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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/