A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0287

Author: Barclay, Thomas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

From Thomas Barclay

[salute] Dear Sir

I most heartily and sincerely Congratulate your Excellency on the Events of Friday and saturday last, and I rejoice the more because you are destined to reap the fruits of what you have sown with so much industry and attention.
I am persuaded you are now rewarded for the Exercise of patience which you have Exhibited on this occasion, and I hope an agreeable prospect is now opened for the adjusting those very important points that are before you.
I had a letter a few days ago from Germany, requesting that I wou’d hint to you the necessity of some stipulation being made with the States General, for using the River Rhine in the Transportation of the German Manufactures for the Consumption of America, and that the Transit duties shou’d be settled on as favourable terms as possible. I am not sufficiently a Judge of the matter to say more of it, but I am sure you will excuse any thing that occurs on this subject. Mr. Bromefield told me you shew’d him a letter relative to the American Trade from the Directors of the East India Company under the Emperor.1 If there is nothing improper in the request, I shall { 446 } be much obliged to you for a sight of it—and for permission to write to the Gentlemen. It might turn out an advantage to my House at Philadelphia, and if any good plan of business can be struck out, I will do every thing in my power to incourage it. I beg leave to assure your Excellency of my being most sincerely, Dear Sir your [Affect.] & obed Servant
[signed] Thos Barclay
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Barclay”; docketed in an unknown hand: “April 22nd 1782.”
1. From M. Baraux, 21 March, above. See also JA’s reply of 7 April, above.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0288-0001

Author: Bicker, Hendrik
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

From Hendrik Bicker

[salute] Monsieur & tres honore Ami

Vous aves vú chez Moi il y a quelques sepmaines Le Courtier Saportas,1 a la vive sollicitation je n’ai pú lui refuser un mot de Lettre en sa faveur pour vous repetter que je Le reconnois poúr un parfait honnet Homme et qui pourra contribuer en bien, si tot ou tard vous charger quelque Maison ici de faire pour vos Souverains une devis d’argent et que vous voudres faire a cette Maison mention de Lui.

[salute] J’ai l’honneúr d’etre avec la plus haute estime Monsieur Votre tres humb & tres obeiss:

[signed] Serviteur H: Bicker

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0288-0002

Author: Bicker, Hendrik
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

Hendrik Bicker to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir and very honored friend

A few weeks ago you met Mr. Saportas,1 the broker, at my house. I could not refuse writing to you on his behalf and telling you again that I have come to know him as an honest man who could contribute in helping you secure a loan for your country, and who would like you to keep him in mind when you decide on a brokerage house here.

[salute] I have the honor to be with the highest esteem, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

[signed] H: Bicker
1. Samuel Saportas, an Amsterdam broker. At some point JA and Saportas apparently discussed his firm’s participation in the loan, but on 5 May Saportas wrote to JA that “a Conference with Sundry Gentlemen” about the loan had “not been attended with the desired success” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0289

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Messrs. Fizeaux and Grand have lately sent me two Accounts of which they desire my Approbation. As they relate to Payments made by those Gentlemen of your acceptances of Bills of Exchange, your approbation must be of more Importance than mine, you having more certain Knowledge of the affair. I therefore send them enclos’d to you, and request you would be pleas’d to compare them with your List of Acceptations, and return them to me with your Opinion, as they will be my Justification for advancing the money.1
I am very happy to hear of the rapid Progress of your Affairs. They fear in England that the States will make with us an alliance offensive and deffensive, and the public Funds which they had puff’d up 4 or 5 per Cent, by the Hope of a separate Peace with Holland, are falling again. They fill their Papers continually with Lies to raise and fall the Stocks. It is not amiss that they should thus be left to ruin one another, for they have been very mischievous to the Rest of Mankind. I send enclosed a Paper, of the Veracity of which I have some doubt, as to the Form, but none as to the Substance, for I believe the Number of People actually scalp’d in this murdering War by the Indians to exceed what is mention’d in the Invoice, and that Muley Istmael (a happy Name for a Prince as obstinate as a Mule) is full as black a Tyrant as he is represented in Paul Jones’s pretended Letter: These being substantial Truths, the Form is to be considered as Paper and Packthread.2 If it were re-publish’d in England it might make them a little asham’d of themselves. I am, very respectfully Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin Ap. 22 ansd July 23. 1782.”
1. The enclosed accounts were returned to Franklin with JA’s reply of 23 July. JA expressed regret that he had not answered Franklin sooner, but attributed the delay to the prolonged illness of John Thaxter, “who keeps the Account of those Affairs,” but see also JA to Franklin, 24 May (both LbC’s, Adams Papers).
2. The enclosure, which is not in the Adams Papers, was a fictitious piece printed by Franklin at Passy purported to be taken from the Boston Independent Chronicle of 12 March (Franklin, Papers, 37:184–196). It consisted of two letters, dated 7 March 1782 and 7 March 1781, respectively. The first, from a Capt. Gerrish of the New England militia, described the contents of eight packages of scalps, totaling 954, taken from American men, women, and children on the western frontier. The Seneca Indians intended the scalps for the governor of Canada, but they had been captured in transit by an American expedition. It was ultimately decided that the scalps should be sent in small packets to George III, Queen Charlotte, and members of the government. The { 448 } second letter was from John Paul Jones to Sir Joseph Yorke, the British ambassador to the Netherlands, protesting the British diplomat’s memorial to the States General in which Jones was designated a pirate. Jones argued that he in no way met the definition of a pirate because he was acting in the cause of liberty in defense of his fellow citizens against British tyranny. No comment by JA regarding Franklin’s fabrication has been found.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0290

Author: Luzac, Jean
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

From Jean Luzac

[salute] Honorable Sir

Altho’ the early part, I have taken in the struggles of America for the rights of Liberty and Mankind, would be a silent witness of my particular happiness at the present moment, when Your Excellency’s steady and prudent conduct in our Republic is crowned with the most glorious success, I should deem myself wanting in my duty, if I did not congratulate Your Excellency most sincerely in the public character, wherein You have now been publicly acknowledged by our Government; an event, Sir, that will be, (if my most ardent wishes are fulfilled) the forerunner of many happy consequences to both Countries. May Your Excellency long enjoy that heart-felt satisfaction, which is the best reward of a life spent to public good. I am with the sincerest regard and deep respect, Honorable Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble Servant
[signed] J. Luzac

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0291

Author: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

[salute] Sir

Although indisposition and absence may have frustrated our wishes of being first in paying Your Excellency an homage in which our Country partakes so much of, by the success of your negotiations we trust to your Excellencys indulgence for being Satisfied with this apology, and tho’ late, that you will accept of this tribute which yeilds to none in sincerity. Our wishes are in nothing more earnest than that your Excy: may long Contribute to preserve that harmony which we hope will result without interuption from that union you have had so much share informing between both Republicks, and as a reward to your Labours may you from this time see daily accrue that advantage to each, which so natural a connection gives the best reason to expect.
{ 449 }

[salute] These are our Sentiments, to which we can only add those of respect, and perfect regard, with which we have the honor to be Your Excelly. Most Obdt & humbl Servts

[signed] John de Neufville & Son

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0292

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-22

From John Thaxter

[salute] Sir

I was duly honor’d with your favor of the 20th,1 and its Contents gave me sincere pleasure, and its Injunctions shall be observed.
Mr. J. Van Staphorst has called upon me this Afternoon, and acquainted me with his great distress respecting the House engaged for the Loan:2 that the Man is an Anglomane or at least very lately converted: that he has within these six Weeks indulged himself in very indecent Expressions against America: that it makes a Noise in the American Society and upon the Exchange, that a Man of his Character should be preferred to old experienced Friends—that it will do much Injury on both Sides, and be a disservice to the Cause: that if it is possible, he hopes that House may be prevented from opening it: that many well-wishers and Friends are astonished and could hardly have believed it: that he has recieved a Letter from the Baron3 upon the Subject, who would not write his Opinion to You unasked: that it gives great Uneasiness to several of the—&ca &ca &ca. I observed to him, I could make no Answer, having nothing to do in the Business, and prayed him to communicate his sentiments to You. He declined and requested me to mention them to You, which I have done in substance. He would esteem it an Honor most certainly to be employed, but would never open his Lips if a House was engaged which was known to have been uniformly friendly to America. He hinted as if Messr. Hope might be behind the Curtain—it was a Conjecture only. He thinks the Loan will not succeed with honor and Reputation, as it now stands, and that You will find his Sentiments as I have given them above to be well grounded upon Enquiry.
It is not my Business to make any Comment, nor express any Sentiment but Sorrow if all this is true, as I must believe.

