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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0192

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-11

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

[salute] Sir

Not being favoured with an answer on our letter of 5 inst, we comprehend the receipt by your Excellency's writing of 8th. inst: to us, Messrs. van Staphorst and de La Lande & Fynje; but Mr. N. van Staphorst being gone to the hague, has taken without preventing any of the Houses said letter with him, so we take the liberty to pray Your Excellency for the Copy thereof, because we are frustrated to satisfy, by mans of the original or Copy to its contents.
We rely that your Excellency 'll never Communicate our particular writing to any body; in whch. confidence we inform you, that the Committeé is inclined to Subscribe a certain Sum as the maryland's loan, for whch. purpose our Deputies in the Hague are charged to get a conversation with your Excellency to know your Sentiment about it, as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States.
We suppose to comprehend, that a Similar address to our Regency to subscribe at the Continental Loan shall be declined; unless your Excellency engages to have the Amount of the annual interest, and redeeming of the Capital send yearly in produce of the Country, to be Sold in this Citÿ, in the same footing as maryland engages, in whch. Case we have no doubt, but to obtain said favour likewise; whch. encouragement the Loan greatly wants, as since some time hardly any Subscription has been done, and shall certainly be prejudic'd by a concurrency of a Loan, honoured with the City's confidence and applause.
We Leave in the meanwhile however to your Excellency's consideration; if you don't Judge proper to engage, sending produces to { 459 } find out of them, the amount of the annual intrest &c: not to apply to our Regencÿ for a subscription, as we consider always, disappointments for every body disagreable.

[salute] We have the honour to be with great esteem. Sir Your most Humble & obedient servants

[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Messs. Willinks 11. Septr. 1782.”

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0193

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Livingston, Robert R.
Date: 1782-09-12

To Robert R. Livingston

[salute] Sir

Your Letters express a Desire that I Should endeavour to form an Acquaintance with the Representatives of Crowned Heads, and you Seem to be of opinion that much may be learned from their Conversation. It is very true that Hints may be dropped, Sometimes which deserve to be attended to, and I Shall not fail to avail myself of every oppertunity of learning any Thing from them, that may occur.
But one might recollect, upon this occasion with great Propriety, a Saying of the Chanceller D'oxensteirn.2 He told his Son, that he intended to Send him as Ambassador, to a Congress for a Pacification. Sir, Says his Son I have never made the Studies necessary to qualify me—never fear Says the Father I will give you all the Instructions which will be necessary.
1. The Letterbook copy is incomplete, and the letter was likely never sent. There is no copy in the PCC.
2. Count Axel Oxenstiern (1583–1654), Swedish diplomat and chancellor under Gustavus Adolphus (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0194

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-09-12

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I have the Honour of receiving your Excellencys Letter of the 7th Instant, the Shrewed Man mentioned therein is now in this Town. He talks I am told of residing here.1
I have a Letter from my Freind at Paris.2 He seems to be much satisfied with Mr J Firmness, who has declared He will treat with no Powers where Our Independance becomes a Question and is disputed. “He has no great Confidence in political Connections, He Strives to Act Independantly, as He did in the Above Instance, when { 460 } V was informed thereof, He was alarmed. However J continues to make F draw with Him.”
The Shelburne Plan of settling little Matters before the important one is determined is I think well marked by one who as an Author and as a Man is esteemed by Your Excellency.
Il y a un certain Ordre, qui rend les Négociations aisées, Si on ne le suit pas, On avance lentement, et enfin quelque Difficulté improuve rend inutiles les Articles, qu'on avoit deja dressés.
On demande, par example.
S'il faut Commencer par la discussion des Points les plus importans d'une Affaire pour descendre ensuite dans le détail des Objets moins interessans; ou s'il faut Commencer par ces détails pour monter insensiblement aux Articles les plus Essentiels; les personnes, qui auront beaucoup de Temps à perdre, ou qui aiment à n'etre jamais saves de rien peuvent prendre la derniere maniere.
des Principes des Negociations par l Abbé Mabbly p 290.3
If Ld Shelburne thinks the Acknowledgement of the American Independance a thing of Course His Conduct may not be so Absurd but when at the same time, He Keeps it in reserve, because of its Importance to his Adversaries, they and not Him are to blame for Suffering it.
Oswald is at Paris, and is thought not to be a great Politician, having Already descovered the Utmost Extent of his Powers.
I have sent the Commissions to Paris; I have no Slips, since those, which your Excellency has received.
I have been told that Mr F has had a retention of Urine.

[salute] I have the Honour of being with the greatest Respect Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servan

[signed] Edm: Jenings
1. Silas Deane.
2. Probably Matthew Ridley. See Ridley's letter of 20 Sept. to JA, below.
3. There is a certain order that renders negotiations easy. If it is not followed, one advances slowly until some unexpected difficulty renders useless the articles already settled.
One asks, for example.
Should he begin by discussing the most important points of an affair in order then to descend into the details of objects less interesting; or begin with details in order to rise imperceptibly to the most essential articles; those with much time to waste, or who prefer to accomplish nothing, choose the latter method.
A copy of Abbé Gabriel Bonnot de Mably's Des principes des négociations, pour servir d'introduction au droit public de l'Europe, fondé sur les traites, The Hague, 1767, is in JA's library at MB (Catalogue of JA's Library).
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.