with van Berckel and Bicker, presumably a son of Hendrik Bicker.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0193

Author: Grand, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-11

From Henry Grand

[salute] sir

I do presume from my repeated Aplications to Dr. franklin, and your Silence, that your former misunderstanding concerning the sum you requested me to pay to Mr. Dana is cleared up, by an equal Allowance made you in reimbursmt thereof.
{ 315 }
The Doctor having requested me to inform messrs. fizeaux Grand &c. that you would draw on him for your Appointments, I accordingly returned them your last Receipt for £400 str. to be exchanged against your draft, either for the whole, or only for that part exceeding the Ballance I owe you as Stated on the other Side. I hope this Arrangement will meet your Aprobation and shall be glad to hear it.
I heartily congratulate your Excellency and America on the late Resolutions of Parliament, my only wish now is to see you soon enjoying the Blessings of your Independency, and to see us soon restored to a general peace.

[salute] With best Compliments to all your young Gentlemen I remain with due Respect sir Your most obt. hble servt.

[signed] Grand
Ballance due to your Excellency on the 10th. of Sept last as p At.   2557.   16  
the 24 do. I paid to Chevanne de la Giraudiere   lt31.   4   }   63.   4  
19 of Oct I paid to ditto   32.    
at 52 3/4 Bof 1096.11         Lt2494.   12  
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur John Adams Ministre plenipotentiaire de Etats unis de L’Amerique A Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mr Grand. March 11 1782 ansd March 16.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0194

Author: Hartley, David
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-11

From David Hartley

[salute] Dear Sir

Having been long informed of your benevolent Sentiments towards peace I writt a letter to you on the 19th of last month thro the hands of Mr Laurens junr1 to renew that subject with you because I was aware at that time from conferences and correspondencies to wch I had been a party that the topic of peace wd soon become general. I understand that Mr Jay Dr Franklin Mr Laurens and yourself are impowered by a special commission to treat. I hope the powers of that commission will soon be called forth in to action and that success may attend. The public proceedings of parliament and the proposed bill to enable the Crown to conclude peace or truce with America are or will certainly be made known to you. The first object will be to procure a meeting of authorized persons and to consult upon the preliminaries of time place and manner, but the requisites above all others are mutual good dispositions to conciliate { 316 } and to accommodate, in the confident hope that if the work of peace were once well begun it wd soon become general. Permitt me to ask whether the four gentlemen above specified are empowered to conclude as well as to treat and whether jointly so or severally. The bill now depending in Parliament on the part of this Country is to conclude as well as to treat. As to other provisions of it I cannot speak positively but I understand (from the best authority) that the general scope of it is to remove the parliamentary obstructions now subsisting, wch would frustrate the settlements wch may be made at the termination of the war—I heartily wish success to the cause of peace.

[salute] I am Dear Sir with great respect Your most obedt Servt.

[signed] D Hartley
PS Mr Digges who will deliver this to you will explain many things of great importance on the Subject of peace.2 I have been witness of the Authority upon wch they have been delivered to him. When the first application was made to him he consulted me as knowing that such topics had more than once passed thro my hands. I have recently had many conferences on my own part with the Ministry here relating to the mode of entering in to negotiations of peace, and am fully informed of the subject of Mr Digges’s commission to you. You may therefore be assured that it comes to you from the highest Authority.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr D. Hartleys Letter to me by Mr Digges.”
1. JA received this letter and a duplicate of the 19 Feb. letter as enclosures in Thomas Digges’ letter of [20 March], below. The copy carried by Henry Laurens Jr. probably did not reach JA until young Laurens visited JA in mid-April (to Benjamin Franklin, 16 April, below).
2. Hartley also wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 11 March and provided considerably more detail on the origins and purpose of Thomas Digges’ mission to visit JA in the Netherlands (Franklin, Papers, 36:684–685).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0195

Author: Andrews, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-12

From Samuel Andrews

[salute] Sir

Your Exellency will permitt me to Lay my presant Situation before you being perswaded you will render me all the assistance in your { 317 } Power.1 After haveing been most Cruelly detained in this City Sixteen months my affairs have at last pastd: the Council of apprizals. This Council have judged with rigour in respect to me, Which is this, that I am evidently Neutre and in good faith But say I have omitted some formalites in respect to a late ordinance of the King that they could not undertake to intrepret his Law. This it seams is a paper called an act of Proprity. I have from under the Govenour and Secretary hand and Seal of Demerary a paper Comferming me my proprity setting fourth this Vessell is mine. Yett it seams this was not sufficent and in Consequence comfermed the sentance of the Admiralty of Martinieque, But blame them for the great delay they have made.
I have now with great faith and Confidence appeald to the King and Royal Council with whom it lays to render me that justice which so evidently appears to be my due. As His Majesty is hear Himself consernd it is he alone can rightly intrepret the Law And to say, Weather, after a man is acknowledge’d evidently Neutre and in good faith that upon so frivolous a pretence as the neglect of one paper He should stand condemned. I trust when the Royal Council sees into this matter and this Confirmation of proprity it will obviate every difficulty and that His Majesty Himself will declare in my favour conserning my Just demand.
I consider the presant moment as that in which I am bound to make every possible exertion and to leave nothing omitted that may make for me as this Judgment is definetive. Your Exellencey will in consideration pardon the lenth of this letter, Mr. Thaxter imformed me when I had the pleasure to see him that you had recieved a Letter from my Worthy decased friend Mr Ellis Gray respect this my business as also that He had Intrest therein (which is very true).2 I shall conseive myself under the greatest obligations if you will wright to His Exellency Doctor Franklin upon this head and that my friend Mr Gray had wrote you, or if agreable send him the origanel. It is in his Power to be of infinate sarvis to me. As it is to come before the Royal Council, I shall also thank your Exellency for a line to the Marquis La Fyatte who seames much disposed to render me assistance, as also to aney one you think may give me assistance. His Exellency the Dutch Ambassador has it now in his charge. I have taken care to geet every Intrest from this Quater and deliverd him Instruction from the Hague upon my arrival in this City. I shall be Obliged to your Exellency for your friendley advice an assistance, in this business. I hope you injoy your Health And that the same may { 318 } be continued to you is the Prayer of your Exellinceys most Obedint & Respectfull Humble Servant
[signed] Sam Andrews
Pleas to present my Complements Mr Thaxter.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Saml. Andrews 12th March 1782.”
1. JA wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 29 Sept. 1780 asking him to assist Samuel Andrews in the recovery of his vessel, the Sally, which had been captured and condemned at Martinique (vol. 10:185–186).
2. From Ellis Gray, 25 July 1780 (Adams Papers). Gray informed JA that Andrews was an American as well as a burgomaster of the Dutch colony of Demerara. Andrews sailed under Dutch colors, but his vessel was taken by a French privateer and condemned at Martinique. The judge accepted the claim that the Sally and its cargo were Dutch and thus neutral, but ruled that it was a good prize because its crew was English.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0196-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-12

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

En vous confirmant mes deux Lettres d’hier, celle-ci est pour vous faire part, d’une Résolution que la Ville de Dort vient de prendre, par laquelle elle donne à Mr. De Gyzelaer, son digne Pensionaire, une marque touchante et honorable de son estime et de son approbation, et d’ailleurs non équivoque de sa disposition par rapport aux affaires publiques: par cette résolution elle s’attend qu’il ne se chargera d’aucun emploi Ministériel dans une autre Ville votante de la province, mais qu’il restera constamment attaché à la ville de Dort; et en revanche elle augmente d’un tiers les appointemens dont il a joui jusqu’ici en vertu de sa place.1Partagez avec moi, Monsieur la joie que j’en ressens.
Dans une Lettre de la même Ville, arrivée ce matin de bonne main, on m’a fait lire ces paroles énergiques: “Nous brûlons ici du desir de reconnoître l’Indépendance Américaine.”