[salute] With a Respectful & an invariable Attachment, I have the honor to be &c

{ 450 }
1. Not found.
2. Jacob and Nicolaas van Staphorst repeated their complaints about John Hodshon and JA’s initial decision to place the loan with his firm in a letter to John Jay dated 24 Nov. 1785 (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 4, f. 684–699). In their letter, which indicates they met personally with JA, the van Staphorsts wrote that they informed JA that conditions favored opening a loan, to which JA replied that he was negotiating with John Hodshon on the matter. The van Staphorsts continued, “We took the Liberty to tell him, this was another impolitic Measure; as this Gentleman altho’ a Rich and able Merchant and a Person well qualified for the Direction of a Loan, was not looked upon in a good Light by this Nation and especially by the Patriotic Part to whom this Loan was to owe its Support and Success. This had no Weight with Mr. Adams, and while he pretended to believe Our Counsel proceeded from Self-Interest, We had the Mortification to hear from him, that in his Opinion John Hodshon was as good a Republican and as great a Lover of Freedom as ourselves.” JA obstinately “thought fit in spite of the Counsel of his best Friends, and among others of the Pensionary Van Berckel, to have the Loan opened publicly by Mr. Hodshon, With no other Effect than that he raised from the Well Affected to the American Cause great Complaints against his Proceedings, And finally after the Loss of a great deal of precious time, he was forced to withdraw the Order from Mr. Hodshon.” For more comments by the van Staphorsts, see JA to Fizeaux, Grand & Co., 30 April, note 1, below. See also vol. 11:103, note 4, for the van Staphorsts’ criticism of JA’s attempt in 1781 to raise a loan through Jean de Neufville & Fils.
3. Since Thaxter refers only to “the Baron,” he probably means Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol. The editors have no evidence, however, that van der Capellen opposed Hodshon’s role in raising the loan. Indeed, on 2 May he wrote to JA of his intention to subscribe to Hodshon’s loan (Adams Papers). This may have reflected his desire to support the American cause, regardless of who was raising the loan.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0293

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-23

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 9

[salute] Sir

On the 23d. of April I had the Honor of a Conference with Mr. Van Citters, President of their High Mightinesses, to whom I presented the following Memorial.1

[salute] Hauts & Puissants Seigneur

Le Soussigné, Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis d’Amerique a l’honneur d’informer Vos Hautes Puissances, qu’il est chargé par les Instructions de son Souverain, de proposer aux Etats Généraux des Provinces Unies des Pays Bas, un Traité d’Amitié et de Commerce, entre les deux Républiques, fondé sur le Principe d’un Avantage égal et reciproque, et compatible avec les Engagemens déjà pris par les Etats Unis avec leurs Alliés, ainsi qu’avec tels autres Traités qu’ils ont l’intention de former avec d’autres Puissances. En Consequence, le Soussigné a l’honneur de proposer à Vos Hautes Puissances de nommer quelque Personne ou Personnes, avec pleins pouvoirs de conferer et traiter avec lui sur cet important Sujet.2
{ 451 }
Their High Mightinesses on the same day appointed a grand Committee to treat, to whom I was introduced with great Formality by two Noblemen,3 and before whom I laid a Project of a Treaty, which I had drawn up conformable to the Instructions of Congress. I prayed the Gentlemen to examine it, and propose to me their Objections, if they should have any, and to propose any further Articles, which they should think proper. It has been examined, translated, printed and sent to the Members of the Sovereignty.4
The greatest Part of my Time for several Days has been taken up in recieving and paying of Visits, from all the Members and Officers of Government, and of the Court, to the Amount of one hundred and fifty or more.5

[salute] I have the Honor to be,6 with great Respect, sir your most obedient & most humble servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 75–76).
1. There is no copy of the memorial that JA presented to the States General in the Adams Papers nor is it certain that the copy that JA handed to Willem van Citters is extant. In the archives of Hendrik Fagel, griffier or clerk of the States General, there is a “Copie” in C. W. F. Dumas’ hand that is signed by JA (Algemeen Rijksarchief). The address is printed in the Resolutiën van de Hoogh Mogende Heeren Staten Generaal der Vereenigde Nederlandsche Provinciën, 129 vols., The Hague, 1677–1796, vol. 1782, p. 362–363.
Lb/JA/16 contains what may be an untitled and undated draft of this address (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 104, f. 353–354). While substantively the same, the draft is more flowery than the address. JA wrote the draft in French, except one canceled passage in English that is followed by a French translation.
2. When JA published this letter in the Boston Patriot of 6 April 1811, he provided the following translation: “The undersigned minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, has the honor to inform your high mightinesses that he is charged by the instructions of his sovereign, to propose to the States General of the United Provinces of the low countries, a treaty of amity and commerce between the two republics, founded on a principle of equal and reciprocal advantage, and compatible with the engagements already taken by the United States with their allies, as well as with such other treaties as they have an intention to form with other powers. In consequence, the undersigned has the honor to propose to your high mightinesses to name some person or persons with full powers to confer and treat with him upon this important subject.”
3. Baron Derk Jan van Heeckeren van Brandsenburg and Baron Charles Bigot, deputies to the States General from Utrecht and Friesland respectively (Gazette de Leyde, 30 April).
4. No copy of the English text of the treaty JA presented to the committee of the States General has been found, although research in the Algemeen Rijksarchief at The Hague indicates that the States General received an English version. A printed extract of the draft treaty in Dutch, dated 26 April, from the Resolutiën van de Hoogh Mogende Heeren Staten Generaal der Vereenigde Nederlandsche Provinciën, in broadside form, is in the Fagel Coll. (Algemeen Rijksarchief). Since no further action regarding the treaty took place in April, it will be dealt with in detail in vol. 13 at 22 Aug. when the Dutch formally presented JA with the changes that they desired in the treaty’s text and substantive negotiations began. The treaty was signed on 8 Oct. (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:59–88).
5. For JA’s memorandum of visits made and received during this period, see Diary and Autobiography, 3:1–3.
6. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0294

Author: Livingston, Robert R.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-23

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 10

[salute] Sir

I ought not to omit to inform Congress, that on the 23d. of April the French Ambassador made an Entertainment for the whole Corps Diplomatick, in Honor of the United States, at which he introduced their Minister to all the foreign Ministers at this Court.1
There is nothing I suppose in the whole voluminous Ceremonial, nor in the idle Farce of Etiquette, which should hinder a Minister from making a good Dinner in good Company; and therefore I believe they were all present, and I assure You I was myself as happy as I should have been, if I had been publickly acknowledged a Minister by every one of them: and the Duke de la Vauguyon more than compensated for all the Stiffness of some others, by paying more Attention to the new Brother, than to all the old Fraternity.
Etiquette, when it becomes too glaringly Affectation, imposes no longer neither upon the Populace nor upon the Courtiers, but becomes ridiculous to all. This will soon be the Case every where with Respect to American Ministers.
To see a Minister of such a State as blank and blank assume a distant misterious Air towards a Minister of the United States, because his Court has not yet acknowledged their Independence, when his Nation is not half equal to America in any one Attribute of Sovereignty, is a Spectacle of Ridicule to any Man who sees it.
I have had the honor of making and recieving Visits in a private Character from the Spanish Minister here, whose Behavior has been polite enough. He was pleased to make me some very high Compliments upon our Success here, which he considers as the most important and decisive Stroke which could have been struck in Europe.

