Papers of John Adams, volume 14

To Thomas McKean

To C. W. F. Dumas

Sir The Hague, 6 February 1783

Jean de Neufville & Fils of Amsterdam writes to me as follows:

“Please would you obtain for us a passport for the American brigantine Firebrand of Boston, approximately 140 tons, commanded by Capt. Phoenix Frazier, who would like to take advantage as soon as possible of the cessation of hostilities. Since ships from Nantes and Lorient obtain passports by requesting them from ministers, if it is not in your power to grant this, we ask that you obtain one from Paris for the said captain as a safeguard in the event of hostile encounters.”1

I am, with the respects of my family joined to my own, sir, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant


Tomorrow the States of Holland will pass a final resolution to prosecute criminally the disobedience regarding the sortie of the squadron for Brest.2

The administration of military justice is still seriously on the agenda of their Noble and Great Mightinesses. It will be the Achilles heel of the High Council of War. Mr. Van Berckel's memorandum on this subject, written and rejected ten years ago, has been adopted by the States of Holland and inserted into their registers. What a triumph for the author!