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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


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