Papers of John Adams, volume 13

To Edmund Jenings

To Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

514 To Robert R. Livingston, 5 October 1782 JA Livingston, Robert R.


To Robert R. Livingston, 5 October 1782 Adams, John Livingston, Robert R.
To Robert R. Livingston
The Hage 5. October 17821 Sir

On the third day of this Month, about ten O Clock a Solemn Deputation, in three Coaches preceeded by twelve Messengers of State, went in Procession to the House in the Wood2 to enter into Conference, with the Statholder concerning the past Administration of the Marine, in Consequence of a Resolution of the States of Holland and West Friesland upon the Proposition of the City of Leyden.3 Military Honours were paid by the Guards were paid to the Deputation from the Sovereign as it passed. It consisted of Mr Cornelis De Gyzelaer, Gysbert Van Staveren and Carel Wouter Vischer, Pensionaries of Dort, Leyden and Amsterdam; Jacob Van Zuylen Van Nyevelt and Meynard Merens Secretaries of Rotterdam and Hoorn, and Pieter Van Bleiswyk, Grand Pensionary of Holland.

They communicated their Message in Writing and received a written Answer, which is Satisfactory.

This is an important Political Maneuvre, and will do much towards restoring the States to their Constitutional Dignity and Authority. But whether it will Stimulate the Admiral General to greater Exertions, time will alone discover. The States Seem to be rolling the Stone of Sisyphus.

LbC (Adams Papers).


This letter is not in the PCC and was probably not sent. However, Livingston received a report on the meeting and its purpose in C. W. F. Dumas' letter of 27 Sept. (Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:776–777).


For a picture and description of the Huis ten Bosch, or Maison du Bois, the residence of William V, see JA, D&A , 3:viii–ix, 33.


On 31 July the deputies from Leyden offered a resolution in the States of Holland and West Friesland calling for a full investigation of the ineffectiveness of the Dutch Navy in the war against England and, in particular, for the stadholder to communicate all of the orders he had issued to the navy in his capacity as admiral general since the beginning of the war. For a French translation of the resolution, see the Gazette d'Amsterdam of 9 August. The provincial states approved Leyden's resolution on 27 Sept., but that and the meeting with William V on 3 Oct. did no more to make the Dutch Navy an effective force against England than the agreement, concluded at about the same time, to coordinate French and Dutch naval operations (to Livingston, 23 Sept., and note 3, above).