[salute] I have the Honor to be,2 Sir your most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 77–78).
1. The dinner hosted by the Duc de La Vauguyon was widely reported. See, for example, the Gazette de Leyde of 26 April and the Whitehall Evening Post of 27–30 April.
2. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0295-0001

Author: Chalut, Abbé
Author: Arnoux, Abbé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-23

From the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux

Vous Sçavez, notre Cher Monsieur, que l’interest de l’amerique a toujours été le notre; nous n’avons jamais perdu de vue cet heureux pais depuis la glorieuse époque de sa revolution, le premier motif de ce Sentiment est la justice que la nature reclame Contre l’oppression et la tirannèe. Nous ne voyions que des hommes malheureux. Des hommes libres qu’en vouloit soumettre à la honte de l’esclavage, leur bonheur et leur liberté etoient toute notre Satisfaction. Nous faisions des voeux pour des Secours dont ils avoient besoin, nous accusions injustamens la lenteur de notre gouvernement qui les faisoit attendre; depuis le moment que la france a deployé sa puissance pour soutenir la justice de votre cause, et qu’elle S’est liée avec votre republique par des traités qui assurent une éternelle amitié entre les deux nations; vos droits nous sont devenus plus chers, nous avons partagé avec vous toute la gloire et tous les maux d’une guerre juste que le Ciel a approuvée en humiliant nos ennemis Communs. Il nous reste maintenant à vous feliciter et à nous rejouir avec vous de votre heureux negociation auprès d’une republique qui vient de reconnoitre votre souveraineté pour se lier avec vous par des traités qui donneront plus de Consistance à sa liberté et à son Commerce. Toute l’Europe a été indignée de voir l’angleterre lui declarer la guerre Sans motif de justice. Cette puissance voudroit aujourdhui arreter vos liaisons avec Cette republique et faire une paix particuliere avec elle. La hollande a Connu Ses veritables interests. La France est son alliée naturelle, l’interest de l’angleterre, n’avoit cessé de lui Crier que nous ne pouvions étre que ses ennemis afin de lui cacher les veritables, ils sont enfin reconnus et tout va Concourir a leur oter les moyens de troubler la tranquilité de tout le globe et à Contenir cette Cupidité qui leur a fait Commettre tant d’injustices. Nous pouvons maintenant esperer que la paix generale va l’approcher de nous. L’impuissance de nos ennemis et notre moderation en hateront la marche. Nous faisons des voeux pour cet heureux evenement.
[Ecri?]vez-nous de vos nouvelles, Conservez-nous votre amitié la notre vous est requise ainsi que notre estime nous avons l’honneur d’étre avec les Sentiments notre cher Monsieur Vos très humbles et très obeissants serviteurs
[signed] les abbés de chalut et Arnoux
{ 454 }
Vous n’avez pas fait valoir l’amitié que nous avons pour vous, quand nous pourrons vous servir dans la personne de vos amis, disposez de notre empressement à faire tout ce qui pourra vous étre agreable, nous ferons pour les amis que vous nous adresserez ce que nous ferions pour vous meme.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0295-0002

Author: Chalut, Abbé
Author: Arnoux, Abbé
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-23

Abbé Chalut to John Adams: A Translation

You know, dear sir, that the interests of America have been ours as well, ever since the start of its glorious revolutionary era. The foremost reason for this sentiment is the natural demand of wanting justice to prevail over oppression and tyranny. We see only unhappy men. Our satisfaction is the happiness and liberty of free men, men that they wanted to subject to the shame of slavery. We prayed that the necessary aid would come and we unjustly accused our government of moving too slowly in this regard. From the moment that France committed its power to support your cause, and joined with your republic through treaties assuring an eternal bond of friendship between the two nations, your rights have become dearer to us. We have shared with you in all the glory and all the evils of a just war that god has approved by humiliating our common enemies. We now wish to congratulate you and rejoice with you on your successful negotiation with a republic that has recognized your sovereignty, and who will join with you in treaties that will benefit their liberty and commerce. All of Europe was indignant to see England declare war without justification. This power would have liked to stop your liaisons with this republic now, so that they could make a specific peace with them. Holland knew its true interests. France is its natural ally. England’s interest, which had them continually declaring that we could never be anything except enemies in order to hide the real truth, was finally recognized, and everything is going to work toward preventing them from disrupting the tranquility of the entire globe and to contain their avarice which made them commit all these injustices. We can now hope that a general peace is getting closer for us all. Our enemies’ ineffectiveness and our moderation will hasten its progress. We pray for this happy occasion.
Write us with your news; keep us in your friendship, as we keep you in ours, as well as our esteem with which we have the honor to be, our dear sir, your very humble and very obedient servants
[signed] les abbés de chalut et Arnoux
You have not taken advantage of the friendship we feel for you and our capacity to act on your behalf. We are eager to assist you in any suitable way, and we will do for your friends just as we would do for you.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Les Abbeés Chalut & Arnoux”; docketed by CFA: “April 23d 1782.” Some text is lost where the seal was removed.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0296

Author: Dana, Francis
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-23

From Francis Dana

[salute] My dear Sir

I see with infinite satisfaction the progress our affairs have made in Holland within a short time, and that you will soon be able to [pu]t the finishing hand to your business. No one can more sincerely rejoice in [t]he honour you will merit and acquire by it, than I shall. That Nation, after much internal struggling, seems at last to have adopted an almost universal sentiment upon the propriety, or rather necessity of forming an intimate commercial connection with us, and this, without loss of time. They have been doubtless justly alarmed by the late important change in the Councils, and the system of Great Britain; and have wisely resolved not to suffer her to get the start of them, by adjusting her commercial connections with America, before they have concluded their Treaty with us. They well know how much is risqued by any further delay. Hence their present zeal to acknowledge our Independence. I wish others saw their Interest to do the same thing, in as clear a light, and did not longer think of the glory of mediating a peace, which in the end they may miss of; for it is evident to every one, who will attentively consider the late measures of Britain, that She means to settle her peace with America, without the participation of any Mediators, well knowing the great danger to which her most important commercial Interests will be exposed if they pass through such [a] Medium. Her aim will be to exclude the other Maritime Powers, as far as [po]ssible from the benefits of our Commerce. To effect this, She will make [gr]eat sacrifices in some respects. You know what I allude to—The critical moment for the Maritime Powers of Europe has already arrived. They may never, or at least for a long time to come, again see so fair an occasion to promote their essential Interests, if they suffer this moment to slip by without fixing their connections with America. It must be apparent to them all, the Neutral Powers I mean, that no just objections can now be made to a measure of this sort, since the British themselves have felt the necessity of publickly proclaiming to the World their utter inability to obtain the great object of their war, the subjugation of the United States, or of any one of them; and even made the attempt to do this, criminal—With what face can they pretend to claim any dominion over that Country, or to require the Neutral Powers to forbear the acknowledgment of our Indendence, till they themselves shall have ac• { 456 } knowledged it? Or in other words, to rest idle Sp[ec]tators, as I have before said, till Britain has adjusted all her commercia[l] Interests with America, as far as possible to their exclusion—Do you ask whether this will probably be the case here, I can’t say that it will not. For besides that I have some reason to suppose this Government not yet properly informed, I may say, of the immense Interest it has at stake relative to the Commerce of our Country, I know the British will not fail constantly to hold up to Her Imperial Majesty the glory of mediating a Peace between the great belligerant Powers, while they are secretly carrying on a Negociation as above with the United States—Shou’d you ask me if it is not practicable to give those in Government just Ideas upon the nature of the commerce of the two Countries, I must say I have taken such measures to this end, as the peculiar state of things will admit of. I dare not yet expose the dignity of the United States by making any official advances—They may be rejected—I am not yet satisfied that they wou’d not be. The cry of Mediation I know wou’d open upon me. It is necessary therefore first to do away all errors upon [this] subject of commerce, to establish the great mutual Interest the two Na[tions] have in a close and intimate connection with each other—to point out [the] danger this Interest is exposed to in the present critical state of affairs, by delay. When this is done (and I flatter myself the task is very easy, if the door is open to me) I shall have nothing to apprehend from mere sounds or words. Her Majesty wou’d most certainly pursue the great Interests of her Empire, and not suffer herself to be diverted from that pursuit by any dazling prospects of glory which the British, or any others, might hold out. She too much wisdom not to change her system when affairs have changed their Face, and not to improve every favourable occasion which the course of events may present to her, for the benefit of her Empire—I agree with you that glory and interest are both united in our Case—that her Majesty cou’d [no]t by any line of conduct more effectually promote both, than by stepping forth at this moment and acknowledging the Independence of the United States, and forming a commercial Treaty with them—that there is nothing to fear from any quarter—that the example of so illustrious a Sovereign wou’d probably be followed by the other Neutral Maritime Powers, and wou’d infallibly restore peace and tranquility to both Worlds; and that all Europe wou’d partake equally in the benefits of our commerce, or at least, wou’d enjoy an equal freedom in it. But, my dear { 457 } Sir, if instead of this, America cannot obtain a hearing, which is all she wants to ensure her success, where ever national Counsels are influenced by national Interests, and Her Majesty shou’d persevere in her system of Mediation, notwithstanding the change in affairs, is not the consequence plain: America will make the best bargain in her power with Britain, and She can now clearly make an advantageous one. When this is done Her Majesty, and the other Neutral Powers will certainly see, though too late, the importance of the [pr]esent moment while all is open between Britain and America, to the [In]terests of their respective Empires. I will only add May they be wise [in] season—may they follow the example which Holland is setting them, and which She wou’d have set them at this moment, had she been in profound peace with Britain, even at the hazard of a War little as she delights in it, rather suffer herself to be foreclosed in her great commercial Schemes—Pray give me the earliest possible intelligence, if only in a single line, of your entering upon your negotiation, of its progress and conclusion—whether your last business will be taken up &c.

