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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0023

Author: Jenings, Edmund
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-05-16

From Edmund Jenings

[salute] Sir

I take the Liberty of writing to your Excellency this Letter, expresly to recommend my Friend Mr Ridley to your Excellencys Notice. I Knew Him long in England and Ever found Him warm, Active and Affectionate to the Cause of America, we left the Ennemys Country together. He has since been in America where He signalized Himself, in being very instrumental in providing Vessels for transporting Genl Washingtons Troops, from the Head of Chesepeak to York Town, and in raising a Body of 80 Horse, in which He acted as Adjutant and Treasurer refusing any higher Post. He had the Honor of Chacing Tarllton. He has the Esteem of General Washington Lincoln and the Marquis de la Fayette, and indeed He is most intimate with the Latter and has the Confidence of the State of Maryland, from which He has now a Commission of some Trust.
I need not perhaps have mentioned the preceding circumstances to recommend my Friend to your Excellencys Acquaintance. I Know not either your Excellency or Him, if He does not recommend Himself more strongly, to your Approbation and Esteem, than any words of mine can do; for I think you will find in Him a Knowledge of Men and Things, an Integrity Firmness and Candor, not usually met with. He has a great respect for your Excellency and He Knows other people.1
I am with the greatest Consideration Sir your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] Edm: Jenings
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1. Matthew Ridley was an English-born merchant who had gone to America in 1770 and settled in Baltimore. Returning to England in 1775, he had been active, with Edmund Jenings among others in efforts to aid American prisoners. JA already knew Ridley, having met him at Paris in 1778, and JA's diary records a meeting with Ridley and other merchants at Nantes on 12 March 1779, shortly before Ridley returned to America. Jenings' information on Ridley's activities before Yorktown cannot be verified, but he sailed for France in late 1781 on the French frigate that brought news of Cornwallis' surrender. He arrived at Paris in Dec. 1781 with a commission from Maryland to raise a European loan. However, it was his lack of success in raising a loan in France that brought him to the Netherlands in May 1782 (Herbert E. Klingelhofer, “Matthew Ridley's Diary During the Peace Negotiations of 1782,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 20:95–133 [Jan. 1963]; vol. 7:85; JA, D&A, 2:356). For Ridley's arrival at The Hague on 19 May and his meeting with JA on the 20th, see JA's letter of 21 May to Lafayette, note 1, below.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0024

Author: Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business)
Author: Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
Author: La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-05-16

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

[salute] Sir

We did not receive the Letter, which your Excellency did us the honour to write to us,1 but yesterday morning about twelve ô Clock, in answer to which, we now take the liberty to propose to your Excelly the final Terms, on which we are willing to open a Loan in behalf of the united States of North America.
Your Excellency shall authorise us to negotiate a Sum of five Millions of Guilders, tho' we shall now only open a Loan for three millions at the rate of 5 [per] Co. pr. Annum for the time of ten years, and to be redeemed in the five following years, each year a fifth part, for which 3000 bonds of f1000 each shall be given, signed by your Exce. and contrasigned by us, as also paragraphed2 by a Notary; and the Coupons for the Annual Intrest signed by your Secretary, or any body, which you'll appoint for it.
The bonds shall all be dated the first of June, tho' the Subscribers have it in their choice to pay or furnish the money in June, July, August September or october, as they shall think proper, provided that the 1st. Coupon is for 12, 11, 10, 9 or 8 Month, according to the term they pay in. Your Excellency promising to open no other Loan at any other house or houses in the Republic till the whole loan for five Millions is compleated, for which we are not without hopes of Succeeding.
We shall hand to your Excellency the original bonds, on which your Excellency will be pleased to procure us the ratification of Congres as we are obliged to engage ourselves for this to the public: after receiving of which Congres may dispose directly of what Sums, that than shall be in cash.
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We must beg leave to observe to your Excellency that our meaning as to the Terms of 4 1/4 [per] Co. is, that we charge them for the receiving and paying out of the money now; for the remedium to the undertakers for Brokerage, and for the Expences of the notary, the Stamps &ca.3 We shall further charge Annually one p Ct. on the amount of the Intrest, for the paying out of it.
And to convince your Excellency, that we are willing to make the terms as low, as we really can, we shall only charge by the final redeeming of the Loan, for paying out of the money, and charges there on depending only one half pC.
We flatter ourselves with your Excellencys full aprobation, and have there fore got the prospectus ready printed, to be distributed the moment your Excellency will be pleased to give us your agreement to it.
We have the honour to be most respectfully Sir Your Excellency's Most humble & obedt. Servts.
[signed] Wilhem & Jan Willink
[signed] Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst
[signed] de la Lande & Fynje
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To His Excellency John Adams Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of North America &c. &c at the Hague”; endorsed: “Mess Willink, V. Staphorst & Fynje. 16 May. Ansd. 17. 1782. Terms of a Loan.”
1. Of 13 May, above.
2. That is, to be signed (OED).
3. For an explanation of the roles of the various financial specialists whose participation was required to raise a loan in the Netherlands, see vol. 11:102, note 2.
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, 2017.