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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0118-0002

Author: Berckel, Engelbert François van
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-07-22

Engelbert François van Berckel to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] Sir

Madame d'Hogendorp, who currently lives at The Hague, and her husband, councilor of Rotterdam, who is presently in the East Indies, are strongly urging me to intercede on behalf of an unknown,1 introduced to your excellency by the young M. d'Hogendorp, son of the aforementioned. According to what I hear, it seems your excellency would have given him some addresses in America, but not a letter of recommendation. Since I do not have the honor of knowing this person, and since I do not interfere in this sort of business, as you know, this gives me reason to try to excuse myself from it. But they persist. I am told that it is not a question of a recommendation, but rather that this person is leaving his country with the intention of establishing himself permanently in the United States, and that in order to find a way of making a living there, he is asking for a job suitable to his talents after an appropriate examination. M. and Mme. d'Hogendorp are close relatives, so therefore I cannot continue to ignore their request. Consequently, I am taking the liberty to ask your excellency whether he would be so kind as to oblige me in giving this person the necessary introduction, rather than letters of recommendation, so that he may reach his goal of establishing himself solidly in your happy republic and obtaining a job equal to his talents. The truth is that he is less known to me than to your excellency, since you spoke with him. But as unknown as he is to us, it seems to me that he may possess a commendable character since he himself offered to submit to an examination. And so it is because of this that I have the honor, your excellency, to intercede on his behalf. Since he and his family are engaged in the details of leaving the country, { 193 } your excellency can rely on the information sent by Mme. d'Hogendorp, which will, without a doubt, be quite accurate.
As for our treaty of commerce, you would oblige me greatly, sir, if you could kindly clarify your difficulties with the remarks made on your submitted plan by the commission of their High Mightinesses.2 If you could explain the reasons for your refusal regarding the proposed alterations, which I have heard that you have already made, it would be a way to advance this business that could otherwise be slowed down. But to this end, your views and Congress' views must be perfectly clear. Nothing would be more agreeable to me than to give you, sir, on every occasion, my expression of esteem and distinguished consideration while remaining, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant
[signed] E. F. van Berckel
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Van Berckel. 22. July 1782 ansd. 23.” The recipient's copy has a black border around it because Berckel was in mourning over the death of his wife, Gertruy Roskam van Berckel, on 25 June (vol. 12:336).
1. The “unknown” remains unidentified because, as he indicates in his reply of 23 July, below, JA had received no representations on his behalf by Mme. d'Hogendorp's son or anyone else.
2. The difficulties largely concerned Arts. 22 and 23 of JA's draft, for which see JA's reply of 23 July, and note 3, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0119

Author: Cooper, Samuel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-07-22