[salute] Adieu, my dear Sir, believe me to remain with much respect and the most sincere friendship Yours &c

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana 12/23 April 1782 ansd. 13 May.”LbC (MHi:Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, St. Petersburg, 1782–1784); notation: “N.B. This letter was written with a view of its being open’d at the Post-Office here, and accordingly was sent there under certain special circumstances.” Damage to the RC has resulted in the loss of portions of several words, which have been supplied from the LbC.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0297

Author: Digges, Thomas
Author: Russell, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-23

From Thomas Digges

[salute] Dr sir

Since the sailing of Adml Barrington there has been much surprise and speculation as to His destination, and an express just arrivd from Plymouth announces that a few days ago and not many leagues off Brest one of His look out frigates the Artois Cap McBride fell in with an outward Bound India Fleet of 4 line of Battle ships (two armed en flute) and about 20 sail of Transports, four of which were taken by Capt McBride and brought into Plymo. and the fleet under Adml Barrington left in chase in such a position as to make it morally certain He would capture the whole. Report at first said it was the homeward bound Domingo fleet and that Adml { 458 } Barrington had taken 23 merchantmen and two men of War; but the above seems to be the nearest accot to truth.1 As this accot came too late for the Gazette, without its publication is purposely kept back, I give it You in a hurry just at the period of the post setting out.
No other news. The idea of Peace with Holland or Ama seperately has pretty well blown over; and as a substitute in conversation the cry now is that Genl Carlton carrys over such profers as will assuredly be accepted of. Mr. L— too is very shortly to return from the Continent with such an assent to the proposals He carryd to His Colleagues as will insure a Peace!!!

[salute] I am with high Esteem Sir Your ob H. Sert

[signed] W R
1. Adm. Samuel Barrington sailed in early April to patrol off Brest. On the 20th one of his frigates sighted a convoy bound for the East Indies accompanied by three 64-gun ships of the line, one of them serving as a troop transport armed en flûte: that is, with its armament removed. In the ensuing engagement the troop transport and another ship of the line were taken together with twelve other vessels from the convoy. By 26 April, Barrington was back at Spithead, having struck a heavy blow against the French in the East Indies (Mackesy, War for America, p. 478; W. M. James, The British Navy in Adversity: A Study of the War of American Independence, London and N.Y., 1926, p. 366–367).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0298

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-04-24

To Robert R. Livingston

No. 8.1

[salute] Sir

On the 24th. day of April I had the Honor to be introduced to the Princess, from whom I met a very gracious Reception. As it is necessary to say something upon these Occasions, I could think of nothing better than what follows:3

[salute] Madame

Je suis ravi d’avoir l’honneur de presenter une Republique Vierge, un Monde Enfant à la Bienveillance et à la Protection de votre Altesse Royale; d’une Princesse aussi illustre par ses Perfections et Vertus personnelles, que par Sa Connection avec la Maison d’Orange, si révérée en Amerique, et avec l’un de ces grands Monarques4 dans le Siecle desquels on se fait un honneur de vivre.
Votre Altesse Royale me permettra de faire des Vaux, pour que ses { 459 } serenissimes Enfans et leur Postérité, puissant jouir parmi les Generations les plus reculées de l’Amerique, de la même Vénération profonde, qui y a toujours été entretenue pour leurs Ancêtres.
Her Royal Highness thanked me for the Compliment, and promised to do what depended upon her to render my Residence at the Hague agreable to me, and then asked me several Questions similar to those of his most Serene Highness.

[salute] I have the Honor to be,5 Sir your most obedient servant

[signed] J. Adams
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 73–74).
1. The numbers JA and Thaxter assigned JA’s letters to Livingston correspond to the order in which they were entered in the Letterbook. Letter No. 8 was entered immediately following letter No. 7 of 232 April, above, in Lb/JA/18 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 106).
2. In the Letterbook copy, JA left a blank space for the date in both the dateline and the first sentence that John Thaxter filled in later.
3. When JA published this letter in the Boston Patriot of 10 April 1811, he included the following English translation of his conversation with Wilhelmina, princess of Orange:
“Madame—I am happy to have the honor of presenting a virgin republic and an infant world, to the benevolence and protection of your royal highness; a princess as illustrious for her perfections and personal virtues, as by her connection with the house of Orange, so much revered in America, and with one of those great monarchs, with whom it is esteemed an honor to live in the same century.
“Your royal highness will permit me to pray that your most serene children and their posterity, may enjoy to the latest generations in America, the same profound veneration, which has always been entertained there for their ancestors.”
4. Wilhelmina was the niece of Frederick the Great.
5. The remainder of the closing and the signature are in JA’s hand.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0299

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-24

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I Assure myself, that your Excellency will permit me to offer my Congratulations to you on your Excellencys being publickly Acknowledged Minister of the United States. I am rejoiced at this Event for your Excellencys Honor, as well as for the Interest of our Country—you will believe me, I am Confident, when I say I feel for both, and both are in good Hands. Go on in your Noble Career; I Know you will, and may God Almighty bless you.

[salute] I am with the Greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt

[signed] Edm: Jenings

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0300

Author: Hodshon, John, & Zoon (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-25

John Hodshon & Zoon’s Proposals for a Loan

Mess John Hodshon & son yoú are hereby desired to open a loan In my name for The use of the 13 united States of America agreable to my commission from Them dated The 20th june 17802 For Foúr or Five Million guilders current at 5 pc Intrest per annúm for the space of Ten years redeemable In The Five next Following years In equal Five parts with Intrest Fl payd of For which The obligation and coupons are to be signd by me, and the obligations contrasigned by yoú,3 and Enregistred by a notary For the Repayment of capital and Intrest the united states shll bind themself Jointly and seperatly, their Lands Income and prodúce revenus and Taxes Laid and to be Laid as wil be more fully explained In The obligations to be signd by me and of which an authentick copy to be sent to congres for Their confirmation And ratification on Their returning The Same To be drawn for the Súm to be borrowed as They shal be adresed by yoú.
Mess John Hodshon & son In order To Facilitate The Negotiation of Four or Five Million of guilders currant, yoú are permitted to allow to the undertakers a premiúm or discoúnt of Two procent and agree to allow or pay yoú one pc for your commission on the summ negotiated with one procent for The payment of the annúal Intrest which congres wil provide for In Such a manner as is most agreable, Further yoú are to be paid one half pc for the repayment of the capital besides one half procent for Brokeridge on The summ negotiated, with the cost of the obligations and advertisements and In order to prevent any prejudice to be done to the present negotiation Thereby oblige myself that such obligations as are not allready disposed of the loan of messs John de Neufville & son on the 1st March 1781 shal not be disposed of directly or Indirectly.
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Hodshon”; docketed by CFA: “April 25th 1782.” Dft? (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Hodshon”; in another hand: “Mr Hodshon.”; filmed at 20 April 1782 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356).
1. No final notarized copies of the two proposed contracts between JA and John Hodshon & Zoon printed here have been found. From JA’s letter of 26 April to Hodshon, below, however, it appears that the terms given here may have been the final ones. If official notarized copies of the contract ever existed, they may have been destroyed when the Hodshon agreement was superseded. The terms of these proposed contracts should be compared with that of [11 June] (Adams Papers) between JA and the firms of Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & { 461 } Fynje. They should also be compared with the apparent Dft of the proposals printed here that may or may not have been enclosed with Hodshon’s letter of 20 April, above.
2. The Dft does not refer to Hodshon & Zoon by name and does not mention JA’s commission.
3. The Dft indicates only that Hodshon & Zoon would countersign the obligations; there is no mention of coupons. The remainder of this paragraph does not appear in the Dft.
4. This proposal is virtually identical to the corresponding Dft.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0301

Author: Van der Kemp, François Adriaan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-25