[salute] Je suis, comme vous savez pour toujours, avec autant d’attachement que de respect, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très-obeissant serviteur

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0196-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-12

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

In addition to confirming my two letters of yesterday, this one is to inform you that the city of Dordrecht just passed a resolution by which it honors its worthy pensionary Mr. De Gyselaar, with a moving and honorable proof of its esteem and approbation and, moreover, unequivocally to { 319 } his disposition with regard to public affairs. With this resolution, it is expected that he will not take on any other ministerial job in another provincial voting city, but instead will remain continuously attached to the city of Dordrecht. On the other hand, the resolution increased his salary by one third by virtue of his position.1 Share with me, sir, the joy that I feel from this.
In a letter that arrived from the same city this morning, I read these spirited words: “We are burning with desire here to recognize American independence.”

[salute] I am, as you always know, with as much attachment as respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
1. The Gazette de Leyde of 15 March reported that the council of Dordrecht resolved to increase the salary of Cornelis de Gyselaar, the town’s councillor pensionary, by 600 florins in recognition of the indefatigable zeal, steadfastness, and patriotism that he had displayed during difficult times. Gyselaar was friendly to JA and sympathetic to the American cause (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 112, 160, 197).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0197

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1782-03-13

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I have recd your two Letters both without Date and one without a Name.1 My Respects and Thanks to Mr Carmichael &c. I have Some of the Resolutions of Congress touching that department but cannot Say whether I have all.
I have had last Evening an agreable Interview with the two worthy Gentlemen you mention. They are both of opinion, that it is better to wait and See what will be proposed by the grand Besogne.2 As to any ministerial Step to be taken by me, at present, it had better be omitted. Let Us leave, the Members to their own Enquiries and Reflexions and Judgment.
As to the conciliatory Project I have an utter detestation of it, between you and me. Besides Friesland will not agree to it: So that it cannot pass if Holland should adopt it. Friesland has set, the right Example and will be followed by all in time. The Members of the Regency here are thinking very Seriously, and will determine right in the End if We do not furnish them an Excuse by talking of conciliatory Propositions.
I shall fall naturally in the Way, of Several Mercantile Houses here and shall See if, their aid can be obtained, in their Way.
The late Visit of the Ambassador here, and his Conversation with { 320 } several Persons will have a good Effect. The British Cause will become more and more, disgusting, contemptible and ridiculous, every day. There is no danger of Perselytes to that side. So that all must come into the sentiments of Friesland, e’er long. Dont let Us be impatient. It is not possible to make right and Wrong meet half Way. Is not the G. Pensionary at the Bottom of the conciliatory Project? I have altered my Design of coming to the Hague. Shall not come on saturday. Perhaps not for some Weeks.

[salute] With great Esteem yours

[signed] J. Adams3
RC (DLC:C. W. F. Dumas Papers); endorsed: “250/Amst. 13e. Mars 1782 S. E. Mr. J. Adams.”
1. OfFirst and second letters of[11 March], both above.
2. When this letter was printed in the Boston Patriot of 5 Jan. 1811, JA identified the “grand Besogne” as “the committee of great affairs of the regency of Amsterdam.”
3. Immediately following this letter in the Boston Patriot, where the closing and the signature were omitted, JA wrote,
“In proportion as the probability of my obtaining the object so long pursued, increased; the activity of my disguised enemies redoubled their secret intrigues. Whether Mr. Dumas was drawn in, to assist in this project of reconciliation, the design of which was merely procrastination, by any insinuations from any gentleman of the French legation, (for the compt Vergennes was certainly mortified at my prospect of success) or whether the grand pensionary, Mr. Van Bleiswick had any agency in it, or whether the burgomaster Rendorp of Amsterdam, who thought himself sure of an embassy to one of the empires if he could recommend himself at court by defeating, had employed in a round about manner, any of his confidential instruments to raise doubts in the mind of Mr. Dumas; I shall leave to the conjectures of your readers. Indeed all these causes might unite. Nor was this the last effort of the kind.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0198

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1782-03-14

To C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Sir

I rejoice with you, in the Testimony of approbation given to a very meritorious Character.1 If they burn in one City to acknowledge American Independence, it is to be hoped, that the virtuous flame will Soon extend itself to all others.
I am vastly obliged to the Duke de la Vauguion for the Service he did our Cause and for the many noble Compliments which, I learn from Sure Sources, he was pleased to make to my personal Character, when last in this City.
But am mortified to find that he has not So great a dread upon his Mind, of the Conciliatoire, as I have. This trimming System is So much in the Character of a certain Personage2 who has lately been, Sometimes Sick and Sometimes better that the Duke, and our { 321 } other Friends have reason to expect, that Something like it will be proposed: but after the maturest Reflection, I cannot reconcile myself to it. The aversion of the other Powers of Europe, to acknowledge our Independence, is not only Supposed without Proof, but against Evidence.
It is easy to prove that the Powers of Europe in general, are disposed to favour American Independence. There is full Proof of this, from the Emperor of Germany, the Empress of Russia, and the King of Spain.
The King of Spain has acknowledged the Independence of America. You know that America is bound to Spain by a Treaty, which She has a right to acceed to when she will. She has not yet acceeded, that We know of. Yet I can assure you, that Senior del Campo is appointed to treat with Mr Jay, and a Treaty may before now have been executed. But whether it has or not, I assure you, as a fact that Spain contributes and has contributed annually, her Quota of the Cash and Aids that are sent from France to America. You may also depend upon it as a Fact that the King of Spain, whose orders to his Vice Roys are a Law to his Dominions, acknowledged American Independence, immediately after his Declaration of War, by sending written orders to all his Vice Roys to treat all the Inhabitants of the United States, as the best Friends of Spain. Without this We should have been Ennemies of Spain as subjects of the King of Great Britain. I look upon Spain as really our Ally, as France. She is bound in honnour and I have not a doubt but she considers herself so bound, as much as France, although for Reasons easy to conjecture, she has not yet made the Formalities of a Treaty.
I have in my Possession, certain Propositions made by the Courts of Vienna and Petersbourg, to the belligerent Powers to serve as a Basis for a general Pacification in which the two Imperial Courts propose a Congress at Vienna, and that at that Congress there should be a Treaty of Peace between Great Britain and the “American Colonies.”3 Now, I Say, that this Proposition is, a virtual Acknowledgment of American Independence. It is an Implication that the American Colonies are a Power, a belligerent Power, sufficiently independent to be a free Agent, sufficiently respectable to be invited to such an August Congress of all the Powers of Europe.
England has repeatedly declared that she considers a Treaty with America as an Hostility against her and has not Scrupled to declare War against France and Holland upon this professed Principle. It is { 322 } not to be wondered at therefore that those Powers which have entered into solemn stipulations to be neutral, have not treated with America. However, they have never had the offer. Notwithstanding all the Talk about Congress offering Treaties of Amity and Commerce to all the powers of Europe, there is no truth in it. There is no Minister in Europe, empowerd to treat with any Power but Spain and Holland. Mr Dana, has only Power to acceed to the Principles of the armed Neutrality, and he has never communicated, even that Power, to any Neutral Court, not even to Russia. I rely upon it therefore that every Court in Europe is well disposed towards American Independence, unless We except Portugal and Denmark, and I am far from being clear that either of these ought to be excepted.
Holland is at War, with England, and therefore has no Motive to restrain her, and she will be laughed at by every Court in Europe, if she hesitates any longer.
To declare, that she is well disposed and yet not give me an Audience is a Contradiction. It is however an Answer in the Negative, and I must take it as such and depart in Consequence. However, Friesland will never agree to such an answer. She will protest, and thus, I shall remain, like Ariel “wedged by the Middle in a rifted oak.”4
Nothing that this Republick can do, will have Such Influence towards accellerating a general Peace, as a frank Acknowledgment of our Independence and an Audience to your servant.
This would contribute to dispose the two Imperial Courts, and the Court of Spain and even that of London, to put a stop to this horrid Wrangle among Mankind.

