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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

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.
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, 2018.