From François Adriaan Van der Kemp

[salute] Sir

Althoug I am not So happÿ to be the first in making mÿ Compliments to your Excellencÿ; I am however persuaded that not one of mÿ countrÿmen is more addicted to the cause of America and more attached to your Excellencÿ than I am.
I congratulate mÿself with the favour of your Excellency’s acquaintance—with a part of the friendship of your Excellencÿ, and I flatter mÿself, that the aknowledgment of your High Rank wil not chance ÿour character. The eminent qualities of your heart remove the Shadow of fear, in this respect, and the knowledge, that I am a man, a Republican, do me think, that I Shal have a rigth to your good opinion.
In one of other case, perhaps I maÿ be to your Excellencÿ of the American States of anÿ Service; this Shal me given a great Satisfaction. In this city there are Members of Regencÿ, who, in the regulation of a treatise of commerce Should be able to give anÿ elucidations. Moondaÿ I Shal part to Nÿmegen in Gelderland—to consommate my marriage,1 and the month of Juin I hope to be in Friesland. Recommending mÿ in Your Excellency’s good opinion, I am with the highest esteem Sir! Your Excellency’s much addicted and Obliged Servant Fr.
[signed] Ad van der Kemp
1. On 20 May, Van der Kemp married Reinira Engelbartha Johanna Vos, daughter of Jacob Vos, burgomaster of Nijmegen (Harry F. Jackson, Scholar in the Wilderness, Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, Syracuse, 1963, p. 48; Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 1752–1829, An Autobiography, Together with Extracts from His Correspondence, ed. Helen Lincklaen Fairchild, N.Y., 1903, p. 61).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0302

Author: Hodshon, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-26

To John Hodshon

Mr. Hodshon is desired to make the necessary Enquiries, and as soon as he will give me under his hand his Engagement to furnish { 462 } Congress with four or five Millions of Guilders, by the last day of July next, so that I may write forthwith to Congress that they may draw for that Sum, I will agree to his Opening the Loan upon the Terms, We have agreed on.1
[signed] J. Adams
LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. For the terms to which JA and John Hodshon & Zoon agreed, see Hodshon & Zoon’s proposal, 25 April, above. Hodshon acted immediately by announcing the terms of the loan and soliciting investors (Pieter J. van Winter, American Finance and Dutch Investment, 1780–1805, With an Epilogue to 1840, transl. James C. Riley, 2 vols., N.Y., 1977, 1:84–85).
Years later, JA recalled that the announcement of the loan initially was well received, but soon criticism of Hodshon led JA to try to form a consortium of firms, including Hodshon’s, to participate in the loan. In a letter to the Boston Patriot, JA wrote that the day after the loan was announced, Hodshon “received the customary congratulations from the principal merchants and capitalists, and I thought I was very happy in so solid a connection. Mr. Hodshon undertook to remove my family and furniture from Amsterdam to the Hague, and every thing was done with an order, punctuality and exactness that could not be exceeded; and his charges for every thing he did and furnished were extremely moderate” (Boston Patriot, 24 April 1811). JA’s household goods were moved to The Hague in early May. He took up residence in the Hôtel des Etats Unis on 12 May (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:321, 322, 323–324).
The letter to the Boston Patriot continues,
“Mr. Hodson had visited me from the beginning and had uniformly treated me with as much repect and civility as any of the other gentlemen who had traded to America. Neither myself nor my country were under any obligations to any other house that I know of, more than to his. He was very rich, worth many millions, entirely free from debt, his credit equal to any house unless that of Hope, was to be excepted, and even that, though possessed of immense resources, was much in debt and lately in the great turn of affairs much embarrassed. Mr. Hodshon had several brothers and many other relations in various parts of the republic who were very rich capitalists; so that he could have commanded a very respectable loan in spite of all the opposition that could have been made.
“Not many days passed however, before a clamour arose upon change in the city and pretty extensively in various parts of the republic. Mr. Van Berckel told me Mr. Hodshon was envied. There seemed to be a conspiracy of English and French emissaries, of Stadtholderians and patriots, of the friends and connections of Mr. De Neufville, Fizeau & Grand, Van Staphorts, De la Lande & Fynje and many others, to raise a cry against Mr. Hodshon. He was ‘anglomane;’ he ‘was a Stadtholderian;’ he ‘was an enemy to America,’ &c. &c.—not one word of which was sufficiently well founded to make any reasonable objections against his employment in this service. However, I saw that there was a settled plan to make it a party affair, if not an engine of faction. I said nothing, but determined to let the bubble burst of itself. When I was attacked, as I sometimes was, pretty severely, in company, for the choice I had made of an house for my loan, I justified every step of my conduct in it, by such facts and reasons as not one man ever attempted to contradict or confute.
“Nevertheless, in a few days Mr. Hodshon came to me and said, ‘You cannot be ignorant sir, that an uneasiness has been excited in the city and country against yourself and me, on account of the American loan.’ I answered, that I had heard and felt enough of it, but that having experienced much more formidable popular clamours in my own country, and seen that they soon subsided, I had not laid this much to heart. It had not shaken my confidence in him or in his contract. Mr. Hodshon said ‘the opposition that was made, could not prevent him from obtaining a considerable sum of money; but it might prevent so large a loan as he and I wished, and as congress expected, and that it might expose me to reflections and misrepresentations in America, as well as in Holland, and even in England as well as France;’ and { 463 } added, ‘if you have the least inclination to be disengaged, or if you have the smallest probablility of doing better for your consituents, I will readily release you from your contract.’ I thanked him for his generosity, and added, that I was very willing to risque all the consequences of perseverance, and had no doubt we should succeed as well at least as I could hope to do, in any other connection I could form. But if he pleased, I would make some further enquiries. He wished I would—he was advanced in years, was infirm in his health, easy in his circumstances, perfectly clear and unembarrassed in his business and wished for repose rather than to engage in squabbles: but he would not forsake me. If I could not do better, he would proceed. We agreed to consider and enquire” (Boston Patriot, 24 April 1811).
It was probably at this point that JA wrote his letter to Fizeaux, Grand & Co. and others, 30 April, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0303

Author: Vernon, William Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-26

From William Vernon Sr.

[salute] Sir

You have long since known, that the American Navy is reduced to Two Ships only, viz The Alliance John Barry Commander, now in France and the Deane Samll Nicholson Comr. that sailed on a Cruise to the Southward, about seven weeks past, no intelligence from her since her departure.1
This low state of our Navy, has caused the dissolution of the Admiralty and Navy boards, by resolve of Congress on the 7th of Sepr. last,2 devolving the whole business of the Marine department upon the Honorable Robt. Morris Esqr., until an Agent shall be appointed for that purpose, by Congress. All those boards, was immediatly closed, except ours, which was continued, until the above Ships (then in this Harbour) were compleated for Sea, then to terminate and finally end, with the delivery of all the remaining Stores, Papers, Books &c &c, in the possession of the Navy Board Eastn Dept. to the Order of the Superintendant of Finances.
This requisition has been made by John Brown Esqr. late Clerk to the Admiralty Board appointed by Mr M— to receive the same, leaving our numerous Debts unpaid, subjecting us to litigious Law suits and perplexities, disgraceful to the Office, and highly degradeing to the Servants of the Public, conceiveing ourselves subjected to reproach and every evil, that injured Creditors are but too apt to through out, we have refused to comply with, until Congress shall point out the mode of exonerating our Office with honor, and reputation, thereby freeing us from the perplexities that we must unavoidably be involved in. It is uncertain wheather my Son, returns to America this Year, or remains in Europe,3 I am perswaded Sir, in every instance he will receive such favors from you, as his conduct { 464 } and behavior may merit, more I would not wish to ask. I am with perfect esteem, The honor to be Sr. Your most Obedt. Humble servt.
[signed] Wm Vernon
1. The Boston Independent Chronicle of 23 May reported the return of the Deane from a nine week cruise, during which it had taken five prizes. Shortly thereafter, because of Silas Deane’s apparent treachery, the Deane’s name was changed to the Hague, presumably in honor of Dutch recognition of American independence (Morris, Papers, 5:337–338).
2. JCC, 21:943.
3. Despite the efforts of his father, who ultimately disowned him, William Vernon Jr. did not return to America until 1797 (Richard A. Harrison and others, eds., Princetonians: A Biographical Dictionary, 5 vols., Princeton, 1976–1991, 3:120–126).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0304-0001