From Samuel Cooper

[salute] My dear Sir

We have received here with uncommon Pleasure the Accounts of the Success of your important Negotiations in Holland notwithstanding the Opposition and Traversings of a pow'rful British Party in that Country. By the last Vessel from France, which left Nants the Beginning of June, we are told, that the Independence of these States has been acknowledged by all the States of Holland, and your Excellency recieved in Form as their Minister Plenipotentiary, and all our Accounts agree that these Events would, without doubt, take place in May; upon which I most sincerely congratulate you and my Country. It gives us also great Pleasure to learn that the new Ministry of England are like to succeed in their Design of a separate Treaty with Holland no better than their Predecessors, and that this last Power has made a common Cause with the Enemies of Britain. If this may be depended on the Court of London may soon find itself obliged to seek Peace upon a broad and fair Bottom, and with such Concessions as shall establish the Security and Repose of Europe and America. Perhaps, however, their late Success in the West Indies may inspire them with other Sentiments, and the new Ministry may follow what they blamed in the old, the Continuance { 194 } of a War ruinous to themselves, upon partial and accidental Encouragements.
I have been highly pleased with the Disposition discovered by my Country upon the Change of the British Ministry,1 the Arrival of Genl. Carleton at New york, and the prevailing Apprehension that he was come to detach us from our Allies and prepare the Way for a separate Peace with England. The Idea of such a Proposal was every where received with just Indignation and Contempt, manifested in private Conversations, in the public Newspapers, and in the Resolves of the Legislatures of these States, with which our own has concurred.2
Our Finnances, particularly in this State, labour: The Accounts of our Treasury, it is said, are deranged: We have paid our full Proportion, if not more towards the Expence of the War, but from the present Perplexity of our public Accounts cannot make this appear in a Light it ought to do at Congress. Our Legislature have been much divided respecting Measures for removing our Difficulties upon so capital a Point; an Assistant Treasurer has lately been chosen, (Mr Ivers) who is esteemed an excellent Accomptant. It is acknowledged the States have a great Financier in Mr Morris; He has made great Savings to the States by his new Arrangements, and to the Surprize of every one has amidst all our pecuniary Perplexities established a National Bank upon firm Credit.3 Personal and local Prejudices have sometimes appeared respecting these Arrangements; but they are to be expected in human Affairs; and are not likely at present to rise so high as to do any essential Injury to the public Welfare.
Some Uneasinesses have lately risen in the Counties of Hampshire and Berkshire about paying Taxes, fomented it is said by the old Tories in that Quarter: and Persons under Custody of Authority have been violently rescued. Government is now trying Ancient Methods, and Mr Saml Adams, Genl. Ward, and Mr Gorham Speaker of the House are going this day as a Committee from the Court to inquire into these Matters, and rectify the Mistakes of the People, which we hope will prevent any Necessity of a severer Exertion of Civil Authority.4
This will be deliver'd to you by Mr Rogers, who married a Daughter of Col. Henry Bromfield. Mrs Rogers accompanies her Husband in this Voyage to Europe, in Hopes of reestablishing her Health which has for a long Time been much impair'd. Your Acquaintance with the Character and Connections of this Gentleman and Lady leaves no Room for me to say any Thing respecting them.5 I am { 195 } much interested in their Welfare, and warmly wish them every Thing happy. The Departure of the Lady in such infirm Health produces a particular Tenderness towards her in the Bosom of all her Friends.
I am with every Sentiment of Respect and Affection, your Excellency's most obedient and very humble Servant
[signed] Saml. Cooper
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Dr. Cooper 22d. July 1782.”
1. That is, the fall of the North government in Britain in March; word had not yet reached Boston of Rockingham's death.
2. On 4 July the Massachusetts General Court resolved that there should be no deviation from the Franco-American alliance or any negotiations with Britain and that the war should be continued until American independence was recognized and established (Mass., Acts and Laws, 2:243–244).
3. Thomas Ivers (1730–1787) first was appointed assistant treasurer of Massachusetts in place of the treasurer, Henry Gardner, who was ill, and then elected treasurer in October after Gardner's death (Mass., Acts and Laws, 2:287). Ivers served until his death in 1787. For Robert Morris' establishment of the Bank of North America, which was formally incorporated on 31 Dec. 1781, see vol. 12:181, 183, 197, 199.
4. In April 1782, Samuel Ely was found guilty of “seditious and disorderly behaviour” in Springfield, Mass., for speaking out against the 1780 state constitution and encouraging a mob to prevent the courts from sitting. In June, a mob broke Ely out of jail; government troops were brought in to quell the mob but more rioting ensued. The Boston newspapers reported on these events in late June, taking their stories from the 20 and 27 June issues of the Worcester Massachusetts Spy. On 2–3 July, the Massachusetts General Court resolved to create a committee of Samuel Adams, president of the Senate; Nathaniel Gorham, speaker of the House of Representatives; and Gen. Artemas Ward to go to Hampshire County and “enquire into the grounds of dissatisfaction—to correct misinformations—to remove groundless jealousies,” then report back (Mass., Acts and Laws, 2:238, 241). For more on Ely and the riots, see James Sullivan to JA, 24 July, below; Robert E. Moody, “Samuel Ely: Forerunner to Shays,” New England Quarterly, 5:105–134 (Jan. 1932); and Robert J. Taylor, Western Massachusetts in the Revolution, Providence, 1954, p. 119–120.
5. This was Daniel Denison Rogers, a Boston merchant, and his wife Abigail Bromfield Rogers. Besides Cooper's letter they also carried AA's of 17 July to JA. Later, when AA and JA were both in London, the Rogerses were frequent visitors (AFC, 4:343, 348; 6 and 7:index). For a portrait of Abigail Bromfield Rogers, who returned to America in 1786, see AFC, 7:38.
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.