[salute] Adieu

[signed] J.A.
RC (DLC:C. W. F. Dumas Papers); endorsed on the first page: “252/S. E. Mr. J Adams.”
1. Cornelis de Gyselaar.
2. Pieter van Bleiswyck.
3. See Art. 1 of the Austro-Russian Proposal for Anglo-American Peace Negotiations (vol. 11:408–410).
4. A reference to Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, scene ii, lines 274–279. This was one of JA’s favorite literary allusions, and one that he consistently got wrong: Ariel was imprisoned in “a cloven pine.” See, for example, vol. 8:145, 224.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0199

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-03-15

To Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

Your favour of Feb 10/21. arrived last night, and I thank you for the Copy inclosed. I think that if the Ct. of St. James’s is capable of taking a hint, she may see herself advised to acknowledge the Sovereignty of the U.S. and admit their Ministers to the Congress.
There Seems to be a Change of System in England, but the Change is too late: the Kingdom is undone past Redemption. Minorca, St Kits, Demerara Essequebo, &c gone. Fleets combining, to stop the channell. And what is worse than all, Deficits of Taxes to pay Interest, appearing to the amount of half a Million, sterling in three Years, and stocks at 54. or 53.1 French and Dutch united too in the East Indies against them. The French have nothing to do, but take Prisoners the Garrisons of N.Y. and Charlestown. The Volunteers of Ireland again in Motion &c.2
The Dutch are now occupied in very serious Thoughts, of acknowledging American Independence. Friesland has already done it. This is the Second Sovereign State in Europe that has done it. But a certain foreign Faction are exhausting all their Wiles, to prevent it. But, would you believe it? all their hopes, are in Amsterdam. But what can be the meaning of these People? how do they expect, to get their Islands? how do they expect to exist? We shall Soon See something decisive.
I am of late taken up So much, with Conversations and Visits that I cannot write much, but what is worse, my Health is so feeble, that it fatigues me more to write one Letter than it did, to write 10 when We were together at Paris. Inshort to Confess to you, a Truth that is not very pleasant, I verily believe your old Friend will never be again the man he has been. That hideous Fever has shaken him to Pieces, so that he will never get firmly compacted together again.
I have bought an house at the Hague, fit for the Hotel des Etats Unies, or if you will L’hotel de nouveau Monde. It is in a fine Situation and there is a noble Spot of Ground. This occasions great Speculations.3 But my Health was such that I could not risque another Summer the Air of Amsterdam. The House will be for my successor, ready furnished. I shall live in it, myself but a short time.
I see no objection against your attempt, as you propose to find out the real Dispositions, of the Empress, or her Ministers. You cannot take any noisy Measures like those I have taken here. The { 324 } form of Government forbids it. You can do every thing that can be done in Secret—I could do nothing here in secret. Thank God, publick Measures have had marvellous success.
My Boy Should translate Sallust, and write to his Papa. Charles Sailed 10 December from Bilbao in the Cicero Capt Hill. Does John Study the Russian Language?
Pray what is the Reason that the whole armed Neutrality cannot agree to declare, America independent, and admit you, in behalf of the U.S. to acceed to that Confederation. It is so simple, so natural, so easy so obvious a Measure and at the same time so sublime and so glorious. It is saying Let there be Light and there is light. It finishes all Controversies at once, and necessitates an Universal Peace, and even saves old England from total Destruction and the last Stages of Horror and Despair. It is so much in the Character and to the Taste of the Emperor and Empress that it is amazing it is not done. However thank God We have no particular Reason to wish for Peace. The longer the War continues now the better for Us. If the Powers of Europe will in Spight of all Reason and Remonstrance continue to sport with each others Blood, it is not our fault. We have done all in our Power to bring about Peace. One Thing, I think certain, that the British Forces will evacuate the U.S. if not taken Prisoners this season.
I cannot get a Copy of the Miniature of G. Washg. made for less than 12 ducats but will have it done notwithstanding if you persist in the desire. We will also endeavour to send you a secretary and to execute your other orders as soon as We can.
My Love to my dear Boy. He must study the Greek of the New Testament &c.

[salute] Adieu my dear Fnd Adieu.

RC (MHi:Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr. J: Adams’s Letter Dated March 15th. 1782. Recd. March 28th. O.S.”
1. JA does not indicate what stock he is referring to, but on the date of this letter the 3 percent consolidateds or consols were at 54 1/8. When the North ministry fell on 21 March they were at 54 7/8; by 1 April they had risen to 55 1/2 and a month later were at 59 1/2.
2. Probably a reference to the volunteer convention held at Dungannon, Ireland, in February, which, among other things, asserted the longstanding Irish demand that the British Parliament grant Ireland legislative independence by repealing or amending Poyning’s Law of 1495 (R. F. Foster, Modern Ireland, 1600–1972, N.Y., 1989, p. 246–247). For more on the volunteer movement, see vol. 8:358.
3. For example, the London Chronicle of 9–12 March reported from The Hague that “Every one is curious to know what will be done by the States relative to the memorial presented to them by the American Agent Mr. Adams; some imagine, that notwithstanding the warmth with which some members of the States have expressed themselves in favour of acknowledging the Independ• { 325 } ence of America, yet it would be very impolitic to make any such acknowledgment till the States of America are declared independent by Great Britain. In the mean time Mr. Adams has bought a very spacious house here, which looks as if he meant to stay some time.” The London Public Advertiser of 13 March carried a report, dated 3 March at The Hague, that “It is known for a Certainty, that Friseland has determined that the Americans should be acknowledged as forming a free and independent State, and Mr. Adams admitted in quality of Minister from this new Republic. His Excellency having purchased a House at the Hague, in order to reside there, at quitting Amsterdam, has occasioned many Conjectures.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0200

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-15

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I think your Excellency must have been greatly surprized at the Vote, which the House of Commons came to on General Conways Motion agst the Advisers for subduing America by Force; but how much soever One may be surprized to see such a measure taken at this Time, it is perhaps more Amazing that it was not taken before; it ought to have been the Declaration of Parliament at the beginning of the Troubles and it would then have been done with some grace at present it has but very little; and yet one cannot but be pleased with it particularly when it has the Concurrence of the Body of the people, who cry aloud for Peace. What a Change of Disposition! There were formerly but few Englishmen, who would not have embraced their Hands in an Americans Blood, and annihilate the Country of the United States. He that attempts it now is declard an Ennemy to G B; they who did so before were by Consequence Traytors.
But give me leave to Ask your Excellency what is your Sense of the true disposition of the Court of London?1 I must Confess to you I think I see its former Hypocricy and Insidiousness continued Even in this proceeding. The King has no sincere design to Obtain peace however He will perhaps enter into some Negociation in order to impose on his people; He will enter into it in the Spirit of Lewis the 14th at the Town of Gertruydenburg,2 where during the Treaty He endeavoured to divide the Allies and afterwards pretending to have offered to make the greatest Sacrifices of his Glory and his Interest, He appealed to his people, and calld on them for their utmost Exertions and obtaind them by this Management. The King of England, as it appears to me, means to Act in a similar Manner. He pretends to follow the Dictates of the <Parliament> opposition in order to gain a general Concurrence and induce them to make those Efforts, which the Spirit of the Country can and will make, when it believes, { 326 } that the King Acts according to his Duty and its Interest. He means perhaps to make plausible Proposals, which he is sure will not and cannot be accepted. The Conduct of the Opposition enables Him to Act as He will for it seems not to have any certain Object. Perhaps the most decided men of it dare not yet Speak out and that they will Stop with their last Motion; if they do, their Conduct is Absurd: for As Matters now Stand, I do not see, that the Admiralty can issue any Commissions to Cruise Against the Subjects of the United States, for that would be endeavouring to subdue them by force, Which by this resolution of the Common cannot be used Against them either in America or Elsewhere, the words of the Motion being general—and may not Neutral Ships sail to the ports of the States with Merchandice and Stores? an Attempt to Seize them would Surely be a means of reducing the revolted Colonies by force, which is certainly contrary to the Letter of the Resolution.
While I am mentioning neutral Ships I must Observe to your Excellency, they advertize in England for neutral Vessels, among others, to carry troops and Stores to America. I Hope France and Spain will notice this, and that foreign powers will prevent their Subjects from entering into any contracts for this purpose, for it is certain, that it will be a breach of Neutrallity.
But whatever may be the Object of the English Ministry I trust that the late resolution comes most apropos to ensure Success to your Excellencys Mission in Holland.
There passed through this Town last Monday three English Couriers—one of them is gone to Holland and the other two to Vienna and Petersburg.
I have some design of going to Paris the End of this month and Staying there about a fortnight, unless your Excellency hath other Commands for me.

[salute] I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Faithful & Obedient Humble Servt

[signed] Edm. Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Jenings March 15th. 1782.”
1. There is no specific response by JA to Jenings regarding this question, but see JA to Robert R. Livingston, 10 March, and note 1, above.
2. Jenings probably means that George III would initiate peace negotiations, but would insure their failure by offering terms unacceptable to the U.S. Such was the course Louis XIV followed at Geertruidenberg, Netherlands, in the winter of 1709–1710, during negotiations to end the War of the Spanish Succession, for which see vol. 9:96, note 5.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0201

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Grand, Henry
Date: 1782-03-16

To Henry Grand

[salute] Sir

Your Letter of March 11th, which I recieved last night, is totally incomprehensible to me.
My Account was to be made up for two Years Salary ending the 13th. day of last November, amounting to five thousand pounds sterling. Every farthing of Money I have recieved, including my last Receipt for 400 £ amounts to but about that Sum. I transmitted You the account between Us stated with all possible exactness. You dont acknowledge the Receipt of it. There is now due to me the whole of my Salary, or very near the whole from the thirteenth day of November last, now about four months, which I must soon draw for, to pay my debts already contracted.
Why so much difficulty is made about the plainest thing in nature, I know not.
The ballance due to me on the 12th. of October last, as stated in the Account transmitted You,1 is eight thousand nine hundred and one Livres, five sols and eleven deniers—since which I have recieved of Messs. Fizeaux & Grand, the four hundred Pounds sterling for which I gave the Receipts You mention. The difference between Livres 8901. 5.S. 11.D. and four hundred Pounds sterling added to the 63 Livres 4.S paid Chevanne de Giraudiere, is the Sum that I have recieved towards my third year’s Salary.
This is the only Way in which I can ever settle the Account: and it is very odd to me, that the simple payments and Receipts of about five thousands Pounds should cost as much Writing of Letters and Negotiations, as to make a War or a Peace.

[salute] With great Respect & Esteam I have the Honor to be, Sir, your Friend & Servt.

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. See the account submitted with JA’s letter to Ferdinand Grand of 12 Oct. 1781, above. See also the indexes to this and the preceding volume for the full correspondence between JA and the Grands about his accounts.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0202-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-16

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Voici une petite Cargaison de Lettres, qui m’ont été remises par M. le D. De la Vauguyon pour vous.1
{ 328 }
J’ai bien reçu l’honorée vôtre du 14, et ferai bon usage du contenu, premierement avec nos amis, et puis avec les autres.
Quant au projet conciliatoire, je puis vous assurer, that the convalescent is not at the Bottom of it.2 Ceux-mêmes qui l’ont conçu et modifié ne l’ont jamais regardé que comme leur pis aller, au cas qu’il ne leur fût pas possible de faire; et dans ce cas-même ils ont desire, qu’avant d’en faire usage il fût soumis à votre jugement. Ils sont à présent suffisamment instruits que vous ne voulez pas en entendre parler. Au reste on m’avertit de tous côtés, que le Parti Anglomane prépare toutes ses batteries pour former la plus violente opposition à votre admission, par une Résolution de cette Province. Faites valoir dans vos quartiers, Monsieur, comme je fais ici, l’idée d’un Acte de Navigation, par lequel les Ports des Et. Un. pourroient être ouverts aux Frisons seuls, à l’exclusion des Villes d’Hollde qui ne se declareront pas actuellement; en recompense de la Résolution de Frise: car cette opération trancheroit le noeud Gordien qu’on opposeroit, en prétendant qu’une Province seule ne sauroit traiter avec une Puissance étrangere, sans le consentement des autres.
J’ai écrit avant-hier au soir une Lettre par la poste a Mr. Van Berkel, avec priere de vous en communiquer le contenu. J’espere qu’il l’a fait. Vous y aurez vu, que les Mintres des 7 Villes protestantes, sont d’accord ici sur votre sujet, en attendant leurs Instructions; que l’on est sûr d’avance de celles de Dort; et très-probablement de celles de Leide et Rotterdam; j’ajouterai, que la delibération sur votre sujet est renvoyée à Vendredi prochain, afin de laisser le temps aux Villes, et notamment à Amsterdam, d’assembler là-dessus leurs Conseils, et que le succès, bon ou mauvais dépend sur-tout de la vigueur, ou du contraire du Vroedschap (ou Conseil) d’Amstm. Ne vous attendez qu’à de la mauvaise volonté de la part de Mr. R—p. Ayez s’il se peut, un entretien avec Mr. De Marseveen,3 afin que lui et les autres amis déterminent Mr. Hoofd à l’exertion de tout son crédit et pouvoir.
Il ne s’agit pas seulement de lier la rep. avec nous, qui pourrions peut-être l’abondonner à elle-même, sans tant de conséquence, mais aussi et sur-tout d’achever d’arracher cette rep. d’entre les griffes du Léopard, ce qui importe à nos amis et à toute l’Europe, encore plus qu’à nous; et voilà pourquoi, me dit-on we must not be too rash, if a little longer temporizing can do it.
Dans ce moment l’Ambr. me fait demander de passer chez lui. Je ne fermerai la présente qu’à mon retour, afin de pouvoir y ajouter, { 329 } S’il y a quelque chose de plus à vous marquer. Mais pour ne plus commettre une incongruité à force d’être pressé, je signerai toujours le respect et l’attachement avec lequel je suis pour toujours, Monsieur Votre très-humble & très obeissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas
It may be perhaps worth yr while, Sir, to come hear towards de end of next week, en hear from the ambr, that the C. V. is and will be more yr friend, than you seemed to apprehend he was.4

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0202-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-16

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Here is a small packet of letters for you that was given to me by the duc de la Vauguyon.1
I received your honored letter of the 14th and will make good use of it, first with our friends, then with the others.
As for the conciliatory plan, I can assure you that the convalescent is not at the Bottom of it.2 Those who conceived and modified it always regarded it as their last resort, in the event they were unsuccessful, and even in that case they wanted to submit it to your judgment before implementing it. They are now sufficiently instructed that you do not want to hear about it. Moreover, I was alerted on all sides, that the Anglomane party is marshalling all of its resources to form the most violent opposition to your admission through a resolution of this province. Let it be known in your area, sir, as I have done here, of the idea of a navigation act by which the American ports could be open only to the Frieslanders, to the exclusion of the cities of Holland who will not presently declare, as compensation for Friesland’s resolution. This operation would cut the Gordian knot that confronts us, by maintaining that only one province knows how to deal with a foreign power, without the consent of the others.
The evening before last I wrote to Mr. van Berckel and asked him to tell you the content of the letter. I hope that he did it. You will have seen there, that the ministers from the seven protesting cities are in agreement here on your subject, while awaiting their instructions. One is certain in advance about those from Dordrecht and very probably about those from Leyden and Rotterdam. I will add that deliberations on your subject will be taken up again next Friday in order to give the cities, especially Amsterdam, time to assemble their councils, and that the outcome of it, good or bad, depends above all on the strength or weakness of the Vroedschap (or council) of Amsterdam. Expect only unwillingness from Mr. Rendorp. If possible, have a meeting with Mr. De Maarseveen,3 so that he and the other friends can enjoin Mr. Hooft to exert all of his credit and power.
It is not only a question of linking the republic to us. We could abandon it to itself, without great consequence, but it is also a question of snatch• { 330 } ing this republic from the leopard’s claws, which is of much more importance to our friends and to all of Europe than it is to us. This is why, I am told, that we must not be too rash, if a little longer temporizing can do it.
The ambassador has just now asked me to visit him. I will close the present letter only when I return, in order to add anything if necessary. But so that I do not commit further incongruities as a result of being in a hurry, I will close at the very least with the respect and the attachment with which I remain always, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
It may be perhaps worth your while, Sir, to come here towards the end of next week, and hear from the ambassador, that the Comte de Vergennes is and will be more your friend, than you seemed to apprehend he was.4
1. The letters have not been identified.
2. Pieter van Bleiswyck, who was too ill in January to receive JA’s demand for a categorical response to his memorial of 19 April 1781 (to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., above).
3. Probably Jan Elias Huydecoper van Maarseveen en Neerdijk, member of the Amsterdam town council and former alderman (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 208).
4. The final sentence of JA’s 26 March letter to Benjamin Franklin, below, suggests that he may have met with La Vauguyon at The Hague.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0203-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-16

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Vous aurez reçus par le Chariot de poste parti d’ici à 1 heure après midi, un paquet contenant des Dépeches Americaines, que j’ai reçues pour vous des mains de S. E. l’Ambr de fce. J’y ai ajouté le Catalogue d’une vente qui se fera ici dans la 15ne.1 S’il y a quelque chose que vous vouliez avoir, je suis à vos ordres. En vous proposant Monsieur, de venir faire un tour ici vers la fin seulement de la semaine prochaine, mon intention étoit simplement, de ne pas interrompre les conférences que vous pourriez avoir encore avec quelques-uns de ces Messieurs, avant qu’ils aient tenu le Conseil de leur Ville, d’où dépendra la conduite que leurs Députés tiendront ici sur le sujet de votre demande: sans cela, rien n’empecheroit que je n’eusse plutôt l’honneur de vous revoir ici.
Je vous dirai historiquement, mais de Science certaine, que le Pce Str a reçu ce matin une Lettre des Seignrs Etats de Frise, resolue le 11e. et expédiée le 12e, dans laquelle on expose à S. Ae. S., “qu’il a existé depuis quelque temps parmi les habitans de la Province, un Mécontentement dangereux au sujet de la direction des affaires, { 331 } sur-tout de celles concernant la guerre;—que ce mécontentement, loin de diminuer, s’affermit de plus en plus, au grand regret des Etats;—que cette disposition de leurs sujets importe trop aux Etats, pour ne pas mettre tout en oeuvre, pour qu’elle n’ait pas des suites plus dangereuses encore;—que la personne de M. le D— de Br—, considérée comme Conseiller de S. A. S., est tenue généralement pour la cause de la marche lente et pitoyable des affaires, et s’est attiré par-là une haine de la part de la nation, dont les suites sont à craindre;—que les Seigrs Etats, en vrais peres de la patrie, ne sauroient cacher cela à S. A., mais doivent requerir S. A., afin d’écarter autant que possible, toute diffidence, de persuader au Seignr D de la meilleure maniere que faire se pourra, de se retirer de la personne de S. A. et de la République.”
Il y a dans la Gazette de Rotterdam un article qui vous regarde Monsieur. On y écrit d’Ostende, que les Lettres de Londres du 8e. reçues là, annoncent que Mr. Lawrens ayant déclaré n’avoir aucun pouvoir pour traiter, mais que c’étoit vous, Monsieur, qui étiez muni de pouvoirs pour traiter avec la Gr. Br. dans le futur Congrès général, le Ministere avoit dépéché tout de suite des Passeports pour vous en hollde., et que vous étiez par consequent attendu à Londres la semaine prochaine.2 En comparant avec cela, que l’on me dit il y a 3 jours, que l’Emissaire W—th venoit de recevoir un Courier de Londres avec d’importantes dépêches, et que ce même jour le nouvel Envoyé Ajoint de R—ie, avoit au une conference ici soit avec Mr. Adams, soit avec quelque autre Agent Americain, je suis violemment tenté de croire, que l’article susdit de Rotterdam a été forgé ici par l’Emissaire, et lâché dans le public pour donner de l’ombrage et de l’inquiétude soit à nos amis ici, soit à la fce, et pour nous rendre suspects aux uns et aux autres s’il pouvoit. Je n’ai pas hésité là dessus devant des gens respectables, qui m’ont parlé de l’article, et je l’ai traité avec le mépris qu’il mérite soit qu’il vienne de Londres ou d’ici.

[salute] Je suis toujours avec grand respect et tous les sentimens que vous me connoissez, Monsieur, V. t. & très ob. serv,

[signed] D
P.S. Demain notre ami prendra des mesures efficaces pour que l’Emissaire W—th parte tout de suite. En fermant mon paquet aujourdhui, mon intention étoit d’y joindre une Lettre d’Amerique pour Mrs. De Neufville. Je crois l’avoir fait; mais comme j’ai oublié de vous en parler dans ma Lettre, j’en fais mention ici. Je ferme celle-ci chez notre Ami, qui vous présente ses sinceres respects.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0203-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-16

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

You will have received a packet of American dispatches from his Excellency the ambassador of France that left here with the 1 o’clock post. I also added a catalog of a sale that will take place here on the 15th.1 2If there is something in it that you would like to have, I am at your disposal. By proposing, sir, that you come here toward the end of next week, my intention was simple. I did not want to interrupt any meetings you could still have with these gentlemen before they seek counsel from their cities, from which the decision that their deputies would take here on the subject of your demand depends. Barring this, nothing would have prevented me of having the honor of seeing you here earlier.
I will tell you for the record, but with exact certainty, that Prince Stadholder received a letter this morning from the nobility of the States of Friesland, resolved on the 11th and sent on the 12th, in which it explains to His Serene Highness “that a discontent has existed for some time among the inhabitants of the Province, a discontent dangerous to the progress of public affairs, especially those concerning the war. This discontent, far from diminishing, reaffirms itself more and more to the regret of the states; that the disposition of their subjects is too important to the states for them not to do everything possible to prevent any further dangerous consequences. The Duke of Brunswick, considered advisor to His Serene Highness, is generally held responsible for the slow and pitiful progression of affairs and has drawn upon himself the hatred of the nation, from which there will be consequences to fear. The nobles of the States, the true fathers of the country, cannot hide this from His Highness, but must call upon His Highness in order to remove as much diffidence as possible, and to persuade the noble Duke, in the best way possible, to retire from his position and the republic.”
There was an article about you in the Gazette de Rotterdam. It was written from Ostend that letters dated the 8th received there from London stated that, Mr. Laurens having declared that he lacked powers to negotiate, but that you, sir, had been vested with the power to treat with Great Britain in the future general congress, the minister had immediately sent your passports to Holland, and as a result, you were expected in London next week.2 In comparison with that, I was told three days ago that the emissary Wentworth just received an important dispatch from London, and that this same day the new Russian adjunct envoy had a meeting here either with Mr. Adams or another American agent. I am violently tempted to believe that the aforementioned article from Rotterdam was forged here by the emissary and released to the public in order to give offence and cause anxiety among our friends here and in France, and to render us suspect to both if he could. I have not hesitated to say this before respectable people { 333 } who have spoken to me about the article. I have treated it with the contempt it deserves whether it is from London or here.

[salute] I remain with great respect and attachment, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
P.S. Tomorrow our friend will take measures to insure emissary Wentworth’s departure. When closing my packet today, I intended to enclose a letter from America for Mr. De Neufville. I believe that I did, but forgot to mention it in my letter so I am telling you here. I am closing this at the home of our friend, who sends his sincere regards to you.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 16th. March 1782.”
1. Not identified.
2. For a similar report that appeared in the London Public Advertiser of 11 March, see Edmund Jenings’ letter of 7 March, note 3, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0204-0001

Author: Dubbeldemuts, Adrianus
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-18

From Adrianus Dubbeldemuts

[salute] Son Excellence

Il y a quelque tems que J’ai eu l’Honneur de Correspondre avec Votre Excelle.1 Depuis Cette Epoque Rien d’Interessant Sest Presentee pour que J’ai pu avoir eu Celuy de vous Ecrire, et quoi que Je Compte que Votre Excellence Sera deja Instruit de l’Intention tant des Commercants des Villes d’amsterdam, Rotterdam et autres, Je Crois Etre Utille de vous Envoyer Copie de la Requete que Les Committés des Negociants de Cette Ville, dont J’ai l’honneur d’Etre du Nombre, ont Presentee Samedy passee a notre Magistrat,2 La gazette de Damermeer en fait mention aujourd’huy, mais Come elle en donne un detail Imparfait. J’Espere que Votre Excellence ne trouvera pas meauvais de Liberté que Je viens de Prendre, a quoi J’ajoute mon desir d’Etre honnoree de Votre Reponce, et Si votre Excellence voudrait me donner Ses Reflections. Le tacherai d’y Satisfaire, tant par mon Zêle que le desir que Les Committees de notre Ville et les negociants en general, ont, de nous unir avec Votre Republique dont J’Espere Le Succes desiré.
Comme J’ai Eprouvé que Les Lettres a mon addresse ne Soyent quelque fois decachettee, Je prends la liberté de Vous Prier la Permission d’Envoyer notre messager qui Vient a la Haie 3 fois par Semaine, a l’Hotel de Votre Excellence, pour demander Ses ordres. Ce Sont les mardis Jeudi et Samedis Vers les 2 heures apres midi que cet homme pourrai Venir.
{ 334 }

[salute] J’ai l’honneur d’Etre avec les Sentiments du plus profond Respect De Votre Excellence Le Tres Humble Serviteur

[signed] A Dubbeldemuts

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0204-0002

Author: Dubbeldemuts, Adrianus
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-18

Adrianus Dubbeldemuts to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Your Excellency

It has been a long time since I had the honor of writing to your Excellency.1 During this time there was really nothing of importance to write to you about. Although I am sure that your Excellency has already been informed of the merchants’ intentions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and elsewhere, I believe that I can be of use to you by sending you a copy of the merchant committee’s petition of this city, of which I am a member, that was presented to our magistrate last Saturday.2 The Damermeer Gazette mentioned it today, but gave an inaccurate account. I hope that your Excellency will excuse the liberty I have just taken to which I would like to add my desire for your response. If your Excellency would give me his thoughts on this, I will try, as much by my own zeal as by the desire that our city’s committees and the merchants in general have, to unite us with your republic, which I hope achieves its desired success.
Since letters to my address sometimes arrive unsealed, I take the liberty of asking you, sir, if our messenger could come to your residence at the Hague three times a week to request orders. This man can come on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays around 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with the deepest respect for your Excellency, the very humble servant

[signed] A Dubbeldemuts
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dubbledemutts 18 March. ansd 22. 1782.”
1. The last letter from Rotterdam merchants Franco and Adrianus Dubbeldemuts was 27 June 1781 (Adams Papers), for which see JA’s letter of 21 June, note 2 (vol. 11:381).
2. The enclosed petition from the Rotterdam merchants, [ca. 16 March], is not in the Adams Papers. JA included an English translation in his letter of 19 March to Robert R. Livingston, calendared below, and reprinted the translation in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 45–46.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0205

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-18

From John Jay

[salute] Sir

I had the Pleasure of recg your favor of the 28 ult. a few Days ago.
I congratulate You sincerely on the accession of Friesland and the flattering Prospect there is that the Example of that Province will be followed by that of Holland and the others.
It would give me great Satisfaction to be able to transmit you In• { 335 } telligence equally agreable, but that is not the Case. Prudence forbids me to explain myself, for tho’ I am not even now without Hopes, yet the Completion of them is so contingent that I dare not predict when the Delays of this Court will terminate.
I thank you for the Hint respecting the 10 article—that matter has heretofore been attended to, and pressed—I could mention some singular Circumstances respecting it—but they must not be committed to the post office.
The protest of my Bills for want of Payment, will afford you some meditation, and I am persuaded that your Discernment will save me the Necessity of being particular—that affair and others connected with it, has so engaged me that I must take another opportunity of writing more fully to You.

[salute] With great Esteem & Respect I am Sir yrs.

Dft (NNC:John Jay Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0206-0001

Author: Berckel, Engelbert François van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-19

From Engelbert François van Berckel

Madame Van Berckel, qúi ne pouvoit pas S’attendre a úne Si grande distinction, qu’elle viént de recevoir de la part de L’illústre Anonÿme; a l’honneúr de lui en temoigner toúte Sa reconnoisance. En effet, Le Billet qúi a accompagné le Present, Servira d’un doux Soúvenir de cette heúreúse Joúrnée, qúi vient de Serrer des Liens indissolubles entre La Republique des Etats únis en Ameriqúe et cette ville; Comme aússi des liens d’amitié entre quelques úns des Individús respectifs.1
La Consideretion favorable, d’ont L’Anonyme daigne m’honorer, dans ce même Billet, me doit être d’aútant plús pretieúse, parce qúe toút le contenú en develope le caractere de la Sincerite. De mon coté, donc, Si Ces efforts, que j’ai pú mettre en oeúvre, pour l’avancement de L’únion entre les deúx Repúbliqúes, Sont recús Si favorablement; Qu’elle ne doit pas être L’ardeúr de mes voeúx, poúr qúe la dite joúrnée Soit aússi l’Epoqúe de Son parfait accomplissament; et d’Alliances, qúi etablissins fermement L’Amitié, La Liberté et l’Independance des deúx Nations.

[salute] En attendant j’ai l’honneúr de temoigner la consideration la plús distinguée pour l’Illústre Anonyme; et la plus grand veneration poúr Sa Respectable Nation.

[signed] E. F. Van Berckel

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0206-0002

Author: Berckel, Engelbert François van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-19

Engelbert François van Berckel to John Adams: A Translation

Mrs. Van Berckel, who could not have expected that the illustrious anonymous one would bestow such a great distinction on her, has the honor to show her gratitude toward him. The note that accompanies this letter will very much serve as a sweet reminder of this happy day when unbreakable ties were made between the republic of the United States of America and this city, as well as binding ties of friendship between respective individuals.1
The consideration you have shown me in this same letter is made even more precious by its sincerity. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, if these efforts, which I have been able to set in motion for the advancement of the union between the two republics, have been received so favorably, how ardent my wishes would be that the said day mark its perfect accomplishment, as well as the alliances which firmly establish friendship, liberty, and independence of the two countries.

[salute] Meantime, I have the honor to show the most distinguished consideration for the illustrious anonymous one, and the most veneration for his respectable country.

[signed] E. F. Van Berckel
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Madam Van Berckel 19. March. 1782. ansd Same day.”
1. Engelbert François van Berckel married Gertruy Roskam, widow of Gerald Muyser, in 1759. She would die on 25 June 1782 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 4:111). The enclosed note has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0207

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Berckel, Gertruy Roskam van
Date: 1782-03-19

To Gertruy Roskam van Berckel

Mr. Adams is very sensible of the honor done him in the polite Card of Madam Van Berkel of this day’s date;1 but has the Mortification to be conscious that he is not the anonymous Person alluded to, and therefore has no Title to the genteel Acknowledgments for the Present or the Billet.
The happy Auspices of a future Connection between the two Nations, which appear at this time in the City, are extreamly grateful to Mr. A., because it has been upon the best Principles for a long time, one of the most ardent wishes of his Heart.
The constant Friendship of Mr. Van Berkel to a young Country struggling against Oppression, and his long continued Endeavors to form a Friendship between two Nations, which have the best Rea• { 337 } sons to esteem each other, and the clearest Interests to be united, have erected a Monument to him in every American Heart.
Mr. Adams has had in the Course of his life too much Experience of the inexpressible Consolation to be derived from a Companion whose public Sentiments and Affections are in perfect harmony with his own, and has been too sensible of the cruel Misfortune of being deprived of it for so many Years, to be inattentive to the Obligations which his Country is under to Madam Vanberkel, altho’ he had not the honor to send, or know any thing of the Present alluded to.
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. Not found. See Engelbert François van Berckel’s letter of 19 March, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0208

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-03-19

To Robert R. Livingston

Amsterdam, 19 March 1782. RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 25–60). printed: Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:246–265. LbC in both JA’s and John Thaxter’s hands (Adams Papers). The Letterbook text is divided between two Letterbooks, Lb/JA/16 and Lb/JA/18 under the dates of 19 March and 19 April respectively (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 104, 106). Read in Congress on 12 Nov. 1782, the letter contains English translations of thirteen resolutions, petitions, and addresses supporting the recognition of American independence, the admission of JA as minister plenipotentiary from the United States, and the negotiation of a Dutch-American commercial treaty. Each document expressed concern that Dutch commercial opportunities, created by the American Revolution, would be lost unless the Dutch acted quickly, prior to an Anglo-American peace treaty. JA included several of the texts in A Collection of State-Papers, which documents the events leading to the States General’s resolution of 19 April to recognize the United States. Lb/JA/16 contains the texts of documents one through eleven, as indicated below, and Lb/JA/18 included documents twelve and thirteen: 1. Gelderland’s resolution of 23 Feb. supporting recognition, but postponing a final vote until the commercial provinces acted; 2. petition of 18 March from the manufacturers, merchants, and other traders of Leyden to the grand council of the city; 3. joint petition of 20 March from the merchants, manufacturers, and other inhabitants of Haarlem, Leyden, and Amsterdam to the States General (JA indicates it was only from Amsterdam); 4. petition from the merchants and manufacturers of Amsterdam to the burgomasters and regents of the city; 5. petition of 16 March from the merchants, insurers, and freighters of Rotterdam to the regency of the city; 6. identical petitions of 20 March from the merchants and manufacturers of Haarlem, Leyden, and Amsterdam to the States of Holland; 7. newspaper item of 20 March indicating that the active lobbying of the merchants of Dordrecht led the council of { 338 } that city to instruct its delegates in the States of Holland to agree to JA’s admission as minister; 8. resolution of 29 March by the States of Holland to recognize the United States and admit JA as minister; 9. petition of the merchants, manufacturers, and factors of Zwolle to the States of Overijssel; 10. request by the merchants of Amsterdam that the city’s regency not be tempted by the illusory advantages of a Russian mediation of the Anglo-Dutch war, but rather continue to support JA’s admission as minister; 11. address of thanks from the merchants, citizens, and inhabitants of Amsterdam to the city’s regency for making it possible for the States of Holland to recognize the United States and admit JA as minister; 12. address of 15 April from the manufacturers, merchants, and other traders of Leyden to the city’s great council, thanking it for its efforts leading to the States of Holland’s recognition of American independence and admission of JA as minister; 13. address of thanks dated 28 April from the manufacturers, merchants, and other traders of Utrecht to the provincial states for its vote to recognize the United States, admit JA as minister, and negotiate a Dutch-American commercial treaty.
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 25–60). printed: (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:246–265). LbC in both JA’s and John Thaxter’s hands (Adams Papers). The Letterbook text is divided between two Letterbooks, Lb/JA/16 and Lb/JA/18 under the dates of 19 March and 19 April respectively (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 104, 106).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0209

