Papers of John Adams, volume 14

To William Gordon

From Edmund Jenings

Sir The Hague, 15 April 1783

I was most pleasantly diverted by the good companions you sent me and by your honored letters of 28 and 30 March, which they delivered.1

We shall take very good care of your son's health and see that he is agreeably and usefully entertained, just as you wish. Each time someone 414rings the doorbell we think it is he, but to our great regret he has not yet appeared.

Mr. Van Berckel is hurrying his preparations in order to leave in mid-June at the latest. He will be very much at home in your company, if circumstances allow you to travel with him. Two fine captains, Mr. Riemersma of Rotterdam and Mr. Decker of Gouda, the current commander of the splendid ship Tiger, are competing for the honor of conveying him and of exchanging with the United States the first honors for the flag of the republic.2 Mr. Van Berckel appears to me determined to go straight to Philadelphia because of his baggage and retinue, which would otherwise encumber him. He thinks his best plan is to begin by setting up house. He will then leave it all in order, and, when the hot season is over, travel to Boston via New York, where he is thinking of putting his younger son into apprenticeship.

The person who wrote to me in confidence is in the private sector and as far as I know has no influence in public affairs in either America or Europe. I have no knowledge of the source of his anecdotes but have every reason to think it one with principles analogous to your own rather than someone with whom you might differ.3 I still feel that the negotiation in question, in my view the most difficult of all that remain, could not be in more certain or fortunate hands, but I also feel that in your place I too would be homesick.

I sent Mr. Holtzhey the paragraph concerning him.

I wrote a note to the postal clerks telling them to cancel the English papers, except the London Courant, and I shall write them again as soon as I have finished this letter because they seem to be beating about the bush, claiming that these papers have to continue until the full six months expire in late June. I am, with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant