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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


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 JA had done or would do business. JA included English translations of the petitions in his letter of 19 March to Robert R. Livingston, calendared above, and in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 47–48, 52–59. In both the letter of 19 March and the Collection, JA indicated that the petition to the States General was only from Amsterdam.
2. This sentence was interlined.
3. This sentence was written in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0213

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Date: 1782-03-21

To Thomas Digges

Mr Adams will Stay, at home, for the Gentleman in No. 10, whom he will receive at ten o Clock, this Day, Sans Ceremonie, provided { 342 } the Gentleman is content the Conversation Should pass in presence of Mr Thaxter, Mr Adams’s Secretary.
But Such is the Situation of Things here and elsewhere, that it is impossible for Mr. A. to have any Conversation with any Gentleman from England, without Witness. And indeed, Mr Adams’s Advice to the Gentleman is, to proceed forthwith to Paris, and communicate, whatever he has to Say to Dr Franklin and the Comte de Vergennes in the first Place, without Seeing Mr A. who will certainly think himself bound to communicate, whatever may be made known to him, without Loss of Time to those Ministers, as he has no Authority to treat, much less to conclude, but in Concert with them and others.2
FC (Adams Papers); notation: “Mr Adams’s Answer to Mr Digges at the first Bible. Amsterdam.”
1. This is the last extant letter from JA to Thomas Digges.
2. For JA’s account of his conversation with Digges on 21 March, the first time the two men had met face to face, see JA to Benjamin Franklin, 26 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0214

Author: Baraux, M.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-21

From M. Baraux

[salute] Your Excelence

Being appointed Director of the Imperial priviledged trade Compagnÿ of Trieste and Fiume and almost ready to Set out for the first place where my residence will be, I take the liberty to apply to Your Protection in order to obtain an extensive list of the best Merchands in the different towns of America, with whose the Companÿ Could guet into a reciprocal advantageous connection; I dare flatter my Self, with the Smiling hope, that Your Excelence will be So Kind to grand me that favour.1 I have the honour to present my most dutiful Services and to be with Respect of Your Excelence The most obedient and Humble Servant
[signed] Baraux
Directeur de La Compaignie Impérial
et Roÿale Privilegiée de Trieste & Fiume
1. When it became clear that the Netherlands was likely to recognize American independence and receive JA as minister from the United States, a steady stream of merchants and others began to seek his assistance in his role as minister to the Netherlands. This note was one of the first such letters to reach JA and is an excellent example of the type of assistance desired by merchants hoping to trade with the United States.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0215

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dubbeldemuts, Adrianus
Date: 1782-03-22

To Adrianus Dubbeldemuts

[salute] Sir

I have recd. the Letter, which You did me the honor to write me, the 18th. of this month, with a Copy inclosed of the Petition of the Committee of the Merchants of the City of Rotterdam to their Magistrates, presented last Saturday. You will please to accept of my thanks for this very acceptable present, and of my hearty Congratulations upon that remarkable Harmony and Unanimity in the sentiments of the various Cities and Provinces of the Republick, concerning the present subject of their Deliberations, a Treaty with America.
The Unanimity of the Republick in this important measure, and the forcible Arguments adduced in support of it, by the Bodies of Merchants and Manufacturers in the several Cities, will probably have a great Influence even in England for a general Peace: in such Case the Commerce will be free, and the City of Rotterdam from her Situation will have as large a Share at least in proportion as any other. I wish it all the Prosperity it can desire, and beg leave to subscribe myself very respectfully, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0216-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-22

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Mardi ou Mercredi prochain nous pourrons selon toute apparence dire avec Ovide Dicite Io Paean,1 &c. c’est-à dire notre Soeur la Hollande, comme nous pouvons déjà dire notre Soeur la Frise; et puis les autres ne tarderont pas de compléter la Fraternité. Hier l’affaire de votre admission fut tout de bon sur le tapis; il n’y eut aucun débat là-dessus. 9 Villes, savoir Dort, Harlem, Delft, Leide, Amsterdam, Gouda, Schoonhoven, Purmerend, et la 9me je l’ai oubliee, donnerent leurs suffrages pour l’affirmative, sans aucune contradiction, pas même de Mr. le Gd. Pre, qui se montra fort traitable; et les Députés des 9 autres ne garderent le silence que parce qu’ils n’ayoient pas encore reçu leurs Instructions. Notre Ami déclara, qu’il ne souffrira pas que cette Assemblée se séparât sans { 344 } qu’on prît une Resolution définitive à ce sujet, et lui ainsi qu’un autre ami m’ont assuré qu’elle passera unanimement mardi ou mercredi prochain.2 Ayez la bonté, Monsieur, de me dire d’abord en réponse, si la copie de la Résolution que vous avez reçue des Etats de Frise, est ce qu’on appelle une copie authentique, c’est-à-dire, si elle est signée de la main de Mr. Sminia le Secretaire des Etats de Frise:3 on me l’a demandé; et j’ai lieu de croire, que c’est pour se conduire en conséquence, c’est-à-dire, qu’on vous enverra aussi une Copie signée de Mr. Clotterboke le Secretaire des Etats d’Hollande. Notre ami est surpris que vous ne Soyiez pas venu aujourd’hui ici. Il dit qu’il est bon de vous montrer ici pendant quelques jours; et je crois que Mr. l’Ambassadr. sera bien aise aussi de pouvoir vous dire ce que je vous ai marqué il y a quelques jours de la part de Mr. de V—.4
Pour le coup, je crois être sûr que Wth est parti hier tout de bon pour Amsterdam; A moins qu’il ne se soit caché dans quelque gouttiere.
Agréez les respects de ma petite famille. Je tirerai sur vous, Monsieur, l’un de ces jours, à l’ordre de Mrs. Moliere fils & Ce, pour le 15e d’Avril prochain, les ƒ6052.10 restants, afin d’être prêt à la Minute, quand il faudra qu’on me fasse le transport final de la Maison.

[salute] Je suis avec tout le respectueux attachement qui vous est connu et voué pour toujours, Monsieur, Votre très-humble & très obéissant Serviteur

[signed] Dumas
Je soupçonne qu’il S’agira encore d’une petite ruse, pour ôter quelque chose à l’authenticité de votre admission: mais vous pourrez éviter facilement ce petit piege, si tant est qu’on veuille l’essayer, en refusant tout net de présenter vos Lettres de créance autrement que comme tous les Ministres publics les présentent, c’est-à-dire, en pleine audience à l’Assemblée des E. G., et non à une Commission. Après cette premiere Audience, on pourra, tant qu’on voudra, traiter par Commissaires, à la bonne heure: mais l’audience doit précéder, pour prévenir toute chicane à l’avenir.
Il est bon de ne rien dire, encore du contenu de cette Lettre, à d’autres qu’à Mrs V. B., Biker, et Marsseveen;5 si vous jugez à propos de leur en parler. Tout autre ne doit savoir rien de la Résolution, que lorsqu’elle sera prise et communiquée.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0216-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-22

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

[salute] Sir

From all appearances we will, with Ovid, be able to utter Dicite Io Pæan1 next Tuesday or Wednesday, that is to say, that our sister Holland, along with our already established sister Friesland, will soon complete the fraternity with the others. Yesterday, the matter of your confirmation was discussed with no debate. Nine cities, Dordrecht, Haarlem, Delft, Leyden, Amsterdam, Gouda, Schoonhoven, Purmerend, and I forget the ninth one, all voted in the affirmative without contradiction, even from the grand pensionary who seemed very accommodating. The other nine deputies kept silent only because they had not yet received their instructions. Our friend declared that this assembly could not adjourn until a definitive resolution was taken regarding this subject, as did another friend, who assured me that it will pass unanimously next Tuesday or Wednesday.2 Be so kind, sir, as to respond to me whether or not the copy of the resolution that you received from the states of Friesland is an authentic copy, that is, if it is signed by Mr. Sminia, secretary of the states of Friesland.3 I was asked about it and I have reason to believe that it was because of the next step needed as a result, which would be to also send you a copy signed by Mr. Clotterboke, secretary of the states of Holland. Our friend is surprised that you did not come here today. He says it would be good for you to be here for a few days. I believe that the ambassador will be pleased to be able to tell you in person what I wrote to you several days ago about Mr. de Vergennes.4
I believe it to be certain that Wentworth finally left yesterday for Amsterdam, unless he is hiding in some gutter.
Please accept my family’s regards. One of these days I will ask you, sir, for the 6052.10 florins remaining to be paid to Messrs. Moliere fils & Co and due by April 15th, so that I will be ready when the house sale becomes final.

[salute] I am, with the most respectful attachment known and vowed to you always, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Dumas
I suspect that there will be still yet another small ruse to question the authenticity of your confirmation. But you can easily avoid this little trap, if one wishes to try it, by clearly refusing to present your credentials in any other way than how all public officials present theirs, that is to say, to a full audience at the assembly of the states general and not to a committee. After this first audience, the commissioners can question all they want, but the audience must come first in order to prevent any chicanery in the future.
It is best not to say anything about this letter to anyone except Messrs. V. B., Bicker, and Maarseveen,5 if you think it is appropriate to tell them. No one else must know anything about the resolution until it is passed and communicated.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr. Dumas 22d. March 1782.”
{ 346 }
1. Give the victory cry (Ovid, Art of Love, Bk. II, line 1).
2. The States of Holland acted on Thursday, 28 March.
3. An extract, in Dutch, from the resolutions of the States of Friesland on 26 Feb. in the Adams Papers is certified as having been “Accordeert met Voorst Boek” (compared with the aforesaid book), but is not signed by A. I. V. Sminia (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). English translations that JA sent to Congress (to Robert R. Livingston, 11 March, above; 19 April, below) and included in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 79–80, however, do carry Sminia’s signature.
4. See Dumas’ 2d letter of 16 March, above.
5. Presumably Engelbert François van Berckel, Hendrik Bicker, and Jan Elias Huydecoper van Maarseveen en Neerdijk.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0217

Author: Neufville, Leendert de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-22

From Leendert de Neufville

[salute] Sir

Our Good friend Dumas beggd that I would inform Your Excelency of this—L’Emissaire P W devait partir hier pour Amsterdam. Il n’en a rien fait. Il est encore ici. Je crois et d’autres aussi que ce n’est pas Ce dis promis.1 Others Say however Confidentally that he has gone.
We have very Satisfactory tidings from Rotterdam and Dort. They are in motion at Utrecht. As I expect Some Gentn with me I am prevented from going out but hope to pay Your Excellency my respects to morrow meanwhile I am with very great respect & great hurry Your Excellencys most obt hb St
[signed] L de Neufville Son of
1. Leendert de Neufville’s handwriting at best is difficult to read. This is particularly true of the French passage, which has been rendered by the editors as accurately as possible. The passage reads: The emissary Paul Wentworth was supposed to leave yesterday for Amsterdam. He did not. He is still here. I believe, as do others here, that it is not the said promised one. Because Dumas indicated in his letter of 20 March to JA, above, that Wentworth had left The Hague that day, his communication to Neufville was probably on the 21st.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0218-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-23

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Celle-ci n’est que pour vous confirmer la mienne d’hier, et que l’affaire va grand train. J’ai vu ce matin M. l’Ambr., qui m’a entretenu très-gracieusement, et avec une bonne humeur charmante. Il pense, tout comme notre ami, que votre apparition ici pour quelques jours est à propos, non pour faire aucune démarche, mais seulement pour vous montrer sans affectation.
Une Dépêche secrete d’un Ministre de la Rep. à certaine Cour, leur donne l’avis, de la part du Souverain de cette Cour-là, non seu• { 347 } lement de la part intime qu’il prend et prendra toujours aux intérêts de la Rep., mais aussi celui de ne rien attendre de la prétendue Médiation, et d’être persuadés que cette médiation n’aboutira à rien, et n’est qu’un être de raison.
Permettez, Monsieur, que je présente ici mes remercimens à Mr. Thaxter, de l’obligeante Lettre qu’il m’a fait l’honneur de m’écrire par Mr. Harrisson,1 lequel j’ai fort regretté, avec Ma famille, de posséder si peu de temps ici. Nous nous impatientons tous ici, de voir passer le mois prochain, et de lui donner et recevoir des preuves journalieres de notre amitié, comme à V. E. de l’attachement sincere & respectueux pour votre personne, Monsieur, de votre très humble & très obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0218-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-23

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

[salute] Sir

This letter is only to confirm yesterday’s letter and the fact that everything is moving forward. This morning I saw the ambassador who treated me very graciously and with charming good humor. He thinks, as does our friend, that it would be appropriate for you to be here for a few days, not to take any action, but rather just to present yourself without any affectation.
A secret dispatch by a minister of the republic to a certain court gives them advice on behalf of its sovereign, not only because of the close interest he takes and will always take in matters regarding the republic, but also to say that nothing is expected from this so-called mediation, which will not result in anything and is an impossibility.
Permit me, sir, to thank Mr. Thaxter for his obliging letter sent to me by Mr. Harrison.1 My family and I much regret that he had so little time to spend here. We are all impatient here to see him [Thaxter] next month and to give and receive written proof of our friendship, as I do to your Excellency with sincere and respectful attachment, sir, from your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. Probably George Harrison; see Benjamin Rush to JA, 23 June 1781, and note 1 (vol. 11:388). Thaxter’s letter has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0219-0001

Author: Baumberg, Johann Christoph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-24

From Johann Christoph Baumberg

[salute] Excellenz

Unstern meines Lebens und Mißkenntniß meiner durch 23 Jahre { 348 } erworbenen Verdienste zwingen mich, mein Vaterland zu verlassen und in fremden Ländern mein Brod und Glück zu suchen—. Ich wäre daher fest entschlossen, mich nach den vereinigten Staaten in Amerika überschiffen zu lassen, wenn ich nur abzusehen vermöchte, wie ich meine Frau, meinen 16 jährig hoffnungsvollen Sohn und meine 17 jährige Tochter indessen und bis zu deren Nachkommlassung versorgen, auch ob ich als ein purer Deutscher, aber auch—rechtschaffener (bin 42 Jahre alter) Deutscher, dem es weder an Muth, Traun und Fleiße, noch an sonst thätigster Verwendung gegen den meine Dienste und Verdienste erkennenden Staat im geringsten fehlet, gebrauchet und durch Euer Excellenz großmögende Veranlassung bald zu meinem erwünschlichen Zwecke gelangen könnte?—In dieser kurzerwähnten Absicht ergehen an Eure Excellenz, (von Derer erhabenen, edelmüthigen und menschenfreundlichen Denkungsart ich mir die vortheilhaftesten Begriffe mache,) meine gehorsamste Bitte, mich durch Ihren gütigst gefälligen Briefwechsel des Näheren unterrichten, und Ihre ggl. Befehle unter Endes stehender Addresse mich kennen zu lassen.
In gierigster Erwartung derselben verlasse ich mich unter gehorsamster Empfehlung zu Dero großmögenden Schutzhaltung mit vollkommenstem Respekte Eurer Excellenz. Gehors. Diener
[signed] Johann Christoph Baumberg
k.k. öffentlicher Lehrer der deutschen Hauptschule allda
Addresse.
M. Baumberg, Professeur de l’Ecole normale, de sa Majl. Imp. et Royl. ap. à p Bruxelles St. Pölten en Autriche inferieur

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0219-0002

Author: Baumberg, Johann Christoph
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-24

Johann Christoph Baumberg to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Excellency

Misfortune in my life and the misjudgment of my merits, in the past 23 years, force me to leave my fatherland, and to seek my bread and fortune in foreign countries. I would have been firmly resolved to travel by ship to the United States, if only I knew what my wife, my promising 16-year-old son, and my 17-year-old daughter would live off until I could have them follow me, and also whether I, as a true German, but also an upright (42-year-old) German, who does not lack courage, entrepreneurial spirit or diligence, and who would be prepared to do anything for a country that recognizes my achievements and merits, could be of any use there, and { 349 } whether, with the help of your Excellency, I could soon reach my desired goals. After having described my plans briefly, I bid your Excellency (whose eminent, noble and affable disposition I have the highest regard for) to consider my most obedient request, the details of which you could inform me of by means of the goodness of your correspondence, and in case you have orders, be made known to me at the below mentioned address. With eager anticipation I remain under the most obedient recommendation and put myself under your protection with complete respect of your Excellency’s Obedient Servant
[signed] Johann Christoph Baumberg
Imperial and Royal Instructor of the German Intermediate School
Address
M. Baumberg, Professeur de l’Ecole normale, de sa Majl. Imp. et Royl. ap. à Bruxelles St. Pölten en Autriche inferieur
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “German”; and by John Thaxter: “March 24th 782.”
1. This letter from Johann Christoph Baumberg, about whom nothing else is known, is the first extant German language letter that JA received in the Netherlands. There is no evidence that he replied to this letter, which is similar to others in English, French, and Dutch requesting his aid in going to America that also often went unanswered.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0220

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-24

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Permit me to congratulate you on the progress which the vigorous resolves of the province of Frise informs us is taking to a publick acknowledgement of the american Independance as also of the late resolves of the British parlement.1 The Neutral Consuls at this Port construe the late Acts to a licence to their flag to transport Goods to the United States under the privalidge and restrictions observed in Europe and at present in the West Indies. I dined yesterday with the prussien Consul he is ready to embark deeply in conections with us so soon as licence is granted. We have upwards of one hundred Sail of neutral Ships in this port all which wish to be Charterd for America. The late resolves of Parlement is not a direct acknowledgement of Independance but under the present situation of Great Britain with the neutral powers a spirritted instruction from the Emperor or the King of Prussia to their Consuls would smoth the road. Every State are anxious to open Commercial Conections with us. You have brought Holland to your terms. The Confederated Neutrals are impowerd by their Union to Act without Control being satisfied there { 350 } can be no longer a doubt of Americas ever returning under the Gouvernment of Great Britain. To obtain a Cessation of Hostilities and establish a firm and speedy Peace Spirritted resolves of all the European Nations is the most certain line. But these Neutrals reap such advantages that is more probable they will add feul to the Flame than attempt any measure to bring about a Conciliation.
We expect our Great West India fleet from St Domingo dayly. We are held in suspence by the various reports transmitted of the Operations at St. Kitts from Cadiz by a vessel that left martinico 29 Jany. The French possest the Island but Brimstone Hill was stil in possession of the English.2 I have the Honor to be with due respect Sir your most Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] John Bondfield
1. Bondfield presumably means Parliament’s resolutions of 27 Feb. to end the further prosecution of an offensive war in America and to declare those who acted contrary to that motion to be enemies of the King. During the debate on the second motion the issue had been raised, but not decided, as to what constituted the prosecution of an offensive war (Parliamentary Hist., 22:1099). Apparently the neutral consuls believed that the seizure of neutral ships trading with America would violate the resolutions and contemplated the sort of arrangement that was negotiated with the French by the residents of Nevis and Montserrat following the fall of St. Kitts. They were allowed to act as neutrals and export their produce on neutral ships (Mackesy, War for America, p. 456). The British, however, contemplated no similar accommodation.
2. See JA’s letter of 5 March from Robert R. Livingston, and note 5, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0221

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-03-26

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

One day, last Week, I recd at Amsterdam a Card from Diggs, inclosing two Letters to me from Mr David Hartley. The Card desired to see me upon Business of Importance: and the Letters from Mr Hartley contained an assurance that to his Knowledge the Bearer came from the highest Authority. I answered the Card, that in the present Situation of Affairs here and elsewhere, it was impossible for me to See any one from England without Witness, but if he was willing to see me in Presence of Mr Thaxter my Secretary and that I should communicate whatever, he should Say to me to Dr Franklin and the Comte de Vergennes, I would wait for him at home at ten o Clock, but that I had rather he should go to Paris without Seeing me and communicate what he had to Say to Dr Franklin, whose situation enabled him to consult the Court without loss of time. At ten, however he came, and told me a long story about Consultations { 351 } with Mr Pen, Mr Hartley Lord Beauchamp and at last Lord North, by whom he was finally sent, to enquire of me, if I, or any other, had Authority, to treat with Great Britain of a Truce. I answered, that I came to Europe last with full Powers to make Peace, that those Powers had been announced to the public upon my Arrival, and continued in force untill last Summer, when Congress Sent a new Commission, containing the Same Powers to five Persons, whom I named.1 That if the King of England were my father, and I the Heir apparent to his throne, I would not advise him ever to think of a Truce, because it would be but a real War under a simulated appearance of Tranquility, and would <finally> end in another open and bloody War, without doing any real good to any of the Parties.
He Said, that the Ministry would send, Some Person of Consequence over, perhaps General Conway, but they were apprehensive, that he would be ill treated or exposed. I said, that if they resolved upon such a measure, I had rather they would send immediately to Dr Franklin, because of his Situation near the French Court. But there was no doubt, if they sent any respectable Personage properly authorised, who should come to treat honourably, he would be treated with great Respect. But that if he came to me, I could give him no opinion upon any thing without consulting my Colleagues, and should reserve a Right of communicating every Thing to my Colleagues, and to our Allies.
He then Said, that his Mission was finished. That the Fact to be ascertained was Simply, that there was a Commission in Europe to treat and conclude, but that there was not one Person in G. Britain who could affirm or prove that there was such a Commission, altho it had been announced in the Gazettes.
I desired him and he promised me not to mention Mr Laurens, to the Ministry without his Consent, and without informing him that it was impossible he should Say any thing in the Business, because he knew nothing of our Instructions, because altho it was possible that his being in such a Commission might induce them to release him, yet it was also possible, it might render them more difficult concerning his Exchange.2
The Picture he gives of the situation of Things in England, is gloomy enough for them. The Distresses of the People and the Distractions in Administration and Parliament, are such as may produce any Effect, almost that can be imagined.
The only Use of all this I think is, to Strike dicisive Strokes at New York and Charlestown. There is no Position so advantageous { 352 } for Negotiation, as when We have all an Ennemies Armies Prisoners. I must beg the favour of you, Sir, to send me, by one of the C de Vergennes’s Couriers to the Duc de la Vauguion, a Copy in Letters of our Peace Instructions. I have not been able to decypher one Quarter Part of mine. Some Mistake has certainly been made.
Ten or Eleven Cities of Holland, have declared themselves in favour of American Independence, and it is expected that to day or tomorrow, this Province will take the decisive Resolution of Admitting me to an Audience. Perhaps Some of the other Provinces, may delay it for, three or four Weeks. But the Prince has declared that he has no hopes of resisting the Torrent and therefore that he shall not attempt it. The Duc de la Vauguion has acted a very friendly and honourable Part in this Business, without, however doing any ministerial Act, in it.

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

[signed] J. Adams3
RC (OClWHi:Autograph Letters of U.S. Presidents, 1782–1963).
1. In a conversation with Matthew Ridley on 20 May, JA indicated that he read his commission to Digges (MHi:Matthew Ridley Diaries).
2. For more on JA’s conversation with Digges, see letters from Digges of [26 March] and 2 April, note 1, both below; Digges to Benjamin Franklin, 22 March (Digges, Letters, p. 357–362); Henry Laurens’ memorandum, [post 18 April], below; and Matthew Ridley’s diary, 20 May (MHi:Matthew Ridley Diaries).
3. Benjamin Franklin enclosed a copy of this letter in one to Robert R. Livingston dated 30 March. Franklin wrote that the meeting between JA and Digges showed that the British “are weary of the war, and would get out of it if they knew how” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:277).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0222

Author: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-26

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dear Sir

I got here this day and am nearly about the hour to Embark. I find I passd Mr Laurens Jnr at Rotterdam, as some questions were askd in the Hotel Where I put up for a person answering my description, from one who was at another Hotel who did not leave His name, but answered the description of Mr Laurens.
I stopt at the Hotel Angleterre at the Hague and found that P. Wentworth had gone from thence for England rather suddenly the day before; He went from Antwerp for Brussells, and by the time Genl Faucit2 went from hence, for Brussels also, I do suppose these Heroes in different line of action and for as little purpose (I hope) met at Brussels: Faucit is going to Hannover (as was said here) and { 353 } P. W embarkd in a purposely hird boat about 2 hours ago for England.
In the matter I lately visited You upon I have informd You of every step taken as well as my motives for acting, and shall keep nothing from You relative thereto.
Since our last conversation3 I have thought much on the subject of witholding from Dr. F a letter I bore to Him from M Hartley (wch I know is partly on a publick matter in agitation between them) as well as informing the Doctr that I had been in Holland;4 and upon much consideration I think I cannot acting fairly to Dr. F either carry back Mr Hartleys letter, or explain to Him my motives for being silent when I had got so much nearer Him and had matter of much private consequence to myself to explain and clear up, either by letter or personal appearance.5 Besides others, I have two motives for writing; the first is that of forwarding a letter wch I know contains matters of business between Dr F and David Hartley and wch would be rather unjustifiable in me to carry back to England, and the other is an explanation why I donot repair to Him while now abroad on the matter relative to myself. I cannot see another road for doing either without intimating to Him the Business I went on to You: I have mentiond my first intention to visit and explain it to You and the motives I had for altering that intention and going back as quick as possible to Engld and then Set out for Paris. That You did not think the matter in the stage it then was of so much moment as to think it necessary to make it known to your Colleagues;6 that my doing it soon and in person to Dr. F would be the best mode; That all future movements must be made known to Dr. F and Mr Vergennes, and that You urgd strongly to have any future movements in the business made directly to Dr. F whose residence made it more convenient to give the Communications to the French Minister. I am sorry in doing this that I have deviated from a purpose wch I had rather fixd with You; but on much thinking I really think I have done the best; for Dr. F would certainly here I was at Amsterdam and think rather odly of me that I had turnd my back upon Him and seemingly gone from a purpose of explaining a matter to Him which my reputation is at stake for.
I beg a thousd pardons for writing thus hastily and Desultorily to You. The Packet Boat is so near sailing I have not time to read over the letter and I am rather in the midst of hurry and noise. I will write You immediately on my arrival7 and if any thing occurs wch You want done or to say to me a line under cover to Mr Stockdale { 354 } Bookseller Piccadilly London will get safe to Sir your very Obedient Hum Servant
[signed] T Digges
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Diggs. from Helvoet as I Suppose.”
1. The location and date are derived from Digges’ second letter of this date written from Ostend (Adams Papers), in which he refers to his earlier letter to JA and introduces Jacob Sarley of New York, a partner in a mercantile house in Leeds.
2. In 1782 Maj. Gen. Sir William Fawcett was the most influential officer in the British army, but for the war in America his chief importance was as the principal British negotiator of agreements with the various German states to supply troops (DNB; see also vol. 9:64).
3. According to Digges he met with JA on 21 and 22 March. See Digges to Benjamin Franklin, 22 March (Digges, Letters, p. 357–362).
4. Hartley sent two letters to Franklin, dated 11 and 12 March respectively, under the care of Digges (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:290). Both touched directly on the possibility of opening Anglo-American peace negotiations. The first announced Digges’ mission. The second letter centered on the questions of how, when, and with whom negotiations would be undertaken. Hartley indicated that he discussed the matter with Henry Laurens, but that Laurens was wholly ignorant of his appointment to the peace commission. Hartley also wrote that he had “been informed that some gentlemen in this country (not in administration) have lately entered into a correspondence with Mr. Adams, relating to his commission of treating for peace” (same, 5:237). There are no extant letters between JA and anyone in England on the subject of peace negotiations, nor is there any mention of such correspondence in JA’s papers.
5. Digges’ apprehension about visiting Benjamin Franklin at Paris was justified. Franklin believed Digges had embezzled funds that he had supplied to assist American prisoners in England (Catherine M. Prelinger, “Benjamin Franklin and the American Prisoners of War in England during the American Revolution,”WMQ, 3d ser., 32:261–294 [April 1975]).
6. In view of JA’s complete account of his conversation with Digges in his letter of 26 March to Benjamin Franklin, above, Digges’ statement seems strange. But the fact that JA took four days to send his account to Franklin may lend it some credence. If JA initially did not think it necessary to inform Franklin of his discussion with Digges, it may have been because there was nothing new to tell. The matters about which Digges inquired were already more or less part of the public record and nothing that JA said to Digges was at variance with what he had already written to Franklin.
7. Of 2 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0223

Author: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-27

From the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] My Dear Sir

I Beg You will Accept My Best thanks for the two letters You Have Been pleased to write Giving the Particulars of Your Situation in Holland, and favouring me with Your Opinion Upon the Operations of Next Campaign.
I am Happy to find You Are likely to Get the Better of British Cabals, and Hope our independance will Be Soon Aknowledged throughout the United Provinces. Such a Measure from a Republican and Commercial Nation will prove Particularly Agreable to America. You will Vastly oblige me, My Dear friend, to let me Hear { 355 } of the Progress of Your Negotiations, and I do Assure You that independant of Public Considerations, the High Regard and warm Attachement I feel for You, will Greatly Contribute to My Satisfaction.
On My Departure from America I Have Been Desired By Mr Moriss to Represent the Necessity of a Pecuniary Assistance. It Has Been Granted, But four or Six Millions are wanting to Make up the Sum. Could it Be Possible to find them in Holland upon American Credit?
The defensive plans of general Connway are So Very absurd, that I think with You a General Evacuation will probably take place. However we ought not to Be too Sanguine. In all Cases, I am entirely of Your Opinion about what we ought to do. I Cannot write So Confidentially By post as I would wish, and will Be More Particular when an Opportunity offers. I Had a letter from Mr Jay.1 Things there as Usual. General Washington writes me that Every thing in the Several departements is taking a Good turn, and Great Improvements are Made. He Appears Much Satisfied with the Present Situation of Affairs.2
You are to Receive a Visit, not from a friend.3 That I Had from the Ministers Here. You will Vastly oblige me with the Particulars. But let me know, what I am to Say, and Not to Say. The Next Safe Opportunity I will write You a Confidential letter, and wish it was in Your Power to let me Have a Cypher to Correspond with you. I will Remain Some weeks more in france, and am Sure Congress will approuve of the delay.

[salute] With the Highest Regard and Most Sincere Affection I Have the Honor to be dear Sir Yours

[signed] lafayette
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. de la Fayette. 26 March ansd. 6 April 1782.”
1. Jay to Lafayette, 1 March. See Lafayette’s reply of 28 March (Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution, Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790, ed. Stanley J. Idzerda and others, Ithaca, N.Y., 5 vols., 1977–1984, 5:19–20).
2. Washington to Lafayette, 4 Jan. (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 23:429–431).
3. Thomas Digges.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0224-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-28

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

La grande oeuvre est accomplie. Aujourd’hui les Etats d’Hollde ont résolu, que leurs Députés aux Etats Genx. seront instruits, de diriger les choses dans l’Assemblée de L. H. P. à telle fin, que Mr. { 356 } | view { 357 } Adams soit admis pour leur présenter ses Lettres de créance de la part des Etats unis; et les Etats ont chargé expressément Mr. le Grand Pensionaire de vous donner incessamment connoissance de cette Résolution.1 Le Corps des Nobles a déclaré, qu’il ne concouroit ni ne s’opposoit à cette résolution. Sigillum veri simplex.2 Je n’ajouterai donc rien à ce que dessus, qui vient de m’être communiqué par Mr. Zeberg avec ses complimens sinceres pour V. E. Je n’ai pu voir les autres qui sont actuellement à celebrer l’oeuvre en bonne compagnie, et le Verre en main, au sortir de l’assemblée, sans retourner chez eux, où je les ai cherché en vain.
Je suis d’avis qu’il est convenable, Monsieur, que vous témoigniez par une Lettre à Mr. le Duc de la Vauguyon, la part que vous prenez au facheux accident arrivé la nuit du mardi au mercredi.3

[salute] Je suis avec le plus respectueux attachement Monsieur, Votre très humble & très obeisst. servit

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0224-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-28

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

[salute] Sir

The great work is done. Today, the States of Holland resolved that their deputies to the States General will be instructed to direct proceedings in the assembly of Their High Mightinesses, so that Mr. Adams will be admitted to present his credentials on behalf of the United States. The States expressly directed the grand pensionary to immediately inform you of this resolution.1 The corps of nobles has declared that it will neither concur with nor oppose this resolution. Sigillum veri simplex.2 I will therefore add nothing to the above, which was relayed to me by Mr. Zeberg with sincere regards for your Excellency. I have not been able to see the others, who are celebrating at present in good company with glass in hand, after leaving the assembly without returning home, where I looked for them in vain.
I believe it would be fitting, sir, if you could write a letter to the duc de la Vauguyon regarding the terrible accident on Tuesday night and Wednesday.3

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

[signed] Dumas
1. For an extract from the resolutions of the States of Holland and West Friesland, containing the resolution of 28 March, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, Resolution by the States of Holland and West Friesland to recognize the United States and admit John Adams as minister plenipotentiary, 28 March 1782 356No. 6, above. For English translations of the resolution, see Dumas to JA, 29 March, and JA to Robert R. Livingston, 19 April, both below.
2. Simplicity is the seal of truth.
3. On the night of 26–27 March fire destroyed the French embassy at The Hague. According to newspaper reports, La Vauguyon’s eldest son narrowly escaped with his life, but the ambassador managed to save his official papers and plate, as well as a portion { 358 } of his jewels and wardrobe. He had since taken up residence at the Dutch East India House (Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser, 3 April). JA mentioned the fire in a letter to AA on 1 April. He hoped that it would not distract the attention of the ambassador, “my very good Friend,” at such a critical period in Dutch-American relations (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:303). For the French embassy as it appeared before the fire, see same, 4:xii, facing 380.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0225-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-29

From C. W. F. Dumas

Copie de la Résolution de leurs Nobles et Grandes Puissances les Seigrs. Etats d’Hollde et de West-frise.1
Unrecognized div1 type: docbody
Is goed gevonden en verstaen, dat de zaak van wegens hun Edele Groot Mog. ter Generaliteit daarheen zal worden gedirigeerd, en daarop ten Sterksten geinsteerd, dat de Heer Adams als Afgezant van de Vereenigde Staten van America ten spoedigsten by hun Hoog-Mog: moge worden geadmitteerd en erkent; En word de Raad-Pensionaris gelast, den voorschreven Heer Adams van de ze hun Ed. Gr. Mog. Resolutie onder de hand te informeeren.
Unrecognized div1 type: docbody

Traduction

Il a été trouvé bon et arrêté, que l’affaire soit dirigée de la part de leurs Nobles et Gr. Puissces à la Généralité à telle fin, et que l’on y insiste de la maniere la plus forte, pour que Mr. Adams soit admis et reconnu au plutôt par leurs H.P. comme Envoyé des Etats-Unis d’Amerique; Et le Conseiller Pensionaire est chargé, de donner connoissance sous main au susdit Sr. Adams de cette Résolution de leurs Nobles et Grandes Puissances.2

[salute] Monsieur

En attendant que Mr. le Gr. Pensionaire fasse ce dont il est chargé, en vous informant officiellement ou ministeriellememt de la Résolution ci-dessus, qui m’a été communiquée par notre Ami, je vous en envoie en mon propre et privé nom la copie et la traduction, sans préjudice de ce que vous en apprendrez de la part de Mr. de Bleyswyk-même. Il envoya hier son Secretaire chez moi, pour savoir si vous étiez ici. Je répondis que vous étiez à Amsterdam, que vous veniez quelquefois ici sur la fin de la Semaine, mais que je doutois que vous fissiez le voyage cette fois, parce que vous m’aviez dit avoir des affaires à Amsterdam. Aujourd’hui le Secretaire est revenu me prier de passer chez son Maître demain matin à dix heures et demie.
Je le ferai, déterminé cependant à ne pas recevoir une informa• { 359 } tion verbale pour vous la transmettre, ni autre commission que de vous acheminer une Lettre, s’il m’en remet une pour V. E. Car ceci est une formalité, entre vous Monsieur et lui; et je ne suis nullement qualifié pour recevoir ce qui n’est dû qu’à Vous dans ce cas. D’un autre côté, je crois que l’on ne doit pas vous donner la peine d’un voyage ici pour cela seul, lorsque l’on peut S’acquitter de la Commission par Ecrit, comme ont fait les Frisons. Je consulterai encore ce soir nos amis là-dessus; et si je ne vous dis rien de plus là-dessus demain, c’est qu’ils auront approuvé mon idée.

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

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0225-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-29

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

Copy of the Resolution of their noble and most powerful lords of the states of Holland and West Friesland.1
Unrecognized div1 type: docbody
Is goed gevonden en verstaen, dat de zaak van wegens hun Edele Groot Mog. ter Generaliteit daarheen zal worden gedirigeerd, en daarop ten Sterksten geinsteerd, dat de Heer Adams als Afgezant van de Vereenigde Staten van America ten spoedigsten by hun Hoog-Mog: moge worden geadmitteerd en erkent; En word de Raad-Pensionaris gelast, den voorschreven Heer Adams van de ze hun Ed. Gr. Mog. Resolutie onder de hand te informeeren.
Unrecognized div1 type: docbody
It hath been thought fit and resolved, that affairs shall be directed on the Part of their noble and grand Mightinesses at the assembly of the States General, and there Shall be there made the Strongest Instances, that Mr Adams be admitted and acknowledged as soon as possible, by their High Mightinesses, in Quality of Ambassador of the United States of America, and the Councillor Pensionary hath been charged to inform under Hand, the Said Mr Adams of this Resolution of their noble and grand Mightinesses.2

[salute] Sir

While waiting for the grand pensionary to fulfill his duty of officially informing you of the above resolution, which was communicated to me by our friend, I am sending you the copy and translation under my own name without prejudice to what you will learn from Mr. Van Bleiswyck himself. Yesterday he sent his secretary to my house to find out if you were here. I responded that you were in Amsterdam, that you sometimes come here at the end of the week, but that I doubted that you would make the trip this time because you told me you had business in Amsterdam. Today, the secretary returned to ask me to call on his master at 10:30 tomorrow morning.
{ 360 }
I will go, determined, however, not to receive a verbal communication to convey to you or any other message, but only to convey a letter for you if they give me one. Because this is a formality between you, sir, and him, I am hardly qualified to receive what is due only to you in this case. On the other hand, I believe that you should not have to go to the trouble of coming here just for that, since they could inform you of your commission in writing just like the Frieslanders did. I will ask our friends again this evening about it and if I do not tell you anything more about it tomorrow, it will be because they have agreed with my idea.

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

[signed] Dumas
RC (Adams Papers). Dumas wrote the resolution in Dutch and French in two columns.
1. Dumas copied only the portion of the resolution that dealt specifically with JA. For the complete text of the resolution in Dutch and English, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, Resolution by the States of Holland and West Friesland to recognize the United States and admit John Adams as minister plenipotentiary, 28 March 1782 356No. 6, above, and JA to Robert R. Livingston, 19 April, below. The English translation is taken from the resolution as it appears in JA’s letter of 19 April to Livingston.
2. For van Bleiswyck’s transmittal of the resolution, see his letter of 30 March, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0226-0001

Author: Bleiswyck, Pieter van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-30

From Pieter van Bleiswyck

[salute] Monsieur

C’est avec baucoup de Satisfaction que J’ai L’honneur de m’acquitter de la Commission dont Les Etats d’Hollande et de West Frise viennent de me chargee en vous faisant parvenir, Monsieur, une Copie de La resolution que Leurs Nobles et Grandes Puissances ont prises avanthier au sujet de vottre Admission comme Envoyé des Etats Unis de L’Amerique.1

[salute] Jai L’honneur d’etre avec La plus parfaite Consideration Monsieur Vottre Tres Humble et très Obeissant Serviteur

[signed] P. V Bleiswyk

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0226-0002

Author: Bleiswyck, Pieter van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-30

Pieter van Bleiswyck to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

It is with much satisfaction that I have the honor to acquit myself of the commission with which I have been charged by the States of Holland and West Friesland and convey to you, sir, a copy of the resolution that their Nobles and Grand Mightinesses have taken the day before yesterday on the subject of your admission as envoy from the United States of America.1

[salute] I have the honor to be with the most perfect consideration, sir, your most humble and most obedient servant,

[signed] P. V Bleiswyk
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “P. Van Bleiswyk G. Pensionary of Holland 30 March 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0227-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-30

From C. W. F. Dumas

Copie de Ma Lettre a notre Ami1
“Selon vos desirs, Monsieur, je vous rends compte de ce qui s’est passé il y a un moment. On m’a reçu très poliment, et tout s’est passé de-même. On m’a prié affectueusement de faire la notification, comme un service que je rendrois. J’ai témoigné le grand regret que j’avois, de ne pouvoir, faute de qualification requise pour le cas, exécuter une commission si peu pénible, et même si agréable, moi qui ne plaindrois aucune peine pour des services plus difficiles; mais que la démarche étant un honneur que L. N. et G. P. vouloient faire au caractere, j’étois un canal impropre pour faire parvenir cet honneur autrement que par une Lettre cachetée de Ministre à Ministre, que j’offrois de porter moi-même. On m’a fait entendre alors, que cela n’étoit pas nécessaire, et qu’on se serviroit peut-être de la voie de la Poste. On m’a demandé l’Adresse (que j’ai portée ensuite au Sécrétaire en un Billet en ces termes M . . . demeure au Keyzersgragt près du Spiegelstraet à Amsterdam). J’ai raconté alors historiquement, que la Copie de la Rn Fsonne avoit été remise en mains propres, de la part et par ordre de qui il appartenoit, en une Lettre cachetée, à laquelle je savois que M . . . avoit fait une réponse, qui avoit été fort goûtee en Frise. Nous avons ensuite parlé de nouvelles courantes, entre autres du bruit d’une prétendue pacification entre la Gr. Br. et l’Amérique; sur quoi j’ai dit, que je savois de science certaine, que la Pacification ne pouvoit se faire qu’en Europe, et notamment de la part des Etats-Unis par cinq Plenipo:, dont M . . . étoit le premier en date; que ceux près des Cours de V— et de M— en étoient; que rien ne se concluroit que du su, consentement et concert de ces Cours, et vraisemblablement aussi de cette Rep., si elle ne perdoit pas du temps pour serrer le noeud d’une amitié cordiale; que je savois enfin, que quand la Gr. Br. enverroit la Commission la plus solennelle en Amérique, elle seroit renvoyée delà en Europe, pour y traiter avec les Plenipo: susdits à un Congrès de paix génerale.”

[salute] Monsieur

Hier au soir Mr. le Gr Pe. m’envoya encore son Secretaire, pour me prier de passer chez lui ce matin à 10 1/2 h. et vous venez de voir ce qui s’est passé en conséquence. Mr. l’Ambr., qui a vu ce que des• { 362 } sus l’approuve. J’espere que ma conduite aura votre approbation aussi. Rien ne presse à présent pour que vous veniez ici: au contraire, je compte d’avoir l’honneur de vous voir chez vous Lundi au soir. Ce voyage est concerté entre Mr. l’Ambr., notre ami et moi. pour une très bonne oeuvre de votre part, dont je ne puis vous faire l’ouverture que de bouche. J’irai Lundi à une heure par le Chariot de poste. Si votre Cocher pouvoit se trouver à l’endroit et à l’heure où le chariot de poste qui part de Lahaie Lundi prochain à 1. h. après midi arrive, je serois plus vite rendu chez vous, et nous pourrions tout de suite parler de choses pour le lendemain. Je suis avec respect, Monsieur, V. t. h. & t. o. serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0227-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-03-30

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

Copy of my letter to our friend1
“According to your wishes, sir, I will give you an account of what just passed. I was received very politely and everything proceeded in the same manner. They kindly asked me to provide the service of making the notification. I expressed my great regret of not being qualified in this case to execute such a commission, a commission that would hardly be any trouble, but rather would be quite agreeable, especially for one who does not complain about more difficult assignments. But this démarche, being an honor that their noble and high mightinesses would want to make themselves, would not be properly conveyed by me other than by a sealed letter from one minister to the other, which I would offer to carry myself. I was made to understand that this would not be necessary and that it would be sent by mail. They asked me for the address (which I wrote down for the secretary as follows: M. Adams lives in the Keyzersgragt near Spiegelstraat in Amsterdam). I recounted that the copy of the Friesland resolution had been remitted directly on behalf and by order of whom it belonged in a sealed letter, to which I know Mr. Adams responded, and that this was well received in Friesland. Next we talked about current news, among other things about a rumored pacification between Great Britain and America to which I added that I know for certain that the pacification could only be achieved in Europe, and notably by the five American plenipotentiaries of which Mr. Adams was the first in date. And that there were plenipotentiaries at the court of Versailles and Madrid, and that nothing would be concluded without the knowledge, consent and agreement of these courts and most likely the republic’s as well, if it does not lose the chance to tie the knot for a cordial friendship. And that I knew, that when Great Britain would send the most solemn commission to America, it would be sent back from there to Europe, so that the aforementioned plenipotentiaries could negotiate for a general peace.”
{ 363 }

[salute] Sir

Last evening, the grand pensionary sent his secretary to see me so that I might call on him this morning at 10:30 and this is what happened as a result. The ambassador, who saw the above, approved of it. I hope that my conduct will have your approval as well. Nothing is so pressing here at the moment for your presence. On the contrary, I am counting on coming to see you Monday evening. The ambassador, our friend, and I planned this trip as a kindness to you, which I will tell you about when I see you. I will be going at one o’clock on Monday by the postal wagon. If your coachman could pick me up at the place where the one o’clock wagon arrives from The Hague next Monday, I could get to your house sooner and we could be able to discuss matters immediately for the next day. I am with respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. Engelbert François van Berckel.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0228

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bleiswyck, Pieter van
Date: 1782-03-31

To Pieter van Bleiswyck

[salute] Sir

I have received the letter, which you did me the honour to write me, on the thirtyeth, inclosing the Resolution of the States of Holland and Westfriesland, of the twenty eighth of this month, upon the subject of my admission to the audience demanded on the fourth of May, and the ninth of January last.
I am very sensible of the honour that is done me by this Instance of personal attention to me, in their Noble and grand Mightinesses; and beg of you, Sir, to accept of my acknowledgments, for the obliging manner, in which you have communicated to me their Resolution.
But my sensibility is above all affected by those unequivocal demonstrations of Harmony and Unanimity, which appear in the whole Nation, in this important Measure; which can not fail to have the happyest Effects in America, and in every part of Europe, even in England itself, as well as in this Republick, and which there is great reason to hope, will forcibly operate towards the accomplishment of a general Peace.

[salute] In the pleasing hope, that all the other Provinces will soon follow the Examples of Holland and Friesland, I have the honour to be with great Respect, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble servant

[signed] (sign’d) J. Adams
Tr (Koninklijk Huisarchief); LbC (Adams Papers). This is the first letter entered in Lb/JA/18 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 106).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0229

Author: Andrews, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Samuel Andrews

[salute] Sir

I had the honour to write your Excellencey fully respecting my situation in this City on the 12th: Instant Last. Hope you may have received the same and the great hurry of business has prevented your Excellencys honouring me with an answer. Hope when convenient will grant my request. In addition to my former letter and request I must pray your Excellencey if acquanted with, His Excellency the French Minister in the Hague, you would speak to him in my favor. As my friends in Holland and my Advocate at the Hague are useing there Intrest to prevail on Him to write to this Court in my favor respecting my business. I am perswaded from your known goodness your Excellency will pardon me in giveing you this trouble. I shall take the Liberty to send you some of my Memoirs by the first convenient opportunity.1

[salute] I have the Honour to be with Respect your Excellencys most Obedient & very Humb: Sert:

[signed] Sam Andrews
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr S. Andrews 31. March ansd. 6. April 1782.”
1. In letters of 3 April, below, and 16 April (Adams Papers), Andrews wrote that he sent a “memoir” of his business in the care of a Mr. Texier, but it has not been found in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0230-0001

Author: Brouwer, Hendrik, Chs. zoon
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon

[salute] Aan syn Excellentie

Vergeeft Bid ik Uw dat ik vry genoeg ben U deese myne missieve te adresseeren, de Liefde voor myn Vaaderland, t’herdenken wat onse voor Ouders hebben gedaen, Sig Een vry Volk te maaken heeft in my en veele weldenkende Hollanders bevestigt dat t’Volk van America onse naeste Broederen in Deugd waaren, dus wierd het onse verschuldigde Pligt hun in hunnen Onderdrukkinge te helpen Onderschraagen, veele Weldenkende Negotianten, Edog dat wel het minste getal uytmaakte waeren hier toe geneygd, dan wy vonden tot ons herten leed Een aental Engelschen Effectief niet alleen, maar nog grooter Partij Hollanders Engels gesind of D’Engelse toegedaen, Eventwel niet teegenstaende de Overmagt waer teegen wy Dagelyks { 365 } moesten Worstelen, om de regtvaerdiege Oorlog der Americaanen teegens Engeland in Een helder Dag ligt te Stellen, wierden versterkt door de naergedagten onser voor Ouderen, en heeft ons de vrees van niet eens te Zullen treumpheeren weg genoomen.
Wy hebben dus volhard in onse Denkenswyse die wy voorgenoomen hadden te Maintineeren, van D’Eerste tyt af dat de Onlusten tusschen America en Engeland Syn begonnen, wy hebben in de Waagschaal gestelt onse Huyse, Goederen, en famielies geplundert te Zien door de Oproggeling van onse teegen Party, was t’moogelyk t’Gepeupel in hun belang te Krygen, dan Een regtvaardig God heeft hier in voorsien, wy Danken dien Selven Opperheerscher met Needergeslaagen Oogen, dan met traanen van blydschap dat wy Eindelyk in weerwil van de Quaade Geintentioneerde tot ons doelwit Zyn geraakt, Eene Zaak van dat gewigt (Sonder dat ik wil my in laaten in het Politique) had men myn’s gedagten direct moeten Aenvaarden by de Onregtvaardiege Oorlogs de Claratie van Engeland Aen Ons, niets is Evenreedieger als Synen Onnatuurlyken Vyand, Ja God beetert onse Zoo genaemde Geloofs en bontgenooten afbreuk te doen, en Juyst bragt men hun de Grootste Slag met Americaa Een vry Volk te verklaaren Dit nu by Holland En Vriesland geschied Synde in weerwil der Ridderschap, heb ik nu geen moment twyffel of het Zal by alle 7. Provencies werden doorgedrongen God bekragtige dit heylsaem werk met Syne Zegeningen en Vermurwe de herten die van ander Gevoelen Zyn.
Neemt dan niet Qualyk dat Een hart Overstulpt van Vergenoeging vry genoeg is Uw Excellentie te fielieciteeren met de Erkentenis van Minister Pleni Potentiaris—by Holland en Vriesland, in Weiniege Daagen hoop ik Zal ik met Uw Excellentie’s Goed Gunstiege Permissie my mogen verstouten U in Persoon Geluk te wenschen de Gantsche Unie U dusdanig Erkent heeft.
Myn Huys heeft het Geluk gehad, en myne vrienden daar teegenwoordig hebben Sig met my Eene biesondere Eer gemaakt, Sig met D’Eerste hier Gearriveerde Americaanen ter myner Tafel te bevinden, op Welker Maeltyt t’Respectabel Congres der 13. Verenigde Staaten heylig wierd indagtig Gehouden.
Niemant moet Eygen belang naauwer ter herten Gaen als t’welsyn van Syn Vader Land, of van Zyne Broederen die dus daanig Denken, maar myn ’s bedunkens is er buyten Eygen Intrest ook Eene Reedelykheid, dat de Soo daaniege ingeval van Vrugten te kunnen Plukken niet moeten vergeeten werden, t’ is om die reeden ik Uw Excel• { 366 } lentie wil Kenbaer maaken Eeniege myner Goede Geintentioneerde Vrienden, wy verlangen niets meer als Eene Geschikte Correspondentie met Sollide Huysen van N: America wy verbeelden ons door onse bestendiegen Yver ons Een Gedeelte der Preferentie toekomt.
En wy Zyn bereyd met de Scheepen en Gelt dat wy hebben, ons Een voordeeliegen handel Weederzyds te Procureeren, Inclosa Vind U Een Nota der bovenaengehaelde Vrienden,2 en wy recommandeere ons in U Gunstige Aendenken in Americaa.
Mogt nu myn Huys by Geleegenheid dat U Zig in Rotterdam Liet vinden, Sig begunstigt Zien Uw Excellentie ter myner Tafel te moogen Ontfangen, niets Zoude my meer vergenoegen, buyten D’Eer die alle hoogagting waerdig is, Zoude ik my biesonder met myne Lieve Kinderen Kittelen tot Spyt der Engelsgesinde, Ik bid vergeeft dat ik vry genoeg ben Een antwoort te vraagen,3 en naer U voor myn Aendeel Gronthertig Dank Gesegt te hebben voor Uw aller Vriendelykste missive aen t’Corps van Negotianten alhier,4 noeme my met de verschuldigde Eerbied en hoogagting, Uw Excellentie’s Onderdaniege En Gehoorsaamste Dienaer
[signed] Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0230-0002

Author: Brouwer, Hendrik, Chs. zoon
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] To his Excellency

I pray you forgive me that I am so free as to address this letter of mine to you, to recall the love for my fatherland, what our forefathers have done to make themselves a free people, has confirmed in me and many right-thinking Dutchmen that the people of America were our closest brothers in virtue, so that it has become our obligatory duty to help support them in their oppression, many right-thinking businessmen, but yet nonetheless making up a minority, were inclined to this, then we could be strengthened, to our hearts’ sorrow not only a number of English effectively but an even greater group of Anglophile Dutchmen, or supporters of the English, however, notwithstanding the superior power against which we had to wrestle daily, to put the just war of the Americans against England in the clear light of day, by the thoughts of our forefathers, and that has removed from us the fear of never triumphing in the future.
We have thus persevered in our manner of thinking that we had intended to maintain, from the first moment that the disturbances between America and England began, we have risked seeing our houses, goods, and families plundered, by the fomenting of our opponents, if it proved possible to get the mob to support them in their interests, then a just God has provided in this, we thank the same Lord of all with downcast eyes, then { 367 } with tears of joy that finally, against the will of those of evil intentions, we have reached our goal, a matter of such importance (without wanting to involve myself in politics) should have been accepted immediately, in my opinion, on the unjust declaration of war by England against us, nothing is more equal than its unnatural enemy, yea, God forbid causing damage also to so-called fellow believers and allies, and just now the greatest blow to them has been accomplished by declaring America a free people, this now having happened in Holland and Friesland against the desires of the nobility, I now do not doubt for a moment that it will be pushed through in all 7 provinces, God strengthen this healing work with his blessings and soften the hearts of those of another persuasion.
Forgive it that a heart bursting with satisfaction takes the liberty to congratulate your excellency on your recognition as minister plenipotentiary by Holland and Friesland, in a few days I hope I shall, with your excellency’s well-intentioned permission, be able to wish you happiness in person that the entire Union has recognized you as such.
My house had the pleasure, and my friends there present, have joined me in making a special honor to invite to my table the first Americans who have arrived here, at which meal the respectable Congress of the 13 United States was held in holy commemoration.
Personal interest should not lie closer to anyone’s heart than the well-being of his fatherland, or of his brothers who feel the same way, but my idea is that beyond private interest there is a reasonableness, that the appropriate opportunity should not be forgotten, to pluck the fruits, it is for that reason that I would like to introduce to your excellency some of my well-intentioned friends, we desire nothing more than an appropriate correspondence with solid houses of North America, we imagine that a share of preference is due us for our continuing zeal.
And we are prepared, with the ships and money that we have, to procure a profitable mutual trade. Enclosed you will find a note of the friends just mentioned,2 and we commend ourselves in your favorable consideration in America.
In case you find yourself in Rotterdam, might my house find itself benefited in being allowed to receive your excellency to my table, nothing would please me more, beyond the honor that is worth all respect, my sweet children and I would be especially tickled to spite the Anglophiles. I pray you forgive me that I am so free as to ask a reply,3 and having for my part sincerely said thanks to you for your very friendly letter to the group of businessmen here,4 I call myself with the obligatory respect and honor, your excellency’s humble and most obedient servant,
[signed] Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “H. Brouwer Chz 31st. March 1782.”; by JA: “ansd 7 April.”
1. This letter was received as an enclosure in a brief note of 1 April from M. H. van son [Hendkz?] (Adams Papers), who is otherwise unidentified. The author congratulated JA on the action of the States of Holland and expressed his hope that the remaining mem• { 368 } bers of the States General would soon follow.
2. Brouwer failed to enclose the list and apologized and enclosed it with his 15 April letter, below.
3. JA’s endorsement indicates that he replied on 7 April; no copy of the letter has been found, but see Brouwer’s letter of 15 April, below.
4. Perhaps a reference to JA’s letter of 22 March to Adrianus Dubbeldemuts, above, in which JA commented on the petition by Rotterdam merchants supporting a commercial treaty between the Netherlands and the United States. No other letter from JA to a Rotterdam businessman has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0231-0001

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Monsieur

Les Magistrats de Deventer ont pris Jeudi au Soir une Resolution dans les formes pour recevoir Votre Excellence en qualité de Ministre plenipotentiaire des 13 Etats Unis de L’Amerique. Vendredi au matin la requete des Citoiens de cette Ville a été presentée et les Magistrats ÿ ont repondus qu’ils avoient deja pris la Resolution mentionnée. La ville de Campen, a ce que j’ai été informé, est tres bien disposée. Elle a accroché Son consentement pour les impots a la conclusion d’un Traité de Commerce avec l’Amerique. Une Requete presentée a Zwol a operé une Resolution de presser de la part de cette ville le comitté, chargé de l’examen des Memoires de Votre Excellence, de donner Son preavis afin d’en faire un point de deliberation dans la Ville meme. Ceci est assez Constitutionel, mais tire trop en longueur. C’est pourquoi j’ai taché de faire voir la necessité de Suivre l’exemple de Deventer et de donner ordre au Deputés de la Ville a la Diete de Se declarer immediatement pour l’Independance etc. et j’ai de l’esperance que mes efforts reussiront. Mais je crains les Nobles. Ces viles Creatures ont ici la moitié de la Regence. J’espere neammoins que les Requetes qui Se preparent a la Campagne, auront quelque influence Sur eux. Les Predicateurs même commencent a les appuier. Un d’eux a prié le Bon Dieu aujourdhui: Qu’il veuille benir les efforts du Peuple!
Le Demon Aristocratique a encore joué Son role a Zwol meme Les Corps de Metier qui Sont nombreux ici et des centaines des citoiens desiroient de signer aussi la Requete; mais quelques uns a qui leur orgeuil inspire l’idée d’une Superiorité, qui n’existe pas, refusoient de signer Si cela dut Se faire par une foule et l’on fut obligé d’avoir de la deference pour eux. Je ne Suis pourtant pas eloigné de conseiller a ces gens de Signer une requete Separée et je crois que mon conseil a quelque influence Sur eux. L’on commence a crier { 369 } ouvertement que cest plus que tems de reparer le tort qu’on m’a fait et de me readmettre a l’assemblée. Mon attachement a l’Amerique et ma conduite dans l’affaire de la Brigade Ecossoise1 m’ont rendu cher au jeux de mes concitoiens qui Sentent a present combien il auroit été dangereuse et nuisible Si la Republique S’eut laissé entrainer insensiblement par l’angleterre a Se ranger de Son coté, comme l’on avoit projetté de faire par le moien de cette demande insidieuse. La Province de Gueldre S’assemble le 16 Avril. Je Suis bien faché que ce ne Soit pas plus tot et j’ai l’honneur d’etre avec bien de respect de Votre Excellence Le tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Capellen de Pol

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0231-0002

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

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

[salute] Sir

On Thursday evening, the Deventer magistrates passed the resolution necessary for your Excellency’s recognition as minister plenipotentiary of the thirteen United States of America. The citizens of this city presented their petition Friday morning and the magistrates responded that they had already passed the resolution. Kampen, I was informed, was very well disposed. It was linking its approval of taxes to the conclusion of a commercial treaty with America. A petition presented at Zwolle resolved to urge the committee charged with examining your excellency’s memorials on behalf of this city, to give its advice and bring to an end the deliberations in the city. This is sufficiently constitutional, but is too drawn out. This is why I tried to explain the necessity of following Deventer’s example and of giving orders to the city’s deputies to the Diet to immediately declare themselves for independence, etc., and I hope my efforts succeed. But I fear the nobles. These vile creatures make up half of the regency. Nevertheless, I hope these petitions will have some influence on them. The preachers are even beginning to support them. One of them prayed to the good lord today: May the efforts of the people be blessed!
The aristocratic demon is still playing his part in Zwolle, even the trade guilds, of which there are many, and hundreds of citizens wanted to sign the petition. But, some of them, whose pride led them to falsely believe themselves to be superior, refused to sign if it were to be decided by a mob, and so they had to be deferred to. I was, however, not beyond suggesting to these people that they sign a separate petition, and I believe my advice had some influence on them. They started to cry out that it was high time to repair the injustice done to me and to readmit me to the assembly. My attachment to America and my conduct regarding the Scottish brigade1 has endeared me to my fellow citizens, who feel that it would have been dangerous and harmful if the republic had allowed itself to be drawn insensi• { 370 } bly by England to its side, which is what was intended by this insidious request. The province of Gelder is assembling on April 16th. I am angry that it is not earlier and I have the honor to be with much respect for your Excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Capellen de Pol
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “The Baron de Poll 31. March ansd. 6. April. 1782.”
1. For van der Capellen and the Scots’ Brigade, see vol. 10:381.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0232

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I received yours of the 10th Instant, and am of Opinion with you, that the English will evacuate New York and Charlestown, as the Troops there, after the late Resolutions of Parliament, must be useless, and are necessary to defend their remaining Islands where they have not at present more than 3000 Men. The Prudence of this Operation is so obvious, that I think they can hardly miss it: otherwise I own that, considering their Conduct for several Years past, it is not reasoning, consequentially, to conclude they will do a thing because the doing it is required by Common Sense.
Yours of the 26th. is just come to hand. I thank you for the Communication of Digges’s Message. He has also sent me a long Letter, with two from Mr Hartley.1 I shall see Mr. de Vergennes to-morrow, and will acquaint you with every thing material that passes on the Subject. But the Ministry by whom Digges pretends to be sent being changed, we shall, by waiting a little, see what Tone will be taken by their Successors. You shall have a Copy of the Instructions by the next Courier. I congratulate you cordially on the Progress you have made among those slow People. Slow, however, as they are, Mr Jay finds his much slower. By an American who goes in about Ten Days to Holland, I shall send you a Packet of Correspondence with Mr Hartley, tho’ it amounts to little.

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

[signed] B Franklin2
1. See Digges to JA, [26 March], notes 3 and 4, above.
2. The closing and the signature are written in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0233

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I Congratulate your Excellency on the Confusion in England. A Letter from thence received this day says, that the King sent on Saturday night (ie, Saturday sennight), for the Chanceller conversed with Him, and deffered—so parted, and about 4 o Clock on Sunday Morning sent again for Him to come immediately; the Chancellor sent him Word, that He was too ill, but would come as soon as He arose, which was about 10, when the Consultation began (Lord Stormount present). The next morning Lord Shelburne was sent for, arrives at 10, Stays til 12, and then goes to Lord Rockingham to acquaint Him, that His Terms were entirely aceeded to by his Majesty, who desired Him to send Him his Arrangement which was also acceded to, and announced by Lord Shelburne, who called on his Return on Mr. Fox about 2 O Clock, who then set out with Mr. W Pitt for the House of Commons. Mr. Fox Called by the way on the Duke of Richmond, and about 3 got to the Houses, where the members were waiting with the utmost distrust Impatience and Anxiety. Mr. Dunning then quietd their Uneasiness by declaring that the Cabinet was settled, and that the inferior departments would be filled up before Wednesday—so that tomorrow (Tuesday last) warrants will be issued out for the Reelection of such Gentlemen as will do his majesty the Honor to serve Him.

The Supposed list of the Cabinet1

  • Lord Rockingham first Lord of the Treasury.
  • Lord Shelburn and Mr. Fox Secretaries of State the West Indies under the one and N A under the other
  • Lord John Cavendish Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Admiral Keppell First Lord of the Admiralty
  • The Duke of Gloucester Commander in Chief of the Army Seconded by General Conway
  • Duke of Richmond Master General of the Ordnance
  • Duke of Grafton <President of the Council> Privy Seal.
  • Lord Thurlow Chancellor.
  • Lord Camden president of the Council
The Terms on which these Gentlemen come in are said to be these.
{ 372 }
  • 1st no Veto to the making a seperate Peace in N America
  • 2dly the same respecting a general Peace.
  • 3 the Contracters Bill to pass.2
  • 4 Mr Burkes OEconomical Bill to pass in part
  • 5 for the future no person holding Place under or who are influenced by the Commissioners of the Customs or Excise to have a Vote for members of Parliament.
I congratulate your Excellency on the Taking of St Kitts and other Islands.
Inclosed is the receipt for the money disbursed by my Friend. Nothing hath yet been of young Bracket.3
I beg your Excellency would give the inclosed Letter to Mr Lawrens, who I find is arrivd at Amsterdam. I expected Him here. His Father is gone into the Country. He is better in Health than He was.

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

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings 31. March ansd 3. April. 1782.”
1. In the new cabinet Shelburne was ostensibly responsible for home and colonial affairs, while Fox was concerned with foreign affairs; in practice both sought to control peace negotiations. It should also be noted that Conway was appointed commander in chief and that Thurlow was the only holdover from the North ministry.
2. The Contractor’s Bill prohibited any party to a government contract not open to public bid from holding a seat in the House of Commons.
3. For Benjamin Brackett, see JA to Jenings, 21 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0234-0001

Author: Wild, Bartholomé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

From Bartholomé Wild

[salute] Vôtre Exellence

Etant Neé Libre en Suisse et plus que 40. Année dans cette Libre Republique, on ne doit pas S’ètonner que je m’interesse pour un nouveaux Peuple Libre, qui avec l’aide de Dieu à S’en Se Soustraire de la tiranie Brittanique, en S’en franchissant de l’adieu ésclavage. Nôtre Province et Surtout les habittant de cette Ville ont apris avec un Joix extraordinaire que Les Etat d’hollande les onts enfin recconnû Libre et qui Veuillent entammer un Traitté d’Amitie et de Commerce qui ne Sçauroit etre qu’avantageux pour les 2. Nations ou Republiques. Nous ésperons que les autres Provinces prendrons également avec la Frise de ferme resolution. Celle ci est pour vous aviser que Venderdi passé on à presenté une Requête aux deputés de nos Etat à ce même êffet signé de 83. Negotiants, fabriquers et { 373 } Traffiquants, laquelle à êté favorablement reçu. Hier on à tenû à ce Sujet une assemblée extraordinaire pour se mettre en Etat de prendre la conclusion à l’Assemblé de Leurs Noble Puissance Mecerdi qui vient. J’ai lieu de croire que les Souhaits de tant les braves Bourgeois Seront accomplie et que nous triompherons enfin Sur tout les traittres de la Patrie Les Anglomanes.
J’ai l’honneur de vous envoyer provisionèllement La Requette, que je vous prie de ne pas laisser Sortir de vôtre Mains avant que j’aurai la sattisfaction de vous envoyer une Seconde, Sur laquelle, vous trouverés les Noms de tout ceux qui ont Signé.1
J’ose vous dire qu’avec Mr. Le Procureur Hoevenaar je me Suis donné tout les mouvement pour venir jusqu’à ce point et Soyés assuré qu’a la reserve de fort pêu de Personnes, tant de nos Seigneurs, que des Bourgeois tout est pour la bonne Cause. Le Tout Puissant benissent cet Ouvrage et quelle tendent pour sa gloire et pour nôtre Commune prosperité.

[salute] Je me reccommande dans vôtre bienveuillance ayant l’honneur d’etre avec une haute Consideration De Son Exellence, Le très humble, très obeissant & très devoué serviteur

[signed] B. Wild

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0234-0002

Author: Wild, Bartholomé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03-31

Bartholomé Wild to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Your Excellency

Being born a free man in Switzerland and living in this free republic for more than 40 years, it should not surprise you that I am interested in a new free people, and that, with God’s help, they will escape British tyranny by surmounting this enslavement. Our province, especially the inhabitants of this city, has learned with great joy that the states of Holland have finally recognized their freedom, and would like to commence a treaty of friendship and trade that could only be advantageous for both nations or republics. We hope that the other provinces will take a firm resolution, equal to the one taken by Friesland.
This letter is to inform you that last Friday, a petition presented to our states’ deputies to this same effect, signed by 83 manufacturers and traders, was favorably received. Yesterday, an extraordinary session was held on this subject in order to prepare for the conclusion of the assembly of their noble mightinesses next Wednesday. I have reason to believe that the wishes of the good bourgeoisie will be achieved and that in the end we will triumph over all of the country’s traitors, that is to say, the Anglomanes.
I have the honor to provisionally send you the petition, and ask that you keep it until I will have the satisfaction of sending you the second one with all of the signatures.1
{ 374 }
I dare tell you that along with Mr. Hoevenaar, the state prosecutor, I have devoted all actions to arrive at this point and be assured that with the reservation of very few people, mostly nobility and bourgeoisie, all are for the good cause. The all powerful blesses this work and may it accrue to his glory and our common prosperity.

[salute] I recommend myself, with your kindness, in having the honor to be with the great consideration of your Excellency, your very humble, very obedient, and very devoted servant

[signed] B. Wild
1. The petition was dated of 29 March, but the copy that Wild, a Utrecht bookseller, apparently enclosed with this letter has not been found. The Adams Papers, however, do contain what is likely the copy with 83 signatures, including Wild’s, that he promised to send later. It is printed, with the names of the signers entered in an unknown hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0235

Author: Collins, Isaac
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-03

From Isaac Collins

[salute] Sir

It is no less a duty which I owe to myself, than to those, my fellow Citizens and fellow Captives, with me here: that I am at present induced to address you, the subject cruel as it is, can by no means whatever be Justified, nor could either my fellow Captives, or self, have conceived the most distant Idea, that a person of such distinguished abilities, and honored as you are by the call of your Country to the high rank in which you now exist, could have descended so much beneath, the dignity and Character of an Ambassador, as to let private prepossession, or unmerited partiality, take precedence of equity and justice within the line, or limit of your administration, or in any degree, to have met your countenance, much more, to have been your very direct and immediate act and deed, wholly uncontrovertable and as plain a demonstration as that one, and two, make three. And as I have a greater and more sufficient reason, to think myself more particularly aggrieved, than the generality of my fellow sufferers here, I will be plain to tell you, that for some months past, I have been flattered, and finally promised to be released, against one of them three Gentlemen of this Country who were prisoners, to the American Flag in Holland, and for whom you have in direct violation of all laws of equity and justice demanded three Boys, purely because they are natives of the same Town with you (Brantree) in partial and unjustifiable exchanges of this nature, a man may rot in prison, because his immediate fellow Citizen, or { 375 } | view { 376 } Townsman, is not an Ambassador to the Court of our Allies, or such other court in Europe wherein the American Flag is protected. It is several months to my knowledge since that the Duke of Richmond undertook to negociate the exchange of them three prisoners against Capt. McNeil, Mr. Wm: Cozeneau and myself at the requisition of some of our Friends then in Holland, and I had been fully informed that the fair, was acomplished and we were the persons compriz’d in exchange for them, to prove this fact, I have sufficient vouchers in the Letters of several Gentlemen friends to humanity in this Country, to wit, Mr. Wren of Portsmouth and Mr. Heath of Plymouth, and had you in preferance to us who were first mentioned and appointed to exchange them Men; taken three of the oldest, longest or most senior Prisoners in England, some of whom are five years and upwards captives, I had not thought it so unjustifiable and injudicious, but your giving the preferance to three Boys, merely because they were your townsmen is in the opinion of almost all the prisoners here as well as myself a flagrant breach of Justice and equity which you can no ways palliate, and altho’ you may think this unworthy of your notice and attention, yet let me tell you that however unfortunate we may be at present, we hope by the interposition of divine Providence to be one time, or other released from this and enabled to return to our Country when be assured we will not forget or let pass with impunity, such flagrant acts of your ministry, by stating in true Colours, and in a clear point of view, your Conduct in this particular, which in fact and as a duty you owe your Country, you ought, instead of increasing the woes of your fellow Citizens in captivity as in this instance; you should and it is your indispensible duty to alleviate as much as possible their distresses, for know Sir, as I am free to tell you, that ministers are constituted by, and for the good of the people whom they represent to see and administer justice freely, honorably, uprightly and impartially, and not as you have done on this occasion, therefore if you have any thing to urge in defence of so unjust, not to say unpardonable a proceeding you will be brief, as we hope soon to be all sent home, without the Assistance of your ministry, or being under any gratitude whatever, I am however, Sir, Your humble Servant
[signed] Isaac Collins1
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Isaac Collins’s Letter March 1782.—free enough! not to be answered.—the most groundless abuse possible.”
1. For Collins, born in Gloucester, Mass., and captured on the Black Princess in Oct. 1781, see the Descriptive List of Illustrations, Isaac Collins, by John Brewster Jr. 375No. 7, above. Collins’ charge that JA’s efforts { 377 } on behalf of his Braintree neighbors obstructed the exchange of himself and his fellow prisoners has not been substantiated. JA’s assistance to the Braintree prisoners was wholly monetary and there is no evidence in the Adams Papers that JA knew of or was involved in any effort to exchange Americans held in England for British subjects held in the Netherlands.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0236

Author: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-02

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr Sir

I wrote You from Ostend the 27th Ulo and stated what I had done with Dr. F. I arrivd here the last mail day but too late to look about me and to write so fully as I could have wishd. I found the intire kick up of the great ones to make much noise and to give universal pleasure. As the Parliament is not setting no fixd measure of the new people is yet talkd of and the reports are various and vague. Mr L being out of town and still in the West of England I had not the opportunity of making my first communications with Him or of mentioning anything from You. As Genl. C–n–y was privy to and at the bottom of my message to You, I was not many hours in Town before I communicated to Him the sum and substance of what I brought. From him I went to the man whose province it now is to act in any negotiations with Ama. (Lord Shelburne). I am intimate with Him and he was pleasd with the Communication and matter of my irrand in every instance but that of the necessity of communicating any serious or direct profer, going from hence, to the French Ministry.1 I have had much conversation with Him and others of the new ministers on the matter; They all talk of Peace with America if it can be got by great and direct offers, but what this great offer is I cannot learn for they rather draw back when a question is put is this the offer of Independence. Notwithstanding such shyness their insinuations go to that point; but I should be glad to be ascertaind of the real fact. I found all ranks of people delighted with the change of men all and every visage speaks a general joy from the prospect of getting better times and Peace with America; but a quiet thinking American even in the midst of this clamor is apt to reason with himself and things, and to say to what point of good will all those changes tend? will my Country or those European friends who have helpt her be benifited by the new system and set of men; certainly no; without that new set of men go heartily to the work of Peace. Every declaration among the great and leading men is for Peace, but I suspend my opinion until I see some actual measures adopted for { 378 } the attaining that desirable object—a Peace with america seperately from France seems universally scouted; and within a few days an opinion seems to go generally abroad that the Present ministers are likely to detatch Holland from its presents connections with the house of Bourbon—This I look upon as only a maneuvre to help the Stocks; yet it is confidently said that the marquis of Carmarthen will be sent forthwith to Holland, and that a messenger is already gone to the two Imperial Courts to desire them to again open their intercessions for Peace. There are vast exertions making in the Navy and no increase of Army—The new men have the wishes of the people very much with them and there is an appearance of unanimity wch during my 8 or 9 years residence here I have never seen before. Lord Sh–ne is the only new minister suspected of not wishing to go to the length of declaring American Independence; but I think his good sence and excellent information of things in America must make him think the measure a necessary one whatever He may hold out as his intention. He may be said to be prime minister for the great work is in his department, he having all the Southern district of Europe, the whole of home and Irish matters, the East and West Indies, and every thing relative to America. There seems a little disunion between him and the premier Lord R–m, but I cannot tell where the disunion lays. If the whole of them do not pull together it will not be long a popular ministry. My Communication and interest wth Lord Sh–ne has procurd me a promise of a Chart blanche to look for any of my papers that may be transfered from Lord Hillsboroughs office to His, but this cannot be done till some consequent arrangments take place and indeed I am rather chagrind and His telling me that it never happens that the whole of papers are turnd over from one to the other office when a minister retires for the Custom is to make a sweep of office as they term it and to destroy every paper that the retiring minister does not chuse to take away with Him. I fear in this way Mr. L–ns is likely to loose His or a chief part of them. Mr. Galloway had the Examination of them and not longer ago than 6 months, a considerable part of them and extracts of them were arrangd for publication for the virtuous and honest purpose to gull John Bull into a belief that there yet remaind a chance from the vast numbers of fds to Government in America their distresss, want of resources &c. &c. gave every hope of success to his majestys arms from another vigorous Campaign!!! Strange as this may appear, I had it from such authority as I cannot doubt. { 379 } When Lord G. Germain walkd out of office he took the most of Mr L–ns’s papers with Him.2
I have been very busy for a day or two in the business of Capt Luke Ryan and Captain MaCator both Condemnd and likely to suffer.3 There were some prisoners brought up from Mill Prison by Habeas Corpus as Evidence to prove american property and Commission in the last mentiond Ship, McCators, and I have obtaind from the now Admiralty a promise that these witness’s shall not be remanded to prison but left on Parole. There is a Young man soon going to his home by way of Amsterm in one or some Amn vessel that may be going from thence provided He can obtain a passage, He has been a hostage and now set at large so that likely in a day or two I may give You a line by Him.

[salute] I am with very great respect Sir Yr obligd & ob servant

[signed] TD
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “J. Adams Esqr.”; endorsed: “Diggs Ap. 2. 1782.”
1. Digges’ report to Lord Shelburne regarding his meeting with JA on 21 March differs significantly from JA’s account of their conversation. Compare JA’s comments to Benjamin Franklin (26 March, above) with the following memorandum Digges submitted to Shelburne:
“Mr. Adams, Dr Franklin, Mr Jay, Mr Laurens and Mr Jefferson are the Commissioners in urope to treat for Peace.
“Their Powers are to treat and conclude with the Ambassadors, Plenipotentiarys or Commissioners of the States with whom it may concern.
“Each of them are vested with equal powers relative to the Establishment of Peace and a majority of them, or any one (the others not being able to attend) can treat and conclude.
“Mr. Adams cannot speak to any proposition of a direct tendency to Truce or Peace from England without consulting His Colleagues, and from them it must be expected to go to the French minister; The other Belligerent powers having as yet no right to expect information about any propositions for Peace.
“There may however questions be askd Mr Adams and His Colleagues that they may not think essentially necessary to communicate to the French Court. And any proper messenger sent to ask such questions will be answerd with confidential Secrecy.
“Mr. Digges read over Mr Adams’s Commission; It is dated the 15th. June 1781, and His Powers (wch are exactly the same as the other four) are as full as possible, and go to conclude as well as treat for peace.
“Mr. Adams’s first Commission appointed Him to the Court of Great Britain; and this was in force until abot the beginning of Sepr 1781 when the above Commission conjointly with the other four was received in Europe; And it was so alterd by Congress for no other reason than some ill treatment of the Americans by the British Army in South Carolina and from the unfavorable treatment shewn Mr Laurens in the Tower.
“Mr. Digges has Mr Adams’s assurance that any questions put to Him as to further consulting upon the mode of opening a parley or entering into a treaty shall be confidentially and secretly answerd. And altho His, Mr As name, stands first in the Commission any direct propositions made to Dr. Franklin will be equaly attended to.
“Mr Digges leaves these memorandas with Lord Shelburne for the purpose of His Lordships communicating them to any other of the present administration whom Mr D has not the honor to know” (MiU-C:Shelburne Papers).
The most controversial points in Digges’ report are the fifth and eighth paragraphs, which insinuate that JA and his colleagues { 380 } would be willing to negotiate a separate peace—a flat contradiction of Congress’ instructions (vol. 11:375–377) and of every letter JA had written since the beginning of 1782 regarding the possibility of peace negotiations. In fact, when Shelburne met with Henry Laurens on 4 April, he stated that Digges assured him that JA said “the American Ministers can treat for Peace with Great Britain, Independent of France” (Laurens, Papers, 15:400–401). Laurens’ skepticism that JA would make such a statement, and Shelburne’s desire to confirm it, resulted in Laurens’ undertaking a mission to the Netherlands to meet with JA. See Laurens’ memorandum, [post 18 April], below.
Digges also misrepresented the reasons why the U.S. peace commission was expanded. See Commissions and Instructions for Mediation and Peace, 15 June 1781 (vol. 11:368–370).
2. Digges was mistaken. Shelburne returned Laurens’ papers in twenty bound volumes (Laurens, Papers, 15:513).
3. Luke Ryan and Edward McCarty (or Macatter), of the vessels Cologne and Black Princess respectively, were Irish smugglers with commissions as privateers from both Benjamin Franklin and the French government. On 30 March they were sentenced to death for committing acts of piracy “under color of commission from the French king although natural born subjects of this kingdom.” The trials of the two men before the High Court of Admiralty received comprehensive coverage in the London newspapers, including the General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer of 1 April and the London Chronicle of 30 March – 2 April. Digges testified on behalf of the two men who, following the intercession of the French government, were pardoned (Sheldon S. Cohen, Yankee Sailors in British Gaols: Prisoners of War at Forton and Mill, 1777–1783, Newark, Del., 1995, p. 195, 257).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0237-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-02

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

Je me proposois Monsieur d’aller passer quelques jours a amsterdam a la fin de Cette Semaine, mais je suis absolument obligé de rester icy et j’aurai l’honneur de vous en dire Les raisons. Je Desirerois bien cependant m’entretenir avec vous; et je vous prierois de venir a La haye si vous n’etes pas indispensablement retenu a amsterdam.1

[salute] Receves 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-06-12-02-0237-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-02

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I had proposed, sir, to spend a few days in Amsterdam at the end of this week, but I am absolutely obliged to remain here and will have the honor of informing you of the reasons. In the meantime, I want very much to speak with you and pray that you would come to The Hague unless you are indispensibly detained at Amsterdam.1
{ 381 }

[salute] Receive, sir, a new assurance of the inviolable sentiments of attachment and consideration with which I have the honor of being your very humble and very obedient servant.

[signed] Le Duc De La vauguyon
1. JA went to The Hague on the morning of 4 April and returned on the 6th (Dumas to Robert R. Livingston, 4 April, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:292–293).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0238-0001

Author: Low, Herr von
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-02

From Herr von Low

[salute] Hochwohlgebohrner Herr Insonders Höchstzuverehrender Herr Ministre!

Nachdem man vor kurzer Zeit in verschiedenen öffentlichen deutschen Blättern zu wiederholtenmalen die Bekanntmachung gelesen, daß die vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America erfahrene Ingenieure in ihre Dienste zu engagieren suchen, und selbigen vorzüglich gute Conditiones vorlegen würden; So habe dem Verlangen eines meiner Freunde, welcher als practischer Ingenieur in französischen Diensten gestanden, ein Genüge leisten, und Ew. Hochwohlgebohrn um nähere Bestimmung obgedachter Conditionen gehorsamst ersuchen, allem voraus als dem mein Freund, welcher gegenwärtig in Geschäften verreist ist, selbst schriftlich weiter in dieser Sache zu tractiren und sich Ew. Hochwohlgebohrn’ hohen protection zu empfehlen nicht verfehlen wird. Indeßen habe ich vor meine Person die Ehre Dieselben um geneigteste Rück-Antwort auf gegenwärtiges gehorsamst zu ersuchen,1 mit allem Respect beharrend Ew. Hochwohlgebohrn Gehorsamster Diener
[signed] von Low
Directorial Secretair beym Westphälischen Reichs Grafen-Collegio

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0238-0002

Author: Low, Herr von
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-02

Herr von Low to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Right Honorable Sir and Minister!

Since the repeated announcement in public German newspapers of the fact that the United States of North America is trying to find and hire experienced engineers and would guarantee them excellent and good conditions, so I have wished to do a favor for one of my friends, who as a practical engineer has worked for the French, and thus I have wanted, most { 382 } obediently, to ask your right honorable sir for further information about the abovementioned conditions, before my friend, who is traveling for business at the moment, negotiates this matter further in writing and will not fail to recommend himself under your right honorable sir’s protection. In the meantime I have the honor to obediently request a reply to this inquiry,1 remaining with all respect, your right honorable sir’s obedient servant
[signed] von Low
Directorial Secretair at the Westphälischen Reichs Grafen-Collegio
1. There is no indication that JA replied to either this letter or a second of 16 May that is in French (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0239

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

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Last night I recd yours of March 31. inclosing a Receipt from some American Prisoners for Money advanced them. Let me beg of you sir to Point out, in what Way, I may remit this Money. I am ready to pay a Bill upon Sight, or to purchase a Bill here and transmit it, whichever is most agreable.
The new British Ministry will only, plunge their Country into deeper Misfortunes if they Spend time to negotiate a seperate Peace. It is not less extravagant and insolent than the Project of Conquest entertaind by their Predecessors. America Stands, at present upon so high Ground, that even the Continuance of the War, will be a Blessing to her, if War can ever be called a Blessing. It will be a constant Source of Wealth and Power. It cannot therefore be expected of her that she should abate an Iota of her Pretensions.
Pray how do you like the Petitions from the Dutch Merchants and Manufacturers. They appear to me to have given a Reputation to the American Cause, which will be an Increase of strength and Power, equal to a great army or Navy. For one need not read Hobbes to learn that Reputation is Power.
The Amsterdam Requite was drawn by my Friend Calkoen, tho he has admitted into it, some Mistakes that of Leyden by My Friend Luzac, that of Rotterdam by my Acquaintance Van Zoon of the Hague.1 But there is scarcly a City in the Republick which has not followed the Example. You know Some of the Ploughing and hoeing and harrowing, which has prepared the Ground you know Some of the seed that has been sown, and that it was Humphry Ploughjog• { 383 } ger2 who sowed it. But the Crop has exceeded Humphrys most Sanguine Expectations. Nature almost allways has occasion for a Midwife you know. I wonder what may be the sentiments of some People against whose Judgments, Exhortations and Warnings all this Mischeif has been done. Will they deny, Sentiments which can be produced under their Hands?

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

[signed] J. Adams
1. For Hendrik Calkoen, an Amsterdam lawyer, see vol. 10:196–199. Van Zoon has not been identified.
2. A pseudonym used by JA for contributions to the Boston Gazette between 1763 and 1767, for which see vol. 1:58–66, 90–94.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0240

Author: Andrews, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-03

From Samuel Andrews

[salute] Sir

I wrote your Excellency per the last post respecting my business in this City. I now take the Liberty by my worthy and good Friend Mr Texier to send you the Memore of this business which I declare to your Excellency upon my honour is the truth on my part And by which you will see how Cruelly I have been treated in Martinieque as also in this City. Had I have Lost my Intrest by shipwreck or have been taken by the English I should not have thought so much of it But to loose it And to be taken from me by those who I would sopose ware my friends it is Cruel to the last degree. I am fully perswaded from your Excellencys Goodness you will due every thing for me in your Power to retrieve this Intrest which if Lost I am fully runie’d as will also hurt the Estate very much of deseased friend Mr Gray.

[salute] I have the Honour to be with due Respect your Excellency most Obedent & very Humble Sert

[signed] Sam Andrews
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Andrews. Ap. 3. 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0241-0001

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-05

From Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Monsieur

J’ai écrit amplement au Bourguemaitre Hooft1 touchant la Situation des affaires dans cette Province, avec priere de Vous en donner { 384 } Communication. Les Villes ont pris de bonnes Resolutions. Mais je Suis encore incertain au Sujet des Nobles. Mecredi, a eu juger par les apparences et quelques informations, ils etoient peu disposés a reconnoitre L’independance. Mais il ÿ eu qui croient quils ont reçu Mecredi au Soir des ordres de la Haÿe: Du moins l’on S’imaginoit hier de remarquer quelque changement dans les discours de quelques uns. C’est, a ce que je m’attends, aujourdhui que l’affaire Sera decidée; du moins la grande Besoigne Se tiendra ce matin. Mais il ÿ pourtant encore moien de deliberer et de dilaier.2
J’ai reçu une lettre de Mon Ami Valk. Quoique je me Suis fait une loi de n’importuner personne par des Sollicitations, je ne Saurois cependant me refuser a la demande de ce digne Ami. Il a eu le malheur de Se voir ruiné de fond en comble par cette guerre inopinée. Il a resolu de Se transporter en Amerique. Mais Sa digne epouse Souhaiteroit beaucoup de pouvoir rester dans Sa Ville natale Rotterdam. N ÿ auroit il pas moien que le Congress emploiat ce brave homme en quelque qualité—par exemple d’Agent—qui put lui donner l’occasion de Subsister honnetement, et de recommencer quelque affaire? Je prie Votre Excellence dÿ Songer. Je puis recommander mon Ami comme un patriote zélé et éclairé et comme un negociant qui a etudié Son metier. Je puis d’ailleurs assurer Votre Excellence que les deux peuples lui ont de l’obligation. Je ne Saurois en dire d’avantage.3 J’ai lhonneur detre en grande hate de Votre Excellence le tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] Capellen de Poll

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0241-0002

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-05

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

[salute] Sir

I wrote to Burgomaster Hooft,1 fully explaining the situation here in this province, and asked him to write to you. The cities made good resolutions. But I am still uncertain about the nobility. Wednesday, by all appearances and some information, they were hardly disposed to recognize independence. But some believed that they received orders from The Hague on Wednesday evening, and at the very least it was said that yesterday there was some change in their rhetoric. I expect the matter will be decided today, at least the great work will happen this morning. But there are still ways to deliberate and postpone.2 I received a letter from my friend Valk. Although I make it a habit not to bother anyone with solicitations, I do not know how I could refuse a request from my deserving friend. He had the misfortune to be completely ruined by this unexpected war. He resolved to go to America. But his wor• { 385 } thy wife hoped very much to remain in her native city of Rotterdam. Couldn’t there be some way that Congress could employ this courageous man in some capacity? For example, as an agent he could have the chance to earn an honest living and could start some new business. I ask your Excellency to think about it. I recommend my friend as a zealous and enlightened patriot and as a merchant who has studied his craft. I can also assure your Excellency that both countries are obliged to him. I cannot say more about him.3 I have the honor to be, in great haste, your Excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Capellen de Poll
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “The Baron de Poll. 5. April. ansd. 6. 1782.”
1. JA met Henrik Hooft, a pro-Patriot burgomaster of Amsterdam and ally of van der Capellen, in 1780, soon after his arrival at Amsterdam (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:445–446, 448–449; Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 107, 113–114, 207, 210).
2. In fact, the States of Overijssel voted on 5 April to admit JA as minister plenipotentiary and recognize U.S. independence, for which see van der Capellen’s letter of 6 April and JA’s of 19 April to Robert R. Livingston, both below.
3. In 1783, Adriaan Valck emigrated to the United States where, in 1784, the States General appointed him Dutch consul for Maryland and Virginia (Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence, p. 255–256; PCC, No. 128, f. 75).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0242-0001

Author: Pauli, Johann Ulrich
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-05

From Johann Ulrich Pauli

[salute] Hoch-Wohlgebohrner, Hochgeehrtester Herr

Wenn ihr hanseatische Charge d. affaires Monsieur Martens1 bei Euro Hochwohlgebohrn die Anfrage bald thun sollte, ob Sie bereits bevollmächtiget wären mit denen Hansen-Städten einen Freundschaft und Handlungs-Verein zu treffen, so ist dieses keine bloße Frage der Neugierde. Die Hansenstädte kommen und werden verhältnismäßig weit größeren Nutzen und Vortheile Dero Amerikanischen zu leisten vermögen, als dieses die Herren Holländer je zu thun vermögend sein werden. Auf dem Fall Dero wircklichen Bevollmächtigung wünsche Ihnen einen Vorschlag einer den Hansen-Städten und Dero Amerikanischen Staaten gleich gemeinschaftlichen Banck zu thun, die beiden so sehr vortheilhafft sein wird, daß von selbst Dero Mitbürger und die unsrigen mit keinem so gerne und willig handeln werden als mit sich unter einander. Die Sache ist von einem erstaunenden Umfange, und wie ich glaube und hoffe von einer sehr zuversichtlichen Gewisheit. Die Grundsätze, worauf sie gebauet werden wird, sind die einfachsten. Es sind Grundsätze der Freiheit und Gerechtigkeit selbst. Aber in ihren Folgen gehen sie bis ins unendliche. Ich muß aber nohtwendig Ihnen { 386 } mündlich davon erst die erforderliche Nachricht gäben. Vorläufig dürfte ich Ihnen so viel sagen können, daß wenn Sie sich ausbitten sollten, mit mir über den Traktat zu seiner Zeit vorzüglich zu negotiiren, die Hansen-Städte wohl aber kein sonderliches Bedenken machen dürften, mir diesen Auftrag mit anderen zu ertheilen. Ob nun ihre General Vollmacht zur Handels Traktats Schliessung sich bis so weit erstrecke, daß Sie solche von selbst auf die Hansen-Städte ausdehnen oder nicht ausdehnen können, davon bitte ich mir eine offenherzige baldige Antwort, die keine andere Absicht haben soll, als beiden Theilen auf alle Zukunfft die ersprieslichsten Aussichten und Dienste leisten zu wollen. Wenigstens dürften sie erforderlichenfalles die weitere Vollmacht leichte vom Congres aus erhalten und doch schon das vorläuffige nohtwendige von jetzt an vorbereiten können. Sollten Euro Hochwohlgebohrn sich bei dieser schönen Jahreszeit und guten Wegen sich endschliessen eine Reise nach die Hansen Städte zu thun, so2 erbiete ich mein Haus. Ich wohne in der schönen Vorstadt zu St. Georg. Sie können erst so lange wie sie wollen, incognito bei mir sich aufhalten, um das vorläuffige erforderliche gehörig befordern zu mögen. Ich bin Euro Hochwohlgebohrn ergebenster und verpflichtetster Diener
[signed] Joh: Ulr: Pauli Dr.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0242-0002

Author: Pauli, Johann Ulrich
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-05

Johann Ulrich Pauli to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Right Honorable Sir

If your Hanseatic Charge d’Affaires Monsieur Martens1 were soon to inquire whether your honor would be ready to authorize the settling of a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the Hanseatic Cities, then this is not a mere question of curiosity. The Hanseatic Cities would offer relatively bigger gains and advantages to the Americans, than the Dutch gentlemen would ever be able to offer them. In case of actual authorization, I would like to make you a proposal of the same mutual bank between the Hanseatic cities and the American states, which would be advantageous to both, so that your fellow citizens and ours can trade pleasantly and willingly as they would trade amongst themselves. This is a great and important matter and, as I hope and believe, one of great trust and assurance. The principles on which this matter would be founded are most simple. They are the principles of freedom and justice themselves. These principles would never expire. But first I would have to give you the necessary information about this verbally. In the meantime I could tell you this, namely, if you will authorize this, and when the authorization has been made you would like to deal with me especially, then the Hanseatic Cities would not want me to have any other special considerations for other par• { 387 } ties. I would like to have a candid and quick reply as to whether your present authority for concluding commercial treaties is sufficient that you could or could not extend such treaties to the Hanseatic Cities, which serves no other purpose than that both parties would have the most advantageous prospects and services in the future. At least you could, in case it might be necessary, easily obtain further authorization from Congress and in the meantime you could make the current necessary preparations. Should your honor decide to make the journey to the Hanseatic Cities at this pretty season and on good roads, then2 I would offer you my house. I live in the beautiful suburb of St. George. You can stay with me, incognito, as long as you would like to be able to further the necessary preparations, in the meantime, I remain your honor’s most humble and most obliged servant,
[signed] Joh: Ulr: Pauli Dr.
1. Karl Wilhelm Martens, chargé d’affaires from the Hanseatic towns (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, 3:557). In the wake of his recognition as minister to the Netherlands, JA left his card at Martens’ residence (Diary and Autobiography, 3:3).
2. At this point in the left margin is the fragmentary passage: “[ . . . ] alle in meinen [ . . . ] Kräfften sei. [ . . . ] ende Dienstleistungen.” Translated literally this reads, “[ . . . ] all in my [ . . . ] powers [ . . . ] and services.” It may have been intended for insertion in the body of the text, but the location cannot be determined.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0243-0001

Author: Quadt Wykeradt, Comtesse de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-05

From the Comtesse de Quadt Wykeradt

[salute] Monsieur

Comme votre excellance, a asschetté notre Maison au fruell-Burgwal, ou je demeure le-quèl je dois sedder et transporter le premier de maÿ, et qu’ils me sont [aux]-vennée des affaires, qui demende ma pressence ici plus longtems, je vien La Prier, de voulloir maccorder d’y rèster un mois, ou quinzaine de jours plus-tar, et joffre, en mème temps d’y donner des chambres pour ÿ plasser des Meubles d’abors, commes aussi, de souffrir qu’on mette le gardin, et Maison en ordre d’an ce qu’a, en Esperent par un mot de lettre, une favorable reponce, j’ay L’honneur d’etre Monsieur De votre Excellance la tres humble servante
[signed] W: F: comtesse De Quadt Wykeradt nèe Baronne De Wyhe

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0243-0002

Author: Quadt Wykeradt, Comtesse de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-05

The Comtesse de Quadt Wykeradt to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Monsieur

Since your Excellency has purchased our house in Fluwelen Burgwal where I am residing until May 1st, and where I must continue to be present in order to attend to my business affairs, I ask you permission to stay on for { 388 } a month longer, or at least two weeks. In exchange, I offer to put the rooms and garden in order before your arrival and while hoping for a favorable reply, I have the honor to be, sir, your Excellency’s very humble servant
[signed] W: F: comtesse De Quadt Wykeradt nèe Baronne De Wyhe
RC (Adams Papers). The draft of JA’s reply, also of 5 April, below, is written on the reverse of this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Quadt Wykeradt, Comtesse de
Date: 1782-04-05

To the Comtesse de Quadt Wykeradt

[salute] Madam

I am sorry it is not in my Power to agree to your Request in your Letter of this Days Date. But it is absolutely out of my Power, as I am obliged to remove from my House at Amsterdam, on the first of May. I have the Honour to be very respectfully Madam your most obedient and humble servant
[signed] J. Adams
Dft (Adams Papers). The draft is written on the reverse of the Comtesse’s letter of 5 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0245

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Andrews, Samuel
Date: 1782-04-06

To Samuel Andrews

[salute] Sir

I have recd your two Letters,1 and Should be glad to do you any Service in my Power. I will endeavour to Speak to the Nobleman you mention upon the Subject. But as I know nothing of the merits of your Cause, you must be Sensible that there is little Prospect of Succeeding. He is a very good Character and I flatter myself is disposed to oblige me: But it will Seem odd to him to write to Versailles at my desire, about a subject that I understand not. He is, besides at present very full of Cares publick and private. I will endeavour however to do you, all the Service I can, being with respect, your most obedient and humble servant
1. Of 12 and 31 March, both above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0246

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Date: 1782-04-06

To Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol

[salute] Monsieur Le Baron

Upon my Return to Town, to day I found your Favour of the 5th. instant: that of 31. Ult I had recd before.
{ 389 }
Am curious to know what Use will be made in the States of overyssell of the Memorial of the Russian Ministers. Will it be used as a Pretext for delay? It is really a Serious Thing, that great affairs should be thus obstructed by little ones. This Memorial promises more than Mr Fox’s Letter authorizes. The armistice proposed is but a proposal of a Breach of Faith already pledged to France.1
Will this Republick abandon France and america, and throw themselves alone upon the Mercy of England? Is there one Regent in the Republick that would advise it?
As to the affair of your Friend Valk, I can only Say that I should be happy to have it in my Power to serve, any Man upon your Recommendation: but in this Case I have no Power.
If a Treaty should be made, I presume Congress will send a Consul to this Republick: but that Consul will be an american. This I take to be the fixed Resolution of Congress, to Send as Ministers and Consuls abroad her own Sons and she expects to receive from her allies as Ministers and Consuls, their own native Citizens. This, you will readily agree is the best Policy on both Sides, and indeed the only Policy that can give mutual Satisfaction. Congress will not certainly multiply Agents, and will have no occasion, probably for more than one Consul, in this Republick. This Consul may have occasion for a correspondent in each maritime City, but the Choice will lie with him, and it will necessarily be Sometime before he is appointed and can arrive. But alass are We not Speculating before the Time. An Ecclesiastical order, which is a Non Entity, can delay the Measures that are judged necessary by the Cities and Nobles in Utrecht. The Nobles, perhaps in overyssell may delay matters there. A Single City, or a first Noble in Zealand, may obstruct the Decision of that Province. And of Groningen We hear nothing at all.
Patience upon Patience is necessary. When a Resolution appears upon the Point of being taken, Some new Device appears to throw all aback. But when one Magazine of Patience is exhausted We must open a new one, untill the last fails.2

[salute] With great 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. 278).
1. On 29 March, Charles James Fox informed the Russian ambassador at London that Britain was willing to agree “to an immediate cessation of hostilities” with the Netherlands and negotiate a peace treaty based “on free navigation according to the treaty of 1674.” This effort to separate the Dutch from the French represented a reversal of the British policy toward the League of Armed Neutrality. The Russian ambassador immediately wrote to Gallitzin and Markov, his colleagues at The Hague, and on 3 April { 390 } the two men submitted a memorial to the States General that contained the new British offer. Fox’s proposal failed because the French opposed a separate Anglo-Dutch peace and because the offer was made on the day the States of Holland voted to recognize the United States. By the time Fox renewed the offer in May, the States General had made the recognition official (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 387–388, 396–397; Edler, Dutch Republic and Amer. Rev., p. 200; Dumas to Robert R. Livingston, 10 May, Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:408–410).
2. When JA published this letter in the Boston Patriot of 13 March 1811, he inserted the following note:
“N. B. in 1810. I heard a gentleman in the Senate Chamber ask my friend Mr. Izzard, who upon some occasion was somewhat impetuous, ‘have you no patience?’ Izzard replied, very quickly, “I believe I have a great deal for I have never used any of it.”
“I am somewhat apprehensive that posterity will think the reverse of this true with regard to me: and that I had occasion for so long a course of years to draw so largely on my magazine, that in the latter part of my public life it became scarce and almost exhausted.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0247

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de
Date: 1782-04-06

To the Marquis de Lafayette

[salute] My dear General

I am just honored now with your’s of 27th. March. All things were working rapidly together for our good, untill on the 3d. instant, the Russian Ministers at the Hague presented the Memorial which You have seen in the Gazettes. This will set twenty little Engines to work, to embroil and delay: but I believe that in the Course of four or five Weeks We shall triumph over this which I take to be the last hope of the Anglomanes. The Voice of this Nation was never upon any occasion declared with more Unanimity, and the numerous Petitions have already done an honor and a Service to the American Cause, that no Artifice can retract or diminish.
As to the Visit, Mr. Franklin is informed of the whole.1 It is nothing. The new British Ministry are in a curious Situation. There is but one sensible Course for them to take, and that is to make the best Peace they can with all <Europe> their Enemies. We shall see whether they have Resolution and Influence enough to do it.
As to Credit here, I am flattered with hopes of it, provided a Treaty is made, not otherwise. Whether that will be done and when I know not. I can never foresee any thing in this Country, no not for one day, and I dare not give the smallest hopes.
Your confidential Letter had better be sent by the Comte de Vergennes’s Express to the Duke de la Vauguyon. I hope We shall have a good Account soon of Jamaica.
I am extreamly sorry, that Mr. Jay meets with so much delay in Spain. The Policy of it is totally incomprehensible.2
Am happy to find that your Sentiments correspond with mine, { 391 } concerning what We ought to do, and have no doubt that all will be well done in time. What is there to resist the French and Spanish Force in the West Indies? or in the Channel? or in N. America? or in the E. Indies? If my Dutchmen fairly concert Operations with France and Spain, and the Seas are kept with any Perseverance, all the Commerce of G. Britain is at stake. Yet your Caution not to be too sanguine is very good. Spain does not yet seem to be sufficiently awake, and the English Admirals under the new Ministry will do all they can.
I fancy they will try the last Efforts of Despair this Summer, but their Cause is desperate indeed. Never was an Empire ruined in so short a time, and so masterly a manner. Their Affairs are in such a state, that even Victories would only make their final Ruin the more compleat.

