Papers of John Adams, volume 14

To Pieter Johan van Berckel

From Benjamin Vaughan

Sir The Hague, 11 March 1783

You will see from the enclosed copy of a letter the Duc de La Vauguyon was kind enough to send me, with compliments to your excellency, that your son left Copenhagen on 3 March.1 For his part, Mr. Asp came to read me a letter from Baron Sprengtporten, Swedish minister at Copenhagen,2 indicating that he had seen and talked to him on 25 February and that he was making ready to continue on his journey to arrive here, as you wished. And so we are expecting him at any time. His room is ready, and we have made plans for his entertainment and well-being, either here or in Leyden, if he prefers to stay there.

I enclose the original of a letter that Mr. Asp, who sends you his respects, has just written me about a matter close to his heart. I shall send a copy I made of this to Mr. Livingston, so that it arrives either through him or through you, with a request to have some mention of this put in the American newspapers.3

In hopes of seeing your excellency here again some time next month, I have managed to put off settling our household accounts until then, so as not to bother you, sir, at such a distance.

Here are just a few of the bills that have been brought me. I told the creditors I would ask you for instructions.

1o. 1. Bill from a butcher in Amsterdam for meat delivered between 1 April and 8 May . . . . . . . . . . . . . ƒ70.15.10

The beef, which I see is priced at 10 Dutch suivers per pound, is quite exorbitant, apparently some secret deal the servants exploit whenever they can.

2. Bill from an Amsterdam brewer for beer delivered between 18 May 1781 and 12 April 1782 . . . . . . . ƒ 31.20.—

3. Bill from the post office here for the London Courant, Morning Post, Morning Chronicle, and General Advertiser, October, November, and December; four papers at 36 florins, making . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ƒ144.— } ƒ162.—
Three months of Courier de l’Europe 18.—

4. Bill from the bookbinder here for bindings, including the Dutch gazettes and Politique hollandais . . . ƒ 190.14.—

Regarding the books that were bound, you will find them here, sir, in the library, where I put them on a separate shelf.4 And as for the English papers, I always send them on ships leaving from Amsterdam.


I am ill. But our friends have been charitable enough to visit me. You have, sir, the respects of my family with those of, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant