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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

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).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017.