[salute] With great Affection & Esteem, I have the honor to be &ca3

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. For Thomas Digges’ visit, see JA to Franklin, 26 March, above.
2. When JA published this letter in the Boston Patriot of 13 March 1811, he inserted the following note at this point: “N.B. In 1810—i.e. ‘Incomprehensible,’ upon any equitable, candid and honorable principles of a common interest among the allies—but very comprehensible upon the principles of pedlars and jockeys, on which the Comte de Vergennes too often acted in American affairs.”
3. In the Boston Patriot, JA inserted the following note at this point: “N.B. in 1810—The affection and esteem expressed in this letter to the marquis were sincere. I believed him to be a gallant and honorable youth, sincerely attached to America. I knew his connections, the Duke de Mouchy, the Duke de Ayen, the Prince de Poix, the Viscount de Noailles, and in short the whole family of Noailles, which contained six Marshals of France, as I was told: in a few words the whole family of Bourbon had not so much real influence in France as this family of Noailles. I was then fully convinced that this letter would be communicated to the court. I have reason to believe it was communicated to the King in person, for the Marquis wrote me, that the king had expressed to him a high esteem of me.” On 7 May, Lafayette wrote to JA that “I was the other day, pleased to Hear the king of france Speack of You to me in terms of the Highest Regard” (Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790, ed. Stanley J. Idzerda and others, Ithaca, N.Y., 5 vols., 1977–1984, 5:36–37).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0248-0001

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-06

Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der

[salute] Monsieur

J’ai la Satisfaction de communiquer à Votre Excell: que les Etats d’Overÿssel ont resolu hier nemine contradicente,1 de reconnoitre Votre Excell: comme Ministre des Etats Unis de l’Amerique Septentrionale. Dieu en Soit beni!

[salute] J’ai l’honneur d’etre avec un profond respect De Votre Excellence le tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur

[signed] J D van der Capellen

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0248-0002

Author: Capellen tot den Pol, Joan Derk, Baron van der
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-06

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

[salute] Sir

I have the satisfaction to communicate to Your Excellency that the States of Overijssel resolved yesterday, nemine contradicente,1 to recognize Your Excellency as minister of the United States of North America. Blessed be God.

[salute] I have the honor to be, with a profound respect for Your Excellency, your most humble and most obedient servant.

[signed] J D van der Capellen
1. Without opposition.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0249

Author: Dubbeldemuts, Adrianus
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-06

From Adrianus Dubbeldemuts

[salute] Sir

The letter which your Excellencÿ has done me the honour of writing me the 22d. past reached me in Course. Since the Copy of the petition of the Merchants of this place to their Magistrates, which Covered my last, has been So acceptable to your Excellencÿ, I take the libertÿ to add here the Rotterdam Gazette of this daÿ,1 Containing Chiefly an adress to our Said Magistrates which I had the honour not only to offer them yesterday by writing, but to pronounce before them, with all that emphasis, which fear for being lulled a Sleep bÿ a treacherous Ennemÿ, and on the other hand a prospect of being restored in ancient Rights, Could even inspire to a lover of libertÿ: I took the freedom to declare our present Committees that, in order to Shew posterity what we had done to employ well the present favourable Circumstances, we would place the Said adress in the gazette of this daÿ: maÿ this have the desired effect, and our adhérency to the intrest of America produce those great ends, the liberty of that So long oppressed Country, the blessings of trade without limitation, and a general Peace, the best of earthly happiness, provided it be not the fruit of low and Creeping Submission. I Need not to Say how much it will add to my real Satisfaction when your Excellencÿ will favour me with his aprobation of the Step I took; but still more when you’ll be pleased to give me two minutes of that precious time which you So nobly employ in the Case of your Country and your bretheren; any time Your Excellencÿ Shall be { 393 } pleased to fix for a Short interview, will be acceptable to Your Excellencys Most Obedient humble Servant
[signed] A Dubbeldemuts
1. Enclosure not found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0250

Author: Mylius, Anthony
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-06

From Anthony Mylius

Whereas the happy Moment is arrived that the united States of America are or in Short shall be acknowledged as Free and Independent by the States of these United Provinces, and that in Consequence thereof a Treaty of Commerce, Trade and Navigation is to be made between the aforesaid States, by which the Commerce, Trade and Navigation shall increase and florish more and more, And as different Sorts of Acts, deeds and Instruments will be required to be made for or between Merchants, Masters of vessels and other Persons, to serve and to be made Use off in the aforesaid states of America; And whereas all Affidavits, Protests or Instruments which must be Sworn, first must be drawn and Sworn in Dutch, according to the Customs of these Lands, and afterwards translated and made Authentick by two or three Publick Persons to great Inconveniency and Charges of the Concerned Persons; And as the Underwritten is acquainted with the Principal Languages of the United states of America, And hath yet had the Honour to employed as Notary and Translator by Your Excellency, and is still employed by several Houses of this City, trading and dealing with the Inhabitants of the aforesaid States of America; Therefore the Underwritten do take the Liberty by these Presents, to make his Application to Your Excellency, in Case it may be tought proper by the Free and Independent states of America to appoint and nominate any Person in this City to administer the Oath of all such Affidavits or Protests and to make Authentick all such deeds or Instruments as in Commerce, Trade or Navigation may be required to serve and to be made Use off in the States of America aforesaid, to recommand his Person to your Excellency, and that all Upon reasonable and ordinarÿ Terms or Fees to be paid by the Concerned Persons, in Support of the Underwritten and his Familÿ as he sustained Several dammages and losses in the last Year by the Unjust war of Great Brittain as otherwise.
[signed] Anthony Mylius

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0251

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Baraux, M.
Date: 1782-04-07

To M. Baraux

[salute] Sir

I have communicated your Letter, which You did me the honor to write me on the 21st. Ulto., to Messs. Ingraham & Bromfield of this City, who have furnished in the inclosed Letter a List of Merchants as You desired, to which I beg leave to add Richard Cranch Esqr of Boston.
There will probably be, after a Peace, a considerable Trade between the several Ports of the United States of America and Trieste, thro’ which place I fancy several American Productions will find their Way into the Interior of the Austrian Dominions. I should be obliged to You for your Sentiments of this Trade, and what Commodities Americans may dispose of in that quarter, and what they may recieve in return.

[salute] I have the honor to be, Sir, &c

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

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0252

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dubbeldemuts, Adrianus
Date: 1782-04-07

To Adrianus Dubbeldemuts

[salute] Sir

I have recd. your favor of yesterday inclosing a Gazette with a new Petition or Address to the Magistrates of the City of Rotterdam.
While the People entertain such sentiments and hold such a language their Liberties and Prosperity can never be essentially in danger.
I should be very happy to see You at any time while I stay in Amsterdam, or after my Removal to the Hague. If I should come to the Hague the latter end of this week or the beginning of next, I should be glad to recieve You there; but I cannot at present indicate the day. With much Respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, &ca
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0253

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Hodinpyl, P.
Date: 1782-04-07

To P. Hodinpyl

[salute] Sir

I have recd. your favor of the 30th. of March,1 and am much obliged to You for your kind Congratulations on the flattering prospect of public affairs.
{ 395 }
The formation of commercial and political Connections between our Countries is ushered in with so much solemnity, it is accompanied by such elaborate discussions of the Prosperity of the Measure, and triumphs at last in such an Unanimity, as will form an Epocha in the History of both Republicks. It must have a striking effect, and make a deep Impression upon all Europe. If it produces a universal Peace, it will be glorious: but if the War continues, the two Republicks will cement their commercial and political Connections by it, and increase their naval Power, and make themselves mutually more respected and courted by all other Nations.
I expect every hour the Arrival of some Vessels, which may bring Us News of your Brother Commodore Gillon:2 as soon as I recieve any, I will send it You with pleasure.

[salute] With much Esteem, I have the honor to be, Sir, &ca

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. In his letter of 30 March from Rotterdam (Adams Papers), Hodinpyl congratulated JA on the action taken by the States of Holland on the 28th and then launched into a lengthy paean to the forthcoming Dutch-American alliance and the benefits to both nations from such a union. He offered his services to JA, but there is no extant response.
2. JQA identifies Hodinpyl as a brother-in-law of Alexander Gillon (JQA, Diary, 1:53).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0254

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-08

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

I had the pleasure of your favour of the 15th March this morning, in which you acknowledge the receipt of mine of Feby 10/21 and of the paper enclosed; but you say nothing of another paper which I sent you by the same post, enclosed in blank, relative to the same subject: I hope it has safely reached you notwithstanding. I have wrote to you since, on Feby. 21. O.S. And to Mr: T. on the 5/16 inst: by a private hand.1 Besides I have sent to your care by the last post but one, through different hands, three letters for our new correspondent; all of which I wou’d wish to be sent by the same opportunity. One of them you will find is marked duplicate: it is the duplicate of that which you had received before.2
The change of System in Britain (all the particulars of which I have seen as published in the English Papers) must it wou’d seem have its consequences, beneficial to that Nation, unless the folly of the leaders in the new majority shou’d prevent it, by pursuing a { 396 } course in fact not less extravagant and absurd than that of conquest. You will at once perceive that I allude to the plan of the bill proposed by the Attorny Genl: which seems to reach the professed intentions of those leaders, at least, though it is calculated to dupe them and to keep matters in the same hands.3 I have said this change might be attended with beneficial consequences, because if the wisest improvement is not made of it, the Nation cannot fail of soon experiencing the most dreadful calamities. Her distresses it is no longer possible to conceal; and these have wrought out the present change. However it may turn for them, will it not greatly advance our Interests? The whole world must now see that Nation itself proclaiming its utter despair of obtaining the great object of the war. And after this, will they think they ought to wait till Britain has acknowledged in form the Independence of the United-States, before they venture to enter into any political connections with us? Or in other words, will they risk their exclusion from great commercial benefits, by neglecting to accept of them when tendered by the United-States? The close of the War, may close these offers in some parts at least.
I am glad to hear some folks are at last occupied in very serious thoughts of doing that which they ought to have done long ago. This late change, I fancy, will spur them on. I shall readily excuse your not writing me while your time is taken up in the manner you mention. I hope you will not forget me in your leisure hours. Be not discouraged about your health. When your affairs go right it will, I presume, mend fast, especially if you will frequently ride on horseback, as you have been accustomed to do. I flatter myself I shall yet see you in all your glory at the Hotel des Etats-Unis, for I wont talk of laying my bones in this Country. I thank you for your opinion upon my proposed attempt. The difference between our situations which you have pointed out, is most certainly just. I have all along been sensible of it, and my conduct has been influenced by it.
To your question what is the reason a certain event does not take place? I can give at least one reason, a want of a proper connection. Of this I have said something in my letter No. 1. to our new Correspondent, which passes through your hands open.4 Others may be given, but I shall say nothing about them here. I agree with you that we have no particular reason to wish for Peace. I have always hoped to see this war end in a maritime war on our part: that is, that it shou’d continue for some time after the British were driven completely out of our Territories. And I have seen no reason to change { 397 } this sentiment. Of course I do not wish to see any negotiations for a Peace going on while the British possess an Inch of our Country. You may be right in your conjecture that they will evacuate it, if they are not prevented by being made prisoners in their garrisons; yet I have some doubt of this, not because I do not think it the wisest measure they cou’d take, but because, I beleive, they imagine that holding some possession there they will be enabled to acquire more favourable Terms or to negotiate with less disadvantage, and perhaps a seperate Peace. This seems now to be the object which fascinates the present Majority or its leaders, and that may bring on the surrender of the residue of their Troops. What can save them from this fate, if they are shut in by a naval superiority? France is by this time convinced that the British Barbarities have thoroughly wean’d us, and I trust will again give us that superiority, which alone we want to rid ourselves entirely of our Enemies. Her late system of war I am charmed with, not only where it immediately affects us, but elsewhere. She has deffered her conquests, except of such territories as were ravished from her last War, till the moment when no one can justly accuse her of making them with any other view than to compel a haughty and an obstinate Enemy to submit to reasonable terms of peace. If she preserves her moderation in the season of negotiation, her glory will be established on the surest foundation. I fear the affair of St: Kitts is not finished in the manner you suppose. A little time will give us the Issue of that Expedition. I am, my dear Sir, with the warmest wishes for your health and success, your much obliged Friend & humble Servt:
P.S. Please to give directions for the copy of Genl: Washingtons Miniature, and to desire Mr: T. to send on my Maps of the Low-Countries, with my others things. Master John is in high health. He does not study the language of this Country, but he is learning German which, I believe, you wou’d prefer before Russian. He says he will write you soon and give some account of his doings.5 He is still engaged with Cicero but if you think it best he will lay him aside and take up Sallust. Point de Grecs ici.6
RC (Adams Papers); docketed by CFA: “Dana Fr. 28 March OS. 1782.”; filmed at 28 March 1782, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356.
1. Dana refers to his letter of 4 March, above. For his letter of 16 March to John Thaxter, see note 3 to the letter of the 4th.
2. In a note to JA dated 2 April (filmed at 22 March 1782, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356), Dana most probably enclosed two copies of a letter dated 30 March and a duplicate of one dated 5 March for Robert R. Livingston (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:223–225, 280–283). Dana had written { 398 } to JA on 15 March (filmed at 4 March, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356) asking him to forward a letter, which was probably the 5 March letter to Livingston.
3. For Henry Seymour Conway’s motion to end the offensive war in North America and the motion for an Anglo-American truce proposed by the attorney general in the course of the debate, see Edmund Jenings’ letter of 7 March, note 1, above. Dana would not yet have learned of the fall of the North ministry on 20 March, official news of which reached the British ambassador at St. Petersburg on 25 April (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780, p. 388).
4. In his letter to Dana of 15 March, above, JA asked why the armed neutrality could not recognize the United States and allow its accession to the confederation. In his letter of 5 March to Livingston, Dana wrote that the lack of co-ordination between the members of the armed neutrality was due to its division into three parts: Russia, Denmark, Sweden, and Holland; Russia and Prussia; and Russia and Austria (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:223–225).
5. In a letter to JA of 31 March, JQA wrote that he had begun to study German. Replying on [28 April], JA approved “because I am told that Science and Literature flourish more at present in Germany than any where” (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:302–303, 317).
6. No Greek here.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0255

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: JW
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-09

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dear Sir

I have not yet been able to see Mr L, he having left Town just before my return to it and not having got back till yesterday. Without my urging to Lord S–ne the propriety of immediately speaking to Mr L on the matter of my message to You and for releasing him from every tye here, I found His Lordship had concluded to make his approaches to that quarter, for most assuredly it is the right one, and I beleive He was purposely calld to Town about it.1 If they mean any thing sincere and direct that is the road and I hope they are about it. I could wish however I had it more in my power than I now have to say I had clearly discoverd the intentions of the new set, at least those I have conversd with viz Lord S–ne, Lord C–d–n, Genl Conway and Lord K– to be that of going to Peace with America on the avowd basis of Independence. Every voice pronounces it to be their intention, but I like a little more open declaration for so doing. Time will shew what is meant, but I own appearances at present do not please me.
There is a universal conversation and opinion got forth for a seperate peace with Holland built intirely upon the re-opening the Empress the mediation for Peace; and the new ministers have got credit with the publick for the active manner they went to work to renew it. The whole of the Cabinet seem to be well likd by the People and much praises are forth, for their vigorous exertions in the naval line in particular. America seems to be forgot, for one never { 399 } hears now about Her, save when some blunderhead holds forth for seperate Peace with America and Holland and a hearty drubbing to the French. John Bull will keep up this sort of language as long I beleive as He can roar out anything.
I have had every indulgence shewn me toward the recovery of my papers;2 but altho I have a Chart Blanch to search in the office, things are not yet so entrain in the new offices as to have things in proper order for looking over. Notwithstanding the savage practice of every Minister when he goes out of office making a sweep and taking all papers he likes with Him, I have yet the hopes of soon getting the material part of mine; and if ever after that I am a supplicant for any favour in England I hope I shall be foild. I have been more than commonly lucky with the Admy Departmt for I have with very little or no trouble got the prisoners who were brot from Mill Prison by Habeas Corpus as evidences in the case of Luke Rian and Captain McCator releasd from going back to Confinement, and got passes for the two who were tryed for their Lives and acquitted. These, together with 7 or 8 arrivd to day from the West will shortly move over, and one of them will see You.
If there are any papers in the Request or Memorial way come forth since I got the last, please to Send them by a Young Man I recommended to You from Ostend3—They are all translating and will be put into the Remembrancer with any preface or other additions You may think fit. Any thing for news paper publication will be immideately attended to if sent according to the direction left.

[salute] I am with great respect yrs

[signed] JW
1. At Plymouth on 2 April, Laurens received a 30 March letter from Benjamin Vaughan informing him that Lord Shelburne wished to see him “without delay” (Laurens, Papers, 15:475–476). In the wake of the Shelburne-Laurens meeting on 4 April rumors regarding peace were rife in the London press. For example, the Morning Herald of 10 April reported conversations between Laurens, Rockingham, Shelburne, and Fox over the terms for re-establishing the peace that included acceptance of the Declaration of Independence; an American minister at London; the evacuation of New York and Charleston; the restoration of Georgia; British retention of Florida, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Canada; a commercial treaty; Britain's admission to the American market as a most favored nation; and finally, and contradictorily, “The King of England to cede Canada and Florida to the Congress, and to pay all their debts, and they in return to recognize his writ in America and let him be thier nominal Sovereign. His Majesty to be King of America; but the purse, the sword, and the appointment to all offices, to be in Congress." Another report appeared in various newspapers, including the Morning Herald of 17 April, that Benjamin Franklin, JA, and Henry Laurens were in London negotiating a peace treaty. This led the General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer of 17 April to declare that the report was not only false, Laurens having left London, but { 400 } that "our readers may rely on the following assurance, that without admitting the Independency of America, the Commissioners from Congress in Europe cannot even open a negociation.”
2. Digges was arrested and his papers seized in May 1781, presumably as a consequence of his known service to the American cause and his association with John Trumbull who was arrested in Nov. 1780 (vol. 10: 366; Digges, Letters, p. li-lii).
3. Probably Jacob Sarley.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0256

Author: Johnson, Joshua
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-09

From Joshua Johnson

[salute] Sir

My last was on the 30th. October; Two Days ago I received by the hands of Mr. George Harrison your introductory Letter,1 to which every respect shall be paid, and attention shewn this Young Gent. that is in my power. I am glad to hear from you as well as others that the Dutch are at length takeing steps to acknowledge the Independancy of America, it would be well that they were more active about it, if they are not perhaps the English will be beforehand with them.
I should not have troubled you at this time was it not to inform you that a Vessell has Just arrived from the Chesapeak who left York Town on the 18th Ultimo, nothing has happened there betwen the Armies and all was quiet, but the Trade which was as much interrupted as ever; the Chattam and several English Frigates being Cruzeing on the Coast prevented the French from shewing their Noses. One of the Latters Frigates were forced on Shore to the Southward of the Cape Henry and is intirely lost.2 Several of the New York Privateers have been up the Chesapeak as high as Patowmack and done a good deal of mischeif so that the Dutch will recieve but very little Tobacco this Year. I know of but one Ship bound to Amsterdam and she saild in Co. with this.
Should any steps be taken towards bringing about Peace you will confer an everlasting obligation on me to drop me any hints consistent with your Character and Office and which shall ever be acknowledged by, Sir Your most Obedt. Hbe. Serv
[signed] Joshua Johnson
P.S. Colo. Benjn. Harrison is appointed Governor of the State of Virginia and Arthur Lee Esqr. a Member in Congress.
1. Letter not found. For George Harrison, see Benjamin Rush’s letter of 23 June 1781, and note 1 (vol. 11:388).
2. Probably the 26-gun frigate Diligente, which was wrecked on 5 Feb. (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence, p. 356, 358).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0257-0001

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-09

From the Duc de La Vauguyon

Je me Suis empressé Monsieur de transmettre a Monsieur Le Comte de Vergennes Les temoignages de franchise et de loyauté que vous m’avez donné. Ce ministre me repond qu’ils confirment de plus en plus sa confiance dans votre attachement invariable aux principes de l’alliance et il me charge de vous Communiquer des Détails tres interessants dont j’aurai L’honneur de vous faire part incessamment s’il m’est possible d’aller passer quelques jours a amsterdam ainsi que je me le propose.

[salute] Recevez Monsieur une nouvelle assurance des Sentiments inviolables d’attachement et de consideration tres distinguee avec lesquels j’ai lhonneur d’etre votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur

[signed] Le Duc De La vauguyon

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0257-0002

Author: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-09

The Duc de La Vauguyon to John Adams: A Translation

I was eager to convey the expressions of candor and loyalty you have given me to the Comte de Vergennes. The minister tells me that they more and more confirm his confidence in your unwavering attachment to the principles of the alliance, and that he is giving me the responsibility of communicating the very interesting details to you. I would have the honor of doing this very shortly if it is possible, as I propose, to spend a few days in Amsterdam.

[salute] Please receive, sir, renewed assurance of the inviolable sentiments of affection and of the very distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] Le Duc De La vauguyon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Le Duc de la Vauguion. 9. April 1782”; notation by CFA: “[The answer?] to this published—See Dip Corr. Vol. 6. p 329. but not this.” CFA’s reference is to The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, ed. Jared Sparks, 12 vols., Boston, 1829–1830, and JA’s reply to La Vauguyon of 10 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0258

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: La Vauguyon, Paul François de Quélen de Stuer de Causade, Duc de
Date: 1782-04-10

To the Duc de La Vauguyon

[salute] Monsieur Le Duc

I have this moment recd. the letter which You did me the honor to write me yesterday, with a letter inclosed from Mr. Franklin.1
{ 402 }
The Approbation of Monsieur Le Comte de Vergennes is a great satisfaction to me, and I shall be very happy to learn from You, Sir, at Amsterdam the details You allude to.
I have a Letter from Diggs at London 2d. April, informing me that he had communicated what had passed between him and me to the Earl of Shelburne, who did not like the Circumstance that every thing must be communicated to our Allies. He says that Lord Carmaerthen is to be sent to the Hague to negotiate a seperate Peace with Holland. But according to all appearances Holland as well as America will have too much Wit to enter into any seperate Negotiations.
I have the pleasure to inform You that Gillon has arrived at the Havanna with five rich Jamaica ships as Prizes. Mr. Le Roy writes that the English have evacuated Charlestown.2
The inclosed fresh Requete of Amsterdam will shew your Excellency, that there is little probability of the Dutchmen being decieved into seperate Conferences.3

[salute] With the most profound Respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. Probably Franklin’s letter of 31 March, above.
2. Alexander Gillon and the South Carolina arrived in Havana on 13 Jan. with five prizes that he sold for £23,066, or approximately 150,000 Spanish milled dollars. Considerable controversy was generated by Gillon’s division of the proceeds from the sale, particularly the amount that he kept for himself and that which he alloted to the Chevalier de Luxembourg, the owner of the South Carolina. Not until 1854 did South Carolina reach a final settlement with Luxembourg’s heirs (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate “South Carolina”: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, Salem, 1929, p. 9; Laurens, Papers, 16:12–13). Herman Le Roy’s report of Charleston’s evacuation was erroneous.
3. This was the tenth document included by JA in his letter of 19 March to Robert R. Livingston, calendared above. In their petition, the merchants of Amsterdam opposed the British offer of an immediate peace and acceptance of the Russian mediation of the Anglo-Dutch war, calling it the proposal of an exhausted enemy. To accept such an offer would preclude the Netherlands from participating in a general peace at which the British would be forced to offer better terms. For the British offer, see JA to van der Capellen, 6 April, and note 1, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0259-0001

Author: Abbema, Balthasar Elias
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-11

From Balthasar Elias Abbema

[salute] Monsieur

Je Serois bien flatté, Si j’etois le premier a Vous informer, que les Etats de la Prove. d’Utrecht ont pris hier unanimement la Resolution de concourir avec les Autres Provinces à Votre admission, comme Ministre Plenipot. du Congres des Prov. Unies de l’Amer• { 403 } ique;1 Je viens d’en recevoir la nouvelle de Mon frere, Membre du Tiers Etat de la dite Province: Je profite toujours de cette occasion de Vous assurer, Monsieur, de l’estime particuliere et de la consideration distinguée, avec lesquels J’ai l’honneur d’etre, Monsieur, Votre tres humble et tres Obeissant Serviteur
[signed] B E Abbema

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0259-0002

Author: Abbema, Balthasar Elias
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-11

Balthasar Elias Abbema to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I will be very flattered if I am the first to inform you that the Provincial States of Utrecht yesterday adopted unanimously the resolution concurring with the other provinces for your admission as minister plenipotentiary of the Congress of the United Provinces of America.1 I received this news from my brother, a member of the third estate of the said province. I take advantage of this occasion as always to assure you, sir, of the particular esteem and the distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant,
[signed] B E Abbema
1. No copy of the Dutch text of the resolution adopted by Utrecht on 10 April is in the Adams Papers, but JA included an English translation in his letter of 19 April to Robert R. Livingston, below, and in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 88–89.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0260

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Abbema, Balthasar Elias
Date: 1782-04-11

To Balthasar Elias Abbema

[salute] Sir

Your favor of this morning, announcing the unanimous Resolution of the States of Utrecht taken yesterday in favor of American Independence, is just come to hand. I had recieved a few Minutes before a french Gazette of Utrecht, containing the same Article: but I am very happy to recieve it in a more authentick manner from a Gentleman of so distinguished a Reputation for Patriotism. The Unanimity and Ardor, with which this Measure is adopted by the whole Nation, is to me an affecting Circumstance, and an Augur of much Good to both Nations. With great Esteem and Consideration, I have the honor to be Sir, &c &c
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0261

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Freeman, James
Date: 1782-04-11

To James Freeman

[salute] Sir

I have just now recd. your kind favor of the 9th. and thank You for the Communication of Dr. Waterhouse’s Letter, which has been a very agreable Entertainment to me.1 I am very glad of Gillon’s success, and that so candid and sensible a Judge as the Dr. still retains his Charity for him.
Am much obliged by your Congratulations on the prosperous Appearance of our affairs. I have just recd. authentic Information of the unanimous Resolution of the States of the Province of Utrecht, taken yesterday in favor of my Admission to an Audience. Guelderland and Groningen2 are all that remain, and I hope that ten or twelve days at furthest will produce a perfect Unanimity. I have the honor to be with great Esteem, Sir, your obliged & ob. Servt.
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. Freeman wrote from Rotterdam on 9 April (Adams Papers), describing himself as “a Merchant and Citoyen du monde.” He enclosed a letter, apparently from Benjamin Waterhouse, and requested that it be returned after JA read it.
2. In fact, Groningen acted on 9 April and Gelderland would do so on the 17th. See JA to Robert R. Livingston, 19 April, below, and A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 86–87, 90–91.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0262

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Pauli, Johann Ulrich
Date: 1782-04-11

To Johann Ulrich Pauli

[salute] Sir

I am honored with your letter of the 5th. instant, and thank You for your polite Invitation to Hambourg, a Journey which it would give me pleasure to make, but which various Occupations will oblige me at least to postpone for sometime.
In Answer to your Inquiries, Sir, I have only to say that at present I have no Powers from the United States of America to treat with the Hanseatic Cities: but their Situation is such that there will be infallibly a considerable Trade between them and America, and therefore I know of no Objection against the Congress entering into Negotiations with them.
If any Gentleman authorized by them should have any Proposals to make, I will transmit them with Pleasure to Congress for their Consideration, only desiring that they may be either in the English or French Language, as the German is unknown to me and to most of the Members of Congress.1
{ 405 }

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

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. No proposals were submitted to JA for transmission to Congress.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0263

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Searle, James
Date: 1782-04-11

To James Searle

[salute] Dear Sir

I am long in your debt, and therefore must beg your Patience on Account of bad health and many Occupations. The rapid Revolution in the Minds of this Nation, and the unaccountable Ardor and Unanimity, which has at last seized upon them for connecting themselves with America have occasioned me so many Visits to recieve and return, and so many complimentary Letters to answer, as added to other more important Affairs have been more than I could perform. Five Provinces, Friesland, Holland, Zealand, Overyssell and Utrecht, have already decided with an Unanimity that is astonishing, and the two others, Guelderland and Groningen, it is supposed will determine as soon as they meet, which will be the 16. current: so that I suppose We shall have one Ally more in a short time.
I know not of how much Importance this Acquisition may be thought by others, but I have ever considered it as a leading Step, and hope it may be followed by other Nations; at least it will be a refutation of the many frivolous Arguments with which some People have been long employed in doing mischief.
Gillon has been fortunate at last. His Prizes at the Havanna it is said will sell for eighty thousand pounds sterling.
If the whole Body of Dutch Merchants do not understand their own Interest and the Nature and Connections of Commerce, it will not be easy to find any body who is Master of it. Their Requetes are a compleat Refutation of all the Anglomany in Europe, if sound Reason can refute it.

[salute] With great Esteem and Regard, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c

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

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0264

Author: Laurens, Henry
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-12

From Henry Laurens

[salute] Dear Sir

If you can recollect the hand writing of an old friend as it is presum’d you will, put full confidence in Mr William the bearer of this,1 and give him your direction without a moments delay for the further steps of—
[signed] Henry L.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honorable John Adams Esquire Hague.”; endorsed: “Henry L.”
1. William Vaughan, who delivered Henry Laurens’ first direct communication with JA since his release from the Tower of London, was the younger brother of Benjamin Vaughan, a protégé of Lord Shelburne. Benjamin Vaughan acted as an intermediary between Laurens and Shelburne (Laurens, Papers, 15:474–476, 482).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0265

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-13

From John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

We have advices from Edenton in North Carolina so late as the 14th March brought by a vessel arrived at this port the 9th Instant one of my Letters contains “It is reported an attack against Charles Town is preparing by General green 2000 Militia of this State is orderd emidiately to join him and all the Troops from Virginia have marchd some time past.” By the Captain I learn a Number of Transports were arrived at Charles Town the English gave out they had Troops on board. They received certain advices to the contrary that they arrivd in Ballast and was there to wait the event that in case of Nessessity the British army might have the means to retreat to New York or Jamaica.
By a Packet arrived at Couronna from the Havannah we have advice of the arrival of Comre Gillon at that Port with five rich homewardbound Jamaica Men, a fortunate event as it will ease the State of South Carolina from the heavy expence of that outfit having we flatter ourselves werewith to reimburss the Engagements enterd into in Europe by Mr Gillon on that account.
We are at a loss to construe the Intentions of the British ministry in stoping the Issueing of Commissions against American Vessels and calling in them that are out. If under these circumstances a Vessel of mine should be carried into England by a Privateer or other Commissiond Vessel not having a Commission against amer• { 407 } ica only against France or other the Belegerant Powers in Europe is it your opinion that being reclaimd by my agent as my property she would be recoverd. I should be obliged to you for your sentiments being an object of the greatest Interest in a Commercial line.

[salute] Renewing my congratulation on your Progress I have the Honor to be with due respect Sir your most Obedient Humble Servant

[signed] John Bondfield
We have two Vessels for Philadelphia will sail in about 1 month.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0266

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-13

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Inclosed with this I send to your Excellency the Pacquet of Correspondence between Mr Hartley and me which I promised in my last.1 You will see we have held nearly the same Language which gives me Pleasure.
While Mr Hartley was making Propositions to me, with the Approbation or Privity of Lord North, to treat separately from France, that Minister had an Emissary here, a Mr Forth, formerly a Secretary of Lord Stormonts, making Proposals to induce this Court to treat with us. I understand that several Sacrifices were offer’d to be made, and among the rest Canada to be given up to France. The Substance of the Answer appears in my last Letter to Mr Hartley. But there is a Sentence omitted in that Letter which I much liked, viz: “that whenever the two Crowns should come to treat, his most Christian Majesty would shew how much the Engagements he might enter into were to be rely’d on by his exact observance of those he already had with his present Allies.”2
If you have received anything in consequence of your Answer by Digges, you will oblige me by communicating it. The Ministers here were much pleased with the Account given them of your Interview, by the Ambassador.

[salute] With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant.

[signed] B Franklin
You will be so good as to return me the Papers when you have a good Opportunity.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin. Ap. 13. 1782.”
{ 408 }
1. Of 31 March, above. The packet likely included David Hartley’s letters to Franklin of 2 and 24 Jan., 1 and 28 Feb., 11, 12, and 21 March; and Franklin’s replies of 15 Jan., 16 Feb., 31 March, 5 and 13 April (Franklin, Papers, 36:359–365, 472–476, 525–526, 623–624, 684–685, 688–689, 435–438, 583–585; 37:18–19, 78–79, 94–96, 143–144). Hartley’s letters centered on proposals for a separate peace, while Franklin’s replies sought to dispel any notion on the part of Hartley and the North or Rockingham ministries that such an outcome was possible.
2. The British emissary, Nathaniel Parker Forth, reportedly offered negotiations on the basis of a worldwide uti possidetis and concessions that included the restoration of full French sovereignty over Dunkerque (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 254). Such proposals might well have been acceptable to France in mid-1781, but by spring 1782 the war’s progress and the unsettled British political situation made negotiations as proposed by Forth and Hartley and implied by Digges as unacceptable to France as they were to the United States. Franklin reported to Hartley that France’s reply to Forth declared
“that the King of France is as desirous of peace as the King of England, and that he would accede to it as soon as he could with dignity and safety: but it is a matter of the last importance for his most Christian majesty to know whether the court of London is disposed to treat on equal terms with the allies of France” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:304).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0267

Author: Brouwer, Hendrik, Chs. zoon
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-15

From Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon

[salute] Yoúr Excellencý

I foúnd mý Self Singúlerý honnerd with Yoúr most gracioús Oblidging Answer úpon my letter of 31 Marsch1 and I thank Yr Exc: Sincerelý for the news yoú gave me that Zeeland and Overyssel had followed the Exempel of Holland and Vriesland, two Other Provinces have Since Declared there Selfs upon the Same footing, onlý remains now Gelderland, and I am verý Certain they wil Conclúd next frydaý in the Assemble of oúr States General, becaúse theý are resolved likewise, as the other 6 proúvinces, I thank the Almightý God, this nessessarý work has been Crownd with oúr wishes, for the welfearth of America and oúr Coúntry, in Spyt of á Nation whose Ambition went So far to Predominate (if Possibel) the Whole worreld, God lives and does Jústice to Everý man, he is the Only Upon whom me múst trúst.
It is not happy for Yr Exc: yoú wil do any thing in Your Power to facilitate Commercial Connections, between the Merchants in America and my hoúse and those of mý friends, Your Goodnes and Good harth, Dicteted Your letter and by the Contrarý we find our Selfs happý Your Exc wil len us Yoúr Strong Arm to be needfúl both to the Merschants in America and Oúr Selvs; and bý Súcces en following times we Schal Schow Yoú that we are thankfully for a trúe friendschip.
I Congratulate Yr Exc: with the happý Passage of Commodore { 409 } Gillon (my Intime Old friend) and the prises he has made in his waý, verý lukky indeed, Inclosed Yoú find the list of my friends in my former neglated,2 which I hope Yoú’l Excuse, the first 6 Gentlemen Upon this list with foúr Other who are not in trade have resolved to fit Oút thrie Prevateers, One is Since three weeks at Zea, the Second wil Sail in 8 or 10 Days, and the thirth in 3 Weeks this last is a loúger3 who wil be Commanded bý oúr brother Charles Yoúng from Charles town, I hope theý maý have a little bit of Mr Gillon’s luk not for our Intrest, but Only that we Could Gratulate oúr Selfs that we have Punischd, So much in Oúr Power Oúr Eennemý.
A Certain Gentleman in partnership with an English hoúse here, born in America, Whose God father was general Gates and who’s Brother went in the Kings Service During the troúbles in America, Dyed with his Sword in his hand Against his American Brothers, against his fatherland, t’his Same Gentleman Showd his Self in Public Conversations always to be an Ennemý to his fatherland, America, and now because the Carts are Changed, he is of Intention to retúrn to America Certainly to make his fortune, with Ambition, to Come in Certain Degree or Emploý, I make no Doúbt or he has alreadý be low anoúgh, to Sollicitate Yr Exc– for this or other, which Can be him needfúl, my Intention is onlý to Prevent Yr Exc–s how he thoúgt before I woud Do the least Injustice to no man bút I Schould be Sorrý that a renegate Schoúld have the preferense of Aný honnest man in America.4 I beg Yoú’l Excúse that I write or Explain mý Self So badly in the Englisch Langúage, bút I flatter my Self it wil be Stil agreabler as Dutch.
I thank Yr Exc for my Schare for the Humbly Letter Yoú wrote to Mr Dubbeldemúts, in thanking us for oúr Actifity by Oúr reqúest, it was onlý Oúr Dutý for oúr Selfs welfearth and trade, I hope I Schal once be honoúred by Yoúr Exc presence, and that Yoú’l allow me to be with the Utmost Veneration respectfully Your Excellencý Most Humbly & Obedt Servt
[signed] Hendrik Brouwer Chs zoon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr Brouwer Chs Z 15th. April 1782.”
1. The endorsement on Brouwer’s letter of 31 March, above, indicates that JA replied on 7 April, but that letter has not been found.
2. This enclosure has not been found.
3. Presumably a lugger, a small boat with two or three masts, each carrying a lugsail, hence its name.
4. This person remains unidentified.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0268

Author: Jay, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-15

From John Jay

[salute] Sir

Many weeks have elapsed since I recd. a Letter from our Country, but a Packet of News papers, which I think must have been sent from the office of the Secretary for foreign affairs, was brought to me by the last Post from Bilboa. They contain nothing very interesting. There is a Paragraph in one of them under the Boston Head which mentions the safe arrival of the Cicero Capt. Hill, and among other Passengers who came in her, I find your son is particularly named. As you might not have had any advices of this Circumstance, I take this first opportunity of communicating it, and sincerely congratulate you on the occasion.1
We hear that affairs with You are very promising and that the Dutch are on the point of acknowledging our Independence. Things here begin to look a little better, but as yet I dare not flatter myself or you.