Author: Wynzouw, Jan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-26

From Jan Wynzouw

Geeft Te kennen Jan Wynzouw, Burger en Ingebooren in deeze Provintie, Thans Schoolmeester alhier Voorheen By de ningotie,1 hebbende eene Goede kennis Van Laakenen en Stoffen ook Van Boekhouden en een nauwkeurige Trant Van Reekenen, zoo in France als Engelsche Goederen, maar kan niet dan Hollandsche Taal Spreeken, Waardoor ik Geen affaire Veel heb konne Slaage, en nu Wel Gaarne Wilde iets anders by de hand neemen het Zoude mijn ’t Zelve zyn Waar het ook Was indien ik met al myn Vleyd vroeg of Laat maar een ordentelyk bestaan met myn vrouw en 4 kinderen mogte hebben daar Van myn oudste zoon Reeds een bekwaam Chergyn knegt is, maar de 3 andere nog tot myne Last in Eenen benauwden Tyd, en Waar in ik niet anders als ziektens en Teegenheeden Gehad heb maar nu alle Gezond, maar nu is er byna Voor myn niet te Verdienen—Zoude UWE: Exelentie my Gunstig Ergens in het een of ander ook konnen Plaatzen Waar het ook zy al Was het in America. Wy Willen ons Vaderland onder Gods bewaaring Wel vaarwel Zeggen, ik heb Gehoord UWE: Exelentie Zulke Lieden Wel aan een Zaak Zoude konne helpen.
Het is myn niet te doen om een Groot man te zyn maar een Stuk broot Voor myn en myn kinderen ben ik ook nooyd te traag Geweest om Zulks te Verdienen als ik in omstandigheeden Was, heb ik myn Leeven niets Verzuymt, en zoude Gaarne al myn Vleyd aan Legge indien ik iets bestending konde bekomen Waar toe ik myn op het { 465 } nedrigst in UW Hoog Wel Edle geboore Gunst Recommandere en naar Needere aanbieding. Myner Dienst noeme ik myn en ben met alle Hoogagting Geboore Heer UWE Exelentie Ootmoedige Dienaar
[signed] J: Wynzouw
Schoolmeester onder de uylebomen
NB Zal de vryheyd nemen om Eens om bescheyd te komen.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0304-0002

Author: Wynzouw, Jan
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-26

Jan Wynzouw to John Adams: A Translation

Jan Wynzouw, citizen and native to this province, presently schoolmaster here, formerly in trade,1 informs you that he, having a good knowledge of draperies and fabrics, as well as of bookkeeping and a precise sort of accounting, both in French and English goods, but who can speak nothing but the Dutch language, because of which I have not been able to succeed in any business, now really would like to try out something else. It would not matter to me where it would be if with all my diligence I could sooner or later achieve a decent living with my wife and four children, of whom my eldest son is already a competent surgeon’s assistant, but the other three are still my responsibility in hard times, and who have had nothing but illnesses and setbacks, but who now are all healthy, but now there is almost nothing for me to earn—Would your excellency be able to place me somewhere favorable wherever it would be even if it were in America. Under God’s protection we want to say farewell to our fatherland; I have heard that your Excellency would be able to help such folk in such a matter.
I do not intend to be a great man, but I have never been too slow to earn a piece of bread for my family and children when I had the chance, I have never been neglectful and would gladly and with diligence apply myself if I could get something permanent, for which I most humbly recommend myself to your honor’s favor, and further offering my service I call myself and am, with all respect, your honorable, nobly-born excellency’s humble servant,
[signed] J: Wynzouw
Schoolmaster under the Owl Trees
N.B. Will take the liberty to come sometime for an answer.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “not to [be ansd?]”; docketed by CFA: “26. April 1782.”
1. Possibly a mispelling of negotie, or trade, and translated as such.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0305-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-27

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Depuis votre Départ d’ici il ne s’est rien passé, sinon qu’hier la Province d’Hollde prit la Résolution d’une Missive à la Cour de Russie, pour décliner la Paix particuliere avec celle de Londres,1 laquelle Résolution a été communiquée aux Etats-Généraux hier, après quoi les Etats d’Hollde se séparerent pour jusqu’à Mercredi prochain.
Voici diverses Lettres qui m’ont été apportées de l’Auberge. J’ai offert d’en payer le Port. Mais l’Hôte m’a fait entendre que vous l’aviez chargé de le payer et de m’apporter les Lettres qui arriveroient pour vous.
Occupés, comme nous le sommes tous les deux à déménager, Je crois devoir ménager votre temps comme le mien, et par conséquent, être court.
Mr. Geyzelaer est parti pour Gorcum,2 voir Made. sa mere, qui est malade.
Je salue bien cordialement Mr. Thaxter; ma femme et ma fille font de-même, et vous présentent leurs respects avec celui, Monsieur, de Votre très-humble & très-obéissant serviteur
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0305-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-27

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

[salute] Sir

Since your departure from here, nothing has happened except that yesterday the province of Holland made a resolution to the Russian court refusing the peace proposal from London.1 The resolution was communicated to the states general yesterday, after which the states of Holland adjourned until next Wednesday.
Here are several letters that were brought to me from the inn. I offered to pay the postage for them, but the innkeeper told me that you had instructed him to pay it and to bring me the letters that arrive for you.
Since we are both busy with moving, I believe I must be as considerate of your time as I am of my own and, as a result, be short.
Mr. Gyselaar left for Gorkum2 to visit his ill mother.
I send my cordial regards to Mr. Thaxter; my wife and daughter do as well, and pay their respects to you with those, sir, of your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] Dumas
1. For the British peace proposal and its rejection by the States General, see JA to Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol, 6 April, and note 1, above.
2. Gorkum or Gorinchem, about fifteen miles east of Dordrecht.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0306

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dana, Francis
Date: 1782-04-28

To Francis Dana

[salute] Dear Sir

Yours of 28 March is this day recd1—the other Paper you mentioned I also recd, but after my Letter was written. Your other Letters are also recd.
You will have Seen by the Papers, that the great Point is gained here with much Unanimity, and many indifferent People think it a great Point. I may think more highly of it, than it deserves, but it has ever appeared to me, the turning Point. Be this as it will, I think all will allow that it is better to have this nation for Us than against us—this has been the question—and that question is now certainly decided. If the War continues, there will be found in this nation a Strong Spirit of Liberty, and a great deal of obstinate Valour.
It is to no Purpose to entertain you with Relations of Visits and Ceremonies, which are all finished. The Prince and Princess of orange have acknowledged American Independance as well as their H.M. The P. has recd a Letter of Credence. It was pretty to present a beautifull young Virgin World, to the Acquaintance of a fine figure of a Princess, whose Countenance showed an Understanding capable of judging and an Heart capable of feeling.
We have no News from America, a long time excepting a Line notifying the arrival of your son Charles. I am rejoiced that my dear John, pursues his studies so well. Let him pursue Cicero. But I regret extreamly his absence from Leyden, where there are such noble Advantages. I am So uneasy about this that I wish he could find a good Passage in a neutral Vessell, and return to me.2 I feel more lonely, than I used as my Health is not so good, and my Spirits still worse. I want my Wife and my Children, about me. I must go home. I cant live so—it is too much. If I should go home it would give great Pleasure to Some who dont love me. And I really feel Benevolence enough to give them this satisfaction. I am weary my Friend, of the dastardly Meannesses of Jealousy and Envy. It is mortifying, it is humiliating to me to the last degree, to see such Proofs of it, as degrade human nature.
If I should get a Treaty made I have a great Mind to go home and carry it for Ratification.
I will write to my dear Boy soon,3 I have rcd his Letters, and would have him write me as often as he can. Dont mind Postage.
{ 468 }
RC (MHi:Dana Family Papers); endorsed: “Mr: J. Adams’s Letter Dated April 28th 1782 Recd. May 11th O.S.”
1. 8 April N.S., above.
2. In his reply of 23 May (Adams Papers), Dana agreed that JQA should join JA in the Netherlands.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0307

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Jenings, Edmund
Date: 1782-04-28

To Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

Your favour of the 24, is just come to Hand. Your Congratulations on the publick acknowledgment of the United States do me great Honour.
I received in its Time, your favour of 18. The Compliments you make me upon this occasion, are greater than I deserve, though they are not greater than were made me last Week, by one of the most respectable foreign Ministers at the Hague.
“Vous avez, frappé, Mosieur, (Said he to me) le plus grand Coup de tout L’Europe. C’est le plus grand Coup, qui a jamais été frappé dans la Cause Americain. C’est Vous qui a effrayé et terrassée Les Anglomanes. C’est Vous qui a rempli cette nation d’Enthousiasme. C’est Vous, qui a tournée leurs Tetes.” Then turning to another Gentleman present (Says he) “Ce n’est pas pour faire Compliment a Monsieur Adams que Je dis cela—C’est parce que, en Verité, Je crois que c’est Sa duë.”1 Such was the Diplomatique Compliment of the grave Spaniard.
Think of me, however as they will, I am not easily touched with Such Compliments. They will never turn my Head I assure you.
The Revolution which has taken Place in this nation, is the Result of a vast number and Variety of great Events, composing a great Scheme of Providence, which comprized a great part of the Earth and the nations on it, which I could no more influence, than the fly upon the Chariot Wheel could raise the Cloud of Dust.
When I recollect the Circumstances, I am amazed, and I feel, that it is no Work of mine. Mr Laurens was to be taken—Congres were to foresee it, so far as to send me a Commission to borrow Money. I was to come to Holland to see the Country and my friend Laurens. Congress were to send me full Powers. These were to be lost on the Way from Paris, and to run the Gantlet through Dilligences, Post offices and Treck schuits, and at last reach me Safe by an unknown Hand. I was to be Seized with a Fit of obstinacy and go { 469 } to the Hague, with a Memorial, in opposition to Advices, Remonstrances, and almost Menaces. Mr Van Berckel was to come forward next—then the Burgomaster of Amsterdam, the Battle of Doggersbank. France was to retake statia &c. The Barrier Towns were to be evacuated—The Emperors Toleration was to allarm the Dutch further about their Commerce. Cornwallis, Minorca st Kits were to be taken. Congress was to prohibit the Importation of British Manufactures. The Revolution was to take Place in England. What a Chain! and what Link in it, did I forge? none at all but the stubborn Memorial. All that I have done was just to throw out a few Hints for the Contemplation of the People. I need not be envyed for this—My Fevers and Swollen Legs and feeble Knees, are not envyed I dare say.
However, I had Seen and felt before So much of the Smart arising from a sordid Jealeusy and Envy, that I never can see or feel more of it—I despise it all and am determined to brave it. All their dastardly assassinations, their secret Whispers, their vile slanders, I hold in as much Contempt as I do their Persons and Characters. I disdain to Say or write a Word in my own Vindication. Let them go to the End of their Rope. I confess, I have tolerated several Things which gave me Pain and which I never suffered in any former Part of my Life on Purpose to show them how much I hold them in Contempt, and at Defyance. I am much afraid, that the dirty disagreable office of Stripping the Gilding off of one more Knave, is destined for me. I hope not—and will avoid it if I can.
But, dont believe me dazzled with my Glory—I should Embark tomorrow for the blue Hills there to live and die with more Pleasure, than I had in making fine Speeches to the Prince or Princess of orange, or the Grand Committee of their High Mightinesses. There is one Thing, I should be glad to do, if it were in my Power, which however it never will be.2

[salute] Adieu.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “His Excellency Mr Adams April 28 1782.”
1. Translation: You have struck, sir, the greatest blow in all Europe. It is the greatest blow yet struck in the American cause. It is you who have terrified and vanquished the Anglomanes. It is you who have filled this nation with enthusiasm. It is you who have turned their heads. It is not just to make a compliment to Mr. Adams that I say this, it is because it is true and I know that it is his due.
2. One can only conjecture about JA’s meaning here. In his reply of 6 May (Adams Papers), Jenings referred specifically to this sentence, but JA did not respond with a clarification.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0308

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lacoste, Jn. Pas., & Courtiau (business)
Date: 1782-04-29

To Jn. Pas. Lacoste & Courtiau

[salute] Gentlemen

I have recd. the polite Letter, which You did me the honor to write me on the 26th with the Letter from St. Petersbourg.1 Let me beg of You to give me a minute of the Postage of this and any other Letter You may recieve for me, that I may repay You.
You do me too much honor in ascribing the late glorious Event to me.2 It is the Result of a vast Combination of Causes which have been operating in several Nations and various Quarters of the Globe, in which I had very little more Influence than the Fly upon the Chariot Wheel in raising the Dust.
I do not however rejoice in it the less. It appears to me a foundation for Prosperity and Security to both Nations, whom may God bless.

[salute] I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, your obliged and obedient humble Servant

LbC in John Thaxter’s hand (Adams Papers).
1. The letter enclosed with Lacoste & Courtiau’s of 26 April (Adams Papers) may have been that of 8 April from Francis Dana, above. The Amsterdam firm forwarded letters from St. Petersburg on several occasions; see its letters of [18] and 22 July (Adams Papers) and JA’s reply of 14 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. In their letter Lacoste & Courtiau congratulated JA on the glorious event, which they attributed to his sublime genius and profound wisdom.

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0309

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bondfield, John
Date: 1782-04-30

To John Bondfield

[salute] Sir

Yours of 13 is duely recd: I congratulate you, on Gillons Success and hope that his Prizes, and those he may make hereafter will defray the enormous Expence of that outfit. All his Patience Activity and Perseverance, were necessary, to carry that affair through: and the Cost was immense.
I am not able to answer your Question, concerning the fate of a Vessell of yours, which should be carried into England by a Privateer: because I am not able to comprehend nor to penetrate the System of the New Ministry. Perhaps it may, devellope itself, soon.
It is with Pleasure I am able to inform you, that, the Sovereignty of the United States of America has been Acknowledged, in the most Solemn, unanimous and glorious manner, by the Bodies of Artisans, Merchants, Professions Citizens, and Colledges by the Cities { 471 } Provinces, States General, Prince and Princess of orange. A more manly and decided Honour has never yet been done to our Country. I need not entertain you with a detail, of the Difficulties, Discouragements, and Mortifications, through which We have had the good Fortune to arrive at this honourable Result. I should be Sorry to tell them to the present Age, and think it almost a Pity they should be known to Posterity.
Whatever the World may Say, this nation has great Qualities. They lie deep it is true: but when an occasion presents which calls them forth, they show themselves with great Eclat.

[salute] With much Esteem, I have the Honour to be Sir your most obedient humble sert

[signed] J. Adams
RC (private owner, 1963).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0310

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Fizeaux, Grand & Co. (business)
Recipient: Hodshon, John, & Son (business)
Recipient: Crommelin, Daniel, & Son (business)
Recipient: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Recipient: Neufville, Jean de, & Fils (business)
Date: 1782-04-30

To Fizeaux, Grand & Co. and Others

1. If the Houses of Fizeaux Grand & Co. John Hodshon & Son Mess. Crommelin, Mess. Van Staphorst, Mess. De la Lande & Fynje and Mr. John de Neufville & Son, will all join together in an American Loan, Mr. Adams will open it without demanding any Stipulations for any certain Sum.
2d. If the first Proposition is not agreed to, Mr. Adams will open a Loan with as many of these Houses as will agree together, and enter into a Stipulation with him to furnish the sum of Five Millions by the Month of August.
3d. If no Number of Houses will join, Mr. Adams will open the Loan with any One that will first undertake and contract to furnish that Sum.
4d. Mr. Adams proposes that all those Gentlemen should meet and consult upon the Matter and propose their Thoughts.1
Tr (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 4, f. 700). This copy was enclosed by Nicolaas and Jacob van Staphorst in their letter of 24 Nov. 1785 to John Jay, for which see note 1.
1. With this letter JA sought to bring banking firms allied to the Patriot party into the effort to raise an American loan. His intention was to increase the loan’s chances for success by appeasing those critical of his choice of John Hodshon & Zoon for the task, most notably Nicolaas and Jacob van Staphorst, for which see John Thaxter’s letter of 22 April, and note 2, above. This letter, however, did not achieve JA’s purpose. In their letter of 24 Nov. 1785 to Jay the van Staphorsts offered a critical assessment of JA’s financial dealings in the Netherlands: “We received a Note from him, a Copy whereof { 472 } We take the Liberty to inclose you [see descriptive note], proposing a Junction of Houses, the like of which was never known here, and that was therefore refused by all solid Persons. We at this time waited upon him, and presumed to call to His Remembrance all what we had told him, which had been confirmed by the Event; But as we spoke the Language of Men accustomed to Truth, and not as insinuating Flatterers, We met with no success, We were on the contrary treated as People, who had occasioned the Miscarriage of his inconsiderate Efforts with Mr. Hodshon, and were shewn the door with Rudeness. From which time We should not have waited any more upon Mr. Adams. Had we not been intreated to it by a Person of great Consideration since dead, Who promised us that in this Conjuncture Mr. Adams would in a proper Manner, propose to employ us in the Negotiation of a Loan. Hereupon We returned to him, when he proposed to us the Junction, which was afterwards fixed upon.” On 11 June 1782JA received a letter from the firms of Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje discussing the loan’s terms (Adams Papers). The names of the firms are given here in the order of their signatures on the letter, which presumably reflected their standing within the consortium.
Although John Hodshon was displaced from the American loan his relationship with JA continued. Hodshon assisted JA in the move from his residence in Amsterdam to the Hôtel des Etats Unis at The Hague (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:321). And on 13 June (LbC, Adams Papers) JA wrote that “Justice and Gratitude will forever oblige me to Say, that your Conduct through the whole affair [the loan], was that of a Man of Honour, a Gentleman and a true Friend of the United States of America.”

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0311

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Luzac, Jean
Date: 1782-04-30

To Jean Luzac

[salute] Sir

I ought to make an apology, for delaying So long to answer your Favour of the Sixteenth accompanied with Some printed Copies, of the Address of Thanks from the Body of Merchants and Manufacturers of the City of Leyden, to the great Council.
The great Qualities, which this Nation has always displayed upon occasions proper to call them Forth, appear with too much Splendour upon this occasion to be mistaken.
Dft? (Adams Papers); docketed in an unidentified hand: “John Adams 1782.”
1. The next extant letter from JA to Luzac is 18 Feb. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0312

Author: Bracht, Herman van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-30

From Herman van Bracht

[salute] Sir

I have the honour to return you, with many thanks the collection of the constitutions of America, which you was So obliging as lend me, the translation of the pieces I wanted to compleat the whole, is finishd, and the printer Mr. F wanner of this city, is making all possible diligence with the Impression, So that I hope it will be publish’d in a month or two.1
The readiness and politeness with which you acquiesed to my { 473 } former request encourages me to ask Some more favours from you. It appears to me that the Treaty of commerce now on the carpet between the States of America (and which I presume will be Soon concluded) and this Republic, would form a very proper appendix to the present publication, if it Strikes you in the Same light, and you Should think it Sufficiently advanced to insert it, I would request a copy of it as Soon as possible. But This I must leave intirely to your discretion—but another request I have to make, in the printers name as well as my own, as it depends intirely upon your Self, I hope you will not refuse: as the first part of the work was dedicated (I think with great propriety) to the pensionary Van Berkel and with his permission, it Will afford the printer and me great Satisfaction, if he may be allowd to dedicate this part to you.2
I observe by the 11 Article of the Treaty of commerce with France that the plenipitentiaries have taken care that the Americans Should not become liable to the Droit daubaine and Droit le Detraction. This induces me to take the liberty of informing you that a Similar unjust Law prevails in the cities of Holland, by which they have a right to demand (and this not less than 10 perCt) upon all heritages, as well abintestato as extestamento which, fall within and are carried out of their Jurisdictions, an act of Injustice founded upon a remnant of that enormous power possess’d by the old Courts of Holland, and however adapted it may have been to those feudal times, I am persuaded it is at present impolitic; Indeed most of the cities are So Sensible of this, that they have mutually desisted from this right upon each other, but Foreigners are Still liable to it, It is calld het regt van Exu or Exu geld.3
Congratulating you Sir on your admission as Envoy plenipitentiary by the States, assuring you of my constant esteem en Sincere offers of my Service I remain Sir Your Most obed: Servt.
[signed] Herman van Bracht
1. Van Bracht returned The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; . . . , Phila., 1781, that JA lent him in February (to van Bracht, 1 Feb., above). Translated into Dutch, it formed the second volume of Verzameling van de Constitutien . . . van Amerika, . . . , 2 vols., Dordrecht, 1781–1782, which appeared in August (from van Bracht, 12 Aug., Adams Papers). Two sets of the edition are in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library).
2. JA replied on 3 May (LbC, Adams Papers), indicating that he thought it inappropriate to publish the Dutch-American treaty prior to its ratification, but consenting to the proposed dedication so long as “nothing be said offensive to any one.”
3. The droit d’aubain was the right of the French king to seize the property of deceased foreigners. The droit de detraction was a tax paid on property moved out of France. Americans were exempted from both by Art. 11 of { 474 } the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:10–11). An exemption, similar to that in the Franco-American treaty and presumably intended to cope with such laws as mentioned by van Bracht, was included as Art. 6 of Congress’ plan of [29 Dec. 1780] for a treaty with the Netherlands (vol. 10:452), and was included as Art. 6 in the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce concluded on 8 Oct. 1782 (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:65–66).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0313-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-30

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Dans l’embarras de notre déménagement, qui aura lieu demain, je n’ai plus qu’un coffre sur lequel je puisse vous écrire la présente. Vous verrez par l’incluse de Mr. Nolet de Schiedam, et par la copie de ma réponse provisionnelle, ce que vous jugerez à propos de leur répondre Vous-même.1 En vous souvenant cependant, que vous avez accepté un Déjeuner chez Mr. et Made. Boreel ici, le 6e de May. On m’a dit, que ces Messieurs de Schiedam donneront un repas de 100 couverts, et qu’il y aura beaucoup de personnes de Rotterdam. Je dois vous faire souvenir aussi, que ces Messieurs voudroient savoir le jour une semaine d’avance, à cause des préparatifs. Si vous pouviez donc, dès à présent, leur fixer un jour de la 2e semaine du mois de may, vous leur feriez grand plaisir. Je pense que le meilleur seroit, Monsieur, que vous leur indiquassiez l’heure où vous serez à Delft dans votre voiture, afin que vous puissiez entrer là dans leur Yacht, si vous ne voulez pas qu’il vienne vous prendre ici; ce qui, selon moi vaudroit encore mieux. Vous prendrez après cela le parti qui Sera le plus de votre goût. Quant à moi, je n’ai pas la moindre objection ni repugnance à rester ici ce jour-là, et tenir compagnie à ma femme et à ma fille, pendant la fête, à laquelle nous serons charmés d’apprendre la satisfaction que vous y aurez eue, ainsi que Mr. Thaxter que nous saluons cordialement.

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

[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0313-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-30

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

[salute] Sir

With all the commotion of moving tomorrow, I have only a trunk on which to write this letter to you. You will see from the enclosed letter from Mr. Nolet of Schiedam, and from the copy of my provisional reply, what will be necessary in your own response.1 Meantime, I would like to remind you that you have accepted a dinner invitation at Mr. and Mrs. Boreel’s home here on the 6th of May. I was told that the people from Schiedam { 475 } are preparing a meal composed of 100 dishes, and that there will be many people from Rotterdam there. I must also remind you that you need to choose a date one week in advance, because of all the necessary preparations. Now, if you could choose a date during the second week of May, they would be greatly pleased. I think it would be best, sir, if you indicate the time that you will be in Delft in your carriage, so you can continue on in their yacht if you do not want them to come here to get you. I think this would be better. You can decide, after that, to do whatever pleases you. As for me, I do not have the least objection or reluctance to stay here on that day, in the company of my wife and daughter, during the celebration. We will be delighted to learn of the pleasant time you will have had there, as well as Mr. Thaxter, to whom we send our cordial regards.

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

[signed] Dumas
RC and two enclosures (Adams Papers). Filmed at (3 April 1782 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356).
1. In a letter of 29 April addressed to Dumas as JA’s secretary (JA, Works, 7:577–578), Jacobus Nolet invited JA to a dinner in his honor to be given by the merchants of Schiedam in the first or second week of May. Dumas replied on 30 April (Adams Papers) that he was an American agent in correspondence with Congress and that John Thaxter was JA’s secretary. Thaxter was thus the proper person to apply to with regard to the proposed dinner. Nonetheless Dumas indicated that the pressure of events and business would likely prevent JA’s attendance. JA replied to Dumas on 2 May (||available in Papers of John Adams, vol. 13; ||Works, 7:578–579), indicating his desire to be excused from the “affectionate, as well as polite invitation do dine at Schiedam,” but he left the matter in Dumas’ hands. On 8 May, Dumas informed the city of Schiedam that JA would be unable to attend but that he was fully sensible of the honor and friendship for himself and the United States manifested by the invitation (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 2, f. 470).
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.