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-19

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Honorable Sir

The Committee of the corporate Body of Merchants, Manufacturers and Traders of this City have charged me, as their Counsel, to present Your Excellency with two printed Copies of the Petition, they have put up Monday last to the Great-Council of Leyden, in order to pray for the conclusion of commercial connexions with the United-States of America.1 They hope, Your Excellency will accept those Copies as a testimony of their regard for You, Sir, as the Representative of a State, which they desire to call soon, with full and avowed right, their Sister-Republic. My love for my Country, my inclination for yours, my respect for your character, public and private, these are all motives, Sir, which make this commission one of the most agreeable I could ever perform in my life.2

[salute] I am with the sincerest and most perfect regard, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble Servant

[signed] J. Luzac
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. Only one copy of the petition of 18 March signed by 64 merchants, manufacturers, and traders, is in the Adams Papers. JA included an English translation in his letter of 19 March to Robert R. Livingston, calendared above, and reprinted the translation in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 26–34.
Luzac, whom JA credited as the author (to Edmund Jenings, 3 April, below), gave a more detailed account of the petition’s origins in a letter to John Thaxter of [19 March] (copy, Adams Papers). Luzac remarked upon the unanimity of the merchants in their desire for a commercial treaty with the United States and had “l’honneur de dire à Mr. Adams, que le Corps de la Nation desiroit { 339 } vivement la reconnoissance de l’Independance Americaine” (the honor to inform Mr. Adams that the body of the nation eagerly wished for the recognition of American independence). He indicated that the burgomasters had graciously received the petition and that the council agreed unanimously to direct their deputies in the States of Holland to insist vigorously that the wishes of the people be fulfilled.
2. In his letter to Thaxter, Luzac apologized for his letter to JA, having had time only for a short note in poor English.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0210

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Luzac, Jean
Date: 1782-03-20

To Jean Luzac

[salute] Sir

This morning I recd. the Letter, which You did me the honor to write me on the 19th. of this month with the two Copies inclosed, of the Petition of the Merchants, Manufacturers and Traders of Leyden, to the Great Council of that City, praying for the Conclusion of commercial Connections with the U. States of America.
You will be pleased to present my Acknowledgments to the respectable Body, whose Intentions You execute, for their obliging Attention to me, which does me much honor: and it is with great sincerity that I join in their Wishes and rejoice in the pleasing Prospect, of seeing the two Republicks acknowledged to be Sisters, which cannot fail to have the most favorable Effects upon the Manufactures, Commerce and Prosperity of Leyden.

[salute] Accept of my particular thanks, Sir, for the affectionate and obliging manner in which You have made the Communication and believe me to be, with sincere Esteem and great Respect, Sir, your most obedient & most humble Servant.

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0211

Author: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-20

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Sir

I am just arrivd here from London, and instead of personally waiting upon You I make so free as to send a messenger with this and its inclosure together with a few late News Papers.
I have a matter of publick moment to mention to You; As well as to speak to a private affair of consequence to myself which will I think lead me in a very few days to Dr. F at Paris. My present purpose is to beg for half an hours conversation with You. I am at present, and shall be for tomorrow, totally unknown in the Hotel, a line { 340 } directed for me, or any message to the Gentn who arrivd this night and lodges in the Room No 10 will be duly attended to.

[salute] I am with Great Respect Sir Your very Ob Servt

[signed] T. Digges
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “John Adams Esqr”; endorsed: “M. Diggs Letter from the first Bible.” and “Mr Hartley.”; by John Thaxter: “Mr. Hartley Feby. 19. March 11th. 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0212-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-20

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

L’incluse pour vous m’est parvenue je ne sai d’où ni comment avec une Gazette de Rotterdam où l’on a inséré la Requête des Negociants de la dite Ville à leurs Magistrats. Je suppose qu’il y en a une pareille sous ce couvert. Vous aurez vu par les gazettes, qu’avanthier pareille démarche s’est faite à Leide par 64 Negociants et Fabriquants. J’ai lieu de croire, que demain il en sera présenté une semblable par les Commerçants combinés des villes de cette Province, aux Etats d’Hollde. et Généraux.1 On m’a donné la substance de la Résolution prise à Amsterdam. A un seul terme près, dont on pourroit vouloir abuser, j’en suis content. Il dependra toujours de vous, Monsieur, qu’on n’en abuse pas avec succès, en refusant d’entrer en conférence et explication à moins que préalablement on ait accepté Vos Lettres de Creance, et que vous soyiez écouté sous le Caractere que ces Lettres constatent.
Je pense qu’après-demain la matiere sera tout de bon sur le tapis. En attendant, pour ne pas donner des lumieres aux curieux indiscrets, qui voudroient visiter cette Lettre, je n’ose y mettre diverses bonnes choses que je sais.1
Je crois vous devoir avertir, que selon ce qu’on m’a assuré, le Sr. Wentworth est parti cet après-dîner pour Amsterdam, où il lui reste, dit-il, quelques affaires à régler, et qu’il a envoyé le gros de son bagage, par Rotterdam à Anvers, où il continuera peut-être de résider: car il ne lui sera pas permis de venir et résider ici pour le présent; le sujet prétexté de sa venue ici étant terminé, ainsi que j’en suis informé de la meilleure part. Je suis avec tous les sentimens de respect & d’attachement que vous connoissez Monsieur V. t. h. & t. o. S.
[signed] Dumas
J’ai fait un très-grand usage de votre excellente Lettre du 14. Mais je ne puis vous le dire que de bouche, quand nous nous verrons.3

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0212-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-20

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I received the enclosed for you, from where and from whom I don’t know, with the Gazette de Rotterdam, which had the merchants’ petition inserted in it. I suppose it contains the same thing. You will have seen in the newspapers that the 64 merchants and manufacturers acted the same in Leyden. I have reason to believe that the combined merchants of the province’s cities will make a similar petition tomorrow to the states of Holland and to the states general.1 I was given the substance of the Amsterdam resolution. Inasmuch as there is only one sticking point that could make trouble for us, I am happy. It will still depend on you, sir, that it is not successfully thwarted through a refusal to start any meetings before your credentials are accepted and you are treated accordingly.
I believe the matter will be up for discussion the day after tomorrow. Meantime, I do not dare add any more of the details I know to this letter, lest they fall before curious, indiscreet eyes.2
I believe I must warn you, that I have been assured of Mr. Wentworth’s departure this afternoon for Amsterdam, where he has, he says, some business to attend to. He has sent most of his baggage by way of Rotterdam to Antwerp, where perhaps he will continue to reside since he is not allowed to stay here at the present time. The pretext for his coming here is over, and I have been informed of most of it. I am with great sentiments of respect and fondness, as you know, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
I put your excellent letter of the 14th to good use. I cannot say anything more about it until I speak to you face to face.1
1. Printed copies of the 20 March petitions to the States of Holland and the States General from the merchants of Haarlem, Leyden, and Amsterdam are in the Adams Papers. There were 53 signatures from Haarlem, 12 from Leyden, and 345 from Amsterdam, including all those with whom