[salute] With great Regard & Esteem, I am Sir your most obt Servt

[signed] John Jay
1. While the source of the news has not been determined, JA knew of CA’s arrival in Massachusetts by 28 April when he wrote to Francis Dana, below, and JQA (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:317). CA’s arrival at Beverly, Mass., on 21 Jan. was reported in the Boston newspapers, including the Independent Chronicle of 24 January.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0269

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Date: 1782-04-16

To Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Yesterday noon, Mr William Vaughan of London, came to my House, with Mr Laurens, the son of the President,1 and brought me a Line from the latter, and told me, that the President was at Harlem, and desired to see me. I went out to Haerlem and found, my old Friend at the golden Lyon.
He told me that he was come partly for his Health and the Pleasure of seeing me and partly, to converse with me and see if he had at present just Ideas and Views of Things, at least to see if We agreed in Sentiment, and having been desired by Several of the new Ministry to do so.2
{ 411 }
I asked him if he was at Liberty? He said no, that he was still under Palole but at Liberty to say what he pleased to me.
I told him that I could not communicate to him, being a Prisoner even his own Instructions, nor enter into any Consultation with him as one of our Colleagues in the Commission for Peace. That all I should Say to him would be as one private Citizen conversing with another. But that upon all such occasions I Should reserve a right to communicate whatever Should pass to our Colleagues and allies.
He Said that Lord shelburne and others of the new Ministers, were anxious to know whether, there was any authority to treat of a Seperate Peace, and whether there could be an accommodation, upon any Terms short of Independance. That he had ever answrd them, that nothing short of an express or tacit Acknowledgement of our Independence, in his opinion would ever be accepted, and that no Treaty ever would or could be made Seperate from France. He asked me if his answers had been right? I told him I was fully of that opinion.
He Said that the new Ministers had received Digges Report, but his Character was such that they did not choose to depend upon it. That a Person, by the Name of oswald I think set off for Paris to see you, about the same time, that he came away to see me.3
I desired him, between him and me to consider, without Saying any thing of it to the Ministry whether We could ever have a real Peace with Canada or Nova Scotia in the Hands of the English? and whether, We ought not to insist, at least upon a Stipulation that they should keep no standing army or regular Troops, nor erect any fortifications, upon the frontiers of either. That at present I saw no Motive that We had to be anxious for a Peace, and if this nation was not ripe for it, upon proper terms, We might wait patiently till they should be so.
I found the old Gentleman, perfectly sound in his system of Politiques. He has a very poor opinion both of the Integrity and abilities of the new Ministry as well as the old. He thinks they know not what they are about. That they are Spoiled by the same Insincerity, Duplicity Falshood, and Corruption, with the former. Ld shelburne still flatters the King with Ideas of Conciliation and seperate Peace &c. Yet the Nation and the best Men in it, are for an universal Peace and an express Acknowledgment of American Independence, and many of the best are for giving up Canada and Nova scotia.
{ 412 }
His Design seemed to be, solely, to know how far Diggs’s Report was true. After an hour or two of Conversation, I returned to Amsterdam and left him to return to London.4
These are all but Artifices to raise the Stocks, and if you think of any Method to put a stop to them, I will chearfully concur with you. They now know sufficiently, that our Commission is to treat of a general Peace, and with Persons vested with equal Powers. And if you agree to it, I will never to see another Messenger that is not a Plenipotentiary.
It is expected that the Seventh Province, Guelderland will this day Acknowledge American Independence. I think, We are in such a Situation now that We ought not, upon any Consideration to think of a Truce, or any Thing short of an express Acknowledgement of the Souvereignty of the United States. I should be glad however to know your sentiments upon this Point.

[salute] I have the Honour to be

1. Henry Laurens Jr.
2. For the origins of Henry Laurens’ mission, undertaken at the urging of Lord Shelburne, see Thomas Digges to JA, 2 April, note 1, above.
3. Laurens sailed from Margate to Ostend in company with Richard Oswald. Upon landing, Oswald proceeded to Paris to meet with Franklin (Laurens, Papers, 15:401–402, 478–479).
4. JA’s comments on his discussion with Henry Laurens on 15 April and his meeting with Thomas Digges on 21 March are crucial to understanding his position in the spring of 1782 regarding Anglo-American peace negotiations. Compare JA’s account of the meeting at Haarlem, with Laurens’ memorandum, [post 18 April], below. For JA’s conversation with Thomas Digges, see JA to Franklin, 26 March, and Digges to JA, 2 April, note 1, both above.
In the Boston Patriot of 20 April 1811, in the midst of publishing many of his letters written in the spring and summer of 1782, JA decided to include “a few miscellaneous anecdotes omitted in their order, because I cannot ascertain their precise dates.” There he wrote that
“after Diggs’ visit and Mr. Laurens’ visit, a third was sent over to me, in the person of Mr. S. Hartley, a respectable character, brother of Mr. D. Hartley. He brought me a letter from the latter couched in a mysterious kind of language with which that of the former concurred. The sense of both, as far as I could comprehend or conjecture, was to find out whether there was any hopes of obtaining a separate peace with America and whether we could be induced to wave our treaty with France. I was very explicit with Mr. Samuel Hartley and declared to him from first to last, that the United States would never be guilty of such a breach of faith and violation of honor; and that as far as my vote and voice could go, I would advise perpetual war, rather than stain our character with any such foul imputation. Mr. David Hartley’s letter I answered only in these words—‘Peace can never come but in company with Faith and Honor; when these three can unite, let Friendship join the amiable and venerable choir.’ Mr. D. Hartley wrote me in answer, ‘that the sentiments in my letter were eternal and unchangeable,’ and when I afterwards met him at Paris, he told me that he never meant that we should break our faith with France, but hoped that France would consent to wave her treaty with us, and that we should treat separately from her. This convinced me that Mr. Hartley knew little of the policy of France or America.”
JA’s conversation with Samuel Hartley in { 413 } fact occurred in Sept. 1780, not in the wake of the visits by Digges and Laurens as JA suggests, and the discussions were centered on David Hartley’s letter of 14 Aug. 1780, which Samuel carried and to which JA responded, using almost the same words as here, on 12 Sept. (vol. 10:74, 143–144). Hartley’s reply, from which JA also quotes, is dated 19 Feb. 1782, above. Since JA presumably quoted from the Letterbook copy of his letter to Hartley and from the recipient’s copy of Hartley’s letter to him, both of which are clearly dated, it is unclear why he chose to set his meeting with Samuel Hartley in 1782.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0270

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: JW
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-16

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr Sir

Since my last there has been no material occurrence but what will be announced in the Papers save the arrival in Scotland of two vessels one from N York the 5 mar and the other from Chas Town the 24th Feby. the letters by the latter is not yet out nor is there any particular accots given out but those of the old kind that the Garrison were chearful healthy and in no fears &ca. &ca. Those letters from N York are full of complainings and uneasiness’s, such as no trade nor bills or money to remitt, constant uneasiness’s between the Civil and military Commissioners and People, the garrison much harrassd in erecting new batterys and defences, and fears of a vigorous attack in the Spring. The winter has been remarkably mild, yet there was no depradatory Expeditions or any Skermeshing between the armys. The Garrison is about 8,000 men and washingtons quarters in the jerseys abo 20 miles from N York of wch they had little information in N York as to force and no kind of intercourse.
There has been a deputation of the Principal merchts in London trading to and having Effects in N York to wait on the minister to know what was to become of their property and Effects, if an Evacuation of that place was meant, and if the ministers woud encourage their sending out more goods provisions or stores; and they got the answer wch You may expect being that their Effects would be taken as much care of as possible and that the Ministry could not advise the sending out more goods or stores.
Genl Carlton saild 4 or 5 days ago and has certainly some direct profer to make to Congress;1 similar I suppose to what is meant to be made to the Commissioners in Europe, and of which you are better informd than I can be, for communications will soon be (if not already) made thro Mr. L–ns. I am sorry to say it, but appearances do not indicate to me that the new men mean to make any { 414 } direct offer of Independence, and without it nothing can be done. A Treaty for Truce, sending Commissioners to you to treat, making profers to Holland and Ama. for seperate Peace, and at any rate getting a seperate Peace with Holland, is very much the subject of present Conversation, and the People seem mad in their expectations and quite forget the situation in which their own Country now stands. The cry still is that a seperate Peace with Holland will certainly take place; and a man who attempts to controvert the opinion from reason and observation on the political state of that Country with the other Belligerent Powers is lookd upon as a fool.
The new Rulers are popular yet, but not so much so as they were a week ago; John Bull seldom looks for a week together towards one point, and in his veerings about He is apt to go to the Extreems. There is certainly disunion among these new men as well on the score of America and what is to be offerd Her, as on the score of appointing friends to the Loaves and fishes: I know most of them and tho they formerly professd great predilection for America, its libertys, and privileges, I see so great an alteration in conversations now that I dispondingly wait to see their actions and cannot take the words or pretences of those even who speak favourably for avowd Independence to America. I wish they fully knew the situation of America and how little She cares about it.
The Prisoners are likely all to be Shippd off very Shortly. In consequence of the late Bill2 Ships are getting ready to take them away and I hope none will remain in a week or two.
The Requests and Memorials &ca. of the different Towns wch I brought are translating and will be in the Remembrancer, they would Cost too much to translate to make them servicable to a news Paper. I hope to see one from the States General soon and that the holding-out States of Groningen and Guilderland will soon acceed. I should be very glad to be instrumental in getting publishd, for the reading of this deluded People, any other memorials or Requests; but I beleive nothing will open the Eyes of some men.

[salute] I am with very great Respect Yr oblgd & ob servt

[signed] JW
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr Lieden” and “For Mr J.A.”; endorsed: “Diggs April 16. 1782.”
1. Sir Guy Carleton was appointed on 23 Feb. to replace Sir Henry Clinton as commander in chief in America and arrived at New York on 5 May (DNB). His orders were to evacuate New York, Charleston, and Savannah and to use those troops to reinforce the West Indies. Should the Americans prevent the evacuation by military action, he was authorized to arrange a capitulation so as to avoid a defense to no purpose. He was empowered to inform the Americans of his intentions and on 25 March received a joint { 415 } peace commission with Adm. Robert Digby in order to conduct negotiations for a peace treaty if that proved necessary to achieve his objectives (Mackesy, War for America, p. 474). For reaction to his arrival, see Robert R. Livingston to JA, 22 May (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:433–434).
2. See Benjamin Franklin’s letter of 21 April, and note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0271

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-16

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Honorable Sir

The corporate Body of Manufacturers and Merchants of this City having presented yesterday to the Honorable Great-Council of Leyden an Address of thanksgiving and further prayer, concerning the future Commerce of our Republic with the United-States of America, I find myself honored with their orders to present Your Excellency with some printed Copies of it.1 This epoch, Sir, is one of the most desirable I could ever wish: Zealous for the good of my Country, and rejoicing in the noble exertions of my Fellow-Citizens for its prosperity, by a mutual friendship and intercourse with our Sister-Republic, it is a peculiar satisfaction to me, that those very circumstances afford me an opportunity of testifying to Your Excellency their ardent wishes for our common Cause, the Cause of Liberty and Mankind, and their sincere regard for a Minister, who by his personal talents and character inspires them with a true esteem and affection for those he represents.

[salute] I am with deep respect, Honorable Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble Servant

[signed] J. Luzac
1. On 15 April Leyden merchants adopted an address to the States of the province of Holland and West Friesland in gratitude for the resolution of 18 March to recognize the United States and admit JA as minister plenipotentiary. The address of thanks prefaced a second petition, asking the provincial states to ensure that the States General expedited the conclusion of a Dutch-American commercial treaty so that the Netherlands could accrue the advantages from such an agreement in advance of a general peace. A copy of the printed petition, which bears the names of 91 merchants, is in the Adams Papers and JA included an English translation in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 35–44.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0272

Author: Neufville, Leendert de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-17

From Leendert de Neufville

[salute] Sir

I was Sorry to learn from Mr Chauquet that Some motives Seemed to hinder Your Excellency from granting a pass to the Robin Izaak Cozneau1 which makes me Suppose that Some misunder• { 416 } standing must have taken place respecting the motives of the pass. They are only that She may throw of her mask occasionally and enjoy under American Colours the protection of the Dutch Cannen which She could not as a Dane. Any thing under your Excellencys hand to that purpose will fully answer my request not pretending to interfere with any thing relative to her Cargo. But I confess that I wished to get the brig safe to America and can apply no where for the above paper but to Your Excellency who will find I hope no motives to deny a pass upon that fantesy. I am Sorry that my Yellow [ . . . ] prevent me fm making the request personally and have the honour to be with great respect Sir Your Excellencys Most Obedient Very humble Servant
[signed] L: de Neufville Son of J
PS: Your Excellency will seurly imagine that I have Some expectation of getting the above Ship under a Convoy but this I must beg to be kept as a Secret.
1. Isaac Cazneau of Boston. See JA to Laurent Bérenger, 7 June 1781, vol. 11:362–363.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0273-0001

Author: Gyselaar, Cornelis de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-17

From Cornelis de Gyselaar

[salute] Monsieur

Je dois voús Commúniqúer, qúe Monsieúr v: d: Capellen dú Mars me marqúe, qúe la Province de Geldre a prise úne Resolútion1 poúr votre admission conforme a celle de La Hollande mecredi passé.2

[salute] Je Súis avec des Sentiments inviolables Votre Tres húmble & obeïssant Serviteúr.

[signed] C: de Gyselaar

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0273-0002

Author: Gyselaar, Cornelis de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-17

Cornelis de Gyselaar to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

I am obliged to inform you, at the behest of Mr. van der Capellen tot den Marsch, that the province of Gelderland adopted a resolution1 for your admission conformable to that of Holland on this past Wednesday.2

[salute] I am with the inviolable sentiments, your very humble & obedient servant,

[signed] C: de Gyselaar
RC (Adams Papers). Filmed under ([1782], Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 359.)
1. No copy of the Dutch text of Gelderland’s resolution is in the Adams Papers, but JA included an English translation in his letter of 19 April to Robert R. Livingston, below, and in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 90–91.
2. 17 April.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0274

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-18

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I had the Honor of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 3d Instant at Paris, where I had gone in Company with Mr De Neufville.1 I paid my respects to his Excellency at Passy, and was invited to dine with Him on Sunday last, after He Was informed that I proposed quitting Paris on that Day.
I have long paid a particular Attention to your Excellencys Movements in Holland, and it is with the greatest pleasure, that I observe they are likely to be crowned with the fullest Success your Excellencys Sagacity, Activity and Firmness must meet with the Applause of your Country but they will meet with too, and that with reason, as the world goes, the Envy of those, who want those Qualities. Your Excellency has all the merit of disposing the people of Holland in favor of the American Cause, The Work is entirely your Own. You will have the greatest Honor from it and I trust our Country will recieve the Benefit, you have in View to Obtain for Her.
I am pleased to find, that the King of Englands late Proposal to the States is considered in its true light. The folly and the Insidiousness of it are Obvious and is a proof that the present Ministry are not a Jot Wiser or better than their Predecessors. I Know many of them; I Know their Principles are base, there are but few, who have any Liberallity of Sentiment and they will not be Suffered to Act as the Times require.
I should think, Sir, that the Principles of the intended Motion, which turned out the late Ministry2 might be discanted on with great Use at this Time in Holland, or at least if any opposition is given from a Certain Quarter to your Excellencys Measures the Principle was that a people, a free people I mean, have a right to withdraw their Confidence from their Servants, and who ought therefore to retire, altho no Proofs can be produced of their Knavery.
I have had late Letters from England, I am indeed Ashamd of the best people in that infatuated Country. Your Excellency I beleive dispises them.
The Ship that arrived in 17 Days from the Chesapeak says that the English have taken a most extraordinary number of Vessels in those Quarters in a short Time, that their Cruisers mind not the two french frigates Stationed in the Bay because perhaps the french frigates mind not them. One of them is lost off Cape Henry.
{ 418 }

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

[signed] Edm: Jenings
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Jennings. 18. ans 28 April 1782.”
1. Jean de Neufville also wrote to JA on this date from Amsterdam (Adams Papers), enclosing an act of Parliament that Jenings had requested him to deliver to JA. The enclosure has not been found, but see note 2.
2. Probably the motion to censure the North ministry and thereby force its resignation that Charles Howard, later earl of Surrey, rose to offer on 20 March. It was rendered moot, however, since Lord North and his ministers resigned the same day (Alan Valentine, Lord North, 2 vols., Norman, Okla., 1967, 2:315–316).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0275

Author: Laurens, Henry
Date: 1781-04-18

Henry Laurens’ Memorandum of a Conversation with John Adams

Arrived Sunday 14th. April 1782. late in the afternoon at Leyden, lodged at the Golden Lion.
15th. at 5 oClock am. sent Mr. V2 by the Trekschoat to Amsterdam with a Message to Mr. A. “That I should be at Harlem where I requested he would meet me that day at the Golden Lyon, my business was of importance and respected a Treaty for Peace that being a Prisoner upon Parole I did not think it would be proper to go to Amsterdam lest I should be discovered there by people who knew my person, who would be asking questions which I could not answer and who would thence raise conjectures and possible be detained longer than I meant to stay in Holland” &ca. I immediately set out for Harlem by Land and arrived there before 9 oClock am.
About 6 oClock pm. Mr. A arrived at Harlem.
Without delay I communicated my business and shewed him the Bill entitled3 he said he had seen it already in substance in the English Papers, and agreed in opinion with me that it was not applicable or, of no importance to the United States of America.
He desired to premise, having understood that I was a Prisoner, that he should converse with me as a fellow Citizen but not as a Commissioner or Colleague altho my Name was in the Commission together with Doctor Franklin’s Mr. Jay’s Mr. Jefferson’s and his own for treating with Great Britain—that Mr. Jefferson was not arrived in Europe and he supposed did not mean to come. And that he thought himself not at liberty to communicate to me the particular Instructions of Congress respecting the Commission while I remained a Prisoner or under any restraint. Mr. A then proceeded and { 419 } said, “conversing with you in a private Character or as one Citizen with another, the Commissioners cannot receive any propositions from the Court of Great Britain or enter upon any Treaty with that Court until the Independence of the United States of America shall have been acknowledged nor will they receive any propositions but from persons properly authorized to Treat, nor Treat without first communicating such propositions to the Court of France. And if propositions are delayed longer than next Monday, they will not be at liberty to treat without the consent of the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries or Netherlands—six in seven of those Provinces have already agreed to acknowledge the Independence of the United States of America, Guelderland alone and that not from aversion but unavoidable delay has not formally consented but will do so on Monday next when I shall be received at the Hague in the Character of Minister from our United States, and this will be, even should Guelderland, further delay or refuse, but there is not the least doubt of the consent of that Province as soon as the States shall meet and they are to meet to morrow.
“America is at this time in perfect harmony with her Allies the French, her Trade is really flourishing, her whole debt does not amount to one half of the annual expence of Great Britain for carrying on the War, her resources are great, already acknowledged as an Independent Nation by one powerful Kingdom and on the Eve of being acknowledged by the first Republic in Europe, what should tempt her to recede from her former Resolutions? ’Tis vain and fruitless tis wasting time to talk of any thing short of Independence.”
I observed to Mr. A that my declarations in England to such of its Ministers as I had conversed with had uniformly gone to the same Point.
I then laid before Mr. A. the Paper put into my hand by Lord S. entitled “Mr. Digg’s Account of what passed between him and Mr. A 30 March 1782.” The third and sixth articles he positively denied, “I said no such thing to Mr. Digges.” “Part of the 5th. is a misrepresentation or not fully represented, I said if the Ministers of Great Britain by whom you say you are sent mean any thing honorable let them release Mr. Laurens and communicate to him what they have to propose and he will join his Colleagues.” “In short I paid very little attention to Mr. Digges or to any thing he said.4 I have since he was in Holland received two Letters from him but have thought it proper to return no answer.”
Took leave of Mr. A about 1/2 p. 8 oClock p.m and at 5 oClock am { 420 } the 16t